I'm having a very hard time finding sources on the history of Kazakhstan's name changes. My query began when I read this quote:
Have you ever wished you could change your name? In 1995, the people of Kazakstan did just that. Their republic used to be known as Kazakhstan. The "h" in Kazakhstan was added by Russians to make the name easier to pronounce in Russian.
Russians had a history of misnaming the Kazaks. When Russians first met the Kazaks, they wanted to avoid confusing them with the Cossacks, a southern Russian ethnic group. So Russians called the Kazaks the Kyrgyz (kihr GEEZ). Finally, they began calling the Kazaks Kazakhs and their country Kazakhstan. When the "h" was dropped in 1995, the Kazaks finally had a name for their country that finally reflected who they really were.
The above quote is from page 138 of Prentice Hall World Explorer: Asia and the Pacific (ISBN 0-13-062987-1)
The only other reference I could find to Kazakhstan changing its name was this one:
Kazakhstan, which has kept cartographers busy over the past few years by changing their name from Kazakhstan to Kazakstan and back again to Kazakhstan...
So the timeline is
- Russia introduces an "h" in Kazakhstan at some unknown time during its rule
- In 1995 after independence, the Kazakhs remove the "h"
- The Kazakhs re-introduce the "h" at some unknown time afterwards.
Are there any good sources that can answer these questions?
- Exactly when did each of the 3 name changes occur?
- What were the motivations behind each name change?
- Since the national language is Kazakh and Russian, why does it matter how it is spelled in English?
Even Wikipedia doesn't mention the "Kazakstan" spelling :(. Thanks in advance!