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urban issues

After high-profile murder, Kazakhstan’s police seek makeover

A few years ago, Sergei Lysenko, a 40-year-old entrepreneur in Kazakhstan’s business...

Georgian government shells out on ACs to cool public anger

School admissions tests can make students break a metaphorical sweat. But that...

Kazakhstan’s returnees frustrated by cold shoulders

The joy that Tursynzhan Yesenalyuly felt in moving to his ethnic homeland...

Turkmenistan: After us, the flood will come

Advancing his apparent quest to be photographed at the helm of every...

Kyrgyzstan: Ecologists Run Billboard Experiment to Test Dirty Air

An environmental group in Kyrgyzstan’s capital is running an unusual experiment to...

Uzbekistan: Tashkent Revamp Tests Official Pledge on Public Dialogue

Try surfing in landlocked Uzbekistan? Or maybe check out the dolphinarium in...

Kyrgyzstan: Competitive Presidential Election Heavy on ‘Kompromat’

For the first time in Central Asia’s post-Soviet history, one elected president...

Kazakhstan: Authorities Scrap Rainbow Wall Over Suspicions of LGBT Propaganda

Officials in the western Kazakhstan city of Aktobe thought it might be...

Kyrgyzstan: Tree-Chopping Divides Greens and Urban Planners

Without warning, city workers descended on a leafy street recently in Kyrgyzstan’s...

As Islamic Games Open, Azerbaijan Wrestles With Muslim Identity

With an opening ceremony rich in pageantry, Azerbaijan welcomed athletes and tourists...

Turkey: In Winning Referendum, Erdoğan Loses Cities

Before he immersed himself in politics, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was...

Russian Beyond Russia

Language is harmfully intertwined with politics these days in Eurasia. The swirling...

Uzbekistan: Police Make Show of Combating Child Labor

Child labor in Uzbekistan usually brings cotton fields to mind, but the...

Kyrgyzstan: Former PM to Run for President

A former prime minister in Kyrgyzstan has declared he plans to run...

Tajikistan: Cold Snap Highlights Power Crisis

When the first snow fell in late November in Tajikistan, it caught...

Uzbekistan: New Leader Carrying Out Personnel Overhaul

Uzbekistan’s interim leader is wasting no time in culling officials and bringing...

Kyrgyz Authorities Describe Uighur-Led, Multinational Plot Against Chinese Embassy

Kyrgyzstan's authorities have released details of several people it accuses of organizing...

Kazakhstan: Banks Deny Loans to Disabled Customers

Being hard of hearing in Kazakhstan is enough in at least one...

Kazakhstan: Struggling for Air in a Suffocating City

People in Almaty know their air is filthy, but when a group...

No Room for Humor

How one journalist used satire to cover the 2013 Russian law against...

Georgia: Tbilisi Zoo Reopens, but Questions Persist

The hippo has a new home, and the penguins have given up...

U.S. Rights Report Slams IS Militants, Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Among Others

In a new report, the U.S. State Department strongly criticizes Islamic State...

Uzbekistan Silent as Andijan Anniversary Draws International Attention

The world’s media may be packed with coverage about the 10th anniversary...

One Professional Russian Troll Tells All

More and more, posts and commentaries on the Internet in Russia and...

Kyrgyzstan: Activists Say Government Dithering on Disability Convention

When Maria Neboga’s daughter was diagnosed at birth with three debilitating neurological...

Caviar Diplomacy Comes to the Borough of Kings

It seems the Azerbaijani capital of Baku is hoping to cash in...

Georgia: Confronting Domestic Violence

The issue of domestic violence is moving to the forefront of public...

Russia: Ecological Protest Flares Again in Ufa

Russian President Vladimir Putin has consolidated authority to such an extent that...

Turkey: The "Urbanization" of the Syrian Refugee Crisis Poses Challenges for Ankara

The recent news that a Syrian woman in Istanbul was arrested for...

Turkmenistan to Build Another Expensive Thing It Doesn't Need

A commentary Turkmenistan appears poised to build the one white elephant it's...

Azerbaijan: Baku Wrestles With a Syria-Salafi Connection

As the Syrian civil war nears its third anniversary, Azerbaijanis fighting for...

Georgia: Gender Roles Beginning to Blur

The South Caucasus state of Georgia has a reputation for being a...

Armenia: Residents Still Living the Spitak Earthquake

Twenty-five years ago, a massive earthquake turned northern Armenia upside down. Many...

Tajikistan: Dushanbe Demolition Discourages Denizens

Without discussion, and just when residents thought it had stopped, Dushanbe’s mayor...

Turkey: Taksim Protests Highlight Ankara's Dismal Environmental Policies

Yesterday was World Environment Day, a tricky occasion for the Turkish government,...

Kazakhstan: Will the Elderly “Swallow” Pension Reform?

Zhaken Bissenova, the head of a non-profit that helps impoverished women in...

Turkey: On the Bosphorus, Government Going a Bridge Too Far?

In a recent blog post, I suggested Turkey is turning into a...

What Role Did The U.S. Play In This Summer's Violence In Tajikistan?

In all of the news coverage of the fighting that rocked eastern...

Turkey: Top Cleric Warns About "5 Star" Ramadan Fast Breaking

In Turkey and other predominantly-Muslim countries, iftar -- the nightly meal that...

Azerbaijan Gunships Threatened Turkmenistan's Caspian Oil Rigs, Cables Show

Gunboats from Azerbaijan's coast guard threatened international oil company ships working on...

