‘Kutadgu Bilig’, the outstanding work of the Turkic philosopher of the 11th century Yūsuf Balasaguni, was discussed at an international conference in Uzbekistan. Experts from St Petersburg University took part in the discussion. 

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The Academic Forum ‘Current Issues Regarding Research on “Kutadgu Bilig”, the Great Masterpiece of World Turkology’ was held online by the Tashkent State University of Oriental Studies with the support of the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The event was dedicated to the 950th Anniversary of the great monument. It united world experts in oriental studies from 12 countries as well as representatives of leading universities of Uzbekistan, Russia, Turkey, Hungary, Azerbaijan and Kirgizstan. St Petersburg University was a co-organiser of the conference.

In his work Yūsuf  Balasaguni explored perennial issues of moral values, honour, justice and law, family and upbringing. ‘Kutadgu Bilig’ (Gracious knowledge) consists of more than 13,000 stanzas and was written in a traditional Oriental poetic genre ‘masnavi’. This work is a priceless monument of medieval Turkic literature that influenced multiple pieces of both Turkic and Muslim Middle Eastern literatures.

Apollinariia Avrutina, member of the conference organising committee, Director of the

Centre for Contemporary Turkish Studies and Russia–Turkey Relations and Associate Professor at St Petersburg University spoke at the plenary meeting. The report of the expert of the University was dedicated to the history of St Petersburg School of Turkology – the oldest in Europe. She spoke about the literary work of professor at St Petersburg University Sergei Ivanov (1922 - 1999), author of the first full Russian poetic translation of ‘Kutadgu Bilig’.

‘Kutadgu Bilig’ is one of the greatest monuments of world literature and it remains relevant and still unites people from all over the World despite the difficult current circumstances. This conference is one of the major cultural events of the year 2020 both for Russia and Uzbekistan. For these countries collaboration in the sphere of culture and education is of strategic importance.

Apollinariia Avrutina, Director of the Centre for Contemporary Turkish Studies and Russia–Turkey Relations and Associate Professor at St Petersburg University

The work ‘Gracious knowledge’ has been profoundly studied by orientalist scholars.

Academic translations of this text into the Russian, German, English, Turkish, Uyghur, Kazakh, Turkmen and Azerbaijani languages have been published. Dozens of monographs and hundreds of academic papers have been written about it.