The birth of the Azerbaijani Awareness Movement and Turkish Demands in Iran


The birth of the Azerbaijani Awareness Movement and Turkish Demands in Iran
by Savalan

The assimilation of millions of Turks in Iran's contemporary history left them uncertain about their ethnic affiliation. The most important concern of the Turks in Iran is identity-based and cultural. The Turks want to be able to assert their Turkish identity and be able to express its cultural components without sanctions from the state. The Turks want to pursue the natural rights that make up their Turkish identity and to exercise those rights as Turkish citizens of Iran, not Persian subjects. Most importantly, they want to be treated as political equals of the Persians. The Turks want what the Persians have. Nothing more and nothing less.

The assimilation and repressive policies of the Iranian - Persian state created a population that makes up one-third of Iran's population in an identity chasm. On the one hand, some vague idea of Turkishness persisted, the majority of the Turks did not realize what this identity really was or how it was diferent from a Iranian - Persian identity. Turkishness mostly became limited to Turkish being spoken as a native language in Turkish homes in Azerbaijan. All other aspects of a Turkish individual's life necessarily developed in the same way as for Persians. If one was to receive an education, it had to be in Persian, making most of the Turks more proficient in the Persian language. Children learning Persian in schools brought the language to their homes and it slowly replaced Turkish as the language of communication. The harsh restrictions on displaying the Turkish identity and culture exacerbated the problem and created a thoroughly assimilated Turkish population that successfully mixed into the Iranian society.

Currently, many Turks are indistinguishable from Persians and a considerable portion does not even speak Turkish, especially if they have migrated - voluntarily or as a result of state policy - to regions outside of Turkish regions and Azerbaijan. Furthermore, many Turks have assumed a stronger attachment to their identity as a Iranian citizen than their ethnic Turkish identity. As a Persian, a Turkish individual had and still has greater opportunities and many choose to live as Persians. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi, Googoosh a very popular and beloved musician, Ali Daei; retired football player and former national team coach, Dr. Reza Baraheni the writer and Behrooz Vosooghi an actor and a director are just a few notable Turks in Iran who have reached important positions in Iran. These individuals, while aware of their Turkish ethnic affiliation, pursued their lives as Iranian citizens rather than Turkish individuals. The assuming of a Persian identity it is not necessarily a conscious choice to reject their Turkish identity but rather a outcome of the sociological and political conditions in Iran.

The absence of a Turkish identity not only demonstrates the success of the government's assimilation policies against the Turkish population, but it also ensures that these policies do not create an aggrieved minority that could pose an opposing presence to the Iranian government. Many Turks who fall into this category are viewed by those who support the Azerbaijanis struggle as "Turks who have not accepted their Turkishness.

Among the minority in the Turkish population where the Turkish elements of identity persisted and Persian assimilation policies created a group of disaffected individuals confused yet curious about their identity. Turkish awareness grew as a reaction to these policies and the largest problem affecting the Turks is that of an "identity problem" or more specically a "national identity" problem. According to Turks, the entire Turkish struggle and movement is provoked by the policies of the Iranian state. The ambiguity regarding the Turkish identity in Iran presents the most important issue in the Azerbaijan issue and it is the Turks' most serious problem. Since the starting of Pahlavi khandan and starting in the 1920s the assimilation politics divided Turkish language and culture.

Eventually, the Turks grew aware of their Turkish identity and the South Azerbaijan National Movement's role is instrumen- tal in making the Turks recognize their ethnic identity and the effects of Persian policies for that identity. The South Azerbaijani movement achieved this by organizing these previous identity ambiguities under a distinct Turkish identity. As the awakening of Turkish identity was set in motion, the Turks begin to recognize that they were being restricted on their Turkish cultural rights. Displays of Turkish culture, be it in language, music or literature, had long been denied to the Turkish population yet because the Turks felt more strongly as Iranian citizens, these restrictions on Turkish culture and rights had not been perceived as grievances in the mind of the Turks. As the Turkish identity, separately from a Persian one, developed, the Turks began to demand the rights that accompanied this distinct cultural and ethnic identity.

