The politician first wrote about this in his memoirs.
Former President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev spoke about having a second family. The confession was published in the politician’s memoirs, Orda reports.
According to Nazarbayev, he met his second wife Asel Isabaeyva in the late 1990s. He first saw her during a trip to Taldykorgan: she was among those who met him at the plane's ramp. “The girl who gave me flowers at the airport was stunningly beautiful. I remembered for a long time and then often remembered the fair-faced beauty with a flaming look and an elegant, chiseled figure,” Nazarbayev wrote.
Then he read in the newspaper that Isabaeva won the Grand Prix at the Miss Kazakhstan competition and decided to find her. This happened in 1999, at that time she was 19 years old, and he was 59. According to Nazarbayev, “in both the appearance and thoughts” of the girl, he “saw many qualities that he was looking for, and most importantly, he got rid of the mental loneliness he had been suffering from for many years."
As a result, they entered into a marriage “according to Muslim custom.” According to media reports, the current President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who was one of four witnesses, was also present at the ceremony.
Isabayeva gave birth to two sons for Nazarbayev: Tauman in 2005 and Baiken in 2008. After the birth of his first son, Nazarbayev decided to tell his official wife Sarah, whom he married in 1962, about everything. Nazarbayev claims that she “understood and forgave” him. In his memoirs, he writes that he is grateful to Sarah, who is the mother of his three daughters Dariga, Dinara and Aliya, for the fact that she “was there during the hours of the most difficult trials.”
“That's it, friends. I have laid out the whole truth before you. What you say to this is up to you. That's life. There is one irrefutable truth. The truth is that you cannot give orders to your heart,” Nazarbayev concluded.
Subsequently, Asel Isabayeva changed her last name to Kurmanbayeva. She founded the Foundation for the Development of Ballet and National Dance and the Foundation for the Support and Development of Rhythmic Gymnastics of Kazakhstan. Currently he is the artistic director of the Astana Ballet Theater. Her name appears in the Pandora Archive investigation into offshore schemes. It says Isabaeva received $30 million from a company owned by the family of Vladimir Ni, who was her husband's trusted assistant.
Former akim of Almaty Viktor Khrapunov and Nazarbayev’s former son-in-law, the late Rakhat Aliyev, claimed that the politician also has a third wife, Gulnara Rakisheva, who met the head of state when she worked as a flight attendant for Berkut, a special air squad of the President of Kazakhstan.
Aliyev said that the relationship between the flight attendant and Nazarbayev “was especially close in 1996” — at that time she was 26 years old. As a result, Rakisheva became vice president of Air Astana, and her father became deputy minister of defense for logistics. She later founded several companies. Among them is the Sergio Group, which sells furniture and tableware from foreign brands; its annual income is 4-6 billion tenge.