عنوان مقاله [English]
After the collapse of the Tsarist Empire following the 1917 revolution, non-Russian political activists in different parts of the empire, including the Caucasus and Central Asia, sought autonomy and then independence for their communities. Thus, the three republics of the South Caucasus (Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia) gained their independence one after another in 1918; but the Red Army occupied the republics and forced their leaders to emigrate in the early 1920s. To continue their struggle against the Soviet Union, the Caucasian émigrés, including the Georgian Social Democrats and the Azerbaijani Musavatists, sought the support of anti-Bolshevic states. They found Poland as an enthusiastic supporter. The Prometheus movement was a Polish-backed political organization that weakened the Bolshevik regime by supporting nationalist movements among non-Russian peoples in the Soviet Union. . The task of fighting the Bolsheviks on the southern front fell to the Caucasian activists.
The French-language journal Prométhée, published in Paris between 1926 and 1938, was the main tool of the movement's propaganda campaign against the Soviet Union. The journal, edited by the Georgian Georges Gvazava, was introduced as the National Defense Organization of the People of the Caucasus and Ukraine, which was renamed the National Defense Organization of the People of the Caucasus, Ukraine, and Turkestan from issue 8 onwards (June-July 1927). It was succeeded by Revue de Prométhée, edited by the Ukrainian Alexander Shulgin, during 1938-1940. Many prominent Caucasian politicians, from the former republics of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the North Caucasus along with their Turkestani and Ukrainian counterparts, contributed to the journal Prométhée. One of the notable contributors was Mehmed Emin Resulzade (1884-1955), an influential figure in the Iranian constitutional revolution (1905-1911) and the founding father of the Republic of Azerbaijan (1918-1920), who later organized Azerbaijani émigrés in Turkey and Europe.
In this study, we have focused on Resulzade's articles in Prométhée. Accordingly, the main themes of Resulzade's articles were the historical and cultural identity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the defense of the idea of Pan-Turkism against the propaganda of the Soviet Union, as well as the circles of white Russians and Armenians, the disclosure of Moscow's expansionist policies against the neighboring countries and the attempt to gather the Caucasians around the idea of a confederation. The national history of the Republic of Azerbaijan was the most important subject of Resulzade's articles. He presented a selection of important stages in the history of Azerbaijan. He sought to define an independent and respectable identity for this country and emphasize the importance of the Republic of Azerbaijan for the Western world. Resulzade's goal was to prove the claim that the people of the Republic of Azerbaijan had all the elements of national identity. By stating that the majority of the inhabitants of Azerbaijan are Turkic peoples, he sought to provide historical evidence of the presence of Turks in the southeastern part of the Caucasus.
Resulzade was a supporter of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and defended him and the Kemalist regime, even when the policies of Turkey were against the Azerbaijani struggle against Moscow. Pan-Turanism / Pan-Turkism was a major charge promoted by the Soviet Union, according to Rasoulzadeh. Armenians and white Russians also provoked it. Against the allegations about the political allegiance of the Azerbaijani activists to Turkey, Resulzade distinguished between cultural pan-Turkism and political pan-Turkism. He asserted that political pan-Turkism is doomed to failure because it wants to unite all Turkic peoples under one flag, but cultural pan-Turkism seeks to liberate Turkish culture from foreign domination. According to Resulzade, cultural pan-Turkism was able to create a revolutionary movement among Turkic masses and attract them to the struggle for national autonomy and independence against Russian imperialism. He also strongly criticized the White Russians' approach to the rights of ethnic minorities and their emphasis on Russian unity.
Resulzade was also trying to show the imperialist attitude of the Soviet Union toward the eastern countries. The Bolsheviks claimed the abolition of the privileges imposed by Tsarist Russia; but, according to Resulzade, this claim was nothing but political propaganda. He referred to Persia, which the Soviet Union mistreated. Referring to Bukharin's remarks at the 15th Congress of the Communist Party on the events of China, Resulzade mentioned it as the real approach of the Bolsheviks to the eastern countries. Bukharin reiterated Lenin's position in support of the independence and nationalist movements as long as they did not become a threat against the Soviet ambitions. He did not expect the collapse of the Soviet Union to be far from expected. Resulzade viewed the Swiss political system as an appropriate model for the Caucasus. He considered the realization of Caucasian unity in full connection with the acceptance of the idea of the Caucasus Confederation by all people of the region and the two key neighboring countries, i.e. Persia and Turkey.