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Talysh-Mughan Autonomous Republic

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Talysh-Mughan Autonomous Republic
Толъш-Мъғонә Мохтарә Республикә
Flag of Talysh Republic
Map of the districts of Azerbaijan highlighting the six that declared the short-lived Talysh-Mughan Republic.
Map of the districts of Azerbaijan highlighting the six that declared the short-lived Talysh-Mughan Republic.
StatusUnrecognized autonomy
CapitalLankaran (largest city)
Common languagesTalysh
• 1993
Alikram Hummatov
Historical eraPost-Cold War
• Established
21 June 1993
• Disestablished
23 August
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Today part ofAzerbaijan

Talysh-Mughan, officially known as the Talysh-Mughan Autonomous Republic (Talysh: Толъш-Мъғонә Мохтарә Республикә, Tolış-Mığonə Muxtara Respublika), was a short-lived autonomous republic in Azerbaijan that lasted from June to August 1993.[1]

It was located in southeastern Azerbaijan, envisaging to consist of seven administrative districts of Azerbaijan around the regional capital city Lankaran: Lankaran city, Lankaran, Lerik, Astara, Masally, Yardymli, Jalilabad, Bilasuvar. Historically, the area had been a khanate. The flag of the Talysh-Mughan Autonomous Republic and the modern Talysh flag is a vertical tricolour of red, white, and green with a centred rising sun over the blue sea.[2]

Political turmoil[edit]

The autonomous republic was proclaimed amid political turmoil in Azerbaijan. In June 1993 a military rebellion against president Abulfaz Elchibey broke out under the leadership of Colonel Surat Huseynov. Colonel Alikram Hummatov, a close associate of Huseynov, and the leader of the Talysh nationalists, seized power in the southern part of Azerbaijan and proclaimed the new republic in Lankaran, escalating violence. However, as the situation settled and Heydar Aliyev rose to power in Azerbaijan, the Talysh-Mughan Autonomous Republic, which failed to gain any significant public support, was swiftly suppressed.[3]

Alikram Hummatov had to flee Lankaran, when an estimated 10,000 protesters gathered outside his headquarters in the city to demand his ouster.[4]

According to Professor Bruce Parrott,

This adventure rapidly turned into farce. The Talysh character of the "republic" was minimal, while the clear threat to Azerbaijani territorial integrity posed by its mere existence only discredited Gumbatov and, by association, Guseinov.[5][page needed]

Some observers believe that this revolt was part of a larger conspiracy to bring back to power the former president Ayaz Mütallibov.[6][7]

Hummatov was arrested and initially received a death sentence which was subsequently commuted to life imprisonment. In 2004, he was pardoned and released from custody under pressure from the Council of Europe. He was allowed to immigrate to Europe after making a public promise not to engage in politics. However, those who were involved in the proclamation of the autonomy say they always envisaged the autonomous republic as a constituent part of Azerbaijan.[1]

Ethnic status[edit]

According to some, the Azerbaijani government has also implemented a policy of forceful integration of some minorities, including Talysh, Tat, Kurds and Lezgins.[8] However, according to a 2004 resolution of Council of Europe:

Azerbaijan has made particularly commendable efforts in opening up the personal scope of application of the Framework Convention to a wide range of minorities. In Azerbaijan, the importance of the protection and promotion of cultures of national minorities is recognised and the long history of cultural diversity of the country is largely valued;[9]

The above quote by the Council of Europe was only about the improvements done by the government of Azerbaijan since 2003. The Communique, however, goes on to say:

Despite certain positive legislative initiatives, there are several shortcomings in the legislation about the implementation of the Framework Convention. The 2002 Law on the State Language contains regrettable reductions in the legal guarantees relating to the protection of national minorities. These put at risk, for example, certain commendable practices in the field of electronic media. The process of amending the said law should be pursued further to make it compatible with the Framework Convention; - There is a need to couple the Law on the State Language with improved legal guarantees for the protection of national minorities in such fields as minority language education and the use of minority languages in relations with administrative authorities, to consolidate and expand the positive practices that exist. Priority should be given to the adoption of a new law on the protection of national minorities, providing the necessary guarantees for the implementation of the relevant minority language standards;[9]

IFPRERLOM appealed to the Commission on Human Rights to adopt a resolution, which urges Azerbaijan to guarantee the preservation of the cultural, religious and national identity of the Talysh people in light of repeated claims of repression.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b BBC News. Azerbaijan in a stir over political prisoner
  2. ^ James B. Minahan. Encyclopedia of Stateless Nations: Ethnic and National Groups around the world. — Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2016. P. 409 ISBN 978-1-61069-953-2
  3. ^ Vladimir Socor. «Talysh issue, dormant in Azerbaijan, reopened in Armenia», The Jamestown Foundation, May 27, 2005 Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ The New York Times, 24.08.1993. Pro-Iranian is ousted
  5. ^ Bruce Parrott. State Building and Military Power in Russia and the New States of Eurasia. M.E. Sharpe, 1995. ISBN 1-56324-360-1, ISBN 978-1-56324-360-8
  6. ^ Humbatov received the support of former defence minister Rahim Gaziev and swore loyalty to former president Mutalibov. This revolt, which collapsed in August with almost no bloodshed, appeared to be part of the same larger design as Hussienov’s rebellion in Ganje. Thomas De Waal, Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan through Peace and War, NYU Press, 2004
  7. ^ One likely scenario is that this episode was another example of a powerful local warlord attempting to take advantage of the internal instability within Azerbaijan, on this occasion by appealing to ethnic Persian sentiment. Gummatov had previously benefited under Mutalibov and appears to have borne a grudge against Aliev. There are reports that the rebel colonel had at one time demanded as a price for the end of his rebellion the resignation of Aliev and the return to power of Mutalibov. Alvin Z. Rubinstein, Oles M. Smolansky. Regional Power Rivalries in the New Eurasia: Russia, Turkey, and Iran. M.E. Sharpe, 1995. ISBN 1-56324-623-6, ISBN 978-1-56324-623-4
  8. ^ Christina Bratt (EDT) Paulston, Donald Peckham, Linguistic Minorities in Central and Eastern Europe, Multilingual Matters. 1853594164, pg 106
  9. ^ a b Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, Resolution ResCMN-2004-8, on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Azerbaijan, Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 13 July 2004 at the 893rd meeting of the Ministers Deputies.
  10. ^ "UNPO: Talysh: WS on the Case of the Talysh People".

External links[edit]