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South Azerbaijan National Government Azadistan
3 months (July - September 1920) short-lived independent state in South Azerbaijan under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammed Khiyabani. Democratic Party of South Azerbaijan began open activity in 1917, and on April 9 of same year, first issue of Tajaddud newspaper was published.
Ottoman army that occupied Iran’s lands during World War I seized the cities of Tabriz and Urmia. Sheikh Mohammed Khiyabani and his friends that acted against the occupation of Ottoman army Azerbaijani territory, were arrested and when the troops leaved Tabriz, they took them with self. In November 1918, after retreat of the Ottoman army Khiyabani returned to Iran and again revived the activity of the Azerbaijan Democratic Party.
In May 1920 a large demonstration were organized in Tabriz under the leadership of the Democratic Party. In demonstration calls were sounded to strengthen further a struggle against imperialists and reactionary forces of Iran. The participants of the meeting suggested that all of history of Iran Azerbaijan had always been good for freedom. For this reason, in the province of Azerbaijan should be called as Azadistan (country of freedom), and the proposal was accepted by participants.
After this meeting the rebel movement spread to other cities of Azerbaijan like Zanjan, Tabriz, Miyana, Ahar, Hoy, and then Ardebil. In Jun 22, 1920 Azerbaijan Democratic Party had decided with common votes on the establishment of the national government and the chairman of the national government was elected Mohammed Khiyabani. In June 22, 1920 as the head of the government Khiyabani moved to Alagapi. It was the first democratic national government in the history of South Azerbaijan. The word “Azadistan province” was written in all state sheets, instead of “Azerbaijan. A number of persons, who were against Khiyabani including doctor Zeynalabdin Khan, Mirza Bagir Talia, Huseynaga Fisangchi (editor of Tabriz newspaper), Sultanzade and others started campaign against rebellion, and used to go to Eynduddovla secretly. Another group began to work against the Azerbaijan Democratic Party under the address of Social-Democratic Party with leadership of Q.Rzazade, editor in chief of Klidi-nijat newspaper, helper of the German Kart Vispco” organization. The chief of the political department of England came here to study the situation of Tabriz and meet and talked with Khiyabani and asked about the requirements of Azerbaijan. Khiyabani said: Azerbaijan is an integral province of Iranian. Azerbaijani population wants to implement the Constitution that gained with their blood and to carry out reforms in whole country.
As head of the national government Khiyabani began to carry out a number of reforms in Tabriz. Including: gendarme organizations extended and under his leadership the National Guard was set. The well-known educator Abulqasım Fuyuzatı was appointed as head of education dept. Two women schools “Mahammadiyya and Hikmat” were opened. The instruction was given on passing of education in the schools in Azerbaijani. He called from Baku from Ittihadiyyeyi-iraniyan school some teachers. The instruction was given to learn Farsi language in Azerbaijani. Finance chief and the deputy judge sent from Tehran were sent back to Tehran and new persons had been appointed. Khiyabani gave more importance to restore stability in the province. Foreigners visited Tabriz always talked about the peace and order in city when the head of the national government was Khiyabani. All the office works, publishing, rallies and speeches were held in Turkish.
Mukhbirussaltana had ordered to attack Alagapy after pleasing Mirza Huseyn khan Hashimi (sartib Hashimi) son of Baghir khan Salarimilli, the head of Tabriz National Guard and chief of Tabriz Cossacks forces, in order to suppress the rebellion and kill rebels. After four days of confrontation, Azadistan government was liquidated. Khiyabani was killed in September 14, 1920