Şentop pointed out that Turkey recognized Kazakhstan’s independence within a few hours after it was declared on December 16; therefore it is the first country to recognize the country’s independence and emphasized that diplomatic relations were established without wasting time.
Şentop indicated that it is remarkably pleasant to meet with the students of AYU after its establishment 30 years ago whereas it was founded as Turkistan State University shortly after disintegration of the Soviet Union with the historical decree signed by the Founding President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1991.
Şentop reminded that AYU is a joint university of the Republics of Turkey and Kazakhstan and told that the mission of this university is to educate students, who belong to Turkic speaking states and communities, under one roof; to raise individuals with free and scientific mind power, contemporary knowledge and skills, social responsibility; who respect human rights, are committed to national and ethical values; who investigate, research, are entrepreneurs with historical and identical conscience and to contribute to scientific and community life through research and development activities.
Speaker Şentop stated that when historical relations between Turkey and Kazakhstan are reviewed, one of the most rooted and long-lasting cooperation projects is AYU which is considered as the legacy of Ahmet Yesevis and Abays, shining like a torch in the field of science and education.
Şentop pointed out the fact that AYU’s establishment in Turkistan which is home to Hodja Ahmet Yesevi’s grave and one of the spiritual centers of the Turkic world, is quite meaningful and continued his words accordingly:
“It is another point we must emphasize that the University bears the name of Ahmet Yesevi who affected all Muslim Turkic countries from Turkistan to the Balkans. Ahmet Yesevi put his efforts to describing Islam’s principles, decency, sufi customs with a simple and plain language. He was one of the most renowned names of Central Asian Islamic sufism with his efforts, wisdom and life.”
Şentop said, “It is very important to understand each other’s language and to learn it, to know different expressions, to see that we have a common rich vocabulary behind pronounciation. That is why we recommend each and every student coming from Turkey to be educated here, to learn Kazakh. Likewise, I believe that students who are educated here and the academic staff must be promoted to learn Turkish. Therefore, it is important to reinforce education in Turkish within the university.”
Şentop pointed out that one of the keys to the success of the university is its autonomous and international status guaranteed by its founding agreement and told that strengthening this special statute with the support of Kazakhstan and maintaining it is significant and stated the following:
“We are doing everything at our disposal with our Kazak brothers to carry our University a step forward in every medium and we will continue to do so in the upcoming period. AYU is rising as a monument of our ideal of bringing Turkish-Kazak brotherhood and Turkic world closer, in the city of Turkistan which is the historical, scientific and cultural center of Central Asia.
AYU is keeping our moral heritage alive by building bridges through education among students coming from all around the Turkic world and even beyond. I’d like to underline the importance we attach to this subject and that we appreciate all that has been done to date, however, our University has the potential to do more hence, we must activate it."
Şentop expressed that skills acquired at youth, information learned, heard stories, all the people we meet and contact mentally are companions throughout our lives and addressed the youngesters:
“You are living in such a nice era where nice conversations take place. May God make your path clear and bright. We care for your future as much as we care for our children’s future and we also care for the ties you will establish between Kazakhstan and Turkey. You, our beloved youth bear the responsibility of maintaining the archaic and rooted ties between Kazakhstan and Turkey in each and every field and building new ties. Some of you are at the beginning of their education life, some of you are about to complete it. I hope that freshmen can benefit from the university’s richness and our brothers who come from Turkey to Kazakhstan to be educated can convey us Kazakhstan’s scientific, social and cultural wealth and serve as a bridge between Turkey and Kazakhstan.”
Mustafa Şentop also addressed the academicians indicating that complaining about youngesters’ ethics and attitudes means ignoring one’s own responsibilities.
Şentop said, “Because we create the youth’s conditions, manners and culture. That’s why I don’t think it’s right to hold our youth responsible for the issues of our era. We must turn to ourselves and ask ‘What did we prepare for our youth?’ and we must reckon ourselves as the generation who raises next generations.”
Şentop pointed out the fact that academicians are not just responsible for teaching students their lessons but also for protecting and looking out for them and reminded that each and every student comes from different conditions, families, cultures and geographies. Şentop continued his words accordingly:
“We must realize that each of our students have rare beauties and skills. It is not right to treat them as if they have the same conditions. Of course, the way we treat them must not cause injustice.”
Mustafa Şentop mentioned scholarships of the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities, “5 thousand Kazak students have been awarded with the scholarship of the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities by Turkey since 1992. Last year, 155 students were awarded with this scholarship.”
Şentop also expressed that Yunus Emre Institute carries out its activities in Kazakhstan and asked for the participants to visit and follow the studies of this center that works coordinately with the Turkish Embassy.
Şentop reminded that citizens of Kazakhstan are exempt from visa to Turkey and invited the participants of the program to Turkey.
Speaker Şentop wished success to the participants in their education lives.
Şentop stated that he would be attending the TURKPA meeting planned to be held in March, April or at the latest in May in Kazakhstan and told that in their last meeting, he recommended Nursultan Nazarbayev, Founding President of the Republic of Kazakhstan holding the meeting in Turkistan Region in order to promote the region and that he liked the idea. Mustafa Şentop told that he wishes to pay a visit to AYU during this meeting.
Prof. Dr. Muhittin Şimşek, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of AYU thanked Speaker Şentop for attending the program.
At the end of the ceremony, AYU students thanked via video recording firstly to the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Speaker of the GNAT Mustafa Şentop and Turkey for their support to them and their countries and conveyed their greetings to the Turkish people.