J. V. Stalin, in his denunciation of Sultan Galiev, formerly Stalin's own assistant in Narkomnats, stated:
Erk Party Program
Jadid Terakkiperver Party Program44
The Society and the Basmachi
20 February 1923
Dear Vladimir Ilich,
Due to your illness, it is possible that you might have been prevented from reading this letter or it might not have reached you. But since I sent copies of it to some other friends, it is now a historical document. Comrade Stalin ostensibly stated that under Comrade Rudzutak's auspices I could return to the Party. In other words they (Party) would disregard the letter I sent to the Central Committee from Baku in 1920, outlining my opposition to and initiatives against Moscow by joining the Rebellion. However, who can believe that and return? Especially since you have abrogated the 20 March 1919 agreement which was signed by you, Stalin, myself and my friends; by your order of 19 May 1920 signed only by you and Stalin? When I personally protested that latter order, you had characterized our 20 March 1919 agreement "only a piece of paper." However, that agreement announced that Bashkurts would retain the right of maintaining their own army and that army was going to be under the command of Soviet Headquarters without intermediary stages. With your 19 May 1920 order, you have deprived the Bashkurt army of those provisions, assigning it to the trans-Volga army, disbursing the Bashkurt units as the trans-Volga Headquarters saw fit among its formations. Indeed, that is what happened and today there is no physical Bashkurt army. Similarly, in the same order what was deceivingly termed "attaching Ufa to Bashkurdistan" turned out to be the reverse, attaching Bashkurdistan to the Ufa province. Consequently, what was conceded to the "Russian moslems" on 20 December 1917, "the right to secede from Russia," should they choose, has been destroyed from its foundations by your order of May 1920. From now on, following the defeat of Bashkurts, Kazakhs and the Turkistanis in the South-West and my departure from Soviet Russia as of tomorrow, a ne era shall begin in their history; that is, rather than seeking their legal equality with the Russians (in the Russian context), that experimentation having failed, the transition to the international arena (for seeking those rights) is being made. My task will be to familiarize the world with the history of those struggles.57 The Veklikiirus nation has already decided on the specific policy to be applied to the captive nations and tribes they are holding, not only in economic and social matters, but also in cultural affairs. The "Eastern University" which you established last year is operating as a center for these policies. A specialized "eastern affairs" group, comprised of Velikiirus personnel around the Central Committee has also been formed. The CC has brought in certain individuals of the eastern nationalities of the Soviet domains, charged with the specific duty of preparing material for these "eastern specialists." Those eastern nationals even published certain books and pamphlets. But, the topics they are to work on are assigned by your Velikiirus. These non-Russian intellectuals are not even being admitted into the debates on the "constitutions" which are being prepared to govern them. Today, the main task on which the CC Eastern Affairs Specialists are working is to prepare separate alphabets and literary languages for each nationality and tribe, based on the extant local "phonetic" differences between them. In principle, the non_russian communists are said to be serving only as consultants in this endeavor. In the latest issue of the journal Kizil Shark, published by the members of the Eastern University, contained a commentary by one mer Aliyev of Daghestan. According to him, should the Cyrillic alphabet be accepted for the Northern Caucasus Turkish dialects, this would lead to Christianization. Further, he has reportedly said, it would be necessary to borrow the Latin alphabet in use in Azerbaijan (sic).58 It is imperative that the issues of Alphabet and literary language (according to Aliyev) not require Russian help, but the aid of those governments formed on the basis of national political freedom, and should be accomplished by native scholars. These writings and efforts of the Azerbaijanis to gather the intellectual communist of the Turk tribes around Kizil Shark and one literary language is said to be making the Velikiirus specialists nervous, angry. When Shahtahtinskii and Jelal Guliev of Azerbaijan defended a single alphabet based on Latin, Prof. Polivanov and other Russians are said to have stated that even if the Latin alphabet is accepted, this would be replaced by the cyrillic and a special sub-set will be created for Turkish dialects, whose number was approaching forty. Shahtahtinskii retorted that the aim of Russians was not to allow standard literary language to live. It is now understood that, when you Velikiirus friends begin playing with the language and the syntax of a people, you will not let their collars free until they, too, become complete Russians. It is not possible not to be surprised to observe the differences between your current policies and your writings in "Against the Tide" and in your other writings, where you state that ideally, the rights of nations should be placed in their hands. Your representative