History of Internal Troops

The basis of the Internal Troops of the Republic of Azerbaijan was laid by the Parliament of the Democratic People's Republic of Azerbaijan, the first Democratic Republic in the East in 1919. It was decided at the meeting of the State Committee of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan on 10 June 1919, to organize a military service for the citizens of Baku and people living in the territories of its districts. Yusif Ziya bey Talibzadeh was appointed as a chairman of the Committee for Voluntary Groups (with five thousand rubles of salary).

 At that time, it was a group of volunteer soldiers who were carrying out duties such as the protection of public order, the protection of peace, and the prevention of illicit acts in the country. “Volunteer relief regiment”, which started operations within the Ministry of Internal Affairs from 27 March 1919 in order to maintain the calm and tranquility in 14 districts of Baku city, was fulfilling the duties of the Internal Troops. The first commander of the regiment was Colonel Yusif Ziya Talibzadeh.
Yusif Ziya Talibzadeh was born on January 22, 1877, in Tbilisi. He firstly studied at Tbilisi and then received higher education at Khorasan and Baghdad.  In the early 20th century, Yusif Ziya was one of the ideologists of Turkism, Islamism, Azerbaijanism, publicist, enlightener, poet, warrior, serviceman and political figure. He was an activist of the national liberation movement in 1917-1923.
Yusif Ziya had witnessed the impacts of Persian and Russian policy on Turkism during his childhood and adolescent years, and had always struggled against it. The investigators concluded that Y.Z.Talibzadeh was the first Azerbaijani who prepared the map. This unique map named “The map of places related with the Islamic history and historical holy prophets and the map of the Islamic lands” was published in the Azerbaijani language in the lithography of A.M.Promishlyanski in Baku in 1904. Nowadays, having bibliographic descriptions, this unique wall map was widely used as a teaching material in Russian-Tatar schools at the beginning of the twentieth century.
In 1912, Yusif Ziya had moved to Turkey with his wife Mrs.Jannat and son Talat, received military education there, and showed heroism within the Turkish Army in the battles against the Russian and Armenians (as military leader – Major) at Gars Ardahan at the First World War. Yusif Ziya has been promoted to the rank of Colonel in the Ottoman Army. Her subsequent military-political activity was in “Islamic Army” consisting of the Ottoman army and the volunteers from Azerbaijan.
In 1918, Yusif Ziya returned to Baku with Turkish army. He became a chief of the regiment consisting of the volunteers of the army where Ahmad bey Aghaoghlu, who worked in Turkey, was a military commander.
Until this appointment, the courage of Yusif Ziya in the honorable operations in liberation of Baku was beyond doubt, along with the Ottoman soldiers.
At the beginning of 1921, Yusif Ziya was appointed a military commissar to Nakhchivan. He moved to Nakhchivan together with his family in February or March. New military commissar gets famous for dealing with the dashnak’s armed groups who wanted to occupy the Nakhchivan lands.

It is also known that once there was a village named after Yusif Ziya. Y.Z.Talibzadeh worked as military commissar in Nakhchivan from the February of 1921 to December of 1922. However, Yusif Ziya, who did not agree with the liberal politics of the Soviet administration toward the Armenian nationalists, dashnaks, who claimed on Nakhchivan lands and repeatedly breached the border, returns to Baku and meets with Nariman Narimanov, and notes that he is not able to cope with this structure and does not want to serve to the Soviet. N.Narimanov has issued him an official document on leaving the borders of the Soviet Union.
Yusif Ziya has preferred to live migrant life where he martyred by putting an end to his activities in Azerbaijan. Once more he shows his national personality, social and political position and faith by struggling for the independence of the Middle Asian people in the troops of the Anvar pasha, who was well-know to him, and who was fighting against the invader Gold Army.
In all the articles published in the migrant literature of Azerbaijan regarding Yusif Ziya, it is emphasized that Yusif Ziya was killed hero’s death during one of the bloody battles.
In 1923, someone from the Middle Asia gave bloody shirt of Yusif Ziya and his pocket Quran book which he carried always to his brother writer Abdulla Shaig. That bloody Quran is protected in the exposition hall of the home museum of Ab dulla Shaig.
  On 27 March 1920, the volunteer Relief Regiment of Baku was assigned to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan by the Decree of the State Committee of Defence of Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan.
After the establishment of the Soviet power in Azerbaijan, the internal troops’ units were usually included in the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Empire in December 1991, the 5th Division of the Internal Troops of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs in Baku was deployed and three military units with a total of 2,500 people were handed over under the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Since then, the Internal Troops of Azerbaijan have begun to be formed on the basis of a military unit located in Bilajari settlement. The emergence and formation of the Internal Troops as an independent structural part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan coincided with a very difficult, mixed period of our country.
The day when the Troops began war against the military aggression of Armenia due to the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan was declared as “the Day of Internal Troops” by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated on 9 March 1995.
Since then, 12 March is celebrated as “the Day of Internal Troops” in the Interior Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.