The role of the kazakh diaspora in stanovllenii and strengthening the independence of the republic of Kazakhstan

The process of formation and development of diasporas is one of the difficult problems of socio-political science, in particular of political science of Kazakhstan. At present time the diasporas are the  object  of studying of many sciences – history, sociology, ethnology, cultural science and economy.

The questions on formation and development of the Kazakh diasporas represent not only scientific interest and socially-political importance.

The Kazakh diaspora throughout all history had the violent character of migration because of political and religious reasons. Up to 1960th when labor immigration has started to develop in countries of Western Europe, America and region of Persian gulf, not changed radically violent character of migrations on voluntary, and a consequence of the economic reasons.

Besides, till the beginning of 1960th, migrations of Kazakhs in the world countries differed by Mass character, and during the modern period more characteristic are individual moving with invitation of their families to the country-recipient.

Considering the Kazakh diaspora, it is possible to say the following: its representatives are the main part of all Kazakh people, with single native land – Kazakhstan, worships Moslem religion, belongs to Turkish- language people, but owing to internal and external-political events in the past, at the moment they live abroad more often, in the countries of Asia, the Western Europe and America.

Number of the Kazakh diaspora doesn't exceed 800 thousand persons, and the compact habitation of  Kazakh ethnic at the countries-recipients of the Western Europe and the USA also does not observed. But in the East countries (Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan) it is usually observed the compact dwelling of Kazakh caused not only by their desire, but also a country-recipient policy.

Characteristic feature of the Kazakh diaspora is successful functioning in the countries with polyethnic, multicultural and multireligious structure, thanks to excellent ability to the adaptation genetically put by nomadic way of life and affected to their socially-psychological, physiological and world outlook ability.

The reasons of formation and development of the Kazakh diaspora are:

  1. political (Kazakh-oyrat wars of XVIII century, national-liberation revolts and wars of Kazakhs against imperial autocracy in ХVIII-ХIХ centuries, national-liberation movement of 1916, civil war 1918-1920, collectivization carrying out in Kazakhstan, antigovernmental struggle of Kazakhs in East Turkestan (Sintszyan) in 1930-1950 th, the Second World War);
  2. religious (the difficulties connected with fulfillment of khadzh to Mecca and Medina during the imperial and Soviet periods);
  3. and economic (destruction of traditional nomadic system of managing in Kazakhstan after its joining to the Russian empire and during the Soviet period of collectivization, labor immigration to countries of Western Europe and America in 1960-1990th, instability in the first years of the sovereignty in economy of modern Kazakhstan which is in a condition of transition to market relations, after disintegration of the USSR).

One of the main questions for the research is the problem triunity, i.e. mutual relations, interdependence  and interrelations at the international and interstate level of three basic components: Kazakh diaspora of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the countries where our compatriots live. Kazakh irredenta or diaspora are one of the major components of foreign policy of our state with the countries of their residing, interstate mutual relations which are influenced by position of Kazakhs.

In this connection it should be specified that Kazakh people in neighboring with Kazakhstan territories in Russia (Astrakhan, Orenburg, Kurgan, Omsk mountain-Altay Independent areas), Uzbekistan (areas of Syr- Darya, Chirchik, Kyzylkumov, Myrzashola) and China (areas of Altai, Tarbagatay, Ili, Kuldzha, Erenkabyrga, Barkol-Kumul) could not be defined as "diaspora" since they live in own territory and this group of the population is defined by the term irredenta".

Process of preservation of ethnic identity at the Kazakh diaspora is characterized by several  criteria: presence and development of the Kazakh communities: marriage and family, ethnic societies, schools and language.

The following feature, for the Kazakh communities abroad, basically, till 1991, was the absence of the incorporated organizations and establishment of the Kazakh societies.

The situation has changed after declaration of the sovereignty and independence of Republic Kazakhstan that has served as a starting point in business of creation of the Kazakh societies in the different countries of the world which at the moment try to meet to develop the joint cultural and sports actions. These events are organized in order to keep ethnic identity.

The Kazakh diaspora forms from the main three countries: Kazakhstan, Turkey and China, and then further spreads worldwide. For the Kazakhs who live in the different countries of the world are the more typical the threelingvism: Kazakh, language of the country of an exit and host country language.

In many positions the Kazakh community in Turkey became an example for representatives of the Kazakh diaspora that became possible not only due to efforts of Kazakhs, but also reciprocal actions of the Turkish government owing to which the Kazakh refugees from Sintszjan have found there the second Native land. Studying the Kazakh community in Turkey in 1990th it is possible to ascertain the following moments in the course of preservation of the ethnic identity.

More than 20 000 ethnic Kazakhs today live in Turkish Republic. Turkey has involved migrants thanks to unity of historical and cultural roots, a Turkish basis of language and Muslim religion. At the moment Kazakhs live in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and in other regions of Turkey. Today families of ethnic Kazakhs compactly  live in Istanbul in area of Zejtinburnu, Kazahkent.

