By ELENA KOSOLAPOVA
Baku, Azerbaijan (Jan. 9) – One of the US leading newspapers, The New York Times, has recently published an article mentioning a Central Asian country called “Kyrbekistan.”
Later, the newspaper’s editorial staff apologized for the error, explaining that the matter rested in Kyrgyzstan.
Of course, everybody can make typos, even journalists of such an authoritative newspaper as The New York Times.
However, this is not the first time when the US has made a mistake with the name of Kyrgyzstan. While delivering a patriotic speech at a university of the country in 2013 on his first official foreign tour, US Secretary of State John Kerry was proudly talking about “brave US representatives’ support for democratic changes in ‘Kyrzahstan’.”
Moreover, he said that it will take a long time for “Kyrzahstan” to pass to democracy.
The journalists, as well as the Central Asian countries, combined all together in one title, could understand that “Kyrzahstan” means Kyrgyzstan only after the State Department issued Kerry’s speech with the correct transcription.
Given the systemic nature of such mistakes, I dare to suggest that they are not caused by typos or slip of the tongue, but the elementary unawareness of the country and its location.
US politicians had problems with geography before as well. For instance, former US President George W. Bush confused Austria with Australia, Iran with Iraq and several times astounded the world by being unaware of the location of many other countries.
On the other hand, it is not a crime to be unaware of Kyrgyzstan, all the more so for the people who are in the other hemisphere. Not everybody in Azerbaijan is aware of such small countries as Saint Kitts and Nevis, Tuvalu, Nauru, Niue and several others as well. In the long run, Kyrgyzstan is not the most important player in the world policy and economy.
Nevertheless, the US officials and media talk profusely about the problems with democracy in the countries while not always being aware of their right name, accuse the governments of these countries of all mortal sins and teach them how to live rightly. That is quite a different issue.
US officials and media make statements, which are very far from reality, not only in respect of Kyrgyzstan.
Many countries, including Azerbaijan, are subject to the attacks. Critical materials are published, US politicians talk about some violations of human rights and freedoms.
And, as a rule, all this is done by people who have a very vague idea about Azerbaijan, have never been here, have never seen positive changes happened in the country in recent years, and if they talked to someone here, it was only to a couple or two extreme oppositionists who deliberately described the far from reality picture.
And vice versa, the people who have ever been to Azerbaijan, and especially those who worked and lived here, as a rule, speak very well about the country.
So maybe it is worth for the US officials and reporters to at least get a little familiar with the real situation in the country, before talking about the problems with democracy in Azerbaijan? It’s most likely that these problems will turn out to be as fictional as the country called Kyrbekistan.
Source: Trend News Agency,
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