The Info List - Urkun

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The Central Asian revolt of 1916, known as Urkun in Kyrgyzstan, was an anti-Russian uprising by Muslim inhabitants of Russian Turkestan. Its direct cause was the conscription of formerly exempt Muslims into military service on the Eastern Front of World War I. Underlying issues also included tensions between different ethnic groups under Russian rule.[1] The revolt led to the exodus of thousands of Kyrgyz and Kazakhs
into China, while the suppression of the revolt by the Russian army led to thousands of deaths. However, the Russian state was not able to restore complete order until the outbreak of the October Revolution.


1 Background 2 The Revolt

2.1 Institution of Conscription 2.2 Deaths 2.3 Ottoman involvement

3 Legacy 4 External links 5 Literature 6 References

Background[edit] By 1916, the Turkestan
and Governor-Generalship of the Steppes had accumulated many social, land and inter-ethnic contradictions caused by the resettlement of Russian settlers, which began in the second half of the 19th century, after the Emancipation reform of 1861
Emancipation reform of 1861
which abolished serfdom. A wave of resettlement was introduced by a number of land and legislative reforms. On June 2, 1886 and March 25, 1891, several acts were adopted which were "Regulations on the management of the Turkestan
Krai" and "Regulations on the management of Akmola, Semipalatinsk, Semirechye, Ural and Turgai regions" that allowed most of the lands of these regions to be transferred to the ownership of the Russian Empire. Each family from the local population were allowed to own a plot of land of 15 acres for a perpetual use.[2] From 1906 to 1912, as a result of Stolypin reform's in Kazakhstan and the rest Central Asia, up to 500,000 peasant households were transported from central regions of Russia,[3] which divided about 17 tithes of developed lands. The Revolt[edit] Institution of Conscription[edit] After Emperor Nicholas II adopted on the "requisition of foreigners" at the age of 19 to 43 years inclusive, for rear work in the front-line areas of the First World War. The discontent of people fueled the unfair distribution of land, as well as the calls of Muslim leaders for a holy war against the Russian gaoura. Shortly before the rebellion, Tsar Nicholas II
Tsar Nicholas II
adopted a draft of conscripting Central Asian men from the age of 19 to 43 into labor battalions for the service on the Eastern Front during World War I. The cause of the uprising was also due to the transfer of lands by the Tsarist Government to Russian settlers, Cossack's, and poor settlers. Political and religious extremism played a role too. The revolt began on July 4, 1916 in Khujand, present-day Tajikistan. However, not all 10 million people living in Turkestan
were willing to participate. Such as the Tekeans in the Transcaspian region, who were allowing themselves to be conscripted. On July 17, 1916, a martial law was declared over Turkestan
Military District. The insurrection began spontaneously, but it was unorganized without a single leadership; nevertheless, the rebellion took a long time to suppress.[citation needed] Russian liberals like Aleksandr Kerensky
Aleksandr Kerensky
and some Russian historians were the first to bring international attention to these events.[4] Deaths[edit] Arnold Toynbee
Arnold Toynbee
alleges 500,000 Central Asian Turks perished under the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
though he admits this is speculative. [5] Rudolph Rummel citing Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia Britannica
states 10,000 perished within the revolt.[6] Kryrgz sources put the death toll between 100,000 and 270,000. Russian sources put the figure at 3,000.[7] Ottoman involvement[edit] According to modern Russian historians, the Ottoman special services, closely cooperating with religious and political leaders from the local population, took part in arranging the uprising.[citation needed] Legacy[edit] During the Soviet Union, leaders of the rebellion such as Amangeldy Imanov and Alibi Jangildin were seen as revolutionary heroes against the Tsarist regime, by having many streets and settlements in Kazakhstan named after them.[citation needed] Urkun was not covered by Soviet textbooks, and monographs on the subject were removed from Soviet printing houses. As the Soviet Union was disintegrating in 1991, interest in Urkun grew. Some survivors have begun to label the events a "massacre" or "genocide."[8] In August 2016, a public commission in Kyrgyzstan
concluded that the 1916 mass crackdown was labelled as "genocide."[9] External links[edit]

Photo gallery of human and animal remains from Urkun incident at Bedel Pass, from RFE/RL Semirechye on Fire. A Story of Rebellion - Documentary on the 1916 Rebellion


Noack, Christian: Muslimischer Nationalismus im Russischen Reich. Nationsbildung und Nationalbewegung bei Tataren und Baschkiren 1861 - 1917, Stuttgart 2000. Pierce, Richard A.: Russian Central Asia
Central Asia
1867 - 1917. A Study in Colonial Rule, Berkeley 1960. Zürcher, Erik J.: Arming the State. Military Conscription in the Middle East and Central Asia, 1775-1925, London 1999.


^ http://www.fergananews.com/article.php?id=7003 ^ https://archive.is/20130504125742/turkestan.ucoz.ru/index/0-59 ^ https://archive.is/20130504125742/turkestan.ucoz.ru/index/0-59 ^ Abraham, Richard: Alexander Kerensky. The first love of the Revolution, London 1987. p.108. ^ https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.CHAP12.HTM

Statistics of Russian Democide

^ https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.TAB12.1.GIF

Russian Democide row 30

^ Irina Pushkareva 1984 ^ Bruce Pannier (2 August 2006). "Kyrgyzstan: Victims Of 1916 'Urkun' Tragedy Commemorated". RFE/RL. Retrieved 2006-08-02.  ^ " Kyrgyzstan
Renames Soviet-Era October Revolution
October Revolution
Day, Lengthens Holiday". RFE/RL. 2 November 2017. Retrieved