Lebensraum

by Nathan Hamm on 10/29/2004 · 2 comments

There could be lots of extra space in Tashkent in the near future…

EurasiaNet reports an Tashkent’s ongoing chistka (clean-up operation), the expulsion of all unofficial residents, of which there are perhaps 1 million, from the capital.

So far, more than 3,700 people have been expelled under the order, according to Tashkent police and government sources. Roughly 1,300 people, including highly qualified physicians, zoologists, teachers, and specialists in other fields, are said to have lost their jobs because of the ruling. That number is expected to increase in the coming months.

For those unfamiliar with how residency works in Uzbekistan, the government still uses the Soviet propiska system. Citizens have an official place of residence that can be difficult to officially change, especially when moving to Tashkent. Like in much of the developing world though, the capital is the place to be.

Rural Uzbeks who come to Tashkent in search of work often pay a significant portion of their earnings in bribes to the police and various government officials to be allowed to live in the capital. Temporary residence permits can be purchased for $40-$70. A permanent propiska for Tashkent requires greater resources, anywhere from $300 to $1,000, or roughly 25 to 75 percent of an Uzbek’s average annual income.

EurasiaNet notes that the United States is officially opposed to the propiska system.


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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 1 comment }

Tim Newman October 30, 2004 at 4:14 am

It is chilling to see that there still are parts of the world that actively deny rights that we Americans would consider so fundamental that we donâ??t even think about them.

Such as the right to leave your city or even buy a train ticket without having to show your passport?

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