Posted on


Mr. Güngör, could you briefly talk about your education and academy life?

I was born in 1967 in Alaca, Çorum. I completed my primary, secondary and high school education in Sungurlu district of Çorum. I graduated from Gazi Faculty of Education, Department of Arabic Language Teaching in 1990. In 1991, I completed my military service as a short term.

I started working at Ankara University Turkish Teaching Center (AÜ TÖMER) in 1992. In the meantime, I gave Turkish lessons in Samsun and Gaziantep to students from the Turkish world (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and the Mukhtar Republics of the Soviet Union).Then I worked in Almaty and in the following period at Manas University from 1998 to 2009. As well as being Turkish language coordinator, I gave inter-dialect (Kyrgyz-Turkish, Turkish-Kyrgyz) translation lessons in the department of translation and interpretation at the School of Foreign Languages for about six years.

After returning to Turkey, I was appointed as a founding faculty member to the Department of Turkish Language and Literature at Sinop University Faculty of Science and Letters in 2009. In 2012, I left Sinop University and started working at Giresun University, Faculty of Science and Letters, Department of Turkish Language and Literature. Here, I was the director of the GRÜ TÖMER of the university. I organized a 150-hour course on Teaching Turkish to Foreigners for our students who graduated from the Turkish Language and Literature Department and Turkish Teaching Department. Currently, lessons are continuing at the GRÜ TÖMER of Giresun University with about ten Turkish instructors.

I worked as the Dean of Kentav Preparatory Faculty of International Ahmet Yesevi Turkish-Kazakh University for three years (2016-2019). During the time we worked, I was awarded an academic title (2017) by the Kazakhstan International İnformatization Academy, IIABoard and a professorship title by Regional Social – Innovational University in Shymkent. Also, I was awarded the title of professor with number 71 protocol decision by Kyrgyzstan İ. Arabaev Kyrgyz State Pedagogical University Senate (2018).

We have been working on Kazakh poets and writers at Ankara University AÜ TÖMER since 1992. We published the Turkish Dialects and Literature Magazine, and among these magazines our first issue was Manas special edition. The second special issue was on Abay. I think we have done the first studies on Kazakh literature. Undoubtedly, Yavuz Akpınar and Turan Yazgan have great efforts in this field. “Turkic World” magazine and “Sibling Literatures” filled a big gap in this field. In all of these, we also published the special issues of Jambil Jabaev and Muhtar Awezov on Kazakh literature afterwards. These were followed by the special issues of Mahtumkulu, Ali Şir Nevai and Bahtiyar Vahapzade. I am grateful to the head of Ankara University AÜ TÖMER, Mehmet Hengirmen, for the publication of these issues. Without his support, we would not have been able to do these studies.

You translated the novel “Abay Yolu” by Muhtar Awezov into Turkish. Can you tell the story of this translation?

This was a volunteer work. Nobody told us to do this work. During our literary chats we had with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zeyneş İsmail, who works at Ankara University AÜ TÖMER, the idea of turning “Abay Road” novel into Turkish was born. Firstly, we read it several times from the beginning to the end. First of all, I have to express that we understood that we have faced with a rich vocabulary. Aside from not being familiar with Kazakh literature and culture, we faced a novel that is even hard to be perceived by an ordinary Kazakh citizen. Language richness in the novel, style in expression, idioms, proverbs, culture, diplomacy between Kazakh tribes, politics… In other words, when we read the novel “Abay Yolu”, the history of the huge Hun, Göktürk, Kazakh Khanates and Steppe Turks pass in front of our eyes like a film strip. With their army, nomad camps, feast tradition, kumys, qopuz, dombra… Therefore, imagine that you are sailing in a vast cultural ocean by a boat or a ship. The success of your trip depends on your captainship and your ship.

The four-volume novel made us very excited but also exhausted. We worked on two of the volumes day and night and also focused on their stories. Cetim “Orphan”, “Korgansızdın küni” (Day of the Unprotected Ones’) are the stories that impressed me the most. The story of “Karaş Karaş Okığası”, which was transferred to the movie screen with the Kyrgyz Director Bolot Shamsheev and the wonderful play of Süymonkul Çokmorov, is an excellent masterpiece that should be handled and evaluated separately.

