Pan-Turkism - Tsarist Russia and Soviet Viewpoint On Pan-Turkism

Tsarist Russia and Soviet Viewpoint On Pan-Turkism

Generally, the concept of Turkism was interpreted by Tsarist Russian circles as overwhelmingly political, irredentist and aggressive. The term "Turkism" started to be used with a prefix "Pan" (from Greek meaning "all"), to create "Panturkism". The Turkic peoples of Russia began to be threatened with Turkish expansion, I. Gasprinsky and his adherents were labeled "Turkish spies". After the revolution of 1917, the attitude to Türkism did not differ from the attitude of the Imperial powers. At the 10th congress of Bolshevik Communist Party in 1921 was formulated the official doctrine where the party "condemned Panturkism as a sloping to the bourgeois-democratic nationalism". The emergence of a "Panturkism" scare in the Soviet propaganda caused "Panturkism" to become one of the most frightening political labels in the USSR. The most widespread accusation used for fatal repressions in the 1930s of the educated Tatars and other Turkic peoples was the accusation in "Panturkism".

Russia, China and Iran, claim that they perceive Panturkism as nothing else but a new form of Turkish imperial ambition. Some see it as downright racist, particularly when considering the associated racial and historical teachings. Critics also believe that the concept of Pan-Turkism is flawed because of the distinct dialects among each different Turkic people, which sometimes led to problems of understanding between people speaking different Turkic language. There is also concern over religious differences too. Although most Turks follow the Sunni sect of Islam, the Azeris of Azerbaijan are distinct in that they follow the Shi'a school. Some nationalist critics also claim that Pan-Turkists are at the fore front of major historical revisionism regarding Turkic history and world history in general. Still, proponents see Pan-Turkism as a way of increasing regional security, economic growth and as a viable bulwark against Islamist movements, by furthering secular and democratic government in the region.

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