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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hero's Body Will Return To Turkey

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- The body of a Turkish national hero will be flown home to Turkey on Saturday, 74 years after he was killed in Tajikistan in a last stand against Bolshevik troops.


Yusup Dedeci, spokesman at the Turkish embassy in the Tajik capital Dushanbe, said by telephone that the body of Enver Pawha was in the embassy and would leave early Saturday for Istanbul, where it will be reburied.


Enver Pasha died aged 41 in a hail of machine gun bullets as he led Moslem guerrillas against Soviet forces in Central Asia. He was buried by a local mullah in an unmarked grave.


"Enver Pasha is a state hero and was a commander of the Turkish republic. ... He will be buried on his home soil with other state heroes," Dedeci said.


He said the body would arrive in time for the Aug. 4 anniversary of Enver's death.


Enver, known by the title "Pasha," or general, was one of the ruling triumvirate -- known as the Young Turks because of their new political ideas -- that took the Ottoman Empire into World War I on the side of Germany in 1914.


He fled Turkey in a German submarine near the war's end in 1918 and later arrived in Central Asia via Berlin and Moscow after promising Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin he would help spread Communism. But, swayed by Turkish nationalism in Central Asia, Enver abandoned Lenin to lead the Moslem basmachi guerrillas against the Bolsheviks.


Over 100,000 Soviet troops were sent to Central Asia to put down the basmachis, who under Enver's leadership took control of Dushanbe in early 1922.