Scientific Conference in Moscow Focuses on Kazakh History

The international scientific-practical conference “From the Turkic El to the Kazakh Khanate” was held Nov. 16 at the Russian State Library, noted the Kazakh Foreign Ministry website.

The event was organised by the Institute of Asian and African Studies (IAAS) at Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Eastern Literature Centre of the Russian State Library, with the support of the Kazakh Embassy in Russia.

The forum brought together several dozen leading historians, philologists and Orientalists from Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkey and Uzbekistan. The participants covered diverse issues relating to the distant past and the present day, from the study of runic writing to Eurasian identity in the 21st century and from early Arab geographic conceptions of the Central Asian region to the issues of formation of the New Silk Road.

“Over more than two millennia, about 20 state entities existed on the territory of Kazakhstan. The Kazakh Khanate, which arose 550 years ago in the centre of the Eurasian continent, was one of the greatest creations of nomadic civilisation. It was the starting point in the centuries-old statehood building of the Kazakh nation,” said Kazakh diplomat Marat Syzdykov.

“Based on historical sources and written documents, we can confidently say that the history of the Kazakh Khanate is not limited to five and a half centuries. It goes into the deep past. Therefore, the conference is called ‘From the Turkic El to the Kazakh Khanate,’” said IAAS President Mikhail Meyer to open the symposium.

He noted the long political and military stability of the Kazakh Khanate as well as its peculiarity, such as its relatively peaceful interaction with the neighbouring settled regions. The situation was rare for medieval state entities.

Meyer added that the number of scientists from around the world who had come to the conference demonstrated the strengthening scientific ties in the Eurasian and Turkic-speaking space.

In the past, large gaps existed in the study of the history of Kazakhstan, which required special attention and special study, said Professor Meruert Abusseitova, director of the Kazakh National Information Centre for the Study of Historical Materials. Thanks to government programmes designed to address these gaps, unique artefacts and archival materials that are important for the country’s history have recently been recovered, she added.

Chinese scientist Zhao Xiaojie spoke about the relations between the Qing Dynasty and the Kazakh Khanate in the second half of 18th and early 19th centuries. She noted that from its inception until it joined the Russian Empire, the Kazakh Khanate played a major role in Central Asian history. After the defeat of Dzungaria by the Qing Dynasty, the Qing Dynasty had direct contacts with the Kazakh Khanate.

The experts noted the need for joint efforts to explore the rich and eventful history of Kazakhstan and proposed many suggestions for further scientific research.