By Vugar Khalilov
- In 2022, Baku marks 104th anniversary of liberation
from Armenian-Bolshevik bandit groups
- Legendary commander Nuri Pasha at the helm of Caucasus
Islamic Army (CIA)
- The CIA plays crucial role in formation of proper
institutions of ADR amid chaos in the region
- Azerbaijan cherishes contribution & services of CIA to
establishment of first democratic republic in the
Azerbaijan marked the 104th anniversary of Baku's liberation
from the occupation of the Armenian and Bolshevik bandit groups by
the Caucasus Islamic Army on September 15.
On September 15, 1918, the Caucasus Islamic Army, led by Nuri
Pasha (1889-1949), entered Baku together with units of the national
army of the newly-established Azerbaijani Democratic Republic
(1918-1920), liberated the city from the Armenian-Bolshevik
invaders at the expense of thousands of martyrs, and played an
unparalleled historical role in establishing the city as the
capital of Azerbaijan.
All in all, 1,132 fighters of the Caucasus Islamic Army became
martyrs during the liberation of Baku.
At that point, when the city was liberated, the independence of
Azerbaijan was just declared, and no official institutions were
functional yet. The newly-found republic without Baku amid the
savage conflict of interests and the geopolitical war for the
country's rich resources was described by the republic's founders
as a headless body.
Azerbaijan restored its territorial integrity by standing side
by side with its brothers of blood and faith, putting an end to the
chaos, violence, looting, and persecution in Baku, as well as other
regions. The entire nation, including the capital city, was awash
The liberation of Baku on September 15, 1918, marked the
culmination of the Ottoman army's advance into the Caucasus, which
was an unprecedented historical event. The Caucasus Islamic Army
was established, without seeking any material or political gain, to
free the Azerbaijani people from the oppression of the period's
ruthless murderers, who had no mercy for young people, women, or
The Caucasus Islamic Army was formed towards the end of the
First World War (1914-1918). Nuri Pasha Killigil, the unit's
commander, was given the responsibility of serving as the Ottoman
state's principal representative in the Caucasus at the start of
the army-building process.
The military unit was named The Caucasus Islamic Army, since it
had not any non-Muslims among the personnel and the army's sole
purpose was to provide military support to the Azerbaijani Turks
and Caucasus Muslims in their efforts to repel invasions and defend
their homelands from aggressions against innocent populations.
The army led by Nuri Pasha entered Nakhchivan on May 16 and
Ganja on May 25, 1918. Three days later, the Declaration of
Independence of Azerbaijan was adopted in Tbilisi, and Ganja became
the capital of the first democratic republic in the Islamic
The ADR administration was dealing with a number of serious
issues. First and foremost, the nation's territorial integrity had
to be established. To do this, it was necessary to terminate the
revolutionary gangs' authority, which fundamentally served the
Armenian Dashnak mindset.
Taking into account all these challenges, the Ottoman Empire and
the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic signed the Batumi Agreement on
June 4, 1918, to eliminate all threats. According to the
agreement's fourth clause, the Ottoman government agreed to provide
military assistance to Azerbaijan at the request of the latter's
government to uphold internal order.
The signed agreement served as a basis for the Caucasus Islamic
Army's march to Baku. The army, led by Nuri Pasha, and the
Azerbaijani Democratic Republic's soldiers defeated the enemy
forces in Goychay, Salyan, and other areas before quickly moving
into Baku. The Centrocaspian Dictatorship, founded by the Dashnaks
and Mensheviks that seized control of Baku, received an ultimatum
from the army on August 1, 1918.
Since the ultimatum was not fulfilled, on the night of September
14, an attack was organized by Nuri Pasha, and the next day at
around 1500 hours, the triumph firework was let off. Nuri Pasha
made his mark on history as the leader of one of the three Ottoman
victories (together with the victories at Canakkale and Kutul
Amara) in the First World War, as well as the creator of the
national idea that won the hearts of Azerbaijanis.
The memory of Nuri Pasha and the valor of the Caucasus Islamic
Army was commemorated with special respect in Azerbaijan, which
regained its independence in 1991.
The memorial erected in the Alley of Martyrs in honor of the
Caucasus Islamic Army serves as the clearest embodiment of this
reverence. This monument is a piece of art that represents the
importance of the 'one nation, two states' concept in the country's
recent history and the determination that is crucial for the
implementation of its long-term objectives.
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