BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan has marked the 90th anniversary of the birth of prominent writer Chinghiz Aitmatov.
President Sooronbai Jeenbekov and other top Kyrgyz officials on December 12 laid flowers at Aitmatov’s grave at the Ata Beiit memorial complex near the capital, Bishkek.
Speaking at a separate ceremony at the National Philharmonics House, Jeenbekov called Aitmatov a “phenomenon in the world's literature."
"Aitmatov was not just a great writer who managed to change people's inner world, he was a personality of a planetary scale," he said.
The Kyrgyz writer died in 2008 in the age of 79.
He was revered across the former Soviet Union as an author who could skillfully describe people's psychological and emotional ordeals.
Aitmatov wrote in Russian and Kyrgyz. His novels were translated into 176 languages and more than 100 million copies of his books were issued in 128 countries.
On December 7 in Moscow, Jeenbekov joined Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin at the unveiling ceremony of a monument honoring the Kyrgyz writer.
The International Organization of Turkic Culture, Turksoy, declared 2018 the Year of Aitmatov.