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Kazakhstan renames capital city in honour of authoritarian leader who just resigned

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Kazakhstan has modified the identify of its capital city from Astana to Nursultan. 

The change was made in honour of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who stepped down yesterday after nearly 30 years in workplace. 

Parliament then handed a regulation making the renaming official. 


At his swearing in, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev made the announcement “in honour of the primary President”, in keeping with a BBC report.

The shock resignation has shocked many Kazakh residents, ensuing within the creation of an internet petition asking the president and parliament to reverse the choice, which greater than 36,000 folks have signed up to now 24 hou​rs.

The attraction requests that the authorities conduct “professional” discussions with residents, adopted by “truthful and open voting.”

Regardless of his departure, Nazarbayev will stay chairman of Kazakhstan’s safety council. 

This isn’t the primary time that the previous Soviet republic has proposed a reputation change. 

In 2014, Nazarbayev prompt altering the identify of Khazakhstan to Kazak Yeli in an try to differentiate the nation from its “poorer” neighbours. 

And in 1998, he moved the nation’s capital from Almaty in southeast Kazakhstan to Akmola within the north. 

The next 12 months, Nazarbayev renamed the capital Astana, in an effort to eradicate battle over the which means of the identify Akmola, which might imply each ‘white tomb’ and ‘white lots’ in Kazakh. 


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Whereas the renaming of locations just isn’t uncommon, it tends to comply with independence of a rustic from colonial rule. 

Because the finish of British rule, over 100 cities in India have modified their names. 

This consists of the Indian capital Mumbai, which was modified from Bombay in 1995, in an try to shake off the legacy of colonialism.

Khazakhstan is the world’s largest land-locked nation and the ninth largest on the planet. It’s the most economically affluent of the neighbouring ’stans, as a result of its reserves of oil and different worthwhile minerals. 

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