If we go back to “Abay Road”, Muhtar Awezov’s novel “Abay Road” tells about the life of Abay İbrahim Kunanbaev, the great poet of Kazakhs. In addition to being a great poet, Abay is an intellectual person. His father is a classic steppe gentleman. The work tells about Abay’s own tribe and lineage, as well as the tough struggle of all Kazakhs in the way of education and training and in the way of creating an enlightened society, and his loneliness in this cause. Avezov immortalizes Abay in the novel. While he immortalizes Abay, he also immortalizes Kazakh and himself.

The language of the work is Kazakh. M. Avezov knew Russian perfectly. Undoubtedly, he would have come to a different position in world literature if he had written his work in Russian but he insisted on Kazakh. This insistence was reasonable and extremely important justification. Awezov said: “I will write this novel in Kazakh and one day I will migrate from this world like every mortal. Even if there is no Kazakh in the world, the culture, language, literature and art of Kazak will always exist with this work. “I think he wrote this immortal work with this claim. This is also a challenge to world literature. The novel “Abay Road” with its language richness, theme, style and its message in deep structure instills the hope of “trust” and “struggle” to the next generations of Kazakhs and keeps the nation spirit alive at every ground and time.

In terms of language, literature, style and culture, M. Awezov is rich not only with the “Abay Road” but also with his stories. He is a literary man, folklorist, researcher, philosopher, journalist, play writer… It is impossible to be surprised at how such a person educated himself and how he raised him in the steppe! But, undoubtedly, he has a Tashkent and Moscow process in his education life. It is necessary to underline this. The university in Tashkent was a great opportunity for the education of young people of Uzbek, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Turkmen at that time… Whatever Baku is, so is Tashkent. There is also a process in Moscow after having an education there. It should be overemphasised here that this education process has made great contributions to Awezov. Kyrgyz philologist, writer Beyşebay Usubaliyev: “God gave the eighteenth century in the literature to the French. He gave the beginning of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to the Russians either.” he expresses. Victor Hugo, Balzac, J.J.Rousseau and then Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Pushkin… Kazakh-Kyrgyz literature should also be evaluated in line with French-Russian literature. I especially want to draw their attention of academicians and academician candidates who does studies or will do studies in the field of language and literature in Turkey to this point. We need comparative literature studies very much.

You have worked on teaching Turkish for many years. Can you tell us about your experiences in this field?

Are there any differences in methods between “mother tongue” and teaching mother tongue as a foreign language? If so, how can we put forward these concretely? What features should be sought in the teacher who teaches his mother tongue and the teacher who teaches his mother tongue as a foreign language? We can increase the number of the such questions.

From time to time, we have been giving courses and seminars to lecturer candidates related to teaching Turkish as a foreign language. In order to draw attention to the importance of the subject, we immediately give a few striking examples in the first lessons:

“Imagine a painter, he opened an exhibition in the gallery… mountain, slope, nature paintings… There are five different men who come to analyze the pictures: The first man is blind, the second man is deaf, the third man is blind and deaf, the fourth man is deaf mute. The fifth man is blind, deaf and mute. Five men come to the painting gallery and ask the painter to explain his paintings to themselves in detail. Which way, methods and technique will the painter use to explain his paintings to five people? How should the painter express his pictures to the hearing impaired person? How should he explain to a visually impaired person? Which way and method should he use to explain them to someone who has not spoken, heard or seen since birth? To whom is it easier to explain the pictures? What are the features and factors that determine this ease? What does the cloud in the sky itself and language indicators mean in the world of people who cannot see, hear or speak? Should he use the way, method, technique, tool and equipment he has found for them all or develop different methods and techniques for each?

The lecturer candidates throw their astonishment shortly afterwards and express their views even they are sketchy. The first themes striking the brain of the trainees are the concepts like “road”, “method”, “technique ” ,”equipment” and etc. and they seem to be nailed on their brains. Based on the subject of the artist, subjects such as “mother tongue”, “bilingualism” and “teaching mother tongue as a foreign language” should be handled and evaluated as different concepts from each other and this consciousness starts to become clear from abstract to concrete.

