Expert: Rallies in Kyrgyzstan become tradition

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 12 / Trend V. Zhavoronkova /

The rallies in Kyrgyzstan have become a traditional form for expressing opinions and demands to the government, Russian expert on Kyrgyzstan Alexander Knyazev said.

Two meetings were held in Kyrgyzstan on Monday in support of the dismissal of mayors from Kara-Balta and Jalal-Abad. Mayor of Kara-Balta Oomat Kazakbaev was dismissed on the basis of a criminal case, and Mayor of Jalalabad Maksatbek Zhenbekov was dismissed for dual citizenship.

The protesters demand the return of the dismissed mayors.

The news of Zhenbekov's dismissal spread at the end of last month. In parallel, media reported the alleged national subtext of this resignation.

The expert said that a common personnel policy of the country's leadership stands behind the dismissal of mayors in Kyrgyzstan.

"I do not think that the resignation of Jalal-Abad's mayor had something to do with his views on ethnic issues," the expert told Trend over phone. "I think that his motive is artificially created by the press for focusing on it."

Even though Zhenbekov's resignation is unrelated to national issues, the overall ethnic situation in the republic remains tense, particularly in regard to the Uzbek population in the south, Knyazev said.

An incident involving a foreigner occurred at a "Beta Stores" shop in Bishkek. Gunes Yılmaz, who worked as a technologist there, beat the saleswoman Cholpon Oruzbayeva, a citizen of Kyrgyzstan. The victim later accused the Turk of expressing an obscene proposal. That day he had shouted at the shop assistant because she refused to sell expired goods, then beating her severely.

The injured person was hospitalized with injuries and internal bleeding. The abuser was arrested but soon released under house arrest. His location is unknown. Yilmaz is wanted.
One of the heads of the Turkish firm "Beta", Insaat Yatyrymchylyk, sent an official letter addressed to the Kyrgyz leadership, complaining about pressure from certain youth groups.

The activists of several youth organizations demanded that the company owning "Beta Stores" pay the compensation for the injured person. Moreover, they demanded that stores in the network close until Yilmaz is detained again. A protest was held near one of the Beta Stores, voicing nationalist slogans and attempts to break into the building.

The expert said that the incident with "Beta Stores" is not ethnic tension. The matter rests in the attempts to redistribute the spheres of control over the property, in this case over this supermarket chain.

"I do not see Kyrgyz-Turkish problems in this issue," the expert said. "I think this incident should be kept within the criminal sphere. Most likely, it is an order that was executed by criminal groups."

The expert said that constant protests, similar to the present one, indicate how common rallies have become in Kyrgyzstan.

"This is a traditional form of expressing opinion and pressure on the authorities," the analyst said. "It has become a common form of expressing any protests."

People living in Kyrgyzstan pay little heed to these protests and rallies.

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