“The Battle of Baku in the 100th Anniversary of the Republic of Azerbaijan”
By Turan Gafarli (University College London)
Date: Thursday 17 May 2018
Time: 6.30 pm
Venue: 10 Maple Street, London, W1T 5HA
FREE ADMISSION but registiration required via eventbrite!
Abstract: In 1918, British-led local forces of Baku waged a defensive battle for the control of the city, the oil-rich centre of Transcaucasia and hosting port of the Russian Empire’s Caucasian Naval Fleet. The British military mission, named “Dunsterforce” after its commander Major-General L.C.Dunsterville, was tasked with the organisation of the local defence in Baku against the incoming “Caucasus Islam Army”, a mix of Turkish and Azerbaijani forces. Bolshevik rule in the city under Baku Commune did not last long and the pro-British Centro-Caspi Dictatorship, consisting of Armenian nationalists and Russian leftists gained power and immediately called the Dunsterforce for help. The Battle for Baku ended with a Turkish victory on September 15, 1918, and General Dunsterville evacuated his forces from the city a day before. As a result of the success, the young Republic of Azerbaijan moved its capital from Gandzha to Baku and established a government under Turkish protection. The presentation will be about the responsibility question in the battle for Baku from the both sides and will try to commemorate the events in the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Republic of Azerbaijan and the Battle of Baku.
Turan Gafarli is a master’s student at the School of History of University College London (UCL). He currently studies MA Transnational Studies programme and his dissertation will focus the path of Turkey in between 1996-2016 in the general context of nation-states’ relationship with globalisation. He is a graduate of BA History and Politics degree with Honours at the Queen Mary University of London where he specialised on Russian Civil War (1917-1921) and its effects on Transcaucasia. The dissertation titled “The Allied Loss of Baku in 1918: the Question of Responsibility” was written as a part of the bachelor’s degree and dedicated to the founders of Azerbaijan. Turan has various internship and researcher experiences in the international and governmental organisations such as the Council of Europe, the Turkic Council, the House of Lords and the United Nations Office in Geneva.
Photo Credit: National Archive Department of Azerbaijan