5 august 2020

Central Asia news

Rotten method: Kyrgyzstan actively discusses the ethnicity of the presidential candidate?

27.09.2017 09:16 msk

Ulugbek Babakulov

Analytics Human Rights Kyrgyzstan

If the presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan, scheduled on 15 October, would have conducted today the clear winner would be Omurbek Babanov. The charismatic, strong-willed and young politician, he has the advantage above all his competitors. And first of all far from the candidate from the party of power Sooronbay Jeenbekov. And it frightens someone. Babanov will become president if the elections are fair, about most independent observers cast huge doubts on including me. Therefore, the vilest method of denigrating a competitor is active - the ethnic.

Usually, the ethnic superiority issue primarily concerns people who suffer from an inferiority complex. Representatives of such people constantly think that they are the greatest, the ancient and stood at the origins of humanity, and the country's leadership supports this myth and even inflates it. The national question in Kyrgyzstan is always trendy. The current president of the country Almazbek Atambayev skilfully uses this method.

President Atambayev often singles out the exclusive role of ethnic Kyrgyz in his speeches, for some reason forgetting that representatives of more than 80 ethnic group live in Kyrgyzstan according to official data. In fact, he promotes the idea that Kyrgyzstan is a country of ethnic Kyrgyz, and representatives of other ethnic groups should be grateful that they are generously allowed to live on their land.

Wishing to avoid sounding proofless, I will quote an excerpt from the speech of the president at the celebration of Independence Day:

"The Kyrgyz people climbed to the top of the mountain, built a great Khaganate [Kingdom], occupied a place from Siberia to Asia, led dozens of nations, saw the golden age. Having fallen to the bottom of hell, the Kyrgyz people have been losing their statehood, not only a Khaganate. From Genghis Khan and the Stalinist repressions, the uprising of 1916, the days when almost lost the Kyrgyz language and its name "Kyrgyz". The Kyrgyz also saw such catastrophic days.

How many of our ancestors gave their souls to keep the name "Kyrgyz" during dark days, years, centuries, not for a couple of centuries, but for thousands of years.

So I want to warn: is there a river in which the Kyrgyz blood does not flow? Is there an edge where the Kyrgyz's bone does not lie? This blood and these souls should not be wasted. Then neither our ancestors nor God will forgive us." (quote on the site Kloop.Kg).

The growth of "national self-consciousness" of ultra-nationalists and various kinds of ultras became remarkable during the rule of President Atambayev. The Atambayev era declared predecessors, Akayev and Bakiyev, "not Kyrgyz": Akayev is called both a Kazakh and a Kalmyk, while Bakiyev managed to stay Uzbek and Dungan.

The same approach is applied to the obvious leader of the election campaign - Omurbek Babanov. Pack of videos fill social networks and all sorts of messengers, transmitting the main idea: Babanov is not a pure-blooded Kyrgyz.

Quod licet Iovi

The former MP Kamchibek Tashiev made a first attack against Babanov on his mother's ethnicity. In February 2012, in an interview with the "De Facto" pro-governmental newspaper, he said that with Babanov becoming head of government, "we started to follow the Kurds." "We followed Tatars, Jews, Russians and others. With the arrival of Babanov, we began to follow the Kurds. A person who thinks about a nation must be a pure-blooded Kyrgyz. So they say in Russia and Kazakhstan. And why should we be embarrassed to talk about this? "- Kamchibek Tashiev declared then.

The statement of the politician angered the public then, and Tashiev even had to excuse in the parliament. "I will not, and I have no right to say anything bad about the mother of the head of government, as well as about my own. I respect the mother of Omurbek Babanov, as well as everyone else in the world," said the leader of the Ata-Jurt party.

Over time, some politicians began to slip nationalist statements more often, and society was not keen to react particularly actively. While some ideas even got support.

In mid-August, the Ata-Jurt political party held a congress in Bishkek, where two odious politicians - already famous Kamchibek Tashiev and ex-speaker of the parliament - Ahmatbek Keldibekov - would be nominated as candidates.

