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NATIONALITY OR RELIGION? Views of Central Asian Islam
H. B. Paksoy
During the past two and a half millennia, Central
Asia was buffeted by several political and religious
doctrines. Although the invasion of Alexander of Macedon
(356-323 B. C.) did not leave an enduring imprint, the
event itself might be taken as an early date marker. The
later direct participation of Central Asia in world
events did, and still continues to influence the
political and cultural events in Europe as well as the
rest of Asia.1
Locus and Labels
Today, many authors use the designation "Muslim" in
their analyses when referring to the territories or
people of Central Asia. This is a relatively new
phenomenon among a long string of classifications.
Central Asia was was labelled "Tartary," or "Independent
Tartary" by romantic European cartographers and
travellers in the 15th-17th centuries, and the
inhabitants were called "Tartar."2 Perhaps Christopher
Marlowe (1564-1593), by writing fiction about Timur (d.
1405), with a stretch of imagination calling him
Tamburlane,3 is one popular source of this peccadillo.
But Marlowe's and like-minded authors' writings also
betray the inadequate information the Western world
possessed on Central Asia despite their fascination with
the area. What they did not know, the authors created.4
Only later would the Westerners begin to learn the
Central Asian languages and dialects, in order to read
what the Central Asians had written about themselves.
With the Russian encroachments (East of the Urals,
South of Siberia) after the turn of the 18th century, the
designation began to be changed to "Kirghizia" and
"Kirghiz,"5 a tribal confederation.6 After the Occupation
by tsarist armies, when tsarist bureaucrats began to
understand the language and dialects of the region in the
19th century, they commenced employing the terms
"Turkistan," "Turk" and "Sart." However, the Imperial
Russian bureaucratic designations inorodtsy (aliens) and
"Muslim" were employed with the establishment of tsarist
Military Governorships in Central Asia, especially after
1865.7 The designation Turkistan Military District has
been in continuous use since the late 19th c. Meanwhile,
portions of the population, on some of whom tsarist
citizenship was imposed, were still regarded Turk, Tatar,
Kirghiz, Sart; including those living to the West of the
Urals (Tatars, Bashkurt), and either side of the Caucasus
mountain ranges, including Azerbaijan.8 The Central
Asians living around the Altai mountain range were
assigned still other designations, despite what they
called themselves. Moreover, those designations were
changed at various junctures. As Denis Sinor points out
in his introduction to Radloff's Proben,9 in the past 100
years, "New, artificial, names have been created and it
is not always easy to establish equivalencies."10
This tendency applied to the labels of "languages"
as well: Altai was known as Kara-Tatar, later changed to
Oirot (doubly misleading, since Oirot is a Mongolian
tribal sub-division), and back to Altai; Tuvinian was
originally Soyon and Urinkhai and sometimes Shor; Khakass
was called Abakan or Abakan-Tatar; Kachin and Sagay were
jointly converted into Khakass; Uyghur first became
Taranchi, and later Modern Uyghur; Kazakh was Kirghiz. It
should be noted that in no Turk dialect is there any such
differentiation as Turkic and Turkish. This distinction
is a new introduction into the politics of nationalities,
and exists in some Western languages, as well as Russian,
with the latter referring to the Ottoman or Turkish
republican domains and the former, to other Turks.11
With the advent of the glasnost (openness) in
Moscow's thinking, the Russian chauvinism began to gain
publicity once more. In a recent article on the potential
dissolution of the USSR, a Russian nationalist included
historically non-Russian lands (the Volga-Urals, Siberia,
the Altai) in his picture of a "new Russia."12
The designation "Altai," as Ozbek and Kazakh, are
primarily geographical, tribal or confederation names,
not ethnonyms. Those appellations were mistakenly or
deliberately turned into "ethnic"or "political"
classifications by early explorers or intelligence agents
arriving in those lands ahead of the Russian armies and
bureaucrats. Early in the 8th century, the Turks
themselves provided an account of their identity,
political order and history. These were recorded on the
scores of stelea, written in their unique alphabet and
language, and erected in the region of Orkhon-Yenisey.13
This information is corroborated in earlier written
sources, in the Byzantine and Chinese chronicles, the
Turks' Western and Eastern neighbors, respectively. Most
mountains, cities, lakes, deserts, rivers in this region,
from early historical times until the Soviet period,
carried names of Turkish origin.14 They are being
restored in the late 1980s as demanded by the Central
Asians. Turkish language and its many dialect groupings
such as Orkhon, Kipchak, Uyghur, Chaghatay, constitute a
very large portion of the Altaic family. The
dialect currently spoken in the Altai region is related to
old Orkhon and Uygur. Only since the Soviet language
"reforms," especially of the 1930s, have the dialects
been asserted to be "individual and unrelated Central
Asian languages." They are mutually intelligible.
After the dissolution of the Mongol empire, the
Chinese (Manchu) asserted control over portions of the
previous eastern Mongolian territories in the 18th c.
(approx. 1757-1912), including a part of a larger Altai
region, the "Tuva" area Altaian Turks became vassals of
the Chinese. Tuva was designated a "country" for the
benefit of the tsarist government, and in 1912, like
Mongolia, gained independence from China. It became a
Russian "protectorate" in 1914.15 During 1921, the Tuva
People's Republic was created, much like the Mongolian
Republic, theoretically not part of USSR. In 1944, Tuva
People's Republic "asked" to join the Soviet
Union. The Altaian Turks eventually were incorporated into
the Russian Empire, in the Altai okrug, about the size of
France and had a total population of 3.6 million,
including many Russian settlers. administered directly by
the tsarist Cabinet. The inhabitants were counted as
inorodtsy (aliens). The number of settlers grew,
displacing the native population from their land. During
1907-09 alone, 750,000 Russian settlers came to the Altai
region, taking land that had been declared "excess."
During the 19th c., the railroad had linked Altaian towns
to Russian markets, thus strengthening the exclusive
economic links with Russia. A Bolshevik-dominated soviet
took power in the capital, Barnaul in 1920. Thus the
greater part of Altai region was incorporated into the
ever expanding USSR.
These were and are part of the Nationalities
Policies originally designed by the tsarist bureaucrats
and put into use by Lenin and expanded by Stalin. By and
large, these policies subsequently remained in force
regardless of the changes in the CPSU leadership.16
Hence, the discussion centering on one appellation may
not provide the full understanding of events in Central
Asia. Religion --specifically Islam-- has its place in
this society as in any other, in the realm of individual
conscience or in mass politics. Whether or not
religion reached the point of a universal identity for
the Central Asians, submerging all other possible
identities, has been a matter of prolonged debate. The
tsarist era historian (of German origin) W. Barthold
(1869-1930) declared that, when asked, a Central Asian
would identify himself in a three step process: 1. local
(i.e. name of village or tribal origin); 2. regional
(Bukhara, Khorasan, etc); 3. religious (Muslim).
Bennigsen reversed that order. Later observers emphasized
a crucial fact: the identity of the questioner. The
Central Asians may indeed have answered as outlined
above, but due to considerations not immediately clear to
the questioner. The Central Asian respondent did not know
the true motivation for the outsiders' curiosity. Perhaps
he was a tsarist colonial tax collector, Bolshevik
political agent or military surveyor, none of whom was
especially welcome. The Central Asian did not have to bare
their souls to those "aliens." Bennigsen, recognizing
this phenomenon and the tendency to "conceal the true
self- identification" born out of concern for
self-preservation, later called that practice (of giving
variable responses according to the perceived identity of
the questioner) "the tactical identity."17
The Soviet apparatus had other opinions concerning
the identity issue, including the designation of
"nationalities" in the smallest possible sizes. No small
"nation" could block the creation of a new breed, the
"Soviet person" (Sovetskii chelovek) devoid of past
affiliations and allegiances.18 The Central Asians' own
expressions of identity were contained in their own
dialects in their local and regional media. These
declarations are by no means a product of the Soviet
period, for they go back centuries. Only recently have
those examples reached the attention of the outside
Arrival of Islam in Central Asia
Islam is the latest religion to reach Central
Asia. The indigenous Tengri and Shamanism,20 which
appears to have co- existed with Zoroastrianism,
prevailed even after the arrival of other religions such
as Buddhism and Manichaeanism.21 The introduction of
Islam into Central Asia went through roughly three
stages: force of arms and alms; the scholasticist
madrasa; Sufism. But the first group to come into contact
with Islam in Central Asia were not the Shamanistic or
Buddhist Turks. It was the Zoroastrian Persians.22
Within 100 years of the death of the Prophet
Muhammad, i.e. by 750, the Muslim Arabs had expanded
their political state far beyond the Arab lands.
Consequently, the Muslim community of believers, umma,
began to encompass ethnicities beyond the Arabs
themselves. The first non-Arabs to accept Islam in large
numbers were the Persians, whose empire the Arab forces
defeated in a series of battles between 637-651.
Far more numerous than the Arabs, and with a
tradition of kingship and bureaucracy going back for many
centuries, the Persians altered the character of Islam in
southwest Asia. As Richard N. Frye has put it, the influx
of Persians into the umma "broke the equation that Arab
equals Muslim." He calls this process the
"internationalization" of Islam. The large number of
Zoroastrians in the vast Sassanian bureaucracy (scribes,
tax- gatherers, translators, civil and foreign service
officials, etc) forced the Arabs eventually to allow them
special "protected" status like those of the Christians
and Jews, though the Zoroastrians were not people of any
"book." Thus administrative practice --including the
caliph's rule when it was moved to Baghdad from Damascus
in 750-- bore an unmistakable Persian stamp. The language
of bureaucracy was Persian, though the language of
religion remained Arabic.23
From here, early in the 8th century, the Islamic
forces sought to extend their sway into Transoxania, to
the Iranian (Samanid Empire centered in Bukhara)24 and
Turkish (Uygur, Karluk)25 Empires centered in their
ancient cities.26 Beyond the cities were the Chinese. The
campaigns began around 705 and led within ten years to
the defeat or subduing of the major cities and empires of
Transoxania. This was also the time when Bilge Kagan and
Kul Tigin of the Orkhon-Yenisey stelea were rebuilding
their empire.27 But the death of the leading Arab
general in Transoxania and civil wars among the Muslims
were coupled with the rise of Chinese power in Mongolia,
ended the contests for Transoxania and gave the local
rulers some respite.28
Fighting resumed by mid-century. The execution of a
Turkish ruler in Tashkent led the people of the town to
call for aid from the Arabs and perhaps also from the
Karluk Turks.29 In July 751, the Chinese forces lost to
these combined armies ending Chinese influence in Central
Asia. According to Barthold, this day was decisive in
determining that Central Asia would be Turkish rather than
Chinese. The Chinese, however, were also diverted by an
uprising in the center of their own domains and entirely
lost Central Asia.30
Thereafter, the local rulers throughout Transoxania
and the empires built there --both Persian and Turkish--
partially professed Islam, until the Mongol conquests
of Chinggiz Khan and his armies in the 13th c. The members
of the steppe societies remained beyond the Islamic
lands, and entered into the Islamic world almost
exclusively as individuals, as military bondsmen,
or mamluks. The mamluks came to constitute an elite
cavalry (later palace guard) in many Muslim states, Arab,
Persian and Turkish, for no training in a sedentary
empire could produce a horseman and warrior equal to the
steppe nomad. There are cases in which a mamluk would
seize power from a weak ruler and found his own dynasty.
Such is the case of Alptigin, founder of the Ghaznavid
dynasty (994-1186) that ruled from Ghazna in what is now
Afghanistan.31 On the Western edges of Central Asia, other tribal
confederations --such as the Karakalpak and the Khazar--
held power "in a checkerboard pattern," as Peter Golden
points out, centuries prior to the arrival of Mongols.
Some had been converted to Judaism, others to
Christianity.32 Both groups have left Turkic language
documents using a number of alphabets, the first one
being unique to themselves.33 The European missionaries
were active among them, and one such group translated an
eulogy to Jesus Christ into their language.34
By means of the mamluk phenomenon and by conversion
of Turkish empires and populations, a third major people
began, slowly at first, to enter the Islamic community
and to alter it in their turn. The language of the Turks
became the third major language of the Islamic world by
the 10-11th centuries --the language of the military and,
in sizeable number of cases, of imperial rule:35 In the
East, the Ghaznavids (dynasty r. 994- 1186) and
Karakhanids (10th-11th c.);36 in the Center,
Seljuks/Oghuz (1018-1237)37 and the Timurids (15th-16th
c.)38; in the West, the Ottomans (13th-20th c.);39 the
Golden Horde Khanates (14th-16th c.)40 to the Northwest.
The famed North African origin traveller Ibn Battuta
(1304-1368) indicates that Islam was found to be making
inroads into Crimea by the 14th century.41
"From the 11th century onwards, the Islamic world
became increasingly ruled by Turkish dynasties until
eventually, rulers of Turkish origin were to be found in
such distant places from their homeland as Algeria and
Bengal" writes C. E. Bosworth.42 It was in the 11th c.
that Kasgarli Mahmud wrote the Kitab Diwan Lugat at Turk,
to teach Turkish to non-Turks, as he explained in his
introduction.43 Ettuhfet uz zekiyye fil lugat it Turkiyye,
a mamluk period Kipchak Turkish grammar and dictionary
appears to have been written with the same intention, but
a bit later.44 It was also under the patronage of the
11th c. Turkish Ghaznavid ruler Mahmud that the Persian
poet Firdawsi compiled the surviving fragments of the old
Persian epic and "resuscitated" Persian in his
In the 13th century, the armies of Chinggiz Khan (d.
1227), his sons and generals "reinvigorated" Transoxania
(and other places from China to the Volga and eventually
Budapest) with steppe elements, both Mongol and Turk. The
Rus were but one of their vassals. The new empire was
religiously tolerant, as were its predecessors, with the
khans (rulers) often having Christian or Muslim wives.
