Origins of Azeri Turks

A personal view


Origins of Azeri Turks
by Ben Madadi

While nothing is really black and white in this world, and many accepted theories of yesterday are no more valid today and many accepted theories of today will not be valid forever, one thing is clear, that in order to have a just society we need to respect every and each human being. This is not a theory, but a fundamental human value.

Maybe some of the readers can bring more information about this issue, but I think (I don't remember it very well any more) we had a theory in our Iranian school textbooks during the Pahlavi regime saying that the inhabitants of Azerbaijan (the Iranian side) are Aryans (the racial word for describing Iranians, or that was the intended, or perceived, purpose of the usage) who have been "linguistically" Turkified, to use the exact term. I doubt they still have this in today's IRI textbooks (maybe they do), but I have been quite amazed to find it in many places on the Internet, also on Wikipedia, about issues relating to Iranians, where Iranian editors have been very actively pursuing, and trying to prove, this theory. I have some serious problems with this theory's validity, and also a more serious problem about the reasons behind the active propagation of it, in the past and today.

Please bear with me for the following short personal presentation of the issue and in case you have anything against my view then please comment with your opinion. I have done quite a lot of research about this theory and others and there isn't really some unbiased and truly scientific conclusion out there, so all I can write is going to be an unscientific personal view or presentation.

It seems very likely to me that Turkic peoples migrated from Asia to the Middle East at some point in time. Views differ on this too and some, even within some academic circles, have said that Turkic people resided in the Middle East for thousands of years. However there is more evidence to the opposite from historical writings suggesting that the majority of the population of north-western Iranian plateau and Anatolia were non-Turkic peoples probably up until about 1,000 years ago or so, though Turkic peoples may very well have coexisted among others in the region, though in smaller numbers and usually within nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes.

Turkic speaking nations of central Asia are mostly Asiatic while Tajiks, who also live in central Asia, are mostly Caucasian. Well, there are mixes here and there, also in Afghanistan, where some Caucasian-looking people speak a Turkic language (Uzbek or Turkmen for instance) or some Asiatic-looking people speak Tajik Persian. I think it is scientifically reasonable to say that it is at least more likely that the origins of the Turkic peoples (or Oghuz people) are in Asia and they all used to look like Asians some time ago. This is not the case today, as Turks of Turkey, Azeri Turks in Iran and Azerbaijan, and Turcomans of Iraq are very large Turkic communities who look nothing but Caucasian.

How did this happen? It is probably quite simple to say that Turks, just like Huns (ancestors of today's Hungary), massively migrated to Caucasian-populated areas in the Middle East and intermarriages over time created distinct populations who did not look like their cultural (and to some degree genetic) ancestors any more. The languages, folklore, traditions and customs, that these Asiatic tribes brought along, survived to some extent, while their looks changed. This idea is something quite reasonable. When all this happened? That is something vague though.

Turkic peoples originally used to live more to the north, most likely in central Asia. Then they started to move south and west. We know that about 1,000 years ago Turks both in the Iranian plateau and Anatolia were already so strong they actually ruled most of these areas. They could not have been so few in numbers at that time. However it is likely that they were not completely racially mixed (they were both Asiatic-looking and Caucasian-looking) with the local populations yet.

For racial and nationalistic purposes, many Iranian circles, have tried to show that the Turkification of Azerbaijan is something as recent as 200-500 years ago, which is absurd. People do not change so quickly, neither culturally nor physically. And also saying that Azeri Turks are (using the present verbal form) Aryans (whatever it may mean) who have been (even probably by force) linguistically Turkified by the ruling Turks is even more absurd. North of the Araxes river was lost to Russia some 190 years ago and the language shared among the Azeri populations of Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan has not changed so much. They understand each other perfectly.

I found something amazing about the two sides of the border that may be very important from a historical and linguistic point of view. The number 80 is pronounced Hashtad in Persian, while its Turkic version is 'seksen' (or saksan). Original and correct Azeri language is supposed to used 'seksen' which is also more often used in Azeri writing in the Republic of Azerbaijan. However ordinary Azeris, not just in Iran but also in the north, do not use 'seksen' but 'hashtad'. This number has entered Azeri language from Persian while there is no other non-Turkic number used in Azeri language except for zero (sifir, which is of Arabic origin). And it has entered the Azeri language before the Caucasus was lost to Russia. Ever since there has been no significant or fundamental change to the language other than the new words that are used for things, or statements, which have been discovered, adopted, or invented recently.

So, despite having been under completely different conditions the original language has stayed about the same, which shows how long it actually takes for a language to change. Although there are dialects of the same language both in Iran and in the Republic of Azerbaijan, the differences in the dialects have existed even before the separation, as Shirvani dialect (predominant in Azerbaijan) of Azeri language has been one of the most important dialects, along Tabrizi (predominant in Iran) far earlier than the separation of the Caucasus from the Qajar Empire.

Almost two centuries of living under completely different circumstances has not been able to change almost anything seriously (linguistically and culturally speaking) while it is theorised that it could have been possible to impose a language and do it so well to a large population of 500 years ago and succeed in it in such an amazing manner (totally annihilating the previous language) without using any techniques such as compulsory schooling?! So, it seems that the only purpose of saying that the population of Azerbaijan spoke any other language up until about 200 years ago is simply too much close to fantasy than reality or science.

While Arabs were unable to change the local languages of Iran even though they did try to impose Arabic on Iranians for hundreds of years how could have Turks done it in Azerbaijan in such a short period of time and so well? How could they have also done so well also in Anatolia? And there is of course no evidence about this because Turkic peoples did not have an advanced writing (we can say that because they were mostly nomadic they had no writing), and they more often used Arabic or Persian writings than their own language, though writings have appeared from some 800 years ago or so in Turkic, in the Middle East.

There was also no schooling in Azerbaijani or Anatolian Turkish, to be used for forcing their languages on the local Caucasian populations. And even this policy has failed to impose Persian on non-Persians of modern Iran. And if there was any forcing, history has shown that such methods usually don't work. Look at Iran itself where there have been direct policies of Persian assimilation for more than 80 years already with almost no success in most Iranian regions. However many Azeri Turks who have migrated to mostly Persian areas have willingly Persianised due to their numerical inferiority.

The only real and plausible possibility (why Azerbaijan's original population turned Turkic) is that large numerous Turkic tribes that moved to the Middle East settled in various areas, married locals, but probably due to superior numbers in Azerbaijan (north-west of Iran, and the Caucasus) and also Anatolia, little by little absorbed many smaller populations of those regions and hence we have accidentally come up with two predominant modern languages of the Turkic peoples, Azeri Turkish, and Anatolian Turkish. This trend has been continuous until very recently and as we know areas such as Astara (and south of Astara) in Iran are no more Talysh as they used to be some 200-300 years ago because the original Talysh population has been absorbed into the migrating more numerous Azeri Turk population.

