ABSTRACT

Boranbaia Beisembaiuly, depicted in 1996 in the Kazakhstani regional newspaper Panorama Shimkenta, is typical of an important class of ethnic Kazakhs. Along with his two wives and eight children, Beisembaiuly had decided to uproot from his “host-state,” Turkey, in order to return to his newly independent “kin-state,” the Republic of Kazakhstan. 1 Beisembaiuly’s decision, though, was not made unilaterally. Since Kazakhstan became independent almost by accident in December 1991, its leadership has actively sponsored the return of ethnic Kazakhs living beyond the frontiers of the new state. Unlike all other Soviet successor states, Kazakhstan adopted a wide-ranging policy designed to encourage the repatriation of selected ethnic Kazakh populations living abroad.