We worked in Ankara University AÜ TÖMER for many years. We taught Turkish as a foreign language to the people from France, England, Spain, Arabia, Sri Lanka (the country we can not show on the map). We have found that this study is not very easy but enjoyable. When you see the trainee who could not say “Hello” starts talking with the questions like “How are you?” and “Are you okay? ” after 1 or 2 months and when you hear his comments on Turkish culture, you feel the pleasure of your profession. Teaching your own native language to another person… Leaving aside the economic aspect of the work, is a very good feeling. Therefore, Ankara University AÜ TÖMER has become a big school for newly-started Turkish lecturers because of that we always express our gratitude to Ankara University AÜ TÖMER.

When I was just a twenty-five-year-old lecturer, my institution sent me to Almatı where I had a chance to teach Turkish to diplomats (1993).Regardless of what scientific discipline the name of language, philology, linguistics or department is mentioned, I strongly emphasize the teaching of Turkish as a foreign language to undergraduate, graduate or doctoral candidates in this field. This subject is very colorful and I can say that working on this subject, doing research, writing articles and being in this work adds a very different beauty and aesthetics to people. Of course, the same is true for Turkish dialects. There is a lot of work to be done in this area, there is a lot to be taken on this road. As long as they spend their energy, knowledge and skills in this field, they will make a great contribution to both themselves and their countries. These are my advice to young people.

What would you like to say about Turkish teaching sets?

I wrote a detailed article related to this topic on my site called[2] Before the answer to your question, I would like to briefly touch upon the topic of teaching native language in Turkey and in the world. In Ankara University AÜ TÖMER which organizes courses in approximately eighteen languages, a series of conferences was held named “Native Language Teaching in the World and Turkey” (1998). USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan etc. until to the languages of the world countries… Primary school native language books, curriculum, classroom environments, teachers’ characteristics, course equipment, examination systems, teaching methods, deductive, induction methods were put on the table one by one. Teachers of some countries were invited to the conference and presented their papers. As a result, different approaches and different systems emerged. Germany’s gymnasiums, Italy’s classroom activities and exam systems, the USA’ s different textbooks and school-family collaboration in its every states, Japan’s intensive program of loading knowledge and skills to students. Interesting and different results came out. The reason I have touched on this issue is that a perfect native language education and training process is the basis of learning a foreign language well. This also affects the success graph of the teacher / learner.

Considering for foreign language teaching, we had the opportunity to examine many books about them. As we mentioned above we went through two types of textbooks: 1. Primary school textbooks aimed at teaching native language in the world, 2. Textbooks aimed at teaching Turkish and other world languages as a foreign language.

In addition to the textbooks such as German Deutsh Activ, British Headway, French Archipel, Spanish Spanish etc., course materials and exercise books, methods oriented to four basic skills… We have examined all of them. Of course, especially after the language teaching set named Türkçe Öğrenelim “We Learn Turkish I-V” written by Mehmet Hengirmen with Nurettin Koç, we had the opportunity to examine and analyze the Turkish language teaching sets of Gazi University, Ege University and Istanbul University in Giresun University GRÜ TÖMER. Again “Hitit” and “Yeni Hitit”, which were published by the Turkish lecturers of Ankara University AÜ TÖMER Turkish lecturers, Yedi İklim “Seven Climate” of Yunus Emre Institute, Yesevi Türkçe “Yesevi Turkish” of International Ahmet Yesevi Turkish-Kazakh University, Altın Köprü Türkçe “Golden Bridge Turkish” of Kyrgyzstan- Turkey Manas University teaching sets fill a huge gap in this field. Undoubtedly, Mehmet Hengirmen’s Turkish teaching set is one of the main studies in the teaching and spreading of Turkish as a foreign language until today and opening master’s and doctorate programs in this field. Later, Mehmet Hengirmen prepared a set of “Let’s Learn Turkish I-IV” oriented to four basic skills with his dictionaries and movies. Personally, among the Turkish language teaching sets suitable for the European Language Portfolio, I like the “Hitit I-III (old)” Turkish sets of Istanbul University and Ankara University AÜ TÖMER.

