Saturday, August 30, 2014


Transmission

Immortalized At Home, Kazakh President's Cult Of Personality Spreads Abroad

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, hot on the trail of immorality.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, hot on the trail of immorality.
Nursultan Nazarbaev is no stranger to adulation. Kazakhstan’s first and only post-Soviet president, Nazarbaev has authored more than 100 books, opened a state-of-the-art university bearing his name, and may even be directly responsible for Barack Obama’s reelection as president of the United States.

Nazarbaev is immortalized across Kazakhstan with a corner in nearly every museum reserved for some sort of tribute to him (see the map below). The most popular exhibits are suits he has worn or documents he has signed combined with pictures of a youthful Nazarbaev on the way to -- or returning from -- his internship at a steel mill in Dniprodzerzhynsk, Ukraine (also the site of a Nazarbaev bust).

The president has also lent his name or likeness to countless statues, parks, museums, secondary schools, and institutes across the country.

Have something to add to the map? Tweet it to us @RFERL!


Nazarbaev's cult of personality is beginning to spread beyond Kazakhstan's borders.

Although it's a difficult task to rank them, the large Nazarbaev statue in the Turkish capital Ankara is probably the most visible of all the monuments to the Kazakh president. The bust is not the only Nazarbaev memorial in Turkey. In both Nevshehir and Kirshehir, towns in central Turkey, there are streets bearing Nazarbaev's name.

Drivers in Chechnya and Jordan can also take an evening cruise down Nazarbaev Street in their respective capitals. Students and parents in Grozny, Chechnya, can pursue an education at the Nursultan Nazarbaev lyceum school

A bit closer to home, visitors to Kyrgyzstan's Cholpon Ata on the visually stunning Lake Issyk-Kul will have a hard time missing the large bronze statue of Nazarbaev standing between a prancing horse and a large cat. There are reports that a school and park bearing Nazarbaev's name will be built near Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan as well. 

Already immortalized in bronze and other metals, Nazarbaev may be inching closer to eternal life -- researchers at the university bearing his name say they have (potentially) discovered the "elixir of life." 

Naturally, the directive to work on the serum had come straight from the president himself. 

-- Zach Peterson and Makpal Mukankyzy
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Eugenio from: Vienna
November 18, 2012 10:45
As a matter of fact, Nursultan Nazarbayev deserves MUCH MORE signs of admiration than he actually receives: his skillfull policy of managing inter-ethnic relations in the country he happens to govern so successfully over the last more than 20 years already has produced probably THE MOST stable polity on the entire post-Soviet space.
And Kazakhstan is actually a very pleasant place to be: I went to Astana in 2009 - and it was damn good! People are friendly, all sorts of different religions are represented and respected, public services are punctual, infrastructure is new and very well-developed. I mean, really, if I had to chose between living in such rotten cloaca where everyone hates everyone as Nueva York and Astana - I would not hesitate a second and my choice is clear and eindeutig - ASTANA!
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
November 18, 2012 12:18
When the moderate muslim turkic tribes went on their moderate muslim rampages they killed most of the native civilians in the towns they conquered and called the cities Astana -which means dead town_today still there are hundreds of towns with that name.Mow we all would like to live in Astanas but alas,very few have that chance as a kazakh visa is very hard to get.First you have to be kicked in the head by a horse.or as in Eugenio`s case by a herd of horses,that you must learn the kazakh language which is very hard indeed as they have more than 500 words in their vocabulary,then you must wait 3 years for an interview as the waiting list is getting bigger by the hour and then you need clearance from the medical authorities and recommendations from Jack,and the ,only then you must keep your fingers crossed that the great Sultan NurSultan didnt get up from the wrong side of the bed to refuse your request.Thats why most of us live in cloacas like Nueva York or bad old Vienna!!!
In Response

by: Jack from: US
November 18, 2012 17:18
why is Camel allowed to say disrespectfully about peaceful Muslims? What are CIA and FBI doing these days? ok, I get it, they are spending their time and taxpayers money setting up a peaceful Wahhabi "government", for Syria. Their mission is already accomplished (didnt they win?) in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. If not for those evil Russians and Syrian people who keep killing peaceful Wahhabi activists, the victory of Hillary Clinton will be totalle
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
November 19, 2012 12:14
Well, Camel, getting a Kazakh visa was not difficult at all: all you need to do is (a) go to the Kazakh Embassy in Vienna (or elsewhere), (b) write a page-long composition on the topic "Wny I want to visit Kazakhstan", (c) bring 30 € with you. If have problems imagining the reasons for visiting KZ, Camel, just write that you would like to visit Bayterek and the Museum of the President in Astana and then also visit the beautiful Ala-Tao muntains near Alma-Ata.
As far as language skills are concerned: in Astana (and most other big cities) most people speak Russian. The major problem that YOU PERSONALLY may face is that - whatever language you speak - you tend to say too much crap too often, but I can not imagine that they will refuse your visa application just because of that :-)).
The airport in Astana is small, clean and cozy - it's much more pleasant to be there than in Frankfurt or Charles de Gaulle. Personnel is friendly and there are not too many passengers.

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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