|Socialist Front of Turkestan|
|Slogan|| Eņbekçiler Üçün|
For the Workers
|Headquarters||Andıjan, Üzbekistan Vıloyat|
|Current Membership||NUMBER OF MEMBERS|
|Key People||KEY PEOPLE|
The Socialist Front of Turkestan is the oldest political party in Turkestan, predating even the Progressive Party by around half a century. For much of that time, however, it has been a banned, undercover organisation, and its members subject to arrest and trial for treason against the Government of National Unity.
Even in Turkestan in the pre-Russian Civil War period, there were those who leaned towards the Communist ideology. Their numbers were far fewer than in Russia proper, and after the Basmaçı Revolt their support outside their own core constituency was quite small, otherwise Turkestan might just have become Communist instead of creating the Qurultaı government. The Turkestani socialists were organised into dozens of smaller groups, one for each Xanate and city-state in the region, but in the Tsarist period, they did have some tacit supporters.
In all fairness, few probably truly believed in the Communist/Socialist ideology, but they were willing to give equal time to anyone who promised to get rid of the Russians. In the Basmaçı Revolt, the small Communist networks provided a reservoir of committed revolutionaries, and though cooperation between them and their class enemies of the Aq Süyük was poor, both groups felt that the first task was to drive out the oppressive Russian rule.
Following the peace treaty of 1922, the various Communist groups' cooperation with each other was surprisingly less than that between the various Xans and nobility. It took them 5 years to effectively reorganise themselves into a national organisation, and by then, much of the Qurultaı government's patterns were already set, and the members of the Aq Süyük, having held onto a drastically, though rather oddly, expanded version of their prior authority, recognised in Communism a system opposed to them and their way of life.
Many Turkestanis seem to have felt similarly, and the Socialist Front of the Qurultaı period was not very popular.
After the attempted Russian invasion of 1931, the Socialist Front of Turkestan succeeded in making useful contact with Dalmatian Communists in what would become the CSDS, and began to grow in organisational and planning ability. They received a certain amount of funds from these sources, even sending emissaries quietly to meet with Lenin. One of the direct results of this contact was that they overhauled their organisation, making it much more cellular and security-conscious. This was a good thing for the Socialist cause in Turkestan as their new Chinese allies were no more enamoured of Communism than the Aq Süyük.
This cellular organisation would also stand them in good stead following the actual Russian invasion of 1948 and the creation of the puppet Snorist Government of National Unity. The EBÜK regime immediately declared the Socialist Front of Turkestan an outlawed terrorist organisation, and its members subject to arrest. Well-publicised show-trials were conducted whenever one of the cells was broken, but the organisation managed to survive.
Coming out of the shadows after the fall of the EBÜK regime, it quickly became one of the larger parties, as people cast around for anything that wasn't Snorist. More than one high-ranking Keņesçi of the 1990s was a member of the Socialist Front, and their share of the vote was second only to the Progressive Party.
The Party Today
Today, the support base of the Socialist Front is somewhat in decline, as people have come to understand more exactly what they stand for, and as Turkestan has moved from a backwater Snorist state to a stable, relatively prosperous, mostly democratic nation. They are still one of the four or five largest parties, but their support base is much shrunken since the heady days of the early 1990s, as they have lost votes to more moderate leftist parties such as the Liberal Alliance and the Blue Party.