Turkistan Sets to Receive Special City Status

ASTANA – Kazakh Prime Minister Olzhas Bektenov signed a government resolution on submitting the draft law on the special status of Turkistan city to the Mazhilis, a lower house of the Kazakh Parliament, for consideration, reported the Prime Minister’s press service on May 30.

Khoja Ahmed Yasawi mausoleum in Turkistan. Photo credit: Petar Milošević/wikipedia.org. Click to see the map in full size. The map is designed by The Astana Times.

The document defines the legal conditions for the formation, development and functioning of Turkistan as the spiritual, cultural and historical center of Kazakhstan, as well as recognition of its national significance.

The adoption of the law will create an effective system for the management and preservation of monuments and objects of historical and cultural significance of the city, including those located in the protected zone of the World Heritage Site – the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi.

The bill also provides for the preservation and revival of cultural heritage, the development of traditional handicrafts, the development and promotion of Turkistan as a spiritual, cultural, historical and tourist center.

The mausoleum was inscribed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List in 2003.

The Khoja Ahmed Yasawi mausoleum is a 39-meter-tall Islamic architectural marvel featuring one of Central Asia’s largest brick domes. The mausoleum was constructed between 1385 and 1405 at the time of Timur (Tamerlane).

Today, the mausoleum serves as a significant repository of Kazakhstan’s history, safeguarding over 24,000 medieval exhibits from Timur’s era, including bronze candlesticks, gates, and large bowls.

The mausoleum has become the final resting place for numerous Kazakh khans and statesmen, including Abylai Khan, Abulkhair Khan, Rabiga Sultan-Begim, Zholbarys Khan, Yesim Khan, Ondan Sultan, and Kazybek Bi.

In 2021, the ancient city of South Kazakhstan was named the spiritual capital of the Turkic world at an informal summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States. 

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, YouTube and Tiktok!