Torekulov Nazir (1892 – 1937)


Nazir Torekulovich Torekulov is a statesman and politician, diplomat, linguist.

Torekulov Nazir was born in 1892 in the Kandoz area near the city of Turkestan. In 1900-1902 he studied in the Kokand “New methodical School”, from 1902-1905 he studied in the Kokand “Russian-native school”. In 1905-1913 N.Torekulov studied at the Kokand Commercial College, where he joined a circle under the leadership of the members of the RSDLP of the Moldavian KP. In 1913-1916 he was a student of the Moscow Commercial Institute. In April 1916, Torekulov joined the Zemsky Union as an instructor in the work with the Turkestan. In Minsk, he created a secret organization “Yerkin Dala” (“Free Steppe”).  Since 1917 he was the Left SR. In June 1917 he was an editor of the newspaper Orenburg regional revolutionary committee. From July 1918 he was a secretary of the Kokand Soviet and the Commissioner of Education. Since September 1918 he was a member of the presidium of the Fergana regional revolutionary committee and head of the department of public education.

Among the first representatives of local nationalities N.Torekulov was elected as a first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Turkestan, headed the Central Executive Committee of the Turkestan Republic, the People’s Commissariat of Education. T.Ryskulov, S.Kozhanov, M.Tynyshbayev, H.Dosmukhamedov understood all the difficulties of state construction in a country with low literacy and attached great importance to educating the people, and opened the first Kazakh higher educational institution in Tashkent. N.Torekulov stood at the sources of this business.

Nazir Torekulov’s name can be considered with special respect to the figures of the Alash Orda, who made immeasurably much for the people at the beginning of the last century. Being in high positions, he made many decisions not only on political, but also cultural issues.

In 1922-1926 N.Torekulov worked in Moscow, headed the Central Publishing House of the Peoples of the USSR, was engaged in scientific and pedagogical work. He lectured at the Communist University of the Working People of the East, for some time was the pro-rector of this educational institution. In 1928, at the age of 36, he was appointed an authorized representative of the USSR in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the diplomatic practice of those years it was rare that such a responsible post should be appointed at that age. Upon termination of diplomatic mission it is enlisted in reserve of People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs of the USSR, the Central Committee of CPSU (b).

For the support that Torekulov rendered to the Alash activists, such as Alikhan Bukeikhanov, Akhmet Baitursynov, Magzhan Zhumabayev, he was accused of nationalism. On July 17, 1937 he was arrested. On November 3, 1937, he was convicted by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR and shot on the same day. On November 28, 1958 the verdict against Torekulov was quashed, the case was dismissed for lack of corpus delicti.