ASTANA, January 18 (RIA Novosti) – Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev has denied the country’s plans to abandon the Cyrillic script in favor of the Latin alphabet by 2025 are “politically motivated.”
“This move should not be viewed as a demonstration of Kazakhstan’s geopolitical preferences. We look toward multi-vector development and humanitarian and cultural contacts with all states,” Nazarbayev said at a meeting with diplomats in Astana on Friday.
Kazakhstan’s controversial plans to switch the national language to the Latin script are “determined by the need to develop the country’s language,” Nazarbayev said.
“I have set the task of turning the Kazakh culture into a well-recognized segment of the global cultural space,” he said.
The Kazakhstan government has been considering replacing Cyrillic with Latin as long ago as 2006, when it carried out a feasability study into the change. In December, Nazarbayev instructed his government to start preparation for transferring the national language to Latin script by 2025.
Kazakhstan has used the Cyrillic alphabet since 1940, when it was a Soviet republic. It replaced the Uniform Turkic Alphabet that had been used in the USSR from 1927 to 1940.
Kazakh-speakers in countries that use the Latin script also use a modified Latin alphabet based on the Turkish alphabet. Some Kazakhstan government websites are already available in both Latin and Cyrillic scripts.
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