18 december 2014

Central Asia news

Sergey Abashin: “The Soviet Village: Between Colonialism and Modernism”

Sergey Abashin: “The Soviet Village: Between Colonialism and Modernism”

17.12.2014 00:33 msk Books Interview Central Asia Russia Tajikistan Uzbekistan

The latest research into Central Asia by Sergey Abashin, a professor at the European University in Sankt-Peterburg, has recently been published as a book. The study in question researches into the history of transformation of Central Asia between late 19th century and the collapse of the Soviet Union in early 1990s. The century-long episode of history is related via a description of life in a village that has undergone conquest, repressions, rapid economic growth and cultural modernization. The book (in Russian) includes many documents and oral narrations that shed light on the conquest of the region, the establishment of first colonial and later Soviet rule, the fight against basmachis, collectivization and cotton-based economy, medicine and Islam, mahalla-centric communities and marriage strategies. The author of the book uses theories of post-colonialism, cultural hybridity, the Soviet subjectivity to analyze the collected material. The tools employed help him explain the contradicting nature of public relations in the Russian Empire and the former USSR.

Believe not, fear not and ask not: Russia “disowns” Turkmen opposition figure

Believe not, fear not and ask not: Russia “disowns” Turkmen opposition figure

25.11.2014 23:05 msk Human Rights Politics Russia Turkmenistan

On 31 October 2014, the Presnenskiy District Court in Moscow dismissed the complaint lodged by Tatyana Shikhmuradova, the wife of Boris Sikhmuradov who is imprisoned for life in Turkmenistan. Mrs. Shikhmuradova lodged a lawsuit against the foreign affairs ministry of Russia, which has applied no effort over the last 12 years to find out about her husband’s fate. The most shocking event for Mrs. Shikhmuradova at the court was the foreign ministry representative’s claim that Mr. Shikhmuradov is not a citizen of Russia.

Is Central Asia afraid of ISIS?

Is Central Asia afraid of ISIS?

12.11.2014 17:57 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Interview Central Asia Afghanistan China Iran Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Pakistan Russia Tajikistan Turkmenistan Turkey, Republic of Uzbekistan

Several weeks ago ISIS (also known as ISIL and Islamic State) forces reached Turkey’s borders, destroying all ‘infidels’ in their path, by which they mean both Christians and Muslims belonging to other branches of Islam. Support for ISIS has also extended beyond its region: Afghan and Pakistani members of the Taliban have already begun to swear allegiance to this new radical Islamist movement. Specialists in politics and international relations, regional specialists, politicians and informed observers were asked what they think about the subject.

Carnegie Moscow presents Russo-Turkish cooperation in “turbulent neighborhood” report

Carnegie Moscow presents Russo-Turkish cooperation in “turbulent neighborhood” report

24.10.2014 13:41 msk Analytics Politics Central Asia Afghanistan China Iran Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Pakistan Russia Tajikistan Turkmenistan Turkey, Republic of Uzbekistan

Carnegie Moscow Center presented the “Exploring the Prospects of Russian-Turkish Cooperation in a Turbulent Neighborhood” report compiled by the Carnegie Center and the Global Relations Forum (GRF) in Istanbul. The two organizations established a Working Group dedicated to exploring the potential for regional cooperation between Turkey and Russia under the leadership of Memduh Karakullukchu, vice chairman and president, Global Relations Forum (GRF), and Dmitri Trenin, director, Carnegie Moscow Center.

Recep Erdogan’s “Crimea dilemma”

Recep Erdogan’s “Crimea dilemma”

19.09.2014 10:23 msk Analytics Politics Russia Turkey, Republic of

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement, in which it refused to accept the outcomes of elections in Crimea, which took place on September 14 of this year. There is nothing unexpected in the move, because the same statement sheds light on Turkey’s well-known principle position concerning the “Crimean issue”: “Turkey does not recognize the illegal inclusion of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea [by the Russian Federation]. In this connection, our country finds the September 14 elections invalid.” Such statements, which conform to the position of the majority among the international community, have regularly been voiced from Ankara. The contrary would be surprising actually.

