ASHGABAT -- Turkmenistan celebrated the life and work of prominent 18th-century poet and philosopher Magtymguly Pyragy on the country's Day of Revival and Unity on May 18, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reports.
Magtymguly was born in the Etrek Valley of what is now northern Iran.
He is famous for ideas about uniting Turkmen tribes and hoped for a common state for all Turkmen.
Scientists, poets, and writers from Turkmenistan and other countries met at the third-annual international conference of Magtymguly in Gonbed Gabus, Iran, on May 17.
Juma Buresh, an ethnic Turkmen from Iran, told RFE/RL that he is concerned that the Turkmen minority in Iran is not allowed to study in its native language, despite having such a right in the Iranian Constitution. He said Turkmen are also forced to choose Persian names for their newborn children.
Magtymguly, who lived from 1733-1783, was also a founder of the Turkmen literary language.