Utkin Djabbarov, Bakhtiyor Kosimov, Valentine Kasmaliyeva, Murzalinova ceremony, Anna Stepanenko
After the so-called revolution on March 24 in Kyrgyzstan, the new authorities faced a number of problems, closely related to the situation of national minorities. The former leadership of the country solved the problem of the presence of people of different nationalities in the power structures by simple arithmetic techniques. For example, if the head of the region is Kyrgyz, then his two deputies are Uzbek and Russian. However, now it does not bring the expected result. The deputy of the Jogorku Kenesh (parliament), Alisher Sabirov, opposes such an approach: “According to the last census of the population of Kyrgyzstan in 2000, Uzbeks are already in second place in terms of numbers, overtaking the Russians. Of course, the principle of representation of Uzbeks in power structures should not be respected mechanically and formally. But in those areas where Uzbeks make up the majority of the population, we can expect more Uzbeks to be in the leadership of this region. ”
Thus, residents of the city of Isfana, located in the south-west of Kyrgyzstan, tried to organize a rally, thus expressing their distrust to the leadership of the city. But, the authorities reacted in a peculiar way to the peaceful protest of people, calling it an "Uzbek rally", to put it mildly, not worthy of attention. At the same time, the organizers of the rally deny the national background of the rally, saying that, in addition to Uzbeks, both Kyrgyz and Tajiks participated in this action.
The main reason for the discontent of the residents of Isfana was that among the management of the city administration there is not a single representative of the Uzbek community, which according to statistical data makes up more than 54% of the total population of Isfana. Also, residents are unhappy with the results of land reform.
It all comes down to the fact that Isfana residents are demanding immediate action from the city authorities, which they don’t go to in Batken and Bishkek, promising to sort things out after the presidential elections. Acting President of Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiyev also proposed to suspend the rally during his working visit to the Batken region, saying literally the following: “Soon the presidential election and anyway there will be a change of government.” Simply put, the head of state asked to wait.
Representatives of public organizations, in particular the leader of an NGO with the saying “Ogoh Vigilance” Sharipov Mamirjon believes that the root cause of these speeches of popular discontent is much deeper than the authorities imagine.
The stumbling block in interethnic relations has become a language issue. The obsession of the Uzbek National Cultural Center in Kyrgyzstan to launch a campaign to give the Uzbek language the status of the state causes rejection of all other national groups. This is what the leader of the German community in Kyrgyzstan, Vladimir Dil, says: “I have always opposed the formation of a government on a national basis. And giving the Uzbek language the status of a state will create a precedent in the republic, and this will give other nations living in the country a reason to put forward similar demands. I consider the requirements of the Uzbek National Cultural Center for the Jalalabat region to be absurd. ”
In the country's parliament, the Uzbek community is represented most of all in terms of numbers, unlike other national minorities in the country. According to graduate student Alisher Khamidov, there are unwritten rules of the game: “Still, vigorous economic reforms had their consequences. For example, Uzbeks began to dominate trade and the media. Kyrgyz dominate state bodies. The Russians simply began to travel abroad. ”
In the once prosperous Republic of Tajikistan in the last years of the USSR, there was a very diverse population in terms of its ethnic composition. In addition to the indigenous people of this region - Tajiks, Uzbeks and Turkmen in the 30s of the last century, a large number of Russian and Ukrainian specialists together with their families were sent to implement the Stalinist idea, leveling the level of development of the republics. In the mid-forties, the so-called Volksduech was brought to Tajikistan - Russian Germans who were used in the construction of factories.
The Russian and Russian-speaking population settled mainly in cities, working in construction, energy, and industrial enterprises. Most of the Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Turkmen and German population is in rural areas, working respectively in the country's agriculture. At that time, everyone had enough jobs and a place under the sun. The Tajiks grew cotton, the Koreans - onions, the Uzbeks and the Koreans - rice, and the interests of nations did not overlap, realizing non-conflict coexistence.
For 60 years, powerful irrigation networks have been created in Tajikistan, reviving whole valleys, power stations, many cities and towns, hundreds of large and medium-sized industrial enterprises. In percentage terms, the national composition was as follows: Tajiks - 62%, Uzbeks - 23%, Russians - 7%, and, moreover, more than 30 other nationalities.
