The eleventh ‘International Altai Communities Symposium’, was held on July 4-7, 2023 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Symposium is traditionally held every two years in order to provide a better understanding of the civilizational structure and cultural values of the Altai communities, in which the Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) is among the supporting institutions. This year the main theme was the ‘ Names of Places and Water in the Altai Nations’.

The opening ceremony of the symposium hosted by Al Farabi Kazakh National University was attended by Rector Canseyit Tüymebayev, Altai Communities Symposium Committee Chairman Prof. Dr. İlhan Şahin, Turkey’s Almaty Consul General Ali Rıza Akıncı and the Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) Secretary General Fahri Solak, as well as guest primarily from Kazakhstan and Turkey but also from Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Russian Federation, Japan. Around 180 Altaist scientists from India and Europe participated in the program.

Kazakh National University Rector Tüymebayev, in his speech at the opening ceremony of the symposium, said that with the Turkish states gaining their independence, the Altai world began to be explored more deeply. Noting that the Altai Communities Symposium is a very important area in this regard, Tüymebayev stated that the range of topics covered in the symposium expands every year. Tüymebayev emphasized that in these symposiums, important scientific researches on the Altai peoples were introduced in the fields of archeology, history, data science, folklore, literature, ethnology and other humanities.

In his speech at the Symposium, TDBB Secretary General Fahri Solak stated that as TDBB, they were pleased to be the cooperation institution of the Altai Communities Symposium from the very beginning. Solak said, “I think that the Altai Communities Symposiums are a commendable example of success by bringing together many institutions from different countries and hundreds of lecturers/experts. Another important point is that these symposiums are not only symposiums, but the papers are published as books. We are also happy that four of these books have been published by TDBB. TDBB is an institution established to develop relations between city administrations and local administrations. Although its name is the union of local governments, TDBB also tries to support many studies related to history, culture and our common past. Kazakhstan is one of the countries where TDBB works actively. This makes us happy. 30 local governments from Kazakhstan are members of TDBB. Under the coordination of TDBB, considerable sister city relations have been established with these municipalities. Latest, the Municipality of Turkistan became a sister city with the municipalities of Üsküdar and Zeytinburnu in Istanbul under the coordination of our union. As in other Central Asian Republics, we organize many experience sharing and expert training programs with Kazakhstan. In addition, prestigious publications about Kazakhstan were published by TDBB. Commemoration programs have also been organized for various historical events and historical figures. Finally, the Yunus Emre Monument in Astana was built by TDBB. I would like to thank all the institutions and organizations that contributed to the organization of this symposium.” 

The symposium, which was held for the 11th time this year, was held with the title of “Land and Water Names in Altai Nations”. In the symposium, which lasted 4 days, scientific evaluations were made on the names of places and waters, which have been preserved verbally and in writing from ancient times to the present in Altai nations.

The symposium was held in 40 sessions with the theme of “Place and Water Names in Altai Nations”.

In the Symposium, scientific speeches were made on the topics such as; Iranian Place Names in Southern Siberia as Evidence of the Scythians’ Stay, Place Names of the Huns According to Chinese Sources, Place and Water Names Depending on Faith, Colors and Numbers in Turkish Tribes, Place-Water Names and Turkish Mythology and Art, The Place of Kök Göl in Chingizli History, Evaluation of District and Neighborhood Names in Hatay in Terms of Georadiology, Korkut Ata’s Traces in the Sir Derya Heights, Epic Area Çenlibel in the Köroğlu-Goroğlu Epics, Examples from the Place Names of the Ottoman Conquest Region in Hungary, Similar Place and Plant Names in Türkiye and Kazakhstan: the Example of Konya and Shymkent, Evaluations on Place Names Established with Organ Names – (On Türkiye and Kazakhstan Place Names, Sources of Ottoman Place Names, Formation and Naming of Permanent Immigrant Settlements in Ottoman Anatolia, Union and Progress Policy on Place Names, Animals on Place and Water Names of Kazakhstan, Important Place and Water Names in the Region Between Malatya and Adıyaman, Notes on Some Place Names in Mongolian Runic Inscriptions, Vocabulary of Place-Water Names in Altai Epics and Reflections in Anatolia, Water Names in Kangal and Land Names Related to Events, The Name and Historical Role of the City of Balkh, place names in the Timurid period sources, Place Names and Merv in Turkmenistan, Distribution of the Kyrgyz Term as a Place Name in Eurasian Geography, and Water Cult in Uzbek Folklore, etc.

At the end of the symposium, it was evaluated by the relevant committees organizing the Altai Communities Symposium series, and it was decided to organize the XII Altai Communities Symposium in September 2024, hosted by Taiwan National Chengchi University, with the subject of “Clothing Culture of Altai Peoples”.


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