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Kyrgyz - Uzbek relations

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    Posted: 14 Jun 2010 at 08:10
Recently there has been extensive ethnic clashes between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in Kyrgyzstan.
Have the 2 communities traditionally got along until recently, or has there always been tensions?

Do Kyrgyz and Uzbeks differ a lot in customs and everyday habits that could lead to cultural clashes?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2010 at 21:27

Although two communities are close ehtnically and linguistically, there are some notable cultural difference, namely two people represent different part of civilization. While Kyrgyz have a long tradiction of nomadism, Uzbeks are more like city dwellers, skillful merchants and professionals, hence there always have been some cultural stereotypes and biased opinions between the two of each other...



Edited by Sarmat - 15 Jun 2010 at 13:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2010 at 07:26
Are the current conflicts the first recorded incident of ethnic violencce between the 2 communities? Or have there always been sporadic outbreaks of violence throughout history?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2010 at 08:46
Kazakhs are steppe nomads, while the Kyrgyz are mountain nomads. Uzbeks are sedentary farmers like Uighurs.

The US cannot and should not get involved here, but Russia, together with other former Soviet states should send troops now to stop the massacre of Uzbeks by Kyrgyz.

If the Russian CSTO multi national peace keeper troops don't come in immediately, there is a danger that Uzbeks from Uzbekistan will start arming their ethnic kins in Kyrgyz republic and create a long running insurgency to destablilize Kyrgyzstan further. In fact, this is probably what will happen, as some claim that around 3000 people already died, many burnt alive.

Kyrgyzstan has all the symptoms of a failed state. Maybe it should be divided among Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. After all the Southern half was under Uzbek Kokand khanate, before Russian's freed them from under Kokand oppression.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Commaench Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2010 at 09:11
The reason of this conflict's- Kyrgyzstan has small land but on the land living many million ppl, so began fight for the land between Uzbek migrants& Kyrgyzs.Also Uzbeks always were rich merchants than Kyrgyzs and holds many shops of Osh city. Economic situation of the state bad, ppl has no money. But it's only one of reason, maybe Bakiev organised this chaos for revenge.


Edited by Commaench - 18 Jun 2010 at 11:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2010 at 10:01
Many countries are small with a population of milliones from different ethnic groups, not all of them end up in violence. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2010 at 13:51
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

Are the current conflicts the first recorded incident of ethnic violencce between the 2 communities? Or have there always been sporadic outbreaks of violence throughout history?
There was a similar conflict 20 years ago.
The origins of the current conflict aren't that clear, however, it very possible could be provoked by some third force...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2010 at 14:47
Originally posted by eventhorizon eventhorizon wrote:

Kazakhs are steppe nomads, while the Kyrgyz are mountain nomads. Uzbeks are sedentary farmers like Uighurs.

The US cannot and should not get involved here, but Russia, together with other former Soviet states should send troops now to stop the massacre of Uzbeks by Kyrgyz.

If the Russian CSTO multi national peace keeper troops don't come in immediately, there is a danger that Uzbeks from Uzbekistan will start arming their ethnic kins in Kyrgyz republic and create a long running insurgency to destablilize Kyrgyzstan further. In fact, this is probably what will happen, as some claim that around 3000 people already died, many burnt alive.

Kyrgyzstan has all the symptoms of a failed state. Maybe it should be divided among Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. After all the Southern half was under Uzbek Kokand khanate, before Russian's freed them from under Kokand oppression.

 
Well. I really don't think this recipe would work...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2010 at 19:01
http://www.centralasia-biz.com/cabiz/eng/kyrgyz_eng/tourist_kg_eng/tourism_hystory_kg_eng.htm

Above is a nice brief history of the Kyrgyz. Kyrgyz never had a good relation with Uzbek, they were ruled by Kokand, which was not a happy experience. They invited Russians to get relief from the Kokand, so Russians were in a way savior for them, as they were freed from Kokand rule, but the Bolshevik collectivization was devastating for the Nomadic Kyrgyz as it was for the Kazakhs, almost 30-50% perished from starvation and famine, as they killed their herds rather than submit to authorities and change their way of life to become settled. Some escaped to Chinese Xinjiang where they pretty much maintain their way of life, as do the Kazakhs in Xinjiang, along with their original langauge, alphabet, culture etc. (around 1 million Kazakh and 300,000 Kyrgyz live in Xinjiang China).

