Alash (party)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kazakh: Алаш партиясы
Kyrgyz: Алаш партиясы
LeaderAlikhan Bukeikhanov Abdykerim Sydykov (Kyrgyz branch of the party)
Split fromConstitutional Democratic Party
HeadquartersAlaş-Qala, Alash Autonomy
IdeologyNational liberalism
Political positionCentre to centre-right
ColorsWhite, yellow, red

Alash (Kazakh: Алаш партиясы, Kyrgyz: Алаш партиясы) was a political party and liberation movement in the Russian Republic and Socialist Russia, and the ruling party of Alash Autonomy on the territory of present-day Kazakhstan and Russia. They advocated for equal treatment between Kazakhs and Russians and the cessation of Russian settlement on the Kazakh lands. It was notably the first modern organized political Kazakh and Kyrgyz elite group.[1]

Alash party attempted to reinforce Kazakh identity rather than embracing Russian identities. Western secularism and ties to the Muslim world were the major dividing issues among the party intelligentsia and the Kazakh elites, through the Russian Civil War.[1]

Chairman of the party and president of the Alash Autonomy was Alikhan Bokeikhanov. Prior to the formation of Alash party, he and other notable members of the party were members of the liberal Constitutional Democratic Party,[1] which they maintained some relations with.

Alash party ceased to exist on August 26, 1920, after the Bolsheviks defeated White Army that was occupying territory of the Alash Autonomy, and formed the Kirghiz Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic.


The word "Alash" means tribesman or relative in Turkic languages, but according to some sources, Alash may be used as a synonym to "Kazakh". Qadyrgali Jalaiyr - Kazakh chronicler and politician, often used Alash as the word to replace Kazakh.

The party had plans to unite all Turkic peoples of Central Asia and create an independent state. For that they didn't want Kazakhs to be titular nation, so they decided to choose word Alash, creating a new Turkic identity between nations. However, this plan didn't work out. Kazakh politician Mustafa Shokay commented the first congresses of Alash: "Congress became a symbolic scene to show our unity, by common goal to unite great Turkic peoples".


Formation and Existence of Party[edit]

The party was founded by the former Constitutional Democratic Party members, thus making the party one of the successors of the Constitutional Democrats.

After February Revolution, Russia has weakened, and Kazakh elite used the moment to found a party. At all-Kazakh congress in Orenburg from July 21 to 28, 1917, party was organized and main questions were answered such as form of government of Russia, which they decided that Russia should become federal parliamentary republic.

Alash Party was founded in December 1917, the information of founding of party was published on Qazaq journal. Alash won elections in most of regions of Kazakhstan, de facto founding an Alash Autonomy.

Alash during Kazakh ASSR[edit]

Alash party ceased to exist on August 26, 1920, after the Bolsheviks defeated White Army that was occupying territory of the Alash Autonomy, and formed the Kirghiz Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic. However, Kazakh elite decided to continue working to improve Kazakhstan. Some of former Alash members joined Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

One of the last photos of Akhmet Baitursynov. Harsh prison conditions made him age very soon.

Former Alash members started translating textbooks for schools. During Asharshylyk, Kazakh elite showed big protest towards Soviet political system, criticizing propaganda and totally ignoration of famine. They wrote two letters to Soviet government. First is "The letter of five" written on July 4, 1932, by Gabit Musirepov, Mansur Gataulin, Embergen Altynbekov, Mutash Dauletkaliev and Kadir Kuanyshev. Second is "The letter to J. V. Stalin", a letter written by Turar Ryskulov to Joseph Stalin.

In the 1930s, most of elite was caught and sent to Gulags for alleged support of nationalistic ideas. Intolerable prison conditions and constant stress in prison made detained age faster, which is shown on last photos of them. In period of 1935-1938 most of Kazakh elite was shot.


On July 4, 2021, the leaders of the Alash movement Akhmet Baitursynov, Alikhan Bukeikhanov and Mirzhakip Dulatov were unveiled a monument in Astana.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Galick, David (March 29, 2014). "Responding to the Dual Threat to Kazakhness: The Rise of Alash Orda and its Uniquely Kazakh Path". The School of Russian and Asian Studies. Archived from the original on March 18, 2015. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  2. ^ "Памятник лидерам Алаш Орды установили в Нур-Султане". 2021-07-04.