This whole process must have taken many hundreds of years. And the process must have been a finished natural success already some 500-700 years ago when local Turks (no more from central Asia) ruled both Anatolia and the Iranian plateau. Iranian Turkic rulers of 500 years ago onwards, the Safavid, Afshar, and the Qajar did not look like Asians at all. They were already established Caucasian-looking people who spoke Azerbaijani, or similar, Turkish, just like other Turks within the Iranian plateau.

But how did a Turkic language replace an Iranic language in the north-western areas of the Iranian plateau is something that for political purposes has lost its scientific purposes within the Iranian community and has turned into a political tool to create racially-based false bonds between peoples who have already had cultural and religious bonds strong enough to keep them united. Azeri Turks have not been Turkified by force or any other means. They are most probably the descendants of migrant Oghuz Turks who have mixed with the local populations and their Turkic language has turned out to become the predominant language of the area because of their sheer numbers, just like in Hungary or Anatolia (modern-day Turkey). And as it is simple and obvious they (in Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan) are a genetic mix of Asiatic Oghuz Turks and Caucasian indigenous peoples who lived in those areas.

The second issue is why do we need to propagate such dodgy theories anyway? What is wrong about being of one race or background or the other anyway, if that was the case? England is a modern prosperous state whose inhabitants are mostly the descendants of some nomadic barbarians as they were considered by the Romans. And look at them now, and compare Manchester to Napoly! Japanese people are from Asia, while Albanians are some of the oldest of European Caucasians. Where is Japan and where is Albania!? When did Iranians and Iranian peoples needed theories to become united anyway? They were already united and strong in their traditions and beliefs when these theories started to appear almost a century ago.
I am no scientist, and these have been my personal observations. And I doubt you actually need to be a scientist to realise that it is extremely dodgy and implausible to impose a language on a people especially with the possibilities and conditions that were available hundreds of years ago. And there is no evidence of such an act anyway. While it is known that Arabs did not really tolerate any language but their own, and they failed to impose Arabic on Iranians!

And even with today's possibilities it is nearly impossible to impose a language on a people. So the most probable cause of the Turkification of Azerbaijan is migration, as it has happened throughout history so many times to so many peoples and places. Mass migrations can bring huge changes, just like it has done to Britain, and of course the American continent much later, where due to mass migration from Europe local indigenous peoples almost disappeared (absorbed by more numerous Europeans) in many areas, especially in many American states.
Let's hope that a future more free and more democratic Iran will have more respect toward its own peoples, their distinct realities, customs and languages! This also goes for some Iranians who still believe in dodgy theories that may also be insulting to other peoples.


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more from Ben Madadi

Let's Pretend Azeris are Turks ...

by ProudIran on

Let's pretend Azeris are Turks (I don't believe they are because every Anthropologist I have ever met says that the Turks originate from China/Mongolia -- Turks look Chinese, and if you want to see a picture of real Turk, Google it.).  

But let's pretend the Azeris are Turks -- Even if we pretend: For THOUSANDS of years Azeris have reproduced with Persians.  At BEST, Azeris would be of mixed Persian/Turk heritage.  They made babies!  

(Imagine if Turks would have reproduced for THOUSANDS of years with Africans -- would there be any doubt that their offspring today would be considered African?)  Azeris are Persians. 


Turks are from China (Altai Mountains); Azeris are from Iran

by ProudIran on

Learn to Speak The Real Ancient Azari -- Not the Turkic Language foreign powers want to use as a basis for dividing and conquering Iran:  

If you really care about preserving the ancient history of Azerbaijan, which is rich and beautiful, you will learn ancient Azari.  Azerbaijani people are regular Iranians that very late in history adopted Turkic-linguistic elements (they originally spoke a dialect of Pahlavi Persian).  They are not ethnically Turks (even though we call them 'Torks').  



i wonder

by i wonder (not verified) on

despite all these theories about azari people's origin. one thing is very clear that they look like other non turk populations in in iran mostly kurds. speaking the same language dosen't always means belonging to the same ethnic groups. in many south american countries spanish is spoken by millions of people with no spanish origin or very little spanish genetic background.and speaking different language dosen't mean belonging to differen genetic groups . black americans are speaking english and black africans their own .turks or turanian population have been a great nation as aryan iranians maya and aztecs in south america and spanish people which both had a great culture too. every body have right to love and be proud of their own ethnic origin, but as we can see among azeris they speak turkish ,but look like persian or very much kurds. i have never seen an azeri friend of mine looking like a japonease or a mongul LOL
thanks for nice article Ben


Humans in Asia and Xenophobia.

by Ian (not verified) on

Re-Origins of Azeri Turks by Ben Madadi.

Some points for consideration;
1/. Caucasian is short for Caucus Asian as in the people that inhabit the eastern slopes and plains of the Caucus Mountains. The term was coined by German Anthropologists in the early 19th century. It is based on cranial features only, skin colour etc. is not considered relevant. Caucasians are the largest of the so called 4 races of humans and they also occupy the most land stretching from Ireland in the west to the border between India and Burma in the east. It also includes North African peoples. The single country with the greatest number of Caucasians is India, even greater than the combined population of the EU. The term in contemporary times, is considered outdated/archaic German anthropological terminology and if used nowadays, it would be to identify people whom are actually from the Caucuses Region of Western Asia.

2/.Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordon, are all countries in Western Asia and Western Asia is also the term that the UN uses. Iran and Afghanistan plus all the other "Stans" are in Central Asia. They are Asian Countries and it is only popular culture, racial/ethnic bigotry that continually insists on using the term Middle East. Asia is the cradle of all civilisations other than the Inca/Mayan peoples of the Americas whom developed independently of Asia. The term ME is preferred by xenophobic Europeans and their descendants in the New Worlds, one of the reasons is that the ME is the origin of the Abrahamic Faiths and so if you believe that you are racially superior you can hardly worship a person from Asia with brown skin, black or brown eyes and black hair.(aka Yeshua Ben Joseph). That's only one of many reasons all based on bigotry.


Ben, altough you try to

by Anonymous1234 (not verified) on

Ben, altough you try to argue you point you fail to give any concret evidence to back it up. Anonymous848 has given you more then enough sources to proove that your point is flawed and without genuine merit. You seem to be trying to make a political statement more then anything else. The genetic similarities between all of the inhabitants of Iran is further proof of your faulty reasoning.

You are always welcome to make your personla views heard but to try to sell them as facts when they are cleary are not, i think is a disservice to Iran and to fellow iranian Azeris like myself.




by Alp Arslan (not verified) on

Oslnor, my only question to you is.....on which planet everything you described took place?


Turkish and Azerbaijani are mutually intelligible

by Alp Arslan (not verified) on

For your information the degree of mutual intelligibility between Turkish of Turkey and Azerbaijani Turkish is estimated by various linguists to be somewhere between 65 and 90 %. That's fairly high. Especially the dialects of Eastern Turkey, for instance Igdir and Kars are much closer in many respects to Azerbaijani than to standard Istanbul Turkish. You can add to that the languages/dialects of Iraqi Turkmen and Qashqai, both are very close to Azerbaijani.


Oslonor, from where did you

by Anon555777999 (not verified) on

Oslonor, from where did you get your stories?! These are wrong and you cannot back them up with references and reliable analysis. Read what Anonymous848 wrote.


