Libmonster ID: UK-1240
Author(s) of the publication: P. V. GUSTERIN

Key words: N. T. Tyuryakulov, Jeddah, diplomatic relations, repression, Hajj

Russia in the twenty-first century seeks to increase its role in the life of Arab and other countries with predominantly Muslim populations. Thus, in 2003, during the session of the UN General Assembly in New York, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Russian Foreign Ministry and the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States (LAS). Our country was granted observer status in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in 2005, while the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the OIC in Jeddah was opened in 2008.

In this regard, the question is of interest: how have our country's relations with one of the leading states of the Arab and Islamic world, Saudi Arabia, developed over the past decades?

The essence of Soviet Eastern policy, which Soviet diplomats conveyed to their European colleagues, can be conveyed in the words of a conversation between the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs G. V. Chicherin and the French Prime Minister P. Penleve*: "We strive to elevate the Asian peoples to the highest point of culture and strive to introduce them to the most modern achievements of culture, we support everything progressive and cultural... " 1.


The first Soviet ambassador-Kazakh Nazir Tyuryakulovich Tyuryakulov was born in 1893 in the city of Kokand in the family of a large cotton merchant.

In 1904. Nazir graduated from Mekteb, in 1906 - the Russian school for the population of national suburbs, and in 1914-the 8th-grade commercial school in Kokand. In 1914-1916, during the First World War, he managed to complete three courses at the Moscow Commercial Institute.

In 1917. Tyuryakulov became interested in political activities: first he joined the left SRS, and in October 1918 he became a member of the RCP(b). He served in the Red Army. In 1918-1919, in Kokand, he was secretary of the district executive committee, Commissar of Education, and head of the Department of Public Education.

Since 1920. Tyuryakulov held a number of government positions in Tashkent: editor of the newspaper "Ishtrati Jun", an organ of the regional Muslim bureau, in 1920-1921-People's Commissar of Education of Turkestan, in September-November 1921-Executive Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Turkestan, member of the Central Asian Bureau of the CPSU(b); in November 1921-March 1922 G. - Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Turkestan.

In 1923-1928. Tyuryakulov-in the civil service in Moscow: Chairman of the Board of the Center for Oriental Studies of the Peoples of the East, member of the Presidium of the All-Union Scientific Association of Orientalists 2. In 1926, he participated in the 1st All-Union Turkological Congress in Baku.3

At a meeting of the Politburo on November 24, 1927 (Protocol No. 137), it was decided to "appoint T. Tyuryakulov as plenipotentiary to Gejas (Gejas is an outdated transcription of Hijaz)"4, more precisely, to the Kingdom of Hejaz, Nejd and the annexed regions (since 1932 - the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), replacing K. A. Khakimov in this post 5 who has been working in Jeddah since 1924.

* Paul Painlevet (1863-1933) - French statesman and politician, mathematician, foreign corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1924). In 1917 and 1925, he was Prime Minister of France.

page 62

He arrived in Jeddah, then the diplomatic capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on September 29, 1928. His wife Nina Alexandrovna also came with him. On October 3, in Mecca, Tyuryakulov presented his credentials to the sixth son of King Ibn Saud (reigned 1902-1953), Prince Faisal, the future King Faisal ibn Abd-al-Aziz al-Saud (reigned 1964-1975).

...Soviet steamships, beginning in 1929, took part in the transportation of Yemeni pilgrims from Hodeidah to Jeddah, for which Emir Muhammad, the son of the Yemeni Imam King Yahya, 7 thanked the Soviet representative N. M. Belkin in 1929 in a letter 8 dated 26 Dhu'l-qa'ad 1348 AH (April 25, 1930).Tyuryakulov also wrote to Moscow in a letter dated May 7, 1929:"...As for our steamers, the pilgrims are very happy with the treatment. The Yemenis who arrived earlier (in Jeddah) on an Italian steamer are very dissatisfied with the Italians. " 9

In addition to Yemenis, Soviet ships took on board pilgrims from other countries. However, not without problems. So, on December 21, 1930, Tyuryakulov reported to Moscow: "In the reporting year, Sovtorgflot failed to organize the transportation of pilgrims from Persia due to the negative position of the Persian government. Only individual pilgrims from Western China and Afghanistan were brought on our ships to Jeddah." (Jeddah is an outdated transcription of Jeddah.)10.

