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Kazakh Report: July 2, 1999


2 July 1999

ETHNIC KURDS OF KAZAKHSTAN EXPRESS THEIR ATTITUDE TO THE OCALAN VERDICT.
It was reported by RFE/RL correspondents from Almaty that ethnic Kurds of Almaty gathered at Kurdish Culture House on June 30 to express their opinions on the death penalty verdict announced by the Turkish Court against the leader of the Kurdish separatists, Abdullah Ocalan, earlier this week. The leader of ethnic Kurds in Kazakhstan, Kazakh Academician Nadir Nadirov, told journalists at the Kurdish Culture house on 30 June that all the ethnic Kurds of Almaty, South Kazakhstan and Zhambyl Oblasts (main areas in Kazakhstan where the Kurdish minority is concentrated) were advised by their leaders not to stage any sort of demonstrations or actions of protest. "We are not going to organize any terrorist actions in Kazakhstan, " � said Nadir Nadirov to journalists, adding that Turkey "had to solve the Kurdish problem and stop the Kurdish rebels activities by peaceful means only and that Abdullah Ocalan had to be released". Almaty Police forces surrounded the building of the Kurdish Culture House, checking the documents of any visitor for the entire day. All the Kurds living in Shymkent and Zhambyl Oblasts of Kazakhstan were prohibited from entering the former Kazakh capital. There are about 50,000 ethnic Kurds living in Kazakhstan, and Kazakhstan was the only Central Asian Republic where ethnic Kurds organized numerous demonstrations and actions of protest the days following Abdullah Ocalan�s arrest by the Turkish Security forces earlier this year.

OTAN PARTY INITIATED GATHERING OF 7 POLITICAL PARTIES.
According to information provided by RFE/RL correspondents in Almaty, the leaders of the OTAN party organized a gathering of 7 political parties of Kazakhstan on June 30. Among the politicians gathered there were leaders of such parties as AZAMAT, Cooperative Party, Reconstruction Party, Agrarian Party, Republican Party and others. Sovetqazy Aqatayev � leader of the Republican Party - complained that his party had no money for fees required by Kazakh law to have parties fully registered as candidates in the Parliamentary elections scheduled for this fall.

On July 1, Alimzhan Alpeyisov � Chief of the Astana branch of the OTAN Party - distributed OTAN party membership certificates among members of Kazakh Parliament. Mr. Alpeyisov told RFE/RL correspondents on July 1 that 9 members of the Senate - the Kazakh Parliament's Upper House - and 20 members of the Mazhilis � Lower House - had recently been admitted to the OTAN Party as new members. He also said that the OTAN party had about 170,000 members in Kazakhstan, of whom 2,000 were citizens of Astana.

AGREEMENT ON COOPERATION BETWEEN KAZAKHSTAN AND EUROPEAN UNION CAME INTO FORCE JULY 1, 1999.
An agreement on Cooperation between Kazakhstan and the European Union, signed by the Kazakh President in 1993 and leaders of European Union, came into effect on 1 July. Representatives of the EU in Kazakhstan, Ambassadors of Germany and Holland, and Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Erlan Idrisov held a press conference on the event on June 30 in the Kazakh Capital, Astana. They stressed the importance of the agreement both for Kazakhstan and the European Union, adding that the European Union had done a lot for strengthening ties with Kazakhstan in the last several years.

CENTRAL MOSQUE IN ALMATY TO START FUNCTIONING NEXT MONDAY.
It was reported by RFE/RL correspondents that the new Central Mosque in Almaty City will start functioning next Monday. President Nursultan Nazarbayev is expected to take part in the ceremony opening the Mosque. The Mosque has been in construction for 8 years.

NEW BOOK ON MUSTAFA SHOQAY�S HERITAGE PUBLISHED IN ALMATY.
According to information provided by RFE/RL correspondents in Almaty, a new two-volume book consisting of a biography of Mustafa Shoqay and his political activities was published by the Qaynar Publishing House in Almaty this week. Mustafa Shoqay was a prominent Kazakh �migr� in Europe in the 1920's and 1940's. A graduate of Saint�Petersburg University, he was the first Prime Minister of the first Central Asian Autonomy called Kokand Mukhtariyati. After the Bolsheviks started oppressions against their political opponents, he had to leave his homeland for Europe, where he lived for many years. His was Editor�in�Chief of the Yash Turkistan magazine published in Paris, France between 1929 and 1939. Mustafa Shoqay also led the Big Turkistan Army consisting of ethnic Kazakhs, Karakalpaks, Kyrgyz, Tajiks, Turkmens and Uzbeks captured by German troops during the WWII. He died in December 1941 and was buried in Berlin.