Kyrgyzstan: Agricultural Woes Give Way to Food Security Concerns

Kyrgyzstan was renowned during the Soviet era as a producer of milk...

Turkmenistan Weekly Roundup

Issue 11 (2012) March 31 – April 4, 2012 *For Breaking News...

Afghans Demand Intervention After 'Pakistani Taliban' Attacks

KONAR, Afghanistan -- Local Afghan officials have called for a military intervention...

Turkey: Istanbul Funeral Home Fosters Muslim-Christian Understanding

More than 40 years ago, Kirkor Çapan, an ethnic Armenian, and his...

Uzbekistan: Tashkent Clears Out The Little People Ahead Of Independence Day

For Saidulla, a shop owner at Tashkent's Farkhad Bazaar, Independence Day ceremonies...

Turkey: Sizing Up the Impact of Sex on Politics

As Turkey’s June 12 parliamentary elections draw nearer, public attention is focusing...

Turkey: Kurdish Youth Losing Faith in Peaceful Protests

Amed cannot recall the day 19 years ago when the Turkish army...

Turkey: Urban Renewal Push Raises Rights Issue

Water and electricity have been cut off, and the top three stories...

Kabul Housing Shortage Leaves The Middle Class Behind

KABUL -- Ahmad Saqib spends over three hours a day commuting between...

Uzbekistan Weekly Roundup

Uzbekistan wound up 2010 still quarrelling with its neighbors over water, energy,...

Georgia: Tbilisi Prepares Ban on Offshore Media Ownership

After years of sidestepping criticism on the topic, Georgia’s governing United National...

Kazakhstan: Russian Old Believers Cling to Faith amid Uncertain Future

Valentina Murzintseva shuffled to the door of the small white church, unbolted...

The Economics of Rust: Building a Silk Road of Soviet Industrial Heritage

The German city of Essen, representing the wider Ruhrgebiet region, is one...

Uzbek Exodus Creating Bribery Bonanza

Tens of thousands of Uzbeks, seeking relief from lingering insecurity, are leaving...

Deplorable State of Turkmen Culture

There's never a free moment!...

US Official: Bishkek Can Do More For Reconciliation

Kyrgyzstan's government has failed to win the confidence of its Uzbek minority...

Pentagon Planning for Upsurge in Violence in Northern Afghanistan, Central Asia

The Pentagon has issued a pre-solicitation notice for a counter-terrorism training compound...

Uzbekistan Weekly Roundup

International and local human rights groups continue to chronicle the aftermath of...

Kyrgyzstan: Anatomy Of A Conflict

OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- With an empty gaze, Alishir surveys the rubble of...

The Pentagon Spreading Wealth in Central Asia

The Pentagon appears set to spend over $40 million on security infrastructure...

Is UNICEF Under Pressure From Uzbekistan's Government?

UNICEF, the UN's International Children's Fund, has been told by Uzbekistan's government...

Uzbekistan: Tashkent Pursuing Forced Sterilization Policy

An increasing number of women in rural areas of Uzbekistan appear to...

Dwindling Sikh Community Endures in Kabul

For many years, Sikhs were a prominent part of Kabul’s commercial scene,...

Georgia: Impending Demolition of World War II Memorial Sparks Anger in Georgia and Russia

Georgian opposition politicians and the Russian government have condemned plans to scrap...

Mongolian Democracy: 'Unless Your Life Improves, What's The Point Of A Market Economy?'

ZUUNKHARAA, Mongolia -- There are many ways to measure the success of...

Afghanistan's Karzai Faces Pressure To Confront Corruption Menace

Following President Hamid Karzai's reelection on November 2, Kabul's Arg Palace has...

Iran: Is Ahmadinejad Carrying Out a Coup?

What we may be witnessing in Iran these days is a revolution...

Turkey: Can Turkey's Main Secularist Party Make a Comeback?

Nationwide, the CHP only managed to get 2 percent more votes than...

Armenian Village Plans for Turkish Border Opening

Amidst rising international expectations of an Armenian-Turkish rapprochement, hopes are rising fast...

Afghanistan: A Survey Sends Danger Signals for the Pending American Surge

Support is plummeting among the Afghan people for the President Hamid Karzai's...

Iran: Reformist Leader Announces Presidential Run

In 2008, American voters installed a reformer as president, rejecting the policies...

Afghanistan: Refugee Returns Should No Longer Be a Cause for Celebration in Kabul

Afghanistan lately boasts few reasons for optimism....

Seven Years After First Air Strikes, Afghans Hope For Jobs, Peace

Seven years ago, the United States began bombing Taliban-ruled Afghanistan after its...

Tajikistan: Almost One-Third of the Population Is in Danger of Going Hungry This Winter

Almost one-third of Tajikistan's 6.7 million inhabitants may not have enough to...

Tajikistan: Severe Winter Weather Means Looming Pestilence and Hunger

The United Nations is stepping in to try to rescue Tajikistan from...

Azerbaijan: Building Collapse Exposes "Chaos" in Baku's Urban Planning

Some 20 construction workers, all from outside Baku, were killed on August...

Ruling Party Takes Huge Lead In Turkish Election

Early results show Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) party leading by...

Georgia Grapples with Rising Teenage Crime

International organizations and some Georgian social welfare workers are voicing concern over...

Tajikistan: Grand Plan to Remake Dushanbe Threatens to Make Mockery of Property Rights

Gulchehra Halimova, her husband Savriddin, and her extended family have lived on...

Turkmenistan: The Human Toll Of Ashgabat's Evictions

Authorities in the capital of Turkmenistan launched an ambitious policy of urban...