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On the Question of Prince Abdulkerim Effendi’s Becoming the Emperor of Turkestan with Japan’s Support

Author: A. Merthan Dündar

Source: Global Perspectives on Japan (GPJ), No.3 (2020), pp.12-23
Publisher: Forum Tauri Press
Keywords: Pan-Asianism, Ittihad-i Islam, East Turkestan, Prince Abdulkerim Effendi, Japan and Turkestan, Caliphate, Ottoman Dynasty


Japan, whose modernization began in 1868 with the Meiji Restoration taking the West as a model, became powerful enough to change the previous balances in Asia in a short time through its achievements in the economic and military fields. This fact inevitably gave way to conflicts first with China and then with Tsarist Russia. Japan was victorious in both wars and began to pursue new land gains on the mainland through the direction of nationalist groups that were influential in the military and civil bureaucracy and gathered around the idea of ‘Greater Asianism’. Japan expanded her field of influence through direct occupations and founding puppet states and attempted to infiltrate the Turkic world. Japan supported the 1933 uprising in East Turkestan with the intention of making Sultan Abdulhamid’s grandson Prince Abdulkerim Effendi, the Emperor and Caliph of Turkestan, if the uprising were successful. This article investigates the new documents found in the Japanese archives and sheds light on the attitudes of the Turkish Republic and the Soviet Union towards this development.