Kazakh scientists collect heritage of Mustafa Shokai from France archives

New data on the priceless legacy of legendary Mustafa Shokai. Kazakh scientists went on an expedition to France and discovered previously unknown information about the works and life path of the member of the Alash Orda government. The archival documents let us know more about Mustafa Shokai’s personality.

Presently, the name of Mustafa Shokai is well known throughout the Turkic world. He lived in Europe for almost 20 years. Far from his homeland, he continued his work for the interests and independence of his nation. This is confirmed not only by hundreds of letters sent by him to his supporters, but also by numerous articles published in the ‘Yash Turkistan’ journal. Shokai wrote about problems of the Turkic world and touched upon the global aspects of everyday life. Today the original print versions are stored in the archives of the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations in Paris.

“At present, a total of 224 translated articles of Mustafa Shokai were published in the ‘Yash Turkistan’ journal. I’ve recently wrote about this in a letter to the State Secretary. I brought up the idea to erect the monument to Mustafa Shokai’s wife in Turkistan, too. 230 of his works out of more than 800 are connected with this city,” said Abdijalel Bakir, Shokai studies scholar, PhD in Political Sciences.

Kazakh researchers visited Paris at the invitation of French specialists. In a short time, the Kazakh scholars were able to collect valuable materials about the famous figure, most of which they were able to convert to digital format. The research group also visited an alley with the monument of Mustafa Shokai, which was opened in Paris in 2010. The scientists also visited the place where the legendary activist was buried.

“In 2023, Turkey will mark its 100th anniversary. A series of books dedicated to this date has already been published. It contains the biographies of 100 great personalities of the Turkic world. The first five volumes of the series are about Mustafa Shokai. They were released in early 2022. We decided to start with Mustafa Shokai because he is considered one of the greatest personalities of the Turkic world. We are proud of him,” shared Abduakap Kara, Shokai studies scholar, PhD in History, Turkey.

Today, the heritage and precious exhibits reflecting his activity are kept in Mustafa Shokai’s only museum located in Astana.

“The museum stores a portable typewriter used by Mustafa Shokai himself, as well as the letters from his wife. Here, you can get acquainted with relics from the home archive. We have converted a lot of exhibits and materials to electronic format to make it more convenient for the researchers,” added Saltanat Seksenbayeva, manager of the Mustafa Shokai Museum.

Shokai’s life researchers set themselves an important and ambitious task. First of all, they intend to continue the work on returning Mustafa Shokai’s valuable historical heritage to his homeland to pass it on to future generations.