The khans themselves adhered to their traditional
beliefs, Shamanism and, according to at least one source,
of Tengri, the monotheistic pre-Islamic religion of the
Turks. Within one century after the conquests ceased,
however, most of the successor states, except that in
China under Kublai Khan, would also embrace Islam, and
became markedly less tolerant of other religions. Although
this conversion contributed to their own political decline,
the process strengthened the Islamic and Turkish (for the
Turkish element was greater in those armies that moved
farthest west) patterns that had existed in Central Asia
before the Chinggizid conquests.46
After the Mongol irruption, the older political
entities began a long process of fusion. Timur and his
dynasty arose after that period, uniting Central Asia
under his rule. Timur, a Turk of the Barlas clan used
Chinggizid legitimacy, even taking a Mongol wife. He and
his successors ruled Central Asia and northern India from
the 14th century until the end of the Moghul dynasty of
India in the 18th century (his direct descendant Babur
1483-1530 founded the Moghul dynasty).47 The Ottomans,
whom Timur defeated, underwent serious difficulties in
reasserting their authority in their former
territories.48 Thus the three major peoples to accept
Islam were firmly established --Arabs, Persians and
Turks-- and knowledge was preserved and literature
created in all three languages.
Scholarship in its many branches --philosophy,
theology, law, medicine, astronomy and mathematics,
poetry, manuals of statecraft-- were produced over the
centuries by native Central Asian scholars who adhered to
the new religion. Individuals such as Farabi (ca.
870-950)49, and Ibn-i Sina (d.1037)50 made original
contributions and preserved knowledge of the ancient
world when libraries were destroyed in warfare, including
the Crusades.51 Others, for example, Ibn Turk (10th
c.),52 Ulugbeg (d. 1449)53, Khorezmi (10th c.)54
contributed to the expansion of knowledge, especially
mathematics. From their translations Europe was later
able to recover that knowledge.
The post-Mongol period reflected the flexible use of
languages. Babur (1483-1530) wrote his memoirs, the
celebrated Baburname55 in Turkish, while his cousin held
his court in Herat56 and produced enduring works of both
Persian and Turkish poetry. Meanwhile, Fuzuli (d. 1556)
was creating some of the best examples of poetry of the
period in Turkish.57 In the famous correspondence of 1514
between Shah Ismail (r. 1501-1524), the Turkish founder
of the Safavid dynasty of Iran (dynasty r. 1501- 1736)58,
and the Ottoman sultan Selim I (r. 1512-20), Selim wrote
in Persian, while the Ismail wrote in his native Turkish.
Selim would defeat Ismail later that year in the famous
battle of Chaldiran in 1514 thereby preserving his hold
over eastern Asia Minor.
Political legitimacy in Central Asia always required
mass communication. Perhaps the Shibaninama59 of the
early 16th c. is a good example, seeking to convince the
population that this ruler, Shiban of the Ozbeks, was
every bit a good and capable ruler as those preceded
him.60 This task, in an age before movable type, was
accomplished through the medium of literature. Poetic
anthologies, often in manuscript, were duplicated by
copyists in palace libraries or by private savants. The
contents of these collected treasures (or single poems)
were committed to memory by individuals for later oral
recitation. The "minds and hearts" campaigns were used
more often than armed troops, for the poetry proved more
effective than the sword in convincing the Central
Asians. In this manner, the rulers also wished to
preserve the history of their reigns.
The impetus for communication also came from the
people, wishing to safeguard their heritage. The Oghuz,
also called the Turkmen,61 constituted the basis of the
Seljuk empire.62 After the fall of the Seljuk empire,
the Oghuz/Turkmen groups did not disappear. Abul-Ghazi
Bahadur Khan (1603-1663), ruler of Khiva, was asked by
his Turkmen subjects (which constituted a large portion
of the population) to compile the authoritative
genealogy of their common lineage from many extant written
variants. He prepared two, under the titles Secere-i
Terakime (probably completed in 1659) and Secere-i
These genealogies are quite apart from the dastan
genre. The two constitute parallel series of reference
markers on the identity map. The dastans are the
principal repository of ethnic identity, history, customs
and the value systems of its owners and composers, which
commemorates their struggles for freedom.64 The Oghuz
Khan dastan, recounting the deeds and era of the
eponymous Oghuz Khan was one of the fundamental
dastans.65 Despite their non-Turkish titles, genealogies,
histories, or political tracts belonging to the Turks
were originally written in Turkish. An example of this
phenomenon is Firdaws al-Iqbal,66 written in the
Chaghatay dialect. This is is also true of Ali Shir Navai
(1441-1501) and his Muhakemat al Lugateyn.67 Quite a few
of those original Turkish works were translated into
Persian and Arabic, and came to be known in the west
from those languages rather than the original Turkish.
Thus language alone was no sure indicator of
ethnicity, for the educated came to be versed in the
major languages of the Islamic world at --Arabic, Persian
and later, Turkish. Yet, the differences among them
remained. Many pre- Islamic values of each culture
survived the transition to Islam and was preserved in
the native language of each people. Islamic period works
of various courts reflected the retention of traditional
values. Among the "mirror for princes" works68 the
earliest is the Turkish-Islamic work of statecraft, the
11th c. Kutadgu Bilig. It calls upon the king to be a
just ruler, mindful of the needs of the people, and
thereby echoes older traditions.69
Those Central Asians farthest from the border of
Islamic lands were the last to adopt Islam and retained
their traditional beliefs to the greatest degree. The
Kazakh and Kirghiz of the steppe were converted to Islam
only in the late 18th-early 19th centuries by Volga
Tatars thanks to policies of Catherine II, of
Russia (r. 1762-96), who apparently hoped that Islam
would soften those populations and make them more
receptive to the tsarist empire. She allowed the Tatars
to represent her court in Transoxania trade. On the way,
the merchants were encouraged to form settlements and
convert nomads.70 The Kazakh and Kirghiz, even today,
retain much of their pre-Islamic way of life including
mastery of the horse, drinking kumiss71 and extensive
personal independence of women so characteristic of
Thus Arabs remained Arabs; Persians, Persians; and
Turks remained Turks. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the
non-Arabs would debate the real meaning of Islam for them
and its role in their identities. The tension, even
hostility, among them remained as well, and is documented
by the slurs and stereotypes, and by frequent warfare (up
to the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s) despite the ideal and
rhetoric and dreams of Islamic brotherhood and the
indivisibility of the umma.
Sufism, one of the forces responsible for spreading
Islam, is the "mystical dimension of Islam," as the
preeminent scholar of Sufism, Annemarie Schimmel called
her classic work on the subject.73 In each of the topics
referenced in this study, the Western reader relying only
on English-language works, must be extremely cautious.
This is true also on the subject of sufism. Over the
centuries, excesses and indulgences also took place in
the name of sufism. More than a few Western writers have
described the entire complex phenomenon of Sufism on the
basis of such exaggerated events. Schimmel remains the most
reliable, and sympathetic, source available in English. Her
approach takes account of sufism as an individual
mystical quest and as the basis for organized
brotherhoods called tariqa. Because the tariqa develop
later in history than sufism itself, she addresses them
toward the end of her volume.74 One of the earlier sufis
was Ahmet Yesevi (lived and died in current day
Kazakistan), wrote his major work Hikmet in Turkish in
the 12th c.75
Meanwhile, the other key institution responsible for
the diffusion of Islam, the madrasas (scholastic
schools), declined in quality; failing to square
themselves to the changing social and economic conditions
around them.76 They had not clarified a method of
comparing and contrasting their own methods against
the state of evolving knowledge in the world. As one
result, the rote system in use sapped the vitality of
original thinking and calcified what remained.
The tsarist state had been expanding across Asia
since the conquest of the Volga in the 1550s by Ivan IV
"the Terrible" (r. 1530-1583). In the 19th century, it
began its southward expansion toward Transoxania from
forts on the steppe. In the south, the British East India
Company had established itself at the end of the 18th
century in India, destroying independent princedoms in
the South and the last of the Moghuls in the North. In
post 17th century Central Asia, the earlier powerful land
empires that held sway had been mortally wounded by
internal and external forces-- struggles, even civil
wars, for the thrones were fought for by an overabundance
of heirs and other claimants; and the shift to maritime
trade routes drew commerce to the coasts. After the
fallof the Timurid empires in Central Asia and the later
Safavid dynasty in Iran, the area from the
Tigris-Euphrates to the Altai mountains broke into a
number of relatively small (compared to the empires that
preceded them) states. In the 18th century, the political
landscape was marred by warfare among these states. Their
economic decline continued.
This decline of the landed empires of Asia coincided
with European expansion and accumulation of colonies. The
Russians, perhaps the most expansionist of powers and
Central Asia's nearest neighbor, was drawn to Central
Asia by the lure of reputed riches in cities along the
former Silk Road and the prestige of colonial holdings.
An arch of forts built across the steppe south of Siberia
during the 18th century was one step in the process of
expansion. Catherine "the Great" not only used the Tatars
to spread Russian influence in Transoxanian, but in an
equally subtle policy, established a "Muslim Spiritual
Board" in Orenburg. Ostensibly an instrument of "Muslim
self-government," the Board operated according to strict
state regulations. Under Nicholas II (1825-1855), two
more would be established in Tbilisi for Sunni and Shi'i
Russian expansion in Asia would be further spurred
in the 19th century by military defeats in other
theaters. The most humiliating defeat was the Crimean War
(1853-56) in which European states successfully blocked
Russian pretensions in the eastern Mediterranean,
including the tsar's claims for privileged access to the
Holy Land as "protector" of the Orthodox in Ottoman
domains (a claim first made by Catherine in the
Treaty of Kuchuk Kaynarja ). The now fragmented
Central Asian states, proved more vulnerable targets than
European rivals. The tsarist military occupation of
Central Asia was done between the 1865 invasion of
Tashkent and the massacre of the Turkmen at Gok-Tepe in
1881. Millions of Central Asians (and enormous amount of
territory containing untold amount of natural resources)
were added to the empire. The Central Asians comprised
just under 20% of the population according to the 1897
In the wake of conquest, direct military rule was
imposed (except in Khiva and Bukhara, which became
protectorates for a spell78), Christian missionary
activity strove to shape education, literature and
publishing. One tsarist missionary was ingratiating
himself to the Tashkent ulema with:
You cannot understand how I feel. Islam is the most
perfect religion on this world. What makes me most
depressed is that some of the youth of Turkistan are
inclined towards Russian schools. They are studying
in such schools. This causes them to lose their
religious feelings. They are shaving their beards and
mustaches, wearing Russian style clothes, neckties and
boots. As a result, I can see that they are becoming
Christians. This makes me melancholy.
This remorseful Christian was the advisor to the
tsarist Military Governor in Tashkent, and his known
activities suggest the existence of items other than
Christianity or Islam on his operational agenda. He was
attempting to prevent the Central Asians from learning
tsarist methods of control, to forestall the time when the
Central Asians could take a more knowledgeable stand
against tsarist colonialism.79
Perhaps, the tsarist policies showed remarkable
similarity to Roman policies in Britain. During the First
century A. D., the Roman statesman and historian Tacitus
Once they [Britons] owed obedience to kings; now
they are distracted between the warring factions of
rival chiefs. Indeed, nothing helped us more in fighting
against their very powerful nations than their
inability to cooperate. It is but seldom that two or
three states unite to repel a common danger; thus,
fighting in separate groups, all are conquered....
Not only were the nearest parts of Britain gradually
organized into a province, but a colony of veterans
also was founded. Certain domains were presented to
King Cogidumnus, who maintained his unswerving
loyalty down to our own times --an example of the long-
established Roman custom of employing even kings to
make others slaves.... 80
Combination of cooptation by selective rewards,
demoralization by pressure and corruption by comfort was
practiced by the Russians. Later Russian peasants were
settled in Central Asia to wage demographic battle. A
strategically important railroad leading to the Far East
was begun, employing many Russian workers who reinforced
Russian presence and would be fertile ground for socialist
agitation (some 200,000 Chinese laborers also working on
this project were later armed by the Bolsheviks against
all National Liberation Movements in Central Asia). The
Russian state extracted natural resources, and
imposed cotton cultivation to compensate for the loss of
the U.S. cotton supply in the 1860s. Russia's growing
textile and munitions industries acquired new source of
cotton;82 Central Asia lost its food crops. In the 20th
century, after a century of irrigation and the pesticides
required to fulfill repeated Soviet Five Year Plans,
Central Asia would lose the Aral Sea. After the first
shock of conquest, Central Asian resistance to the
Russians began. Initially it was limited to the literary
field. Soon, armed struggle also began.83
Agricola had to deal with people living in
isolation and ignorance, and therefore prone to
fight; and his object was to accustom them to a life of
peace and quiet by the provision of amenities. He
therefore gave private encouragement and official assistance
to the building of temples, public squares, and good
houses. He praised the energetic and scolded the
slack; and competition for honour proved as effective as
compulsion. Furthermore, he educated the sons of the
chiefs in the liberal arts, and expressed a
preference for British ability as compared with the trained
skills of the Gauls. The result was that instead of
loathing the Latin language they became eager to speak it
effectively. In the same way, our national dress
came into favour and the toga was everywhere to be seen.
And so the population was gradually led into the
demoralizing temptations of arcades, baths, and
sumptuous banquets. The unsuspecting Britons spoke
of such novelties as 'civilization,' when in fact they
were only a feature of their enslavement.81
The Great Game
The "Great Game," the Anglo-Russian competition for
land and influence across Asia, was played in two adjacent
arenas. The main arena was Turkistan-Afghanistan, where
tsarist armies moved south to annex the former as the
British tried to keep them north of the latter, in defense
of British India. Second, but in some respects more
complex, was the Caucasus-Iran threater. Caucasia was the
place where the Great Game met the Eastern Question, the
multipower struggle over the eastern Mediterranean and
the fate of the Ottoman Empire. The Russian conquest of
the Caucasus entailed two Russo-Iranian wars (1806-1813
and 1826-1828) and one Russo-Ottoman war (1828-1829).
Russian power was now closer to the Mediterranean (and
therefore Suez, a gateway to India) and to India's
neighbor Iran. Perhaps more worrying for the British,
the Russo-Iranian Treaty of Turkmanchai (1828) granted
Russia concessions in Iran: Russian goods imported into
Iran would be exempt from internal tariffs; Russian
subjects would not be subject to Iranian law; only Russia
could maintain a fleet on the Caspian. The latter
potentially enabled Russian forces to land on the
southeast Caspian shore, closer to Herat (Afghanistan), a
possible stepping-stone to an invasion of India, or so
the British feared. England thereafter strove to gain a
foothold in Iran as both she and Russia competed for
legal and economic concessions there as a means to exert
political influence.84 The Great Game also had a Far
Eastern component manifested in its advances against
China and a series of unequal treaties signed with
Chinese rulers after 1858.85
Later in the 19th century, competition for
colonies and for influence in Central Asia grew sharper.
