The Epic of Manas, which is accepted as the longest epic of the world, was published in Turkish in TDBB Publications, cooperatively by Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) and Kyrgyzstan Presidency Administration.
The book has great importance in the sense that it is the full-text Turkish translation of Epic of Manas which is written with the interpretation of famous Manas interpreter Sabımbay Orozbakov, whose 150th birthday has been celebrated in 2017. Sagımbay Orozbakov is a well known Manas interpreter for interpreting the Epic of Manas in a far reaching manner, concerning the characters and the richness of the subjects. This important publication is also significant for showing the development of the cultural cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and Turkey.
The Project of translating the Epic of Manas into Turkish was coordinated by Marmara University Faculty Member Dr. Fahri Solak and Kyrgyzstan Presidency Administration Vice President Renat Tuleberdiev. The Translation Project, contributed by many scholars from Turkey and Kyrgyzstan, has become a great work in three volumes of special publication with 3.700 pages. There are both original text in Kyrgyz and translation in Turkish, in the book.
Epic of Manas in Turkish was introduced to public with a great ceremony
Translated into Turkish, the Epic of Manas was introduced in the great ceremony prepared in Zeytinburnu Culture Art Center on 9 August 2017, cooperatively by Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) and Zeytinburnu Municipality. The ceremony was attended by the delegation of Ministers of Foreign Relations, Education and Culture under the head of Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Soroonbay Ceenbekov, and also Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Kadir Topbaş, Secretary General of TDBB Fahri Solak, Ankara Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan, Istanbul Consul Generals of different countries, academicians and many other guests. Talking in the ceremony, Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Ceenbekov stated that Epic of Manas is an important heritage of Kyrgyz society and added, “Manas has been translated into several languages. I am very glad that it has also been translated in Turkish today. I thank to Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) which has great contribution to the translation and publication of the Epic, and also to all contributors.”
On the other hand, Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Kadir Topbaş mentioned that they have come together for a very meaningful day for Turkish World and added that he is very glad that the program has been organized in Istanbul. Saying that they are members of an ancient civilization, Topbaş added, “We have a very wide common history and past. We are the grandsons of the same culture. We came from the same land and established civilizations. It is important to transfer and conserve our common values for the next generations. Therefore I thank Union of Turkish Municipalities for its contribution for the Turkish translation of Epic of Manas”. After the speeches Prime Minister Ceenbekov presented Epic of Manas to be presented to Kadir Topbaş and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. At the end of the program, Kyrgyz Kambarkan music group concert and Manas group’s dance performance received great sympathy from the audience.
The Statue of Manas was inaugurated
On 9 August 2017, the statue of Manas put up in Istanbul Sütlüce Park was inaugurated. The ceremony was attended by the delegation under the head of Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Soroonbay Ceenbekov and Minister of Culture and Tourism Numan Kurtulmuş, and also Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Kadir Topbaş, Governor of Istanbul Vasip Şahin, Secretary General of TDBB Fahri Solak, Mayor of Beyoğlu Ahmet Misbah Demircan, diplomatic mission representatives, protocol of the district and many citizens. Talking in the opening ceremony, Numan Kurtulmuş said that building Mehmet the Conqueror’s statue in Bishkek will conduce to the establishment of new bonds.” On the other hand Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Ceenbekov spoke as, “This event symbolizes the turnover of a new leaf between two countries. It is very precious for us to build the statue of Manas in Istanbul for the enhancement of the friendship of two nations.”
About the Epic of Manas
As one of the oldest Turkish epics, Manas bears the traces of both Turkish mythology and steppe culture with its structure independent from other Turkish epics like Creation and Uyghur decent, Migration, Ergenekon, Oguz Kagan; it is the greatest epic of the world with 5.000 lines, longer than many other epics concerning line numbers like Persian Firdevsi’s Şehname, Finlanders’ Kalevala, Germans’ Nibelungen, Indians’ Ramayana, ancient Greeks’ Iliad and Odyssey. Originally, the epic of Manas is started to be created at the wars between Uyghur Turks and Chinese when Kyrgyzs establish a state in Yenisey River and Minusinsk steppe around 840 and later on, it is enriched with new elements during the wars between Kyrgyzs and Kalmuks or Buddhist Kalmuk Mongolians and Chinese with Muslim Turkish tribes in Central Asia in 16th-17th centuries. Besides, the Epic of Manas has the characteristics of being an important document in the sense that it transfers information on content, language and cultural codes of not only Kyrgyz nation but all Turkish nations after Islamic influence.