The Azadî (English: Freedom), officially Civata Azadiya Kurd (Society for Kurdish Freedom), later Civata Xweseriya Kurd (Society for Kurdish Independence)[1] was a Kurdish secret organization.[2] According to Kurds who reported to British intelligence officers, Azadî was established in Erzurum in 1921 by Halid Beg Cibran.[3] The aim of Azadî was to deliver the Kurds a life in freedom in a developed environment.[4]

The founder of Azadî, Halid Beg Cibran

History Edit

Several reasons were put forward for its establishment, such as:[5]

  • That only the Turkish language was allowed in the courts, which could lead to misunderstandings
  • That only Turkish was taught at the schools, and the religious schools were closed, therefore no education was available for the Kurds
  • Taxes had to be paid several times a year, and no benefit was perceived from the taxes
  • The Turks also settled Turkish refugees in the areas of Kurdish majority, attempting to achieve a Turkish majority.
  • Then also the omitting of Kurdistan from all maps and the gradual renaming of geographical places from Kurdish into Turkish
  • Then also they opposed the fact that the members of parliament were appointed by the central government and not elected by the people.
  • The attempts of the Turkish Government to exploit the mineral reserves in the Kurdish provinces[6]
  • That there were no Kurdish Governors employed[6]
  • The lack of respect to the Kurdish officers and soldiers within the Turkish Army[6]
  • The Military raids which were conducted in villages inhabited by Kurds[6]

According to Robert Olson, Azadî has established sections in the cities of Erzurum, Dersim, Diyarbakir, Siirt, Istanbul, Bitlis, Kars, Hınıs, Erzincan, Muş, Van, Malazgirt, and Harput and several Kurdish notables and tribe leaders were the heads of the sections.[7] According to Robert Olson, the British intelligence reported that by 1924 Seyyit Abdulkadir was the registered as the head of office in Istanbul.[8] At its beginning there were mainly Kurdish notables and former officers of the Hamidye cavalry amongst its members.[9] It appointed several of its members to establish ties with diplomats from the British Empire, attempting to secure their support.[4] They also attempted to gain the support of the former Sultan Mehmed VI.[10] During its first General Congress in 1924, in which several commanders from the Hamidye cavalry and also Sheikh Said took part, it was decided that the Kurds should revolt against the Turks.[11]

The Azadî was a leading force involved the Beytüssebab mutiny in September 1924[12] and also in the organization of the Sheikh Said rebellion in 1925. After many members from the Azadî were arrested following the failed revolt in Beytüssebab, the movement has chosen Sheikh Said as its leader.[13][14][15] The rebellion failed, following which the Kurds assembled around the Xoybun, who was involved in the Ararat rebellion from1927–1930.[16]

References Edit

  1. ^ Olson, Robert (1989). The Emergence of Kurdish Nationalism and the Sheikh Said Rebellion, 1880–1925. University of Texas Press. p. 41. ISBN 0292776195.
  2. ^ Hamelink, Wendelmoet (2016-04-21). The Sung Home. Narrative, Morality, and the Kurdish Nation. BRILL. p. 176. ISBN 978-90-04-31481-8.
  3. ^ Olson 1989, p. 42.
  4. ^ a b Olson 1989, p. 45.
  5. ^ Meiselas, Susan; Bruinessen, Martin van; Whitley, A. (1997). Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History. Random House. p. 124. ISBN 0679423893.
  6. ^ a b c d Olson 1989, pp. 43–45.
  7. ^ Olson 1989, pp. 42–43.
  8. ^ Olson 1989, p. 169.
  9. ^ Klein, Janet (2011-05-31). The Margins of Empire: Kurdish Militias in the Ottoman Tribal Zone. Stanford University Press. p. 175. ISBN 978-0-8047-7570-0.
  10. ^ Olson 1989, p. 92.
  11. ^ Olson 1989, pp. 47–48.
  12. ^ Olson 1989, p. 91.
  13. ^ Romano, David (2006-03-02). The Kurdish Nationalist Movement: Opportunity, Mobilization and Identity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 34–35. ISBN 978-0-521-85041-4.
  14. ^ Olson 1989, p. 99.
  15. ^ "The Kurdish Warrior Tradition and the Importance of the Peshmerga" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-10-29.
  16. ^ Galip, Özlem Belçim (2015-04-24). Imagining Kurdistan: Identity, Culture and Society. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-85772-643-8.