Turkmenistan 1917-1925

During much of the Russian Revolution, Central Asia was a remote, forgotten corner of the Russian Empire. While the SECOND CENTRAL ASIAN MUSLIM CONGRESS in Tashkent proposed the creation of an autonomous FEDERATED REPUBLIC OF TURKESTAN (Sept. 1917), the Bolzhevik Soviet, consisting of ethnically European men who until recently have dominated the Czarist administration, seized power (Nov. 1917) and soon excluded Muslims (i.e. the entire indigenous population) from participation in local government. Meanwhile, Turkestan was cut off from Bolzhevik-held areas in Russia by White forces. To complicate matters more, a Muslim Provisional Government of Autonomous Turkestan was established in Kokand, which was fought by the Tashkent Soviet; the Muslim resistance is refered to as the BASMACHI REVOLT (1918-1920), which however centered on modern Tajikistan.
In April 1918, the TURKESTAN AUTONOMOUS SOCIALIST SOVIET REPUBLIC was formed, as part of the RSFSR. In July a RUSSIAN SOCIAL REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT seized Ashkhabad (from the Soviets) and appealed to Britain for assistance. The British approved; they withdrew in February 1919 and the Soviets took over again. Ashkhabad was renamed POLTORATSK.
In 1925, Turkestan, with Khiva and Bukhara, was partitioned in two parts, the western TURKMEN SSR and the eatern UZBEK SSR; both were admitted to the USSR.

Major events relevant to Central Asian history, since 1600, from oxuscom
History of Turkmenistan : the Soviet Period, 1917-1991, by slava1

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 29th 2002, last revised on November 4th 2004

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