PENSIONERS OF SEMEY CITY STAGED ACTION OF PROTEST.
Elderly citizens of Semey (Semipalatinsk) City, Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast, staged a wide-scale action of protest on June 30. The pensioners of the city demanded their overdue pensions to be paid off and their right to use public traffic facilities for free to be returned.

ONE MORE NEWS ITEM FROM SEMEY....
It was reported by RFE/RL correspondents in Eastern Kazakhstan and Almaty that on 30 June at 4:00 AM, the body of the Tsentrkredit�Bank Director was found in one of Semey City's districts. The banker's body was knifed and thrown from one of the roof of one of the apartment blocks. Investigations are underway.

KAZAKH BORDER GUARD TROOPS REORGANIZED.
It was reported by RFE/RL correspondents from Astana that Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a Decree on the Reorganization of the Kazakh Border Guard Troops. According to the Decree, Kazakhstan�s Border Guard troops became part of the Kazakh National Security Committee, instead of the Defense Ministry as it was before. The Almaty Border Guard School was renamed as it was - the Almaty Military Institute of the Kazakh National Security Committee - according to the Decree.

AGREEMENT ON COOPERATION BETWEEN KAZAKHSTAN AND EUROPEAN UNION TO START FUNCTIONING SINCE JULY 1.
It was reported by RFE/RL correspondents that Kazakh Vice Premier and Finance Minister Oraz Zhandosov met with EU representative in Kazakhstan, Michael Hamphrey and German Ambassador to Kazakhstan Michael Liebal on June 30. The main topic discussed at the meeting was about cooperation between the European Union and Kazakhstan. The agreement signed by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and EU top officials in 1993 will start functioning on July 1.

KAZAKH VICE PREMIER AND AGRICULTURE MINISTER MET US AMBASSADOR TO KAZAKHSTAN.
Zhanibek Karibzhanov, Kazakh Vice Premier and Agriculture Minister, held talks with US Ambassador to Kazakhstan Richard Jones on July 29. Involvement of American companies and firms in the reforms and other activities of Kazakhstan�s agricultural sector was reportedly discussed. Currently, the American John Deere Company is actively operating in Kazakhstan.

LOST CONTAINER WITH RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL FOUND AT LAST.
It was reported by RFE/RL correspondents that a container with remnants of some radioactive materials stolen from the territory of the Almaty Energy Research Institute was found by the Kazakh Police and National Security officers this week. It turned out that a private company called KAUSAR had bought it from an unknown person about two months ago. According to information provided by Almaty Extraordinary Situations Committee, the container's radioactive phone is very high, its cost being about 300,000 Tenges ($1 equals 133 Tenges currently). The container had been used for the accumulation of radioactive wastes of some nuclear reactors for several years. Chief of the Kauser Company, Bolat Asaubayev hesitates to return the container to the Institute, saying that his company had paid a big some of money for it.

CLOSED NEWSPAPER RE-STARTED FUNCTIONING IN ALMATY.
It was reported by RFE/RL correspondents that the newspaper "Nachnyom s Ponedelnika" in Almaty has resumed publication again after its temporary closure last week. Almaty City Court had frozen the newspaper's bank accounts and investigations had been started due to complains of some Almaty citizens saying that the newspaper had "hurt their dignity by publishing some false materials". Kazakh Information and Social Concord Minister Altynbek Sarsembayev sent a letter to the Almaty City Procuracy asking to investigate the case thoroughly. Due to the Minister's letter, the Almaty Court's decision to freeze the newspaper's bank accounts was annulled.

ALMATY MAYOR'S OFFICE MOVED.
According to information provided by RFE/RL correspondents in Almaty, the office of Almaty Mayor was moved to the former building of the Kazakh government. The move procedure started on June 30 and will last for a week.

NEW STATE�RUN TV CHANNEL STARTS OPERATING THIS SUMMER.
A new TV channel called ALMATY will start broadcasting in July or August this year. RFE/RL correspondents quote some sources at the Kazakh National Radio and TV Corporation as saying that Almaty Mayor Victor Khrapunov signed a Decree according to which the new TV channel will be financed by Almaty budget and other sources. The same source informed RFE/RL correspondents that Toleubay Ibrayev was appointed as Editor�in�Chief of the new TV channel�to�be. The former Director of QAZAQSTAN-1 TV channel Ermek Tursunov will be the channel's General Producer.

