Politics, World

Organization of Turkic States offers support to protest-hit Kazakhstan

Members of organization highlight confidence in Kazakh authorities to peacefully defuse tensions in Central Asian nation

Burak Bir   | 06.01.2022
Organization of Turkic States offers support to protest-hit Kazakhstan Security forces increase measures around the Presidential Palace as Kazakhstan declared a state of emergency after protests against fuel price increase spread across the country in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan on January 5, 2022.

ANKARA

Members of the Organization of Turkic States on Thursday expressed their readiness to support Kazakhstan amid nationwide protests.

Emphasizing the importance of peace and stability, the organization expressed its strong solidarity with its member country, Kazakhstan, it said in a statement.

"(The organization) state their confidence in the capacity of the Kazakh authorities to peacefully defuse tensions and reestablish calm and order," it added.

Voicing trust "in the wisdom and desire of the brotherly Kazakh people," to return to normalcy, it also conveyed its condolences for those who lost their lives during the incidents and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.

Situation in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan's Interior Ministry announced on Wednesday that more than 200 people were detained for disrupting public order during demonstrations that erupted across the country Tuesday.

The ministry said 37 police vehicles had been damaged, 95 officers injured, and one car torched during the protests.

Police remain deployed on the streets of Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city, where massive rallies were held.

Holding the government responsible for the protests launched against a recent hike in LPG prices, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Wednesday approved the resignation of premier Askar Mamin and his ministers.

As protests spread across the country, Tokayev declared a state of emergency in the city of Almaty and the oil-rich Mangystau region in the west from Jan. 5-19 to maintain public security. He also imposed a curfew in Almaty, the country’s former capital, where thousands of people had taken to the streets.

While police used stun grenades and teargas to disperse the protesters, they responded with stones. Clashes were also reported between the police and demonstrators.

The government has also restricted access to social media applications, including Facebook and Telegram.

The protests broke out on Jan. 2 when drivers held demonstrations against an increase in LPG prices in the city of Zhanaozen in Mangystau, which later spread to Aktau city.

Supportive protests in the western cities of Atyrau, Aktobe, and Oral, where the country’s petroleum and natural gas reserves are located, spread to other areas of Kazakhstan to turn into countrywide public demonstrations.

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