Drop the 'stan': Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev mulls renaming the country to Kazak Yeli
Nazarbayev says new name will make it stand out from poorer countries in the region
President Nursultan Nazarbayev has suggested changing the name of Kazakhstan to Kazak Yeli in a bid to differentiate the oil rich nation from its 'poorer' neighbours in central Asia.
Nazarbayev said dropping the 'stan' and renaming the country Kazakh Eli, which stands for 'The Land of Kazakhs', will make it stand out and encourage investment in the mineral-rich nation.
Nazarbayev's press service quoted him as saying: "In our country's name, there is this 'stan' ending which other Central Asian nations have as well.
"But, for instance, foreigners show interest in Mongolia, whose population is just two million people, but whose name lacks the 'stan' ending."
He added: "Probably, we ought to consider with time the issue of adopting Kazakh Eli as the name of our country, but before that, we definitely need to discuss this with the people."
This is not the first time Nazarbayev proposes a radical name change.
In 1998, he moved the capital from Almaty in southeastern Kazakhstan to Akmola in the north. A year later, he decided the new capital should be named 'Astana' in a bid to end a dispute over the meaning of Akmola, which stands for both 'white tomb' and 'white plenty' in Kazakh.
Nickname 'Papa' and 'Leader of the Nation', the 73-year old former steelworker has been in office since 1989 and enjoys vast powers in the country.
Kazakhstan has a population of 17 million people and boasts the largest economy among the region's post-Soviet block, which also includes Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
- 1 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 2 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
- 5 The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
Israel-Gaza conflict: President Obama presses Netanyahu to call ‘immediate and unconditional’ Gaza ceasefire
Lauren Goodger sex tape: Reality star calls for tougher laws on revenge porn after intimate video leaks online
Iraq crisis: End 'very near' for Christianity after Isis takeover, says Bishop
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Car, Healthcare, Pensions: Progressive Recruitment...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Leading Sof...
£90 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are looking fo...
£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...