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Friday 12 March 2021

Tajik Authorities Continue Renaming Settlements


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DUSHANBE (Asia-Plus) — The Tajik authorities are continuing to rename settlements. Thus, the government has proposed to rename twenty-six settlements in Khatlon province and districts subordinate to the central government. The request has been sent for consideration to Tajikistan’s upper house (Majlisi Milli) of parliament.

Having purged Tajikistan of most Russian and Soviet labels, the authorities have also targeted places with names of Turkic origin.

Some had their former Tajik names restored and some others were given new Tajik names.

They, in particular, propose to rename Dehkonarik to Dehqonobod, The 20th Anniversary of Independence of Tajikistan to Istiqlol, Ghairat to Khuroson, Ghalaba to Khutan and the village of Khurramzamin to Oriyon. All these settelments are located in the Farkhor district, Khatlon province.

In Khatlon’s Danghara district, they propose to rename the Oqsou to Safobakhsh, the village of Khoja Shaqiqi Balkhi to Sebiston, the village of Mundoq to Domanakuh, and the village of Kangi to Mehrgon.

In Khatlon’s Jaloliddin-Balkhi district, the Uzun will renamed the Joli Zar, Frunze to Navoi, Moskva to Sarzamin, the village of Hosilot to Obchakoron, the village of Kirov to Dashtobodand and the village of Tashrobod to Sabzadasht.

In Khatlon’s Temourmalik district, the Sovet settlement will be renamed Bahmanroud, Laqai Qarmishev Qushteppa, Bobo Yunus Chilchah and Qaramish Husainobod.

In the Tojikobod district (district subordinate to the centre in Rasht Valley), the Munavvarsho Shogadoyev will be renamed to Zarafshon, the village of Kelinboqi to Surkhkuh, the village of Kapali to Safedmun, the village of Shing to Zarafshon, and the village of Anvar Qalandarov to Anvarobod.

During the Soviet Era, countless towns were renamed in Soviet style. With independence came a wave of new city names as the newly independent states sought to separate themselves from their neighbours physically, historically, and culturally.

The renaming process of localities in Tajikistan started in 2015 when President Emomali Rahmon submitted to the parliament a list of new names for several towns and districts. These new names followed a trend whereby anything that was not distinctly Tajik or Persian in origin was discarded. In 2015 alone, a number of major cities and districts were renamed. The city of Qairoqqum, an Uzbek name, was renamed Guliston, or “place of flowers", for example. An artificial lake of the same name was simply called the Sea of Tajikistan. The Ghonchi district, a name with Turkic origin, was named after Devashtich, a Sogdian ruler of the present-day Tajik city of Panjakent in pre-Islamic Central Asia. The district of Jillikul in Khatlon province had its Kyrgyz name changed to Dusti, which means “friendship” in Persian. Turkish place names were not the only ones targeted. The town of Chkalovsk was renamed Buston, which means “flower garden”.

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