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Learning about Bolshevism: The Anatolian Government and Bolshevik Russia in 1920-21

Sat, December 8, 1:30 to 3:15pm, Boston Marriott Copley Place, Floor: 1st, Tremont


Bolshevism had an ideological appeal for the leaders of the liberation movement in Anatolia due to its anti-imperialist nature especially during 1920-21. In the historiography, the rapprochement between the Bolshevik Russia and the Anatolian government in these years is presented mostly as a pragmatist move for both parties. Based on intelligence reports presented to Ankara, I will argue that pragmatism does not fully explain the Bolshevik tendencies of the Anatolian movement in 1920-1921. In need of a mobilizing ideology, The Ankara government tried to understand the nature and appeal of Bolshevism in Russia, in the Caucasus and among the Russian refugees in Turkey.