Neo-Iranians: The Case of Azeri Turks

by Oslonor (not verified) on

Neo-Iranians: The case of Azeri Turks

With the fall of Byzantine or East Roman Empire in 14 century a branch of Oghuz Turks entered Iran and built the Saffavid dynasty in Iran. Byzantine was a Greek-Roman civilization and was replaced by Ottoman Turks.

The Oghuz Turks who entered Iran are called Azeri Turks as they occupied North-West region of Iran or Azerbaijan province. Most of the natives of Azerbaijan were either killed or driven away from the area. These natives of Iran were Kurds who still live as neighbors of Azeri Turks in Norther west Iran.

In addition to killing Kurds in North West Iran, the Azeri Turks also murdered millions of native Zoarastrians and imposed a branch of Islam called Shia Islam which had very little following except in Lebanon and Bahrain with Persian Gulf.

The Saffavids had very little support from the Persians and other native population of Iran and were viewed with extreme hostility by the natives of Iran.

The Saffavids ruled between 15 century to 1722. The capital of Saffavids was in Isfahan. A combination of conspiracy within the Saffavids state by Persians in alliance with Afghans from Kandhar resulted in an attack by Afghan tribes from Kandahar and sacking the Saffavids capital in 1722. It also resulted in the mass murder of Azeri Turk Saffavids in Isfahan by Afghans and Persians. The Afghans were led by Mir-Wais Hotak the Chief of Gizali tribe in Afghanistan. Persians were led by Karim Khan Zand from the Lur tribe. This ended the Saffavid rule in Iran in 1722.

Mir-Wais Hotak Khan from Kandahar was called "The Protector of Persian Empire" by Afghans and Persians. A Swedish officer working for Mir-Wais Hotak's family in Kandahar describes these events in a book published in London in 1724. Karim Khan Zand from Lor tribe ruled parts of Iran for some period in 17th century.

With the fall of Saffavids in 17 century, Persia was ruled by Afghans. Later an Afghan Empire appeared under the leadership of Duranis.

In 18 century Azeri Turks built another dynasty called the Qajars. As Azeri Turks are hated very much in Iran, so the Qajars decided to have a new identity to call themselves. Due to their contacts with Europeans and finding out about ancient Aryan tribes which existed in the region for thousand years ago, the Qajars adopted the name "Iranian" to call themselves in order to associate themselves with these ancient aryan tribes.

To the natives of Iran, the "Iranian" identity is unknown. The natives of Iran identify themselves either as Moslems or with the city or region that they reside. The combination of Moslem and location completely identifies a person's identity such as race, culture and language. That is why the term "Iranian" is meaningless term to the natives of Iran as it does not specify any information about race, culture or language or generally the ethnicity of an individual.

To Azeri Turks the "Iranian" identity is very important as they can use it to cover and hide their ehtnicity. "Iranian" gives the impression as if there is an ethnic group called "Iranian" in Iran. There is no such ethnic group in Iran called "Iranian". Also "Iranian" is used to present that Azeri Turks were involved in ancient history of Persia. Azeri Turks have created a whole new imaginary history of Iran based on the invented name "Iranian".

Moreover Azeris using the "Iranian" name are claiming parts of Afghanistan, Turkey and Iraq's terrirtory and recently they even have started talking about Armenians as Iranians too.

"Iranian" identity had no significance in Iran. Nobody in Iran addressed another native with the term Iranian.The term "Iranian" assumed a signifcance after the formation of Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979. The Islamic Republic of Iran or Azeri Turk Republic of Iran is a second version of the Saffavids from 15 century.

As the Azeri Turk Republic of Iran started to confront hostilities by the natives of Iran, it started desperately to use the invented "Iranian" identity to be able to promote its agenda and find a social base with the natives of Iran.

On other hand the natives have abandoned the use of the term "Iranian" and have started to call themselves with their ethnic affiliation. The natives of Iran identify themselves as Persians, Kurds, Lurs, Baloochs, Turcoman, Qashqaii, Gilani, Mazandarani, Khorasani (Khorasanis are mostly Afghans). As Azeris always hide their ethnic identity, the only ones who are recognized as Iranians are actually Azeri Turks themselves.

The Neo-Iranians are the Azeri Turks. Other names that Azeri Turk are called are Saffavids (insurgent groups in Iraq call Azeris for Saffavids). Also Azeris are known as Qizilbash (Red Hat) both in Afghanistan and Iraq. Qizilbash are the remnants of Saffavids army in Iraq and Afghanistan. A famous Qizilbash in Iraq is Mr. Mughtada Al Sadr who originates from the Saffavids Qizilbash army in 15 century in Iraq.

The ancient aryan tribes have developed into specific ethnicities and none of them use the term "Iranian". Bactrians are actually Afghans with Bactrian origin which could be a Pashtoon or a Dari speaking Afghan. Also Persians are still called Persians. There are remnants of Parthians in Khorasan and they are identified as either Persians or Afghans. The descendants of Scythians or Sakas are called Nuristanis in Afghanistan. Medes have developed into Kurds.

As most of the Azeri Turk or "Iranians" fruad schemes have failed, they are considering to change the name of the country Iran to Persia so they can start with a new fraud scheme called "Neo-Persians". That is Azeri Turks are planning to call themselves "Persians". So far all of their fruad schemes have failed and Azeri Turks remain Azeri Turks or Iranians.

Another fraud scheme is inventing the name "Iranic". Nobody knows what is "Iranic" but using this term Azeris claim that the "Ottoman Empire was an "Iranic Empire"."!!!!!

To confuse people, Azeri Turks always write Iranian/Persian meaning these are the same people. This is only fraud.

The correct way to write Iranian is "Iranian/Azeri/Qizilbash/Saffavid".

Azeris are welcome to use the name "Iranian" but none of natives of Iran will use the "Iranian Identity".

Persians and Hollywood


continue ...

by Amin287 on

What you say is plausible, I don't think anybody could say that he knows the exact process of the language shift. But is really our world Newtonian and/or Einsteinian. Maybe yes or not, or partly yes. As we say "dar masal monâqeše nist", the discussion is about history, anthropology, etc, not physics. I mean what Anonymous848 and Jahan-Parvar are saying are what we have up to now. The supporting references and arguments are enough strong, although not %100 complete to answer everything. What is weak, without reference and lie is what separatists and the embassy of Azarbaijan are saying. We live in a relative word, for now we don't have any other possibility except to compare the things we have and judge.

-You say: "Turks ruled the whole Iran, and the whole Ottoman Empire and many other palces and most of those areas are not Turkic now"
As far as I know the answer is mostly "pastures". One reason that Other parts of Iran is not Turkic-speaking is that they don't have enough pastures. Also note that turks naturally should have come from the North.

-not-turk irani says: "And too bad some of our fellow Iranians, even from some academic circles (maybe) are more preoccupied with personal attacks, rather than having a civilized debate."
He is right here.

