CHAPTER 26 THE REASONS OF AZERBAIJANI DEFEAT

According to the document the new political unit was based “not on the ethnical but onaterritorial principle and considering the historical past and the geographical position of the region.” As a political reason the document mentioned the slogan of the Popular Front “The Turk has no other friend except the Turk”, which had aroused “inter-ethnic enmity between the Turks of Azerbaijan and the fraternal Tats, Talishes, Lezgis, Russians and other peoples, living on this land since times immemorial.”

Judging from the document, Humatov and his adherents intended to leave. The Talish Republic of Maghan within the borders of Azerbaijan, as the “proclamation of the Republic is directed to save the beloved Azerbaijan from extremists, localists and all kinds of clans. We don’t accept racial, religious or political discrimination. We believe in political understanding. All of us are the children of the same Motherland.”4

The political analyst of the newspaper “Azatamart” M. Hajian wrote;

“It’s evident that the phenomenon of Talish Republic of Mughan is not a mere expression of the Talish national-liberation movement as some political observers are inclined to note, but a political step to hinder that movement or split it or to suppress it. It must be noted that S. Humatov is one of the founders of the local section of the Popular Front, as S. Husseinov in Gianja. A. Hamatov didn’t conceal that he is a supporter of S. Husseinov.”5

Of course this is an individual viewpoint and it’s difficult to say whether A. Humatov could be sucessful in the course of unpredictable political events in preparing a national revival and working out mechanisms and means to effect the public opinion. The Talishes possessed a thing, that the Lezgis were deprived of. It was their military formation which could serve as a base for the future struggle. Conversely the Lezgis had grown in general national self-awareness, eagerness for political struggle but didn’t have a military basis. Mention should be made of the geographical location of the lands of the Lezgis as a negative factor in such a struggle, as it lay on the way of the oil pipline and any instability on that territory would be harmful to Russia.

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