comrade Zeretskii gave numerous conferences to our people, during the summer of 1919 while we were refurbishing our army in Saransk, to the effect that the Soviet government was the first in history to base the freedoms of captive nations on their own national armies. I myself published an article in Pravda in the same vein. It has not been four years since those events and it appears that your policies will be developing in the opposite direction. RKP may continue to claim, in Asia and the countries far away from Russia, such as Africa, that it will liberate them. The truth is, your Velikiirus become angry when people such as Gregori Safarov display the colonial policies of the tsar in Turkistan. Those Velikiirus enjoy hearing the native communists liken themselves to small fish being eaten by the whale, better if that argument were presented as a proverb. When comrade Artium was visiting us, he used to state his belief that except for China and India, the Soviet Russian culture would become dominant in all of Asia. Those native languages and cultures attempting to prevent this would not be worth dwelling upon, since they are only going to be used to spread communism. These and similar words were repeated elsewhere. Without a doubt, this will be carried-out and as a result all those nations who wish to retain their independence but have become your prisoners will view Soviet Russia as their foremost enemy. I mentioned these matters to you while you and I were discussing your theses on "Colonialism and the Nationality Question." Later, I read your aforementioned theses in Kommunisticheskii Internatsional journal (No. 11) once more. You have suggested that even after the establishment of the worldwide dictatorship of the proletariat, "it would be obligatory for the vanguard nationalities to actively participate in the establishment of socialist regimes in the less developed countries." This translates into perpetuating the colonial regimes in India by the British, in Turkistan by Russia, in Africa by French and the Belgium through their labor organizations. When I spoke with you and your friends in Ufa during 1919, never was there a mention of the use of terror to destroy the human self-determination. What happened? Wa that the object of those revolutions? Piatokov was correct when he directed this question to you while debating the "labor unions" issues. You were beseeched not to take away those revolutions from the labor unions whose sweat and blood were spilled for it. It is said that even Rosa Luxembourg was of the opinion that no good would come of socialism, should it become a prisoner of imperialist traditions serving great nations. If Russia has not descended into the lows of becoming the prisoner of imperial traditions, what business did it have concocting literary languages and alphabets from the regional vernaculars? If you are alive, perhaps you can personally correct some of these errors. I have but one request: I ask that permission be given to my wife Nefise to meet me in Germany; she could not accompany me tomorrow on the way to Iran, due to her pregnancy.
Ahmet Zeki Validov.
1. Speech at the Fourth Conference of the Central Committee of the RKP(b) with the responsible Workers of the National Republics and Regions, 10 June 1923. "The Sultan Galiev Case." J. V. Stalin, Works. (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1953). Vol. 5, 1921-1923. Pp. 308-319. For a reprint of this speech, see A. Bennigsen and S. E. Wimbush, Moslem National Communism (Chicago, 1979).
2. As he refers to himself in his writings.
3. H. B. Paksoy, "Basmachi" Modern Encyclopedia of Religions in Russia and the Soviet Union (FL: Academic International Press, 1991). Vol 4, Pp. 5-20.
4. Z. V. Togan, Hatiralar. (Istanbul, 1969). Introduction.
5. Z. V. Togan's Turkili Turkistan was first printed in Cairo 1928-1939, although it was not widely distributed due to the prevailing conditions. The first Latin alphabet printing was effected during 1947 in Istanbul. It was reprinted, effectively the third time, in Istanbul, in 1981 (696 Pp.), although it carries the designation of 2nd Edition. Turkili is primarily a history text. Togan's Hatiralar, on the other hand, contains more personal observations on his involvement.
6. Most of the quotations are taken from Pp. 399-474 of Turkili (1981 edition) and Pp. 365-463 of Hatiralar. Biographical material is primarily from the earlier pages of the latter work. Therefore, extensive page references shall not be given.
7. See H. B. Paksoy, Central Asian Monuments. (Istanbul: Isis Press, 1992). Introduction, for a bibliography of readily accessible versions. According to Ottoman archival material (in Bashbakanlik Arshivi), it appears that Kro lu was a real person living in the c. 16th century, around Bolu province in Asia Minor.
8. See the short biography of Akchura by David S. Thomas in H. B. Paksoy, Central Asian Monuments.
9. Given the date of original writing, these references are to the respective liberation movements.
10. Turkili, Pp. 486-526.
11. Although Togan's Memoirs cover the period up to and including the year 1925, as a consummate professional historian, he often provides information on the resolution of many an event, down to the days during which he was writing the memoirs themselves. On the other hand, Togan does not introduce new issues after 1925.