Facilitating the arrival of non-Soviet pilgrims to the Hejaz was an integral part of the Soviet policy aimed at normalizing relations between Ibn Saud and Muslims around the world. In addition, the pilgrimage was beneficial to the Saudi side and from a purely financial point of view.

On December 14, 1929, the Government of Ibn Saud announced its consent to the transformation of the USSR diplomatic agency in Jeddah into a diplomatic mission. On January 1, 1930, Tyuryakulov notified the Saudi Foreign Ministry of the reorganization of the Soviet agency into a mission, and on February 26 presented his credentials as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary.11

...Health care at that time was one of the most "painful" issues for Arab countries. Arabia was no exception - there were no full-time Western medical professionals in the country, with the exception of the personal doctors of the Saudi and Yemeni monarchs. Nevertheless, both kings were happy to host Soviet doctors, especially since some of them turned out to be women. "The presence of a female doctor had special advantages in the sense that in the conditions of the Saudi (read - Arabian. - PG) society of that time, not every husband could decide to have his women examined by doctors of the opposite sex. The mission of the wife of the Soviet plenipotentiary, who received 15-20 sick women and children a day, was especially appreciated by both ordinary people and the nobility... " 12 As we can see, Nina Alexandrovna took an active part in the work of the Soviet therapeutic clinic opened at the plenipotentiary.

The embassy also opened a dental office, where Merzon, a dentist who arrived in Jeddah in 1932, worked. "Without any noise or shouting," Tyuryakulov wrote, " he 'beat' the Syrians and local tooth-pickers ... " 13

The Saudis also expressed gratitude to the Soviet side in 1929, when the bacteriologist Mashkovsky arrived in Arabia to fight an outbreak of infectious diseases. One of the patients he cured of malaria was Emir Faisal 14.

Through the All-Union Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, Tyuryakulov received the Moscow newspapers "Daily News" and "Soviet Cultural Review", copies of which he passed on to pro-Soviet Saudi intellectuals.15

From May 27 to June 7, 1932, a Saudi government delegation headed by Emir Faisal paid an official visit to the USSR. At the Krasnaya Zarya factory in Leningrad, the emir was presented with an automatic telephone exchange; later, in 1934, it was installed in Al-Taif. The PBX was prepared for operation by the Soviet engineer V. Shitov, who was specially sent to Saudi Arabia. It is noteworthy that this Soviet automatic telephone exchange was the first in Saudi Arabia and the second after a similar station installed by Soviet specialists in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. In the report on his business trip, engineer V. Shitov wrote:"...The first conversation on an automatic phone took place between the King of the Arab-Saudi state and the USSR Plenipotentiary Comrade. Tyuryakulovym. This conversation served as the beginning of the station's commissioning. " 16 From the very beginning, the King showed an increased interest in installing a PBX and everything related to it. He sent his director of posts and telegraphs to V. Shitov, who reported daily to al-Saud on the progress of classes of telephone operators and fitters from among the local youth.

Most likely, this was one of the first experiences of the Soviet Union's participation in the training of foreign technical specialists. And it was a success, judging by the positive reaction of the king and Faisal, who both in official letters addressed to the plenipotentiary envoy, and in the message to the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs M. Litvinov, literally scattered thanks for

page 63

such a useful gift and training of Saudi personnel in PBX maintenance. Upon completion of the works, the king received N. Tyuryakulov and V. Shitov and noted their merits with "watches and Arabic costumes "" 17.

In May 1933, Saudi Arabia was assisted in carrying out chemical analyses of minerals found on its territory. The tests were carried out in 18 Soviet laboratories.


Like his predecessor as diplomatic agent and Consul General, Tyuryakulov performed the Hajj on 19. This is how Gayaz Iskhaki, a prominent figure of the Tatar-Muslim national movement, who was in exile at that time, tells about it: "A car decorated with red flags with a hammer and sickle appeared on the streets of Mecca with the endless sounds of a horn. There were two people in it. ...The younger one was none other than Nazir Tyuryakulov, a representative of the Soviets in Hijaz, a member of the Comintern. ...It was immediately known that the Soviet representative had arrived for a pilgrimage. And in fact, Mr. Tyuryakulov, like other Muslims, performed the rites of Hajj. After attending all the solemn prayers and performing all the rites, Mr. Tyuryakulov went to Medina to worship at the tomb of the Prophet. As in Mecca, Mr. Tyuryakulov spoke with influential pilgrims from Java, India, Tunisia, and Algeria in Medina. ...He told them about the abominable policy of the British towards the Muslims in India, about the policy of France towards the Muslims in Tunisia and Algeria, about the policy of Holland towards the Muslims in Java. He expressed the hope that the Muslims of these countries, with the support of the Soviet government, would not be slow to free themselves from foreign oppression. At the same time, the representative of the Soviets presented considerable sums of money for the religious needs of Muslims in these countries. " 20

