Alash city

Kazakh autonomy Alash became the cradle of idea about future Kazakhstan statehood and its harbinger was proclaimed on the second all Kazakh Congress in Orenburg on December 5-12, 1917. The capital city of Alash-Orda government was Semipalatinsk.

According to sources, first wave of national intelligentsia was looking for a suitable city for political center of Kazakh steppe long before the proclaimation of autonomy. In this regard back in 1915, Alikhan Bukeikhanov considered cities such as Karaotkel (Akmola, now – Astana), Orenburg, Troitsk. But in one of them was small number of Kazakh population, in others intellectual and cultural layer has not matured to such a status.

It’s no wonder that the choice fell on Semipalatinsk (now – Semey). Semipalatinsk is a motherland of great Abai and Shakarim, also once there were F.Dostoyevkiy, N.Dolgopolov, E.Michaelis, B.Gerasimov, G.Potanin. City on the Irtysh River in that time have already differed high level of culture, science and education.

Moreover, railway passing through the city directly linked it with Siberia and Middle Asia. For these reasons the location of the autonomy have chosen Semey city.

In spring 1917 left-bank part of Semey, popularly known as Zarechnaya settlement, with the decision of Alash executive committee was proclaimed city named of Alash. Later there government of autonomy of the same name started work.

In all probability, the demographic situation prevailing by that time in the settlement played a role in choice its location. According to the sources in 1872 there were 270 houses, 243 of them were Kazakh’s. At the end of the 1913 the population was 5325 people, 4501 of them was Mohammedan (predominantly – Kazakh).

In 1917 Bolshevik All-Russian Central Executive Committee (ACEC) informed with the special telegram from Moscow about approval of transformation of Zarechnaya settlement to the Alash city (We send you a comradely hello!). 10 years later, in autumn 1927 Semipalatinsk provincial committee renamed it just Zhanasemey. Thus, this city appearing in map of our region has ten years history. In fact, Alash city has existed about 3 years, since December 1917 till the 22 of September 1920.

Alash city in turn consisted from a number of settlements – Tynybai settlement, Tarakty settlement, Zholaman settlement. The toponym “Zholoman” (from the name of settlement founder Zholaman Zhandarbekuly) has kept from that time and in modern Semey.

Today only witness of governmental district of Alash autonomy stayed Tynybai Mosque, building of wood alredy in 1834 by Tynybai Kaukenuly.

The house of Mukhamedkhan Seitkulov was situated near from Tynybai Mosque, where he gave lessons. Mukhamedkhan Seitkulov was an imam in Akhmed-Riza Mosque and generous philanthropist, sponsoring publications of Alash-Orda – “Saryarka” newspaper and the journal “Abai”. Representatives of intelligentsia previously met in his home, and after creation of Alash autonomy his home turns to the one of the governmental buildings. There had a rich library in Seitkulov’s home. Unfortunately, today even walls of his house are not kept. He provided great material, moral and spiritual support to the young intelligentsia, the government of Alash-Orda.

The house of a merchant Karazhan Ukibaev was another governmental building of Alash city. Karazhan Ukibaev is known for that he bought up from nomads cattle from all over the area, thus he created a similarity of cattle exchange. Karazhan Ukibaev laid the foundation of meat processing industry in Semipalatinsk.

The merchant contributed also in an installation of telephones in Semipalatinsk. But the main merit of magnate was patronage and support of Alash-Orda endeavors. Besides, that his home was governmental building, Karazhan Ukibaev bought a printing house, where was published “Saryarka” newspaper and the journal “Abai”. The support of the “Abai” magazine made it possible for Zhusipbek Aimauytov, Mukhtar Auezov to publish this organ of Alash-Orda. And the newspaper “Saryarka” is associated with the names of Sultanmakhmut Toraigyrov, Mannan Turganbaev, Sabit Donentayev, Raimzhan Marsekov, Smagul Sadvakassov, later – Turlykan Kaisenova. It is worth noting that Karazhan contributed in support Alash police – armed forces of autonomy.

Another governmental building was two-floor house of a merchant second guild, cattle-dealer Alexander Erykalov. The headquarters of Alash police – armed forces of autonomy was situated in this house. It was planned to conscript 13500 people to the emerging armed forces. According to the conscription plan it was set to conscript 1000 recruits from Bukei province, from Uralsk – 2000, from Torgai – 3000, from Akmola – 4000, from Semipalatinsk – 1500 and from Zhetisu – 2000 conscripts aged 20 to 35. In august 1918 it was created horse regiment, in December 1918 – another one. Khamit Tokhtamyshev led of Alash police.

Industry was actively improved in Alash city, so according to the phonogram №68 of Semipalatinsk county committee to the secretariat of the Executive Committee from the 21th of May 1926 “The presence of enterprises in Alash city” it was written next: “121 factories, workshops includes: wool washer – 3, butchery – 1, button and combs workshop – 12, forge – 7, candle factory – 1…”.

The issue of renaming has been raised repeatedly, so in the 2d of June 1924 it was draw up General Meeting Minutes of members and candidates of Russian Communist Party (bolsheviks) of cell №15 of Alash city “About renaming of Alash city”, but its renaming was carried out only after the Meeting of the Bureau of the Semipalatinsk Provincial Committee of the ACP (b) on September 14, 1927. An extract from the minute’s №44 states “About renaming of Alash city. To deem necessary to rename and henceforth to name “Zhanasemey””. And finally Alash city got a name Zhanasemey on October 7, 1927 after meeting of the Presidium of the Semipalatinsk Provincial Executive Committee “On renaming the Zarechnaya part of the Semipalatinsk city”.


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