Perhaps the most important contribution of the South Azerbaijan National movement is that it presented a notable challenge to the Iranian government.The Turkish identity could no longer be ignored, leading to a legitimization of the Turkish struggle. Everyone is aware that there are different ethnic groups in Iran and if you don't recognize these groups, their culture, they will feel put down and this will create a reaction.


more from Savalan
Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


It does not matter who I am. A debate is between ideas not people. You are personalizing it. I have no interest in who you are. Rather your ideas are what I debate. 

I speak for millions of Azerbaijanis. 

Oh really? What election did you win; how many votes and how many opponents?

You don't deserve a voice on

Now you own as well. Does JJ know this or did you take over recently. You are overreaching. Go tell people what to do and see who pays attention.


Who elected me?

by UrmuFarzin on

There's another thing that you say often. Who elected me. Well, sir, you said the same thing on my blog several years ago. Who elected me. You aren't Azerbaijani and your deep hatred is obvious. I doubt you even know any true Azerbaijanis and make all this stuff up.

The truth is that the majority of Azerbaijanis believe themselves having a differentiation with fars people. It's a good thing. You try your hardest to make Iran seem homogenous and it's not. I speak for millions of Azerbaijanis. 

Who elected you to troll, facebook, and the blogs of Azerbaijanis who write about their ethnicity? Who made you the defender of a homogenized Iran. I give a voice to myself and the countless Azerbaijanis who suffer in Iran.

What have you done? Next time an activist who is freed from prison personally thanks you for drawing light upon his case, you come talk to me. Otherwise, shut your hate-mongering mouth.

If people who are Azeri disagree with me, I'll be glad to have a conversation in our language about the matter. You unfortunately can only speak for yourself and Persians. You don't deserve a voice on Who are you anyway? Are you the same guy that is on facebook as Pirouz Nowruz, who spews a bunch of disgusting hate-filled posts against Azeris, Jews, Arabs etc.? Someday, we'll figure it out.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Your ethnicity right!

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


What you see is blatant making fun of hot air. Of people who claim the right to tell others who they are. To dictate to others what their ethnicity or loyalty must be. You do not speak for any ethnicity at all. For all I know you may not even be from Iran. Or from Azarbayjan for that matter. Why don't you put "in my opinion" before your posts and make it obvious it is you not any group. Anyone may get on IC and start blogging demanding this and the other one.

The people I myself know disagree with you and I take their word any day. I am not making fun of any ethnicity. I am having a hard time taking your claims seriously. How dare you speak for "Azari" or any people.

Who elected you? Yet another self appointed advocate of "rights" for people whether they want it. I had enough of people speaking for me or others. You have no right to tell me what Azari people want: get over it. On the other blog you dare say who is or is not "Azari". Who are you to tell others? Are you the race police. Don't tell other people who they are. Don't tell me who is from Azarbajyan. That is real discrimination and abuse of people in any region.


Blatant hatred of Turks

by UrmuFarzin on

VPK's belitting of my ethnicity doesn't bode well with many people of the world. He does me a great service in his writings because he exposes just how wild and fascistly thick-headed pan-farsists are. He preaches the horrors of pan-turkism but then goes around and talks about the expansion of Iranian territory. Isn't that pan-farsism? Pan-turkism is dead, he won't live that down, but he is an avowed pan-farsist. But he's too scared to "unveil" himself. 

As for Simorgh, the people who you speak of are not indigenous, they're immigrants. International declaration doesn't address them. But even in the UK, those South East Asian parents can enroll their children in supplemental classes for their own language, they can assemble poetry readings without the government busting in and arresting the organizers. They can freely assemble and advocate for immigrant rights. You can do neither of those things in Iran. In the U.S., the Iranian community has its own newspapers, media, can have concerts freely, can advocate for many things.