Speaking at the meeting, Azimbek Beknazarov scandalously focused on the "Kyrgyz ethnicity" of both nominees. "Both presidential candidates are pure-blooded Kyrgyz. Kyrgyzstan needs Kyrgyz; it is the state of Kyrgyz. Our policy and our president should work for the Kyrgyz. We must destroy the "common house" built by Akaev. It's time to distinguish born, educated and going to politics in the "common house" and those who are ready to serve their homeland and their people. I, as a relative of Ahmatbek Keldibekov, declare that he is a pure-blooded Kyrgyz," said Beknazarov, also known as "the revolution bulldozer" for taking part in the coups of 2005 and 2010.

Later, Beknazarov also back-pedalled and even gave a press conference, where he said he had been misunderstood. "I did not appeal to national hatred. There was no action in my words. I did not say bad about other nationalities [ethnic groups]. I understand that my words touched the non-pure-blooded candidates for the presidency. Yes, I'm a hundred times more internationalist than those who decided to give a legal assessment of my words."

You are to blame

At the end of July this year, Omurbek Babanov talked about his plans to nominate himself for the presidency during a press conference. As usual, the issue of his ethnic purity was raised.

"My father is a Kyrgyz, my mother is from Turkic nationalities," said Omurbek Babanov. "During the war, the grandfather on the part of the mother, like many in the Caucasus, fell under repression and sent to Kyrgyzstan. My mother was four years old then. She spoke Kyrgyz all her life. And it is not good writing about my mother's nationality. Aitmatov's mother was a Tatar. And is he now not Kyrgyz?! Anyone who works for the good of his people is a real Kyrgyz," Babanov said.

The politician asked journalists and the public not to touch his deceased mother. "I'm proud of my parents, I miss them now," the politician summed up.

Some in social networks do not just reproach Babanov for not being Kyrgyz but accuse him of preparing a coup to join Kyrgyzstan to another state.

Nevertheless, the question of his ethnicity is raised as his main disadvantage. Everything was mixed up: the mother is not a Kyrgyz; therefore, the son will not think about the Kyrgyz. The lover - Chechen was invented. Conclusion: Babanov intermarried with the criminal leader Batukaev, whom, incidentally, the authorities themselves released and carefully accompanied to the airport. The next charge is based on the fact that Omurbek Babanov's wife is a Kazakh, which means becoming a president, the politician will work in the interests of the Kazakhs.

It recalls the statement attributed to former US President Franklin Roosevelt allegedly said about the Nicaraguan dictator: "Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch." So here, let the president be an ignoramus, a scoundrel and a gangster who will engage in nepotism and tribalism. But this should be a real Kyrgyz.

Manas is not a "pureblooded Kyrgyz"

President Atambayev loves to appeal to history and tell about the epic hero Manas. Say, all Kyrgyz should emulate the mythical hero, after which, on the instructions of the head of state they even installed a large equestrian statue in the central square.

The patriotic population, seduced by the tales of the president about the greatness of the Kyrgyz, who once owned the lands from Baikal to the Caspian, believes in their national exclusiveness.

Beautiful fairy tales about Kyrgyz baatyrs [heroes] overshadow the mind and discourage the desire to think and analyse. I wonder how these ultra-nationalists would react if they learn that the same Manas, to which they almost worship, was not a pureblooded Kyrgyz at all.

The epic says that the father of the hero Jakyp married the widow of his brother Shakan, who was the princess of Bulgar blood. In memory of her former husband Chiyyry, she took the name Chiyyrdy.

Later, an adult Manas married a girl named Sanirabiga, by the way, also not Kyrgyz. Then she adopted a Kyrgyz name Kanykei. They had two children - Semetey and Seytek, and they were not pureblooded Kyrgyz either.

So it turns out that the Kyrgyz, admiring their national exceptionality, worship no the Kyrgyz at all?

Then why they raise the rotten question of the ethnicity of the presidential candidate Omurbek Babanov? Just for his "son of a bitch" to come to power.

By Ulugbek Babakulov

Fergana News Agency