THE FIRST POLITICAL EMIGRANT OF CENTRAL ASIA
The name of Mustafa Shokay is well known in Russia, as well as in his homeland of Kazakhstan, as the leader of the proclaimed but short-lived Turkestan (Kokand) autonomy (November 1917 - February 1918), which had been under Russian rule since 1864.
An educated native of the aristocratic Kazakh class, following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 he stubbornly refused to accept the Soviet system of government. Following the dissolution of the autonomy after just three months, from 1921 to 1941 he was to live in exile in France.
During this period in exile he was to face allegations of collaboration with the Third Reich during the 1930s and early 1940s.
research by historians conducted in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan have since
discredited such allegations, and the monuments erected to him in Kazakhstan
and France are now considered to be justified by the high assessment of the
life and work of this worthy man.