The Persians originally used the term Turkistan to refer to the area across what is now Central Asia, which was inhabited by the Turks and includes areas of modern day Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. In the 1860s, as the Persian Empire was weakened, the Russians were able to take the city in Kazakhstan that is known today as Turkistan. The city is located in the Kazakh south, near the Syr Darya River. The site's legacy dates back to the 4th century and has a long history, being at times known as Yassay and Hazrat. It is the burial place of the Sufi Sheikh Khoja Akhmet Yassawi and for this reason, it's considered an important seat of Islamic learning and is a sacred destination for Muslim pilgrims. In its history, it has been ruled by the Chinese Han dynasty and Tamerlane, and is the site of many historical and architectural places of interest. With its desert climate, the winters are short and cold and the summers long, hot and dry.