As I explained in another thread earlier, people may remember, there is historic and deep seated aversion and distrust between settled and nomadic populations of Central Asia, as it is probably elsewhere in the world. So more asiatic and nomadic Kazakh and Kyrgyz feel close to each other and to a lesser extent with more Iranic and nomadic Turkmen, but none of them get along well with sedentary Uzbek and Uighur, who they feel are cunning, business savy and taking their cake in all situations. Put a bunch of them together, the Uzbek and Uighur always come out richer, own businesses, restaurants (much better cook too)  and are richer in general. So that is the source of resentment.

Then there is the fear that large 40-50% concentration of Uzbek in Osh, Jalalabad and other southern Kyrgyz provinces could someday mean merging of those areas with Uzbekistan, as Uzbekistan (25 million) is a much bigger and powerful country than Kyrgyzstan (5 million).

Finally, Bakiev, the former President, just ousted, and his relatives and supporters could have planned and triggered this unrest, but they probably didn't realize that it could get out of hand like this.

Uzbeks will now arm themselves for sure, to avoid getting slaughtered again. There might be understanding with Uzbekistan authorities or influential groups there, for the Uzbek in Kyrgyzstan, so there is some kind of threat of retaliation against violent Kyrgyz mobs or the state of Kyrgyzstan itself. A million Uzbek people will simply not give up their ancestral home, while there is a strong Uzbekistan right next to them, its just not going to happen IMHO.

Yes, it is silly to predict that Kyrgyzstan will be divided among Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, I hope that does not happen, although it will be poetic justice to loose their country for the violence they are perpetrating now, but it is unlikely to happen.

But this is an example of what happens when colonizer comes in with civilizing mission, plays and rules in space of some body else and finally leaves, leaving behind a mess to be sorted out by the clueless, radarless and shattered locals (natives?). This is what happened in India, as it was broken up, and similar is the situation in Central Asia. May be a better option was to keep the 5 stans together as one republic, so they could fight for domination, but not kill each other, to kick them out of their "exclusive" nation states. Russians also could live in peace in a state that would border with Russia with far easier control, because now Russia has border with just Kazakhstan, and all other stans are out of reach, simply cannot get to them by land, without going through other so called sovereign land(s). Less Russian control, less stability, recipe for vacuum and space for others to move in or just chaos.

Like a broken record, I bring up Central Asian Union, as a possible solution to this mess, that could solve many regional problems, population enclaves, water sharing, mineral resource sharing, political stability etc. Kyrgyzstan IMHO is a perfect example of ineffective nation state, and others in the region are similarly ineffective as well, but slightly more organized to descend into chaos. Tajikistan is another one, that had a civil war for many years, but seems to have stabilized under a Russian backed Rakhmon regime for a few years.






Edited by eventhorizon - 15 Jun 2010 at 23:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2010 at 19:27
Hmmm.... This union would never be possible. Just because one will have to decide: "Who will lead the union" and others won't like to be leaded...
 
I also don't agree that all the Central Asian states are ineffective. Kazakhstan is very effective to some extent. Moreover, it's more or less succesful in buliding up harmonious interethnic relations. All the other states Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan are indeed ineffective nationalist dictatorships, except, perhaps, Tukmenistan that is able to sustain some minimum level of living due to the extremely huge natural gas resources.
 
But what will happen if you "divide" Kyrgyzstan between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan?  Then you'll have Kyrgyz massacres in Uzbekistan (which would be even more terrible) and unrest in Kazakhstan. Despite all the closseness based on nomadic past, Kyrgyzes and Kazakhs also have a long history of historical conflicts and animosities and Kyrgyz independence would be forgotten so fast. No way it will work out...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2010 at 20:37
Credit to the multi-ethnic tribal confederation of Kazakhs. But Nazarbaiyev is a Kazakh Khan without Chingisid lineage, there is trouble in the horizon, when he is out of scene, problem of succession. He is trying to keep it within the family, I think he has only daughters, so some potential problems there.

