The word “Tupakistani” has been banned from using in the media and in the name of the nation, the government of Kyrgyzstan announced on Tuesday.
The decision follows complaints from some Kyrgyzh media outlets that they used the term incorrectly and “totally misrepresented” the country.
“The Government of Kyrgistan has banned the use of the word ‘Tupaksi’ in the press and the name ‘Kyrgyzstani Republic’,” the Kyrgyzan state news agency RIA Novosti quoted the ministry of health as saying.
“Kyrgashis, like other ethnic groups in Central Asia, use the traditional Kyrgyzi name for themselves and to commemorate our history and culture,” the statement added.
The government’s decision to ban the use and naming of the ethnic group comes as the United States, Russia and China have increased military presence in the region.
The Kyrgyza government has said it will not take part in a new round of military exercises until the end of the year, in which it hopes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.