Turkistan: Cultural Capital of the Turkic World 2017
As one of the important items of the agenda of the 34th Term Meeting of the Permanent Council of TURKSOY, the vote regarding the city to bear the title of Cultural Capital of the Turkic World 2017 took place during the meeting in Sheki.
Upon unanimous vote of participants attending the meeting held in Sheki, the Cultural Capital of the Turkic World 2016, the city of Turkistan in Kazakhstan was selected as Cultural Capital of the Turkic World 2017.
TURKSOY Secretary General Dusen Kasseinov who delivered a speech after the vote, stressed that the 25th anniversary of the independence of Turkic republics is being joyfully celebrated with various events worldwide. Mr. Kasseinov further said: "Turkic republics have ever since based their own sovereignty and independent states upon culture and their mutual cooperation also aims at the preservation and promotion of their culture. One of the most concrete proof thereof is the fact that TURKSOY is the first organization of multilateral cooperation established by Turkic republics. The 25 years of independence is a period of revival of our member countries' national culture, traditions and own values. I wish that the years to come will be just as beneficial, fruitful and successful as the past 25 years. I would like to extend my gratitude to the host of our meeting Mr. Ebulfes Garayev who is also our Term Coordinator and I wish success to Turkistan which has been declared Cultural Capital of the Turkic World 2017. Our cities which are selected as Cultural Capitals of the Turkic World are not just ordinary cities. Until today, this title has been born by Astana, Eskisehir, Kazan, Merv and Sheki. All these cities stand for the identity of the Turkic World and are symbols of peace, brotherhood and tolerance which have been inspiring us for centuries. These cities may bear the title of cultural capital for one year only, but as long as they exist, they will always be cultural centers which bring the Turkic World together and guide us.’’ Mr. Kasseinov ended his speech expressing his wishes of fruitfulness and success as to the 34th Term Meeting of the Permanent Council of TURKSOY.
The city of Turkistan is refered to as "Yesi" in historical records. It was established in the 4th Century. This city which is also the birthplace of the great philosopher of the Turkic World Khoja Akhmet Yassawi who lived there until his death. One of the most important places of the city is the Khoja Akhmet Yassawi Shrine which was included in the List of World Heritage of UNESCO. The shrine was built upon request of Emir Timur in the 14th century and has ever since then been a monument of great importance for the Turkic World.
The city which also hosts the Kazak Turkish Khoja Akhmet Yassawi University founded in 1992, has also been a rising star of the Turkic World thanks to its contribution to the thriving economy of Kazakhstan as a symbol of modernization and urbanization. Turkestan which is also an important city of the historical Silkroad will be the meeting point of artists and scholars of the Turkic World throughout the year.
TURKSOY had started declaring one city of the Turkic World as its Cultural Capital in 2012. The first city to have born this title was the city of Astana in Kazakhstan. Later on this title was awarded to Eskisehir in 2013 followed by Kazan located in the Autonomous Republic of Tatarstan in 2014, the city of Merv in Turkmenistan in 2015 and the city of Sheki in Azerbaijan in 2016.