Almaty, Feb 7: Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev said Thursday that the official name of his country could be changed to Kazakh Eli if people agree.
“Our country’s name ends with suffix ‘stan’ as other Central Asian states do,” Xinhua quoted the president as saying at the Intellectual School in Atyrau in western Kazakhstan.
Foreigners are interested in Mongolia, whose population is only two million people, while the name of the country does not end with ‘stan’, Nazarbayev said.
Perhaps Kazakhstan, with a population of almost 17 million, should be renamed Kazakh Eli, but this issue has to be discussed with the people, he added. In the Kazakh language, Kazakh Eli means the Kazakh country.
This phrase was proposed by Kazakh leaders a long time ago.
A monument named Kazakh Eli was built in the capital Astana in 2009 to commemorate the country’s independence in 1991 when it broke away from the Soviet Union.