Kazakh Printed Press Development in the Late 19th-early 20th Century
Seidulla Sadykov and Bekzhigit Serdali*
International Kazakh-Turkish University named after Khoja Ahmed Yasavi, Turkestan, Kazakstan
- *Corresponding Author:
- Serdali Kenzhebekuly
International Kazakh-Turkish University named after
Khoja Ahmed Yasavi,
Received Date: Jan 09, 2017; Accepted Date: Jan 20, 2017; Published Date: Jan 24, 2017
Copyright: © 2017 Sadykov S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License,
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The Republic of Kazakhstan was a colonial territory of the Russian Empire in the late 19th-early 20th century. Like many peoples, who were oppressed by metropolitan country, Kazakhs strived towards independence. In this regard, there was a new pro-opposition Kazakh intelligentsia formed under the bourgeois revolutions in Europe and committed to the spread of liberal ideas. In this term, they begin to create patriotic publications, which spread the ideas of social equality and independence. Thus, the purpose of this article is to consider the Kazakh printed press in the late 19th – early 20th century. This will enable to trace the socio-political sentiment of the time. The results show that the Kazakh printed press was under substantial censorship; its leaders were sent into exile. However, the revolutionary sentiments’ growth occurs the growth in printed press that cannot be stopped by authorities for any longer. They provided the idea of social change, transition from nomadism to agriculture. In the Soviet, there is an oppression of Kazakh printed press – the Communist Party creates a hard censorship regime. Despite the repression, the ideas provided in the press of that time had a significant influence on Kazakh state system formation.
Combating regime; Kazakh printed press;
National revival; Revolutionary publications; Spread of liberal
Ethnonym “Kazakh” in official documents of the Russian
empire and later of the Soviet power was not practically used.
More than two centuries the Kazakh ethnos was called as
“Kaisak”, “Kirgyz-kaisak”, “Kirgyz”. Meanwhile, in the 1th half of
the XIX century history, culture and traditions of Kazakhs were
studied by Russian scientists. One of them was a famous
historian and a public man A.E. Levshin, he had scientifically
based the ethnonym “Kazakh”. “Kirgyz-kaisak” or “kaisak” is a
twisted name of Kazakh people . Later, national Kazakh
young intelligent people fought for correct naming of Kazakh
people by means of the press . It is worth to say that there were not periodicals till the end of the XIX century. Only in the
last quarter of the XIX century a national journalism began its
formation with the assistance of the great Kazakh thinkers and
educators as Chokan Valikhanov, Ibrai Altinsaryn, Abai
Kunanbaev . It was also a time of the Kazakh democratic,
social and political journalism’s formation.
During this period, the Republic of Kazakhstan was a colonial
territory of the Russian Empire. In this regard, Kazakhs were
under forced political, social and economic changes [4,5]. The
growth in revolutionary sentiments created prerequisites for
national consciousness-raising and new intelligentsia . The
spread of patriotic ideas took place due to the printed press.
The Kazakh intelligentsia felt not only national movement of
the East, but also the influence of bourgeois revolutions in
Europe. This encouraged them to spread liberal ideas that
could not be combined with czarist regime .
Thus, the consideration of Kazakh printed press in late 19th-early
20th century will make it possible to assess Kazakhs’
social sentiments of the period.
Views on the Kazakh Printed Press at
the Turn of 19-20 Centuries
The efforts of the first Kazakh educators woke up Kazakh
people’s consciousness, made them to think about future,
The further growth of population and a number of educated
people, appearance of the first printed editions, post-offices
and telegraph gave a push to formation and development of
the national Kazakh journalism [8,9]. The Kazakh press had
appeared in the time of Turkistan land’s colonization by the
Russian empire. The appearance of the periodical editions in
the Great Steppe notwithstanding negative aspects of the
tsarist national policy was a result of the progressive influence
of Russian culture. Exactly that time in Tashkent, 1870 – 1882,
a newspaper “Turkistan Gazette” was edited with supplements
in Kazakh and Uzbek languages. Those supplements were
published four times a month – 2 in Kazakh, 2 in Uzbek. The
first edition of a supplement “Turkistan ualaytinin gazeti” was
published on the 28 of April, in 1870 in Tashkent .
Exactly this newspaper was the very first one printed in
Kazakh language, the appearance of the present Kazakh
journalism and publication was originated since them.
The segnificance of that newspaper was in the fact that it
regarded problems of social, economical and cultural spheres.
