Social Studies

Alimardan Bey Topchubashev

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Alimardan Topchubashev (Topchubashi) was born on May 2nd in the year 1853. He was born in Tbilisi and graduated from the city grammar school in Tbilisi in 1884. He got admitted into the Imperial Saint Petersburg University to major in history-philology within the “Caucasian Scholarship” program, but only after a semester gave up the scholarship and switched to study law. He graduated from the university in 1888 with the degree of a bachelor in law.

Alimardan Topchubashev worked as an assistant of Justice of the Peace and as a secretary at a district court. He also taught at Tbilisi Geodesy School. His skills and professional knowledge allowed him to advance fast as a public figure in Baku. Topchubashev started an active cooperation with the “Baku Trade-Industrial Paper” newspaper and became the editor of the “Kaspiy” (“Caspian”) newspaper on June 24 in 1898. At different points of his career, he also edited the “Baku” and “Hayat” (“Life”) newspapers. He was an MP and later the head of the Baku City Duma. He was a member of the city secondary school commission, and in the supervisory boards at the Mariinskaya Gymnasium for girls, the Baku Commercial School and Alexander III Russian-Muslim girls’ school. Muslim MPs representing various regions of the empire started a Muslim fraction at the Russian parliament, the Duma, under Alimardan Bey Topchubashev’s guidance. The fraction promoted ideas of equality and vouched for banning discrimination of the Muslim population in the Russian Empire.
Topchubashev was the most eminent Azerbaijani politician towards the 1917 revolution. Topchubashev was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. On December 07, 1918, he was elected the chairman of Azerbaijani parliament in absentia. Thus, he started shaping the statehood of Azerbaijan with his vast and diverse experience.
In early May of 1919, Alimardan Bey arrived in Paris to participate in the Versailles Peace Conference as the head of a delegation from Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. He met the US President Wilson on May 28, 1919.
The establishment of the Soviet Government in Azerbaijan on April 28 of 1920 started a new stage in his life as an immigrant in Paris, which lasted from 1920 to 1934. It was the city, where a great number of political immigrants from Russia found refuge.
Despite the fact that Azerbaijani diplomats, including Topchubashev, were forced to live in exile and in an exhaustive struggle for survival, but throughout several years they, put in great efforts to achieve recognition of the ADR government by the Western powers.
Although he was away from his motherland and in constant lack of money, which overshadowed his life, but he never gave up the idea of an independent Azerbaijan and turned it into the essence of his entire life.
Alimardan Bey Topchubashev died in Paris on November 8 of 1934 and is buried in Saint-Cloud, a western suburb of Paris.

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