Kazakhstan: Lawmakers propose Kazakh Republic as official country name

ASTANA (TCA) — The faction Ak Zhol of the lower house of Kazakhstan’s parliament has asked the country’s prime minister to consider the possibility of calling the country in official circulation the Kazakh Republic, Xinhua news agency reports.

The request was announced on January 23 at the plenary session of the chamber by the Chairman of the Ak Zhol faction, MP Azat Peruashev.

“Along with the use of the name Kazakhstan, we propose to consider returning the official name to our country — the Kazakh Republic,” said Peruashev, adding that the return to the original name “Kazakh Republic” will restore historical justice, and give a tremendous impetus to the unity and friendship of compatriots of all nationalities.

All members of the Ak Zhol parliamentary faction have signed the request.

Commenting on the initiative, Peruashev said that this is not a renaming, but the use of the name in official circulation, along with the well-established name Kazakhstan.

In the first months of Kazakhstan’s independence in December 1991, it was proposed to name the young sovereign country “Kazakh Republic”, but the proposal was rejected by the majority of the population of the country, where representatives of more than 120 nationalities and ethnic groups live.

It was earlier reported that Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev did not like the name Kazakhstan.

“Kazakhstan has the ‘stan’ ending like many other nations of Central Asia. At the same time, foreigners take an interest in Mongolia, the population of which makes up only two million, but its name does not end in ‘-stan,'” Nazarbayev told onlookers while visiting a school in Atyrau several years ago, according to his official website. “Perhaps, eventually it is necessary to consider an issue of changing the name of our country into the ‘Kazakh Nation’, but first of all, it should necessarily be discussed with people.” (His proposed name would be rendered as “Kazakh Eli” in English.)

There are seven countries in Central Asia with the suffix “-stan”: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

But the official name of Kyrgyzstan is the Kyrgyz Republic.

Sergey Kwan