Turkmenistan: US and UK embassies host Oxford professor to discuss Silk Road


ASHGABAT (TCA) — The U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat, in partnership with the Embassy of the United Kingdom, hosted a visit to Ashgabat by Professor Peter Frankopan of Oxford University as part of a program to promote dialogue on the historic legacy of the Silk Road.

Dr. Frankopan, Professor of Global History at Oxford University and a renowned historian of the Byzantine Empire, is author of the 2015 book The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, an international bestseller. The U.S. and U.K. Embassies are joining the Government of Turkmenistan in marking 2018 as the year of the Great Silk Road and organized Professor Frankopan’s visit to facilitate discussion around its legacy, including issues of trade, connectivity between the peoples of the region, entrepreneurship, and cultural exchange, the U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat said on July 6.

During his visit, Dr. Frankopan gave two lectures at the Ashgabat American Center and attended meetings with Turkmen counterparts, including a roundtable with experts from the Institute of Ethnography and Archaeology and the Academy of Sciences. He also met with representatives of the Ministry of Culture responsible for the protection and restoration of historical monuments.

Professor Frankopan’s visit is one way in which the U.S. Embassy is celebrating the history of the Silk Road and the ideas it represents. In June, the Embassy published a book featuring works by American photographer Tom Till, who visited Turkmenistan and other countries in Central Asia in September and October 2017 to photograph Silk Road sites restored under the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. Also in June, the Embassy celebrated “Silk Road Month” at the American Center and American Corners in Turkmenistan, with presentations and activities relating to communications, transportation, and cultural exchange. And in April, a U.S. Public Diplomacy Officer biked across Turkmenistan to demonstrate support for cultural exchange along the Silk Road.

Sergey Kwan