By Ilkay Guder
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AA) – Turkish First Lady Emine Erdogan inaugurated a cultural center on Sunday, dedicated to late Kyrgyz writer Chinghiz Aitmatov.
Speaking at the opening event in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, Erdogan said that the venue which was renovated and restored by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), is seen as an education center that will strengthen Kyrgyzstan-Turkey friendship.
The cultural center is part of the Kyrgyz National Library.
Erdogan also pointed out the importance of naming the center after Aitmatov. She said that the center was a gift from Turkey to the people of Kyrgyzstan as this year marks the 90th anniversary of the novelist's birthday.
Aitmatov (1928-2008) is widely read and respected in Turkey. He is best known in Turkey for the 1978 film "The Girl with Red Scarf (Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalım)", which was adapted from his 1970 short novel "The Red Scarf".
Erdogan said that Turkey section of the library was opened in 2006 in a 60 square meter area: “Now we are honored and proud to bring to the Kyrgyz National Library a section that can also be used as a cultural center.”
The first lady is accompanying Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his three-day visit to Kyrgyzstan.