Last modified: 2016-02-13 by ivan sache
Keywords: tsakhur |
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Flag of the Tsakur nation - Image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 26 January 2015
The Tsakhurs form a small nation of c. 30,000 (2/3 in Azerbaijan's Zaqatala District, 1/3 in the
Rutulskiy Rayon of Daghestan (Russia). They are Sunni Muslims and highly nationalistic.
The Tsakhur language belongs to the Lezgin group of Nakh-Dagestan branch of the Caucasian languages. The Tsakhur language got its written form in 1932 (Latin script), but was never used until now. Recently it became a medium of instruction in schools with Tsakhur pupils up to 4th grade in both, Daghestan and Azerbaijan (different alphabets). Some 93% of Tsakhurs can speak their own language, most being bilingual or trilingual.
Known to the ancient Armenians and Georgians as the builders of
mighty fortifications, the Tsakhurs resisted, in their mountain strongholds, the invasions of the Arabs (7th century), Tamerlane's army (1396), the Shahs of Shirvan (12th-14th century), Transcaucasian rulers (15th-16th century) and Turkish and Persian sultans (17th-18th century).
The Tsakhur Khanate (later Elisu Sultanate) was established in the 15th century. In 1803 it became a subject to Russian Empire, but with substantial internal autonomy.
In 1844, Sultan Daniel-Bek supported the Shamil Revolt and, as a result of Russian pacification of the rebellion, the sultanate was dissolved in 1852 and the Tsakhurs found themselves under the direct Russian rule. The Soviet regime came to the area early in 1920 and divided the Tsakhurs between Dagestan ASSR and Azerbaijan SSR. Collectivization and anti-Islam propaganda followed. During the Second World war, the Tsakhurs withdrew to the mountains and managed to avoid any engagement, which proved fatal to so many nationalities of the Caucasus.
The flag of the Tsakhur nation was selected in 2012 among several project, in oa vote organized on the Internet. The flag was proclaimed the symbol of the Tsakhur nation on 17 January 2015 in a meeting of the Tsakhur National-Cultural Autonomy, an organization formed in Moscow.
The seven stars above the mountains symbolize the seven state formation in the history of the Tsakhur people. The inscription in ancient Tsakhur-Albanian alphabet reads "CAHUR", that is, the name of the nation.
Green is the colour of Islam. White is the symbol of knowledge, recalling that the Tsakhurs people are known in the Caucasian region for many scientists. Red is the symbol of hard times and many wars experienced by the Tsakhur.
Elman Navryzov, 23 January 2015
Alleged Tsakhur flag - Image by Jaume Ollé, 13 January 1997
James B. Minahan, in the book One Europe, Many Nations (2000), shows and describes the alleged flag of the Tsakhurs as follows:
The Tsakhurs use a variation of the flag of the Confederation of Caucasian Highland Peoples that has seven green and white stripes with a large blue canton at the upper hoist bearing seventeen small white stars.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 8 June 2008