Speak Up for success

Speak Up for success

09.07.2014 23:47 msk Business Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Russia Tajikistan Turkmenistan Turkey, Republic of Uzbekistan

Speak Up is part of the largest language school network in Poland, which belongs to the international capital group Empik Media & Fashion. In 2012 revenues of the Group were about PLN 3.2 billion (over 1 trillion USD). The language school division is represented by Learning System Group (LSG) which operates 115 schools with more than 100.000 students. LSG is the leader in teaching foreign languages in Central and Eastern Europe. Being listed in Warsaw Stock Exchange since 1997, EMF has become one of the leading distributors of language courses, media, clothing, cosmetics and children’s products in Central Europe. It includes well-known brands as Hugo Boss, River Island and Esprit. Our school has been recognized in the prestigious Book of Lists 2012 , taking first place in the category of number of students and offer. Speak Up specializes in teaching English to adults using a unique method that combines the most modern multimedia tools with classes conducted by highly qualified instructors. There are Speak Up schools all over Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.

IT break, or Why Migrants Need Internet

IT break, or Why Migrants Need Internet

19.01.2014 11:15 msk Human Rights Migration Internet Russia Uzbekistan

The Sankt-Peterburg Center for Independent Sociological Research issued a report on communicative strategies and information resources, which Uzbek migrants in Russia mostly use. The report is entitled “Uzbek Migrants in Russia: Information Space and Social Communications” and is based on a research held between August 2011 and February 2012. The research in question was held in three Russian cities—Sankt-Peterburg, Pskov, and Kazan, and in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. A total of 46 migrants were interviewed (13 in Kazan, 12 in Pskov, nine in Sankt-Peterburg, and 12 in Samarkand) and editors of three mass media outlets targeting migrants from Central Asia were interviewed.

Uzbekistan: Want to marry? See a doctor!

Uzbekistan: Want to marry? See a doctor!

25.07.2013 22:16 msk Human Rights Migration Russia Uzbekistan

As is well known, young and able-bodied men from Uzbekistan travel to Russia seeking employment en mass every year. Their absence in the country has somewhat impacted ceremonies of one of the most traditional Uzbek rituals—weddings. For example, for the last several years, young couples willing to join hands and hearts are obliged to pass a thorough medical examination: an HIV test, an examination by a psychiatrist, a drug test, and get a chest X-Ray. If in 2009 and since, many chose to simply bribe doctors for “good results” in order to quickly register the marriage, nowadays, many brides and grooms are serious about these issues and treat a medical examination as an insurance against potential future problems. Brides’ relatives are especially prone to insisting on a medical test of future grooms.

Islam Karimov: Far from reality

Islam Karimov: Far from reality

24.06.2013 23:35 msk Analytics Business Politics Migration Interview Russia Uzbekistan

Uzbek President Islam Karimov called the Uzbek labor migrants engaged in sweeping streets in Moscow “lazybones” and “street beggars.” Perhaps, President Karimov’s words were addressed for the local audience, for “local consumption” so to speak. The online media outlets in Uzbekistan appeared embarrassed for their leader’s harsh and strange claims having decided not to reprint his statements. The part about “lazybones” would not have made its way into the “foreign consumption” copy of the interview if not for vigilant foreign news agencies.

Kyrgyz state communications agency chief allows unblocking Fergana access

Kyrgyz state communications agency chief allows unblocking Fergana access

29.03.2013 11:15 msk Politics Internet Kyrgyzstan Russia

The head of the State Communications Agency (SCA) of Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Almaz Kadyrkulov, told the Vecherniy Bishkek newspaper that local ISPs “have the right” to unblock access to the Fergana news agency’s website: “[Communications] operators have the right to unblock [access to] the website, and I don’t care at all.” Mr. Kadyrkulov said these words after a local court ruled to stop hearings on blocked access due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.

Traveling back into history: Bukharan Emirs establish and build the Grand Mosque of Saint Petersburg

Traveling back into history: Bukharan Emirs establish and build the Grand Mosque of Saint Petersburg

20.02.2013 12:27 msk Russia Uzbekistan

On 21 February 1913, the first Islamic prayer was performed in the Grand Mosque in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Then-the only mosque in Russia’s northern capital was solemnly opened for public the next day. The mosque was built in the Samarkand style of the Tamerlane times’ architecture and it is very well known throughout Russia. A lot of information is available on it online, and particularly on the website of the Saint-Petersburg Spiritual Affairs Directorate. However, two emirs from Bukhara, who were directly involved in the mosque establishment and construction, are rarely heard of. Why “two emirs?” Because Emir Said Abdul Akhad Khan, who ruled between 1885 and 1910, initiated the construction of the mosque in 1910, and it was completed and opened by his son, Said Mir Muhammad Alim Khan, the last Bukharan Emir who ruled until being toppled by the Bolsheviks in 1920. We wish to convey the stories of these two emirs.

