Second Congress on “Islamic Civilization in Central Asia” held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 12-15 October 2012

Second Congress on “Islamic Civilization in Central Asia” held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 12-15 October 2012

An International Symposium on "Islamic Civilization in Central Asia" was conducted jointly by IRCICA and Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Manas University, on 12-15 October 2012, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The congress opening was officiated by Mr. Kanat Sıdıkov, Minister of Education of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan.

60 specialists, from ABD, Azerbaijan, Banladesh, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Turkey and Uzbekistan, participated in the congress. The themes revolved around the role and place of Islamic civilization in the cultural history of Central Asia, particularly in the evolution of some distinguishing elements of cultural life in the region such as the coexistence of different faiths and cultures. It was highlighted that Islamic civilization in Central Asia had various aspects yet to be uncovered, in the history of sciences particularly. Prof. Hamit Okur, the Rector of Istanbul Medeniyet University, who presented a paper on the history of medical sciences in the region, pointed to the need to further deepen studies on the contributions of scientists of the region to the progress of sciences in the world. Prof. Bakıt Murzaraimov from Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Manas University alluded to the objectives of the congress from the point of view of rthe image of Islam and Muslims around the world saying that "In our day negative attitudes have appeared towards Islam and Muslims around the world. We aim to show that Islam is not as they think it is, that it is the religion of civilization, unity and harmony. Over three days, the congress heard papers on themes such as the societal and institutional systems brought by Islam and the effect of religion on society, culture and civilization; major historical and literary works, religious studies and religious scholars; the various sciences and works of philosophy; the sources of history, among others. Manas Destanı, an epic work which is one of the masterpieces of Kyrgyz literature, was analyzed by its specialists (outline by Dr. Ayna Askarova, IRCICA, coordinator of the congress from IRCICA's side).

Speeches were delivered at the opening session by: Prof. Suat Cebeci, Dean, Faculty of Theology, Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Manas University, Prof. Asılbek Kulmirzayev, Acting-Rector, Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Manas University, Prof. Sebahattin Balcı, Rector, Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Manas University, Dr. Halit Eren, Director General, IRCICA, and Mr. Kanat Sıdıkov, Minister of Education of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan.  The list of the papers presented indicates the diversity of the topics treated during the working sessions:

Session 1. "Medieval Waqf Institutions in Central Asia through Waqi'at Texts" (Murtaza Bedir), "Common Type of Adornment in the Folk Costume of European and Central Asian Muslim Turks" (Guzel Valieva Suleymanovna), "Sacralization of Political Power in Turkic Culture" (Ali Çaksu), "Contributions of Ghaznavid Dynasty to the Islamic Civilization of Central Asia (977-1186), An analysis" (Thowhidul Islam), "The Contributions of Central Asian Scholars to the Development of Natural and Positive Sciences in the Middle Ages" (Asilbek Aliyev)

Session 2. "Relations Between Arabs and Central Asia" (Abuzar Khairi), "Historical Roots and Geopolitical Implications of Russia's Cohabitation With Islam" (Argun Başkan), "Palimpsest of Rebuilding: Arab Interventions on Urban Spaces in Central Asia" (Manu P. Sobti), "Islamic Civilization in Central Asia: an Overview of the Samanid Legacy" (A.K.M. Iftekharul Islam), "Russian Man's Burden: Narrating Russian Colonialism in Islamic Central Asia" (Rasa Balockaite)

Session 3. "Sufism and Kyrgyz culture" (Camgırbek Bököşov), "The Role of Ahmed Yesevi in Spreading Islam among the Nomadic Turkic People" (Bakıtbek Amir Maltabarov), "Yusuf Balasagun and the Concept Allah in his Kutadgu Bilig" (Abdilaziz Kalberdiyev), "The Religious Future of Central Asia" (Mustafa Erdem), "New Untraditional Religions in Contemporary Kazakhstan: Penetration and Spreading" (Gulnara Mendikulova)

Session 4. Turkic Ethnic History in the Arab Manuscripts of the IX-XIII centuries (Zibagul İlyasova), "Some Features of Eastern and Western Civilisations" (Mustafazade), "Turkic Names in the Arab Sources of the Middle Ages" (Jazira Agabekova), "Spread of Islamic religion and civilisation around Tengri Mountains (According to Archeological Excavations)" (Kubatbek Tabaldiyev), "The Attitude of the State towards missionary groups between 1991-2011" (Olcobay Karatayev)