The answer to the question “Which is the best language teaching set aimed at teaching a native language as a foreign language among the world languages?” is the Arschipel of the French to me. With its method, allure, exercises and texts appealing to all age groups… You have the opportunity to meet the famous cartoon hero “TenTen” at A1 level. We had the opportunity to examine and evaluate these language sets with foreign language instructors of French, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic, German, English etc. Another feature of French is that they update their native and foreign language books year after year.

It is a fact that there is still a long way to go in the field of teaching Turkish to foreigners. Mr. J. Vandewalle, who speaks forty two languages and teaching Turkish and Turkish dialects at Belgium’s Ghent University, has very valuable views and evaluations on the subject.[3]

I try to attract the attention of young Turkish lecturer candidates. Which country makes teaching its own native language a sector in the world and provides the most foreign currency input in this way? Of course, England. It contributes $ 34 billion annually to the state budget. What about Turks? How many foreigners learn Turkish annually while we are teaching our own native language to them and how much foreign currency input do we provide? It is undoubtedly far below the figures mentioned above. A drop in the ocean… However, near to 180,000 citizens from different countries want to study in higher education in Turkey annually. We can only get 10,000 of them with different scholarships… Yunus Emre Institute teaches Turkish to 15.000-17.000 foreigners annually. When we consider all the Language Teaching Centers of the universities, this number does not exceed 50.000. However, there are hundreds of thousands who are interested in Turkish culture and Turkish language. There is a need for special and versatile language teaching sets and a large number of faculty members in this field. A large service industry… where you market your culture to the world and you teach your own language.

Another issue is our struggle with foreign language as Turks. According to the researches, we spend six billion dollars a year to learn English, French, German, Arabic, etc. languages. As a result, we encounter a harsh reality. Six billion dollars disappear like water pouring into the sand. According to international indexes, Norway is the most successful country among 45 countries in foreign language learning in their own country and Finland is the second. Turkey is the second from last in this success rating.

To sum up, in Turkey if they want to take steps towards the basic solution of native language and foreign language subject, the first thing they will do is to establish Uluslararası Dünya Dilleri Üniversitesi “International University of World Languages”. When we consider the expence of learning foreign languages as mentioned above and being aware that the issue has become an inevitable sector, such efforts should be transformed into state policy. Since the year 2012, we have been working for this purpose with very few people. The process requires patience and a lot of effort…

How did you start writing? Did you have your first stories published in any magazine?

I started writing at the age of fifteen or sixteen. I also went too far and tried to write a novel. It was a historical novel. I wrote movie scripts and they were not published in any magazine. I also wrote poems for a certain period of time but I did not find it appropriate to reveal them. This writing event turned into passion in my childhood. The modest typewriter I borrowed from a friend had a great role in my writing process. Undoubtedly, I have to express that I read a lot of books before writing. The secondary school period was my golden age. I was one of the regular readers of the city library. The library had a lending section. In this section, the shelves on the four walls were filled with books from end to end. We used to compete in reading against our friends who loved reading by asking “Who will read all the books on these four walls until we finish high school?” We used to summarize the books we read, too. Yavuz Bahadıroğlu, Necip Fazıl Kısakürek, Balzac, Victor Hugo, Arabian Nights’ Entertainment, etc. Again, “Bostan and Gülistan” of Sheikh Sadi Shiraz, the legend of the east, and many more… If we leave aside the years of the university and Ankara University TTC, our writing studies started again in Kyrgyzstan after a long interruption. My book “Beylik” which involves four stories has been published currently.

The most important factors that led me to literature are Sezgin Burak’s Tarkan, Murat Sertoğlu’s Karaoğlan comic books and humor magazines of the time. I think these have huge effects on me. If we add one more subject, it can be historical films… In other words, films such as Malkoçoğlu, Kara Murat, Kartal Tibet’s Tarkan and Serdar Gökhan’s Estergon Castle, with Cüneyt Arkın, added a different richness and color to our imagination.

