Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus from December, 2012
A Comic Book Superhero With a Kyrgyz Flavour
Kyrgyz superhero fans will soon have comic books and cartoon films featuring a 'national' fictional character, Barsbek. But some netizens argue that the Central Asian superhero looks too much like Spider-Man.
Tajikistan Blocks 130 Websites
Hurray! [Tajikistan is] ahead of the rest of the world again! Where else do they block more than 130 websites at once?
Uzbekistan's Boring TV
What's the most boring thing in the world? Waiting for a bus? Attending a philosophy class at a university? Elections in Belarus? No! The most boring thing in the world is Uzbek television!
Kazakhstan to Switch to Latin Script
Following years of intense debates, Kazakhstan is finally set to abandon Cyrillic script in favor of the Latin alphabet by 2025. It appears that the alphabet is still a very divisive issue in the country (see, for example, hundreds of comments under this blog [ru]). Michael Hancock-Parmer writes on Registan.net: I have reservations...
Tajiks and Uzbeks Disagree on Birthplace of Poet
The dispute over the birthplace of the Poet Rudaki [whom both Uzbekistan and Tajikistan claim "as one of their own"] is heating up and may soon lead to wine-throwing and fist-fights...
Independent Turkmen Website Hacked
Chronicles of Turkmenistan (www.chrono-tm.org), the website run by Turkmen human rights activists in exile, has been hacked [ru] for the third time this year and remains down. Catherine Fitzpatrick on Different Stans blog suggests that the “way too important” website was hacked by “Turkmen Secret Police”. She also lists alternative social media where the...
Power of Rumor in Turkmenistan
In Turkmenistan, where it is almost impossible to access any news other than those reported by state-run media, rumors have unusual power. A recent Facebook post [tr] about an ‘imminent’ collapse of the US dollar has created panic among the country's Internet users, with some people rushing to exchange their dollars for local...
Kazakhstan: Looking Strong, Acting Weak?
[A]n unnecessary attack on Kazakhstan’s still-fledgling political opposition is not the behavior of a growing, confident, young, dynamic country, which is what Kazakhstan clearly wants to be. It is the behavior of a weak, insecure, terribly afraid regime. Which could potentially be dangerous in the long run...
Most Corrupt Country Award Goes to Afghanistan
Afghanistan ranks as the world's most corrupt country in the latest survey by a global corruption watchdog. The release of the survey triggered a wave of anti-corruption rallies across the war-torn country. In Bamyan, civil society activists awarded an effigy of Afghan president with the 'Most Corrupt Country Cup'.
Global Voices: Where Every Voice Counts
The idea that every voice counts is one that is very close to the notion of Global Voices as a platform and as a community. As netizens unite to have their voices heard when the world's authorities argue on who should run the internet, we decided to ask our diverse community speak out on issues that matter to them and look back at issues we have covered over the year bearing in mind that every voice counts.
Iran's Diplomatic Missions Under Attack
Iran's diplomatic missions have been under attack around the world in recent weeks by Iranians and Afghans, for different reasons. The actions sparked a hot debate within the Iranian blogosphere, with ideas ranging from praise to condemnation and denouncements.
Uzbek Theater Stages a Multicultural Play
Just imagine, it is a classic Norwegian play, staged [in Uzbekistan] by a Turkmen director, featuring Uzbek, Russian, and American actors, staged in Russian, with support from the Indian Academy of Dramatic Arts - you cannot miss this cultural 'mix'!
Mock Bride-Kidnapping in Kyrgyz Capital
[D]espite the [girl's] cries for help and the clearly illegal and rude behavior of [the purported abductors], not a single person rushed to help [the girl] or called the police... Several young men watched the incident with interest. Some men discussed: "What is it? [Bride kidnapping]? It means there will be a wedding!"
Searching for Chingis Khan's Tomb in Mongolia
[M]any assume that [Chingis Khan] must have been buried with a huge amount of treasure which would have an immense historical - to say nothing of monetary - value.
Tweets are Bittersweet for Popular Kyrgyz MP
A Kyrgyz lawmaker has kick-started a debate in Kyrgyzstan about when journalists should and shouldn't be able to quote a Twitter feed to inform a news report.
‘Carousel Voting’ Goes Viral in Kyrgyz Elections
Nearly three months of intrusive and irksome electoral campaigns in Kyrgyzstan came to an end as votes were counted for the five municipal elections held on November 25. But with the results in, a scandalous video has left a sour taste in the mouth.