12. Olaf Caroe, Soviet Empire and the Turks of Central Asia (London, 1953). Indeed, Caroe acknowledges his indebtedness to Togan.
13. Togan's spellings.
14. For discussion of religious terms, see M. G. S. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam (Chicago, 1974). 3 Vols.
15. Despite their names, neither was Russian, but both had been Baptized. Togan calls Katanov a Sagay-Turk from the Altai region and Ashmarin, a Chuvash-Turk.
16. See Uli Schamiloglu, "The Formation of a Tatar Historical Consciousness: Shihabeddin Marcani and the Image of the Golden Horde" Central Asian Survey. Vol. 9, No. 2; 1990. Pp. 39-49.
17. Another prominent Orientalist of the era.
18. It was translated into English: V. V. Barthold, Four Studies on the History of Central Asia (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1963). Volume II, Ulugh-Beg.
19. A German born and trained compiler of Turkish materials.
20. See H. B. Paksoy, "Basmachi" Modern Encyclopedia of Religions in Russia and Soviet Union (FL: Academic International Press, 1991). Vol. 4, Pp. 5-20.
21. See Edward J. Lazzerini, "Ismail Bey Gasprinskii's Perevodchik/Tercman: A Clarion of Modernism. H. B. Paksoy, Editor, Central Asian Monuments (Istanbul, Isis Press, 1992) and the sources quoted.
22. For the last two, see Audrey L. Altstadt, The Azerbaijani Turks (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1992).
23. See Fen-Edebiyat Fakultesi Arastirma Dergisi, Ataturk Universitesi, Erzurum. Say 13, 1985. This source contains some biographical material, especially on the post 1925 period, not found in Turkili or Hatiralar.
24. Ulama in the khanates of Bukhara or Khiva were not part of this official structure, The Spiritual Board. As Togan describes however, the Kadimist/Emirist ulama in these khanates were also siding with the Russians. The ulama hoped to eliminate the challenge to their own authority, presented by the reformist Jadids, by liquidating the latter with the aid of the Russians.
25. According to the handlist of his papers, Togan also completed a history of the Bashkurts and the Bashkurt Army. This work remains unpublished. In Hatiralar there are extended references to the past of the Bashkurt Army and its operations. R. Baumann, in his "Subject Nationalities in the Military Service of Imperial Russia: The Case of Bashkirs" Slavic Review Fall/Winter 1987, argues that "...Bashkirs have parallels among Apache Scouts in the US, the Gurkhas in India, the Philippine Scouts, or the Natal Native Contingent in Africa." Baumann's account ends at 1914.
26. Togan relates that secret agents of Bolsheviks, trying to win over the Bashkurt troops, were being killed by the latter on the spot. As a result, he reports "such elements stopped coming even near the barracks."
27. See Society for Central Asian Studies, Programmnie dokumenti musulmanskih politicheskih partii 1917-1920 gg. Reprint Series, No. 2. (Oxford, 1985).
28. A biography is published: Naim Karimov, Cholpan (Tashkent: Fan, 1991). Cf. Naim Karimov, "Exposing the Murderer of Alpamysh;" translated by Shawn T. Lyons, from Shark Yulduzi (Tashkent) 12:1992, in H. B. Paksoy, Ed., Central Asia Reader (NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1994).
29. In Russian language Sources "Sultan Galiev." For his and other Central Asians referenced by Togan, see Moslem National Communism. For a more recent treatment, see Masayuki YAMAUCHI, The Dream of Sultangaliev (Tokyo, 1986), in Japanese. Also the sources cited by YAMAUCHI in his "One Aspect of Democratization in Tatarstan: The Dream of Sultangaliev Revisited" presented to the Conference on Islam and Democratization in Central Asia, held at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 26-27 September 1992.
30. For the two personages and the organization, See S. Shaw & E. Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey (Cambridge University Press, 1977).
31. Provided to the Bashkurt RevKom by the Bolsheviks, along with several automobiles; confiscated from foreign missions.
