Olzhas Omaruly Suleimenov (Kazakh: Олжас Омарұлы Сүлейменов, Oljas Omaruly Súleımenov; Russian: Олжа́с Ома́рович Сулейме́нов) is a Kazakh Soviet Russian-language poet, Turkologist, Kazakhstani politician, and Soviet anti-nuclear activist.
Olzhas Omaruly Suleimenov
|Chairman of the People's Congress|
5 October 1991 – 1995
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||Güljan Erğalieva|
|Born||May 18, 1936|
Alma-Ata, Kazakh ASSR, Soviet Union
|Alma mater||Kazakh State University|
Maxim Gorky Literature Institute
|Occupation||Poet, politician, and anti-nuclear activist|
Suleimenov was born on 18 May 1936 in Alma-Ata. He graduated from Geological Sciences Department of Kazakh State University in 1959. Suleimenov also finished Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in 1961. Between 1962-1971, he worked at Kazakhskaya Pravda. Suleimenov was awarded Komsomol Prize for Kazakhstan in 1966. Between 1969 and 1989 he was a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In 1981 he was a member of the jury at the 12th Moscow International Film Festival. He became First Secretary of the Committee of the Kazakhstan's Writers Union in 1983. He is a Russophone writer.
His most influential work, AZ-and-IA (Russian: АЗ и Я. Книга благонамеренного читателя), was published in 1975. The book is about the possible Turkic origin of the Russian chronicle The Tale of Igor's Campaign. AZ-i-IA drew widespread criticism from the literary elite in Russia. Suleimenov was charged with "national chauvinism" and "glorifying feudal nomadic culture." Kazakhstan Communist Party first secretary Dinmuhammad Konayev intervened on Suleimenov's behalf, discussing the content of the book with Leonid Brezhnev and saving Suleimenov's career.
His other works include:
- Argamaki (1961)
- Zemlia Poklonis' Cheloveku (1961)
- Solnechnye Nochi (1962)
- Dobroe Vremia Voskhoda (1964)
- God Obez'iany (1967)
- Glinianaia Kniga (1969)
- Тюрки в доистории (о происхождении древнетюркских языков и письменностей) [The Turks in Prehistory (on the origin of the ancient Turkic languages and scripts)] (in Russian). Алматы: Атамұра. 2002. ISBN 9965-05-662-5.
Suleimenov again became a worldwide name in 1989, when he led the establishment of the international environmental movement Nevada-Semipalatinsk. Nevada-Semipalatinsk campaigned to close nuclear sites in Nevada and in the Semipalatinsk Oblast of Kazakhstan.
After independence, Suleimenov established the People's Congress of Kazakhstan party in 1991 and served as the speaker of Parliament from 1993 until 1994. While at the Parliament, he rose to the position of opposition leader, engaging in several political struggles with President Nursultan Nazarbaev. Many opposition leaders urged him to run as a candidate in the next presidential elections.
In 1995, to preempt his potential candidacy, Nazarbayev brokered a deal, and Suleimenov was appointed as Kazakhstan's ambassador to Rome. From 2002 till now he serves as Kazakhstani ambassador at the UNESCO in Paris.