Political deadlocks in Europe often led the Powers to
carry their rivalry to Asia or Africa. Russian gains in
the Russo-Turkish war of 1875-1877 alarmed Europe which
feared a Power imbalance, but especially Britain, always
concerned over lines of communication with India.The
resulting Congress of Berlin (1878), hosted by German
Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, deprived Russia of the
fruits of her victories and also awarded the island of
Cyprus to the British, assuring British dominance in the
eastern Mediterranean. Though this arrangement by Bismarck
and British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli soothed
British nerves, it angered the Russians, seriously
damaging German-Russian relations. To the Russians,
expansion in Central Asia promised more certain returns on
During the 1890s, the British and Russians
negotiated the Russian-Afghan border, established Afghanistan
as an official "buffer" under English influence in 1907-1909
and thereby called a halt to the Great Game, at least for
the time being.86 Perhaps Britain had been pushed to the
limit of tolerance and Russia knew that in a direct
military conflict, victory could not be assured. Certainly
both Powers feared the rise of Germany, mainly in Europe
and on the seas, but also in the scramble for African
colonies and because Germany was entering the Great Game.
German interests envisioned a railroad from Berlin to
Beijing, through the length of the Ottoman Empire and
Central Asia. Due to the political and military
conditions on the ground, the project was scaled down,
and the railroad turned south towards Baghdad --remained
entirely within the Ottoman Empire.
The Great Game was not limited even to these
political, diplomatic and economic moves. European states
systematically acquired, stored and studied knowledge of
the "Orient" in the proliferating state-sponsored
Oriental Institutes.87 European Orientalists, in service
of their governments, laid the foundation for policies
like Christian proselytization in education and
publishing, but also elaborated justifications for
Europeans' "civilizing" the peoples of Central Asia.
Among these was the notion of "Pan-Turkism."88
"Pan-Turkism" or "Pan-Turanism" was ostensibly a
movement by Turks to establish hegemony over the world, or
at least Eurasia. In fact, this "Pan" movement has no
historical ideological precedent among Turks and has been
documented to be a creation of the Westerners. Around the
time of the occupation of Tashkent by Russian troops in
1865, the doctrine called or "Pan-Turkism" appeared in a
work by Hungarian Orientalist Arminius Vambery.
The premise of this notion was that since the overwhelming
majority of the Central Asians spoke (and still speak)
dialects of Turkish, share the same historical origins
and history, "they could form a political entity
stretching from the Altai Mountains in Eastern Asia to the
Bosphorus," where the capital of the Ottoman Empire was
located.89 This pseudo-doctrine was then attributed to
the Turks themselves, and the Russians and Europeans
claimed it was a revival of Chinggiz Khan's conquests, a
threat not only to Russia, but the whole of Western
civilization.90 In this tactic, attributing aggressive
designs to the target, seemed to justify any action
against Central Asia, a new "crusade" in the name of
After the Germans joined the Great Game, to
undermine British control in Central Asia, Germans
manipulated both "Pan- Turkism" and "Pan-Islamism."91 The
Pan-Islamic Movement was an anti-colonial political
movement of the late 19th century, and must be
distinguished from the "orthodox" Islamic unity of all
believers, the umma. Jamal Ad-Din al-Afghani (1839-1897)
established the movement in its political form, striving
to achieve the political unity of Muslims to fight
against colonialism and the colonial powers. It was
popular among Indian Muslims and in north Africa.
However, the movement also served the colonial powers
well. Painted as a reverse-Crusade --without necessarily
using the terminology, but through graphic allusions--
the Colonial powers could mobilize both Western public
opinion and secret international alliances to fight the
"emerging threat." The Germans, after the death of
al-Afghani, sought to make that threat as real as
possible for the British in India.92 The manipulation of
both "Pan"s would not die with the old century.
The early 20th Century
In 1905-1906 the defeat of the tsarist Russians by
the Japanese began a new chapter against the Russian
colonial rule in Central Asia. Since the tsarist military
occupation of Central Asia, one of the inflexible Russian
policies was the imposition of limits on printed material
in Central Asian dialects by Central Asian authorship.
Beginning with 1906, this long-standing ban against
Turkish dialect publications were circumvented by
the Central Asians through various ruses.93 Thereafter,
there was a veritable explosion of periodicals and
monographic publishing. According to one catalog, in one
territory, more than one thousand different books were
issued in less than ten years.94 This activity was to be
ended by the Red Army's occupation of Central Asia. Soviet
censorship took on an additional face, employing new and
Before all the elected Central Asian Delegates could
reach St. Petersburg, the First Duma (1906) was abrogated
by tsar Nicholas II.96 A number of the assembled Central
Asian Delegates signed the 1906 Vyborg Manifesto,
protesting the Duma's dissolution. The meeting was
carefully planned, with a touch of cloak-and-dagger to
escape the tsarist secret police.97 The act itself marked
a new resistance to the Russians, but the basic issues
were already articulated on the pages of the bilingual
Tercuman newspaper, published by Ismail Bey Gaspirali in
The Second Duma (1907) was abrogated within three
months, and the new electoral law of 1907 utterly
disenfrenchised Central Asia. They had no representatives
in the Third and the Fourth Dumas. The memory of the
occupation and resentment of the occupiers' repressive
policies were fresh in the minds of the Central Asians,
when the tsarist decree of 25 June 1916 ordered the first
non-voluntary recruitment of Central Asians into the army
during the First World War. The Central Asian reaction
marked the beginning of the Turkistan National Liberation
Movement. Russians were to call this struggle "Basmachi,"
in order to denigrate it. The resentment was enhanced by
historical memories: Central Asian empires antedated the
first mention of the word Rus in the chronicles,99 and
some had counted the Russians among their subjects.
The Turkistan National Liberation Movement was a
reaction not only to conscription, but to the tsarist
conquest itself and the policies employed by the tsarist
state in that region. Zeki Velidi Togan (1890-1970) was
for over half a century a professor of history [and
shared similar objectives with his contemporary
colleagues Czech Thomas Masaryk (1850-1937) and Ukrainian
Michael Hrushevsky (1866-1934)]. A Central Asian himself
and a principal leader of the 1916 Turkistan National
Liberation Movement, Togan described the sources and
causes of the movement as follows:
Basmachi is derived from baskinji, meaning attacker,
which was first applied to bands of brigands. During
tsarist times, these bands existed when independence was
lost and Russian domination began in Turkmenistan,
Bashkurdistan and the Crimea. Bashkurts [in Russian language
sources: "Bashkir"] called them ayyar, by the Khorasan term.
In Crimea and, borrowed from there, in Ukraine,
haydamak100 was used. Among Bashkurts such heroes as
Buranbay became famous; in Crimea, there was [a leader
named] Halim; and in Samarkand, Namaz. These did not bother
the local native population but sacked the Russians and the
Russian flour- mills, distributing their booty to the
population. In Ferghana, these elements were not extinct at
the beginning of 1916.
The Roman historian Tacitus also records the
resistance of the Britons to the Romans, in the words of the
.... after the proliferation of cotton planting in
Ferghana the economic conditions deteriorated further. This
increased brigandage. Among the earlier Basmachi, as was the
case in Turkey, the spiritual leader of the Uzbek and
Turkmen bands was Koroglu. Basmachi of Bukhara, Samarkand,
Jizzakh and Turkmen gathered at nights to read Koroglu and
other dastans.101 What has the external appearance of
brigandage is actuality a reflection and representation of
the thoughts and spirit of a wide segment of the populace.
Akchuraoglu Yusuf Bey reminds us that during the
independence movements of the Serbians, the hoduk; the
kleft; and palikarya of the Greeks comprised half
nationalist revolutionaries and half brigands. The majority
and the most influential of the Basmachi groups founded
after 1918 did not at all follow the Koroglu tradition, but
were composed of serious village leadership and sometimes
the educated. Despite that, all were labelled Basmachi.
Consequently, in Turkistan, these groups are regarded as
partisans; more especially representing the guerilla groups
fighting against the colonial power. Nowadays, in the Uzbek and Kazakh press, one
reads about Chinese, Algerian and Indian Basmachi.102
We [Britons] gain nothing by submission except
heavier burdens for willing shoulders. We used to have one
king at a time; now two are set over us --the governor to
wreak his fury on our life-blood; the procurator, on
our property. Whether our masters quarrel with each
other or agree together, our bondage is equally
ruinous. The governor has centurions to execute his
will; the procurator, slaves; and both of them add
insults to violence. Nothing is any longer safe from
their greed and lust. In war it is at least a braver
man who takes the spoil; as things stand with us, it
is most cowards and shirkers that seize our homes,
kidnap our children, and conscript our men --as though it
were only for our country that we would not face
death. What a mere handful of our invaders are, if we
reckon up our own numbers! Such thoughts prompted the
Germans to throw off the yoke; and they have only a river,
not the ocean, to shield them. We have country, wives,
and parents to fight for; the Romans have nothing but
greed and self-indulgence. Back they will go, as their
deified Julius [Caesar] went back, if we will but
emulate the valour of our fathers. We must not be
scared by the loss of one or two battles; success
may give an army more dash, but the greater
staying-power comes from defeat.... For ourselves, we have
already taken the most difficult step; we have begun to
plan. And in an enterprise like this there is more danger
in being caught planning than in taking the plunge.103
Comparing Roman Britons to Russian held Turkistan,
it appears that the Russians have not been as successful
as the Romans and the Central Asians were also aware of
One of the first actions of the Turkistan National
Liberation movement was to establish educational
societies, and prepare for the founding of universities.
Though precedent existed in US, Europe, Togan states that
the Central Asians were not acting on such Western
examples104, as the tsarist censorship kept the Western
works out of reach. The Central Asians were simply
recalling their own past from their own sources, and
wished to proceed with the educational reforms.
Even though considerable amount of those manuscript
sources were forcibly collected by the Russians and
transported out of Central Asia.105
The Turkistan Extraordinary Conference of December
1917 announced the formation of Autonomous Turkistan,
with Kokand as its capital. Bashkurdistan had declared
territorial autonomy in January of 1918; the Tatars also
took matters in hand in forming their autonomous region.
Also in spring 1918, the Azerbaijan Republic and others
came into being in the empire's former colonies. It
seemed as if the Russian yoke had ended and freedom
reigned. However, since the overthrow of the tsar
(February 1917), local soviets were established, again by
Russian settlers, railroad workers and soldiers, for
Russians to rule over the Central Asians. These soviets
were increasingly encouraged by Lenin and the Bolsheviks,
especially after the October 1917 coup.
Soviets were often headed by professional
revolutionaries arriving from Moscow. Generous promises
were made to the Central Asians, including indemnities
for all property expropriated earlier. It proved to be a
time-buying ploy. As Togan demonstrated, the soviets had
no intention of allowing the much- touted "self-rule" in
Central Asia. This became clear when the Bolshevik forces
burned Kokand on March 1918, and again massacred the
population. The struggle not only had to continue, but
became harsher. After a final series of conferences with
Lenin, Stalin and the Central Committee of the Bolshevik
Party, Togan realized that the aims of the Bolsheviks
were not different than those of their predecessors.
Organizing a secret committee, Togan set about forming
the basis of the united resistance, the leadership of
which moved south to Samarkand and environs. A new,
large- scale, coordinated stage of organizing the
Turkistan National Liberation Movement commenced.106
From 1918 into the 1920s Central Asia declared and
exercised independence. Despite the Red Army's reconquest,
several areas continued to hold out into the late 1920s
and even the 1930s. The Turkistan National Liberation
Movement was shaped directly by the attempt of the
Bolsheviks to reconquer Turkistan. It must also be seen,
however, as a culmination of a long process of Russian
intrusion into Central Asia as reflected in the "Eastern
Question" and what Kipling dubbed the "Great Game in
The Soviet Era
Bolshevik take-over of Central Asia occurred, like
the tsarist conquest, in stages. Bolsheviks employed a
combination of internal and external armed force,
deception, promises and political pressure, as documented
by Richard Pipes.107 Brutal conquest took another form in
the Stalinist liquidations. With forced settlement of
nomads and a man-made famine, caused by collectivization,
millions of Central Asians perished. This is not unlike
the Ukrainian experience.108
Only after defeating prolonged resistance and
establishing military, political and economic control
could the Communist regime consolidate its power by
social and cultural policies, including the
anti-religious campaigns of 1920s and 1930s. They
embellished the cultural imperialism policies of the
tsarists and used a firmer hand. The Central Asians
fighting Bolsheviks in the 1920s saw in their Russian
adversaries the sons of 19th century military
expansionists and missionaries as well as the "godless"
Marxists they proclaimed themselves to be. Echoing
tsarist claims to a "civilizing" mission in Central Asia,
and the Bolsheviks said they were "liberating" colonial
peoples. In efforts to attribute an aggressive,
expansionist character to Central Asia and their
defensive unity, both imperial and Bolshevik Russians
portrayed the Central Asians as a threat. The nature of
this threat was still said to be "Pan-Turkism" and
Despite its European origins and apart from its
European goals, the Pan-Turkism notion took root among
some Central Asian emigres (in Central Asia, the idea has
had few adherents), as a means to remove the Russians
from their homelands. Yet, accusations of "Pan-Turkism"
were employed freely in the Soviet Union (and outside),
not against political action, but cultural movements or
scholarly works on the common origins and language of the
Turks.109 The latter studies are irksome to Moscow, for
they refute the Russian position that the dialects are
separate and distinct languages, a claim that the regime
has exerted much effort to propagate.110 Even the
distinction Turkic and Turkish is alien to the Turks
themselves, who before the arrival of the Russians,
communicated unhindered, apparently oblivious to the fact
that they were speaking "totally separate and distinct
The most articulate and thus dangerous opponent to
Russian hegemony under the new "Communist" label was Mir
Said Sultangaliev (1880-1939?).111
If a revolution succeeds in England, the proleteriat
will continue oppressing the colonies and pursuing
the policy of the existing bourgeois government; for it
is interested in the exploitation of these colonies. In
order to prevent the oppression of the toiler of the
East we must unite the Muslim masses in a communist
movement that will be our own and autonomous.112
Sultangaliev used the English example as a thin
cloak for his true thoughts against the ideology and
practise of the RCP(b)113. One had only to substitute the
word "Russian," to understand the meaning of the
statement. Having served as the deputy Commissar of
Nationalities, as Stalin's assistant, Sultangaliev was
well aware of Bolshevik methods and means of control. He,
like many other non-Russians in the RCP(b), had seen the
direction of the Bolshevik revolution: Russian
domination. The only path to salvation was to form a
separate party and political union to fight for
Sultangaliev was briefly arrested in 1923 and Stalin
denounced his former deputy:
....I accused [Sultangaliev] of creating an
organization of the Validov114 type... nevertheless,
a week later, he sent... a secret letter... to
establish contact with the Basmachi and their leader
Sultangaliev was purged and disappeared in 1928,
along with other adherents of the movement. But even the
existence of the idea presented by Sultangaliev was
causing nightmares for Stalin. Frequent exhortations
againt Sultangalievism among nationalities, especially
Central Asians were made:
The ideological and organizational destruction of
Sultangalievism does not yet mean that our offensive
against nationalism must come to an end. The Tatar
Obkom invites all members of the Communist party to
hunt down Sultangalievists, to reinforce the
struggle against all kinds of national manifestations
among backward masses, and to unmask the still numerous
bearers of Sultangalievism in our party and Soviet
Of course, the bogey-man Pan-Turkism and
Pan-Islamism were once more put on display, this time
even in more contradictory terms such as "Pan-Turkic
Nationalism." Under the guise of slogans such as
"internationalism," "brotherhood of nationalities,"
"coming closer," and "merging of nationalities," the
policies beneficial to the Russians were pursued by the
Soviet leadership in Moscow. The purges decimated the
ranks of the educated Central Asians. A Russian dominated
bureaucracy attempted to destroy Central Asian history,
subvert their indigenous literature, exploit the Central
Asian natural resources. While doing so, the regime
destroyed the pristine environment. Not all of these
crimes are yet known in the West, but more are gaining
Central Asian issues under Gorbachev117
Only recently have the results of decades of
political, economic, social, cultural, environmental
abuse been aired. The Bolsheviks castigated tsarist
use of Turkistan as a colony, but followed in their
predecessors footsteps extracting cotton and raw
materials for Soviet industry despite cost to the local
population or environment. The cotton, irrigation,
fertilizer "triad" has caused monstrous ecological and
human health damage. Due to the overuse of chemical
fertilizers and growth stimulants, infant mortality has
jumped. Mothers were warned not to nurse their babies
because their own milk is polluted. Shortened life
expectancy plagues all Central Asian republics.
