Turkistan – About 400 representatives from more than 20 countries, including 60 international experts, participated in the conference on “Sustainable Tourism, Pilgrimage and Sacred Heritage” held in Turkistan on October 26-28.
Organized within the framework of UNESCO’s Heritage of Religious Interest initiative, the event aims to promote Kazakhstan’s heritage preservation practices and highlight the research and conservation practices of sacred and historical monuments.
Magnus Magnusson, UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office, Aliya Baisabaeva, Secretary General of the Kazakh National Commission for UNESCO and ISESCO, Marco Alberti, Ambassador of Italy to Kazakhstan, Bolat Tlepov, Head of the Internal Policy Department of the Presidential Office, Secretary General leaders participated. TURKSOY Sultan Raev participated in the event.
According to UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture Ernesto Ottone-Ramirez, religious heritage accounts for more than 20% of the heritage inscribed on the World Heritage List.
“UNESCO’s Initiative on Religious Interests promotes a balanced approach and management of these beautiful places to protect their religious and spiritual qualities. It also offers a platform for dialogue between all stakeholders in conservation and use, including religious and local communities. These beautiful places are of special importance to the local people and people who visit them and religious tourists. Therefore, religious and sacred places should be managed with respect and sustainability. Today’s meeting is an important step to ensure this,” said Ottone-Ramirez in his speech at the opening of the conference.
Akim (Governor) of Turkistan Province Darkhan Satybaldi spoke about the duty of the region to the nation.
“During his visit to our region, Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that Turkistan can be called the spiritual and historical capital of the country… The new status will give a new impetus to the development of the city,” Satybald said during the greeting.
Satybald notes that Khoja Ahmed Yasawi is a prominent figure in the Turkic world. He is an outstanding representative of Kazakh culture and literature and one of the great geniuses of Islam. “Khoja Ahmed Yasavi Mausoleum in Turkestan is a masterpiece of architecture. These are what make Turkestan a unique place. I believe that our researchers and scientists will successfully study the great heritage of history.”
By the way, the Khoja Ahmed Yasawi mausoleum was registered on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List in 2003, so the scientists participating in the meeting emphasized that the preservation and protection of the heritage will continue.
It is also planned to discuss issues such as the management, conservation, restoration, tourism development of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, increasing the economic potential of these sites, and the role of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi.