The 266th Birthday of Makhtumkuli Held in Iran

   The 266" birthday of Makhtumkuli Feragy, marked with the opening of a new monument over the tombs of Makhtumkuli and his father Dowletmamet Azadi, was held with a magnificent ceremony at the village of Ak Tokay attended by Saparmyrat Niyazov, President of Turkmenistan and Dr Mohajerani, Minister of Culture and Guidance of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

   According to the newspaper "Salam" (No. 23-, 18 th May 1999, p2) more than 15,000 Makhtumkuli enthusiasts and officials of the province of Golestan attended this magnificent ceremony.

   President Niyazov said: Today is a day which people of Iran and Turkmenistan will never forget and it is a day when two ancient people -
Turkmens and the people of Iran - who have lived as neighbours for many centuries, came especially close to each other and their friendship once again was consolidated.  President Niyazov also pointed out that the building signifies the importance the art-loving people of Iran attach to Turkmen literature and extended his gratitude to President Hatami on this festive occasion.  He also admired efforts being made by the Turkmen intelligentsia in Iran for the promotion of Makhtumkuli and his heritage.

   Dr Mohajerani, Minister of Culture and Guidance of Iran welcomed President Niyazov and his retinue on behalf of President Hatami and
expressed his gratitude to the authorities of the Golestan province for having finished the construction of the monument which was designed by the
distinguished architect Annamohanmmad Niyazi.  He said that Iran and Turkmenistan are enjoying the best possible economic relations thanks to
the efforts of the presidents of Turkmenistan and Iran.

   He then added: The Peoples of Iran and Turkmenistan have lived through one history and both have had eternal cultural relations.  Dr Mohajerani also pointed out that Makhtumkuli was one of the key elements in relations between the two countries, because he was not an ordinary poet.

Makhtumkuli@ monument, designed by the  distinguished Architect, Annamuhammed Niyazi