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Abstract


ON THE OCCASION OF 80'TH ANNIVERSARY OF COLLAPSING OF TURKESTAN AUTONOMY: THE "RED TERROR" PERFORMED BY SOVIET RUSSIA DURING 1937-1938 YEARS IN TURKESTAN AND ITS CONSEQUENCES

Due to its geopolitical and geostrategical location in the centre of the Great Silk Road and its underground and surface resources, Turkestan was a region that foreign states want to obtain throughout history. Thus, there have been many occupation wars along history, for centuries, and Turkestan Turks have always been able to protect their independence. Nevertheless, in the second half of the 19th century, Turkestan was occupied by Tsarist Russia. After the occupation of Turkestan, the Russian Empire declared Turkestan as its own colony, and exploited its wealth to a maximum extent. For decades, Russians have tried to Russianize and Christianize Turkestani people by sending scientists and missionary pastors. Turkestan Turks, unable to withstand this pressures, had rebelled against the tsarist government many times for the sake of their belief, language and freedom. But every time their uprisings had been/were repressed with heavy losses. This situation changed with the negative end of the I. World War and with the Bolshevik Revolution. Turkestanis, who were fooled by the leaders of Bolshevik movement Lenin and Stalin with the promise of giving "political independence" to Turkestan, played a key role in collapse of the Tsarist Empire. After the 1917 revolution, the Turkestani intellectuals founded a state called "Turkestan Autonomy" in the same year. The Soviets declared this as a betrayal to themselves and by shedding blood of many people destroyed "Turkestan Autonomy". When Turkistanis realized that political rights can not be obtained with political way, then they fought against the Soviet Union throughout the Turkestan by resorting to the armed struggle. These warriors called as "Basmachi", and their movement called as "Basmachi Movement" by the Soviets. The National Struggle Movement of Turkestan, which was deprived of material, military and political support, was liquidated by the Red Army in the mid-1930's. After the armed struggle of the Turkestanis was supressed by order of the chief of USSR Stalin, poets, writers, rich people, scientists, politicians, governors…etc. in short, the whole entellectual staff of Turkestan were liquidated by Russian espionage organization NKVD. The peak point of these liquidations has occured in 1937-1938 years. Hundreds of thousands Turkestanies were either executed or exiled to frosty Siberia labour camps with false accusations as: pan-Turkist, pan-Islamist, religionist, chauvinist, spy, traitor, enemy of the people. This policy that followed by the Soviet government was called by the historians as "Red Terror", "Katağanlık", "Repression" and "State Terror".



Keywords
Russian Empire, Bolsheviks, Turkestan Autonomy, Turkestani intellectuals, Red Terror.



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