The Party “Alash”, Government of “Alashorda”, Autonomy “Alash”

In the beginning of 20 th century, in the period of the national liberation struggle of the Kazakh people the Alash movement  appeared.  It’s  main goal was the creation of an independent Kazakh state. The First World  and the February and October revolutions in Russia of the 1917 years  activated the activities of the Kazakh national intelligentsia to protect the rights of the indigenous population. The first steps to create a Kazakh national party were made in during the First Russian revolution. At the end of  1905   a “delegate congress” of representatives of five regions of Kazakhstan was convened in Uralsk.  The congress took a preliminary decision  to create a Kazakh national party, on the basis of which the “Alash” party later emerged.

From July 21 to July 28 of  1917   the First All-Kazahk Congress held in Orenburg, where the organizational registration of the Alash Party took place. The program of the party was developed by A. Bokeykhanov, A. Baytursynov, M. Dulatov and others . The program consisted of 10 sections and was published in the newspaper “Kazakh” (November 21, 1917). The congress examined issues of state administration, autonomy, participation in the Constituent Assembly, the formation of a political party, of land, of the  native police, of education, of the court and other issues. The main decision of the Congress was to defend the right of the Kazakhs to territorial-national autonomy within “the democratic, parliamentary and federal Russian republic.” An important event of  the congress was the formation of the Alash Party.

The organizers of the Alash Party were Alikhan Bokeikhanov, Ahmet Baytursynov, Khalel Dosmukhamedov and other representatives of the Kazakh intelligentsia of the liberal-democratic tendency and the party was a national-democratic  organization. The party also included representatives of the scientific and creative intelligentsia M. Tynyshpayev, M. Zhumabaev, Sh. Kudaiberdie and others. The “Alash” party included representatives of various sectıons  of the Kazakh society

Alikhan Bukeikhanov was elected chairman of the party. The official organ of the party was recognized  the newspaper “Kazakh”.The government of the Alash autonomy was formed in December of 1917  and lasted until 1920 year.

In December 1917, the Second All-Kazakh Congress of the Alash Party was held in Orenburg. Its organizers were Alikhan Bukeikhanov, Ahmet Baytursynov, Mirzhakip Dulatov, and also I. Omarov, S. Kadyrbaev, S. Doschanov. The chairman of the congress was B. Kulmanov. Among the invited members was the premıer of the newly created Turkestan autonomy Mustafa Shokai.

Bukeikhanov made a report about autonomy. This report and the issue of the Kazakh autonomy were transmitted  to a special commission. On behalf of the commission, H. Gabbasov spoke. Thus, the Congress unanimously decided to form the autonomy of the Kazakh regions and to give it the name “Alash”. A temporary People’s Council “Alash Orda” of 25 members was formed.

Important documents concerning the political lıfe of the Kazakh people were adopted at the congress. The main problem was the problem of the formation of autonomy and the formation of its government. The congress declared the creation of the Kazakh autonomy under the name “Alash”. At the congress, a government was formed – the Provisional People’s Council under the name “Alash-Orda” (the government of the Alash autonomy). The congress decıded that the Bokeyev Horde, the Ural oblas, Turgai oblast, Akmola oblast, Semipalatinsk oblast, the regions of the Transcaspian region and the Altai Gubernia populated by Kazakhs should enter the Kazakh autonomy. The center of the Alash-Orda autonomy was temporarily declared the city of Semipalatinsk. The Alash-Orda government was headed by Alikhan Bokeykhanov. The Congress decided to organize regional uyezd Soviets and committees, instructed Alash-Orda “to immediately take over all executive power over the Kazakh population.”

A plan on create a Kazakh natıonal polıce was developed. Men aged from 20 to 35 years, who were fit for military service, were called upon to the ranks of the natıonal polıce. The national fund of Alash-Orda was engaged in providing the polıce with weapons and ammunition. The leaders of the Western branch of Alash-Orda  Zhansha Dosmukhamedov and Khalel Dosmukhamedov received 600 rifles and a machine gun from the “Komucha”  government of Samara and the Torgay Division – 300 rifles and 20,000 cartridges. With the help of the Ataman of Orenburg Cossack troops A. I. Dutov, two cavalry regiments were created in Kostanai and Yyrgyz districts. On August 1918,the commander of the military unit of the Alash-Orda Khamit Tokhtamyshev reported about the formation of the Alash regiment consisting of 750 soldiers and 38 officers, subunits of the native police in Zhaisan, Pavlodar, Karkaraly, Ust-Kamenogorsk. These forces participated in military operations against Soviet power in various regions Kazakhstan. On February 1919, the number of police troops of the Alash autonomy,  fought on the fronts of the civil war against the Red Army reached to 5,000 members. Alash police was disbanded after  liquedation of the Alash autonomy.

The history of the “Alash” party coincided with the revolutionary 1917. During this period there was an acceleration of political unification of various sections of the Kazakh society, new slogans appeared: to form national-territorial autonomy within the framework of the democratic federation; social protection of various sections of the population, etc.

After the fall of the autocracy in the end of 1917 the movement “Alash”  changed the problems of party building to attempts to create national autonomy . Members of the Alash acted in line with the general democratic demands of the Russian public, consistently defending the achievements of the February Revolution of 1917.  During the final stage of the history of the movement “Alash” (1918-1920),  the leaders  well realized  difficulty of the idea of ​​complete autonomy,  because of the scattered territory and the weakness of economic development of the Kazakh society  and the military-political situation.

Later, the relationship between the Alash party and the new government turned to permanent contacts and compromises. Soberly assessing the situation, the leaders of “Alash” accepted the conditions dictated by the Soviet military and political leadership. A. Baytursynov after a meeting with V.I. Lenin in 1919 was included in the emergency regional organization – the Kirghiz Military-Revolutionary Committee. But it’s  authority  was often only nominal. In fact, the administration was carried out by the organs of the Turkestan Front, and then by party committees, in which the Bolsheviks, who had been sent from the center, played a leading role.

After the victory in the civil war, the Soviet government disbanded the Alashorda government, later the Alashorda figures were repressed  with the Stalin regime.


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 Additional literature:

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  3. Alash-tanym: Collection of documents. T.2. – Semey: Alash-tanym, 2012 .– 425 p.
  4. Amanzholova D.A. At the bend. Alash in the ethnopolitical history of Kazakhstan. – Publishing house “Taimas”, 2009. – 412 p.
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  7. Ayagan B. Alikhan Bukeikhanov: Man is a legend // Spectrum. – 2016 .– November 9. – p. 15
  8. Beisembiev K. Ideological and political trends in Kazakhstan at the end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th century. – Alma-Ata: Publishing House of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR, 1961. – 379 p.
  9. Movement Alash: A collection of materials from the trials of the Alashites: In 3volumes / Author’s edition of Professor T.K. Zhurtbay. – V.2. – Almaty: “El-shezhire”, 2011. – 376 p.
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  14. Nazarbayev N. In the stream of history. – Almaty: Atamura, 1999 .– 296 p.
  15. Pertseva N. For the 90th anniversary of the movement “Alash” and Alash-Orda: Materials of the conference “Semipalatinsk – the crossroads of eras and cultures.” – Semey, 2009
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