But comparing the UK Indian community to the Azeris in Iran is completely illogical. If you want to compare anything, you'd have to compare the plight of the Scottish and Irish in the UK and the effective destruction of Scottish and Irish Gaelic. Efforts to revive the language face lots of hurdles. Because of centuries of assimilatory pracitices, now the Scottish government wants to put for a vote to secede in 2014. That is what's going to happen in Iran. You're going to squeeze Iran's ethnic minorities to the point that they will believe that there is no choice but to separate. Give more freedom and autonomy to Iran's minority groups and they will coexist peacefully in the state. 

Even in Turkey, the Turkish government is allowing for some private university to teach Kurdish at the University level. This isn't at the primary level that the Kurdish people want, but it's a step in the right direction. Turkey needs to give Kurds the right to develop their identity and language, just as Iran needs to do the same for the Kurds, Azeris, Arabs, Baluchis, Turkmen, Qashqais etc.

So yea all of your efforts to demoralize this movement are met with actual logic.  You two are the actual separatists in my book. I'm optimistic for the future of Azerbaijanis worldwide. 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

about teaching schools in other languages

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Teaching in a different language than the national one is discriminatory. What about  people who want to be taught in Persian? My family from Azarbayjan did not want to learn in turkish.

When you force them to learn in non Persian they get ghettoized. They must overcome a giant language barrier to join the rest of Iran. Hence they are going to be at a disadvantage and look to other nations as home.

This reveals the real purpose of this multilingual bull. It is to make people be divided. To generate false ethnic identities and break nations apart. This is why I absolutely oppose multilingual teaching. Schools just in main language of a nation.


Urmu Farzin

by Simorgh5555 on

Unlike my friend VPK I do believe that Turkish language and culture is distinctively separate from Iranians but the  next question is so what? I was raised in the UK most of my life. I am categorised as an ethnic minority but should I demand that the Royal Borough of Kensington allocate state funds for a separate Farsi education classes and that GCSE and A Levels be taught in Farsi because many Iranians live there? Should sign posts be bi-lingual to accommodate those speaking in Farsi? Should affirmative action (positive discrimation) be given to give me a leg up? No. I am an Iranian and proud of it and despite being aware that I am different from the rest of my anglo-saxon/Norman citizens I have no right or no desire to impose my heritage on a country which has its own unique history, culture and civilisation. I have the right to embrace my ethnic heritage in my own time and in my own privacy and not at someone else's expense or taxes. 

You know very well that the issue of Azarbaijani rights is nothing to do with just Turkish educational classes but a system of ghettoising Iranians and government withing a government. Turkish Azari  music, culture and literature should be emraced and enriches our nation. I can even stomach regional laws specific to the region but not a devolution of power to Azarbaijan with their own parliament and legislature effectively becoming a federal government of Iran. 

It will never happen. No one forces you to live in Iran and if you or any other Azari wishes for a separate identity within Iran just cross over the border to 'North Azarbaijan' or Turkey and good riddance.  

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I have a good number of "Azari" in my family. None of them have a desire for Turkish identity. In fact as many generations as I know they insist on their Iranian identity. They gladly forgot Turkish and only speak Persian.

Language was not forced on them it was a choice. Face it man Turkish identity is made up. Part Muslim Arab; part Persian and the rest whatever was in the region. For tying out loud all of Turkey was Greek or Roman for millenia.

By the way your name is half Assyrian and half Persian. Is that a "Turkish" identity? Urmu: Assyrian water city; Farzin: Persian with border. How about Turkish capital Istanbul: taken from Greek "Constantinople". 


Tell us who you are...

by UrmuFarzin on

Oh pot! It's nice to meet you, I'm kettle. Wait, what did you call me?

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I don't care whether you take me seriously or not. Go see what is going on in nagorno karabakh and who runs it now :-) You pan turkists are not even able to hold on to your ill gotten "lands"!

You don't know anything about me and are making up what I have used. We Iranian people have nothing to apologize for specially to you. When the time comes Iran and Armenia will divide up your fake "nation" and be done with it.

Regarding you and your posts I see all the logic in them. Just name calling. You have no logic and therefore use insults. Not one issue raised by posters has been addressed by you. 