Some speculate that capital was moved to Astana to neutralize too heavy demographic Russian influence in the North. Russians so far are comfortable there, economy and opportunity is good, but problem for young Russian guys to land a beautiful local bride, so even if there is money and opportunity, I heard, to find great looking girls young Russian guys are moving to Russia. Only old pensioners stay and their share of Russian population increases. When Kazakhstan has less and less Russian population, the Russian influence will reduce. But a large common border will probably keep Kazakhstan in Russian sphere of influence for the time being.

IMHO no one needs to lead the Union, all can share in the representative democratic leadership, while the top posts can be rotated among ethnics. Dividing Kyrgyzstan is not a solution, that will not happen, but in a Union, no one needs to kill each other. Killing starts when we create exclusive space for a certain majority ethnic group when the reality is almost always a patchwork of ethnics in a given space. This is the crux of the problem, it is better to keep ethnics mixed together in a bigger space, where they can fight but not try to eliminate each other, because there is no exclusivity of space.

I believe in personal property and space, but I do not believe in exclusive property of nation states for tribes or groups of people, the world and this planet belongs to all groups and tribes IMHO. This is really the ancient source of conflict within human society. Unless we learn to share the planet and its resources, there will always be conflicts. So I start with small steps, learning to share a region, living together as a stepping stone for a far future of one planetary country.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2010 at 22:20
Very interesting analysis of the situation.

Regarding young Russian men having problems finding brides in kazakhstan, is the sex ratio highly skewed among ethnic Russians? Or are Kazakh girls generally unwilling to date Russian men?

The nomad vs sedentary civilizations is a very valid point, most probably a nomad nation would have more elements in common with another nomad nation of a more distant ethnic origin, than to a sedentary, urban people of the same language and ethnicity.
The history of Central Asia proves it: from the Iranic Scythians and Samartians to the Altaic Turkic and Mongol peoples and the Tibetan steppe nomads in western China... they all share a common way of life and a common outlook of the world.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2010 at 23:18
AFAIK sex ratio is not skewed for Russians, but pretty girls leave for a bigger pool of rich men in Moscow, better jobs, better night life, more fun etc.

In general race mixing between Kazakh and Russian is rare, but there always have been mixed couples since both people started living in close proximity.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2010 at 04:27
I wouldn't say that the Russian population is leaving Kazakhstan. There was a peak of Russian immigration in the early-middle 1990th, now the process is opposite. Many Russians are returning back from Russia to Kazakhstan. On average there are women/men 3 to 1 in Kazakhstan. And Russian-Kazakh marriages do happen. But most of the times Kazakhs take Russian wifes, Kazakhs wifes for Russians is more rare.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2010 at 10:40
One thing that I've read in Ryczard Kapucsinski's book "Imperium", about the USSR, is that many of the ethnic conflicts in the former Soviet Union had there origins in the nationalities policy of the Stalin era. Artificial borders dividing republics were drawn in the middle of mixed regions, populations were transfered from one end of the USSR to another, entire peoples were deported to remote regions etc., so that once the republics gained independence in the name of nation states, territorial issues became a sensitive matter.

Kapucsinski had a curious observation: that most of the interethnic violence in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and in minority regions of the Russian Federation took place between non-Russian nationalities, and in most of these conflicts both sides tend to leave ethnic Russians alone (even in regions with significant Russian populations).
It could be a hangover of a colonial mentality, or it could be fear of intervention of the Russian military.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Commaench Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2010 at 13:37
today's situation like Afganistan, interim govt don't do enough thing against it,Akaev said Bakiev organised this event.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2010 at 17:32
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

One thing that I've read in Ryczard Kapucsinski's book "Imperium", about the USSR, is that many of the ethnic conflicts in the former Soviet Union had there origins in the nationalities policy of the Stalin era. Artificial borders dividing republics were drawn in the middle of mixed regions, populations were transfered from one end of the USSR to another, entire peoples were deported to remote regions etc., so that once the republics gained independence in the name of nation states, territorial issues became a sensitive matter.

Kapucsinski had a curious observation: that most of the interethnic violence in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and in minority regions of the Russian Federation took place between non-Russian nationalities, and in most of these conflicts both sides tend to leave ethnic Russians alone (even in regions with significant Russian populations).
It could be a hangover of a colonial mentality, or it could be fear of intervention of the Russian military.
 