You say: "that the REASON for the turkification was NOT that people simply started speaking Turkic because the tough and brute Turk ruling guys were speaking it (Iranian version) but because the mixing of the populations."
M. Jahan-Parvar and Anonymous848 answerd you, but you repeat your words instead of presenting a counterargument. Mixing mostly happened in case of Uzbeks and Turkomen. A small part of us is even black. It doesn't make us Swahili.

-You say: "and the Qajar headquarters was in Tehran, how weren't these people able to create Turkish Isfahan and Turkish Tehran?"
Again mostly "pastures".

You say: "We are all backward people. Backward people do not know how to get along."
Good point! miserable people with a great history. I should say: "Az faxre pedar to râ ce hâsel?".

You say: "About R Azerbaijan and Armenia I don't care much as such but I do care for IRI policies."
You cannot change Iran much in that regard, while you have those kind of countries around you. Every time the issue of more rights for minorities in Iran is brought up (for example by reformists), some people come and say: be careful about disintegration. I think they are right, we should be careful and move slowly. You cannot make Iranian Azarbaijan a federation while people like Elchibey are living around you. I say: "Hey people of the region, let's all change."

I agree with you about the Aryan s***, but as Anonymous848 said, please look at it scientifically when appropriate. A part of us is Aryan, also the core of our language is Aryan and we live in Iran (Aryan land). Our history should begin with indigenous people of Iran plateau, Elamites, Aryans and ... We are not 100% Aryans, they better push it to their thick head.


@ Anahita

by Amin287 on

@Anahita that says: "Farsi Grammer is with little difference same as Arabic and earliest
texts in Farsi were very similar to Arabic, and as UN cultural
section's classification of languages takes Farsi as 32nd dialect of
Arabic language."

Please go and read some books. Persian has Arabic words in it, its Grammer is completely different from Arabic. The other of your sayings don't need response.


Thank you

by Amin287 on

Dear Ben,

Hazara people look Asiatic but their mother tongue is Persian.

You say: "And as it is simple and obvious they (in Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan) are a genetic mix of Asiatic Oghuz Turks and Caucasian indigenous peoples who lived in those areas."
How the Turks could change the language of Anatolia and Azerbaijan, while we don't see much Asiatic features in those regions? I have seen Asiatic faces in Azerbaijan of Iran, but they are very rare. Also note that you say: "Mass migrations can bring huge changes". How can "mass migration" dosn't bring about "huge" facial features?

You say: "The second issue is why do we need to propagate such dodgy theories anyway? What is wrong about being of one race or background or the other anyway."
The sole problem is not "Iranian editors", but rare separatists and westerners too. Both like to see Iran, disintegrated.
Westerners see peoples like Czechs and Slovaks with two countries. At the same time they don't like to see big countries on the map. Czechs and Slovaks completely understand each other. Having two country for them is funny. As the first step to keep Iran united Iranian editors try to stop the pretext of two separate races from separatists.

You say: "When did Iranians and Iranian peoples needed theories to become united anyway?"
In my view culture is more important than language and more important than that is humanity. Our culture is one and we are humans.

You say: "While it is known that Arabs did not really tolerate any language but their own, and they failed to impose Arabic on Iranians!"
That is not completely correct. We cannot say all Arab rulers at all times tried to impose their language on Iranians.

Have you ever thought, why are Azari Turkic and Turkish to a relatively great extent not mutually intelligible, while Azaris are neighbors to Turkish people?

Sorry for my poor English. Thank you for reading,

A world with no borders! that is rational.


To Anahita. You didn't make

by Anonymous848 (not verified) on

To Anahita.
You didn't make any sense.
" The migration of turks and parts and other triebs living in Iranian plateau was formed at the same time that moses moved Israellitts toward Palestine."

Yeah OK!

"UN cultural section's classification of languages takes Farsi as 32nd dialect of Arabic language."

That is a lie madeup by separatists racists.

No time for the rest..


some points about origin of turks in Iran

by Anahita (not verified) on

1 The migration of turks and parts and other triebs living in Iranian plateau was formed at the same time that moses moved Israellitts toward Palestine.
2 parts that formed Persian Empire never ruled in the northern parts habited by turks and always there were war between them.
3 Arabs invasion in every country had forced there people to speak and write in Arabic and for Persia was the same but actual Farsi was separated from Arabic and actually Farsi Grammer is with little difference same as Arabic and earliest texts in Farsi were very similar to Arabic, and as UN cultural section's classification of languages takes Farsi as 32nd dialect of Arabic language.
4 the Northern of Iran or the turks lands was copletely conquered years later by the help of Persian militaries like Afshin and ... who helped Arabs in imposing there religion and colonialism on turks.
5 the Safavid dynasty wasn't turk, they were Arabs come to Iran from south of Libanon (Djabal Amel)and Molla Ismaeal was the first Safavi king who by killing many people impose Shiisme in Iran.(See Noori Ala)
6 anty turk culture in Iran was begun by Arabs and in recent times was internal policy by Pahlavie's dynasty to create PanFarsisme.



by Anonymous848 (not verified) on

Thanks guys. Kaveh Jan if you read the article of Prof. Planhol, he does stop after the Safavids. I didn't say majority comes from Anatolia, I said that was a major turning point in the linguistic Turkification of Azerbaijan. So between the period of Seljuqs/Oghuz attack on Azerbaijan during Ghaznavids till Safavid period there was constant change and new waves. But the Safavid epoch was definitely a major reason for transformation and a turning point.

As to why the turkomen nomads, specially in Anatolia turned into Shi'i, perhaps one of the reasons has to do with Hurufi movements and missionary activities amongst them. Hurufi movement was founded by Fazlollah Astarabadi (who has interesting materials in the peculiar Persian dialect of Astarabad) and he gained followers in Iraq, Anatolia, Shirwan, Azerbaijan, Isfahan and etc. Interesting enough, according to most scholars, the Safawid Sufi order was itself Sunni at first of Shafi'ite rite. But two/three generations after, they embraced heterodox form of Shi'ism.
Also another heterodox movement, that of Bektashism was active in Anatolia where most of the Ghezelbash nomads originated from. There could have been more.
So one of the two greatest poets in Azeri (Nasimi) was a follower of Fazlollah Astarabadi. Half of his work is in Persian and the other half in Azeri. But his Azeri is actually heavily Persianized, which shows the heavy influence of Persian literature on the latter.

I might register later, but to tell you the truth, I find the articles in of poor quality. Of course I do not mean Ben's article (although I did suggest he should not mix science with politics). I am turned off by the anti-Islam rhetorics here. I might write something later on the myth that Islam was forced on Iranians.


Thank you Anonymous848 (and

by KavehV (not verified) on

Thank you Anonymous848 (and Ben), your comments were quite informative to me. They also raise more questions, as well. I understand, as you said, the majority of today's Azari's came from the Anatolian peninsula, as far away as Lycian peninsula (which is as far west as Istanbul!). That Shiasm spread quite rapidly among these nomads which is not clear why. For example, why were they more susceptible to Shiaism than their Ottoman's Sunni belief ? Or, were they being chased out of Anatolia by Ottomans, for having sympathy for Safavids (being Shia) just before the start of the Safavid war with Ottomans ?