The first riots that swept in Dushanbe in 1990, allegedly directed against the Armenian population moving here, caused a massive and panic departure of the Russian population.
In 1992, at the beginning of the civil war in Tajikistan, although it was of an intra-ethnic nature and was not directed against other nations, a second wave of emigration appeared that captured not only Russian-speaking but also Tajiks. Neighboring countries showed concern for their compatriots: Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan exported their countrymen with whole trains, providing free housing, food and clothing at the new place. In those years, housing prices plummeted - even in the capital, for 1-2 thousand dollars it was possible to buy a beautiful comfortable apartment. But containers, train tickets and airplanes could not be purchased even with a large overpayment.
From 1989 to 1995, the total migration outflow from the republic amounted to 320 thousand, among which were (in thousands): Russian - 197, Germans - 32, Tatars - 39, Ukrainians - 20, Jews - 14. At the same time, the republic lost of all, people with high educational and professional levels and the departure of the non-indigenous population continues to the present.
As a result, by the year 2000, when the population census was conducted, the national composition was already quite different (there are no more recent data, so the author has to use data from 2000). The ratio of the titular nation and national minorities was established at the level of, respectively, 80 and 20 percent. Compared to 1989, the number of national minorities decreased by 1.5 times and decreased by 691.1 thousand people.
The most significant changes in these 11 years have undergone national composition of the capital of the capital - Dushanbe. The proportion of Tajiks increased from 38.2% to 83.4%, while the proportion of Russians decreased from 32.9% to 5.1%, Tatars respectively from 4.2 to 0.7%, Ukrainians from 3.6 to 0 , 3%, Koreans from 1.1 to 0.1%, Germans from 2.3% to 0.1%.
Today, the most active and mobile part of national minorities is finding its niche in international, local non-governmental organizations, especially since work in them reduces the urgency of the problem of the state language, which is only Tajik.
Currently, 14 national communities are officially registered in the Republic of Tajikistan: Uzbek, Russian, Armenian, Korean, German, Georgian, Ossetian, Tatar-Bashkir, Turkmen, Uigur, Jewish, Kyrgyz, Azerbaijani and Arab.
The head of the most numerous Uzbek community, Khabibullo Batyrov, who has led the community for more than 12 years, said that their community was active during the civil war, speaking on the radio, going to the places of the main events, helping to protect and preserve the peace of the population, preventing Uzbeks from being dragged into military events. However, over the past six years, not a single congress, not a single major event has been held, since the community does not have the means for this, or even its premises.
“Uzbeks have no place to leave from here, as Uzbekistan pursues a policy of closed doors. The refugees of the war years did not receive the citizenship of their homeland and were forced to return to Tajikistan, ”said Batyrov. He also complains that the number of Uzbek-teaching schools in the country has decreased, there are no television programs in their native language, there are almost no Uzbeks - the heads of enterprises, and they are not in law enforcement. But at the same time he is in favor of a deep study of the Tajik language, since without this it is impossible to work in state institutions, to participate in governing the country.
Valery Yushin, the head of the Russian community, which unites about 20 thousand people, believes that only those Russians consciously remain in Tajikistan, who are supported financially by serving in Russian military units and working in international organizations. “The rest are kept for various reasons: someone is finishing up to retirement, from whom children study at the Russian-Tajik Slavic University (RTSU), and some, for example, impoverished pensioners, disabled people, are simply not able to leave and live here their time” - he says. He believes that due to the withdrawal of the Russian border guards and the reorganization of the 201st motorized rifle division, the remaining Russians, realizing the futility of their stay here, will leave here.
The head of the Association of Soviet Koreans, Viktor Kim, said that their organization has existed for more than 15 years, and it includes almost all Koreans living in Tajikistan today, namely 1,700 people. The association is engaged in solving the problems of members of its diaspora, for example, the association recommended Koreans to abandon the cultivation of onions, since the process of allocating land in Tajikistan is very difficult and is accompanied by a lot of disputes even within one nation. During the years of military conflict, it moved to protect the common interests of national minorities, in particular, the Coordination Council of National Communities was created, which took part in the political settlement process.
