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Topic ClosedQuestions about Turkmen relations within Iran

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BrianGhilliotti View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Questions about Turkmen relations within Iran
    Posted: 19 Jul 2017 at 07:32
Ethnic Turkmen relations within Iran

The following post is a series of questions about the history of ethnic relations of the Turkmen minority within Iran. Though it covers up to contemporary times, it does focus on many historical questions. 

I was reading a news article about why university professor thinks it is very unlikely that outside agencies would be able to incite ethnic minority unrest in Iran. This got me to search for more articles about the same subject, and I found the following article about the relations between ethnic Turkmen within Iran:


The first question I have is related to this article statement:

"In the 1920s, Iran’s Turkmens rose in revolt and declared a Soviet Republic with support from Moscow. The short-lived republic was destroyed by Reza Khan, the general who became Iran’s shah in 1925."

What is fascinating about this statement is that this is the only case I know of where the Soviets tried to export their revolution during the civil period into a territory that was not part of the former Russian czarist empire. Was this Soviet backed revolt primarily supported by the Turkmen minority, or did this pro-Soviet revolt find support throughout Iran, across ethnic lines? Also, why didn't the Soviet Red Army provide military support for this movement? Or did the Soviet Red Army provide direct support to this Turkmen based pro-Soviet revolt, only to be beaten back by Iran's military forces?

Is there a book, either modern or "antiquated" (no longer published), that focuses on this Soviet backed Turkmen revolt in Iran, written in a Western European language? I do not care if it is not written in English. Or are the only sources that focus on this event written in Persian, Turkmen,  or in a language based on a Cyrillic alphabet?

My next question is did Stalin attempt to encourage Turkmen minorities to revolt in Iran right after WW2? He did manage to encourage ethnic Kurds and Azeris to revolt against Iran between 1946 and 1947. Was there any agitation amongst the Turkmen during this period?  If so, do any books cover this event?

My next question is based on the next article statement:

After the fall of the shah, the Turkmens again rose in revolt. Their so-called republic was soon crushed by the Revolutionary Guard, ordered by Ayatollah Khomeini to treat the rebels as “miscreants waging war on Allah.” The Guard hanged hundreds of militants and threw thousands into prison camps until the mid-’90s. 

How serious was this revolt? Was this purely indigenous, or was it backed by either the Soviet Union or the CIA?

Besides the  apparent marginalization and unrest of Iran's Turkmen described in the New York Post article, whose link is provided, have there been more recent cases of Turkmen unrest in Iran? To what extent is either Turkmenistan or Turkey attempting to influence Iran's ethnic policies toward its Turkmen minorities? 

Based on the article, it seems as if Turkmen have been more or less pushed out of large portions of Iran's economic picture. Their main source of economic livelihood seems based on Caspian Sea fishing. However, these activities may interfere with Iranian off shore hydrocarbon exploitation activities, which may be the reason why Iran wants to crack down on Turkmen minority fishing activities, If this is not the case, then why is Iran taking a repressive attitude toward Turkmen fishing in the Caspian Sea? 
Caspian Sea Oil Fields:


Have there been very recent clashes between Iran and it's Turkmen minorities? If so, I bet they are not reported. To what extent has ISIS or Al-Qaeda been able to exploit Turkmen minority dissatisfaction inside Iran to its benefit? 

Thanks for your input.


Brian Ghilliotti


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