It really depends on a region. In Baltic states Russian ethnic minorities are frequently sufferening from nationalist policies in discrimination. In the rest of the USSR, however, in most of the instances Russians are quite well respected as professionals and intellegentsia. But it also depends. Almost all the Russians, for example, have left Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. There were also attempts of attacks against Russians during the recent unrest in Kyrgyzstan.
 
As about the borders. The borders in Central Asia were drawn quite artificially. Even such ethnicities as "Uzbeks" and "Tajiks" are mostly products of the Soviet "nation building." However, at that time nobody paid attention to possible negative outcomes, because nobody could envision that one day all those states may become independent...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2010 at 21:30
Does Kazakh men marrying Russian woman and Kazakh women not marrying Russian men in general consistent with the trend of Muslim men taking foreign wives, but not allowing their females to take foreign husband, just wondering? Or Kazakh women don't seem attractive to Russian men?

Stalin's ethnic deportations:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_transfer_in_the_Soviet_Union

Some interesting musings on "chessboard borders" in Ferghana Valley:

http://condor.depaul.edu/~rrotenbe/aeer/v25n1/Reeves.pdf

Current crisis of ethnic cleansing of Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan has not much to do with Stalin's ethnic rearrangements, as Uzbeks are native to the region, if they have migrated, this migration is centuries older that predates Russian's setting foot in this region in 18th and getting established in 19th century.

It has more to do with patch work ethnic concentrations where cities, oasis and settled farmlands were inhabited by sedentary Uzbeks, Tajiks and Uighurs in the eastern (currently under China) Turkestan, while steppe lands mostly in the North were dominated by nomadic Kazakhs, Kalmyks/Oirats and mountainous grasslands in the south dominated by the Kyrgyz nomadic clans.

About national consciousness, Kazakhs did have Kazakh khanate that consisted of three Zhuzh or arms (elder in the South around Ferghana, middle in the North East and younger in North West) ruled by Chingisid Khans. Kyrgyz are a collection of tribes that trace their lineage back to Kyrgyz empire of the past. Nomadic Turkmens are also a collection tribes that can trace back their lineage to some extent with earlier independent political units. Intermarriage between nomadic tribes did happen, but mostly a nomad (usually women) could get absorbed into a sedentary family through marriage but the other route of sedentary people, specially men becoming nomadic through marriage was rare, as they would probably not be accepted in the patrilineal nomadic clan base. When Chingis khans army moved west and  occupied this region, my guess would be that the Mongol upper echelons of the armed forces got absorbed in both nomadic and sedentary population, mostly in their elite. But other than that, the nomadic tribes, have retained their lineage and kept them pretty much within similar and neighboring nomadic tribes for some centuries. This gives them distinct national and ethnic identity of shared common history, language and most importantly recorded lineage within a clan. Mongols among nomadic Turkics were not fully absorbed, till late there was a Chingisid Kazakh clan called Toure or white bones (aksuyek) as opposed to non chingisid black bones (karasuyek). Only aksuyeks were eligible to become Kazakh Khans. Non-chingisid karasuyek mongols were probably fully absorbed among other Kazakh clans.

The situation with settled Uighurs, Uzbeks and Tajiks are different.

While Tajiks are persian and iranic language speakers, they are not uniform, they are probably very different in their origin and genetic makeup in different regions in Central Asia. Essentially they are probably the remnants of the earlier Iranic tribes that inhabited this region prior to Xiongnu and waves of Turko Mongol push from Southern and Eastern Siberia that culminated with Kara Khitai, Mongols and finally Oirats/Kalmyks. The majority of them are concentrated in the mountainous Tajikistan, probably because these mountain tribes were able to survive considering the isolated difficult terrain which they were able to defend. But it is not unusual to find Kyrgyz or Kazakhs tribe living in mountainous areas as south as Afghanistan, although most are in the process of moving to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, if they have not already moved.

Uighurs are apparently a mix of mongolic Uighurs who lost their empire to Kyrgyz, moved to Tarim basin and Kashgar and mixed with the Indo-European Tokharians there. Uzbeks are probably a mix of turko-mongols and local native iranic peoples such as Sogdians and other persian speakers, all of whom are now labeled as Tajiks, but a more proper historic local term for them is Sart.

