Following the death of the Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aitmatov, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier sent the following letter of condolence to his Kyrgyz counterpart Ednan Karabajev today (12 June):
"I was saddened to hear of the death of the great Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aitmatov. I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to you and the people in Kyrgyzstan.
Chingiz Aitmatov was Kyrgyzstan's voice in world literature. His work looked at social and political issues and his special gift was his ability to cross borders and cultures and appeal straight to the heart of his readers.
Many of his novels and narratives have been translated into German. Chingiz Aitmatov has a large and loyal readership here. At the Leipzig Book Fair he received a rapturous reception last year when he presented his novel "When Mountains Crumble".
Also as a representative of Kyrgyz diplomacy, Chingiz Aitmatov worked with incredible dedication. He made a major contribution to better understanding between Europe and Central Asia. He was held in very high esteem in the European Union.
We will all remember Chingiz Aitmatov as a champion of universal and humanist literature."