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TURKESTAN / TURKESTANI PRINTING IN BERLIN: توريستان ملى ادبياتى وه اديبله رى فاجعه سينا دائر Von der Tragödie der National-Literatur und der Schriftsteller Turkestans


[On a Tragedy of the National Literature and the Writers of Turkestan]


A rare publication on the contemporary Turkestani writers, published in Ottoman alphabet by an extremist nationalistic Turkestani organisation in Berlin, who immigrated after the Soviet annexed their homeland. 


8°. 20 pp. with black and white illustrations, original wrappers with title in Ottoman and Latin alphabet, 20th century dark brown cloth binding with lettering on the cover and spine (slightly age-toned and stained, small holes and tears in the inner white margins (old binding), hand-written old price on the inner side of back cover, old small repaired tear on the tile page, otherwise in a good condition).

1 in stock


A rare work on Turkestani contemporary literature in writers in the time of pre-Soviet and Soviet era, was published in Berlin. The author Tahir Schakir was a Turkestani researcher, who in 1931 finished his doctoral thesis in Germany on the Siberian-Central Asian nomads.

After the fall of the Tsarist regime Turkestan (now Turkistan) was briefly the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic before being annexed to Kazakh SSR in 1924.

The book was published by a Turkestani nationalistic group Yach Turkestan.


Yach Turkestan – Young Turkestan

The publishing house Yach Turkestan [Young Turkestan] was a part of a nationalistic Turkestani movement with the same name, active in Berlin.

The movement started abroad by the immigrants from Turkestan after the Soviet taking over their country. In June 1927, a magazine called Yeni Türkistan was founded in Istanbul, but was banned by the government in September 1931 for its radical political views.

Already from December 1929 a parallel magazine with the title Yach Turkestan was issued in Berlin in Ottoman letters, to reach not only Turkestani immigrants in Germany, but also those in Persia, India and Afghanistan, who could not read the Latin script. The main subjects were the independence of Turkestan, critical view of the five-year plan in the country and the problems of the nomads under the Soviet Union.

After the Istanbul-based printing was banned in 1931, the Berlin office took over the readers from Turkey. Already three years later, the Turkish government also forbade the distribution of the Berlin publications.

Yach Turkestan in Berlin was founded by Mustafa Shokay (1890- 1941), who published 117 issues of the magazine until the beginning of WWII. At the beginning of the war Shokay offered to lead, alongside with the Nazis, the Turkestan Legion to liberate the Turkic prisoners from the Soviet prison camps as a first step of the liberation of Turkestan from the Soviets.

Mustafa Shokay died on December 27th, 1941, from blood poisoning, leading to speculations, that he was murdered.

We could find two examples on Worldcat. (Hungarian Academy of Sciences Library, Stanford University).

References: OCLC 1014827004. Johannes Benzing, Berliner politische Veröffentlichungen der Türken aus der Sowjetunion. Die Welt des Islams Bd. 18 (1936), pp. 122-131.


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