Chingisid mongols had an interesting effect on these nomadic and settled populations.  Some of the sedentary communities that resisted were wiped out. carefully tended irrigation systems developed since Achemenid persians were razed, and thus agricultural fields returned to grassland for nomadic sheep herding. The remaining  settled communities were essentially reorganized. The nomadic tribes were mostly absorbed within Mongol army and Sarts were absorbed within administrative bureaucracy. Lingua Franca was persian. So this became a multi-ethnic society with settled Turko/Iranic farmers in Ferghana (Uzbek) and Tarim basin and Kashgar (Uighur), Iranic bureaucrats/scholars and Turko/mongol military machine. In this pyramid structure, the top echelon consisted of direct descendants of Chingis Khan (Chingisids) and then came the Military aristocracy of almost pure Mongol origin (Timur Lang, who never called himself Khan, a term reserved for pure Chingisids). The use of Islam as a simple unifying tool for this diverse population by the Chingisid/Mongol origin aristocracy was similar to Christianity becoming official religion of Roman empire. This would be a fair description of Chagatai Khanate that existed in South Central Asia that gave way to Timurids, whereas the Eastern part (todays Xinjiang) was still under Chagatai Khans. It was called Moghulistan (Moghul is persian for Mongol).

All these goings on in Central Asia had a direct effect on Islamization of India, while newly converted Turks, started making headways to establish Delhi Sultanate and finally part Timurid (from fathers side) and part Chingisid (from mothers side, maternal grandmother was Uighur ruler) Babur invaded and established Moghul dynasty of India and carried forward the persianate Turko/mongol culture that developed in Chingisid and later Timurid era in Central Asia.

An interesting thing is that the Kyrgyz call him Khan Babur and consider him one of their own, as he had one home in Osh and he was obviously intensely nomadic (although he also owned citadels in many Ferghana cities such as Samarkand). There is a small house on top of Sulemani mountain in the center of Osh, supposedly built by Khan Babur, his house was nearby they say, but not any sign of any ruins there. Babur does mention mention Osh in his memoir Babur Nama, written in Chagatai Turki, which is close to both Uzbek and Uighur language.

But since Babur's main home was Samarkand and Andijon, the Uzbeks claim him as their national hero as well, just as they claim Timur Lang as their greatest national hero. Although genetically Babur was a Timurid/chingisid mongol, culturally he was a nomadic turk, speaking Chagatai Turki, but also well versed in Persian, as most of his bureacrats and scholars were persian speaking Sarts.

So the Turko Mongol domain that extended over much of Eurasia and extended to India, where movement of people and goods were unfettered, became disjointed once the British gained upperhand in India and the Romanov's extended their domain Southward and Eastward.

Hopefully I was able to draw a birds eye view of earlier scenes in Central Asia and what role the ethnics played in this arena. Uzbeks, by definition are heterogenous, essentially they are Turkic speaking farmers of mixed Turkic/Mongoic/Iranic(mainly early Sogdian and more recent Sart, sedentary) origin.

But one must remember that todays Turkic nomadic tribes such as asiatic Kyrgyz and Kazakh were also a mix of Iranic and proto Mongolic or proto Turkic tribes (Tuvan, Altaian etc.), the difference between their Iranic ancestor and the Iranic ancestors of settled Turkic population such as Uighurs and Uzbeks, is that the Kyrgyz and Kazakh Iranic ancestors were not settled, but rather nomadic scythian, definitely in case of Kazakh and to some extent for Kyrgyz, who may have had some samoydic ancestors as well.

 



 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 2010 at 21:26
From first hand accounts of what happened in Southern Kyrgyzstan, it seems it was a large scale organized effort, with involvement of Kyrgyz Army, police, as well as criminal civil elements from Kyrgyz population, to ethnically cleanse their area and eliminate the thriving Uzbek community that borders on genocide, involving shooting, burning alive, rape, torture etc.

