The 1991 International Contemporary Turkic Alphabets Symposium and its Contributions to the Turkic Alphabet Reform
Altug, Bedii Duru
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This thesis examines the symposium on script selection that was realized with the participation of the six independent Turkic nations; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Throughout history, the scripts that were employed to record Turkic Languages varied. However, some of the most important reform choices with wide ranging impact were made during the last century. The most popular among these is the Turkish Alphabet Reform of Turkey in 1928. Less widely known are the alphabet reform debates in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. This paper examines the discussions surrounding the Turkic alphabets reform, and the struggle to create a common Turkic alphabet with the aim of representing a unified Turkic identity.