If a nation does not know its history, if the country loses its history, then its citizens have nowhere to go.
Mirzhakyp Dulatuly

Remembering Turar Ryskulov

Remembering Turar Ryskulov - e-history.kz
Turar Ryskulov - one of the most talented figures in Kazakh history, a statesman, historian, economist, and a publicist. He is a historical personality, one of the first founders of political and

economic independence of the Central Asian republics and Kazakhstan. Initially, Turar Ryskulov became chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the Turkestan Republic, then headed the Council of People's Commissars of Turkestan. He implemented large-scale measures to restore and develop the national economy, production, education, combat illiteracy, and equalize the political and economic rights of peoples.

The state activity of Ryskulov as the chairman of the Muslim Bureau of the Communist Party of Turkestan, his role in creating an economic union of the Central Asian republics, the customs union with the Iranian Republic, the work of the Comintern in Mongolia, active participation in the drafting of the first Constitution of Mongolia, Stalin (served as Deputy Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR) for 11 years is significant and priceless. In most cases, Turar Ryskulov took a direct part in solving the economic and economic problems of the country, especially in the construction of the first and second five-year plans. Great is the merit of our famous countryman in the construction of Turksib, it was he who headed the Construction Committee.

He represented Kazakh democratic intelligentsia which took the ideas and slogans of the Bolsheviks about equality, freedom, and the construction of a new classless society. As a consequence, he found himself in the camp of opponents of the bourgeois autonomy "Alash Orda". However, an analysis of his state-political activity shows that he, like his associates, wished for the prosperity of his homeland and tried to achieve for her people real sovereignty and independence.

Turar Ryskulov was born in 1894 to the family of a simple nomad, born in Vernensky district of Zhetysu, now Almaty region. For a long time his family was forced to hide in other volosts because of the blood feud of relatives of the parish governor S.Ushkempirov, who was shot by the father of Turar, unable to withstand bullying and persecution.

Hiding from persecution, Turar Ryskulov under an assumed name Kirghizbaev graduated from a three-year Russian-Kazakh school. Later, he successfully completed his studies at the Pishpek Agricultural School. He witnessed the brutal suppression of the uprising of 1916, in the midst of which he was arrested in Merke, but, for lack of evidence, released. Ryskulov's dream was to enter the Tashkent Teachers' Institute. Within the walls of the institute in Tashkent, Turar Ryskulov became close to the organization of the Social Democrats - the Bolsheviks. Together with his comrades, Ryskulov creates the "Revolutionary Union of Kyrgyz Youth", whose members have set themselves the task of combating the local apparatus of the Provisional Government. In September 1917, Turar Ryskulov joined the ranks of the Bolshevik Party.

After the victory of the Communists in Turkestan, Ryskulov, already a literate and ideological revolutionary of the national intelligentsia, is becoming more famous. The population knew him as a beautiful speaker, simply and easily able to explain the complex things happening in their lives. Naturally, with such a good reputation and abilities under the Soviet regime, he was expected to have a wonderful career. In January 1920 he was elected chairman of the Central Executive Committee of Turkestan. Prior to that, he held major events of the Soviet government in the region. For example, under his leadership, the Central Commission for Combating Hunger worked, thanks to which hundreds of thousands of our compatriots were saved from starvation. He was an ardent fighter against chauvinism, which took place in the organs of the Bolshevik Party and the Soviets of Turkestan, but at the same time took an active part in the struggle against basmachism and in 1919 was a member of the Extraordinary Commission. As a result of the punitive expeditions of the Bolsheviks, the innocent population of Turkestan suffered. In the 1930s, Ryskulov wrote that he had not accidentally joined the Bolshevik Party, and it was no accident that he conducted a firm Bolshevik line: "... this was dictated by my social origin and hatred of class enemies."

Turar Ryskulov, analyzing the February events of 1917 and the activity of the Kazakh intelligentsia headed by AN Bukeikhanov on building Kazakh statehood, wrote that the Kazakh nationalist intelligentsia, acting under the slogan of protecting the national interests of the Kazakh nation, in fact defended the interests of the Kazakh property owners, interests the masses were alien to her. In his view, that is why the nationalist intelligentsia so zealously supports the Kerensky Provisional Government, popularizes the ideas of the Constituent Assembly, conducts various "noisy" all-Kazakh congresses to discuss Kazakh autonomy as part of bourgeois-democratic Russia.

For the true Marxist Turar Ryskulov, the bourgeois democratic variant of the development not only of Kazakhstan, but also of Russia was unacceptable, and accordingly the Kazakh autonomy "Alash Orda" offered by Kazakh intellectuals seemed to him a prototype of the old power where rich men and aristocrats will rule. Turar Ryskulov looked at all political phenomena from class positions, i.e. fully shared the Bolshevik views.

The Bolsheviks, after liquidating the foci of the "white movement" and autonomies - Alash Orda and Kokand Autonomy, began to establish "order" in the Turkestan region. Soviet power in Turkestan, as is known, was established in 1918, when the Turkestan ASSR was formed, so in 1920 the Soviet government faced the task of clearly defining the legal status of the republic within the RSFSR. In the Directive of the Central Committee of the CPSU of March 8, 1920, Turkestan was given the same small scale of freedoms that other autonomous republics of the RSFSR had.

In this period, alternative options for the future development of the Turkestan region appeared. Representatives of the national democratic intelligentsia, for example, Mustafa Shokayev, proposed the creation of the Turkic state, which would include all the Turkic ethnic groups that inhabited the post-imperial Russia. These ideas began to be called "pan-Turkic" and cruelly persecuted by the Soviet authorities.