In 1987 almost one-third of all fish in the Volga
basin died from pesticide poisoning. In many regions,
pesticides are now turning-up in the water supply.
According to Goskompriroda [State commissariat for the
environment] more than 10,000 hectares of land contain
concentrations of DDT above sanitary norms, some two to
eight times the established norm. In one case, students
were sent to the field to gather the onion crop. They
were poisoned from handling the onions. It was discovered
that the crop and the soil contained 120 times the norm
prescribed for pesticides. The farm's director maintained
that the students were suffering from exhaustion
--apparently at the behest of local party officials
worried about "alarming" the public.
Komsomolskaya Pravda reported in April 1990 that 43
persons,including 37 children, were hospitalized in
Uzbekistan after eating a meal of mushrooms which turned
out to be toxic. Two of the children died. The mushrooms
were of an edible variety, but they were contaminated
with "...toxic chemicals, pesticides, and other muck"
which had leached into the soil after heavy rains stated
Perhaps the most dramatic result has been the
destruction ofthe Aral Sea, well known thanks to mass
media coverage. Several US universities have either
conducted conferences on the subject,or are planning to
do so.118 The waters of the Aral Sea have been used to
irrigate cotton, the reason for its disappearance. This
has profound effects. In addition to the destruction of
the sea's fish (and fishing industry), salt driven by
winds from the dry sea bed has destroyed vegetation as
far away as Chimkent [Green City], 450 miles to the east.
Plague, claimed Radio Moscow in May, threatens the region.
A television marathon in Kazakhstan (which bordered the
sea on the north) raised almost 40 million rubles for a
fund to help the people whose health and livelihoods have
been destroyed by the drying up of the Aral Sea.
Kazakistan has other environmental damage as well.
In 1990, a Danish television documentary stated that
inhabitants of a village in Kazakhstan's Semipalatinsk
Oblast were used as guinea-pigs during an atmospheric
nuclear test in 1953. The documentary, summarized by the
French News Service (AFP), included an interview with a
Kazakh man who had been one of the 40 guinea- pigs made
to stay behind when other villagers were evacuated before
the test. According to the report, all 40 contracted
cancer, and 34 have already died from the disease. This
report would not be news to the inhabitants of
Semipalatinsk --the effects of the August 1953 test have
been frequently described in great detail in the Kazakh
Even after the testing has stopped, the effects will
linger. A recent news report indicated that out of the
total population of Kazakhstan, seven million now suffer
from some form of cancer. During 1990 a private
philanthropic fund was established to provide medical
assistance to children affected by nuclear testing in
Semipalatinsk. The people who suffer from the ills of
this state-caused disaster are spending their own money
to find a cure.
Economic policies inflicting less overt damage
involve trade between Moscow and the individual republics.
In the case of Kazakhstan, the Kazak trade deficit is
over one billion "trade rubles." This, despite the large
exports of varying commodities from Kazakhstan to the
Russian republic. The primary reason is that Moscow sets
the prices and the republics have to sell their produce
at artificially low prices, well below those of the
world market. On the other hand, they must pay much more
for their imports from Moscow usually at market prices.
The republics never had control over the transactions;
Gosplan (the Central State Planning Office) decided who
manufactured what, where and when, including investment
for construction of facilities. The same maybe said of
every Central Asian republic.
The economic issues are linked to fundamental
matters of national identity and culture. Following again
the tsarist precedent, the Soviet regime retained sharply
divided education (technical education is in Russian),
linguistic and attempted social and biological
russification campaigns, low investment in Central Asia,
and settlement of Russian workers as the "price" of new
factory construction. The terminology has been changed,
but the substance has not.119 Among the legacies of
Moscow's rule was the death and destruction of forced
collectivization, and against this protest has been
A group of writers who made up an advisory council
to the Kazakh literary weekly Qazaq Edebiyeti have called
for the erection of a monument to the Kazakhs who died in
the collectivization campaign in the 1930s. According to
their appeal, published on the front page of Qazaq
Edebiyeti April 13, 2.5 million Kazakhs perished under
Stalin. The writers would like the memorial to be
completed by 1992, the sixtieth anniversary of the
Anarchy in Central Asia?120
Central Asians' long standing demands can be
summed-up in two broad categories: 1) the end of
centrally ordered quotas, ranging from
out-of-region-origin cadre appointments to colonial-
style forced cotton production, and settlement of
non-native populations; 2) an end to environmental
pollution from nuclear tests to pesticide poisoning.
Central Asians, like other non- Russians, have been
interested in economic justice and greater autonomy in
their internal affairs. But accurate information on
Central Asia not readily available to Western journalists
or policymakers. Moscow has been able to use that
ignorance to play on various Western fears and
prejudices, raising the specter of political chaos,
nuclear proliferation and, the successor to the
Pan-Islamic threat, Islamic Fundamentalism.
First, the "Treaty Principle of the Soviet
Federation," raised by Gorbachev at the 28th Party
Congress, was not abandoned after the coup attempt of
August 1991. Treaty bonds are still said to have "the
enormous advantages of the new Soviet federation," which
would foil the plans of "all kinds of separatists,
chauvinists, and nationalists" who are trying to "deal a
decisive blow to perestroika which threatens their
far-reaching aims."121 Whatever the nominal power
relations in a new union treaty, the old economic
realities would preserve Central Asia's de facto colonial
position vis-a-vis Russian industry. Moreover, the
"economic logic" of continued ties to Russia would make
it that much more difficult to alter the pattern, and
Central Asia would have to go on supplying raw materials
for still higher priced Russian manufactures constructed
under the Soviet regime.
Second is Moscow's "Revival of Islam" offensive.
After the Bolshevik revolution, the Oriental Institute
was gradually Bolshevized and attached to the USSR
Academy of Sciences. It was reorganized many times
between the late 1920s and late 1950s. The "Muslim
Spiritual Boards" were revived in 1941, seemingly along
the very same lines as under the tsars. The new Islamic
ulama is trained by the state.
Both tsarist and Soviet regimes have blamed "Islam"
for anti- colonial actions by the Central Asians against
Russian conquest, colonization, economic exploitation,
political discrimination, and russification. Many
repressions by the center have been carried out to
suppress alleged Islamic movements, "Pan-Islamism" in the
last century, "Islamic fundamentalism" today. The "usual
suspects" are targets: "zealots, fanatics, feudal
remnants..." Gorbachev used these accusations the day
before ordering troops to open fire in Baku in January
1990. More recently, a "senior member" of the Oriental
Institute (Leningrad) has spoken of the danger of an
"Islamic Explosion." The speaker stated that the
"European- centered approach to Islam" had caused the USSR
to pursue incorrect policies in Central Asia. He
advocated the rejection of that approach in favor of one
that treats Islam on its own terms.122
The Orientalist's words may have been meant to
incite a debate within the Western scholarly community
concerning perestroika in academe. The wish in the Soviet
Oriental Institute may have been to keep the Western
specialists too busy to pay attention to these demands
Central Asia shares with other nationalities. This
treatment of Islam is not only not new, it continues to
err in the same way as before --attributing all of the
grievances of the Central Asians to Islam, as if Moscow's
understanding of Islam can help the government make
better cotton policies. Is it lack of understanding Islam
that led to the destruction of the Aral Sea?
Further, by the continuing attribution of unrest to
Islam, the government signals the West that no action is
too drastic to quell it. If Western analysts grasped more
clearly that national autonomy or political liberty were
at the root of Central Asian discontent, Western
governments might look upon it with a very different eye,
one less tolerant of Moscow's use of force. Along
the same lines, Moscow employs a "Sociological Approach."
The anti-religious campaigns that started in the 1920s by
the Bezbozhnik (Godless) League later became the task of
the "Institutes of Scientific Atheism." The next step now
appears to be embodied in the Institutes of Sociology,
fathoming the depths of the society, attempting to
conduct an opinion poll to determine the hold of Islam in
Central Asia. A Soviet journal reportedly published one
such survey, which revealed, contrary to the official
line, that the USSR had not become a land of convinced
atheists; Religious beliefs are not declining every year;
Religion is not confined to more "backward groups"
--women, the elderly.123
What probably began as a means of keeping
responsible committees informed, may now be a public
relations tool as well. Under the authority of a
"Scientific Institute," the results can be disseminated
and endorsed to form the bases of future actions. It
can also serve as the seal of approval from the
"intelligentsia," supporting the actions of the Center.
A recent program announced by several US scholarly
societies and associations aims to develop Soviet
Sociological Research Projects. One hopes that such an
endeavor would develop to remove the abuses of such
"opinion poll taking."
An especially popular, if unimaginative, tool of the
Soviet government is "Corruption Charges." Since the
Andropov period, several cycles of corruption charges
have been brought against the Central Asians. Throughout
the USSR, there are no doubt genuine cases of
corruption as defined in a democratic society: influence
peddling, embezzlement, bribe taking, skimming money from
the cotton crop. On the other hand, some of these charges
appear trumped- up to root out Central Asian efforts to
gain some measure of local control over their own
economy. What is labelled corruption by the Center, can be
directly aimed at independently minded Central Asian
elites. During the Gorbachev period, a similar crackdown
was undertaken.124 The Special Prosecutors were later
accused of using "inhuman methods to extract confessions"
from the suspects. Soon afterward, the former Prosecutors
themselves came under investigation for their excesses.
Gorbachev also attributed the problems in
Transcaucasia to "representatives of the shadow
economy," i.e. the sort of entrepreneurship which
perestroika purported to allow. This not only cast
aspersions on the nature of his economic "restructuring,"
but also suggested that he nurtured a different vision
of perestroika for Central Asians than for Russians or
Failing verbal dissuasion and political pressure,
Gorbachev has been as willing as his predecessors to use
force. He coupled it with justification, another tactic
for international opinion that may be called "The Stick"
(or, the Praise for the Armed Forces"). The use of lethal
force during January 1990 in Azerbaijan, in the city of
Baku was also meant as a demonstration to Central Asia.
Similar brutality was used against Kazakhs in 1986,125
and Georgians in 1989, though it was worse in Baku where
two hundred or more were killed by the Red Army. Later,
Gorbachev warmly praised the armed forces for keeping
order and warned the Soviet media not to engage in
anti- Army propaganda. The message was clear: if you do
not accept our political solutions, we shall use
Leninist-Stalinist muscle, no matter what the new
vocabulary. The citizens of the Baltic Republics, along
with those Central Asians have been experiencing this
Moscow seems to create conditions in which it can
use force. The decision to "announce," or "leak the news"
of the settlement of Armenians in Tajikistan antagonized
the housing- poor Tajiks. It is inconceivable that Moscow
would not have anticipated a Tajik response. The media,
predictably, report on "a Muslim population's violence."
