Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus from January, 2013
The judiciary in Tajikistan has recently attracted more than its usual share of criticism from social media users. Following two controversial high-profile cases, Tajik netizens have slammed the country's 'corrupt' judges and compared them to prostitutes.
After an earthquake hit southeastern Kazakhstan yesterday, hundreds of the country's netizens took to Twitter to tell the rest of the world about what they had experienced. Blogger Olzhas Salmurza has collected [ru] the most interesting tweets from all over Kazakhstan. Ravil Abdulov reports [ru] that Twitter has also helped spread rumors...
Afghans and some foreign observers claim that Afghanistan is a vastly different country now than it was under the Taliban. Few of these observers can tangibly explain exactly what they mean by this change apart from pointing to the number of students in school, the proliferation of TV channels and the improved road networks... [I]t’s the evolution in thinking and expectations that has made Afghanistan such a different place now than it was a mere 10 years ago.
While some analysts remain skeptical about Kazakhstan's Latinization reform, bloggers offer [ru] practical proposals on how to do the reform ‘right’ and analyze [ru] the experience of other former Soviet countries that switched from Cyrillic to Latin script. Yet comments under these blogs show that the reform remains very controversial and, even...
[Over the almost twenty years since Uzbekistan switched to Latin script] it has become clear that the new script in itself does not create the knowledge of foreign languages... Besides, the Russian language has proven to be more in demand [than Latinized Uzbek].
In Turkmenistan, which ranks among the world's "worst of the worst" human rights abusers, the very existence of such rights is seen as 'fiction'. Some netizens blame Ashgabat's repressive regime on geopolitics. Yet some others say the country has a right to restrict the rights of its citizens.
A recent discussion in the blogosphere offers a rare glimpse into what it means to be gay in Tajikistan and how the country's people view members of the LGBT community.
On January 14, 2013, the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia announced that the previous chief of the Military Police Megis Kardava, secretly filmed videos of public figures having sex with homosexual partners. The office alleges these videotapes were used to blackmail the public figures into cooperation with President Mikheil Saakashvili's government.
Edgar Barseghyan, the creator of satire photo website, Demotivator.am is on trial for publishing a satirical photo of a model's body with the superimposed face of Armenian politician Tigran Urikhanyan and the caption "Stylish Politician of the Year".
Tourists coming to Turkmenistan do not seek five-star hotels and casinos; they do not travel to exotic countries for something which they can easily find close to home. They are interested in the local [customs and traditions], antiquities, and the Silk Road.
A hostage crisis developed over the past weekend in Sokh, a little Uzbekistani enclave inside Kyrgyzstan. All hostages have now been released. Central Eurasia Standard blog summarizes media coverage of the crisis.
Since independence, the post-Soviet nations of Central Asia have invented a number of new 'national' holidays. Yet the celebration of the New Year's Eve still remains a cherished tradition among many people in the region. Despite some calls to denounce the holiday as 'foreign' and 'un-Islamic', families in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan celebrated the arrival of the year 2013 in line with the long-established tradition.