The literature, mythology, epics, poems, laments of Turkish peoples are too rich and vast to fit into encyclopedias. It is not easy to manage your affairs well in the vast waters of the literary ocean of Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, as one of the people who tries to get a foothold in the literature. We concentrated on Kazakh and Kyrgyz literature and with the excitement of that concentration, the translation studies of Muhtar Awezov’s novel “Abay Road” and his stories followed one another.

How do you build your stories and can you tell about the contents of your stories?

Every writer or poet has a different way of writing style, which is extremely natural. Classic but always valid… In a story or novel, the first sentence matters. I think that after writing the first sentence, the story will follow. Writing a story, sitting on the table is a very troublesome situation. While walking on a road, you see a child on the street without socks and shoes. It invokes something in you, and you take out the paper and pen to take notes. These are also in my life. I always get something from certain events, movie cuts, and life itself. In general, there are traces and connotations of what I live in my stories. Consider an entire movie in story writing… From the first moment to the last, the audience watch with curiosity. It has sequential feature. However, I write the middle scene, not the entrance scene. After a while, two or three months later, I write the head scene and after a while I write the final. Or the final scene first… then the other scenes…

There is a narrative related to being a poet in folk literature. One day a person falls asleep at night, a bard in his dream gives him a hand and asks him to go his own way. Or, as in the epic Manas, Manas enters the dream of the person. He asks him to tell of his own epic. After the person wakes up, he becomes a legendary “Manas narrator”.

I had a similar incident while writing the story book of “Beylik”. I wrote the seventeenth and eighteenth pages of the story “Hairless” in a modest apartment on the fifth floor of Manas University lodgings in Bishkek. The story tells about the drama of a mother, who remained with two girls and a newborn child after a husband who left the house. Until the third page of the story, it was implicit that this was a story about pigeons. The reader merely realizes on the third page that this story tells the life of a family of pigeons. After the head of the house leaves the house, pigeons take off to find food and go to the fields. There they eat wheat and vetch. It is time to return to their home. They take off and fly back to the city. While the mother and two sisters are in the air, a naughty boy throws stones at them with a slingshot. The stone doesn’t hit her daughters because the mother pigeon enters between her daughters and the stone. The stone hits the wing of the mother pigeon and breaks it. The mother pigeon sacrifices itself and naturally when the bird falls to the ground, the child who throws stones with a slingshot cuts off the bird’s head. This is the scene. It is a dramatic scene.

Here I was focused on this scene. After I finished my job at the faculty, I came to the lodgings and went up to the fifth floor. I came in front of the apartment wearyingly. Meanwhile, my newborn son was a couple of weeks old. It was a cold winter day. If I remember correctly, it was March. Just as I was entering the house, there was a pigeon near the wall in front of the door. It was tired and rubbing his single wing against the wall. I wanted to take this pigeon in because it was cold. My wife said: “There’s bird flu right now, don’t take this pigeon!”. My son came to my mind, I entered in. Pigeon remained outside. We put it in a cardboard box and closed the door, thinking that it would be in a cardboard box at least. The pigeon did not come out of my mind until morning. When I opened the door in the morning, the pigeon was dead.

Indeed, writing stories and novels is like drawing ink from your blood. If you are writing, this is so. If you don’t write and feel at the same time, you shouldn’t write at all. Writing is to give life and spirit to the theme you are telling. “Beylik” is the name of a black, magnificent bull that my brother used to herd while he was shepherding in my childhood. The fights and struggles of this bull, which my brother took care of tenderly, are described in it. There was no bull that he did not beat in the village. Many strong bulls came from the surrounding villages. It defeated them one by one. Finally, he fought with “Çitak”, one of the village’s teen bulls. This was its last fight. Beylik was the bull of Celil, who is our brother in law. At that time I was 5 or 6 years old. Our brother in law Celil sold him to one of the nearby villages. Beylik escaped from that village a few weeks later. The second time he sold it to another village and it ran away from there again. He took Beylik to a butcher in Alaca with an intention to have it cut. Beylik is the expression of holding on to life for the little boy and his elder brother. In the story, two brothers went up to the highest hill on Alaca road and took a long look behind Beylik. The little brother did not know what the word “butcher” meant, which he rarely heard, and could not ask his brother either. If the little brother knew that Beylik was taken to slaughter house, it might be a complete destruction for him. Beylik was the big hand that life extended to two brothers, and this hand they hold tightly was stolen from them to be cut and was fallen on Alaca roads.

