Names>> Places • Uzbekistan
On October 13, Uzbek President Islam Karimov signed a decree that forbids naming towns, regions, villages, factories, streets or buildings after people or historical events. The decree requires that airports, train and bus stations, ports and other facilities must be named after the town, city or region where they are located.
Karimov is known for his disapproval of naming places and facilities after people. In 1993 he had banned building monuments to living people. It was around the same time that large statues of then president Saparmurat Niyazov were being built in neighbouring Turkmenistan.
The October 13 decree makes an exception for certain people deemed to have made a significant contribution to the country’s history, such as Navoi city, named after the famous 15th-century Uzbek poet Nizam al-Din Alisher Navoi. Changing the names of geographical locations is permitted only when reverting to an earlier, historic toponym. For example, the decree allows to replace Soviet-era toponyms with earlier Uzbek ones.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.