PENSIONERS OF ALMATY STAGED ACTION OF PROTEST.
It was reported by RFE/RL correspondents from Almaty that pensioners of the former capital gathered in front of the Almaty Mayor's office on June 30, at 10:00 AM (local time). That was the usual action the elderly citizens of Almaty organize regularly on the last day of each month in order to attract the local authorities' attention to their problems. But later that day, at 11:00 AM (local time), the pensioners blocked two main avenues of the former capital - Tole�Bi and Abylay-Khan streets. The main demand of the demonstrators was their former right to use city transports for free to be returned. Since June 1, all the elderly people of the former capital and handicapped citizens have no right to use the Almaty Public Traffic facilities for free of charge.

KAZAKH PRESIDENT IS SCHEDULED TO LEAVE ALMATY FOR SALZBURG.
It was quoted by RFE/RL correspondents that Kazakh Presidential Press Service as reporting that the Kazakh Leader Nursultan Nazarbayev is scheduled to leave for Salzburg, Austria on June 29. President Nazarbayev will participate in the World's Economic Summit.

KAZAKH PREMIER MET GERMAN AMBASSADOR TO KAZAKHSTAN.
According to information provided by the Kazakh Cabinet's Press Service, Premier Nurlan Balghymbayev met German Ambassador to Kazakhstan Michael Liebal on June 28. The sides discussed perspectives for further Kazakh�German economic cooperation. In all, about 80 German banks and enterprises are working in Kazakhstan on a permanent basis currently. Such issues as widening of the activities of the German Siemens company in Kazakhstan and preparations of Kazakhstan for next year's international exhibition Hannover�Expo� 2000 were reportedly also discussed at the meeting.

KAZAKH OFFICIAL DELEGATION LED BY FM AND VICE PREMIER ARRIVED TO MOSCOW, RUSSIA.
It was reported by RFE/RL correspondents that a Kazakh Cabinet delegation led by Qasymzhomart Toqayev � the Kazakh Foreign Minister and Vice Premier - arrived to the Russian Capital, Moscow on 28 June. During the two-day official visit, bilateral cooperation in economic, oil and gas production, education and space research sectors were scheduled to be taken under discussion. Such Kazakh top officials as Minister of Trade, Energy and Industry Mukhtar Abliyazov, Higher Education and Science Minister Vladimir Shkolnik, Transport, Communication and Tourism Minister Serik Burkitbayev, top oil and gas executives and other officials were among the Kazakh delegates. The delegation's leader Qasymzhomart Toqayev is scheduled to hold talks with Russian Premier Sergey Stepashin, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and other Kremlin officials.

FOUR ALMATY CITIZENS HOSPITALIZED LAST WEEKEND.
Four inhabitants of a multi-storied apartments block in the former Kazakh capital were brought to the hospital in grave condition on June 27. They were reportedly diagnosed as poisoned by some unknown gas. The four patients and their relatives say that a women passed along their apartment block and a strange smell appeared afterwards in the area. Investigations are underway.

GUN THIEF DETAINED .
A number of guns and pistols stolen at the Kazakh Customs Committee's armory were found on June 28, said Bakhytzhan Sholpanbayev - Almaty Tax Police official. Tax Police officers carried out a special operation, the result of which the thief was detected and arrested. It turned out that a person with criminal records - Bauyrzhan Dautbergenov - had managed to enter the armory and take several guns and pistols away in order to pay off his debts to his creditors by weaponry.

HOMELESS CITIZENS OF ALMATY SEND A LETTER TO KAZAKH PRESIDENT AND ALMATY MAYOR.
It was reported by RFE/RL correspondents from Almaty that 27 members of the organization called Baspans, which unites homeless citizens of the former Kazakh capital, sent an open letter to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Almaty City Mayor Victor Khrapunov, in which they claimed that top officials of the Baspana Association had gathered big sums of money from them (from $5,000 to $8,000 reportedly) promising to solve their home problems. But nothing had been allegedly done. The 27 homeless citizens demand investigations to start and their money to be returned.

COMMUNISTS OF ALMATY SAY THEY DO NOT TRUST THE CITY MAYOR.
Communists of Almaty held a press conference in the National Press Club on June 28. They expressed their mistrust towards Victor Khrapunov � Almaty Mayor, saying that Mr. Khrapunov had failed to solve the problems of the former Kazakh capital. They warned that in case the economic situation of Almaty would not improve and all the debts of the City administration to state workers and elderly citizens were not paid off, they would organize a protest action throughout Almaty City.

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