Such manipulation was by no means isolated. The retired
KGB General Oleg Kalugin stated that the KGB probably had
a role in inciting the anti-Armenian violence in Baku:
"Naturally, it is their job to stir up everyone against
everyone else." Kalugin sharply criticized the Moscow
leadership for withholding information on the KGB's
involvement in Sumgait and in Tbilisi.126 In this light,
perhaps the events connected with the Kirghiz-Ozbek,
Georgian-Ossetian, Ozbek-Meskhetian127 confrontations of
1989-1990, and the Kazakh-Russian "incident" of 1986,
ought to be reexamined as well.128 Even the center's
support for creating of "hostage" pockets in ethnically
uniform populations seems aimed at diluting homogenous
areas capable of mounting national movements and to incite
inter- ethnic enmity.129
If "the Stick" was applied to Central Asia, "the
Carrot" is used elsewhere. The invitation to the West to
believe that the USSR has been trying very hard to become
just a Western democracy was yet another aspect of the
image manipulation. Anyone in the West expressing doubts
as to the genuineness of the Soviet efforts was dubbed "a
grave digger of perestroika." Further, Soviet spokesmen
stated that they "are confident that West would decide
against those individuals."130 To fortify the image of
efforts being expended to make the transition to a
Western type democracy, a number of other public
relations demarches were also undertaken. Authorities
grant exit visas to Jews, and hold talks with the Iranian
government on border crossing points for the Azerbaijan
Turks. These, of course, addressed the humanitarian
issues raised in the West with respect to reuniting
Whether or not the Center was expecting "Anarchy in
Central Asia," Moscow clearly anticipated Western
impatience with "turmoil," especially if it threatens to
upset the status- quo. This appears to be true even when
the elements of the existing government, which
assaulted human rights throughout its existence,
attempted to seize power in a coup and the challenge is
mounted by a population seeking to regain its
independence. Nonetheless, current democracies seem to
prefer dealing with one great power they know than
numerous new and small powers. The view is similar to
those when the Bolshevik regime was in its infancy but
Great Powers at Versailles refused to recognize
independence of most tsarist colonies except Poland and
the Baltic. Such refusal policies are more easily justified
when those groups seeking independence can be dismissed as
"fanatical" or at least "anti- democratic;" even if the
challenged power is not democraticor democratically
As if to help his Western counterparts support him
and the empire --and in case Moscow decides to use force
as in Azerbaijan-- Gorbachev provides justification for
their fears and his use of force. Russian spokesmen
continue to claim in the 1990s that they "civilized"
Central Asia, protected and fed it. Western observers
seem rarely to ask how Russia "civilized" a demonstrably
older civilization than itself, from whom Russia protects
Central Asia, or how the Central Asians managed to feed
themselves before the arrival of the Russians and their
Perspective on the "Post-openness" prospects
President Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945, in his
famed 5 October 1937 "Quarantine speech," stated:
...Those who cherish their freedom and recognize and
respect the equal right of their neighbors to be
free and live in peace, must work together for the
triumph of law and moral principles in order that peace,
justice and confidence may prevail in the world.
There must be a return to a belief in the pledged word, in
the value of a signed treaty. There must be
recognition of the fact that national morality is a vital as
private morality.... It ought to be inconceivable that in
this modern era, and in the face of experience, any nation
could be so foolish and ruthless as to run the risk of
plunging the whole world into war by invading and violating,
in contravention of solemn treaties, the territory of
other nations that have done them no real harm and
are too weak to protect themselves adequately.131
World War II began two years after this speech. It
would not be a credible assertion today to claim that the
Central Asians are preparing to attack the Russian
Federation. But the Russians are behaving just as Hitler
did in the period when F. D. Roosevelt gave his speech:
demanding more land.
The coup attempt of August 1991 might represent a
new turn in Russian politics. Whether this turn is
towards true democracy with its full implication of
freedom, or a turn towards yet another kind of Russian
domination, it is too early to surmise. Some
pronouncements from the "center," immediately after the
failure of the hardliner's coup attempt, began talking of
"border adjustments" in favor of the Russian Federation
should the republics opt to secede. Those "adjustments"
are precisely in the areas where the Russians have earlier
expropriated lands from other nationalities; for example,
in Kazakistan.132 A "border agreement" was soon signed
between the Russian Federation and Kazakistan. The
Bolshevik leadership, too, had signed a variety of
agreements with the Bashkurts and other Central Asian
polities in the 1920s but shortly afterward disregarded
them as "so much paper."133 It was also the USSR that
signed the United Nations Charter in 1945, and the very
next day demanded land from another UN Charter Member, the
Turkish Republic; precisely in the areas covered in the
1921 border treaty signed between the two states.134 The
idea is still not abondoned in Moscow, or the Russian
circles, and public policy speeches are being delivered
on the subject.135 In fact, the newly constituted Russian
Rapid Deployment Forces are also seen as the instruments
of this policy, in preparation for anticipated action.
The ostensible reason, of course, is going to be the
"protection of Russians" in "those" territories. This is
clearly seen in the behavior of the 14th Russian/CIS Army
in Moldova during 1991 and 1992.
Russians have no significant experience with
democracy. Many Russian thinkers and groups have fought
democracy at every turn.136 Slavophiles and even some
Westernizers of the 19th century tsarist empire preferred
an "organic link" of autocrat and subjects to the
artificial guarantees of constitutions and the rule of
law. Though the tsar declared Chaadaev insane to
discredit his "dangerous" notions,137 it was society that
produced the People's Will terrorists, the Union of the
Russian People,138 Lenin, and Stalin and Dzerzhinsky,139
who despite their actual ethnic origins, sprang from the
ruling Russian society. Konstantin Pobedenostsev, legal
scholar, head of Holy Synod and tutor to Alexander III
and Nicholas II, wrote of "The Falsehood of
Democracy."140 The lack of a Russian legal consciousness
or sense of legality has been analyzed.141 It was an
environment in which private initiative was always
suspect. What caused the citizen to heed the commands of
the state was not a sense of citizenship, or civil
consciousness, but compulsion, often coercion by the
state. After the fall of the tsarist regime and its
Okhrana, that body's place was taken by the Bolshevik
Cheka, and its successors.
Two days "at the barricades" during August 1991,
around the Russian Federation Parliament, is not likely
to transform and "democratize" the deeply autocratic
experiences of the Russian tradition. Yeltsin's
proclamation that Russia had "saved democracy for Russia
and the world" gave no hope that "democratic Russia"
--should it ever materialize-- forsaw any place for non-
After the failed coup of August 1991, the Central
Asians have again taken to organizing and publicly
articulating their wide ranging grievances. To restrict
our view of Central Asia's troubles to the economic realm
alone is to overlook the essential threat to their
conscious existence as a people. Overt demonstrations
against economic policy or political administration
have been possible only rarely. But Russian and Soviet
cultural policies have affected the way the Central
Asians could see themselves and describe their custom and
past for future generations. Recovery of the true sources
of history and regeneration of the true identity has been
in progress, continuing a conflict in the cultural realm
that Central Asia conducted againts tsarist policy a
century ago. Political and cultural responses are
different aspects of the same struggle for greater control
over their own lives and land. Whether the
former Communists leadership of Central Asian polities
have also reformed themselves overnight, as they have
stated, remains to be seen.
At the moment Boris Yeltsin, career communist, is
now regarded as the "Savior" of democracy in Russia, and
as its guide. "A nation's guides are those who can awaken
their people from their witless slumber of ignorance....
The Savior of every tribe shall come."142 If the awaited
savior causes harm to other "tribes" in the process,
knowingly or not, there can be vast repercussions. This
is also true of the former Communist leadership in
Central Asia. "Four freedoms" are enshrined in the United
Nations Charter. If the "Four Freedoms" cease to apply
uniformly, they may cease to exist alltogether.
1. Gavin Hambly, Editor, Central Asia (London, 1969).
First English Edition.
2. The designation "Tatar" is found in the Orkhon-Yenisey
stelea, erected beginning early 7th c. See T. Tekin, A
Grammar of Orkhon Turkic (Indiana, 1968), Uralic and
Altaic Series, Vol. 69, which contains the texts and
their English translations. The Latin "Tartarus," meaning
"the infernal regions of Roman and Greek mythology,
hence, hell" had already came into use through chronicles
written by the clergy of Europe. Perhaps St. Louis of
France was the first, in 1270, to apply this unrelated
term to the troops of Chinggis Khan.
3. Timur (or Temur) Bey, was wounded in a battle, which
caused him to become lame. Therefore, in some Turkish
sources he is sometimes referred to as Aksak Timur. Arab
sources call him Amir Timur. In Persian sources, he
became Timur-i leng. Hence, the corruption. See Ahmad Ibn
Arabshah, Tamarlane or Timur the Great Amir, J. H.
Sanders, Tr. (London, 1936); idem, The Timurnama or
Ajayabul magfur fi akhbar-i Timur, H. S. Jarrett
(Calcutta, 1882); Beatrice Forbes Manz, The Rise and Rule
of Tamarlane (Cambridge University Press, 1989).
4. The poem "Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
(1772-1834) is another example of this "abundance of
5. Kirghiz are also found in the Orkhon-Yenisey stelea.
See Tekin, A Grammar of Orkhon Turkic. See also Remy Dor
and Guy Imart, Être Kirghiz au me siecle (Marseilles:
Universite de Provence, 1982).
6. For the nature and compositions of confederation
structures, see "Z. V. Togan: On the Origins of the
Kazakhs and the Ozbeks" H. B. Paksoy, Editor, Central
Asia Reader (New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1994).
7. See H. B. Paksoy, "A. A. Divay : Intellectual Heritage
and Quiet Defiance." Presented to the 21st annual Middle
East Studies Association meeting, Baltimore, 1987. An
abstract may be found in Turkish Studies Association
Bulletin, Vol. 12, No. 1. (1988), pp.22-23.
8. See H. B. Paksoy, "Introduction." (as Special Editor
of "Muslims in the Russian Empire: Response to Conquest")
Studies in Comparative Communism Vol. XIX, Nos. 3 and 4,
Autumn/Winter 1986; idem, "Chora Batir: A Tatar
Admonition to Future Generations." Studies in
Comparative Communism Vol. XIX, Nos. 3 and 4, Autumn/Winter
9. A German born and trained compiler of Turkish
10. (Bloomington and The Hague, 1967).
11. Since 1917, many studies have been made of the
so-called language reforms in the USSR, making some
outrageous claims. Those Soviet propagandist assertions
include "giving new languages" to the various
"nationalities." For details, among others, see
especially Z. V. Togan, Turkili Turkistan (Istanbul,
1981) 3rd. Ed.; Stefan Wurm, Turkic Peoples of the USSR:
Their Historical Background, their Language, and the
Development of Soviet Linguistic Policy (Oxford, 1954);
idem, The Turkic Languages of Central Asia: Problems of
Planned Culture Contact (Oxford, 1954).
12. The person in question is Eduard Volodin. The
implication of this statement, in the context of authors'
arguments, is that Altai is now considered a part of
Russia to be preserved in case of dissolution of the
Soviet Union. An earlier version of the discussion in
this section was disseminated: see H. B. Paksoy,
"Perspectives on the Unrest in the Altai Region of the
USSR" Report on the USSR (Electronic version, on
Sovset), September 1990. See also R. L. Canfield, "Soviet
Gambit in Central Asia" Journal of South Asian and Middle
Eastern Studies Vol. 5, No. 1.
13. See Tekin, A Grammar of Orkhon Turkic.
14. Kasgarli Mahmud, Kitab Diwan Lugat at Turk. Completed
ca. A. D. 1074?/ 1077. Editio Princeps by Kilisli Rifat
(3 Vols.) (Istanbul, 1917-19). English Translation by R.
Dankoff with J. Kelly as Compendium of Turkic Dialects (3
Vols.) (Cambridge, MA., 1982-84).
15. For "treaty" details, see J. R. V. Prescott, Map of
Mainland Asia by Treaty (Melbourne, 1975).
16. For an early study on the subject, see Helene Carrre
d'Encaussee, Decline of an Empire: The Soviet Socialist
Republics in Revolt (NY, 1979); Paul B. Henze, "Marx on
Russians and Muslims" Central Asian Survey Vol 6, No. 4
17. For a discussion of the subject, see Hisao Komatsu,
"Bukhara in the Central Asian Perspective: Group Identity
in 1911-1928" Research Report on Urbanism in Islam
(University of Tokyo, 1988) No. 2; also Nazif Shahrani,
"'From Tribe to Umma': Comments on the Dynamics of
Identity in Muslim Central Asia" Central Asian Survey
Vol. 3, No. 3 (1984).
18. Such insistence also found its way into the Soviet
Census of 1939, whose compilers were shot when accused by
Stalin for underestimating the population. One surmises,
the real reason for the liquidation of the Census
compilers that they affirmed by numbers what was known in
the earlier Censuses: the ethnic Russians constituted
less than half of the total Soviet population.
19. For the Moscow's attempts to write a history for
Central Asians, see L. Tillett, The Great
Friendship (Chapel Hill, 1969).
20. According to the late I. Kafesoglu, the original
religion of the Turks was the worship of Tangri, a
monotheistic belief, quite different from shamanism.
See his Turk Milli Kuluturu (Istanbul, 1984) (3rd Ed)
pp. 295-7, and the sources cited therein. Grousset,
in Empire of the Steppes (N. Walford Tr.)
(New Brunswick-NJ, 1970) identifies the word Tangri
as Turkic and Mongol, meaning "Heaven" (p. 20);
he states (p. 23) that the Hsiung-nu (considered as
Turks and often identified with the Huns)
practiced a religion that "was a vague shamanism based on
the cult of Tangri or Heaven and on the worship of
certain sacred mountains." Based on Pelliot and Thomsen,
he seems to confirm Kafesoglu's contention of monotheism,
but still related to shamanism:
"The moral concepts (in the Kul Tegin stela)... are
borrowed from the old cosmogony which formed the basis
of Turko-Mongol shamanism... Heaven and earth obeyed a
supreme being who inhabited the highest level of the
sky and who was known by the name of Divine Heaven or
Tangri." (p. 86).
"Tengri" (in this form) is referenced in Tekin, A Grammar
of Orkhon Turkic; Mahmud, Kitab Diwan Lugat at Turk.
Consult also M. Eliade, Shamanism; Archaic Techniques of
Ecstasy (Princeton, 1974), 2nd Printing, who identifies
Tangri only as one god of the Yakut (p. 471); elsewhere
he describes the hierarchy of gods (Chapter 6).
21. R. N. Frye, "Zoroastrier in der islamischen Zeit"
Der Islam (Berlin) 41, 1965; idem, The History of Ancient
Iran (1958); idem, The Heritage of Persia (1963).
22. Mary Boyce, Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and
Practices (1984); idem, A History of Zoroastrianism
(1975-1991) 3 Vols. (Vol. 3 with Franz Grenet).
23. R. N. Frye, "The Iranicization of Islam," delivered
at the University of Chicago (May 1978) as the annual
Marshall Hodgson Memorial Lecture. Printed in R. N. Frye,
Islamic Iran and Central Asia: 7th-12th centuries
(London: Variorum, 1979).