Veiled Prophet of Several Piles of****

by UrmuFarzin on

"Of course nobody mentioned "Aryan" except them."

Come on, even for a pan-farsist, hate-mongering, ultra-nationalist, uneducated person like you who is so deeply afraid to reveal who he is, that's a little absurd. Pretty much all of any discussion about Turks in Iran lead to: but you are Turkified Aryayi. I know you've used that before yourself. 

You can't be taken seriously talking about Armenia invading Azerbaijan like that without any muscle backing it up. You ultra-nationalists are mostly the same: never seen war, never seen a hard day... but sit behind a computer and make outlandish threats. 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Pile of ***

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


This pile of garbage is coming out of the same people. They are Soviet propaganda being repeated over 30 years late. You notice the "Arya" *** the signature of their hate filled posts.

Of course nobody mentioned "Aryan" except them. But them bring it up as if we are supposed to apologize for it! Sorry dude no apologies from me. Before demanding non existent rights go deal with your own problems.

Such as the Armenian Genocide and Kudrish rights. Plus deal with 20 % of your made up "nation" occupied by Armenia. Keep this made up stuff up and Armenia may get the other 80 %. I would love to see your fake nation divided up between Iran and Armenia. I was just suggesting it to some Armenian friends. They loved it. In short: the best cure for pan turkism is: Armenia! 


Loud Minority?

by UrmuFarzin on

So I'm a loud minority of an unrepresented minorty :) Loud minority. Tell that to the tens of thousands of people at Tractor Sazi soccer games that shout "Turkish language schools". Tell that to the Urumiye lake protesters of last year. Tell that to those that were killed in the 2006 cartoon protests, where hundreds of thousands of people poured into the streets to assert their Azerbaijani identity. Language and cultural rights is one issue that more than 90% of Azerbaijanis can agree on (most likely more). 

Wait can you possibly logically link the Turkish governments actions with Azerbaijanis in Iran. "You can't have it both ways"? Do you not understand logic? That is absolutely ridiculous.

Me: I support ethnic rights, no matter what. 

You: No but you claim you're a Turk so you must support Turkey and their killing of Kurds and I'm super-uneducated.  


For more information on the Kurds of Iran: // 


Iranians do not have a

by Simorgh5555 on

Iranians do not have a record of genocide and notorious record of human rights viiolation and murder of Kurds like Turks have. On the one hand you claim to be Turks and on the other hand you assert that what is happening in Turkey has nothing to do with Iran. You can't have it both ways. You attitude is extremely hypocritical.
Don't play the victim card Urmu Farzin no ine will fall for that. If anything all Iranians without exception are victims of the IR but no one, not even most Iranians who are Azari Turks or half Azari Turks give two hoots about a strong Turkish identity. You are just a loud minority.


Kurdish Rights

by UrmuFarzin on

OF COURSE I support Kurdish language rights in Turkey. I would be a hypocrite if I didn't. ...and so do much of the liberal Turkish youth. They have a right to language and culture just like every other ethnic group. But again divert the conversation.


A simple yes or no...




Kurds in Iran

by UrmuFarzin on

Do you not know Iran's record with the Kurds? I don't think you really care about the Kurdish people. I think you use it as a tactic to try and divert people's attention from the issue at hand. We're too smart for that Simorgh. 


"Once the war with the mullahs is over it wil be time to sort out ethnic minority separatist nationalists back into their place"

 And who's going to do that? You? That's some dangerous rhetoric, my friend. It's nice you can do that behind a computer screen.  



by Simorgh5555 on

So by your rational do you support Kurdish rights to assert their identity in Turkey and defend them in the same ways as you defend Azari Turks in Iran or not?

A simple Yes or No answer will do.


International: Declaration

by Simorgh5555 on

International: Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.........

