Theme 11. Turkic Islamic Republic of Eastern Turkistan (TIRET) in 1932-1933 in Kashgaria
Muslim Revolt in Southern Xinjiang and establishment of the Turkic Islamic Republic of Eastern Turkistan in 1932. Islamism and Turkism in the province. Muhammad Imin Bugra and his book “History of Eastern Turkistan”. Position of Great Britain towards the Muslim uprising in Kashgaria. Role of the Soviet Union in suppression of the uprising and the TIRET. Dungan-Uyghur contradictions and the role of the Dungans in suppression of the local anti-Han uprisings.
The First Eastern Turkestan Republic (ETR), or Islamic Republic of East Turkestan (TIRET), was a short-lived breakaway would-be Islamic republic founded in 1933. It was centered on the city of Kashgar in what is today the People's Republic of China-administered Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Although primarily the product of independence movement of the Uyghur population living there, the ETR was Turkish-ethnic in character, including Kyrgyz, and other Turkic Turkish in its government and its population.
With the sacking of Kashgar in 1934 by Hui warlords nominally allied with the Kuomintang government in Nanjing, the first ETR was effectively eliminated. Its example, however, served to some extent as inspiration for the founding of a Second East Turkestan Republic a decade later, and continues to influence modern Uyghur nationalist support for the creation of an independent East Turkestan Isa Alptekin was the General Secretary of the First East Turkestan Republic.
The situation came to a head in 1930, when the khan of Kumul Prefecture (Hami) in eastern Xinjiang, Shah Mexsut, died. In policies carried over from theQing era, the khan had been allowed to continue his hereditary rule over the area consistent with the principles of feudalism or satrapy. The importance of Hami territory, strategically located straddling the main road linking the province to eastern China and rich in undeveloped farmland, together with a desire by the government to consolidate power and eliminate the old practice of indirect rule, led Jin to abolish the khanate and assert direct rule upon Shah Mexsut's death.
Jin Shuren then proceeded to double agricultural taxes upon the local Uyghur population, expropriated choice farmland, and distributed it among Han Chinese refugees from neighboring Gansu province, subsidizing their efforts and resettling displaced Uyghurs on poor-quality land near the desert. The newgarrison stationed in Hami proved even more antagonizing, and by 1931, scattered revolts, mobs, and resistance movements were emerging throughout the area. The final straw was in February 1931 when an ethnic Chinese officer named Chieng wished to marry a Uyghur girl from a village outside Hami. Uyghur accounts usually claim that the girl was raped or the family coerced, but as Islamic law forbids Muslim girls to marry non-Muslim men it was clearly offensive to the Uyghur community.
Rebellion broke out on February 20, 1931, with a massacre of Chieng and his 33 soldiers at the wedding ceremony; 120 Han Chinese refugees from Gansu also were killed. It was not confined to the ethnic Uyghur population alone; Kazaks, Kyrgyz, Han Chinese and Hui commanders all joined in revolt against Jin's rule, though they would occasionally break to fight one another.
The Soviet government further complicated the situation by dispatching troops to come to the aid of Jin and his military commander Sheng Shicai, as did White Russian refugees from the Soviet Union living in the Ili River valley region.
The main fighting initially centered around Urumchi, which Hui forces laid under siege until Sheng Shicai's troops were reinforced by White Russian and Manchurian soldiers who had previously fled the Japanese invasion of northeast China. In April 1933, Jin was deposed by a combination of these forces and succeeded by Sheng, who enjoyed Soviet support. Newly bolstered, Sheng split the opposing forces around Urumchi by offering several Uyghur commanders (led by Xoja Niyaz Hajji, an advisor to the recently deceased Hami khan) positions of power in southern Xinjiang if they would agree to turn against the Hui armies in the north, led by Ma Zhongying.
Another Hui faction in southern Xinjiang, meanwhile, had struck an alliance with Uyghur forces located around Kucha under the leadership of Timur Beg and proceeded to march towards Kashgar. The joint Uyghur and Hui force surrounding the city split again, as Hui commander Ma Zhancang allied with the local provincial authority representative, a fellow Hui named Ma Shaowu, and attacked the Uyghur forces, killing Timur Beg.
A Kirghiz rebellion had earlier broken out in Xinjiang, led by the Kirghiz leader Id Mirab. Ma Shaowu had crushed and defeated the Kirghiz rebels. The Soviet Union had been involved in also fighting against the rebels, who had spilled over to the Soviet side.