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tjir5-1_2e - The Colorful Revolution of Kyrgyzstan...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 5, No.1&2, Spring & Summer 2006 73 The ‘Colorful’ Revolution of Kyrgyzstan: Democratic Transition or Global Competition? Yilmaz Bingol* This paper aims to analyze the reasons behind the recent revolution of Kyrgyzstan. I will argue that explaining the revolution through just the rhetoric of “democracy and freedom” needs to be reassessed, as comparing with its geo-cultural environment; Kyrgyzstan had been the most democratic of Central Asian republics. Thus, the paper argues that global competition between US and China-Russia should seriously be taken under consideration as a landmark reason behind the Kyrgyz revolution. The “Rose Revolution” in Georgia and the “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine followed by yet another “colorful” revolution in Kyrgyzstan in the March of 2005. A group of opposition who were dissatisfied with the result of the Parliamentary Election taken place on February 27 th and March 13 th of 2005 upraised against incumbent regime of Askar Akayev. Accusing the incumbent regime with the felony and asking for more democracy and freedom, the opposition took over Akayev from the power and closed the last stage of the colorful revolution of Kyrgyzstan on March 24-25, 2005. Common characteristics of all these colorful revolutionist were that they all used rhetoric of “democracy and freedom,” and that they were all pro-western especially pro-American. It seems that it has become a tradition in the West to call such revolutions with the colorful names. This tradition may trace back to Samuel Huntington’s famous “third wave democracy” which was started with “Carnation Revolution” of Portugal in 1974. As Western politicians and academicians have often used such “colorful” names for post-communist and post-Soviet cases since then, they must have regarded these revolutions as the extension of what Huntington has called the “third wave”.
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 5, No.1&2, Spring & Summer 2006 74 Although the colorful revolution of Kyrgyzstan had a lot in common with those of Georgia and Ukraine, it was in some extent more colorful then the others. First, while the Western media has immediately found sole names for Georgian and Ukrainian revolutions, “orange” and “rose” respectively, they have yet to decide on several “colorful” names for the Kyrgyz revolution. It was first named “tulip,” then, “yellow,” and finally “lemon” revolution. With regard to the number of the leaders leading the revolution, Kyrgyz revolution was again more “colorful.” While Mikhail Saakashvili in Georgia and Viktor Yushenko in Ukraine were the sole leaders in their respective republics, the number of leaders in the Kyrgyz revolution was at least four: Former Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiev, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Roza Otunbayeva, former National Security Advisor Feliks Kulov, and former MP Azimbek Beknazarov.
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