Newspapers in Kyrgyzstan
About one third of Kyrgyzstan's TV channels and newspapers are
state-controlled. In addition, many of the private TV channels are owned by
people close to the ruling elite.
The Kyrgyz-speaking daily newspaper Agym (formerly Asaba) has an edition of
about 30,000 copies. (1999), the Russian-speaking evening newspaper Vetjernij
Bishkek ('Evening Bishkek') about 60,000 copies. The government body Kirgiz
Tuusu ('Kyrgyzstan's words', Russian Slovo Kyrgyzstana) is bilingual and is
printed in almost 10,000 copies. Both official and private magazines are often
agitatory, but the courts' practice in disputes over defamation varies depending
on which media company is facing the lawsuit.
Radio broadcasting began in 1931 and TV broadcasting in 1958. Alongside the
official news agency Kabar (founded in 1936 as Kirtag), the private AKI press is
the largest. About 5% of the population regularly use the internet. Both during
the 2005 parliamentary elections and in connection with an intense political
debate in early 2009, several media sites were exposed to attacks, which meant
that the public could not read the information there.
Kyrgyz was a nomad people until the late
1900s, which greatly influenced the culture. Even today,
some Kyrgyz - at least seasonally - live in traditional
herbs, which are a kind of large round tents, decorated
with rugs and objects made of leather and wood.
The Kyrgyz culture houses a wealth of stories,
stories, songs and proverbs that have been orally
transmitted from generation to generation. Folk
singers (acynes), often accompanied by the
three-stringed long-necked komuz, have played
an important role in the preservation of this oral
tradition with their grievances and notes.
Latest population statistics of Kyrgyzstan, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
The national epic above others is the 500,000 lines
long poem cycle about the hero Manas, sometimes called
"the Iliad from the steppe". It is a chronicle of
legends and stories of the life and destiny of the
Kyrgyz clans. Manas was widely spoken orally before it
was first recorded in Russian in 1856.
In the 1920s, a Kyrgyz-speaking literature emerged.
The Kyrgyz Akyn Toktogul Satylganov was one of the first
to record his poems, which he later used to sing the
Soviet power in Kyrgyzstan.
The most famous contemporary Kyrgyz writer is Tjingiz
Ajtmatov (1928–2008). His books, written mainly in
Russian but also in Kyrgyz, have been translated into
some 80 languages. Ajtmatov became known for his
independent attitude towards the regime during the
Soviet era. In his novels, he succeeded in conveying the
myths of his homeland and telling the problems of Soviet
society. Several of his books have been translated into
Swedish, including The White Steamboat, Djamilja and
Traditional music is closely associated with the
nomads' lives. Unanimous songs are performed at work as
well as at parties and other social gatherings. In
addition to the tufts of the acynes, tjoor
(flute), temir-komuz (mungy) and the two-string
string instrument kyjak are also common.
During the Soviet era, Kyrgyzstan had a large film
production. Nowadays, fewer films are made and those
that are made often receive foreign support. Actan
Abdykalydov's 1998 film "The Adoptive Zone" received
international attention. It also got the movie "Kurmanjan
Datka" (The Queen of the Mountains), made by Sadyk
Mining conflict is gaining momentum
The government cancels negotiations with the Canadian mining company Centerra
on the operation of the Kumtor gold mine (see February, June 2014). The
government says it no longer accepts the proposal that the state and Centerra
each own 50 percent of the mine. The message comes just a few days before the
company's concession expires.
New four-party government
Prime Minister Sarijev forms a new government where the Social Democrats
cooperate with the Kyrgyzstan Party, Progress and the Foster Country.
Mixed comments from election observers
Election observers from the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the EU say that
the electoral movement has been lively, but that there has been a lack of
impartial information in the media and that there is some doubt about the
security of the polls. Election observers say that Election Day progressed
calmly. The turnout is reported to be around 60 percent.
The Social Democrats are the biggest in the election
In the parliamentary elections, Kyrgyzstan's Social Democratic Party receives
the most votes (27.5%). The second largest party will be the Republican Party of
the Fatherland (20.1%), followed by the Kyrgyz Party (12.8%). Another three
parties are entering Parliament: Progress (9.3%), Unity (8.4%) and the Foster
Country (7.7%). The turnout is 58 percent.
Kyrgyzstan joins the Russian-led EEU
Kyrgyzstan becomes the fifth member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU)
after having been approved by the other countries in the cooperation - Russia,
Belarus, Armenia and Kazakhstan.
Elections in October
Parliamentary elections are announced until October 4.
Protest against US prize to political prisoner
The government terminates a cooperation agreement with the United States,
signed in 1993. This is in protest of the US Department of State awarding a
Kyrgyz political prisoner a human rights award. The award-winning Azimjon
Askarov belongs to the Uzbek minority and has been imprisoned since the unrest
between the Uzbek and ethnic Kyrgyz in 2010, when over 450 people were killed.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment for being charged with clashes.
New head of government
President Atambayev accepts Prime Minister Otorbajev's resignation. The three
parties that are part of the government nominate Finance Minister Temir Sarijev
as new prime minister and he is quickly approved by Parliament.
The government is leaving
Prime Minister Dzjoomart Otorbajev submits his resignation application. He
says in Parliament that there should be no monopoly of power in a democracy, but
he gives no further reason for his departure. Behind the decision lies the
conflict over the Kumtor gold mine (see February, June 2014). The conflict has
flared up since Otorbaev suggested that foreign nationals be allowed to sit on
the board of the Kyrgyz-Canadian company that will run the mine. The direct
reason for the government's case seems to be its inability to agree with the
Canadian majority owners on better conditions for the Kyrgyz state.