24. R. N. Frye, The History of Bukhara (Cambridge, Mass.
1954). See also Michael Zand, "Bukharan Jews"
Encyclopedia Iranica, Ehsan Yarshater, Ed. Vol IV, fasc.
5. (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1989).
25. Colin Mackerras, Ed., Tr., The Uighur Empire
According to the T'ang Dynastic Histories: A Study in
Sino-Uighur Relations 744-840 (University of South
Carolina Press, 1972); A. von Gabain, Das Leben im
uigirischen Knigreich von Qoo 850-1250 (Otto
Harrassowitz, 1973); Gunnar Jarring, Return to Kashgar: Central
Asian Memories in the Present. (Durham, 1986).
26. R. N. Frye and A. M. Sayili, "The Turks of Khurasan
and Transoxiana at the Time of the Arab Conquest" The
Moslem World XV. (Hartford) 1945, concerning the Turks
of Transoxiana prior to the arrival of Islam.
27. See Tekin, A Grammar of Orkhon Turkic.
28. Grousset, Empire of the Steppes; further, W.
Barthold, Turkestan Down to the Mongol Invasion (London,
1977) 4th edition; Christopher Beckwith, The Tibetan
Empire in Central Asia: A History of the Struggle for
Great Power among Tibetans, Turks, Arabs, and Chinese
during the Early Middle Ages (Princeton, 1987); R. W.
Dunnell, Tanguts and the Tangut State of Ta Hsia
(University Microfilms International, 1983).
29. See "M. Ali--Let us Learn our Inheritance: Get to
Know Yourself" Central Asia Reader, H. B. Paksoy, Editor,
(New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1994); "Sun is also Fire."
Central Asian Monuments, H. B. Paksoy, Editor, (Istanbul:
ISIS Press, 1992).
30. W. Bartold, in Turkestan Down to the Mongol Invasion
(London, 1977) 4th Ed. (p. 195-196) states "...according
to the narrative of the Arabic historian, probably
exaggerated, as many as 50,000 Chinese were killed and
about 20,000 taken prisoner, but in the Chinese records
the whole army of Kao-hsien-chih is given as 30,000
men...but it is undoubtedly of great importance....
In 752 the ruler of Usrushana begged help against the
Arabs from the Chinese, but met with a refusal."
31. See C. E. Bosworth, The Gaznavids: Their Empire in
Afghanistan and Eastern Iran, 994-1040 (Beirut, 1973)
(2nd Ed.); F. Sumer Oguzlar (Turkmenler) (Istanbul, 1980)
(3rd. Ed.); Thomas Barfield, The Central Asian Arabs of
Afghanistan: Pastoral Nomadism in Transition (Austin-TX,
32. Peter Golden, Khazar Studies (Budapest, 1980); D. M.
Dunlop, The History of the Jewish Khazars, (Princeton,
1954); N. Golb, O. Pritsak, Khazarian Hebrew Documents
(Ithaca, 1982); Turks, Hungarians and Kipchaks: A
Festschrift in Honor of Tibor Halasi- Kun. P. Oberling,
Editor, Special issue of Journal of Turkish Studies Vol.
33. Beginning with the "Kok-Turk" alphabet of the
Orkhon-Yenisei, that is regarded unique to them; later
Uyghur (which is modified Sogdian); Hebrew; Arabic;
34. Peter Golden, "Codex Comanicus" Central Asian
Monuments H. B. Paksoy, Editor, (Istanbul: ISIS Press,
1992). The only known copy of the Codex Comanicus is in
the Venice library. It should be noted that the Uyghur
Turks wrote eulogies to Buddha; the Ottomans, to
35. Although Ottoman became a "constructed" language,
taking elements of Turkish, Arabic and Persian via the
development of the Ottoman court poetry. More books
of statecraft were written, in Ottoman, in the 16th
and the 17th centuries.
36. O. Pritsak, "Karachanidische Streitfragen 1-4"
Oriens II. (Leiden, 1950).
37. Followed by the Khwarazm-Shahs 1156-1230, and
preceded by the Gaznavids 994-1186. Akkoyunlu dynasty,
another tribal confederation related to the Oghuz/Seljuk
ruled in the 15th century. For the Oghuz, See F. Sumer,
Oguzlar (Turkmenler) (Istanbul, 1980) 3rd. Ed.
38. A Century of Princes: Sources on Timurid History and
Art, W. M. Thackston (Tr.) (Cambridge, MA., 1989).
39. S. J. Shaw and E. K. Shaw, History of the Ottoman
Empire and Modern Turkey (Cambridge University Press,
1976-1978) Two Vols. Second Printing 1978.
40. Uli Schamiloglu, "The Formation of a Tatar Historical
Consciousness: Shihabddin Mercani and the Image of Golden
Horde" Central Asian Survey Vol. 9, No. 2 (1990); idem,
"Tribal Politics and Social Organization" Unpublished PhD
dissertation (Columbia, 1986).
41. Ibn Battuta, Travels in Asia and Africa:
1325-1354 H.A.R. Gibb (Tr.) (New York, 1929); see also
the bibliography in Ross E. Dunn, The Adventures of Ibn
Battuta: A Muslim Traveler of the 14th Century (Berkeley,
42. Bosworth, The Gaznavids, p. 205.
43. Kasgarli Mahmud, Kitab Diwan Lugat at Turk.
44. Ettuhfet uz zakiyye fil lugat it Turkiyye. Besim
Atalay, Ed., Tr. (Istanbul, 1945). Atalay provides an
introduction to place the work in its context.
45. See Theodor Noldeke, (tr.) (Bombay, 1930). See also W.
L. Hanaway, "Epic Poetry" Ehsan Yarshater, Editor,
Persian Literature (Ithaca: Bibliotheca Persica, 1988);
R. L. Canfield, Editor, Turco-Persia in Historical
Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 1991).
46. Elizabeth Endicott-West, Mongolian Rule in China
(Harvard, 1989); Morris Rossabi, Khubilai Khan, His Life
and Times (Berkeley, 1988); Thomas Allsen, Mongol
Imperialism (Berkeley, 1987).
47. See Lt. Col. Sir Wolseley Haig and Sir Richard Burn
(Eds.) The Cambridge History of India (1922-1953), Vol
III, Turks and Afghans (1928). M. G. S. Hodgson, in his
The Venture of Islam: Conscience and History in a World
Civilization (Chicago, 1974), 3 Vols., suggests that the
above cited 1928 volume is written from the now outdated
British Empire point of view. See also V. Smith, Oxford
History of India (Oxford, 1958).
48. Rashid al-Din, The Successors of Genghis Khan, trans.
by John A. Boyle (New York, 1971). For example, the
Akkoyunlu had no wish to come under Ottoman or Safavid
dominion. See John Woods, The Aqqoyunlu Clan,
Confederation, Empire: A Study in 15th/9th Century
Turco-Iranian Politics (Minneapolis, 1976).
49. Alfarabi's Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, Muhsin
Mahdi, Tr. (Free Press/Macmillan, 1962).
50. Known in the West as Avicenna. See Avicenna:
Scientist and Philosopher. G. M. Wickens, Ed. (London,
51. For additional personae, see for example The
Cambridge History of Islam, P. M. Holt, Ann K. S. Lambton
and B. Lewis (Eds.). (Cambridge University Press, 1970) 4
Vols.; Carl Brockelmann, History of the Islamic Peoples,
J. Charmichael and M. Perlmann (Tr.) (London, 1948). 7th
52. Aydin Sayili, Logical Necessities in Mixed Equations
by 'Abd al Hamid ibn Turk and the Algebra of his Time
53. Timur's grandson, who ruled Samarkand and environs,
author ofprincipal astronomical and mathematical works
which were translated into Western languages beginning
with the 17th century. See Ulugh Bey Calendar, John
Greaves, Savilian Professo rof Astronomy, Tr. (Oxford,
1652). Ulug Beg's works influenced European studies on
the subject. Bartold utilized a French translation by
Sedillot, Prolgomenes des tables astronomiques d'Oloug-beg
(Paris, 1847-53). See Barthold, Four Studies on the
History of Central Asia Vol. II, Ulug Beg. (Leiden,
1963). For a more detailed bibliography, see Kevin
Krisciunas, "The Legacy of Ulugh Beg" H. B. Paksoy,
Editor, Central Asian Monuments (Istanbul: Isis Press,
54. Muhammad ibn Musa al Khwarazmi, Kitab al Mukhtasar fi
Hisab al Jabr wa'l Muqabala, F. Rosen, Editor,
Translator, (London, 1830).
55. The Babur-Nama in English, (Memoirs of Babur) Anette
S. Beveridge, Tr. (London, 1922). It has been reprinted
in 1969. See also Muhammad Haidar, A History of the
Moghuls of Central Asia Being the Tarikh-i Reshidi of
Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlad, E. D. Ross, Translator; N.
Elias, Editor, (London, 1898). Reprint (New York, 1970).
56. Huseyin Baykara (r. 1469-1506), a direct descendent
of Timur, ruled Herat and Khorasan. His contemporary,
friend and boon- companion Navai is exemplified as the
ultimate literati of this period. Reportedly of Uyghur
descent, Navai (1441-1501) wrote voluminously and with
apparent ease in Chaghatay, a Turk dialect, and Persian,
and concomitantly was the long-time serving 'prime
minister' to Huseyin Baykara. Much of Navai's writings
remain untranslated. For his collected works, see A. S.
Levend, Ali Sir Nevai (Ankara: Turk Dil Kurumu, 1965-68)
57. Fuzuli, Kulliyat-i Divan-i Fuzuli (Istanbul,
1308/1891); idem, Turkce Divan. K. Akyuz, S. Beken, S.
Yuksel, M. Cumhur, Eds. (Ankara, 1958); idem, Eserler
(Baku, 1958). See also Keith Hitchins, "Fuzuli [pseudonym
of Muhammad ibn Suleiman]" The Modern Encyclopedia of
Russian and Soviet Literatures. Harry B. Weber, Ed.
(Academic International Press, 1987) Vol. 8.
58. Roger M. Savory, Iran under the Safavids (Cambridge
University Press, 1980).
59. For example, see Muhammed Salih, Shaibani-nama
(Chaghatay text) (St. Peterburg, 1908).
60. Maria Eva Subtelny, "Art and Politics in Early 16th
Century Central Asia" Central Asiatic Journal Vol. 27,
No. 1-2 (1983); idem, "The Poetic Circle at the Court of
the Timurid Sultan Husain Baiqara, and its Political
Significance." Unpublished PhD Dissertation (Harvard
61. The identification was first made by Kasgarli Mahmud
in Diwan Lugat at Turk, as a branch of the Turks.
62. A History of the Seljuks: Ibrahim Kafesoglu's
Interpretation and the Resulting Controversy Gary Leiser
(Tr., Ed) (Southern Illinois University Press, 1988).
63. According to Y. Bregel, in his Introduction to the
facsimile of Munis and Agahi's Firdaws al-Ikbal: History
of Khorezm (Leiden, 1988), the latter was completed c.
1665 by another person. Secere-i Turk is rather difficult
to locate, causing a determination of the sources for the
translated works tenuous. This is especially true with
respect to the early French and English translations:
[Bentinck] Historie Genealogique des Tatars (Leiden,
1726) Two Vols.; Abu Al Ghazi Bahadur, A History of the
Turks, Moguls, and Tatars, Vulgarly called Tartars,
Together witha Description of the Countries They Inhabit
(London, 1730) Two Vols.; [Miles] Genealogical Tree of
the Turks and Tatars (London,1838). Imperial Russian
Academy at St. Petersburg published a facsimile of
Terakime in 1871, edited by Desmaisons, who later
prepared a French translation. A modern-day translation
is long overdue. See H. F. Hofman Turkish Literature: A
Bio- Bibliographical Survey (Utrecht, 1969) for
additional comments. Dr. Riza Nur endeavored to
popularize the genre with his edition of Turk Seceresi
(Istanbul, 1343/1925). One of the earlier Russian
translations prepared is Rodoslovnoe drevno tiurkov,
(Kazan, 1906), with an afterword by N. Katanov
(1862-1922). Apparently this 1906 version was not
published until 1914, minus Katanov's name from the title
page, and his afterword from the body of the book. See A.
N. Kononov, Rodoslovnaia Turkmen (Moscow-Leningrad,
1958), page 181. In order to understand the reason, one
must turn to Z. V. Togan's memoirs, Hatiralar, where
Togan relates an incident taking place prior to 1917,
when Katanov poured his heart to Togan.
64. See H. B. Paksoy, Alpamysh: Central Asian Identity
under Russian Rule (Hartford, CT: Association for the
Advancement of Central Asian Research, Monograph Series,
1989), p. 1.
65. Z. V. Togan compiled his version Oguz Destani:
Residettin Oguznamesi, Tercume ve Tahlili (Istanbul,
1972) (published posthumously) from twelve manuscripts.
Though originally composed and later put down on paper in
a Turkish dialect prior to 13th century, it was widely
rendered into Persian. Known translations include
Oughouz-name, epopee turque, Riza Nur (Tr.) (Societe de
publications Egyptiennes: Alexandrie, 1928); Die Legende
von Oghuz Qaghan. W. Bang and R. Arat (Eds.) (Sitzb. d.
Preuss. Akad. D. Wiss. 1932. Phil.-Histr. K1. V,
Berlin). To my knowledge, there is no English rendition
as yet. See also D. Sinor, "Oguz Kagan Destani Uzerine
Bazi Mulahazalar" Turk Dili ve Edebiyati Dergisi, 1952
(Tr. from French by A. Ates); Faruk Sumer's book length
article, "Oguzlar'a Ait Destani Mahiyetde Eserler" Ankara
Universitesi DTC Fakultesi Dergisi, 1959; and the
Introduction of G. L. Lewis to The Book of Dede Korkut
(London, 1982), Second Printing.
66. Munis and Agahi, Firdaws al-Iqbal: History of
67. Ali Shir Navai, Muhakemat al-lughateyn, Robert
Devereux, Tr. (Leiden, 1966).
68. Although there are some incuding guidance to sensual
pleasures, such as the Persian Kabusnama. Nizam al-Mulk,
The Book of Government, H. Darke (Tr.) (Yale University
Press, 1960), is a combination of autobiography (written
partly to exonerate himself), and political advice to two
69. The language of Kutadgu Bilig (Completed A. D. 1069)
echoes the above referenced Orkhon-Yenisey inscriptions.