Session 5. The Ethical Dimension of Islamic Civilisation: An Analytical Study with Reference to the Approaches of Maturidi and Farabi to Ethics" (Arshad Islam), "The Role of the Selcukid State in Galvanizing the Role of Sunni-Islam Faith in Central Asia" (Remzi Ataoğlu), "Formation of Central Asian Islamic Civilisation from the Perspective of Hadith: The Case of Ali bin Osman Sirâceddîn el-Ûşî" (Mehmet Sait Toprak), "The Gift of Central Asia to Islamic Philosophy: The Merv School" (Agil Shirinov)

Session 6. "Islamic Scholars who enlightened Anatolia from Central Asia" (Ertuğrul Yaman), "The Impact of Abdurrahman Câmî and Celâleddin Devvânî on Ottoman Science and Cultural Life (XV-XVI. centuries)" (İsmail Çiftçioğlu), "The Vision of Farabi as an Example for today's Muslim world" (Ömer Bozkurt, "From Philosophical Rationalism to Scientific Rationalism: The Cases of Avicenna and Biruni" (Hakan Coşar), "A Legacy in the Ottoman Palace: An Iconographic Account on ‘Uluğ Bey Chest' " (Gülnihal Küpeli)

Session 7. "Were Turkomans Turgishes?" (Abdullah Gündoğdu), "Isık Lake Calmucs from Budhism to Islam" (Cengiz Buyar), "Religious Beliefs and Institutions of Qıpchaks" (Mehmet Kıldıroğlu), "From Ancient Turkic Cults to Islamic Faith in the Manas Saga" (Abdulselam Arvas)

Session 8. "Women and Religious Education in today's Central Asia: Problems and Recommendations" (Dilaram Akramova), "The Perspective of Islamic Philosophy in Central Asia and its Results" (Nuri Adıgüzel), "Farabi in National Music Debates (Historical and Sociological Background of a Misunderstood Issue)" (Fazlı Arslan), "Islam in Central Asia: A Strategic Look at Problems and Expectations" (Hasan Oktay), "Religious Education in Post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan: Needs and Problems" (Nuri Kiraz)

Session 9. "Socio-cultural Conditions in Central Asia between 751-1040" (Mehmet Kutalmış), "Comments on Tolerance and Culture of Coexistance in Early Muslim-Turkic States" (Nesimi Yazıcı), "Sociological Results of Mystical Islamisation in Central Asia as a Cultural Network in Historical Context" (Ali Öztürk), "Social Lives of Turkic Nomad Peoples from Central Asia to Anatolia" (Yunus Emre Tansü), "Turkish-Islamic Art of Gilding from Central Asia to Today" (Betül Coşkun),

Session 10. "Contributions of Scholars raised in Central Asia to Arabic Language in XIIth and XIIIth Centuries" (Musa Yıldız), "Lexicological Counterparts of the Turk's Doomsday Conception in the post-Islamic Documents" (Hatice Şirin User), "The Impact of the Social and Cultural Environment in the Emergence of Maveraunnehr as a Civilisational Center" (Osman Aydın), "The Impact of Islamic Culture in the IXth Century East Turkestan in the form of Zakat Institution" (Bahattin Gencal), "The Conception of Faith in the post-Soviet Kyrgyz Family" (Ali Ünal),

Session 11. "Turkestan in the XVIth Century According to Seyfi Chalabi Travel Books" (Merthan Dündar), "Tombs of Saints and Visiting Culture in the 19th Century Western Travellers" (Firdevs Çetin), "City Identity as a Socio-Cultural Memory in Turkish-Islamic Civilisation: The Case of Central Asian Cities" (Adem Sağır), "Thoughts on the Central Asian Turkish-Islamic City of Balasagun and the Question of Position" (Alpaslan Âşık), "The Role of Sufism and Sufi Orders in the Spread of Islam in Kyrgyzstan" (Ali Cusubaliyev)

Session 12. "Arabic Education in Kyrgyzstan and the Effects of Sun'atullah" (Nurettin Ceviz), "Ottoman Influences on Turkestan at the Beginning of the 20th Century" (Ahmet Kanlıdere), "Hajj Journey of Turkestanis During the Ottoman Period" (İsmail Türkoğlu), "The Role of Islamic Tradition in Timur's Governance Approach" (Halil Çetin), "Djadidism in Turkestan: Cultural and Scientific Reforms and Social Change" (Kişimcan Eşenkulova)

The closing session, chaired by Prof. Anvarbek Mokeyev, was addressed by Prof. Suat Cebeci, Prof. Nesimi Yazıcı and Prof. Remzi Ataoğlu.

