Turkmens lived from olden times on the just and noble laws of their ancestors
The unique book was published in 1897 in Ashgabat - "The common law of the Turkmen. Adat ". It aroused great interest among lawyers studying the history of Central Asia and the information contained in it discovered a lot. Alexander Alexandrovich Lomakin was the author of the book. He arrived in the trans-Caspian region in the 90s of the nineteenth century, after the end of the Officer courses of the Oriental languages of the Asian Department of Foreign Affairs of Russia. Fulfilling the duties of the chairman of Justices of the Serakhs' parish and facing the practice of legal proceedings, Lomakin discovered that the Islamic law studied in the "Sheriat" courses is differ with the traditional statutes of the Turkmen. The consciousness that it is impossible to live and work among the indigenous population without knowing its laws has prompted Lomakin to study on his own people's law independently.
In the beginning, Lomakin tried to compile a set of Turkmen laws, confining himself to questions of people's judges, studying court decisions. He faced the fact that different judgements were often issued on the same type of cases. This confirmed him in his thought: the people are judged not by the Turkmen custom. "Where there is affinity, kinship or self-interest, one can not seek justice," Lomakin writes, and decided to study primordial customs in the people's environment, through respected aksakals, in detours of auls, without interpreters help. The information received in one aul was checked in another, third, fourth. It was easy for him, because he mastered the Turkmen language perfectly. Within three years, the bulk of the valuable information was collected. The work was not finished at this point. Information obtained in the Serakh auls, Lomakin checked and supplemented with data collected in Tedzhen, where he was sent as a county governor, and then - in Ahal, working in the staff of the head of the trans-Caspian region.
Even while in hand-written form, the information on Turkmen law was of great help in resolving legal issues. The Head of the Trans-Caspian region himself used Lomakin’s consultations. Convinced of the necessity and usefulness of the work undertaken by the author, he ordered the publishing of the book "Adat" at the expense of the treasury. A special authoritative commission, which included members of the extraordinary congress of people's judges, unanimously recognized Lomakin's work as a thorough one, not requiring corrections and additions.
In 1897 the book «The common law of the Turkmen. Adat» was printed in a private printing house in Ashgabat. In the introduction, the author notes that by adopting Islam and having learned religious principles, the Turkmen people continued to live their own lives, which is not very similar to the life of the Arabs of the times of Muhammad. Although the Sheriat has penetrated to a certain extent in solving cases, but in the part of family, hereditary and controversial issues, the Turkmen continued to strictly observe the customs and regulations of their ancestors. Adat, unlike the Sheriat, was not a science, it was not taught at educational institutions, it did not have a written embodiment, but it was strictly and accurately, rule after rule, from century to century, from generation to generation transmitted verbatim, preserved in the genetic memory of Turkmen. Obviously, the adat was much older than all religions; it was independent views derived from the historical experience of the Turkmen people's life on civil and criminal law, on private and family life, and on management of the economy. Proceeding from this, the compiler divided the book into three parts: the right family, the right procedural and the right material.
The Turkmen people, honestly and cleanly by the soul were brought up on the strict but friendly and just laws of Adat. When acquainted with the people's law, it becomes obvious that, despite the strictness of the provisions, it carried justice, humanity, highly respected the interests of both the individual and society as a whole. All their thousands of years of experience, the Turkmens in adat invested all their spirituality. Its laws preserved generations after generations, educating in people moral purity, a sense of justice and respect for elders.
Lomakin summarized his painstaking work with the words: "Life shows how useful my work is, but it is clear already that it will serve to further, more thorough study of Turkmen law."
Based on materials from the Central State Archive of Turkmenistan