The arrival of these tribes on the Azarbaijan borders is remarked by: "This arrival, whether in gradual infiltration or in brutal invasions, never ended. " . I am curious what does Prof. Planhol mean by saying the migration "never ended" ? One would think that the migration stopped at some point before Shah Abbas's war with Ottomans and most likely not after the war, as the population around the borders were already polarized.

On the other hand, since Safavids lost territory to Ottomans and these tribes were pushed eastward into Iran and Caucasus, then their gradual infiltration into Caucasus and surrounding areas is logical. And, unfortunately, this corroborates the tales of "ethnic conflicts", as it relates to Iranian side of the Caucasus.

Another question would be: given the proximity of today's Azarbaijan to northern Caucasus moslem (and non-moslem) populations of, for example; Dagestan, Ingush, Chechen, Abkhaz and others, and given the physical (racial) similarities of many northern Caucasians to Azari's, is there any cultural/historical relations ? When and where were the southward migrations, and when/where were the northward migration, if any, in Caucasus ? Where did the moslems of northern Caucasus come from (east or south) ?

As usual, there are always more questions than answers in these matters.

Ben Madadi


by Ben Madadi on

I understood what Khodadad said, even as under- and un-educated as I am, which I kinda agree, though it depends on what level and compared to who. I am probably a self-educated person on some matters and fields! Though I never really understood the other guy :)) I hope he cools down and comes back ;)

Iran's teritorial integrity is one of the means of keeping peace and tranquility in Iran and in the region. The real threat to the integrity of Iranians, and the territory of Iran, is a regime which does not serve its people and does not respect human rights. Iranians were united before the Pahlavi and before the IRI. Neither Reza Khan, nor Khomeini created Iran. So, we can have a united and propsperous Iran without the need to suppress any Iranian's rights and identity.

Ali, looking forward for you in the future. Please become registered so I know who I'm talking to :)


Dear Ben Thanks. My point

by Anonymous848 (not verified) on

Dear Ben

My point was a comparison of Pahlavid historiography (I would like to see actual texts) with a neighboring country who distorts historiography in its own embassy. Note what Prof. Xavier Planhol said is probably (although I am not sure) close to Pahlavid historiography on the matter you brought.

The name of Republic of Azerbaijan was brought as you note, because I mentioned a large Iranic speaking pop in 20th century. It had to do with the overall process of linguistic Turkification (through different mechanisms). Else I agree, we should focus on Iran. Personally, I don't like all of IRI's policy but for me the territorial integrity of our own country is important.

On the issue , I believe there was refugees from both sides, and the issue is too complicated to discuss. Overall we share much more with the republic of Azerbaijan culturally and I hope intellectuals on both sides can discuss matters rationally and foster better understanding and cooperation. But I just note that some neutral observers (or at least Western) mention that IRIs policy (which was basically neutral but by leaving the border open to Armenia, it was sufficient to render the blockade of Turkey useless) was a reaction (not direction action) towards the Elchibey era and open threat on Irans territorial integrity.

I agree with most of what you just said. Anyhow I am not an angry guy so no anger from me :)

Thanks for writing. But my only suggestion is that when we discuss a historical topic we should do our best, as much as possible to depoliticize it. That is what Khodadad mentioned too.

Thanks again.

Ben Madadi

Ali (R Azerbaijan)

by Ben Madadi on

I think you are presuming that I approve these things and that is why you are showing them to me? I simply see no sense in it. R Azerbaijan and its policies are of absolute irrelevance to me. What I care about is IRI policies and the people of Iran ;)

I like Azeir music, but also Persian music and I like Ferdosi, Saadi and I also like reading in English, I actually prefer English because I can read it 3 times faster. You are too smart to be bogged down with the affairs of a country of 8 million. Focus on Iran, Iranians and believe me that no matter what the politicians in R Azerbaijan do it will be far LESS bad than what the IRI does because Iranians are 70 million, not 8 million and our families live there.

Ben Madadi


by Ben Madadi on


Since you brought up the R Azerbaijan issue then let's discuss it further. It is good that we don't have (for now) some hate-comment popping up somewhere.

You see Ali, we are all backward people. You are an Iranian, I am an Iranian, Azerbaijanis are very similar to us, Turks are very similar to us, and Armenians, though Christian, are also very similar to us. We are all backward people. Backward people do not know how to get along. Yo seem to have had special interest in R Azerbaijan. I have had some, but less than you. I have no bias toward ARMENIA, but I also do not hide my dislike of IRANIAN support to Armenia while Armenia occupied Azerbaijani territory. There are HUGE differences here. I DO NOT have an anti-Armenian, or anti-Armenia, feeling whatsoever, but an anti-IRI feeling. So I hope this is for the record. I am pretty sure both Azerbaijan government and Armenian governments are corrupt and have terrible policies. At the same time, Iranians, Azeris, and Armeniana, and Turks, are all backward people. So, as I said earlier, they cannot get along well, unless for one reason or another they find a common enemy.

Azerbaijan of today, as you say, has assimilatory policies toward Kurds, Lezgins (I don't know the correct pronounciation), and the Talysh. I would not be surprised. It is the result of backwardness. I cannot mention it enough, the peoples of the region are ALL backward. We have a long way to go. When you are backward (no offense to nobody in particular) you either acknowledge it, and then you start your positive evolution, or as a backward thinking goes, you will think that you are actually really great, because you do not know the realities. R Azerbaijan is a small country ruled by a small clique. I am not familiar with their policies. I think it would be good for that country to respect human rights no matter what. But I am sure a backward country cannot be so great in its policies because it is full of backward people. The same goes for Iran. Wrong policies are signitories of regimes in such countries. R Azerbaijan being a small country with a 90% or more Azeri population will at some point in the future, even with no assimilatory policies have a 100% Azeri population unless the Azeris themselves become something else. Will that be a loss? I don't care. If Iran becomes a 100% Persian (Fars) country, will that be a loss, I doubt it. I don't care. I am not pretending that these countries ought to be perfect. I have no political agenda. My aim is to write something so that some people read and maybe I have the slightest impact I can in our progress toward more respect for human rights INSIDE IRAN and among Iranians. Human rights also includes respect for one's identity. But I never think that one's identity has any priority to other's identity.

You see Ali, I have no bias toward anybody and I have no political agenda whatsoever and I don't even write well and I actually don't quite understand some people's anger toward me!!!

I know at least one person who speaks only Farsi but whose both parents are from Nakhjivan (so you get what he is) and he is one of the most ardent Monarchists, and a believer in the Aryan race. Don't you see this as something negative for Iranians? There are many such Iranians. Many of them were/are Azeris. Many of the promoters of the Pahlavi regime were Azeris themselves, and many of them were Qajar, though very few of them were from Azerbaijan proper. This is also a sign of backwardness. Iran should have taken steps, and Iranians should take steps toward fredom, democracy, and human rights, not proving to this and that that they are pure superior Aryans. Westerners don't give a damn anymore!

