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Persia (Iran): Short-lived states

Last modified: 2003-08-21 by
Keywords: persia | gilan | azadistan | kaveh |
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Soviet Republic of Gilan (1920-1921)

[SR Gilan flag]by Jaume Ollé

In 1915, liberal and progressive people created in Persia the movement named Djangali (from djangal, forest, since the movement was born in the Gilan forest) under the leadership of Mirza Kucik Khan, Ihsan Allah Khan and other liberal people (named Azadikhahan) and constitutionalist people (Mudjahidin). A Revolutionary Commitee was created, and German, Austrian and Turkish officers trained the Djangali volunteers. The movement spread to Gilan and a great part of Mazanderan. In March 1918, an attack against Kazwin failed. A treaty with the British (12 August 1918) granted to Mirza Kucik Khan the domain of Gilan, and the German, Austrian and Turkish instructors were sent back to their countries. In 1919, Cossaks in the service of the Persian government seized the territory of the Djangali.
The flags of the Djangali Revolutionary Comitee and the Republic of Gilan and Mazanderan are unknown.

In 1920 the Soviets helped the survivors of the Djangali movement. A Soviet vessel attacked Enzeli on18 May 1920 and Soviet troops entered Resht, the capital city of Gilan. A new Committee was formed and on 5 June 1920 Mirza Kucik Khan proclaimed the Socialist Soviet Republic of Persia, and the Soviet Republic of Gilan, with the flag shown abov.:

After the treaty between URSS and Iran (26 February 1921) the Soviet troops withdrew from Gilan on 8 September 1921. In October the country was seized by Rida Khan (later on Rida Shah). Mirza was captured and executed

Source: L. Philippe - Flaggenmitteilung [fml] #77

Jaume Ollé, 8 April 1997

The word Kaveh iis written in the canton of the flag. Kaveh was a medieval blacksmith who was leading a rebellion against the local ruler. The Gilani people were therefore referring to an earlier revolutionary.

Harald Müller, 5 March 1997

Azadistan (1920)

[Azadistan flag]by Jaume Ollé

There was a government called Azadistan in Tabriz (1920). I suppose that the Persian liberal movement Azadikhahan was related with this government. The flag of Azadistan was the Iranian national flag, with the writing Zindabad Azadistanin in black in the white stripe.

Jaume Ollé, 8 April 1997

Azadistan means "free land" (free as in freedom). For Azad, there is also the Pakistan part of Kashmir called Azad Kashmir.
As for the -istan or -astan suffix, it is an Indo-Iranian root that was borrowed by many Turkish languages and also by the Armenian language (Armenia is called in Armenian Hayastan).Azad also means free in Armenian.

Luc Baronian, 10 April 1997