Talysh-Mughan Autonomous Republic (aka Talyshstan)
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map Azerbaijan highlighting the territory of the short-lived Talysh-Mughan RepublicThe Talysh-Mughan Autonomous Republic (also known as Talyshstan) was a short-lived self-proclaimed autonomous republic in Azerbaijan, that lasted from June to August 1993, base on the self determination claims of the Talysh people

It was located in extreme southeastern Azerbaijan, envisaging to consist in the 6 administrative districts of Azerbaijan around the regional capital city Lankaran: Lankaran, Lankaran rayon, Lerik, Astara, Masally and Yardymli. Historically the area had been a khanate, one of 15 historic Azerbaijani khanates.

Flag of the Talysh National MovementThe autonomous republic was proclaimed amid political turmoil in Azerbaijan, with the tacit support from Russia. In June 1993 a military rebellion against president Abulfaz Elchibey broke out under the leadership of Colonel Surat Huseynov. Colonel Alikram Hummatov (Alikram Gumbatov), the leader of the Talysh nationalists, seized power in the southern part of Azerbaijan and proclaimed the new republic in Lankaran, escalating violence. However, as the situation settled and Heydar Aliyev rose to power in Azerbaijan, the Talysh-Mughan Autonomous Republic, which failed to gain any significant public support, was swiftly suppressed.

Azerbaijan - Lankaran / Lenkoran: war memorial - central square (photo by F.MacLachlan  / Travel-Images.com)Hummatov was arrested and initially received death sentence which was subsequently commuted to life imprisonment. In 2004 he was pardoned and released from custody under pressure from the Council of Europe. He was allowed to emigrate to Europe after making a public promise not to engage in politics. 

Gumbatov was expected to be released due to the amnesty proclaimed on Azerbaijan's International Solidarity Day (December 31, 2000). However this never happened. Today, a Talysh National Movement is still active, their aspiration being the restructuring of the Talysh-Mughan Autonomous Republic. However, those who were involved in proclamation of the autonomy say they always envisaged the autonomous republic as a constituent part of Azerbaijan.
Talysh Talish Tallish
sources: vikipedia (GNUFDL)

see also: Talysh people, Lenkoran, Astara, Lerik, maps, people, summary, places, photos
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