The fate of a large army of ethnic Kyrgyz living outside the country for the first time seriously concerned the authorities only after gaining independence. During the rule of ex-President Askar Akayev, a cry was even thrown so that they all returned home to Kyrgyzstan. But then few people obeyed the presidential call. In addition to ethnic Kyrgyz living in Tajikistan, because they were forced to move to Kyrgyzstan because of the civil war in this country. To solve their problems, a special migration fund was created under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But, until now, many of them cannot obtain citizenship and passport.
The new government decided to help ethnic Kyrgyz legally, not limited to only appeals. The government has developed a special state program, Kairylman, to assist ethnic Kyrgyz returning to their historic homeland. This program is designed only for two years. It is proposed to streamline the process of returning ethnic Kyrgyz and to change the legislation, in particular, to introduce a simplified procedure for registration and acquisition of citizenship for immigrants. In addition, it is provided for their rational settlement in the territory of Kyrgyzstan and the creation of conditions for socio-economic adaptation. According to government sources, in 2005, over twenty two thousand ethnic Kyrgyz arrived in the country, but only two thousand received citizenship. More often, Kyrgyz return from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. And they prefer to settle in the northern Chui region.
Then in 2005, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country, with the support of non-governmental organizations, was going to calculate how many immigrants in the country. But, because of the endless series of rallies, actions and political instability, this idea was buried.
Most Kyrgyz live in neighboring countries. According to the 1989 census of the Republican Statistical Office of Uzbekistan, the number of Kyrgyz in this country, according to official figures, is 370 thousand 230 people, of which in the city of Tashkent is 2 763 people, by regions: Andijan region - 92 thousand Fergana - 70 thousand , Namangan - 25 thousand, Djizak - 45 thousand, Syrdarya - 25 thousand, Tashkent - 48 thousand, Karakalpakstan - 15 thousand, the rest of the region - more than 50 thousand people. In Uzbekistan, there are 57 comprehensive schools with the Kyrgyz language of instruction. The national cultural center is actively working in Tashkent. But still, the situation of ethnic Kyrgyz living in Uzbekistan is almost always the subject of controversy and heated debate in comparison with the situation of ethnic Uzbeks living in Kyrgyzstan. Ethnic Kyrgyz in Uzbekistan, unlike other countries, were the most susceptible to assimilation. Today, many of them do not even know their native language and identify themselves as “Uzbeks”, although, unlike other ethnic groups, they have always lived near the historical homeland, near its cultural centers. We are talking about ethnic Kyrgyz who live in the Uzbek part of the Fergana Valley.
The State Secretary of Kyrgyzstan Adakham Madumarov during a meeting with the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Rolf Ekeus said: “Every time we hear that we attach very little importance to the development of national minorities. The state and the authorities are doing everything possible to make the national minorities and diasporas feel quite free. We can raise a similar problem in Uzbekistan, where ethnic Kyrgyz do not feel as comfortable as Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan. We have Uzbek television, the Uzbek press exists on a par with the state ... Therefore, Mr. High Commissioner, I would say that the more we pay attention, the more we hear reproaches there. I categorically reject it and do not accept it, ”the state secretary emphasized. At the same time, he noted that there are also ethnic Kyrgyz in Tajikistan, and the high commissioner could talk about their situation with the leaders of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The discontent of the Kyrgyz authorities was caused by the fact that the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities met only with representatives of the Uzbek community of Kyrgyzstan and that the situation of Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan was heavily politicized.
The problem of assimilation of ethnic Kyrgyz living in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan is one of the most discussed issues today. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, they were artificially cut off from their historical homeland, found themselves outside its cultural, linguistic and social environments. Assimilation in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan is going hard. Because in these countries adopted such a state ideology of "one country - one nation." Other ethnic groups, other than the titular, simply do not exist or the number of ethnic groups is artificially underestimated, especially the Turkic peoples.
According to official data, more than 50 thousand ethnic Kyrgyz live in Tajikistan. Their main part lives in the Jergatal district, which borders on the south with the Osh region of Kyrgyzstan. According to Nurlan Abdullayev, a candidate of economic sciences who has been studying the problems of ethnic Kyrgyz in Tajikistan since 1998, in areas densely populated by ethnic Kyrgyz in Tajikistan, the policy of forcing them out of the country has been semi-official. Elementary residents of Jergatal are not given textbooks and teaching aids in the Kyrgyz language. This is despite the fact that the number of Kyrgyz schoolchildren is 20 thousand people, and out of 1 thousand 86 teachers, only 70 have a higher education.
According to the government’s plan, ethnic Kyrgyz who are returning to the republic are offered to be granted the status of “Kairylman”, which will allow them to enjoy the right to work, education, and freedom of movement before acquiring citizenship. Quotas for immigrants will be determined annually with the provision of land for individual housing construction, the creation in places of compact placement of centers for training, cultural, social and economic adaptation, improving legal literacy. The government intends to develop a microcredit program for ethnic Kyrgyz who are moving to Kyrgyzstan, to exempt them once from paying fines for violating immigration laws.
However, such heightened signs of attention to ethnic Kyrgyz by the authorities do not always meet with understanding inside the country. From time to time there are local conflicts between local residents and migrants. Local residents do not perceive the settlers as Kyrgyz, preferring in private conversations to refer to them as "Tajiks" or "Uzbeks." According to the name of the country from which they moved.
Even the term “Kairylman” denoting immigrants meets with sharp rejection. In Kyrgyz, there is no such word, according to skeptics, it echoes the Kazakh word “oralman." Because among the Kyrgyz, their traveling compatriots are called “Sayak”. But, it would be foolish and wrong to call such migrants the word "Sayakman."
The leader of the Asab party, Azimbek Beknazarov, proposes introducing into the Constitution a rule where all ethnic Kyrgyz living outside the country can be considered citizens of Kyrgyzstan. The only thing that the initiators of such a decision do not know how to determine the ethnicity of the person who considers himself an ethnic Kyrgyz.