“At the beginning of this year, we created the“ Alliance of Minorities ”, which includes nationalities, the number of which in the country is less than 1% of the country's population. It already includes 5 organizations of national minorities - Korean, German, Tatar-Bashkir and Arab. The main goal of the Alliance is to draw the attention of state authorities to the problems of national minorities, ”says Victor Kim.
Practically all representatives of national communities interviewed stated that they want to have a single center, a building that would house all communities for closer cooperation, but so far their appeals to the authorities remain unanswered. Therefore, the majority of people belonging to national minorities, more and more feel their uselessness of this country, increasing migration attitudes.
According to Kanat Khasenov, the first secretary of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Tajikistan, the migration of Kazakhs also continues. Despite the fact that the majority of Kazakhs left during the war years, over the past year, under the Oralman program (return), 10 families left for their ethnic homeland. All of them were given free travel, a home purchase loan, employment assistance was provided.
In terms of the numerical superiority of the titular nation, it is very difficult for representatives of national minorities to participate in the political process and to wage an equal campaign. Victor Kim said that twice: in 1995 and 2000, he nominated himself as a member of the Tajik parliament, but did not pass, although he knows that a large number of voters, including the titular nation, voted for him. The reason for this, he considers his national identity. In the past, the parliament had only 2 "foreigners" out of 63 deputies, and in the new one, which began work on March 1 of the current year, there are three of them. Consequently, national minorities, which make up about 20% of the population, are represented in parliament by 3 and 4.7%, respectively.
Thus, the society of Tajikistan is becoming more homogeneous in its ethnic composition. Whether the country wins, the future will show.
Before sovereignty in Kazakhstan, a purposeful policy of erasing ethnic features was carried out for a very long time.
The issues of national development were perceived by the official authorities of the Union as painful, as a manifestation of negative nationalism, ethno-egoism, separatism and were completely suppressed. By 1991, the situation in Kazakhstan was as follows: the titular, state-forming nation — the Kazakhs, was in a position where national statehood was formal and had to be given real meaning. Kazakhs in Kazakhstan constituted a numerical minority. The most numerous ethnos occupying the first position in number among the inhabitants of the republic were Russians. The main part of the non-Russian population of Kazakhstan was fluent in Russian and, almost, one hundred percent of the population spoke in Russian. National minorities, as it is considered now, were on the periphery of social, economic, cultural, political life.
The first five years of sovereignty were very difficult in terms of interethnic relations. It was in those years in the expanses of the former USSR that conflicts, often bloody, took place on a national basis. In Kazakhstan, interethnic conflicts were often expressed in the beating of non-Kazakhs by groups of rural youth walking around the streets of Almaty, who came to study in the capital's universities and living in hostels.
In March 1995, the Assembly of the Peoples of Kazakhstan was created. Its official status is a consultative and advisory body under the country's president. The Assembly, of course, did not become a panacea, but became a kind of platform for positioning each national minority, an opportunity for a legitimate solution of problems.
However, now it can be stated that, having actually separated from Russia, Kazakhstan has not ceased to be the birthplace of other ethnic groups. But after gaining independence, Kazakhstan, proclaiming itself to be a multinational state, however, did not avoid problems associated with national minorities. And if in the Baltic countries they have reached the state level, in Kazakhstan everything is based on intra-social relations.
Over the years of independence, Kazakhstan has left every fourth Russian. At the beginning of the 21st century, anti-Russian mythologization of history was actively pursued in the republic. Amateurs from science constantly appealed to the history of Russian colonialism, which was called nothing less than "bloodthirsty and merciless." A more peace-loving layer prefers not to exaggerate ethnic themes. And it can only be infected with the “nationalist virus” by forcing on language or national problems.
It should be noted that today the Russians occupy the second place in terms of numbers after the titular nation. Many Russian-speaking people leave Kazakhstan today in the hope of being accepted in their historic homeland. But many of them come back.
