Outrage over Name-Change of Kazakhstan’s Capital

The President of the Central Asian country of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced the name change for the country’s capital city, Astana in March 2019. The City will now be named, ‘Nursultan’, after Nursultan Nazarbayev, the former Kazach President. Tokayev announced the name in order to honor the thirty-year long, unswerving service of Nazarbeyev.

The civilians deterred the change and were outraged as they were disregarded in the decision. A petition by the Kazakhs to dismiss the name change was flagged online.  It is not the first time that the capital city of Kazakhstan has undergone a dramatic transformation. In 1997 the country moved its capital from Almaty to Astana.

Below is the list of few countries that have changed their political capitals in the past:

  • Pakistan: The coastal city of Karachi was the first capital of Pakistan, elected by Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In 1961, the capital was changed to the northern city of Pakistan – the city of Islamabad.
  • Russia: The Government of Russia swerved over its choice for the country’s capital headquarters between two of its cultural heritage cities. St Petersburg served as Russia’s capital center from 1712-1918. Moscow has been made as the country’s capital ever since.
  • Brazil: The country of Brazil built the planned city of Brasília to be its capital headquarters. Prior to that, Brazil had Salvador and Rio de Janeiro as its serving capital cities.
  • Nigeria: Replicating Brazil’s example, the planned city of Abuja became Nigeria’s capital in 1991, replacing the populous city of Lagos.
  • Ivory Coast: The country’s largest city and economic hub – the city of Abidjan was replaced with Yamoussoukro as Ivory Coast’s new political capital in 1983.