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Astana. Residence of goverment

Astana. New capital of Kazakhstan.
Palace of Kazakh President
Astana formerly known as Akmola (Kazakh: Ақмола / Aqmola, until 1998), Tselinograd (Russian: Целиноград, until 1992) and Akmolinsk (Russian: Акмолинск, until 1961), is the capital and second largest city (after Almaty) of Kazakhstan, with an officially estimated population of 708,794 as of 1 August 2010.[1] It is located in the north-central portion of Kazakhstan, within Akmola Province, though administrated separately from the province as a federal city area.

The current mayor of Astana is Imangali Tasmagambetov. He was appointed on 4 April 2008.

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The word Astana in Kazakh literally means Capital but the word itself originates from Persian Astane (Persian: آستانه means Threshold, border point) (Astana, from the verb Istadan (آستان) to stand (in respect)), and literally means "threshold" (royal or sacred, where people stand in respect or awe),[citation needed] implying where the court is seated (the capital city) or the body of a sacred person is interred (a shrine town). The city of Turkistan in Kazakhstan that hosts the body of the saint Ahmad Yasavi is also called the "astana" as is the city of Mashhad in Iran that is the burial place of the 8th Shiite Imam Reza. In fact, long before becoming the new capital of Kazakhstan, the city was "an astana," a burial ground of a saint, hence the old name of the city, Ak Mola (Ақмола), "white mausoleum."

In June 2008, a parliamentary proposal was put forward to change the city's name to "Nursultan," in honor of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The idea was rejected by Nazarbayev himself, who said the decision of renaming the city will be for future generations.[3] Despite this,[4] some commentators think that the generic name Astana was deliberately chosen so that it would be renamed in honour of Nazarbayev after his death.
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