I wanted to tell the history of the village with “Beylik”. I wanted to write a novel but I found it appropriate to limit it to a story. I have other stories from the middle page of life… Stories that shake our soul and body. After the second story book, a novel, two movie scripts and a series of thirteen episodes. All of these editings have been completed. They just need time and a calm environment. They’re waiting for me and I’m waiting for them. Let’s see.

You have been in Kyrgyzstan for many years. You had friendships with Kyrgyz writers. Can you tell us about your friendships with the Kyrgyz literary circle?

The first thing that comes to mind when Kyrgyz literature is mentioned is the tradition of epic and epicism. In a way, it is the golden treasure of Kyrgyz literature. This is something that is specific to the Kyrgyz. People with epic and mythology cannot be poor in literature. Have a look at Greek and Indian mythology and likewise Japanese and Chinese mythology and cultural history. Turkish epic and mythology history is a bottomless ocean, too. Despite the fact that they are few in population today, Kyrgyz also carried their literature and arts to the universe with the spirit of the Manas epic that created and sustained them. Tolomush Okeyev is a legendary director in cinema and undoubtedly the peak of literature is Cengiz Aytmatov. Cengiz Aytmatov always says “When I go abroad, I take two things with me. One is the author of the Kazaks, my master Muhtar Awezov, and the other is, of course, the epic of Manas.” Undoubtedly, when we talk about Kirghiz or Kirghiz literature, Manas and Cengiz Aytmatov come to our mind. Apart from Cengiz Aytmatov, we can speak of many poets and writers who marked the Kyrgyz literature and took their place among the classics. For example, A. Tokambaev has a two volume novel called “Kandı jıldar”. Poetry is in epic style. It is a magnificent work. It tells the years of 1916 Ürkün. Ürkün is the name of the period when the Kyrgyz and Kazakh tribes took refuge in the Chinese side as a result of the pressure and violence of the Tsar government and left their homeland and while crossing the God Mountains, thousands of children and people died. This is the exact subject of the novel. The novel was banned on the grounds that it had nationalist elements, and only after the Soviet Union broke up, the ban was lifted. Another author is T. Kasimbekov… The historical novel named “Sıngan Kılıç” is on the list of prohibitions. The novel have been translated into Turkish. An academician from Turkey has prepared his doctoral thesis about T. Kasımbekov. Again, there is another classic writer that I really wanted to meet, but it was not fated to meet. Tügölbay Sıdıkbekov… His novel “Jol” is perfect in terms of style and content. Nasreddin Baytemirov also produced valuable works in the field of children’s literature. Among the new generation writers, we can mention the names of Sultan Rayev, Mırza Gaparov, Keneş Cusupov, Ernest Tursunov (who translated the Holy Quran into Kyrgyz), Mar Bayciyev, Beyşebay Usubaliyev (also my doctorate advisor) Öskön Danikeyev and poet Süyünbay Eraliyev. I had the chance to chat with many writers and poets, whose names I mentioned in various environments and scientific conferences. In my opinion, among them Sultan Rayev is the closest to Cengiz Aytmatov’s style. The story “Kun karmağan bala” (Child Holding the Sun) is dramatic and its fiction and style is strong. It has been translated into Turkish by a student of mine as a graduation thesis. Meanwhile, deceased Salican Cigitov, who was the literary critic and story writer, should not be forgotten. It is a mirror of contemporary Kyrgyz literature in a sense.

