30th anniversary of the Comparative Dictionary of Turkic Dialects

TÜRKSOY
Tuesday, 13 July 2021

A special session dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Comparative Dictionary of Turkic Dialects  published by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey in1991 was held at the “International Symposium on the History of Turkish language as a written language in Anatolia”.

The “International Symposium on the History of Turkish language as a written language in Anatolia” dedicated to the 700th anniversary of the passing away of Yunus Emre was held under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Turkey  and took place in cooperation of  TURKSOY with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Ataturk Higher Institution of Culture Language and History  and the Turkish Language Institution featured a special session on the “30th Anniversary of the Comparative Dictionary of Turkic Dialects and Turcology in the Turkic World”.

In the opening speech he delivered at the beginning of  the session the Chairman of the Turkish Language Institution Prof. Dr. Gürer Gülsevin stressed that this dictionary prepared upon initiative of Mr. Namık Kemal Zeybek who was then the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Turkey  was published after months of zealous work and efforts by 9 scholars of the Turkic World is  the first of its kind and, hence, a major contribution to the development of Turkish language.

Mr. Gürsevin who also said that this year is an important one as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the independence of Turkic republics  and that within the 30 years elapsed, many changes and evolutions have occurred stressed that: “Organizations of the Turkic World were established in the fields of economy and music amongst others and various projects were launched in this respect. One of these projects was the Comparative Dictionary of Turkic Dialects which was published upon initiative of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Turkey  in the last days of the USSR and was the first work produced in joint cooperation of Turkic peoples. This dictionary which was published in 1991 and I would like to express my gratitude to the Secretary General of TURKSOY Prof. Kasseinov for having suggested to organize this meeting gathering the team which wrote and edited this dictionary on the 30th aniversary of its publication. On the same day of this suggestion of his, we had agreed upon holding this meeting in cooperation of  TURKSOY with the Turkish Language Institution.”

TURKSOY Secretary General Kasseinov who congratulated Turkic republics on the 30th anniversary of their independence  said that Turkic republics have reached major achievements in the revival of their culture as well as the formation and strengthening of their national identity.

Secretary General Kasseinov further added:  “One of the best examples of this success is the fact that we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the publication of this dictionary of Turkic Dialects. Indeed, besides being the first one of its kind in terms of linguistics, I must admit that it is also the basis of path leading to the integration of our peoples. This work also shows how rich our cultural heritage is as it spreads over a wide and large territory in Eurasia where there is a large population speaking different Turkic dialects. Those who were in leading positions 30 years ago and contributed to the publication of this work as well as all our distinguished scholars attach greatest importance to cultural unity and consider variety as a blessing and richness.”

On the occasion of the above-mentioned session, scholars of the Turkic World who had come together 30 years ago to prepare the Comparative Dictionary of Turkic Dialects under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture 30 years ago  have come together once again in Ankara 30 years later.  The session which was moderated by Prof. Dr. Ahmet B. Ercilasun who prepared the Turkish version of the dictionary gathered Prof. Dr. Berdak Yusuf who prepared its Uzbek version, Prof. Dr. Erden Kajıbek who prepared its Kazak version, Prof. Dr. Kadırali Konkobayev who prepared its Kyrgyz version, Prof. Dr. Nizami Caferov who represented  the late Prof. Dr. Alaeddin Aliyev who prepared the Azerbaijani version thereof and Prof. Dr. Valeriy Uyguroğlu Mahpir  who prepared the Uyghur version of it. Participants of the session who said that this dictionary had brought together Turkic scholars who gathered despite challenging circumstances prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union and that, as such, it did not only  play a pioneer role for academic activities carried out afterwards in the Turkic World but also made unique contributions to the rapprochement of our countries as well as to the linguistic integration of our peoples.

The session ended with the handing over of plaquettes especially dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the publication of the Comparative Dictionary of Turkic Dialects  by TURKSOY to all those who contributed thereto.