Among the smaller diasporas it is worthwhile to single out the Germans, who differ in the so-called “quality” - many of them are ideal citizens - law-abiding, competent and economic. The example of the Kazakh Germans is very significant. Among the many European nationalities inhabiting the territory of the republic, ethnic Germans occupied the 5th place. In the late eighties, early nineties in Kazakhstan began an intensive emigration of ethnic Germans to Germany. In 1989, the number of Germans was 947 thousand people. Since 1995, the number of immigrants from the countries of the former Soviet Union, including from Kazakhstan to Germany, has gradually begun to decline. There were two reasons for this. The first is that most ethnic Germans had already moved to their historic homeland by this time. Second, certain conditions were created to improve the position of the Germans in Kazakhstan. If earlier more than a million per year emigrated from the post-Soviet space, then in 2004 the number of immigrants was only 230 thousand people.
The government of Kazakhstan, in turn, was interested in people staying in their homeland. In Germany, according to its official representatives, who commented on this problem, there is now a slight economic growth, which does not give migrants special prospects, while Kazakhstan is interested in providing favorable living conditions for ethnic Germans. Currently, 228,123 people remain in the ethnic Germans in Kazakhstan, in 2005 less than 50 thousand immigrants are planning to leave the republic. By the way, not all emigrants remained in their historic homeland. Some could not adapt to the new life and returned to Kazakhstan. True, their number is 1% of the total number of emigrants.
To address a number of issues on the status of ethnic Germans, Hans-Peter Kemper, the representative of the German federal government for immigrants and national minorities, visited Kazakhstan. He met and negotiated on the problems of the German minority with high-ranking representatives of Kazakhstan, and also received on the ground information on measures of support for ethnic Germans carried out by the Federal Ministry of the Interior of Germany. During the negotiations, it became obvious that both states are mutually interested in securing the promising future of ethnic Germans in Kazakhstan to promote the economic and social development of the country.
“We have a good network to support ethnic Germans, develop and support culture and language. Our historic homeland helps us quite well. But gradually we are planning to switch to self-financing, ”said Irina Fuchs, expert of the bureau of the Council of Germans of Kazakhstan on youth, education and culture.
A special point in the history of Kazakhstan is the Kazakh-Korean relations.
According to historians, Koreans have lived in Kazakhstan since the second half of the 19th century. However, in historical science there is practically no research on the history of Koreans who lived in Kazakhstan in the years before the massive forcible resettlement of the people here in 1937. Once in Kazakhstan, Koreans found themselves in a different climatic, ethno-economic, sociocultural, and linguistic environment that was very different from the usual. However, they managed to adapt to the new conditions, and today the Korean diaspora is the most adapted to the realities of Kazakhstan. Historians give it the following definition: the Korean diaspora in Kazakhstan is an ethnic group that quantitatively and qualitatively differs from other ethnic groups of a given state and shows internal solidarity, consolidation in order to preserve its traditions, language and culture. A study of the position of the Korean diaspora in Kazakhstan suggests that it is fairly stable.
In contrast to such peaceful relations, one should recall the threat of terrorism, which, according to some publicists, are representatives of the Uyghur nationality. As political analysts correctly point out, it is easiest to use a “offended” nation that is striving to attain statehood and is constantly not achieving this goal. Of course, there are few in Kazakhstan who believe that the Uighurs are really engaged in extremism and terrorism. However, here a somewhat conflicting question arises of maintaining good relations with the Middle Kingdom. According to reports by the BBC, Kazakhstan has issued several Uighurs to China. And the warnings of human rights defenders claiming that the Uygur defectors in China were tortured and executed were not taken into account. According to the Coordinator of the World Congress of Uigurs Koharman Kozhamberdy, oil and politics are closely linked with each other, and the issue of Chinese investment in the Kazakh oil sector is based on a promise to resolve the so-called "Uygur question." He also noted that several years ago, when Almaty and Beijing negotiated demarcation of borders, the Chinese delegations refused to make any concessions until Kazakhstan promised to put pressure on the Uighurs.
The current situation of the republics of Central Asia, the majority of whose population claims to profess Islam, gives rise to the confidence in the Uygur leaders that the "co-religionists" will support them. It should be noted that the Society of Culture of the Uigurs of the Republic of Kazakhstan has been operating since October 1998. Now in Kazakhstan there are 217 thousand people who are fluent and communicate in Uigur, Kazakh and Russian. And one of the tasks of society is to stop interethnic disagreements, which are often artificially synthesized in order to create a conflict and use it for their own purposes.