Turkey's president on Thursday highlighted his country's shared cultural values with Kyrgyzstan, saying their mutual writers, poets, and intellectuals guided the nation "to resurrection and ascension."
"Our writers, poets and intellectuals, who process our treasure of civilization and culture that we have, guide us to resurrection and ascension," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday at the closing ceremony of the Chingiz Aitmatov International 4th Issyk-Lake Forum, held at the Bestepe National Congress and Culture Center in the capital Ankara.
Sadyr Japarov, the president of Kyrgyzstan, also attended the event.
Erdogan hailed Aitmatov and the ancient Epic of Manas as two unique literary "jewels" brought to the world by Kyrgyz people.
Noting that the Epic of Manas "has the distinction of being the longest text in the world in its field," he said Aitmatov, as the second jewel, is now one of the most important writers in world literature and a national hero in Kyrgyzstan.
"With his works printed in the tens of millions and translated into almost every common language, Aitmatov introduced Kyrgyz culture to all humanity with its lands, steppes, mountains, lakes and rivers where he was born and lived," he underlined.
"We see Aitmatov as our common value," said Erdogan, adding that despite speaking to a difficult geography, he did not give in to despair. He showed ways to overcome them, even when expressing the most painful troubles."
Erdogan said in his speech that one of the remarkable concepts that Aitmatov gave both world literature and political history was that of the "mankurt."
Mankurt is a term that Aitmatov uses for an unthinking slave in his novel The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years.
"It means alienation and even enmity of a person to oneself, one's family, society, nation, history, culture, in short, everything that one previously owned and belonged to, actually means slavery," said the Turkish president.
"To the extent that we can save our geography from mankurts, we believe that we can all look to our future with confidence and approach our goals quickly."
High-Level Strategic Council
Japarov arrived in Turkey on Wednesday on a three-day official visit -- his first visit to the country as Kyrgyzstan's president after taking office at the beginning of this year.
On the first day of the visit, Erdogan said Japarov and his delegation had held very fruitful and friendly talks at the 5th meeting of the High-Level Strategic Council, recalling that they had agreed on steps they would take in many areas, such as politics, the economy, security, counterterrorism, culture and education.
"We are pleased to see that we share the same feeling with our Kyrgyz friends that our bilateral relations have reached the level they deserve. As Presidents, we are committed to supporting every step that will strengthen the bonds of friendship and brotherhood between our countries," he had stated.
*Writing by Merve Berker
Source : https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkish-leader-hails-shared-cultural-values-with-kyrgyzstan/2269938521