The Tulip Revolution

As you probably know, there appears to have been a peaceful revolution in Kyrgyzystan.

Latest news.

Photos.

BBC backgrounder on the recent events

For general information on Kyrgyzustan, Wikipedia.

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Some original, not too informed analysis: The last years peaceful revoutions have all happened in countries with some democratic features, not straight out dictatorships. Kyrgyzystan was always the least authoritarian of the Turkistanic countries then became more repressive the last four years. I don’t think that’s coincidental; regime change in the other more repressive ‘stans seem unlikely.
But it’s noteworthy that it has happened in a more repressive country than Georgia and Serbia, with even less experience in democracy.

This revolution took almost eveyone by surprise. I think people, like me, just assumed have the possibility of change in the region, and maybe that was a bit lazy and prejudiced. It’ll be interesting if the new regime proves to be less authoritarian in the long run, like the new regimes in Serbia and maybe, probably, Georgia and Ukraine. Let’s hope so.

4 thoughts on “The Tulip Revolution

  1. There is the worry that the two sides are largely demarcated by ethnicity which could spell trouble. It is nice to see the end of Authoritarian regimes though.

  2. I tutored a Kyrgyz H.S. student last year. His family were importers. For all of them, travelling to Russia and neighboring Turkic nations was routine. His mother routinely travelled to Saudi Arabia and Istanbul on business. His uncle travelled routinely to Beijing. My tutee was learning English and presumably was being groomed as the US rep. He and his younger sister took a vacation in Thailand recently — I have no idea why.

    He didn’t like any food except Russian and Central Asian food, including kumiss (alcoholic milk beverage).

    To me it was interesting because they were effectively deciding between five different cultural zones — Islamic, Russian, Chinese, pan-Turkic, and American. For my tutee and his family, the Russian identification was the strongest — he was enthusiastic about Pushkin, for instance. (But my guess is that his father was an ex-Party member, bourgeois though he seemed.)

  3. David: peaceful?

    EU-Serf, I’m not sure in this instance we see the end of authoritarianism – the list of opposition leaders is a list of former cadres sidelined by the now deposed President.

    John Emerson: my guess is that his father was an ex-Party member, bourgeois though he seemed

    That isn’t a contradiction: the Party elite effectively turned into a new burgeois elite during the years.

    This is most apparent in the formerly communist members of the EU (like my home Hungary), where many former cadres became owners with privatisation, and post-communist ‘centre-left’ parties are markedly pro-business.

  4. I wrote: the list of opposition leaders is a list of former cadres sidelined by the now deposed President.

    I add, the situation reminds me a little of the 1989 Romanian Revolution and Iliescu’s power grabble afterwards.

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