Ala-Too Square

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Ala-Too Square, looking north.
Ala-Too Square, looking south.

Ala-Too Square (Kyrgyz: Ала-тоо аянты, [ɑlɑtoː ɑjɑntɯ́]; Russian: Площадь Ала-Тоо, [ˌploɕɕədʲ aləˈto]) is the central square in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The square was built in 1984 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Kyrgyz SSR, at which time a massive statue of Lenin was placed in the square's center.[1] The statue of Lenin was moved in 2003 to a smaller square in the city, and a new statue called Erkindik (Freedom) was installed in its place.

The square serves as a place for state events and celebrations. In 2008, it was the site of a memorial ceremony for world-renowned Kyrgyz writer Chinghiz Aitmatov.[2]

On March 24, 2005, the square was the site of the largest anti-government protest of Kyrgyzstan's Tulip Revolution. After several weeks of unrest throughout the country, over 15,000 people gathered early in the afternoon to protest the results of the 2005 parliamentary elections. Two people were killed and over 100 wounded when the protesters clashed with government officials.[3] However, the protesters soon took control of the square, and stormed the White House, forcing Askar Akayev, Kyrgyzstan's first president, to flee the country and later resign from office.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aslanbekova, Aisha (September 10, 2003). "Replacement of Lenin Statue Heats Up New Political Season in Kyrgyzstan". Central Asia Caucasus Institute Analyst. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  2. ^ "Central Asia: Mourners In Kyrgyz Capital Bid Farewell To Literary 'Giant' Aitmatov". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. June 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  3. ^ "Akayev Administration Collapses in Kyrgyzstan, Sending Tremors Across Central Asia". Eurasianet. March 24, 2005. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°52′35″N 74°36′14″E / 42.87639°N 74.60389°E / 42.87639; 74.60389