Thursday, January 27, 2022

New Azerbaijani Book Traces Russian Repression of Turkic Peoples from 1877 to 1953

 Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 7 – Sevinj Aliyeva, an Azerbaijani historian best known for her blog, “Wind from Apsheron,” has written a new monograph devoted to the hostility Russian and Soviet regimes displayed toward Turkic peoples between 1877 and 1953 and the suffering those regimes inflicted on the Turks.

            Her 552-page study, Turkic Subjects in Russia: A Life of Persecution (1877-1953) (Moscow: Maska, 2022), is intriguing in two important ways. On the one hand and in sharp contrast to most studies, it considers Russian behavior in imperial times and Soviet times as a single whole, extending from the Russo-Turkic war to the death of Stalin.

            And on the other, it is about a subject most Russians and many Azerbaijanis prefer to pass over in silence or at least to minimize, the open hostility of Russian and Soviet regimes to Turkic groups, almost at every point suspected of hostility to the Russian state, and the persecution that state inflicted on them (

            But what makes it especially important now is that it is written in Russian and thus directed at Russians and that it is appearing a time when many in the Russian Federation are pressing for closer ties with Baku. This book if it does nothing else will exercise a restraining influence on such efforts.

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