An exhibition of Islamic calligraphy presented by IRCICA on the sidelines of the meeting and opened on the first day of the congress drew great interest.

This was IRCICA's second congress focusing on the history of Islam in Central Asia after the first one that was held in Astana, Kazakhstan in 2007.

International congress on "The Balkan Wars (1912-1913) on their Centenary" (Istanbul, 20-21 October 2012)

On the centenary of the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) which marked the end of the Ottoman period in the Balkans and Southeast Europe and generated consequences that had decisive impacts on politics in and around the region, an international history congress was jointly organized by IRCICA and İstanbul Sabahattin Zaim University with the contributions of Zeytinburnu Municipality (Istanbul). Zeytinburnu is a district with a high percentage of population of Balkan origin. The congress took place on 19-21 October 2012. A significant feature of the congress was that its opening session at Zeytinburnu Cultural Centre of was addressed by ministers from the Balkan countries and Turkey: Mr. Mahir Yağcılar, Minister of Public Administration of Kosovo, Mr. Hadi Nezir, Minister of State of Macedonia, Mr. Rafet Husoviç, Minister of State of Montenegro; Mr. Sulejman Ugljanin, Minister of State of Serbia, and Mr. İdris Naim Şahin, Minister of Interior of Turkey. The opening was also addressed by the Mayor of Zeytinburnu Mr. Murat Aydın and the Rector of Sabahattin Zaim University Prof. Adem Esen. After the speeches, the opening session heard the keynote address of the congress delivered by Prof. Kemal Karpat, which was presented by Prof. Mehmet İpşirli. Prof. Karpat is a senior historian specialist of the history of the Balkans, Ottoman history, among other areas, and recipient of the Turkish Grand National Assembly's Honour Award.

The working sessions, held at the auditorum of the university, heard research findings on a variety of topics and discussions over academically debated issues. Scholars and specialists from Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Pakistan, Turkey, USA and Uzbekistan. The papers presented were:

"Effects of Politics in the Secession of Balkans" (Salim Aydın)¸ "The Role of Young Turks/CUP in the Balkan Wars Catastrophy" (Necmettin Alkan), "Dreams of Turkish Intellectuals on the Balkan Wars" (Sema Uğurcan), "The Balkan Wars and British India: A Case study of NWFP" (Abdul Rauf), "Reasons for the Successful Mobilization of the Balkan States in the Balkan Wars" (Igor Despot), "Salonika and the Balkan Wars" (Dimitris Michoulopulos), "Impacts of the Balkan Wars: The Uncharted Parts from Empire to Nation State" (Isa Blumi), "The Ambitions of the Last: Italy and the Balkan Wars" (Alessandro Vagnini), "When Sound Judgement of Statesmen Fails: The Role of Count István Burián in Influencing the Policy of Austria-Hungary during the Balkan Wars" (Demeter Gabor), "Russian Diplomatic Documentation Regarding the Events on the Balkans on the Eve of the Balkan Wars" (Liljana Gushevska), "The Balkan Wars in the Records of the Italian General Staff" (Alberto Becherelli), "The Balkan Wars according to the Ottoman Archive Documents" (Önder Bayır), "Macedonian Emigration Press in Russia on the Balkan Wars" (Biljana Rsitovska), "Human Faith in Balkan Wars in Macedonian Writers" (Jasmina Mojsieva Guseva), "The Balkan War (1912) Through the Eyes of the French War Correspondent Stéphane Lauzanne" (Odile Moreau), "Taking Advantage of a Crisis to Reform: The Remaking of Religious Education in the Wake of the Balkan Wars" (Amit Bein), "The New Status of the Balkans after 100 years of Ottoman Deportation" (Numan Aruç), "The Balkans and Traces of the Balkan Wars in Ömer Seyfeddin's Stories" (Abdullah Uçman), "Political Critics on Bulgarian Cartoons Related to the Balkan Wars" (Mehmet Köseoğlu), "Reflections of the Balkan Wars, their Reasons and Consequences" (Tahir Kahhar), "Sultan Reshad's Balkan Visit according to İsmail Bey's Voyage (Hâtıra-i Seyahat)" (Nesimi Yazıcı), "The Reality of East Trachea Bulgarian Refugees' Properties" (Georgi Zelengora).