Initially they were published in Russion, as “Turkestanskie
vedomsti”, “Orenburgski listok”, “Kirgizkaya stepnaia gazeta”,
“Torgai” and others. Gradually they started publishing in
The progressive ideas of advanced people of the time
promoted education of Kazakhs, woke up their national self
Changes in the life of Kazakh ethnos caused the appearance
of the ideas of unity. By the beginning of the XX th century the
intelligent and educated people introduced a political power
which paid much attention to periodicals for influencing on
society and forming public opinion.
"Kazakh" newspaper came out in 1913-1918. The
publication was devoted to the issue of transition from
nomadism to agriculture, issues of equality, religion and
international relations . The newspaper circulation ranged
from 3 to 8 thousand copies.
Sometimes those processes were under a pressure of tsar
autocracy and its censorship. On the example of “Qazaq”
newspaper which appeared in 1907 we can see that the
edition defended the interests of Kazakhs interrelated with
common Russian interests with ideas of left sense.
The tsar government suspected the newspaper as a threat
of dissatisfaction with colonial policy, later it was closed . It
contributed into understanding the essence of national
consciousness  “Qazaq”, “Aikap” were authoritative
editions of the time, later most of the journalists became
prominent publicists writers and others who played a big role
in the identification of the Kazakh ethnos. Contacts with other
people caused changes of Kazakh’s lifestyle, their traditions
and customs, consequently, the general evolution of a national
character and culture of Kazakh people had undergone
changes. Advanced democratic ideas in Great steppe
supported to becoming a Kazakh national publicity and
journalism typically public [10,11]. February and October
event of 1917 in Russia influenced on the development of
press of Turkestan side. In new historical conditions numerous
editions presented different political powers, were looking for
ways of building a national government.
Representation of the Kazakh Printed
Press Under the Soviet Regime
For instance, newspaper “Birlik tui” founded by Mustafa
Chokai-ogly in June, 1917-April, 1918 was famous for
protessional authors as M.Dulatov, B.Mailin, S.Kojanov,
E.Sharmenov and others. The paper had protected national
interests of Kazakhs and proved ideas of national self
determination of people of Turkistan side.
Weekly newspaper “Alash” contained articles on the
problems of national self determination the authors of which
were Auezov, Aimautov. The paper called upon a creation of an
autonomy and struggle for independence according to law and
In 1917-1918, in Semipalatinsk, newspaper “Sary-Arka”
supervised by Gabbasow was issued. Its major topic was a
problem of formation of a Kazakh State system, formation the
Alash-Orda government. Bukeikhanov, Gabbasov and others
had consequently advocated the idea of self-prosperousness
of Kazakh ethnos for their national self-determination and
Once newspaper “Jas azamat” addressed to young
generation of Kazakhs, its 1st number was published in June
20, 1918 in Kyzyljar. Jumabaev, Dulatov and others in their
articles spoke about freedom and equal rights, young
generation’s tasks and objectives. 3 February, 1919 the
newspaper stopped its work. Those years the other national
Kazakh press began to appear, the Akmola “Tirshilik”, The
Orenburg “Kazakh muny”, June, 1917-April, 1918. However, a
matter of self-identification of Kazakh people was not
On the whole, the major parts of issued publication
supported a growth of the national self-identification .
They made all necessary premises for determination the
original name of ethnos – Kazakh – and it was accepted as a
governmental formation. Search for ways and methods of task
solvation had caused a remarkable reviving of press in Kazakh
language: editions grew in number, variety of genres, people’s
expectations and worries began to be spoken about .
In August, 1920 the Autonomous Kirgyz (Kazakh) soviet
socialist Republic was formed which was formed a part of
It was the first contemporary Kazakh national – state
formation. However that fact hadn’t solved the problem –
bearing’ their original name “Kazakh”. In the official document
the ethnonym “Kazakh” was used. In Russian transcription it
was written as “Kazakh” and “Kazakhstan” - for name of a
republic . Only in February, 1936 according to the
resolution of the Central Executive Committee of Kazakh ASSR
a Russian transcription was changed into “Kazakh” and
But it was early yet to accept a Kazakh ethnos as a nation,
besides, Kazakh’s self identification hadn’t been formed.
It was the time when Kazakh journalism became obedient
performer of the central state power’s decisions and willings;
they left behind the ideas of equality and justice. The
Communist Party’s policy of industrialization took into account
a growth in economical, social and cultural level. But the
peculiarities of historically formed lifestyle of people was not
taken into account The Communist Party ignored the fact that
society values could not exist out of a culture, national
subjectivity and national environment.
