Anarchism in Azerbaijan

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Anarchism is small minority political movement in Azerbaijan, although it has unique roots.


Anarchists first appeared in 1904 around the suburbs of Baku.[1] The peak of activism was around 1906-1907, when the number of anarchist organizations in Azerbaijan rose to 40. However, members were few according to local authorities[2]


The most influential organizations were established in 1905 by anarcho-communists called Anarkhiya (anarchy), hailing from the city center, and Borba (struggle) from Bibi Eybat. At the same time several groups formed including Bunt, from Balakhany, and The Internationale from Black City. During the formation of the Anarchy, it included several social democrats working in Baku factories.[3] On 1 July 1906 a faction of Anarchy organized a new group which adopted the name Krasnaya sotnya (Red Hundred). These "redhundreders" explained their choice by criticism of office bureaucracy of Anarchy, as well as their commitment to effective methods of struggle. Later many small anarchist groups formed, including the Individualist Anarchists, Black Crow, Anarchist Bombers, Red Flag, Terror, Land and Freedom, Azad (free) and others.[4]

Demographic background[edit]

According to police reports, the national composition of anarchist organizations were exclusively Russian (except of Azad). However, many organizations included a large number of Armenians who were former Hunchakian, Dashnak, who broke with their party. Anarchist Jews—former Social Democrats—chose terrorist methods of struggle and acted mostly against Zionist organizations. The group Red Hundred also included eight Georgians. The average age in these organizations was 28–30 years (the youngest was 19 years old, and the oldest 35).


"Anarkhiya" was founded by former Hunchakian S. Kalashyants who issued a pamphlet named "To struggle and anarchy" early in 1906.[5] He was killed on 5 September 1906 by dashnaks as a revenge of murder of I. Dolukhanov, a wealthy factory owner dashnak.


Azad was founded in 1906 and was considered the largest of then existing small groups like Riot and Terror. They had 15 members at their peak,[6] including former gang members who became local anarchists. The group was led by 2 brothers, Aga Karim and Aga Sanguli. Azad feuded with local millionaires, which were headed by Teimur Ashurbekov (grandfather of Sara Ashurbeyli). At the end of 1907, Karim Aga and Ashurbekov both were arrested, Azad dissolved and remaining members joined other groups.

Ideologic differences[edit]

Anarchists of Baku mostly consisted of two separate ideological subdivisions:

  • Anarcho-communists: "Anarchy", "Black Crow", "Azad", "Red Hundred", "Red Flag", "Bunt", "Land and Freedom", "The Internationale"
  • Anarcho-individualists: "Terror", "Anarchist Bombers", "Individualist Anarchists" and "Baku society of terrorists and anarchist individualists" (founded by P.F.Kalinin in 1906, 1 May)


Anarchist organizations lost many followers because of their brutal ways of fighting against system, murdering and bombings. In March 1908, 50 members of the Red hundred were arrested and all of them were sentenced to exile in Siberia.[7] In 1909, almost all members of Black Crow, Terror, and Red Flag were arrested. The remaining small groups disbanded themselves.[8] After the mass repressions of 1908–1909, the anarchist movement in Azerbaijan has failed to recover.

Current situation[edit]

In February 2013, the Baku Individual Anarchists Association (BIAA) was founded by three Azeri. Group considers itself successor to the Baku society of terrorists and anarchist individualists, which was founded by P. F. Kalinin, and considers itself the oldest functioning non-governmental organization in the history of Azerbaijan.[9]


  1. ^ "Anarchist activism ocherk in Caucasus", in magazine "Anarchist",1907. № 1, p.36
  2. ^ ГАРФ. ф.102. ДПОО, 1906, он.235, д.20, ч. 43, л.13
  3. ^ "Baku". 1906. 24 sept.: 15 oct.": "Kaspii". 1906. 1 sept.
  4. ^ ГИА АР, ф.46, оп.1, д.221, лл.81-120; д.370, л.5об.
  5. ^ ГАППОД АР, ф.276, оп. 2, д.45, лл.16-17
  6. ^ ГАРФ, ф.102, ДПОО, 1907, д.12, ч.З, л. 10
  7. ^ S.M. Efendiev "The history of the revolutionary movement of the Turkic proletariat", Baku, 1923, p. 40
  8. ^ Magazine. "Azerbaijan" (in Turkish. Lang.) 1955, № 12, Saturday issue
  9. ^ BIAA Manifesto (in Azeri)

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