Tell that to the Kurd of Turkey who want to speak their own language in school, have their own satellite TV and radii broadcasts from Turkey. If the Kurds in Turkey can't have it then you are going to have a difficult time to win over Iranians or thr international community where Turkey's treatment of ethnic minorities has a tarnished record.
The illegal Republic of Azarbaijan (because it is part of Iran) is welcome, and should, reintegrate into Iran under Iranian sovereignty but any thought of 'South' Azarbaijan being annexed to the illegal state of Azarbaijan will never materialise.
Once the war with the mullahs is over it wil be time to sort out ethnic minority separatist nationalists back into their place.



by UrmuFarzin on

Demand Language rights are you are:

1) Stupid for not reading history

2) Pan-Turkist

3) Separatist

4) Traitor

5) Scapegoat 


Azeris stop bitching, Kurds have it worse in Turkey! Kurds also have it bad in Iran. They want language rights too, champ. Diversion of the conversation is not going to get you anywhere. I can divert the conversation to Switzerland and say that there are four languages spoken and the county functions effectively. 

Indians and Pakistanis are immigrants in the UK, they aren't indegenous peoples. Ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples have the right to language and cultural rights according to the United Nations. 

They don't want to create a Turkic state within Iran. They just want what's best for them, for their own people.


Anti Persian Turkish sentiments

by Simorgh5555 on

Iran is not Persia. Iran means land of the Iranian people. While Iranian is not a homogeneous society and Iranian people include Kurds and Turks living alongside Fars people the history and identity of the country is undoubtedly Persian. This has been so for the last 2,500 years of recorded history and beforest that and before even anyone heard of Turkey. The people in Tabriz and Azarbaijan are not Turkish living in Iran but they are Iranians. If people such as Savalan want to live as Turks, speak and be educated in Turkish language and gradually replace Iranian nationity with a Turkish one then he should permanently migrate to Turkey which will accommodate his Turkish national aspirations. Apart from denying the Armenian genocide it appears people like the author of this blog forget that they routinely disciminate against Kurds and prevent Kurds from asserting their unique cultural identity which goes back to a thousand years to the ancient Medes when Turks were no more than a proto Chinese group of nomads in Central Asia. Kurdish is not recognised as a separate language and any Azari Turk in Iran bitching how bad they got it should actually take a good look at the state of the Kurds in Turkey.
I am in favour of Turkish being spoken alongside Persian out of respect for our cultural and regional differences but allegience to Iran and the speaking of Farsi is mandatory as the official language.
You don't have Indians and Pakistanis who have lived in Britain for generations.demand that they be educated in Hindu or Pujjabi in state schools and Turks should be no exception.
Having said that I can understand that some of the IR policies including their reckless neglext of Lake Urumiyeh has stirred anti-Fars feelings but this does not justify the Pan Turkist agenda to separate Iran.
I am not sure what kind of 'reaction' Savalan is referring to at the end of his blog but any violent movement whcih threatens the natiinal unity of the Iranian people will be met with the same resistance and bloodshed whixh the Turks unleash on the PKK.



by UrmuFarzin on

GO READ YOUR HISTORY!!!! This is my favorite argument from Persian nationalists and those that really don't have an inkling of knowledge of history outside of the propagandized garbage that they learned in school during the Shah. It's really funny for me, someone who as studied history, political science, and international relations how blatanly elementary and skewed your view of the region is. I recommend you start a class teaching your view of Iranian history. You will get laughed at, your teaching lisense would get revoked, and I would attend your class and wipe you up and down with factual information. 

What's happening in South Azerbaijan, this is what Azerbaijanis in Iran choose to deem themselves so you should probably respect that, is growing in momentum. They want the right to access their own language, both in schools and in the media (Seher TV and satellite broadcasts from Turkey don't count). They don't want to change the lingua franca of Iran to Azerbaijani-Turkic, but they want what's best for them. They don't want ultra-nationalists hopping on their laptop going on and telling them what's best for them, just as they don't want anyone in Tehran telling them what's best for them.

Their demands are outlined in domestic and Legal Framework.