Bolsheviks’ plans of building socialism were realized
violently with the help of a strong ideological support. Press
had occupied a special place, the number of its editions grew
in number. In February, 1926, 20 newspapers were issued in
Kazakhstan, by 1933 number of them had grown more than 10
with 238 titles. Newspapers and magazines contained
headings as: “Pulse of five-year plan”, “Summary of operations
from the front of socialist constructions”, “News from the
constructions of new buildings”, “Kazakhstan’s contribution
into a five-year plan” and others. The articles under those
titles spoke about best workers and labourers of the time, the
authors of them were Mailin, Musirepov, Mukanov,
Tokmagambetov and others.
Newspapers of the republic as “Enbekshi Kazakh”, “Soviet
steppe”, “Jas Kairat”, “Enbek tui” in each of issue placed
materials of different jenres speaking about Turksib, The
Karaganda coal layer and others. It proves that newspapers did
not foresee and did not take into account the fact that all
these would lead to new social troubles in their life.
Even some supporters of changes were doubt about a need
for industrialization. Such opinions were in the magazine
“Bolshevik of Kazakhstan” - it was said that transaction “From
camel to socialism” is impossible, that nomadic lifestyle is a
peculiarity of Kazakh people, therefore the industrialization
would ruin its “National originality”  The other magazine
“Revolutionary East” said as follows – a Kazakh would never
work at a factory or a plant, because he is always attracted by
Collectivization of the agriculture which was realized
violently led to tragic and material losses. That fact caused
worries among the representatives of intelligence and workers
of the Party. Exactly, “A letter of five” written by Musirepov,
Gataulin, Dauletgaliev, Altynbekov, Kuanishev is a bright
example of it. Accordingly, press of Kazakhstan ecstatically
spoke about processes of changes and perspectives of the
Kazakh auls’ development ignoring real contradictions and
dissatisfaction among people. Particularly, the press reported
about a work uniting poverty and middle class, high results in
grain procurement, described how bai’s property was
Newspapers “Auil tili”, “Soviet steppe”, “Lenin’s successors”,
“New village”, “Red virgin soil” and others regularly informed
That period in Kazakhstan was marked with a culture
revolution which had liquidated ignorance, founded mass
education, began to develop national arts, theatre, literature
. The Pleiades of actors and actresses, artists, poets,
musicians, writers had appeared that time, it would be
impossible to imagine Kazakhstan’s contemporary
development of culture without them.
Newspaper “Kazakh adebieti” was issued, it played major
role in the spiritual development of the society. An intellectual
growth, literature and Arts development, formation of national
intelligence brought to growth of the national conscious.
A number of periodicals began to grow in number, therefore
mass media needed workers, specialists. In 1934, a Kazakh
Communist institute of journalism was opened for training
journalist for editorial staff of newspapers, magazines, radio,
informative agency of Kazakhstan. It allowed to uncrate a
number of periodicals: from low publications in large editions
to republican. On the whole, Kazakhstan’s press had
undergone a period of quantitative growth (especially at the
account of editions in Kazakh language).
In the second half of 1930-s the party soviet Kazakhstan
press had occupied the positions on the communistic ideology.
Thus, Kazakh journalism history resisted significant changes
due to unstable political situation at that time. In the early
20th century, the Kazakh printed press was under hard
censorship – no spread of liberal ideas, the printing press
publishes journals that are loyal to czarist regime, others are
closed by the authorities and the publishers are sent into exile.
However, the growth of revolutionary sentiments, which took
place in 1905-1914, occurs the increased national self-identity
of Kazakh people. There are created political parties, which
show pro-opposition ideas, and spontaneous rallies. The
publications are beginning to come out in Kazakh language
with manifesting calls for creation of their own independent
state. This period is characterized by a significant increase in
publications. After communists rise of power, Kazakhs
continued to defend their national interests, but this trend was
declining. The Bolsheviks established their monopoly on
educational institutions management, art and literature. The
literature was published under the control of the party. In the
future, this has led to independent media repression and
government-controlled press development, as well as massive
destruction of Kazakh intelligentsia formed in the
In general, for a short period of free press, the Kazakh
intelligentsia managed to spread ideas of national state, social
equality and freedom. In the Soviet period, these ideas were
persecuted as counter-revolutionary and fighters for
independence – repressed. The printed press largely helped to
preserve national identity, its leaders have created a
significant layer of Kazakh culture.
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