The observatory is located on the Assy-Turgen plateau, 2750 meters above sea level, 85 km East from Almaty. It was build by Fesenkov Astrophysical Institute, and observations began to be performed since 1981. By 1991, two telescope towers and hotel facilities were raised, and a 1-meter telescope was launched. By 1990 it was planned to set up a 1.5-meter AZT-20 reflector telescope. The dome and the building were constructed, but since the beginning of 1990s the construction was suspended due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Currently, the construction is resumed, and the launch of the 1.5-m telescope is expected to occur during 2016-2018.
Assy Turgen is the only observatory in Kazakhstan with ideal astroclimate: high transparency of the atmosphere, no light pollution and very small (average) turbulence.
Assy Turgen Observatory 1-meter telescope is used for research of Herbig Ae/Be, symbiotic stars and binary systems with X-ray component.