A Turkish edition is: Yusuf Has Hacib, Kutadgu Bilig. R.
R. Arat, Editor, (Ankara, 1974) (2nd Ed.). KB is
translated into English as Wisdom of Royal Glory by R.
Dankoff (Chicago, 1983).
70. Concerning related issues, see Janet Martin, Treasure
of the Land of Darkness: A Study of the Fur Trade in
Medieval Russia (Cambridge University Press, 1986); Azade
Ayse Rorlich, The Volga Tatars: A Profile in National
Resilience (Hoover, 1986); Alan W. Fisher, Crimean Tatars
(Hoover, 1978); A. Bennigsen and Chantal
Lemercier-Quelquejay, Islam in the Soviet Union ((NY and
London, 1967). A. Bennigsen and Marie Broxup, The Islamic
Threat to the Soviet State (London, 1983); Uli
Schamiloglu, "Umdet l-Ahbar and the Turkic Narrative
Sources for the Golden Horde and the Later Golden Horde"
Central Asian Monuments (Istanbul: Isis Press, 1992).
71. Also known as qumiss, etc. See, inter alia, Kasgarli
Mahmud, Kitab Diwan Lugat at Turk (p. 184). It is still
an immensely popular drink, contains --due to the
fermentation process in its preparation-- natural
alcohol. However, it is not in the same category as hard
liquor, possessing much less intoxicating agents.
Russians became aware of the nourishing and rejuvenating
qualities of kimiz after their occupation of Kazakhstan.
Currently, several sanatoriums are operating in the
Kazakh steppe where ingestion of kimiz is the primary
dietetic and therapeutic prescription, especially against
diagnosed tuberculosis. Probably this discovery of the
beneficial effects of kimiz on TB caused Moscow to
reconsider and relax the sovhoz-kolhoz rules in the area,
in order to insure the maintenance of large herds of
mares necessary to supply the sanatoriums where the CPSU
Officialdom is treated.
72. On the social position of women in Central Asia, even
at the turn of the 20th c., see Z. V. Togan, Hatiralar
73. Annemarie Schimmel, Mystical Dimensions of Islam
(University of North Carolina Press, 1975); See also J.
Spencer Trimingham, The Sufi Orders in Islam (Oxford,
74. See also A. Bennigsen and S. E. Wimbush, Mystics and
Commisars (London, 1985), which contains a sizeable
bibliography from the Soviet perspective. For the
response of al-Ghazali (1058-1111), to Farabi (ca.
870-950), see The Faith and Practice of a-Ghazali, W.
Montgomery Watt, Tr. (London, 1953). See also Devin
DeWeese, "The Eclipse of the Kubraviyah in Central Asia"
Iranian Studies Vol. I, No. 1-2, 1988; idem,
Islamization and Native Religion in the Golden Horde
(Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994).
75. He is believed to have died in 1166. Ahmet Yesevi's
Hikmet appears to have been first published in Kazan, in
1878 or 1879. For a treatment of Yesevi, and an annotated
bibliography, see Fuad Koprulu, Turk Edebiyatinda Ilk
Mutasavviflar (Ankara, 1981). Fourth Ed.
76. For example, Bukhara of the 19th century. Fazlur
Rahman, Islam (Chicago,1966); M. G. S. Hodgson, The
Venture of Islam. Vol. 2.
77. Audrey L. Altstadt, Azerbaijani Turks (Stanford:
Hoover Institution Press, 1992) Studies of Nationalities
in the USSR; idem, "The Forgotten Factor: The Shi'i
Mullahs in Pre- Revolutionary Baku," Passe Turco-Tatar,
Present Sovietique, Chantal Lemercier-Quelquejay, Giles
Veinstein, S. Enders Wimbush (Eds.) (Louvain/Paris,
78. S. Becker, Russian Protectorates in Central Asia:
Bukhara and Khiva 1865-1924 (Harvard, 1968).
79. The Russian missionary in question is N. Ostroumov.
Reporting the statement is Husamettin Tugac, Bir Neslin
Drami (Istanbul, 1975). p. 159-160. Tugac learned of
Ostroumov's story in 1918 while making his way through
Central Asia, on the way to Istanbul, after escaping from
a tsarist prison in the vicinity of the Mongolian border.
For another example of Ostroumov's activity, see Z. V.
Togan, Turkili Turkistan as personally observed by Togan.
An English excerpt of Togan's observations is in H. B.
Paksoy, Alpamysh, p. 19.
80. Tacitus, Agricola and the Germania, H. Mattingly,
Tr. (London, 1948). pp. 62-63. Agricola was the
father-in-law of Tacitus and the Roman military governor of
Britain at the time.
81. Tacitus, pp. 72-73.
82. Apart from its use in textiles, etc, when processed
with acids, termed "nitrating," cotton constitutes the
basis of high grade explosives.
83. A. Park, Bolshevism in Turkestan 1917-1927 (Columbia,
1957); O. Caroe, Soviet Empire, the Turks of Central Asia
and Stalinism (London, 1953); G. Wheeler, Racial Problems
in Soviet Muslim Asia (Oxford, 1967); C. W. Warren,
Turkism and the Soviets (London, 1957); E. Allworth,
Uzbek Literary Politics (The Hague, 1964); M. Rywkin,
Moscow's Muslim Challenge (M. E. Sharpe, 1990) (Revised
ed.); E. Naby, "The Concept of Jihad in Opposition to
Communist Rule: Turkestan and Afghanistan" Studies in
Comparative Communism Vol. XIX, Nos. 3 and 4, Autumn/Winter
84. See Edward Ingram, The Beginnings of the Great Game
in Asia 1828-1834 (Oxford, 1979); idem, Commitment to
Empire: Prophecies of the Great Game in Asia 1797-1800
(Oxford, 1981); idem, In Defense of British India: Great
Britain in the Middle East 1775-1842 (London, 1984).
Although the major players were Britain and Russia,
Germany also joined later in the century and the French
were not disinterested.
85. J. R. V. Prescott, Map of Mainland Asia by Treaty.
86. Louis Dupree, Afghanistan (Princeton University
87. R. N. Frye, "Oriental Studies in Russia;" Wayne S.
Vucinich "Structure of Soviet Orientology" both in Russia
in Asia: Essays on the Influence of Russia on the Asian
Peoples Wayne Vucinich, Ed. (Stanford, 1972). The British
Government periodically issues reports updating the
history and structure of Oriental Studies in Great
Britain, which is stated to go back to the 15th century.
However, such efforts were thoroughly organized by the
beginning of the 20th century. See Oriental Studies in
Britain (London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1975).
88. For an early treatment of the subject, see Yusuf
Akura, Uc Tarz-i Siyaset (Ankara: Turk Tarih Kurumu,
1976). Akura's analysis was first printed in the
newspaper Turk published in Cairo during 1904. For the
English version, see Three Policies, David S. Thomas,
(Tr.), H. B. Paksoy, Editor, Central Asian Monuments
(Istanbul: Isis Press, 1992); Francois Georgeon "Yusuf
Akura: Deuxieme Partie--Le Mouvement National des
Musulmans de Russie (1905-1908)" Central Asian Survey
Vol. 5, No. 2, 1986.
89. A. H. Vambery, Travels in Central Asia (London,
1865). Vambery masqueraded as a mendicant dervish across
Central Asia, around 1860-61. Upon his return to Europe,
he wrote several bookson his adventures. See, for
example, his Sketches of Central Asia (London, 1868). See
also C. W. Hostler, Turkism and the Soviets (London,
Vambery, it is now known, was in the pay of the
British Government. For archival references, see M. Kemal
Oke, "Prof. Arminius Vambery and Anglo-Ottoman Relations
1889-1907" Bulletin of the Turkish Studies Association,
Vol. 9, No. 2. 1985.
90. For example, L. Cahun's Introduction a l'Histoire de
l'Asie, Turcs, et Mongols, des Origines a 1405 (Paris,
1896) was written to suggest that a belief in racial
superiority motivated the conquests of the Mongol
Chinggiz Khan. This book was published on the heels of the
1893-1894 Franco-Russian rapprochement, at a time when
Russia justified its conquest of Central Asia as part of
its own "civilizing mission." In the Secret History of
the Mongols, written c. 1240 A. D., after the death of
Chinggiz, there is, of course, no reference to racial
superiority. Instead, it quotes Chinggiz: "Tangri (God)
opened the gate and handed us the reins." See Mogollarin
Gizli Tarihi (A. Temir, Trans.) (Ankara, 1948), (p. 227)
indicating that Chinggiz regarded only himself ruling by
divine order. See also Francis Cleaves, Tr., Ed. The
Secret History of the Mongols (Harvard, 1982). The "Great
Khan" himself was and remained the focus of power, as
opposed to the clans under his rule. In any event, the
Mongol armies were distinctly multi-racial. See T.
Allsen, Mongol Imperialism (Berkeley, 1987); M. Rossabi,
Khubilai Khan (Berkeley, 1988).
Another representative sample of the use of the
"Pan- Turkism" bogeyman is A Manual on the Turanians and
Pan-Turanianism (Oxford: H. M. Government, Naval Staff
Intelligence Department, November 1918), a work that was
based on Vambery's Turkenvolk (Leipzig, 1885) and that it
was compiled by Sir Denison Ross, as Sir Denison later
personally informed Togan. On this work, see Togan's
comments in Turkili (pp. 560-563). Even Alexander
Kerensky, in Paris exile after the Bolshevik Revolution,
was utilizing the same "Turanian" rhetoric, calling it "a
menace threatening the world.
91. "Pan-Islam" never did obtain a foothold in Central
Asia. Even when Enver Pasha was forced to sign
declarations to that effect during 1920-1921, his
audience had no clear conception of the specific term or
its implications. The best work on Enver, which utilizes
Enver's diaries and journals, is S. S. Aydemir,
Makedonya'dan Orta Asya'ya Enver Pasha (Istanbul, 1974).
Three Volumes (There are several printings). Enver left
an autobiography. It was utilized by Aydemir. There is a
German translation of Enver's autobiography, in typescript,
located in the Sterling Library of the Yale University.
See also Glen Swanson "Enver Pasha: The Formative Years"
Middle Eastern Studies, Vol.16, N.3., October 1980.
Azade-Ayse Rorlich provides a further view of Enver in
her "Fellow Travelers: Enver Pasha and the Bolshevik
Government 1918-1920" in Journal of the Royal Society
for Asian Affairs, Vol. XIII (Old Series Vol. 69),
Part III, October 1982. See also Masayuki Yamauchi, "The
Unromantic Exiles: Istanbul to Berlin --Enver Pasha
1919-1920" Research Report on Urbanism in Islam
(University of Tokyo, 1989) No. 11; idem, The Green
Crescent Under the Red Star: Enver Pasha in Soviet
Russia (Tokyo, 1991). Close colleagues and classmates of
Enver from the Ottoman Military academy left memoirs
in which Enver is featured prominently. Among those,
Marshal Fevzi akmak, General Kazim Karabekir, Ismet
Inonu and Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) are notable.
Approximately half of those were written at the height
of Enver's success and powers.
92. Among many works on Jamal Ad-Din al-Afghani and
Pan-Islamism, see, H. A. R. Gibb, Modern Trends in Islam
(Chicago, 1947); Nikki Keddie, Sayyid Jamal ad-Din
"al-Afghani:" a Political Biography, (Berkeley and Los
Angeles, 1972). About the Recidivist Movement of 31 March
1909, see Sina Aksin's 31 Mart Olayi (Ankara, 1970). For
the political environment of the period, see: Ernest E.
Ramsaur, The Young Turks: Prelude to the Revolution of
1908 (Beirut, 1965); Serif Mardin, Jon Turklerin Siyasi
Fikirleri, 1895-1908 (Ankara, 1964); Feroz Ahmad, The
Young Turks: The Committee of Union and Progress in
Turkish Politics, 1908-1914 (Oxford, 1969); M. Sukru
Hanioglu, Bir Siyasal Orgut Olarak 'Osmanli Ittihat ve
Terakki Cemiyeti' ve 'Jon Turkluk' 1889-1902 Vol. I
(Istanbul, 1985); Masami Arai, Turkish Nationalism in the
Young Turk Era (Leiden, 1991).
93. Concerning this censorship, M. T. Choldin, A Fence
Around the Empire: Censorship of Western Ideas under the
Tsars (Duke University Press, 1985); B. Daniel,
Censorship in Russia (University Press of America, 1979);
Hugh Seton-Watson, The Russian Empire, 1801-1917 (Oxford,
1967). See also Thomas Kuttner "Russian Jadidism and the
Islamic World: Ismail Gasprinskii in Cairo, 1908" Cahiers
du Monde Russe et Sovietique. 16. (1975).
94. B. Allahverdiyev, Kitablar Hakkinda Kitap (Baku,
1972). For further examples, see also Edward Lazzerini,
"Gadidism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: A View
>From Within" Cahiers du Monde Russe et Sovietique. 16
95. See H. B. Paksoy, Alpamysh; M. Dewhirst and R.
Farrell, The Soviet Censorship (Metuchen-NJ, 1973); L.
Branson, "How Kremlin Keeps Editors in Line" The Times
(London) 5 January 1986. p. 1.
96. Under the influence of Peter Stolypin (1862-1911),
the author of "We Need A Great Russia" Gosudarstvennaia
Duma Stenograficheskie Otchety (St. Petersburg, 1907).
Cf. Thomas Riha, Editor, Readings in Russian Civilization
Vol. II, Imperial Russia 1700-1917, (Chicago, 1964).
97. Hugh Seton-Watson, The Russian Empire 1801-1917
98. Ismail Bey Gasprinskii, Russkoe Musul'manstvo: Mysli,
Zametkii Nablyudeniya (Simferopol, 1881) Society for
Central Asian Studies (Oxford, 1985) Reprint No. 6;
Edward J. Lazzerini, "Ismail Bey Gasprinskii's
Perevodchik/Tercuman: A Clarion of Modernism" H. B.