At the meeting of the Politburo of August 31, 1935 (Protocol No. 32), it was decided to "accept the proposal of the NKID to recall T. V. Tolstoy." Tyuryakulova et al. Khakimova Street"21. Starting in 1936, N. Tyuryakulov worked at the Institute of Oriental Peoples in Leningrad and the Institute of Oriental Language and Writing in Moscow.

By the way, he also proved to be a major scholar of philology. He was the author of the " Socio-political dictionary of the Russian-Uzbek language "(Tashkent, 1922), dealt with the problem of Romanization of Turkic scripts, was the author of the project of Romanization of the Turkic alphabet, devoted to this issue a number of articles in the journals "Life of Nationalities"and" New East " 22.

On July 17, 1937, Tyuryakulov was arrested. On November 3 of the same year, Nazir Tyuryakulov was sentenced to death by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR on charges of pan-Turkic agitation and calls for terror against Soviet statesmen. The sentence was carried out on the same day.

On January 28, 1958, Nazir Tyuryakulovich Tyuryakulov was rehabilitated 23.

* * *

Ambassador Nazir Tyuryakulov went down in the history of Russian diplomacy as a talented and selfless representative of the Soviet state abroad. Overcoming the difficulties caused by stressful work

In the face of the international situation, and suffering hardships in everyday life, Tyuryakulov managed to strengthen the authority of the USSR in relations with the Saudi state, which received invaluable humanitarian support from the Soviet Country.

1 Essays on the History of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, vol. II, Moscow, 2002, p. 114.

Veltman S. 2 Deyatel'nost ' Nauchnoi assotsiia vostokovedeniya [Activity of the Scientific Association of Oriental Studies]. 1927, N 16/17, p. 400.

3 See: First All-Union Turkological Congress: Statistical Report. Baku, 1926.

4 Russian State Archive of Modern Political History (RGASPI). F. 17, op. 163, 674, l. 7.

5 Karim Abdraufovich Khakimov (1892-1938) - Soviet representative in the Middle East. For more information, see: Gusterin P. In memory of Karim Khakimov, a diplomat and scientist. 2008, N 1.

6 Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation (AVPRF). F. 127, op. 1, p. 2, d. 22, l. 7.

7 Yahya bin Mohammed Hamid al-Din, Zaydite Imam from 1904 and King of Yemen from 1918 to 1948.

8 AVPRF. f. 88, op. 1, p. 1, d. 1, l. 85.

9 AVPRF. f. 88, op. 1, p. 1, d. 1, l. 113.

10 Nazir Tyuryakulov-USSR envoy to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (1928-1935) (collection of documents), Moscow, 2000, p. 256.

11 AVPRF. f. 127, op. 1, p. 3, d. 27, l. 51-52.

12 Nazir Tyuryakulov.., p. 31.

13 AVPRF. f. 0127, op. 2, p. 1, d. 9, l. 8-9.

14 Nazir Tyuryakulov, p. 256.

15 Ibid., p. 32.

16 AVPRF. f. 0127, op. 2, p. 3, d. 9, l. 24.

17 AVPRF. f. 0127, op. 2, p. 3, d. 9, l. 14.

18 Nazir Tyuryakulov.., p. 32.

19 AVPRF. F. 0127, op. 1, p. 91, d. 7, l. 68. See also: Essays on the history of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.., p. 152.

20 1926-2004). Moscow, 2005, p. 52.

21 RGASPI. f. 17, op. 163, d. 1074, l. 108.

22 K voprosu o latinizatsii tyurkskikh alphabitov [On the Romanization of the Turkic alphabets]. 1925, N 10/11, pp. 218-222; Novye zadachi [New tasks]. 1928, N 20/21, pp. XII-XXII.

23 People and Destinies: Bibliographic dictionary of Orientalists-victims of political terror in the Soviet period (1917-1991). SPb., 2003, p. 380.


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