A weak ineffective government that is not in charge is not excuse for such an event. The blame unfortunately goes to entire Kyrgyz nation, of North and South, with the Southern Kyrgyz obviously carrying a majority part of the blame, who took part actively in this crime, while the North indirectly to blame for not stopping them.

If I were a member of the Uzbek ethnic group in Kyrgyzstan, I like them, would not trust the Kyrgyz any more, so I do not blame them for their current attitude.

I would take stock of the situation and plan for next step, there is time for revenge and eye for an eye, but one must ensure survival first. I would think it would be wise for Uzbekistan and Uzbeks in neighboring states to supply arms and ammunition to their ethnic brothers in Kyrgyzstan as soon as possible and establish supply routes for the survivors protecting their homes. Uzbekistan army must ensure that Kyrgyz army cannot disrupt this supply route for aid. If the supply route for aid is disrupted, then that should be a sufficient ground for invasion into south Kyrgyzstan, on the ground of genocide, to save and protect the Uzbek community there.

Karimov and his government will forever be haunted if they do not act in a timely manner for the sake of about 1 million Uzbeks. Waiting for CSTO or anyone from outside to come in and save the Uzbek community seems problematic by the day.

The other approach could be to continue with preparation within Uzbekistan for invasion and covert arms supply, establish and maintain aid route to Osh and Jalalabad and only scale back when "neutral" third parties arrive and are on the ground making a difference.

As it is, IMHO the Kyrgyz people and state have lost their mandate of state-hood and sovereignty, specially in the southern part of the country, by attacking the very minorities they are supposed to protect, using state apparatus such as the Army, police etc.

Then there is the possibility that no one help the Uzbeks in need and the terrorists will then move in with arms and money in this vacuum. But I believe the closing of Uzbekistan border, after taking in about 100.000 refugess is a good sign, as it means they are strategically thinking to not loose the Uzbek population base there, which will be useful in case of future insurgency or invasion.


Edited by eventhorizon - 17 Jun 2010 at 22:57
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2010 at 02:44
The ethnic divisions in Central Asia are discussed so much in such detail I think they are completely irrelevant and largely fictional.
 
I do not believe that this is not related to the overthrow of the Uzbek government, US, and Russian positioning in Central Asia. Since when does Russia refuse to throw in muscle around in a former Soviet Republic? I smell the same game that's been played for the last decade.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2010 at 03:50
These divisions are very real. I don't understand what "fictional" you found there. The divisions exist this is the source of the conflict. The outside powers, may of course play with these contradictions and use them for their own interests aka divide et impero, but it doesn't negate the fact that there are historical, cultural and ethnic reasons for such conflicts.
Only person with minimum understanding of the region can claim "its irrelevant and fictional" yeah, "these Muslims all look the same."  Very ignorant and dangerous approach...

Edited by Sarmat - 18 Jun 2010 at 05:20
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2010 at 04:39
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

The ethnic divisions in Central Asia are discussed so much in such detail I think they are completely irrelevant and largely fictional.
 
I do not believe that this is not related to the overthrow of the Uzbek government, US, and Russian positioning in Central Asia. Since when does Russia refuse to throw in muscle around in a former Soviet Republic? I smell the same game that's been played for the last decade.


Ethnic difference is quite real, specially between nomadic and sedentary population. But Romanov's and later Bolsheviks both used ethnic nationalism, ethnic research etc. to put a spot light on their difference. The ethnic differences were not so important in the past, before the Russians moved in this region. It was probably from the 19th century European wave of nationalism, academic interest and also probably a part of the divide and rule policy. The current states are based on ethnic homeland based oblasts/provinces drawn probably during Stalin era.

Chingisid Mongols were also foreign in this region, but they accepted their subject Turks religion, used harsh justice, tried to use Islam to club the diverse ethnicities together. They were successful for a few centuries, but the settled and nomadic differences resurfaced after Timurids. Nomadic Kazakhs broke off with Uzbeks, which was the main nomadic versus sedentary split in West Central Asia. In Eastern Turkestan Mongol Chagatai's held power till 17th century, but were removed finally by Khojijians of Uzbek origin, who invited the Dzungar/Oirat/Kalmyk western mongols to overpower the remnants of Chagatai rule. Interesting to note that Chagatai Mongol rulers, revived the old Karakhan culture and forced all Uighurs to become Muslim. Finally Qing army with British financial help and Khojijian complicity takes over Moghulistan and calls it Xinjiang, the new territory.

