Revival of cultural heritage

The international forum titled ‘Revival of Identity and Cultural Heritage: the Turkish Language from Past to Future’ took place at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Experts, scientists, diplomats, representatives of culture and the public of 20 countries took part in the forum. The event was opened with a welcoming speech of President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. Kazakh Ambassador to France and Kazakhstan’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO Zhan Galiyev read the speech of President Nazarbayev. According to the speech, as the descendants of the Turkic people, Kazakhstan made an invaluable contribution to the world’s civilization.


 - The President's article " The Course towards Future: Modernization of Kazakhstan’s Identity" has received wide support not only in Kazakhstan, but throughout the Turkic world. Today, we are studying the runic inscriptions on the Kultegin monument of the 8th century. 125 years ago, Danish scientist William Thomson was able to read and confirmed that the inscriptions were of the Turkic origin. According to the President’s article, this indicates that our ancestors had a written language, culture and developed civilization. 

Development of the Arabic-Bashkir script as well as preservation of the Karluk, Altai, Tuvan, Gagauz and Karaim languages were also discussed in the conference. Moreover, the works of Magzhan Zhumabayev and Chingiz Aitmatov were highlighted as important to the Turkic world in the forum. Representatives of the International Turkic Academy announced 2018 as the year of Magzhan Zhumabayev and Chingiz Aitmatov.


 - I have started writing about the work of Magzhan Zhumabayev since 1977 when I was doing my master’s degree at Columbia University. Then I translated his poem "Turkestan” to English. Today, the Turkic Academy has published a collection of 16 poems which I translated to English. In the next two years, I plan to translate another 40 of Magzhan Zhumabayev’s poems.


I believe that Magzhan Zhumabaev is one of the most famous Kazakh poets. His creative heritage is very important not only for Kazakhs, but for all Turkic people.


- His works are very similar to the works of Bashkir poet Shaikhzada Babich. I translated his poem into Bashkir. He significantly contributed to the Kazakh literature.

The representatives of the International Turkic Academy announced plans to launch the ‘100 persons of the Turkic world’ project. The forum participants also supported the Modernization of Kazakhstan’s Identity program. The participants said that the transition of the Kazakh language to the Latin alphabet will contribute to even closer relations of the Turkic people.