Reviews

This collective work, directed by a Turkish good connoisseur of the Turkic world, E. N. Gursoy, assisted by young researcher from Tatarstan Liaisan Shahin, is a product of the cooperation between Turcologists of different backgrounds. The involvement of Turkic-speaking researchers from the former Soviet Union, educated in Russian language in the various universities of Central Asia or in Turkish in Turkey, has been enabling Turkish research to widen the scope of its competences and linguistic knowledge. Central Asian research in Turkey does not rely anymore on descendants of early twentieth-century Central Asian migrants to Anatolia and therefore appears capable of enriching viewpoints and crossed studies. The hazy concept of “Turkic world” refers at the same time to ex-Soviet Central Asia and to Turkey, whence Stalin’s foreign policy showed particularly aggressive against the latter after WWII. One may object that everything has been said about Stalin, but the authors justify their work by focusing on the original point of view of Turkic peoples. Their multidisciplinary approach aims at measuring the impact of Stalin’s policy on Turkic societies. Their collection includes works on well known and already largely studied issues like repression policy, deportations, or forced collectivisation as well as more original insights on “traitors” exchanges (Tatar and Azerbaijani war prisoners exiled in Turkey in exchange for Turkish Communists exiled in the USSR) negotiated by Stalin and President İsmet İnönü, or studies on the effects of Stalin’s policy or its perceptions in local literature and arts. A regret can be formulated: most contributions focus on Turkey, Tatarstan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan to the detriment of other Turkic-speaking countries and societies of Central Asia and Russia, especially Uzbekistan whose external relations with Turkey are still too tense to enable such kind of international scientific cooperation.

Bayram Balci, Centre for International Research and Studies, Paris
CER: II-3.1.D-146