Uzbekistan is a heavyweight in Central Asia, it is the largest Stan, among the five stans. Kazakhstan is smaller in population, but largest in area and the richest and most prosperous. Russian refusal is probably to respect Uzbek and Kazakh concerns. I am sure neither Uzbekistan nor Kazakhstan want to see just Russian troops there, on their own, as a CSTO peacekeepers may be, in a mix of multinational troops.

As it is, this is a backlash against the Russian backed coup that installed the ineffective Otunbaieva govt., Bakiev clan trying to create chaos and put them back in power. I have a feeling this is why the Russians were targeted. Akaev is Northern Kyrgyz, so when Bakiev agitated against him in 2005, it was with help from Southern Kyrgyz hoodlums in Bishkek and some unconfirmed rumors about help and funding from US/EU funded pro democracy groups. When Bakiev was in power, they tried to appoint and employ more Southern Kyrgyz in key govt. positions. The Bakiev clan looses power when Bakiev is removed. The Bakiev clan portray it as a loss for Southern Kyrgyz in their competition with Northern Kyrgyz, who were backed by Russia this time. But in order to deflect the difference and competition between Southern and Northern Kyrgyz, they found a diversionary scapegoat, which are the luckless Uzbek and who are hated and disliked by all Kyrgyz. Uzbeks in the South were not neutral either, I have heard that they were active in past situations of turmoil, when the Bakiev clan tried to create trouble in Osh and Jalalabad in an unplanned manner, after Bakiev's removal. But one must consider their plight during Bakiev rule, they have been at the receiving end of Bakiev's nationalist policies and marginalization of Uzbeks. So the Bakiev clan takes revenge and at the same time try to create an opportunity for Bakiev's return. But the plan is fraught with problems, because they should have considered the large Uzbek nation right next to them. If Uzbekistan really want to invade to stop a genocide, Russia and the US will not stand in the way, no one wants to see ethnic cleansing and genocide in this day and age. 5 million Kyrgyz, specially 3 million or so who are really in this fight with Uzbek, are no match for around 35 million Uzbeks in this region. Whoever made this plan, stabbed the Kyrgyz nation in the back, in my opinion, taking advantage of their weakness and simplicity, which is their historic hatred for Uzbeks.

Frankly in a volatile region like this and many others, strongmen know how to keep law and order, it is very difficult and risky to try to transition into a free multi party democracy, the result very often is anarchy and mob rule, which is the case in Kyrgyzstan, too small a population for any kind of political stability as a nation state, that can evolve into a stable multiparty democracy.

Also, Otunbaieva just does not cut it, IMHO, you need a Khan to control nomads.

In order to understand ethnic life style differences, all one needs to do is travel to Xinjiang and drive from Urumqi towards Altai city and watch Kazakh nomads living in their Yurts and then watch any Uighur areas in Urumqi or Kashgar or Uzbek areas in old Samarkand. There is a night and day difference in way of life, philosophy, out look and world view.


Edited by eventhorizon - 18 Jun 2010 at 05:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2010 at 05:33

There were, in fact, clear ethnic divisions between Central Asians before the Russian conquest. Kazakhs, Kyrgyzes and Turkmens were already different. There was no "Uzbek" nation. But the population was clearly divided between the ruling class of nomadic origin called "Kypchaks" who, basically, the same people with Kazakhs and the subdued population of "Sarts" who were mostly bilingual (in Turkic and Farsi (Tajik)) sedentary population and farmers. The Soviets abandoned Kypchaks-Sart dillema and created the "unified" nation of Uzbeks. So, the Soviet role, was rather "unifying." Their "mistake" was the creation of those artificial borders between different "republics." But again, nobody could envision that the "republics" could one day become independent.

