Seitkulov Mukhamedkhan (1870-1937)

Seitkulov Mukhamedkhan is a bright representative of the spiritual elite of the Kazakh people at the turn of the XIX and the first three decades of the 20th century, Alash activist, patron of culture, was born in 1870 in Semipalatinsk.

The hospitable house of Seitkulov in Semipalatinsk was always open for meetings and discussions about the past, present and future of the people. He maintained relations with writers and publishers of the time. M. Seitkulov was known as a generous philanthropist. He was one of the few who financed the magazine “Abai”, published under the editorship of Zh. Aimauytov and M. Auezov and the newspaper “Saryarka”. He did many good deeds, so that the spiritual connection of times does not break off.

Coming to Semipalatinsk Abai and his students – Turagul, Kokbay, Shakarim, Alash activists, and many others stopped in the M. Seitkulov’s house. There were literary and art figures in the Seitkulov’s house, well-known representatives of the Kazakh intelligentsia: Alikhan Bukeikhanov, Akhmet Baitursunov, Magzhan Zhumabayev, Myrzhakyp Dulatov, Mukhtar Auezov, Zhusipbek Aimautov, Mukhamedzhan Tynyshpayev, Khalel Gabbasov, Sultanmakhmut Toraigyrov, Ydyris Mustanbayev, Sabit Donentayev, Mannan Turganbayev, Amre Kashaubayev, Almagambet Kapsalemov, Isa Baizakov, Isain Zhanbirbaev and many other significant figures of science, culture, art.

Mukhtar Auezov from a young age was a frequent guest of Mukhamedkhan Seitkulov. At that time Auezov studied at the Semipalatinsk teacher’s seminary, Seitkulov gave him the opportunity to conduct in his own house the first rehearsals of the plays Yenlik-Kebek and Karakoz. Thus the first Kazakh Theater was born.

The home library occupied a huge hall in M. Seitkulov’s house. Kayum Mukhamedkhanov’s father wrote out a lot of newspapers and magazines of that time in Kazakh, Tatar and Russian, for example, the first Kazakh magazine Ayap and the newspaper Kazakh, the Tatar newspaper Uakyt (Time), the Shura magazine, the Saryarka newspaper and the “Abai” magazine, which were published in Semipalatinsk in 1917-1918. The magazine “Abai” was published at the expense of Kazakh merchant-patrons of the city of Semipalatinsk, including M. Seitkulov. The first publishers of the magazine “Abai”, as is known, were Zh. Aimauytov and M. Auezov.

The home library was constantly replenished with new books. Among them were works of oral folk art, classics of the world and Russian literature. The first collection of works by Abai was published in Petersburg in 1909. The poems of Shakarim “Kalkaman-Mamyr”, “Yenlik-Kebek”; As well as “Kazakh ainasy”, “Shezhire – the origin and history of Kazakhs and Kazakh khans”, “A book about the religion of Muslims” and much more were published in Semipalatinsk in 1912. Thus, all these sources were gradually included in the reading circle of his son – Kayum.

The library also had a multivolume edition of “Russia. A complete geographical description of our fatherland”(editor Semenov-Tyan-Shansky), the 18th volume of which was called” the Kyrgyz land “and was dedicated to the history of the Kazakh people (published in 1903). One of the authors of this publication was Alikhan Bukeikhanov, the future leader of the Alash party and the head of the government of Alash Orda. Thanks to the work of A. Bukeikhanov, his children first became acquainted with the objective history of their people and their culture.

Seitkulov played a big role in the formation of many iconic figures of our history, supporting them financially, morally, spiritually (Auezov, Turlykhanov, etc.).

Seitkulov gave lessons in Islam at the Tynybai mosque in Semipalatinsk, and later served as an imam in the mosque № 6, known as the mosque of Akhmet Riza.

Seitkulov Muhamedkhan shared the tragic fate of the Alash activists. He was shot on December 2, 1937 at 2 a.m. That night in Semipalatinsk, about a hundred people were shot, and there was a mass kill of innocent civilians. He was rehabilitated posthumously. The place of execution and burial is unknown.