32. Translation of its platform is below.
33. Togan notes that a copy of this letter was later brought to Berlin in 1923.
34. Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur Padishah Ghazi was a direct descendant of Timur (d. 1405), and the founder of the Moghul dynasty in India. Babur's memoirs were widely known. They were published in facsimile under the title Babar-Nama by Anette S. Beveridge (Leiden-London, 1905). An English translation was also made by Beveridge (London, 1922); reprinted at least once, in 1969.
35. For the Russian/Bolshevik period, see Seymour Becker, Russia's Protectorates in Central Asia: Bukhara and Khiva, 1865-1924 (Cambridge, MA., 1968). For the earlier period, see R. N. Frye, The History of Bukhara (Cambridge, MA., 1954).
36. See the Kadimist ulama above.
37. Who was the first Minister of Interior, and later, of Defense. Earlier, Arif was Togan's military aide in the Bashkurt Movement.
38. Togan provides the details of intellectual currents "that might have effected the thoughts of the individuals preparing this program" in Turkili Pp. 415-416.
39. Program in Togan, Turkili Turkistan, Pp. 410-411.
40. Togan notes that this program was expanded and republished in Prague during 1926 in a bilingual edition. See Togan, Turkili Turkistan, Pp. 411-414.
41. Uli Schamiloglu, "The Formation of a Tatar Historical Consciousness: Shihabeddin Marcani and the Image of the Golden Horde" Central Asian Survey (London) Vol. 9, No. 2, 1990.
42. Chantal Lemercier-Quelquejay, "Abdul Kayum Al-Nasyri: A Tatar Reformer of the 19th Century" Central Asian Survey (Oxford) Vol. 1, No. 4, 1983.
43. See Edward J. Lazzerini, Ismail Bey Gasprinskii's Perevodchik/Tercuman: A Clarion of Modernism" H. B. Paksoy, Editor, Central Asian Monuments (Istanbul: Isis Press, 1992) and the sources cited therein.
44. Togan, Turkili Turkistan, Pp. 416-418.
45. A particular perspective on the Drdnc, from the Kirghiz side, can be found in H. B. Paksoy, "Observations Among Kirghiz Refugees from the Pamirs of Afghanistan Settled in the Turkish Republic" Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford Vol. XVI, No. 1, Hilary, 1985.
46. Korbashi is the title of preference of the Basmachi leaders, origins of which explained as "Commander of Defense Troops" in Mahmut Kashgarli's 11th c. work Compendium of Turkic Dialects.
47. Togan, Turkili, Pp. 419-421.
48. Togan, Turkili P. 427.
49. The Bashkurt Movement leadership. See above.
50. Glenda Fraser, in her "Haci Sami and the Turkestan Federation 1922-3" Asian Affairs (London). Vol. XVII (Old Series Vol. 74) Part I, February 1987, follows Haji Sami tied to Enver's path.
51. It must be remembered that Murteci has a much stronger meaning than just "reactionary." Togan is remarkably restrained in his reference.
52. See S. S. Aydemir for a biography of Enver, Makedonya'dan Orta Asya'ya Enver Pa a (Istanbul, 1972) 3 Vols. Aydemir himself was one of the early students at KUTVA, in Moscow. He met Enver in the Caucasus during the First World War, and later in Moscow. Aydemir subsequently worked to propagate Bolshevism in the newly established Turkish Republic (which had waged a similar and successful war of independence, 1919-1924, in Asia Minor), was jailed. After his release, Aydemir entered the Turkish Republic government service. See also Azade-Ayse Rorlich, "Fellow Travelers: Enver Pasha and the Bolshevik Government 1918-1920)" Asian Affairs (London) Vol. XIII (old Series Vol. 69) Part III. October 1982).
53. Togan knew this individual well, having met him during his earlier trip sponsored by the Imperial Academy of Sciences.
54. It appears that the referenced memoirs were kept very much in the tradition of the bitikchi of earlier eras. It is well known that military units of the Turks always employed such recorders on the battlefields for the purpose of keeping tabs on the performance of individual troops. After the termination of fighting, rewards and promotions or punishment and demotions were dispensed accordingly.
55. See Kevin Krisciunas, "Legacy of Ulugh Beg." H. B. Paksoy, Editor, Central Asian Monuments (Istanbul: Isis Press, 1992).
56. See H. B. Paksoy, "Sun is also Fire" Central Asian Monuments, footnote 106.
57. The text in the rest of this paragraph is garbled at the typesetter, Hatiralar, P. 461.
58. See Altstadt, The Azerbaijani Turks for the alphabet issues in Azerbaijan.