Links across time
Taranchis during the uprising of 1916 in Semirech’e and the “Atu” massacre of 1918
in The Central Asian Revolt of 1916
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Drawing on songs, poetry and archival sources, this chapter provides a brief history of the “Taranchi” (Uighur) migration from Ghulja and the upper Ili valley into Semirech’e in 1882, their involvement in the 1916 revolt, and the experiences of those who were sent to European Russia to work as labourers. It then explores the links between these and a notorious massacre of Uighurs by Bolshevik cavalry in 1918. Portrayed in Soviet sources as the suppression of counterrevolution, this chapter instead argues that it shows continuities with the violence and land grabs of settlers against the local population in 1916.

The Central Asian Revolt of 1916

A collapsing empire in the age of war and revolution

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