"Aikyn," one of Kazakhstan’s main newspapers, published an article on November 8 claiming that Obama had won a second term in office thanks to a "tumar," an amulet he was given by Nazarbaev earlier this year.
However, Nazarbaev gave Obama a larger decorative version of the traditional Kazakh amulet -- a small leather pouch containing prayers from the Koran -- in Seoul in March at a nuclear-security summit. Traditionally worn around the neck, a tumar is usually given to newborns.
As Kazakhstan’s national news agency, Kazinform, reported back in March, in presenting Obama with the framed tumar Nazarbaev reportedly told the U.S. president it was "for good luck."
"Aikyn’s" straightforward news report is consistent in reiterating the connection between the powers of the amulet and Obama’s reelection. After a few sentences about the number of electoral votes Obama received, the tone of the article takes a turn into a whole other realm.
Perhaps the newspaper was inspired by comments that began emerging online soon after Obama’s victory was announced, when users began poking fun at Nazarbaev’s success in reelecting Obama.
One Facebook user in Kazakhstan posted the following post on the social-media site: “They say Mitt Romney sees Nazarbaev’s tumar as the main reason for Obama’s victory.”
The comments started rolling in soon after.
“Oops! Now it turns out that Obama was reelected thanks to our Leader of the Nation’s long-sighted policy,” one wrote.
“After Obama’s victory some leaders of the democratic regimes have made quite a long queue in order to get a tumar from Nazarbaev,” another added.
-- Deana Kjuka & Galym Bokash