Uzbekistan 2012: Resume and forecast. Part II: Farewell, MTS!

Uzbekistan 2012: Resume and forecast. Part II: Farewell, MTS!

25.01.2013 22:49 msk Business Russia Uzbekistan

Fergana continues publishing review articles on 2012 outcomes in Uzbekistan. The first article was on the cooling of political ties with Russia and its political bloc, which was one of the most discussed topics last year. The second article will cover a scandal related to booting MTS from Uzbekistan: how it happened, what MTS’ competitors did about it, and its impact on common citizens’ lives, economy and the overall cellular communications market.

Uzbekistan 2012: Resume and forecast. Part I

Uzbekistan 2012: Resume and forecast. Part I

24.01.2013 23:43 msk Analytics Politics Russia Uzbekistan

On 18 January 2013, Uzbek President Islam Karimov chaired a special session on results and outcomes in 2012. The government followed the routine of reporting successes and achievements, which pleased the president, Uzbek mass media reported. Islam Karimov has, too, delivered a speech. In it, he indicated “persistent serious problems in the global economy,” UzA news agency quotes him as saying, all the while Uzbekistan’s economy continued “rising in a steady tempo” and “the population’s living standards steadily grew and the country’s position in the global market has further consolidated.” It is surprising that the head of Uzbek state chose to ignore some of very important events of 2012: ceasing its membership in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), liquidating the Russian MTS (Uzdunrobita) cellular communications company in Uzbekistan, scandals around foreign bank accounts held by influential Uzbek officials, the massive scale cotton-picking campaign, the collapse of the energy industry, and power-wielders’ raids in retail markets. For foreign analysts and military experts, cooling political relationships with Russia and the military block under her patronage were one of the most discussed topics in 2012. The Fergana contributor Mr. Maksim Beylis starts a series of analytical articles with this topic.

Uzbek citizen Yusup Kasymahunov kidnapped in Russia

Uzbek citizen Yusup Kasymahunov kidnapped in Russia

20.12.2012 16:55 msk Human Rights Russia

On 14 December 2012 Uzbek citizen Yusup Kasymahunov was kidnapped in the Moscow region. It appears that he was kidnapped and taken out the country by Uzbekistan’s security services with the help of Russian border guards: Tashkent was vying for Kasymahunov’s extradition, but official extradition was stopped through efforts by the Strasbourg court and Russian human rights activists. Russian authorities and the office of the Russian representative to the European Human Rights Court (EHRC) were against the extradition, yet these warnings did not result in any action: Yusup has disappeared and is now probably in one of the detention cells in Tashkent or Andijan. Elena Ryabinina, manager of the “Right to Shelter” programme at the Institute of Human Rights, talks in more detail about the kidnapping of Yusup Kasymahunov.

Azimjon Askarov, jailed for life in Kyrgyzstan, gets International Press Freedom Award

Azimjon Askarov, jailed for life in Kyrgyzstan, gets International Press Freedom Award

14.09.2012 20:14 msk Human Rights Russia

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ.org), a New York based organisation, announced that it has given four journalists, who risked their lives and freedom, to talk about abuses of power and human rights violations in Brazil, China, Kyrgyzstan and Liberia, the 2012 International Press Freedom Award. Azimjon Askarov, journalist and human rights defender, is an ethnic Uzbek from the Southern Kyrgyz town of Jalal-abad, who was sentenced to life in jail on 15 September 2010. He was detained three months earlier on suspicion of organising mass disturbances during the tragic events in Southern Kyrgyzstan and charged with complicity in a police officer’s murder.

