Information on the strength and activities of a group called the Grey Wolves, and on whether this group is related to the ultra right-wing group called the Grey Wolves in Turkey [AZE20482.E]

In telephone interviews on 27 April and 2 May 1995, a history professor, who specializes in Azerbaijan, at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst provided the following information. The professor interviewed Iskandar Hamidov, the founder and leader of the Grey Wolves twice while it was still an organization and before it became a political party: in Baku in late November 1992, and in Washington in late January 1993. During those interviews, Mr. Hamidov told the professor that the Grey Wolves of Azerbaijan are not subordinate to the Turkish group, the Grey Wolves, and characterized the Azerbaijani group as a nationalistic and anti-communist organization.

The professor stated that the Azerbaijani and Turkish Grey Wolves have a number of common themes and goals, but that there does not appear to be any direct organizational link. The Azerbaijani Grey Wolves possess a vague political ideology and are not as well organized politically as the Turkish group. The Azerbaijani group stresses Turkic national consciousness, and attempts to promote a Turkic cultural revival. The cultural affinities between the two groups are more pronounced than the political interests.

The professor added that the Grey Wolves of Azerbaijan have never participated in an election; consequently, it is difficult to gauge their strength and support. Their support tends to be concentrated in Baku and in Mr. Hamidov's birthplace, the town of Terter. The professor added that the role of the Grey Wolves in the 17 March 1995 attempted mutiny in Baku is unclear.

For additional information on the Grey Wolves in Azerbaijan, please consult the attachments.

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Professor, Department of History, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 2 May 1995. Telephone interview.

_____. 27 April 1995. Telephone interview.


Agence France Press (AFP). 25 March 1995. "Ultra-Nationalist Movement Dissolved, Leader Arrested." (NEXIS)

ANI News Agency. 10 June 1994. "Proceedings Begin Against Independent Editor." (Monitor [Washington, DC]. 8 July 1994. Vol. 5, No. 14, p. 13)

Associated Press (AP). 29 March 1995. "Media Protest Against Censorship." (NEXIS)

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. 28 March 1995. "Chechnya; Situation in Chechnya Remains Tense: Support for Militants Dwindles." (NEXIS)

_____. 24 March 1995. "Former Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Detained After Coup." (NEXIS)

_____. 22 March 1995. "Former Interior Minister Faces Prosecution." (NEXIS)

_____. 6 February 1995. "Military Situation; Russia Says 3,000 Foreign Muslim Mercenaries Fighting for Dudayev." (NEXIS)

_____. 7 January 1995. "Other Reaction: Azerbaijan Denies More than 30 Volunteers Killed in Chechnya." (NEXIS)

Current Digest of the Post Soviet Press. 12 April 1995. Aidyn Mekhtiyev. "Diplomacy: Moscow and Baku are Displeased with Each Other." (NEXIS)

Za Vilnu Ukrayinu [Lvov, in Ukrainian]. 22 March 1995. "Anti-Bolshevik Bloc Protests 'Political Terror'." (FBIS-SOV-95-061 30 Mar. 1995, p. 67)

Segodnya [Moscow, in Russian]. 1 September 1994. "Nationalist Group Sends Volunteers to Chechnya." (FBIS-SOV-94-171 2 Sept. 1994, p. 56)

The Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS). 31 March 1995. Sevinj Abdullayeva and Viktor Shulman. "Azerbaijan Outlaws 'Grey Wolves'." (NEXIS)

The Moscow Times. 21 October 1994. Arkady Popov. "The Threat of Chechnya." (NEXIS)

Turan [Baku, in English]. 9 April 1994. "New 'Boz Gurd' Political Party Registered." (FBIS-SOV-94-069 11 Apr. 1994, p. 58)

_____. 24 March 1995. "Justice Ministry Decides to Liquidate 'Boz Gurd'." (FBIS-SOV-95-058 27 Mar. 1995, pp. 82-83)

_____. 27 December 1993. "'Boz Gurd' Party Holds First Conference." (FBIS-SOV-93-247 28 Dec. 1993, p. 49)

_____. 22 March 1995. "Boz Gurd Party Protests Arrest of Leader." (FBIS-SOV-95-056 23 Mar. 1995, p. 66)