17 November 2022

The Inscriptions That Shed Light on Turkish History Will Be Preserved in a Museum Building in Mongolia

The foundation was laid for the Bilge Tonyukuk Museum, where the Bilge Tonyukuk Monuments, which shed light on the Turkish history, will be preserved indoors.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the project implemented by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), affiliated with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Türkiye, on a land located approximately 60 km from Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.

The ceremony was attended by Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister of Culture and Tourism of Türkiye; Nomin Chinbat, Minister of Culture of Mongolia; Serkan Kayalar, President of TİKA; Birol Çetin, President of the Turkish Historical Society; members of the parliament; historians; bureaucrats; and local people.

At the ceremony, Minister Ersoy presented the activities carried out by TİKA in the region and stated that they were taking a new step to ensure continuity and preserve the results of nearly 30 years of historical, cultural, and scientific cooperation with Mongolia in various fields, for future generations. Ersoy noted that domestic and international tourists will be able to visit the Turkish cultural properties to be displayed on the land with a contemporary museum concept throughout the year. Ersoy said, “The Ministry of Culture of Mongolia allocated 7 hectares of land for the Bilge Tonyukuk Museum. They supported the preservation of the land, which was declared a protected area in 2002, and its conversion into a museum. We are happy that after the construction of the museum, a cultural and touristic complex will be built on a land of 20 hectares in this region in the first phase.” Ersoy thanked those who contributed to the project.

– The project will be completed in 2024

Speaking to press members in the area where the monuments are located, Minister Ersoy reminded that TİKA had previously carried out a large-scale excavation in the region. Ersoy added that the museum project had been postponed due to the pandemic and would be completed in 2024. Ersoy noted that Mongolia and Türkiye share a common culture. He said, “This is a great investment to preserve our common culture for future generations. TİKA will complete the project quickly and continue to support cultural heritage sites here. Together, we are taking the necessary steps to strengthen Türkiye’s ties with its homeland for future generations.”

– “We used traces of our history”

TİKA’s President Kayalar stated that they were building a museum to protect the monuments displayed on site from climate conditions. Kayalar said, “Visitors will be able to look closely at the monuments, which will be displayed in an 18-meter-high museum with a total area of approximately 3,370 sq. meters. The monuments will be kept in an air-conditioned area and protected from environmental conditions both outside and inside the museum, in accordance with the evaluation of our scientific committee.” Kayalar stressed the importance of the details of the design of the museum, which will enclose the monument. He said, “We used traces of our history in this design. These traces are also inspired by Turkish tents called ‘yurt’. Similarly, we used two-centered Turkish arches. In short, we will build this museum in accordance with contemporary museological practices, using details specific to tents and traditional Turkish architecture.”

– “The excavations paved the way for the museum”

Historian Ahmet Taşağıl noted that the excavations that they had previously conducted paved the way for the museum. He stated that the museum will preserve the works for future generations. Taşağıl said, “It is of great importance for Turkish culture and politics that the name Bilge Tonyukuk and the word Turkish will be visible in this museum. This project will both preserve a monument and boost tourism.” Nomin Chinbat, Minister of Culture of Mongolia, delivered a speech at the groundbreaking ceremony and noted that when the project is completed, a new chapter will begin in the relations between the two countries. The ceremony was followed by a performance of a folk song by a singer, accompanied by a traditional Mongolian musical instrument. Then, Minister Ersoy and Minister Chinbat, together with bureaucrats from the two countries, laid the foundation for the museum.

– The Bilge Tonyukuk Museum

The monuments and the nearby historical sites and archaeological finds from the Gokturk era will be protected against climate conditions. When the project is completed, the museum, which will be built in accordance with contemporary museological practices, will function as a culture and training center presenting the deep-rooted Turkish history to visitors. The museum will have walkways, a historical artifact storage, a foyer, an audiovisual hall, and a tourist information desk.

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