29th Meeting Tashkent, 1986

In his article “Forty Years of PIAC” (published in the Proceedings of the 40th Meeting, Bloomington/Indiana 2001), Denis Sinor writes:

[… T]he 29th meeting took place in Tashkent, September 15–21, 1986, under the joint sponsorship of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Soviet Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Linguistics of the Uzbek Academy of Sciences. Vadim Solntsev was the president. The central theme of the meeting was “Historical and cultural contacts between the peoples of the Altaic linguistic unity.”

The 29th Meeting took place in an atmosphere of political tension in Soviet-Western relations on top of which the sponsoring institutions also had to take care of Uzbek sensibilities, as Denis Sinor writes, and he continues his account writing that “the Turkish participants used the occasion to emphasize the notion of the brotherhood linking all Turkic people.”

The Soviet participation was huge. Among the approx. 270 participants, 200 scholars were Soviets. Turkey also sent a sizable delegation. Not only did the organizers separate the scholars of different political camps in different hotels (i.e. Western scholars did not stay in the same hotel as Soviet scholars), but also the publication of proceedings was overshadowed by this political multi-layered divide. Abstracts of Soviet contributions appeared in two volumes, whereas the majority of contributions from Turkey, including the opening speeches by Zeynep Korkmaz and Osman Fikri Sertkaya, were published in Turkey. Four of these articles by Turkish scholars also appeared in Russian translation in the journal Sovyetskaya Tyurkologiya, and Denis Sinor’s opening speech appeared in a special issue of Uzbek tili va adabieti (1986,4), later reproduced in PIAC Newsletter 17 (1987): 4–8.

There were also three delegates from China participating in this meeting. One of them, Chen Wei, published a short report about this meeting.