The Caucasian Islamic Army has entered Baku.1918

The Caucasian Islamic Army has entered Baku.1918

Turan: What does the Islamic Army of the Caucasus, the military supporter of the Republic of Azerbaijan, founded on May 28, 1918, mean to you?

Yiğit: It means a lot. The Ottoman Empire entered the First World War on the side of the Germans. Mustafa Kemal thought that it was a mistake for the Ottoman General Staff to fight on the side of the Germans and said, "The defeat of the Germans will lead to our defeat as well." He also said this to the German Emperor when he went to Germany with Sultan Vahdettin as his military advisor in 1917. He felt that the Germans would be defeated in 1917. After the October Revolution in 1917, civil war began in Russia. During that period, the pressure of the Armenians on the Turks in Baku increased every day. The patriotic people of Azerbaijan wanted military assistance from the Ottomans to defend the people. At that time, in addition to Russians and Armenians, German and British military units also came to Baku to take control of Baku oil. Chief of General Staff, Enver Paşa, and Army Commander Mustafa Kemal Paşa, whose relations were often not good, made a decision to defend Azerbaijan. General Halil Paşa, who captured 13,000 British soldiers, including five generals, in the Kut al-Amara region of Iraq in 1916, was appointed as the Army Commander created under the name of the Islamic Army of the Caucasus. After Kut al-Amara, Halil Paşa, who was given the rank of general, his brother's son Nuri Paşa the command of a 13,000-strong army he prepared to send to Azerbaijan while he was the Governor of Mosul. Nuri Paşa, who first went to Tabriz and then from there to Ganja, began to give military training to Turkish youth there. After completing preparations, Nuri Paşa, Halil Paşa, and Mürsel Paşa liberated Baku.

Turan: Does Turkey give sufficient value to the historical role of the Islamic Army of the Caucasus? How was your close friend Atilla Oral's work evaluated?

Yiğit: I don't believe it is given enough value and importance. My friend Atilla Oral was a very good architect, he spent the money he earned on research. He was a diligent researcher. He collected more than 6,000 sources including documents, newspaper articles, and books regarding the First World War, the years of occupation of the Ottoman lands, the struggle for independence in Anatolia and Azerbaijan, Nuri Paşa, and other topics of those years with the help of second-hand dealers in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Moscow, and Istanbul, spending the main part of his money on these works, and wrote valuable works by using all of them. He could not get any support from the Ministry of Culture and the Istanbul Municipality for the printing and sale of his books, so he mortgaged his house and printed his books. He had to sell his house when it became difficult to sell books during the pandemic.

Turan: We know that you are doing serious work to better introduce Nuri Paşa to the Turkish youth. As the author of the book "Late Erected Monument", what would you suggest to be done next?

Yiğit: When Atilla was preparing the 928-page book "Nuri Killigil" for printing, he told me, "You should write a book about Nuri Paşa for students." I wrote my book "Late Erected Monument" on his recommendation. Like Atilla, Nuri Paşa has not been given enough attention. On March 2, 1949, there was a fire and explosions in the weapons factory built by Nuri Paşa on the coast of the Golden Horn with the permission of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Suspicions remain that it was the result of arson. At that time, the government did not inform the media about the incident where Nuri Paşa also died, and even the top of Nuri Pasha's grave was not prepared. After 67 years, with the efforts of several people, memorial stones were placed at the place where the graves of Nuri Paşa and those who died in the fire at the factory were. However, Nuri Paşa is a commander who deserves great respect both in Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Turan: After his book was published in Istanbul, they invited the late Atilla Oral to Baku in September 2016 and held a signing ceremony, where they bought 200 of his books. Despite the fact that Oral's book was translated into Azerbaijani and submitted to publication in Baku 5.5 years ago, it has not yet been published. Do you think it is necessary to start a campaign in Turkey for the publication of the book?

Yiğit: Atilla Oral's book "Nuri Killigil" is a valuable research for which a lot of effort has been spent. Thanks to the relationships you created, Atilla was invited to Baku after the book was published in Turkey. They bought 200 books there. He was very satisfied. Although he was anxiously waiting for his book to be published in the Azerbaijani language, he was not lucky enough to see it. Currently, that book cannot be found in Turkey, there is no new edition. It is sold for 600 TL when it is rarely found in second-hand shops. This important book is very necessary for both Turkey and Azerbaijan. Therefore, it must be printed and delivered to readers.

Turan: Statements like "Turkey sold out Azerbaijan in 1920" are sometimes spread in Azerbaijan. Despite the proper responses to these campaigns directed from the outside, there are forces behind the curtain that are constantly fueling hatred against Turkey. What would you like to say about it?

Yiğit: If we answer this question taking into account the conditions of that time, we will have to say that these words are not true. Because on October 30, 1918, the Ottoman Empire surrendered unconditionally. In 1919, many cities, especially Izmir and Istanbul, were occupied. While the occupations continued, Mustafa Kemal went to Anatolia to organize the War of Independence. In 1920, while more of our land was occupied, the work of organizing the War of Independence continued, and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, which was opened on April 23, 1920, was making radical decisions. In 1920, those opposed to the War of Independence, led by the British command and supported by the Ottoman government, started a rebellion. Who thinks that Anatolia could support or sell out Azerbaijan in the difficult conditions of that year? Later processes showed that the spread of these rumors is in the interest of some countries. Nuri Paşa is a hero of Azerbaijan as well as Turkey. Before he died in a factory fire in 1949, he refused to sell arms to a country. In addition, he was preparing to open a weapons factory in Cairo and Damascus. Our dear readers can shed light on some truths by following these tips. Taking this opportunity to send greetings to the Azerbaijani readers, I wish that my book "Late Erected Monument" will be delivered to the students.

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İran Prezidentinin həlak olduğu hadisə Azərbaycan- İran münasibətlərinə təsir edə bilərmi? – Nəsimi Məmmədli Çətin sualda

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