  1.  Domestically: Articles 15 and 19 of the Iranian Constitution. 
  2.  International: Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities //
You should take a course in Political Science or International Law to truly understand what Azerbaijanis want to do, instaed of spouting off the same "veee are aryayiiii" rhetoric. Btw, a growing body of genetic evidence is starting to prove that there is no such thing, nor was there ever an Aryan race.



History & geography 2

by Fred on

I see you’ve deleted/corrected your patently false assertion that:

“The assimilation of millions of Turks for MOST of Iran's history..”

Good, now you need to read & learn basic geography to know there is no such place as “South Azerbaijan.”  

As for  Aran, a forcebly  annexed part of Iran,  just after IRR is retired by the Iranian people, Aran  is destined and to her benefit to oust the hereditary "presidency" of the KGB/commie dynasty & return to its rightful place.  

Untill then, try to read some history and geograghy, your lack of basic knowledge in those two subjects is embarrassingly puny.  

Jeesh Daram


Jeesh Daram

آقا، یکبار دیگر هم بشما تذکر دادم این موذی گری ها  و نمک نشناسی ها را کنار بگذار و برو دنبال درس و مشقت و پیدا کردن یک حرفه.  وقت خودت را با این لاتائلات و چرندیات تلف میکنی و مزاحم فکری افراد میشوی.   اگر هم شکوه و شکایتی داری به رهبر عالیقدرت بگو، او هم یک ترک ضد ایرانی است و آن ترکهایی که دور و بر او کار میکنند همه خائن و دشمن ایران هستند.   حالا نمک نشناسی کن تا بببین انگلستان برایت چه چیزی روی سینی خواهد آورد.  آن ترکیه تمام شکوفایی اقتصادیش را مدیون نفت و گار ایران است و اگر همین رهبر خائن نبود ما اکنون از ترکیه جلوتر بودیم.  ورق برگردد مابقی آذربایجان را که در حال حاضر تبدیل به ایستگاه مافیای بین المللی و پمپ بنزین آمریکا شده است هم با پس گردنی  پس خواهیم گرفت.  خیانت هم حدی دارد.  آذربایجان جنوبی یعنی چه، برو مشقت را سه بار بترکی و یکبار بفارسی بنویس و پاکنویس کن.  ناخنت را هم بگیر.  آنقدر هم با موهایت ور نرو 

Mohammad Ala

Aghar Iran olmasa, manim janim olmasin (Cho Iran nabashad tan-e

by Mohammad Ala on

I have three pictures which show flags of Turkey and Azerbaijan which is annexed part of Iran by paid apologists from Terktor-sazi’s game in Tabriz.  I was told pictures cannot be posted in the Comment section, so I cannot post them here.

Why the sign inside Iran is in English?  Azeri’s have more right than many other people who speak their own language or dialect inside Iran.  Azeri’s are NOT the only Turk speaking people inside Iran.  There are others, for example ghashghee’s. 

Many Azeri’s are proud of being Iranians then being Turk.  The majority of Iranian Turks are Iranians and beside Persian they also speak Turki.

The blogger must know that Azeri’s have many of their programs in their own language.  Those Azeri’s who did not go to School (mostly older generation) cannot communicate with non-Azeri’s, therefore it is important for Iranians to have a common language to communicate with each other and at the same time to maintain their own culture.

May one day our stolen land to be retuned to the motherland.  Aghar Iran olmasa, manim janim olmasin (Cho Iran nabashad tan-e man mabad).


History & geography

by jmyt17 on

Fred you are right.

I think we need to open basic glass for a people to teach them

History & geography.


History & geography

by Fred on

You need to take  history lessons and while at it, a basic geography lesson as well.

“The assimilation of millions of Turks for most of Iran's history..”

This statement of yours is just flat wrong, Iran has at least over 2000 years of documented history; cite your sources which give you the presence of  “Turks for the MOST of Iran’s history”

Also there is no such entity as “South Azerbaijan”, however, there is a part of Iran which was forcibly annexed by the Russians and to prepare for what is being attempted  now, the commies renamed the annexed area from Aran to Azerbaijan.

Chehregany & Heyat can say what they like, truth is something diffrent than their made up history.