Kazakhstan’s South Kazakhstan Province’s name was changed as Turkestan Province and Shymkent gained the status of being Metropolitan City.
President of Kazakhstan Nazarbayev signed the decree related to “some of the governmental and regional structural issues of Kazakhstan” issued to give Symkent, the province center of South Kazakhstan, the status of being metropolitan city, to change the name of the province as Turkestan and to move the province center to Turkestan city.
With the decree signed on 19 June 2018, the name of South Turkestan province was changed as Turkestan and the administrative center of the province was moved from Shymkent city to Turkestan city. Upon the latest changes, the cities of Sayram, Kentau, Arys, Shardara, Jetisay, Saryagash and Lenger were annexed to Turkestan province.
At the speech he made here, Nazarbayev pointed out that Syhmkent, with a population of more than 1 million individuals, was given the status of being metropolitan city and added, “The center of Turkestan province will be the city of Turkestan, which is the political and spiritual heart of Kazakh Khanate and all Turkish World for centuries.”
City of Turkestan
According to the historical records established in 4th century as “Yesi”, Turkestan is known as the birth place and residence of Hodja Ahmad Yasawi. Yasawi Tomb, which is the first historical artefact of Kazakhstan included into UNESCO World Heritage List built by Timur in 14th century, is one of the outstanding magnificent constructions of the city. It had been renewed by Turkey with the restoration started in 1993. The city is also home to Ahmad Yasawi Turkish-Kazakh University founded in 1992.