The Kazakh population of the Semirechye and Syrdarya regions, which gravitated toward Kazakhstan, favored the partition of the Turkestan Krai into independent national autonomous republics, with the possibility of joining the Kazakh Autonomous Republic. Turar Ryskulov proposed his project for the creation of the Turkic Soviet Republic. In particular, he wrote that Turkestan is a country of Turkic peoples, and suggested that the Turkestan Republic be considered a national Soviet republic, where the Turkic people are considered a self-determining indigenous people.

Ryskulov's project as a whole corresponded to the model of the national-territorial autonomy proposed by the Central Committee of the Party within the Russian Federation, at the same time it had its own peculiarities. In the first paragraph of the Project, in particular, it was said that Turkestan, consisting of five regions, should be considered a country of the Turkic nationalities - Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Turkmen, etc., including the ethnicity of non-Türkic origin - Tajiks, and the rest of the population to represent the newcomers. In the second paragraph of the Draft it was proposed: "The Turkestan Republic shall be considered a national Soviet republic, where the Turkic people are considered to be a self-determining indigenous people". Turar Ryskulov proposed to rename the Turkestan ASSR in the Turkic Soviet Republic, and the Communist Party of Turkestan, respectively, to the Communist Party of the Turkic peoples. According to Ryskulov, this name of the republic and the party will more accurately reflect the national composition of the population of Turkestan.

The project proposed by Ryskulov and his associates demonstrated the desire of the representatives of the national democratic intelligentsia to raise the status of their province, expand the powers of the government of the future autonomy and, importantly, oblige the organs of Soviet power to take into account the interests of the indigenous people. That is why the indigenous peoples - the Turks - officially recognized the Project as a state-forming ethnic group.

It should be borne in mind that the Kazakh intelligentsia, to which Turar Ryskulov belonged, built Soviet power in Kazakhstan, based on Bolshevik ideas, and tried to present the new regime to the common people in a favorable light for themselves. They propagandized Bolshevism as a liberation not only from the yoke of the "white" tsar, but also from the rule of the capitalists, the bourgeoisie and the bays. Bolshevik leaders were positioned as leaders, their iconographic images were created, and even an excuse for punitive measures against the common people on the part of the Communists was found. Turar Ryskulov in the article "Lenin - the banner uniting the two worlds" he wrote after Lenin's death, noted that the greatest merit of the leader of the Bolshevik Party was that he led the oppressed masses of the East to struggle for their liberation and annexed them to the proletarian revolution. He became the leader and prophet of the oppressed East along with the party created by him.

Later, under the pressure of the authorities, Ryskulov admits his mistakes, for which he was accused as a nationalist, explaining his position on this issue thus: "Having risen to the leadership of the Turkestan Republic, we got carried away with" national slogans ", underestimated national tasks, fought for planting in the apparatuses of their national officials, etc." During the period of large-scale construction projects, the communication between the industrial regions of Kazakhstan under construction and the enterprises of Russia was of great importance. To this end, the construction of railway lines began. Turar Ryskulov, at that time as deputy chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR, headed the Turksib Assistance Committee.

As Ryskulov noted, the railroad connecting Siberia with Central Asia will ensure the supply of Middle Asia with cheap bread from Siberia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and thus will favorably influence the development of cotton growing in Central Asia. Simultaneously, the road will open great prospects for the development of the economy of the areas that gravitate toward it, expanding at their expense the raw material base of our industry, creating a normal economic interaction between these areas, connected by the railway.

Certainly, Turar Ryskulov's economic calculations were correct. After the completion of the construction of the railway in 1930, the economic development of Kazakhstan and the Central Asian republics received a powerful impetus. However, the Siberian railway has strengthened, above all, the raw material importance of the republics of Central Asia and Kazakhstan for Russian industry. Ryskulov was a patriot of his people, sincerely wished him well, knew from inside his problems and aspirations. Already during the years of Soviet power, while in high positions in the Bolshevik party and government, he, despite the threat to his own career and personal security, repeatedly spoke in defense of the interests of the indigenous population from the stands of congresses and conferences.

Of particular note is the civil courage of Turar Ryskulov, who, as deputy chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR, tried to draw the attention of the Central Party leadership and Stalin to the tragedy that took place in Kazakhstan during the period of collectivization. For example, in a memorandum to Stalin dated September 29, 1932, he reveals the situation in the livestock sector in Kazakhstan. In another letter, dated March 1933, he cites the deaths of hundreds of thousands of his compatriots in various regions of Kazakhstan. Such reports forced the Bolshevik leadership to take emergency measures to eliminate the consequences of the famine in Kazakhstan.

The above historical and legal problem shows that part of the Kazakh advanced intelligentsia who did not join the bourgeois democrats took the ideas of socialism and promoted the Bolsheviks in building Soviet power in the Steppe Krai. One of its brightest representatives was Turar Ryskulov, who sincerely believed in the idea of ​​socialist justice and the construction of a future communist society. However, having met with the arbitrariness of one-party authorities, in the absence of elementary rights and political freedoms, he continued to defend the interests of the people from the growing party dictatorship. Turar Ryskulov himself became a victim of this totalitarian power - among other major Soviet statesmen of Kazakhstan in 1938 fell under the wave of brutal repression.

The Kazakh Soviet intelligentsia, working in the government, did everything to develop its native land by creating the ground for today's independence and sovereignty of our republic.