Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan

Sureyya Yigit (Cambridge Univ.) – Yasar Sari (Univ. of Virginia)

Turkish Daily News, 31 March 2005
When comparing the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan is an easy country to make a revolution in.
There are several reasons for this. Firstly, despite election frauds, government pressure on independent media, the Akayev regime permitted the opposition to form political parties and participate in elections. Secondly, before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Akayev himself was not part of the Communist Party nomenklatura. This was very different when compared to the other Central Asian leaders. Therefore, he did not possess an established political base to get support from; his support came only from his own region. On the other hand, other leaders have both support from the well-established Communist Party structure (after the collapse of Soviet Union they changed their names and began to emphasize nationalist themes) and their own particular regions (perhaps it may even be more truthful to say, fiefdoms). Another important point was that Akayev permitted international governmental and nongovernmental organizations to operate freely. For example, the Open Society Institute made Bishkek its headquarters for their Central Asian activities.
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