16 Years Since the Passing of Chingiz Aitmatov

Sixteen years have passed since the death of Chingiz Aitmatov, the renowned Kyrgyz writer, statesman, diplomat, journalist, and thinker.

Aitmatov’s books have been translated into 176 languages and published in 128 countries, cementing his status as a world-famous author.

Born on December 12, 1928, in the village of Sheker, Talas region, Kyrgyzstan, Aitmatov was the son of statesman Torekul Aitmatov and theater actress Nagima Aitmatova. He began his education in Moscow in 1935, where he learned Russian. Tragically, his father was arrested and executed in 1937.

Aitmatov graduated from veterinary college in 1948 and later attended the Higher Literary Courses at the Maxim Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow, where he started his writing career.

He received numerous awards throughout his life, including the Jawaharlal Nehru Prize in 1985, the Tokyo Institute of Oriental Philosophy Prize in 1988, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 1994, the Friedrich Rückert Prize in 1988, and the Alexander Men and Leo Kopelev Prize in 2004.

After the USSR’s collapse and Kyrgyzstan’s independence, Aitmatov served as ambassador to Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands, while continuing his literary work. He also represented Kyrgyzstan in the EU, NATO, and UNESCO, and was an ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Benelux countries.

Chingiz Aitmatov passed away on June 10, 2008, in a hospital in Nuremberg, Germany, where he was being treated for kidney failure. He was laid to rest on June 14 in the historical and memorial complex “Ata-Beyit” near Bishkek.





Back to top button