Other news

Media headlines

Threat Matrix The Peshawar attack: sickening, but no surprise, 17.12.2014

Long War Journal Pakistani Taliban assault military high school in Peshawar, 16.12.2014

Reuters Turkish soccer fans go on trial accused of coup attempt, 16.12.2014

Today's Zaman Thousands gather across Turkey to protest police raids against media, 15.12.2014

Long War Journal Taliban attacks in Afghanistan surge as Coalition ends combat mission, 14.12.2014

Today's Zaman Turkish police raid Zaman building, attempt to detain editor, 14.12.2014

Worldbulletin Four more dissident Uzbeks are on assasination list -report, 14.12.2014

Eurasianet Uzbekistan Turning To Russia For New Weaponry, 13.12.2014

Today's Zaman Human Rights Watch: Turkey’s security bill undermines rights, 11.12.2014

BBC What is jihadism?, 11.12.2014

Foreign Affairs Anand Gopal on Afghanistan and Iraq, 10.12.2014

AVFN TeliaSonera Won't Sue Former CEO Nyberg Over Uzbekistan Acquisition, 10.12.2014

Long War Journal Al Qaeda commander reported killed in drone strike in Pakistan, 09.12.2014

Eurasianet Bleak Climate Report Bad News for Central Asia and Its Dams, 09.12.2014

Reuters Telenor's CEO resigns from Vimpelcom's board amid probe, 08.12.2014

The Nation (Pakistan) Who will control Afghanistan?, 07.12.2014

TNS Is IS an imminent and real threat to Pakistan?, 07.12.2014

Rolling Stone Afghanistan: The Making of a Narco State, 05.12.2014

Diplomat in Spain Uzbekistan, key for the future political scene in Asia, 05.12.2014

Hurriyet Western Turkish coal plant’s privatization completed for $1 billion despite workers' opposition, 02.12.2014

Washington Post Fred Hiatt: Uzbekistan - The tyranny you haven’t heard of, 01.12.2014

WDAM Islamic State group attacks Kobani from Turkey, 30.11.2014

Eurasianet Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan Threaten Media for Terrorism Reporting, 26.11.2014

Today's Zaman Navi Pillay urges President Erdoğan to respect democracy, 25.11.2014

OpenDemocracy Iran: a 'bloody stain' on the nation, 25.11.2014

Fair Observer Central Asia Is Leaning East Toward an Energy-Thirsty China, 24.11.2014

RFE/RL 'Complex Factors' Pushing Kazakh Men, Women To Join IS, 21.11.2014

Haaretz.com Israeli high-tech companies helping Central Asian regimes spy on citizens, report says, 20.11.2014

Eurasianet U.S. Congress Takes On Central Asia Water Conflicts, 20.11.2014

Guardian Fears for Uzbekistan political prisoners as rights group gets rare access, 19.11.2014

The Long War Journal US military continues to claim al Qaeda is 'restricted' to 'isolated areas of northeastern Afghanistan', 19.11.2014

BBC Happier days in the Karimov family album, 19.11.2014

The News The ghosts and gains of North Waziristan, 18.11.2014

IWPR Enclave Issues Challenge Uzbek, Kyrgyz Leaders, 18.11.2014

Jarayon Mutabar Tadjibayeva: We can stop political repressions in Uzbekistan, 16.11.2014

Natural Gas Europe Could There Be a “Central Asian Nabucco”?, 10.11.2014

New Yorker What Kobani Means for Turkey’s Kurds, 09.11.2014

Eurasianet Central Asia's Desirable Militants, 09.11.2014

Forum18 KYRGYZSTAN: Religious freedom survey, November 2014, 07.11.2014

Today's Zaman Pro-Kurdish party faces threat of ban, says politician, 05.11.2014

Eurasianet Kyrgyzstan’s Islamic State Hysteria Feeds on Conjecture, 04.11.2014

RFE/RL Video Provides Evidence That Uzbek IS Militants Are In Kobani, 29.10.2014

News Observer Pakistan experts expect more defections to the Islamic State, 28.10.2014

OpenDemocracy How ISIS impacts on Turkey’s daily life, 25.10.2014

RIAN Aral Sea Dilemma: Human Security and Climate Change Issues, 25.10.2014

GateStone Institute Turkey: The "Great Muslim Democracy", 25.10.2014

Asia Times Uzbek president faults Soviet system, keeps relics, 24.10.2014

Long War Journal Taliban control 3 districts in Afghan provinces of Wardak and Kunduz, 23.10.2014

Eurasia Review Pakistan: The North Waziristan Operations – Analysis, 21.10.2014

RIAN Uzbekistan’s Uztelecom Cracks Down on Skype and WhatsApp, 20.10.2014

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