ASTANA – Relocation of a regional centre from Shymkent to Turkestan is a difficult process in every respect, said Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev during a meeting at the Akorda presidential residence focusing on Turkestan’s development.
Nazarbayev declared the establishment of the Turkestan region June 19, when he changed the status of Shymkent city, previously centre of the South Kazakhstan region, to a city of “national significance” joining Astana and Almaty. The administrative centre was then relocated to Turkestan, a city 150 kilometres north of Shymkent.
“Everyone knows that a new region, Turkestan region, was established in our country. I believe this was a right decision. The regional centre is being relocated to Turkestan and this is a challenging process in all aspects,” said the President.
He noted a special historical and spiritual significance of the city for Kazakhstan and the entire Turkic world. Turkestan, revered among Muslim pilgrims, boasts more than 1,500 years of rich history with numerous cultural and sacred sites preserved to this day.
“This is a sacred place for all Turkic people, that is why many people come to visit it. Many famous people are buried here,” he said.
Also at the Akorda meeting, First Deputy Prime Minister Askar Mamin and Turkestan region Akim (Governor) Zhanseit Tuimebayev reported on the territorial development of the city and the progress of the relocation of administrative bodies to Turkestan.