History 27/01/20 “Fergana massacre”: what pogroms staged Uzbeks in 1989

In the late spring and early summer of 1989 in the Uzbek SSR erupted into massive riots, arranged by the local Uzbeks against the Meskhetian Turks. The conflict has killed 103 people, and the injury was more than 1 thousand citizens. It was set on fire 750 houses, and the reason for the massacre was the bowl of strawberries.


In 1944, an ethnic group of Turks, living in the Georgian region Meskheti were deported to Central Asia. The majority of immigrants settled in the Fergana region of the Uzbek SSR. Turks Mechetina concentrated in blocks mahalleh where Uzbeks to enter is not recommended because of the danger to meet with the local youth. According to eyewitnesses, the young Turks behaved provocatively and often bullied Uzbeks. For example, coming to the disco, groups of 20-30 people, they began to dance their national dances, kicking and pushing others.

the flames were fanned and the fact that aliens have taken control of the trade in the market, lived much richer than the locals. Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist party of Uzbekistan, Rafik Nishanov, the head of the Council of Ministers of the Uzbek SSR, Kadyrov said that the conflict began because of a quarrel in the market. The buyer of the Turks cursed the Uzbek saleswoman who wanted to sell him the strawberries at an inflated price. The man turned the goods of the woman and snapped at her.

Sami riots began on the evening of may 31 in the village of Kuvasay. Near beer drunk young Turks and the Uzbeks started a fight, which injured 25 people, including 2 policemen. One of the guys representing the Uzbek side died in hospital. But “battlefield” remained with the Turks. The Uzbeks brought up reinforcements, and went to the Turkish quarter, where he again was beaten. The winners promised next time to rape them and abuse their wives. Threatened with physical violence and shootingwhether from hunting rifles.


then flared the whole Fergana region, and began the pogroms of Meskhetian Turks. Among the Uzbeks began to spread leaflets with calls to expel the invaders, and the organizer of the movement made organization “Union of Uzbeks” and “Freedom”. Volunteers brought in the list, and ordered them to wait for the signal, and yet to cook homemade weapons, firecrackers and firebombs.

From 23 to 25 may were widespread attacks on the Turks in the cities and towns in Kuvasay, Fargan, Margilan, Kokand, Toshloq. However, the main events took place from 3-12 June, when the city is centralized were brought together youth from neighboring Uzbek villages. The rioters, armed with knives, axes, sticks broke into the Turkish quarters, killed their inhabitants, burned the houses and cars. To normalize the situation in the Fergana region was transferred 12 thousand employees of the interior Ministry of the USSR.

on 6 June across the region was organized posts and patrols of law enforcement officers, and information about tragic events was leaked to the media. The center of the conflict was the city of Kokand, where compactly lived 5 thousand Turks. On the morning of 7 June in the back of Trucks to buses and tractor trailers arrived to the city, thousands of rioters. The Uzbeks captured the city Department of internal Affairs, from the local jail and freed dozens of people, earlier arrested for shooting at police. Scattered around the city, the rioters began burning house.

the Turks tried to organize resistance, but the forces were unequal and thousands of refugees sought protection at the location of the airborne regiment and a military training ground in Fergana. Riots continued, and on June 9 the decision was made transport planes to evacuate 16 thousand of the Meskhetians in Russia.

the consequences of the pogroms

After the riots, the international image of the USSR was undermined, and the Central Asian republics of the Exodus not only of Meskhetian Turks, but also Russians, Tatars and representatives of other nationalities. Commission of the Communist party of Uzbekistan has established that the massacre killed 52 36 Uzbeks and Meskhetian injured 137 servicemen of internal troops and 110 police officers, one of them died. According to the unofficial version killed a lot more people. Criminal responsibility has attracted more than 350 people, and two were sentenced to death. After the withdrawal of Uzbekistan from the USSR, all prisoners were released.

In today’s Uzbek textbook on the history of Uzbekistan for pupils of 10 classes of 2005 (attribution Alimova, Karimov, etc.), it is written that the Uzbeks to the pogrom had nothing to do. The tragedy was advantageous to Moscow, which provoked the massacre, sought to centralize power in his hands.

Alexander Brazhnik

© Russian Seven

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