The 5th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue entitled ”Building dialogue into action against discrimination, inequality, and violent conflict'” is held at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku. On the sidelines of the Forum, the secretary general of the International Organization of Turkic Culture (TURKSOY), Dusen Kaseinov told Vestnik Kavkaza about the organization’s work and Turkic unity.
- How do you assess the need for events such as Baku Forum?
- Due to this forum, we have an opportunity to implement a variety of practical tasks. The Forum is one of the most significant and already well-known global platforms, it raises the issues concerning all humanity. The important cooperation agreements are also signed at the Forum. For example, now we are actively developing contacts with the Balkan states. Recently, the folk instruments orchestra with members from all over the Turkic world visited the Balkans, and soon a Turkic choir that has already won three gold medals at the European Choral Olympiad in Germany will go there.
- In 2019, the city of Kyrgyzstan was declared the cultural capital of the Turkic world. What activities are planned there?
- In late April, The Festival of Turkic Culture was held in Osh. Several hundred delegates from 20 Turkic-speaking countries took part in the event. On the occasion of the holiday, fairs, entertainment events, scientific and practical conferences were organized in the city. The holiday turned out to be extraordinary. When people support such events, they are reaching a new level, a completely different atmosphere is created. In Osh, everything was organized at the top level. The practical significance of such events is also crucial - those who want to act can find partners and like-minded people. About 20 events are planned to be held in Osh.
- Today, terrorism in the world, particularly in New Zealand and in Sri Lanka, was discussed at the Forum. How relevant is this problem for the Turkic world?
- No one in the world is immune from terrorist attacks. Everyone can be in the place of those unfortunate innocent people who suffer from this hatred. I myself witnessed an attempted coup in Turkey, where several major terrorist attacks were carried out.
- How do you assess the partnership between TURKSOY and Azerbaijan?
- Azerbaijan is one of the most active members of our organization. The first director general in 1994 was my friend and soul mate Polad Bulbul oglu. Then he was re-elected three times - in 1997, 2000 and 2003. After that, I took the lead. Today, no event in the organization takes place without writers, cultural figures and artists from Azerbaijan. This year we declared the Year of Nasimi, the previous one - the Year of Kara Karayev. Every year we hold commemorative events, publish books dedicated to one of the great Azerbaijanis. It is necessary that people visiting our countries know what makes Azerbaijan, what makes Kazakhstan and the Turkic world in general. By the way, on May 17-18, we will hold events dedicated to Nasimi in Bishkek.
At the same time, the current year is also dedicated to the outstanding poet and singer Ashik Veysel. Recently, we held a concert in his memory with the participation of performers from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan. He wrote songs in various genres: classical, pop, jazz. It helps to convey Ashik Veysel’s work to young people. By the way, after the concert, the young performers went to Veysel’s homeland in the Turkish city of Sivas to honor his memory.
The entire Turkic world celebrated the 125th anniversary of Magzhan Zhumabayev, and due to such unity, the works of the great poet and publicist are now read in different countries of the world.
- A few years ago there was a debate about creating a common Turkic language. How relevant is this question today?
- Much will depend on how closely the Turkic peoples will be in contact. Initially, our peoples were very close, had a common written language, but later they began to absorb the culture of their neighbors - Iran, Russia ...
At today's 5th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, I, for example, spoke in Turkish, which I mastered without studying it specifically, but only in practice. Having mastered Turkish, I understand Azerbaijani, Uzbek, and Tatar. If Tatars, Kazakhs, and Kyrgyz learn Turkish, they will understand all Turks. It is not difficult. As for the creation of a common Turkic language, this cannot be achieved by any decrees.