Also Kazakhs have started to emigrate to the USA after the Second World War. Researchers allocate some groups:

  • the Former citizens of the USSR who were taken prisoner during the Second World War, released by allied armies from concentration camps of Germany, sent to Turkey with own will, and then immigrating to the USA;
  • Kazakhs from Turkey, were a component of the Turkish labor immigration, got a job in the USA, and after five years of constant stay in the country and the status of citizens of the USA;
  • Kazakhs from the Peoples Republic of China, coming to the USA via Japan, Taiwan crossing Pacific ocean, staying for study or work at Pacific coast, and then getting an opportunity abilities to live in the country;
  • Kazakhs which have emigrated from the USSR during existence of the USSR;
  • Kazakhs from the Republic Kazakhstan, coming for study or work;
  • Obtained citizenship, owing to interethnic marriages with citizens of the

The United States began to involve attention of the Kazakh emigrants from the middle of 60th years after liberalization of immigration laws. Those years there were about 20 families of Kazakhs in the country. For today according to the official data about three thousand Kazakhs live in America.

Kazakhs of the USA have monoethnic and interethnic marriages. Interethnic  marriages  are characteristic for the senior generation. From them the Kazakh youth of the second third generation of diaspora tries to find the partner from the Kazakh surrounding in what the strategy on preservation of ethnic identity is shown.

Representatives of the Kazakh diaspora in Great Britain prefer monoethnic marriage and for them the supply of the families in the residing country is characteristic. Therefore, it is very important not to lose for them ethnic origin and to attach the children to study the Kazakh language and traditions of the Kazakh people. Unfortunately, a distinctive feature of the Kazakh community in Great Britain is its strong dissociation, close connections between the Kazakhs who have arrived from the Peoples Republic of China, Turkey and Kazakhstan till now aren't adjusted. Under the data fixed by the Kazakh society, 65 representatives of the Kazakh diaspora live in London, natives of Turkey. The Kazakhs who have arrived from the Peoples Republic of China, Kazakhstan and other countries of the world increasing quantity of the Kazakh diaspora to 100-120 families aren't included in this number.

According to the data of the world association of Kazakhs outside of Kazakhstan in 43 countries of the world about 5 million or 30-35% from an total number of Kazakhs live. 80% of them live in Uzbekistan, the Peoples Republic of China and in Russia. In Uzbekistan – more than 2 million; in China about 2 million; in Russia about 1 million; in Mongolia – 83 thousand; in Turkmenistan – 74 thousand; in Turkey – 12 thousand; in Kyrgyzstan – 10 thousand; in Iran – 5 thousand. In the European states: in France 180 families; in Germany 160 families; in Sweden 51 families; in Austria 20 families; in the USA 14 families; in Afghanistan 150 families; in Saudi Arabia 15 families; in Australia 5 families.

It is necessary to say that representatives of the Kazakh diaspora live and work in coast of the seas and oceans. The Caspian sea since ancient times is the bridge, connecting all people, the nations and diaspora, occupying its coast. Thirty thousand persons representatives of the Kazakh diaspora live there; 20 thousand Kazakhs in Atrahansky oblast, 10 thousand Kazakhs in Krasnoyarsk, 4 thousand Kazakhs in Azerbaijan, 6 thousand Kazakhs in Iran. In coast of the seas and world oceans: China – 50 thousand, the Korean peninsula nearby 500, Baltic – 5000, the North America – nearby 400, Europe – 550 Kazakhs etc. Here on the bank of the seas and world oceans, representatives of the Kazakh diaspora have possibility to meet the contemporaries from all world regions to realize that all people have one purpose-world and prosperity.

Thanks to genes of a nomadic civilization Kazakhs successfully adapt in any country of the world. Nevertheless they always were and remain ethnic minority, i.e. practically have no real political importance in the residing country.

Studying of a condition of the Kazakh diaspora at the present stage is closely connected with diasporas of Kazakhstan. 139 diasporas live and work in Kazakhstan, including the Korean diaspora (total number 105 thousand Koreans).

As the professor R.Absattarov marks: «Diaspora of Kazakhstan feel and should feel themselves as at home: in any place of republic – that, it is possible to tell, the higher and an ultimate goal of our democratic state at work in the field of harmonization of interethnic relations. Now it is important, that decisions of diaspora, national question promoted also to rallying of representatives of the different people in one friendly family, the main aspiration which would become national progress of new Kazakhstan in system of civilize world community».

As we see, diasporas are not only objects of scientific researches and are studied not only in a historical retrospective but also they represent realities of modern societies which the state can't ignore.

In summary it is necessary to point that diasporas are formed as a result of migrations and consequently the reasons of their occurrence can be revealed, only having addressed to the country history of their origin. At the same time, in process of formation and development, the history of diasporas is gradually connected in history of the country which have accepted them, becomes a component of this history. Thus, diasporas connect  stories of the different countries. Through diasporas there is an interethnic and intercultural interaction both within the limits of the certain state, and at interstate level.


  1. Мендикулова Г.М. Исторические судьбы казахской диаспоры. Происхождение и развитие. – Алматы,
  2. Мендикулова Г.М. Актуальные проблемы диаспорологии в Казахстане // Отан тарихы. –
  3. Козыбаев М.К., Абылхожин Ж.Б., Алдажуманов К.С. Коллективизация в Казахстане: трагедия крестьянства. Алма-Ата, – 476 с.
  4. Мендикулова Г.М. Казахская ирредента в России (история и современность) // Евразийское сообщество, N 8; и мн. др.
  5. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1926 г. – М., Т.8, отд.1.
  6. Козыбаев М.К. История и современность. – Алма-Ата, – 353 с.
  7. Бенсон Л. и Сванберг И. Казахи Китая \\ Казахская диаспора. – Алматы, – 217 с. 
Year: 2012
City: Almaty
Category: Sociology