As about the recent bloodshed in Osh. It looks very much like it was organized by Maksim Bakiev (Kurmanbek Bakiev's son) and the reachest man in Kyrgyzstan.  He hired Tajik militants from Tajikistan who were shooting both Uzbeks and Kyrgyzes provoking the disorder... A digusting plan showing how low the Bakievs value their beloved "compatriots."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2010 at 05:50
This might be a little bit off topic, but what exactly are the cultural differences between the Kyrgyz and Uzbeks?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2010 at 05:52
Instead of these small unstable states, that's why IMHO, it would have served Russia and the world better, if the 5 stans were left together in one state. So to correct that mistake, Russia as well as the rest of the world needs to put resources so there is a regional group between the stans, so there could be a United States of Central Asia, consisting of all 5 stans, in the future.

I have seen that bit about the Tajik militant highlanders, but it has not been verified. If Maksim did it, he just ruined his fathers nation and did great disservice to his mother's nation as well, was that for money and power, what could be his motivation? There are 35 million Uzbek in this world, many of them living in so many countries, if this accusation is true, its probably better that he stays in jail for his own safety.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2010 at 06:54
There is this recent recording of his phone call with his uncle. Which shows very clearly the moral "values" of this person.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2010 at 07:00
Originally posted by King John King John wrote:

This might be a little bit off topic, but what exactly are the cultural differences between the Kyrgyz and Uzbeks?
Well. Instead of going into detailed explanation.
 
Let's say... You probably have a perception of Mongolian nomadic culture and Iranian sedentary culture, right?
 
So, the differences between Kyrgyz culture (they would be equal to Mongols in our hypothetical) and Uzbek culture (that obviously resembles Persian) are roughly the same...
 
Other than that both peoples speak related Turkic languages and have the same religion. But still the above difference puts a very stong seal on their ethnic character.
 
Also, in terms of religion, Kyrgyzes are very relaxed, they don't take Islam seriously at all, unlike Uzbeks, who are much more serious (but also still "relativery" because there is no at all such an Islamic piety in the former Soviet Central Asia as anywhere else in the Islamic world)...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2010 at 08:30
Bringing up the question of Islam, among Central Asian nations is there a big difference in gender roles among the different ethnics?
Are some nationalities sexually considerably more conservative than others? For example, regarding issues such as cohabitation before marriage, mixed-sex socializing, to free election of partners etc.

The impression I get is that the Mongols, for their Buddhist traditions, are sexually considerably more liberal than the Turkic Muslim nations, and among the latter, peoples such as the Tatars and Bashkirs, for living close to Russians, tend to be far more liberal than the Central Asian nationalities.
I've read in some places also that Turkmen and Uzbeks tend to be more conservative and patriarchal than the Kazakhs and Kyrgyz, but it could be wrong.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2010 at 10:46
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

Bringing up the question of Islam, among Central Asian nations is there a big difference in gender roles among the different ethnics?
Are some nationalities sexually considerably more conservative than others? For example, regarding issues such as cohabitation before marriage, mixed-sex socializing, to free election of partners etc.

The impression I get is that the Mongols, for their Buddhist traditions, are sexually considerably more liberal than the Turkic Muslim nations, and among the latter, peoples such as the Tatars and Bashkirs, for living close to Russians, tend to be far more liberal than the Central Asian nationalities.
I've read in some places also that Turkmen and Uzbeks tend to be more conservative and patriarchal than the Kazakhs and Kyrgyz, but it could be wrong.




Your impressions are mostly correct.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Commaench Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2010 at 11:26
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

One thing that I've read in Ryczard Kapucsinski's book "Imperium", about the USSR, is that many of the ethnic conflicts in the former Soviet Union had there origins in the nationalities policy of the Stalin era. Artificial borders dividing republics were drawn in the middle of mixed regions, populations were transfered from one end of the USSR to another, entire peoples were deported to remote regions etc., so that once the republics gained independence in the name of nation states, territorial issues became a sensitive matter.
It's true, Kyrgyzs now complains about lost territory to Uzbek, Tajik.
This govt useless, gangs have been killed, looted ppl from 200 m distance of the govt soldiers, but soldiers didn't shoot these criminalists.Otonbayeva said that soldiers, gangs all knows
each other and soldiers didn't dare kill them.Uzbek govt accused Kyrgyz govt for organising the massacre, but Otonbayeva accusing Bakiev.The all  snipers were tajiks from Tajikstan.
 


Edited by Commaench - 19 Jun 2010 at 13:00
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