Kyrgyzstan became an independent country in 1991, from the Soviet Union (in which country it was known as Kirgiziya). Askar Akayev, the leader since 1990, ran unopposed in the first elections. In 2005, the Tulip Revolution ousted Akayev and replaced him with Kurmanbek Baliyev. Since then, though, Kyrgyzstan has been quite corrupt, and in 2010, Baliyev ordered a state of emergency after protests in the town of Talas against corruption spread to the capital, Bishkek. 75 people were killed and 458 injured in clashes against the police. Also in 2010, there were ethnic clashes between the Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in Osh, the second largest city in the country.
Kyrgyzstan is also known for its Issyk Kul Lake, the second-largest mountain lake after Lake Titicaca (hehehe) in the Andes. There have been claims of ruins of an advanced city being located at the bottom of Issyk Kul. A National Geographic expedition in 2012 found "a lot of interesting evidence that needs to analyzed" and "a massive amount of GPS and remote sensing data to process". 
Kyrgyzstan is known for having a very difficult to spell name, and a cult following on the trivia website Sporcle. The New York Times also accidentally mixed Kyrgyzstan with Uzbekistan to create the country of Kyrzbekistan.
- See the Wikipedia article on 2010 South Kyrgyzstan ethnic clashes.
- Though this is SputnikNews, so take it with a grain of salt... http://www.sputniknews.com/analysis/20071227/94372640.html
- See the Wikipedia article on Religion in Kyrgyzstan.