Likewise the writer known as the shadow writer of C.Aytmatov is Aşım Cakıpbekov. He translated the works written in Russian by Cengiz Aytmatov into Kyrgyz. Turkish academicians Orhan Söylemez and Kemal Göz have published his works in Turkish. Orhan Söylemez also published a book about Salican Cigitov called “Salican Cigitov and His World” (2006). It is Alıkul Osmonov who is known all over the world among the Kyrgyz poets. He fitted permanent and classic poems into his thirty-four, thirty-five years of life.[4]

Why is there no second Cengiz Aytmatov in the Kyrgyz literature? It is necessary to address this question in a multi-directional way. Salican Cigitov has several articles on the subject. I recommend literature lovers to read them. C. Aytmatov is a Kyrgyz, Soviet and also a world writer. Being a world writer requires many different features. I had the opportunity to meet with the master writer Aymatov in 1996 in an activity organized to memory of Kazakh poet Jambil Jabayev. C.Aytmatov is an exceptional and respected writer and scholar of the Turkish world. He has never run for simple goals and objectives, has revealed the universal problems of human and humanity artfully with pencil paper and showed the ways for solutions.

C. Aytmatov was sometimes subjected to unfair and undue criticism such as on issues as after the Soviet Union broke up, he did not pave the way for the young generation Kyrgyz writers, he did not contribute to the Kyrgyz politics, etc… It should not be forgotten that C. Aytmatov closely followed the works of the young generation writers. He wrote the preface of the books of young generation Kyrgyz authors, and did his best to help them. Again, in the Uzbek-Kyrgyz tension in the southern region of Kyrgyzstan, he negotiated to Uzbek and Kyrgyz authorities and prevented possible conflicts. In short, Aytmatov is a groundbreaking person who affects every branch of painting, sculpture, theater, cinema and fine arts. I think that the Kyrgyz intellectuals, the Kyrgyz art, literature and cinema environment have left a huge trace in the world cinema and literature as well as the Soviet Union although its population was low especially after the 1960s.

What would you like to say about Kazakh literature?

There is no doubt that the first name known in the Kazakh literature in Turkey is perhaps Magcan Cumabaev.[5]Kazakh literature is rich in folk literature and written literature. It has epics, fairy tales and a magnificent minstrel tradition that nourishes the written literature.

Abay İbrahim Kunanbaev, Muhtar Awezov, Jusıpbek Aymaivitov, Beyimbet Maylin, İlyas Cansugirov, Şakarim Kudayberdiulı, Sultanmahmut Toraygırov, Muhtar Magayun, Dulat İsabekov, Kaltay Muhamedcanov and other poets and writers are the peaks of Kazakh literature. Kazak classics are also translated into Turkish one by one. These translations or transfer – studies should be accelerated.

I think that researching within the context of the conditions of the period, education, culture, art and politics rather than considering Kazakh literature only as Kazak literature, will lead us to healthy evaluations and results. Intellectuals such as Ibiray Altınsarin and Ahmet Baytursin have embarked on an unprecedented struggle for Kazakh language and education, and have paid the price with their lives. The aforementioned intellectuals have continued their way to create a conscious, educated Kazakh society, even when they were in prison by not losing their contacts by letters or other means with the writers, scholars and linguists like Muhtar Awezov. This way of enlightenment is also seen in Uzbeks in the same historical period. Contemporary Turkish Dialects and Literatures department students, some linguists and Turcologists in Turkey are making notable studies on the aforementioned poets, authors and educators. Admittedly, we are going through a process that we cannot pass even the introducing phase of the language and literature of the Turkishness of Central Asia in Turkey yet. It is our hope that such studies will increase both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Thank you!

[1]Interviewer: Ruslan Dost Ali (Cahangirli), Azerbaijani poet

[2] gungorname. com, Teaching Turkish to Foreigners (Opinions, Suggestions)


[4]Ankara University Turkish Teaching Center Journal of Turkish Dialects and Literature, Issue: 5, Ankara, 1996

[5]Before the Soviet Union dissolved Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bican Ercilasun gave the poems of Magcan Cumabayev to Ferhat Tamir as his doctoral thesis.