A Multifaceted Personality: 100th Anniversary of Ziya Bunyadov

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the doctor of historical sciences, professor, outstanding Turkologist, laureate of the State Prize of Azerbaijan, hero of the Soviet Union, figure of meritorious service to science, Ziya Bunyadov, was decided by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in September.

In this regard, on December 15, 2023, the Turkic Academy in cooperation with the L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University held an international event “Ziya Bunyadov and His Contribution to Turkic Studies” dedicated to the outstanding person.

The President of the Turkic Academy Shahin Mustafayev, Member of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan Darkhan Kydyraly, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Republic of Kazakhstan Aghalar Atamoglanov, vice-rector of L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Zhanna Kurmangalieva, as well as famous scholars and representatives of the intelligentsia participated the event.

The meeting started with a short video in memory of Ziya Bunyadov. After that, Zhanna Kurmangalieva, who took the first floor, emphasized that the rich heritage left behind by such outstanding personalities is a golden bond that strengthens the cooperation between brotherly countries.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the President of the Turkic Academy, Mustafayev, noted that his teacher Ziya Bunyadov, who greatly influenced him to become a scholar, is a multifaceted person. According to him, Bunyadov is first of all a great scientist, one of the founders of medieval studies (history of the Middle Ages) in Azerbaijan, the author of three monographs, each of which is considered a golden treasure. In addition, he is a military officer, a brave hero. At the same time, he is an outstanding public figure and a bright manifestation of Azerbaijani patriotism. “I have mentioned only a few of his qualities here. We can also talk about his sense of humor, his work in literature, and his skill in making wooden figurines”, he said.

Darkhan Kydyraly, Member of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, said that Ziya Bunyadov was a person who performed brave deeds not only on the battlefield, but also in the defense of Turkic pride and cultural heritage.

Ambassador Aghalar Atamoglanov noted that Bunyadov made an immeasurable contribution to the development of his country even after the war, and was highly appreciated by the national leader of the Azerbaijani people, Heydar Aliyev.

After that, the participants attended the presentation ceremony of the book “Orta Asya’daki Eski Türk Yazıtlari” (Ancient Turkic Inscriptions in Central Asia), which was specially prepared within the framework of the 100th anniversary of Ziya Bunyadov. In this collection, preapred jointly by the Turkic Academy and the International Institute of Central Asian Studies, the selected articles of famous Turkologists have been translated into Turkish for the first time. In addition, the book includes an article providing extensive information about Ziya Bunyadov and his autobiography written by his own hand.

The meeting continued with discussion on the academic legacy of Ziya Bunyadov. Nargiz Akhundova, member of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, head of the Department of History of the Middle Ages at the A.Bakikhanov Institute of History, said in her speech that Bunyadov was one of the first to study the problems of the common history of the Turkic peoples, and made a great contribution in this direction.

Member of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Head of the Department of History and Economy of Arab Countries of the Ziya Bunyadov Institute of Oriental Studies, Farda Asadov, emphasized his immeasurable contribution to the formation of national historiography of the Muslim countries of the former Soviet Union.

Professor Bakhtiyor Babazhanov, chief researcher of the National Center of Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan, shared his insightful opinions about the works on the history of Kharezm, which is considered one of the main directions of Bunyadov’s research.

Samal Toleubaeva, Professor of the Department of Oriental Studies of Eurasian National University, spoke about the role of Ziya Bunyadov in the formation of national schools of Oriental Studies in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Zemfira Gurbanova, another representative of the Ziya Bunyadov Institute of Oriental Studies, talked about Bunyadov’s life path and the sad death of a legendary person.

Zhanna Kurmangalieva, vice-rector of Eurasian National University, closed the meeting and expressed her gratitude to the participants who came specially from Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.