Monday, February 10, 2014

Importance of renaming Kazakhstan?

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 7

By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

Kazakh people will support the idea of ​​renaming the country, as proposed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, according to the Russian expert on Central Asia, Azhdar Kurtov.

During a visit to the Intellectual School in the city of Atryau and meetings with representatives of the public on Feb. 6, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed the possibility of changing the country's official name to "Kazakh Eli" ("Country of Kazakhs" or "Kazakh people").

"Our country's name has the ending "stan", as in the other Central Asian states. Meanwhile, the foreigners are showing interest in Mongolia, which has a population of only two million people, while its name lacks the ending "stan". Perhaps, it is necessary to consider over time the issue of changing the name of our country to "Kazakh Eli", but this first needs to be discussed with the people," the president said.

However, the renaming of the country would entail a number of difficulties, the chief editor of the 'Problems of National Strategy' journal of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, Azhdar Kurtov told Trend on Friday.

He said first of all the change in the country's name would entail very high expenditures.

"Any change to the name is a very costly thing, because you have to change all the documents, print, signboards and so on, and not only in Kazakhstan, but also at its missions abroad. And this is a very high cost," Kurtov said.

The expert said that secondly, the wording "Kazakh Eli" conceals some ethical problems, as it says that it is the state of the Kazakhs, and not some other ethnic group. And Kazakhstan is a home to many other nationalities.

"I believe it is wrong to emphasize the priority of only one ethnic group," the analyst said.

In addition, Kurtov expressed his opinion about Mongolia's popularity among foreigners, as was mentioned by the Kazakh president.

"Mongolia's subsoil is very rich, the population is small and this country can not conduct a truly independent policy, as it is sandwiched between the two giants - Russia and China. It is forced to balance itself and attract the attention of foreign investors, including those from the U.S. in order to preserve its independence. The foreign investors' attention is not due to its name. Even if it was called something different, the attention to it would not decrease," Kurtov said.

However, renaming Kazakhstan can give positive results, he said. According to him, so the country will attract the attention of the whole world.

The expert noted that people in many countries are responding to many of Kazakhstan's initiatives, which is positive.

At the same time, he believes that the issue of changing the country's name is not of utmost importance for Kazakhstan.

"Kazakhstan has many other crucial issues to be addressed," he said.

Translated by E.A.

Edited by C.N.

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