65th Meeting Astana, 2023

65th Annual Meeting of the PIAC

Astana, Kazakhstan, July 30 – August 04, 2023

Hosted by Nazarbayev University
Co-sponsored by the International Turkic Academy

Oliver Corff


The 65th Annual Meeting of the Permanent International Altaistic Conference took place in Astana, Kazakhstan, from July 30 to August 04, 2023. Hosted by Nazarbaev University and co-sponsored by the International Turkic Academy, the meeting was brokered by the former Executive Director of Hungary’s Representation Office of the Organization of Turkic States, H. E. the late Ambassador János Hóvári. For the second time, a PIAC Meeting was held in Kazakhstan. The first, exactly 30 years ago, was the 36th Annual Meeting of the Permanent International Altaistic Conference which was held in Almaty under the precidency of Dr. Yerden Kazhybek, former Director of the Center for Oriental Studies of the Kazakh Academy of Sciences.

Opening Ceremony

The Meeting was opened on July 31st, Monday morning, by President Prof. Dr. Uli Schamiloglu, followed by speeches by the President of the International Turkic Academy, Dr. Shahin Mustafayev, the Acting Provost of Nazarbayev University, Dr. Loretta O’Donnell as well as the Acting Dean of the School of Sciences and Humanities of Nazarbayev University, Dr. Anton Desiatnikov. The President of the 36th Annual Meeting of the PIAC, Dr. Yerden Kazhybek gave an overview of Altaic Studies in Kazakhstan since independence. In his remarks as last  speaker of the opening ceremony, Secretary General Oliver Corff thanked all contributors for their energetic support which made this meeting possible.

A minute of silence was held in remembrance of Giovanni Stary who had passed away in 2022.

PIAC Medal

After a short presentation of the history, design and artistic creation of the PIAC Medal, the colloquial name for the PIAC Prize for Altaic Studies, the PIAC Prize for Altaic Studies was awarded to Barbara Kellner-Heinkele in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the fields of Ottoman history, language policy in Central Asia, and, last but not least for her service as Secretary General of the PIAC for 15 years; she had accepted the post 2007 during the 50th Annual Meeting of the PIAC in Kazan and stepped down from at the end of the 64th Annual Meeting, Budapest 2022.


This year the Meeting welcomed 31 participants, and it is worth noting that an unprecedented high number of participants joined a PIAC Meeting for the first time. Thus, the  confessions proved to be especially meaningful as it allowed old and new participants to get to know each other.



The programme of the 65th Annual Meeting was observed near-verbatim. On Monday afternoon, the keynote speech was delivered  by Dr. Shahin Mustafayev, President of the International Turkic Academy, “Recent Discoveries of New Orkhon Inscriptions in Mongolia”. Since he was on a field trip, the speech was transmitted by video. There was a total of eight panels, 1) Cultural History of Inner Asia, 2) The Lost Heritage, 3) Sources and Traditions, 4) Issues in Interpreting Turkic Languages, 5) Interpreting Sources in Altaic Languages, 6) Sources for Chinggisid History, 7) Sources for Traditional Altaic Religions and 8) New Sources for Altaic Studies, all related to the central theme of this meeting, New Sources for the Study of the Altaic World.

Since August 1st happens to be the birthday of both Walter Fuchs (August 1, 1902 — March 5, 1979) and Fuat Ganiyev (August 1, 1930 — February 28, 2016), the morning session began with a short intervention to the memory of these great scholars. Hartmut Walravens spoke about Walter Fuchs’es contributions to Altaic studies as well as his most important disciples, and Uli Schamiloglu introduced Fuat Ganiyev’s life and works to the audience.

In the afternoon of Tuesday, August 1st, the PIAC members were invited to a tour of Nazarbayev University campus and library where those books donated by PIAC members were on special display. During the campus tour, an official group photo was taken.

Official Photo of the 65th Meeting of the PIAC Astana, 2023; Image Credit: Zhuldyz Uakhitova

Official group photo of the 65th Annual Meeting in Astana, 2023, taken at Nazarbayev University, the main host of this year’s Annual Meeting. Image Credit: Zhuldyz Uakhitova, Aug 1, 2023.


On Wednesday, The participants of the meeting were given a tour of the museum and memorial complex ALZhIR, the Akmolinsk Camp of Wives of Traitors to the Motherland (Russian: Акмолинский лагерь жён изменников Родины (А. Л. Ж. И. Р.). This memorial site was opened on May 31, 2007 as part of an initiative of President Nursultan Nazarbayev to remember the victims of political repression and totalitarianism.

In the afternoon, the participants toured Astana and visited the National Museum.

Business Meeting

The 65th Meeting of the PIAC ended with the Business Meeting. During this meeting, the major announcements regarding the publication of proceedings were:

  • For the Proceedings of this meeting, a separate call for papers will be issued on October 1st, 2023.
  • Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting, Bishkek 2018: the collection of manuscripts waits to be processed; due to the number of contributions, more time than usual is required.
  • Proceedings of the 63rd Annual Meeting, Ulaanbaatar 2021: Oliver Corff will contact the editors during his next visit to Mongolia.
  • Proceedings of the 64th Annual Meeting, Budapest 2022: The editor, Ákos Bertalan Apatóczky, announces that the proceedings will be published in Studia Uralo-Altaica whose editor-in-chief, Sándor Papp, is present at this meeting.

Those members who have voting rights (at least three participations in at least two different countries) elected Ákos Bertalan Apatóczky, Uli Schamiloglu and Hartmut Walravens as members of the Medal Committee. Secretary General and the President of the upcoming meeting are ex officio members of the Medal Committee.

The members of the 65th Annual Meeting of the PIAC passed a resolution the text of which is found at the end of this report.

Finally, the members of the PIAC were invited by Johannes Reckel (communicated via Oliver Corff) to join the 66th Annual Meeting of the PIAC to be held in Göttingen in 2024. The meeting will be hosted by Göttingen State and University Library and Göttingen University.


The members assembled in the 65th Annual Meeting of the PIAC express their heartfelt gratitude:

  • to the President of the 65th Meeting of the PIAC, Prof. Dr. Uli Schamiloglu for his untiring support and energy, which made this meeting happen,
  • to Nazarbayev University,
  • to the International Turkic Academy, and its President Dr. Shahin Mustafayev,
  • to Adilbek Zhumanbekov, Zhuldyz Uakhitova, and Dr. A. Javeed Ahwar who helped make the organization a success,
  • to Oliver Corff for his tireless work as Secretary General, as this was his début,
  • and to Dr. Yerden Kazhybek, President of the 36th Annual Meeting held in Almaty in 1993, who gave a welcome speech this year.

Impressions of the Meeting

A gallery of pictures showing scenes of the meeting as well as the excursion.