150 years since the teacher’s of the nation birth - Akhmet Baitursynov

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the father of linguistics, poet, literature researcher, Turkologist, publicist, teacher, translator, public figure Akhmet Baitursynov.


A true devotee of the native language is Akhmet Baitursynov. He worked tirelessly so that the Kazakh language would not be in the shadow of our society. To this end, he wrote a number of works and research papers. He also proposed a version of the first Kazakh alphabet and provided the first teaching aids for introducing it as a subject. Akhmet Baitursynov raised the issue of language, noting that Kazakhs who received knowledge in Russian-Tatar schools do not speak their native language well enough.

One of the authors of the Karkaraly petition written in 1905 at the Koyandy fair and which collected 14,500 signatures was Akhmet Baitursynov. This petition raised issues of making changes to the affairs of local government, courts, public education in the interests of Kazakh people, permission for freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, publishing newspapers without censorship and opening a printing house, replacing the rule of the steppe with law in accordance with the interests of the Kazakh people. There was also a demand to stop the resettlement of Russian peasants on Kazakh land. However, these actions of a public activist were regarded as a rebellion against the authorities. From that moment in his life began the time of persecution, arrest and prison. But he will never give in his work for the benefit of the nation, which has become his life mission.

Akhmet Baitursynov spent his conscious life continuously working as one of the leaders of the national independence movement of the early 20th century, a statesman, founder of Kazakh language and literary studies department, reformer of national writing and an educator.

“Upon arrival in Orenburg, I first of all began to study the sound system and the grammatical structure of the Kazakh language; then he worked on putting things in order and facilitating the Kazakh alphabet and spelling. Thirdly, he tried to eliminate from the written Kazakh language unnecessary words that came from foreign languages ​​and to clear the syntactic structure from the alien influence of other languages. Fourth, he took up the disposal of Kazakh prose from artificial book form and the formation of scientific terms for the convenience of popular colloquial speech,” Akhmet Baitursynov himself wrote about his activities.

 Akhmet Baitursynov, who showed great concern for the national heritage, is a major statesman who formed Kazakh professional journalism. He explained to the Kazakh people and intelligentsia the public purpose of the newspaper and by his selfless action showed that the press is necessary for a civilized and independent country. “The newspaper is the eyes, ears and language of the population”, he stated and clearly and comprehensibly displayed the importance of disseminating information.

Being the editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Kazakh", he influenced the fact that the works of poets and writers were published. The newspaper explained the interests and goals of the Alash intelligentsia and worked in a political direction.

Akhmet is an ascetic and critic of the Kazakh society. In his poem “Kazakh kalpy”, he lists the conservative qualities inherent in our society and suggests ways to get rid of them. Poems depicting his civic dreams and goals were published in 1911 in a separate book called Masa. The main idea of ​​"Mas" is the call of the population to education, work, art, promotion of culture. The poet urged the people to get rid of such shortcomings as ignorance, indifference and negligence towards the profession. Baitursynov also translated poems by A. S. Pushkin, M. Yu. Lermontov, F. Voltaire and S. Ya. Nadson into Kazakh. These translations are the works of Baitursynov, which have a high level of content and ideological and artistry. With his multifaceted work and wise policy, the poet, concerned about the future fate of the country, became the spiritual leader of the youth.


A voluminous article by Baitursynov with the title "The Great Kazakh Poet" is one of the first research works in the science of literary criticism. The article describes the features and importance of the poems of the great poet Abay in the national art of speech, his historical mission and spiritual existence.

The merit of Baitursynov, as a publicist and organizer of the press, is in the formation of a hardened in the political struggle and comprehensively knowledgeable flow of the Kazakh intelligentsia, countless. In the history of Kazakh science, he is remembered as a reformer who created the national alphabet and offered a new example.

On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the mentor of the nation, the national TV channel "Kazakhstan" filmed a series called "Akhmet. Teacher of the Nation”. A domestic series of 6 episodes was presented to viewers and shown from blue screens on the eve of Independence Day. In addition, the Ministry of Culture and Sports took up the shooting of the full-length feature film “The Final Sentence”.


Author: Moldir Adamzhan

Translator-editor: Chingiz Smakov

Photo: from the open sources

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