Paksoy, Editor, Central Asian Monuments (Istanbul: Isis
Press, 1992); idem, "From Bakhchisaray to Bukharain 1893:
Ismail Bey Gasprinskii's Journey to Central Asia" Central
Asian Survey Vol. 3, No. 4 (1984); idem, Ismail Bey
Gasprinskii and Muslim Modernism in Russia, 1878-1914
(Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of
Washington, 1973); idem, "Gadidism at the Turn of the
Twentieth Century: A View From Within;" Cafer Seydahmet,
Gaspirali Ismail Bey (Istanbul, 1934).
99. For example, Annales Bertiniani of the 9th c. For
related discussion, see D. Sinor, "The Historical Role of
the Turk Empire" Journal of World History I, (1953);
Edouard Chavannes, Documents sur les Tou-kiue (Turcs)
(St. Petersbourg, 1903); D. Obolensky, Cambridge Medieval
History Vol. IV, Part 1; The Legacy of Islam, Joseph
Schacht with C. E. Bosworth (Eds.) (Oxford, 1974) Second
100. An exclamatory term, akin to the exhortation "lets
go," especially used when rounding-up or rustling
101. See H. B. Paksoy, Alpamysh.
102. The last references are to the respective
anti-colonial movements. It should be remembered that
Togan was writing the 1920s. For a treatment, see H. B.
Paksoy, "'The Basmachi (Turkistan National Liberation
Movement)" Modern Encyclopedia of Religions in Russia and
Soviet Union, Vol. IV (Academic International Press,
1991), pp. 5-20; idem, "Zeki Velidi Togan's Account: The
Basmachi Movement from Within," H. B. Paksoy, Editor,
Central Asia Reader (New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1994).
103. Tacitus, pp. 65-66.
104. Conceivably, examples such as the Britons were
foremost in the minds of the men leading the 1776
American Independence movement. American Founding Fathers
may have also have been remembering the admonitions that
a republic can only exist with an educated public; and
that both the Greeks and the Romans did not heed Plato's
advice and saw the replacement of their republics with
dictatorships. (Plato's Republic has been widely
available). Hence, the early American battle-cries "Give
me liberty, or give me death," and "No taxation without
representation" were not mere accidents. The American
Founding Fathers at once began establishing secular
universities in the new republic. University of
Pennsylvania (Established as College of Philadelphia) was
founded in 1753 with the help of Benjamin Franklin
(1706-1790). George Washington (1732-1799) gave
encouragement and aid to the establishment of more than
one college, one of which still bears his name. Thomas
Jefferson (1743-1826) led the way in establishing the
University of Virginia in 1819. Later, Johns Hopkins
(1876) and University of Chicago (1892) were also founded
as secular institutions of higher learning.
As it is known, the universities established in
colonial America were first and foremost training clergy.
Later, these existing colleges and universities followed
the lead of the new institutions by revising their
curricula, giving weight to liberal arts education.
105. Y. Bregel, in his Introduction to Munis and Agahi,
Firdaws al-Ikbal: History of Khorezm notes:
West first learned about the existence of these works
through a Russian orientalist named A. L. Kuhn, who
accompanied, together with several other Russian
scholars, the Russian military expedition against Khiva
in 1873 which resulted in the capturing of Khiva and
establishing of the Russian protectorate over the
Khanate. In the Khan's palace the Russians found a great
number of archival documents and about 300 manuscripts;
they were all confiscated....Some of the publications
confiscated in Khiva by the Russians in 1873 were
transferred in 1874 to the Imperial Public Library in
Petersburg, but others were kept by Kuhn in his private
possession; these included the manuscripts of the works
by Munis and Agahi....
[From p. 54, Note 304 of the Introduction] The MS C
is slightly damaged by water from which several marginal
notes at the beginning of the MS especially suffered.
Many pages of E are also damaged by water, but it does
not appreciably affect the legibility of the text. The
cause of this damage is probably to be explained by a
story told by Palvan (Pahlavan) Mirza-bashi, the
secretary of the khan of Khiva, to a Russian official and
orientalist N. P. Ostroumov in 1891. According to this
secretary, "Kun [Kuhn] took away from Khiva about fifteen
hundred different manuscripts, but when he transported
them across [the Amu-Darya] in a boat, most of the
manuscripts got wet, and he requested about 150 mullas
from a madrasa to dry the wet copies." (Cited from
Ostroumov's diary in Lunin, Srednyaya Aziya, 345, n.
It may also be stated that, there was a second
reason why Ostroumov and other Russians were seizing
manuscripts: to study and understand the Central Asians
better, to discover more effective means for control.
Subsequent publication of some of those manuscripts have
been largely confined to Soviet "nationalities
specialists," in strictly controlled circulation.
106. For further details, see H. B. Paksoy, "'The Basmachi':
Turkistan National Liberation Movement;" idem, "Zeki
Velidi Togan's Account: The Basmachi Movement from
107. Richard Pipes, The Formation of the Soviet Union:
Communism and Nationalism, 1917-1923 (Harvard, 1954).
108. Robert Conquest, Harvest of Sorrow. (New York,
109. J. M. Landau, Pan-Turkism in Turkey: A study of
Irredentism (London, 1981). This volume is primarily
concerned with the emigre aspects of "pan-Turkism."
110. H. B. Paksoy, Alpamysh.
111. For the career of Mir-Said Sultan Galiev, see
Masayuki Yamauchi, "One Aspect of Democratization in
Tataristan: 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; idem, The Dream of
Sultangaliev (Tokyo, 1986); A. Bennigsen and S. Enders
Wimbush, Muslim National Communism in the Soviet Union:
A Revolutionary Strategy for the Colonial World
112. Cf. Bennigsen and Wimbush, Muslim National Communism
in the Soviet Union. p. 46, from Z. I. Gimranov, at the
Ninth Conference of the Tatar Obkom, 1923, and published
in Stenograficheskii otchot 9oi oblastnoi Konferensii
Tatarskoi organizatsii RKP (b) (Kazan, 1924), p. 130.
It is recalled that during 1922-1923, the British
Labor party was rapidly becoming a parlimentary force. In
January 1924, Ramsey Macdonald headed the first Labor
government, which was replaced by Conservatives led by
Stanley Baldwin in November the same year. Also, the
Irish rebellion of 1921 was still in the background, that
gave an added urgency to the nature and prospects of
political leadership in Britain.
113. Russian Communist Party (bolshevik).
114. Ahmet Zeki Velidi Togan. See above. Before his move
to West, he was known as Zeki Validov.
115. Speech at the Fourth Conference of the Central
Committee of the RCP(b) with the responsible Workers of
the National Republics and Regions, 10 June 1923.
Published in "The Sultan Galiev Case." J. V. Stalin,
Works Vol. 5, 1921-1923. (Moscow, 1953). Cf. Bennigsen and
Wimbush, Moslem National Communism, pp. 158-165.
116. Cf. Bennigsen and Wimbush, Muslim National Communism,
117. A more detailed version of the discussion in this
section was presented by H. B. Paksoy, to Yale
University-Hopkins Summer Seminars, 9 July 1990.
118. See AACAR Bulletin Vol. IV, No. 1 (Spring 1991).
119. Gregory Gleason, "Educating for Underdevelopment:
The Soviet Vocational Education System and its Central
Asian Critics" Central Asian Survey Vol. 4, No. 2 1985;
Patricia M. Carley, "Ecology in Central Asia: The Price
of the Plan. Perceptions of Cotton and Health in
Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan" Central Asian Survey Vol. 8,
No. 4, 1989.
120. A more comprehensive version of the discussion in
this section was presented by H. B. Paksoy, to the
Japanese Institute of International Affairs, Tokyo,
during June, 1991.
121. RL Daily Report, Munich, February 6, 1990.
122. The interview was printed in the Leningrad youth
newspaper Smena, and reprinted in Komsomolets
Uzbekistana, in a "slightly abridged form." See "Islamic
Explosion Possible in Central Asia" Munich, February 5,
1990, (RLR/P. Goble).
123. The January 1990 issue of Nauka i religiia. See
"Three Soviet Myths on Religion Exploded" Munich,
February 2, 1990 (RLR/P. Goble).
124. James Critchlow, "Corruption, Nationalism and the
Native Elites in Soviet Central Asia" The Journal of
Communist Studies, Vol. 4, No. 2, 1988.
125. For reports, see Conflict in the Soviet Union: The
Untold Story of the Clashes in Kazakistan (New York:
International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, 1990)
Cf. AACAR Bulletin Vol. IV, No. 1 (Spring, 1991);
Turkestan, Supplement to AACAR Bulletin Vol. III, No. 2
(Fall, 1990), repinted in H. B. Paksoy, Editor, Central
Asia Reader (New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1994).
126. In an interview published in the West Berlin daily
Tageszeitung of June 25, 1990. RL Daily Report, Munich,
June 26, 1990 (Victor Yasmann). Moskovskie novosti
published the biography of KGB General Oleg Kalugin, whose
recent revelations about the KGB have attracted so much
attention: Born in 1934, Kalugin joined the KGB in 1958.
The next year, he was sent --along with Aleksandr
Yakovlev-- as one of the first Soviet exchange students to
study for a year at Columbia University. He stayed in the
US for several years, working for the KGB first as a
journalist and then as first secretary of the USSR
Embassy in Washington under Anatolii Dobrynin. In 1972,
Kalugin became chief of the KGB's counterintelligence
service in Vladimir Kryuchkov's First Chief Directorate.
In 1980, KGB boss Yurii Andropov transferred him to the
post of first deputy chief of the KGB Administration in
Leningrad. See RL Daily Report, Munich, June 26, 1990
127. Moreover, some of the Soviet "ethnic" and
"nationality" appellations were created by decree, partly
for that purpose. For example, Meskhetians are not
ethnically Turks, but were so designated during the
Second World War (on 15 November 1944) to suit the needs
of the Soviet regime. See S. Enders Wimbush and Ronald
Wixman, "The Meskhetian Turks: A New Voice in Soviet
Central Asia" Canadian Slavonic Papers Vol. XVII, No. 1,
128. See the supplement to AACAR Bulletin Vol III, No. 2
129. "...When he [Lenin] wanted faithful guards, Lenin
took Latvian riflemen with him. He knew that if you want
to protect yourself against the Russians, you put
minorities in charge. If you are afraid of minorities,
you use Russians." See S. Enders Wimbush, The Ethnic
Factor in the Soviet Armed Forces (Rand Report, 1982)
R-2787/1. p. 19. Also, Susan L. Curran and Dmitry
Ponomareff, Managing the Ethnic Factor in the Russian and
Soviet Armed Forces: An Historical Overview (Rand Report,
1982) R- 2640/1.
130. RL Daily Report, Munich, February 6, 1990.
131. Franklin D. Roosevelt, The Public Papers and
Addresses, S. I. Rosenman, Ed. (New York, 1938-1950)
132. George J. Demko, The Russian Colonization of
Kazakhstan 1896-1916 (Bloomington, 1969). Indiana
University Uralic-Altaic Series Vol. 99. Soviets also
made land demands on other nationalities, and took land
by military force, including in the Baltic region.
133. See Z. V. Togan, Turkili Turkistan; idem,
Stephen Blank, "The Struggle for Soviet Bashkiria
1917-1923" Nationalities Papers. No. 1, 1983; idem, "The
Contested Terrain: Muslim Political Participation in
Soviet Turkestan, 1917-1919" Central Asian Survey Vol. 6,
No. 4, 1987; R. Baumann, "Subject Nationalities in the
Military Service of Imperial Russia: The Case of
Bashkirs" Slavic Review (Fall/Winter 1987).
134. For the 1921 Kars Treaty, see Kazim Karabekir,
Istiklal Harbimiz (Istanbul, 1960).
135. Alexander Rahr, "Zhirinovsky's Plea for
Dictatorship," RFE/RL Daily Report No. 124, 2 July 1992.
The leader of the Liberal-Democratic Party, Vladimir
Zhirinovskii, told Rossiya (No. 27) that a majority of
Russians favor dictatorship. He said that he wants to
reinstall the Russian empire, first within the boundaries
of the former USSR, but subsequently along the borders of
the former Tsarist empire. He stated that right-wing
forces will come to power in Russia and Germany under the
slogan of the protection of the white race and divide
eastern Europe among themselves. He added that after the
forthcoming demise of the United States, Alaska will also
be incorporated into the Russian empire. He noted that,
if elected president, he would strenghten the army and
state security forces."
136. Isaiah Berlin, Russian Thinkers. H. Hardy and A.
Kelly, Eds. (London, 1978); Edward L. Keenan, "Muscovite
Political Folkways" Russian Review, Vol. 45, 1986.
137. Chaadaev (1794-1856) wrote the "A Philosophical
Letter," "....that caused the suppression of the
newspaper which published it, dismissal of the censor who
passed it, its editor to be exiled, and Chaadaev was
declared madman... By order of Nicholas I [Chadaaev was]
put under police supervision. For a year he had to endure
daily visits by a physician and policeman." See Readings
in Russian Civilization Vol. II.
138. Also known as the "Black Hundreds," was founded in
1905 as a modern party in support of autocracy. "[This
party] ....showed special hostility to the
intelligentsia. Above all it was anti- Semitic and
nationalist. Its support came from those who organized
the pogroms of Jewish property in the southern and
south-western provinces. It was essentially the
forerunner of the fascist movements of the 1930s." Cf.
Seton-Watson, The Russian Empire.
139. Feliks Edmundovich Dzerzhinskiy, founder of
Bolshevik police to enforce the decisions of the Russian
Communist Party, later to become KGB. See John J. Dziak,
Chekisty: A History of the KGB (New York, 1988).
140. Konstantin Pobedonostsev (1827-1907), professor of
civil law, Moscow University; member of government
committee drafting judicial reforms of 1864; member of
the ruling State Council. "Pobedonostsev is said to have
served as a model for Dostoevski's Grand Inquisitor." See
Readings in Russian Civilization Vol. II, Imperial Russia
1700-1917. "The Falsehood of Democracy" appeared in K.
Pobedonostsev, Reflections of a Russian Statesman
141. Leonard Shapiro, "The Pre-Revolutionary
Intelligentsia and the Legal Order" Russian Studies. Ellen
Dahrendorf, Editor, (London/New York: Penguin, 1987).
Reprinted from Daedalus (Summer, 1960); Richard Wortmann,
The Development of a Russian Legal Consciousness
142. See H. B. Paksoy, "Nationality and Religion: Three
Observations from Omer Seyfettin" Central Asian Survey
Vol. 3, No. 3 (1984).
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