About R Azerbaijan and Armenia I don't care much as such but I do care for IRI policies. I do not see it as normal for an Iranian government to be home to the largest Azeri community in the world and support a country who has caused the displacement of so many innocent people. I have the right to have this feeling of diapproval. Iran of today is and it will be a farcry from free and perfection for a long time to come, because Iranians (all of us put together) are backward people. This doesn't mean we need not say anything. As lons as I am not a politician I can write a lot and I pursue no political agenda, but simply to say what I think :)


Salam Ben I am only writing

by Anonymous848 (not verified) on

Salam Ben

I am only writing this since you brought IRI and made a comparison. I would like to analyze how Pahlavis wrote history. But you know Pahlavids are from the past.

I'll give you an example of how much ethnicist the republic of Azerbaijan is and it is incomparable to IRI. (Note I have nothing against any of the caucasian countries but they have been effected heavily by USSR/pan-Turkist or other sort of ethnicist historiography.

Note I state information from the republic of Azerbaijan embassy:

"These states maintained political, economic and cultural ties
with Shumer and Akkad, were part of the overall region of the Mesopotamian civilization
and were ruled by the dynasties of Turkic origin. "

So Sumerian and Akkadians and Mesopotamian civilizations according to this source (Azerbaijan republic embassy) were Turkic.

"The Turkic-speaking peoples
that inhabited the territory of Azerbaijan from the ancient times were fire-worshippers
and professed one of the world's oldest religions - Zoroastrianism. "

I don't need to make a comment on this.

"In the third century B.C. the State of Caucasian Albania was formed in the north of Azerbaijan with its southern borders extending along the river Araks. The people of Albania (one of the ancestor nations of contemporary Azerbaijanis) consisted of various ethnic groups, the overwhelming majority of whom spoke Turkic languages."

We have alittle but sufficient sample from Caucasian Albanian language and it is grouped in the caucasian languages not Turkic.

"The fact that the population of Albania and Atropatena lived within a unitary state and professed common religion helped to consolidate the people of Azerbaijan. "

That is not true as you know. Zoroastrianism in Atropatena is a different religion than Christianity in Caucasian Albania.

"As a result of anti-Caliphate struggle of the local population in the 9th century several new states arose in Azerbaijan, the strongest of
them being the Shirvan state with the capital city of Shamakhi, where the Shirvanshah dynasty ruled. That state existed until the 16th century and played a big role in the history of a medieval Azerbaijan. In the 9th to the 11th centuries independent
States of the Saji, Salari, Ravvadi (with the capital city of Tabriz) and the state of Sheddadi (with the capital city of Ganja) existed on the territory of Azerbaijan."

Okay note it does not mention Sajjids, Salaris, Rawwadids, Shirwanshah were non-turkic. More specifically they were Sogdian, Daylamite, Kurdicized Arab (Rawwadids) and Persianized Arabs (Shirwanshah).
"Common Turkic language and Islamic religion of the native population in the territory of Azerbaijan finally brought about a consolidation of the
Azerbaijani people, which finalized by the 11th-12th centuries. At that period the culture of Azerbaijan flourished when Azerbaijani philosophers, architects, poets and scientists became known to the world. The works of the poet and philosopher
Nizami Ganjavi who contributed into the golden treasury of the world culture became the peak of the public and cultural thought in the Azerbaijan of the
that period."

I already pointed out that Tabriz was not speaking Turkish even after the Ilkhanid era. Also Nizami Ganjavi was half Kurdish and half non-Turkic (probably Iranian but perhaps Arabic but his great grand father goes back to Shaddadid times). But culturally he was Persian. Note there is not a Turkic verse from Nizami yet this is not mentioned and the paragraph makes it seem like Nizami wrote in Turkic.

"During the 12th and 13th centuries the Khachin Principality came to the fore in the mountainous part of Karabakh under the rule of Albanian kings.
The rule of Hassan Jalal (1215-1261) ushered in the Albanian revival and saw the completion of the construction of the Gandzasar monastery complex, which became the foremost cathedral of the region. This monastery was sanctified by the catholicos of Albania."

Actually Hassan Jalal is considered Armenian by Robert Hewsen. All the cultural life of his kingdom and language was in Armenian.


Dear Ben, Thanks. You are

by Anonymous848 (not verified) on

Dear Ben,

Thanks. You are free to dislike the word Aryan, but it just a ethno-linguistic term like Turkic or Semite and etc. The Medes which many (or at least some) Azeris consider their precedessors used this term. I agree, its misuse is dislikeable but the term by itself is scientific and neutral. So I also agree, that I dislike its political use, even by Pahlavids.

But see now you are involved in politics. My suggestion is to simply separate a scientific article from a political article.

Let me make a few points though, since you brought it up. I was discussing Turkification in general and just mentioned in the 20th century there was much more Iranic population. I read your post to and I think you also have an anti-Armenia bias. So I believe naturally for some reason you are pro-Azerbaijan. Perhaps ethnic reason. I am neutral on the other hand (since I am neither Azeri or Armenian) and I hope to see peace between these two.

But you are incorrect, right now the republic of Azerbaijan has a assimilationist policy towards Talysh, Kurds and Lezgis. Also USSR can not really be blamed because a sort of pan-Turkism was supported by the general elite like Heydar Aliev who also then ruled Azerbaijan SSR. Here I quote a neutral source:

"In 1993 there was an attempt officially to restore the Latin script; very few people advocated the Arabic script. Kryzi and Khinalug speakers, as well as most Tsakhurs, are bilingual and tend to assimilate with the Azeris. The same is true of the Tat speakers, and slightly less about the Talysh. At least there is no official recognition, teaching or publishing in these languages in any form. Lezghins in Azerbaijan are struggling very determinedly for their linguistic revival, but with little success. Generally there is a prevailing policy of forceful assimilation of all minorities, including the Talysh, Tat, Kurds and Lezgins. There is little or no resistance to assimilation from the Kryzi, Khinalug, Tsakhurs or Tat, and not much resistance from the Talysh. There are some desperate efforts of resistance from the Udin, stubborn resistance from the Kurds, and an extremely active struggle from the Lezgins, who want to separate Lezgin populated districts both from Dagestan and Azerbaijan in order to create an autonomous republic with Lezgin as the state language."
(Christina Bratt (EDT) Paulston, Donald Peckham (eds.), Linguistic Minorities in Central and Eastern Europe, Multilingual Matters publisher, 1998, ISBN 1853594164, p. 106 )

Svante Cornell, a very pro-Azeri source also states:
"Where as officially the number of Lezgins registered as such in Azerbaijan is around 180,000 the Lezgins claim that the number of Lezgins registerd in Azerbaijan is much higher than this figure, some accounts showing over 700,000 Lezgins in Azerbaijan. These figures are denied by the Azerbaijani government, but in private many Azeris acknowledge the fact that the Lezgins – for that matter the Talysh or the Kurdish-population of Azerbaijan is far higher than the official figures... "

Douglass Blum, ‘’Contested national identities and weak state structures in Eurasia ’’(pp in Sean Kay, S. Victor Papacosma, James Sperling, Limiting institutions?: The Challenge of Eurasian Security Governance, Manchester University Press, 2003.
"Finally, Azerbaijan presents a somewhat more ambiguous picture. It boasts a well-established official national identity associated with claims of a unique heritage based on an improbable blend of Turkism, Zoroastrianism, moderate Islam, and its historical function as 'bridge' between Asia and Europe along the Silk Road. At the same time there remain strong local allegiances and ethnic distinctions, including submerged tensions between Azeris, Russians, and also Lezgins and Talysh (besides Armenians), as well as stubborn religious cleavages (roughly two thirds of the Islamic population is Shi'ite one third Sunni). This persistence of parochialism is hardly surprising inasmuch as there has been little historical basis for national identity formation among Azeri elites, who were significantly affected by russification and are still generally lukewarm in their expressions of pan-Turkism. Perhaps the most powerful source of social cohesion and stale legitimacy is the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, which has at least generated some degree of collective identity as victim of Armenian aggression perhaps a slender reed on which to construct a national identity conducive to developmental state building in the future."

