Uzbekistan: Tashkent Takes Hardline Approach on Containing Turkish Soft Power
Religion is a wedge that is driving Uzbekistan and Turkey apart.
In recent months, Uzbek leaders have intensified a campaign to contain Turkish economic and cultural influences in Uzbekistan. The most prominent component of this crackdown has been the arrest of 54 Turkish entrepreneurs over the past two years and the closure of at least 50 Turkish-operated businesses. In addition, the presidential administration in late February ordered all state-owned and private television channels to stop airing Turkish sitcoms, claiming that they were “inappropriate” for an Uzbek audience. Turkish-funded schools have also been forced to close.
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