Note IRI is not lukewarm towards pan-Iranism but Azerbaijan SSR is considered lukewarm by a neutral scholar towards pan-Turkism.

I disagree, IRI does not have an assimilationist policy. IRI is a shi'i state. It gives supports to Lebanese Shi'is while it kicks out Persian speaking Afghan refugees. There is much more support for Azeri in IRI than Talysh or Kurdish in Turkey or republic of Azerbaijan. Turkey has a weekly 30 minute program in Kurdish while IRI has much more hours in regional T.V. and radio and you can find lots of books. Note I am not saying IRI is perfect, but it is much less assimilationist than the republic of Azerbaijan.

The current republic of Azerbaijan is much more ethnicist than IRI.

Just check here:

They arrest a Talysh guy and consider calling Nizami Ganjavi (who was not really ) and Babak (who was not turcophone and Talysh could have been the same or very close to the Fahlavi dialect of Babak) a Talysh as a "grave crime". Talysh afterall is the close to Kurdish and Persian, so the guy can make a claim here, since who knows how 800-1000 divergent Talysh was from other dialects. But then they simply arrest this follow. While in Iran, pan-Turks easily publish material that Zoroaster was a Turk.

As per Pahlavi, some say they were actually half Turkic, but nevertheless, their policy was largely shaped by Azerbaijani intellectuals as a reaction to pan-Turkism:

So the Pahlavi policy was in large part a reaction to pan-Turkism and is somewhat understandable. But the IRI is not assimilationist and even the leader speaks Azeri. Persian became really the only official language of Iran during the constitution before Pahlavids. I agree Pahlavids had some wrong policies towards minority culture (although not even half as bad as to what happened to Talysh under the combination of USSR/Azeri SSR nation building (induced with heavy pan-Turkism):
But remember Pahlavids were in large part Azeri, Farah was Azeri and Pahlavid policy on linguistic rights was shaped and crafted by Azeris (Kasravi, Mahmud Afshar, Taqizadeh and etc.). So I think some Iranians who discuss the issue forget that the Pahlavid policy was a reaction:

That is an important point.

Ben Madadi


by Ben Madadi on

The article had indeed some political side to it. If more perfect people do not write then I, as a less perfect guy, write some things. I try to go with reason but I am not perfect even at that. Some of our compatriots are angry. I hope they will come back and I'll be glad to have their comments, but more good faith and less anger would do good ;)

Ali, I appreciate your resources, and I never ever hide that I dislike using the word Aryan among Iranians and I do feel attached to my own identity, so in case people hate me for these reasons (some do) I am not really guilty for that ;)

Ben Madadi

Republic of Azerbaijan

by Ben Madadi on

It is probable, though quite irelevant to our subject of debate. But while R Azerbaijan was under Soviet rule we cannot blame today's country Azerbaijan for that, while we can blame (for example) today's country Iran, both IRI and Pahlavi, for their Persian assimilation. Numbers growing or shrinking is quite irrelevant, but respecting human rights is important and relevant. If today in R Azerbaijan they do not respect human rights then we are entitled to bring that up, but I think we, as being both Iranians, must be more concerned about our own problems :)


Salam I think to use words

by Anonymous848 (not verified) on


I think to use words like "impose" or "natural" or etc. is really getting into political matter.
For example if a group gains political and economic dominance than in a "natural" way they are "imposing" their language. I have not read the Pahlavi textbooks so if you have something from the actual textbooks let me know. Else I have no comments. One can read Professor. Planhol's material and then intrepret it as "natural", "forced", "semi-forced","occasionaly natural and sometimes forced".

The Qajars anyhow supported Turkic tribes in some areas over Bakhtiaris, Baluchs,Kurds and Talysh. But by the time of Qajars linguistic shift had occured. But on the Safavids, Prof. Planhol does mention:
"The decisive episode, at the beginning of the 16th century, was the adoption of Shi¿ite Islam as the religion of the state by the Iran of the Safavids, whereas the Ottoman empire remained faithful to Sunnite orthodoxy. Shi'ite propaganda spread among the nomadic Turkoman tribes of Anatolia, far from urban centers of orthodoxy. These Shi¿ite nomads returned en masse along their migratory route back to Safavid Iran. This movement was to extend up to southwest Anatolia, from where the Tekelu, originally from the Lycian peninsula, returned to Iran with 15,000 camels. These nomads returning from Ottoman territory naturally settled en masse in regions near the border, and it was from this period that the definitive "Turkicization" of Azerbaijan dates, along with the establishment of the present-day Azeri-Persian linguistic border—not far from Qazvin, only some 150 kilometers from Tehran."

I would note two sentences from Prof. Planhol:

"This arrival, whether in gradual infiltration or in brutal invasions, never ended. "

"Azeri material culture, a result of this multi-secular symbiosis, is thus a subtle combination of indigenous elements and nomadic contributions, but the ratio between them is remains to be determined. "
" The language itself provides eloquent proof. Azeri, not unlike Uzbek (see above), lost the vocal harmony typical of Turkish languages. It is a Turkish language learned and spoken by Iranian peasants."

And it is true, for example people in and around Astara do not follow vowel harmony when speaking.

Anyhow I think the discussion was good, originally it was somewhat emotional, but I brought some resources, specially the excellent article of Prof. Xavier Planhol which might answer the questions of some interested reader. So overall I thank you for brining the discussion, but I agree with other users that when we are discussing scientific matters, we should try to stay away from political matters.

Take care.


Also the number of Spanish

by Anonymous848 (not verified) on

Also the number of Spanish speakers was very very small in Mexico. You can do a research on this. But each place that has changed language had different mechanism, but it is important to note you do not need a large population to bring about linguistic shift. Half the world speaks one of the Indo-European languages but the original IE people were not significantly numerous. On the republic of Azerbaijan, I brought it up, because the Iranic population there was not naturally assimilated in the last century, so the low number is due to that rather than the more natural process in Iranian Azerbaijan.

Anyhow Professor. Xavier Planhol is probably the expert on this aissue nd I am sure even if you disagree with his reasons (and he lists many factors if you look it and reread it several times), other interested readers will find what he says comprehensive. I'll repeat it incase other readers did not have time to read it:

Ben Madadi


by Ben Madadi on

Ali, to have some conclusion, let's say what is clear and what is not yet so much established and clear.

One thing which is clear is that the Turkification was a result of migration of Turks to Azerbaijan area mostly because of the land and geographical conditions, which later after the Turkic population became urbanised and grew in numbers also spread outwards and still continued to absorb the neighbours. What proportion of the population and the exact dates are not clear. I personally (as mentioned in the article by some simple arguments) doubt that the transofrmation took place mostly during the Safavid. I think it was already a success (i.e. Turks were already really numerous and most probably the majority of the overall population of the north-western Iranian plateau at that time) at that time.

However, the other thing that is worth clarification is that the Turkification was not the result of imposing the language, music, culture, or the customs, but because of various means, it was a natural process. It could have somehow been imposed on non-Christians but not the language, but the relgion, through various discriminatory policies at various times, and the largest ethnic Muslims being the Turks, some Christians may have been Turkified, in the Iranian plateau (Assyrian and Armenians) and in Anatolia (Greeks etc). In case Turks ever had a policy of imposing their language it could have been recorded in history and we could have seen clashes but we know that both the Qajar and the Safavid got along very well with all Shia subjects. Do we agree on this? This is not exactly the version of Iranian nationalism, especially promoted during the Pahlavi era. That version was that the Turkification was a purely linguistic shift and it was sort of imposed on the Iranic peoples of Azerbaijan, north-western Iranian plateau.


He is saying the names in

by Anonymous848 (not verified) on

He is saying the names in these two areas, not the names of the two areas themselves (Sahand and Qara-Dagh). He is saying the topynoms in these areas (not the name of the areas), although Sahand is Iranic while QaraDagh is Turkic. I find his detailed explanation convincing. Esfahan and Tehran actually had some Turkic villages, but they do not have the wide nomadic pasture lands of Azerbaijan and most of the Safavid upheaval and Ghezelbash tribes occurred in Azerbaijan. Overall I think he gives a good detailed analysis of the many complex factors and it is hard to summarize it in one sentence or two.

Ben Madadi


by Ben Madadi on

I found this in the article: The toponymy, with more than half of
the place names of Iranian origin in some areas, such as the Sahand, a
huge volcanic massif south of Tabriz, or the Qara@ Da@g@, near the
border (Planhol, 1966, p. 305; Bazin, 1982, p. 28) bears witness to
this continuity.

Hmm... is the above phrase (from Iranica) saying that Qara Dagh is aname of Iranian (Iranic) origin??? Sahand can be so, but Qara Dagh? Qara Dagh means Siyah Kuh in Azeri Turkish. This is an error.

This article essentially says that Iranic peoples ADOPTED the Turkish language. And it also says, like you had said earlier, that the Safavid period was the catalyst. So then, logically, while the Safavid headquarters was in Isfahan, and the Qajar headquarters was in Tehran, how weren't these people able to create Turkish Isfahan and Turkish Tehran? Was it because they did not have enough of their own ethnicity in those areas, is Isfahan and Tehran? I think so. And later both the Safavid and the Qajar started to Persianise, themselves, the Turkic ruling classes, became assimilated into the Persian majority of those areas. I find huge flaw in the theory that local Iranic peoples were Turkified because the Turks were the rulers. No, I don't see it as a reasonable idea.

We may have a DNA test and I am SURE the result will be that Azeris and Anatolians will be more similar to Armenians, Talysh, and the Greek and not the Turkmen. Because over time they have absorbed more and more of their neighbouring populations who were Caucasians. But centuries ago when the transformation was taking place its sole reason must have been immigrant numbers. I differ on this though Iranica is a good source. I find it hard to believe that locals of Azerbaijan adopted Turkish language just because the Turks were powerful.

Populations of Mexico mostly speak Spanish because Spanish-speakers outnumbered the rest who spoke various other languages, just the same that must have happened in Azerbaijan and Anatolia. However if we do a DNA test of Mexicans they will not resemble the original immigrants from Europe, however because it is a pretty-much recent event in Mexico some people will have pure European DNA while others will still have relatively pure Idnian-American DNA. That cannot be the case in Azerbaijan as the process is a much older one.

About the population os Rep Azerbaijan and its ethnicities and they being assimilated into the Azeri population, I have no data but in case we are going to talk about this then we cannot talk about the Azeri national authorities of today but the Soviet authories. It is unrelated to our discussion anyway. As you know there has never been a policy of Azeri assimilation in Iran and they have naturally assimilated their neighbouring areas, so the same thing may have happened in the rep Azerbaijan, but I don't know. Why do you care so much anyway about that?


Salam Ben On Pahlavids, I

by Anonymous848 (not verified) on

Salam Ben

On Pahlavids, I haven't read their textbook as I was less than year old when it happened. They are of course correct that the previous language was Iranic or Iranian dialects that were replaced by Turkic. Of course it was not "they", but numerous facts and researchers point this out.

I agree, "there hasn't been enough research done" as you say. The best I have seen on the internet is this article:
which I would read carefully, since you are interested in the topic. Note the role the Safavids played and those Iranians that take it to 400-500 years ago are partially right.

But we must take many factors as I said into account to understand the process: economics, political, natural adoptation, force, Safavid and various upheavel, migrations, wars (half of Urmiya before WWI was actually Assyrian..).. For example according to travelers many Iranians learned Turkish during the Safavid era since it was the language of the ruling class.

I disagree still with your theory of numerical majority, or even majority relative to one group and I think I addressed it in my previous post. So I won't repeat the arguments. I think Turkomens and Sunni Tats and their DNA relationship with Azeris can determine percentages (relative Turkic vs Iranic). I have seen DNA studies which show that gene flow to Turkey from Central Asia is only about 9% of the population. So I figure it would be the same in Azerbaijan. Also another study shows minimal east eurasian genes in Azeris while there is 90% in Yakuts and 40-50% in Uzbeks, Turkomens and Hazaras.

On the republic of Azerbaijan, there is an official statistics and non-official statistics. I said if assimilationist policies of the last 100 years did not take place (these were foceful), we would have about 20-25% Iranic speakers. But now I am not sure how many there are.

Note the sources I quote seem unbiased. Here is a source that is actually pro-Azeri (Svante Cornell):
"“ In Azerbaijan, the Azeri presently make up over 90 per cent; Dagestani peoples form over 3 per cent, and Russians 2.5 per cent. These figures approximate the official position; however, in reality the size of the Dagestani Lezgin community in Azerbaijan is unknown, officially put at 200,000 but according to Lezgin sources substantially larger. The Kurdish population is also substantial, according to some sources over 10 per cent of the population; in the south there is a substantial community of the Iranian ethnic group, of Talysh, possibly some 200,000 –400,000 people. "

So 1 out 8 million (which is what I estimate currently) is 12%..but I said if the proportions in the begining of 20th century had held, it would be around 20%. Note the quotes I brought from Bakikhanov and the fact that 120,000 tats are mentioned before the begining of the 20th century.