سایت عباس جوادی Abbas Djavadi's Website

Azeri Turkish, My Mother’s Language

By Abbas Djavadi — February 21 is the International Mother Language Day and, again, I think about my own mother language, Azeri Turkish.

Half of the world’s 6,700 languages are in danger of disappearing before the century ends. «A language is endangered when its speakers cease to use it, use it in fewer and fewer domains, use fewer of its registers and styles, and/or stop passing it on to the next generation» (UNESCO).

I know, Azeri Turkish is not one of those 3,500 or more of endangered languages spoken by small communities, which UNSCO calls the public to protect. Azeri Turkish is spoken in Iran by 15-20 million (out of 66 m. total population of the country) plus by eight million people in the Republic of Azerbaijan where it is the state language. Azeri Turkish is a Turkic language, similar to, but not the same like Turkey’s Turkish. It is distinct from Persian, Iran’s state and official language.

Sure, nobody forbids us to speak Azeri Turkish at home or on the street. Even in mosques of Azeri populated Iranian provinces (Eastern and Western Azerbaijan, Ardabil, Zanjan), mullahs pray in Azeri Turkish and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, himself an ethnic Azeri, occasionally speaks in Azeri Turkish to warn of «enemies› attempts» to dismember the country. This was also a concern of the Shah regime that was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution 30 years ago.

I am certainly not a fan of the Islamic Republic, nor was I one of the Shah regime. I do, however, try to understand their concerns. The language issue was politically misused at least once in our history. In 1945, when Soviet troops occupied northern Iran, a pro-Soviet autonomous government was established in Tabriz, Iranian Azerbaijan’s capital that ultimately led to a de facto separation of Iran’s Azeri Turkish-speaking regions from the central government in Tehran. The main demand, and many say «pretext», raised by that government was the discrimination against Azeri Turkish language. That government fell after Soviet troops were forced to leave Iran. Since then, anybody demanding language rights for Azeri Turkish in Iran was referred to Moscow and that this kind of demands would instigate a split of Iran’s unity and territorial integrity.

But the facts remain unchanged since the centralization of state and education in 1920s: Iran’s ethnic Azeris can hardly write and read in Azeri Turkish because there is no education in their own, mother language. There is no single Azeri-Turkish school in the whole country, not even a course, and no institute at any university teaching the language. An Azeri-speaking citizen talks in Azeri Turkish to his family members and friends and neighbors, but writes his letters to the same people in Persian because he or she doesn’t know how to write in a standard Azeri Turkish.

Lack of education and official use has led to the social irrelevance of speaking and using the mother language. Practically banned from official written form, Azeri Turkish has been infiltrated by local and societal dialects and slangs on the one hand and Persian’s overwhelming dictionary and sentence structure, on the other. The language has dangerously become a folkloristic tool that its native speakers could (and, in practice, are encouraged to) abandon.

What is that if not discrimination? Imagine, you grow up in a mother language and an environment that is linguistically different from what you hear in school, in offices, on radio and TV, and from what you later read in newspapers.  You start to learn a language in school that is not your mother tongue. That’s fine. It’s Persian, the beautiful language of Iran. Every Iranian should learn it. Otherwise, how should we communicate?

But depriving a group, let alone millions of people from learning and using their mother language is a gross violation of a very fundamental human right. And it creates inequity in social chances. Nobody is prevented from taking any position in government or army or any other social activity because of being an Azeri or a Kurd. But the better you know and use Persian, the country’s single official and state language, the more chances you have to be successful. Those millions with a mother language other than Persian are disadvantaged compared to their Persian-speaking compatriots.

There is no (and, during the Shah’s rule, there has been no) ban on the use of Azeri Turkish in the private sphere. But there is (and has been) a strong resistance to its use in education. Most recently, a group of prominent writers including Ali Reza Sarrafi has been arrested simply for publishing and promoting works in Azeri language and on its literature and history.  Shahnaz Gholami, a prominent blogger and human rights activist, was imprisoned because she has been demanding the right for education in Azeri Turkish. Both Sarrafi and Gholami were charged with «acting against the national security of the Islamic Republic and its territorial integrity.»

There are many who argue that, on the contrary, repression against ethnic and linguistic rights weakens the social feeling of unity and provokes separatism. You would feel more integrated in a country and nation where your fundamental rights are respected and observed.

But, apparently, the Islamic Republic still believes that the risks of losing control and threat of disintegration of the nation are higher than the benefits of granting linguistic rights to Iran’s ethnic minorities. They suspect that «enemies» would use ethnic rights to sew animosity and division in the nation that now holds together. The question is which feelings «enemies» could use more effectively: the feeling that your mother language is deprived of basic rights or the feeling that you have similar linguistic rights like the native speakers of the majority.

For the neighboring Turkey, it took 30 years of terror and fighting against the Kurdish Workers› Party, PKK, to even acknowledge the existence of a large Kurdish minority. Ethnic and linguistic minorities are better off in Iran than in Turkey. But let’s hope Iran won’t need Turkey’s bitter experience to conclude what is in its own, best interest.

[A reprint from February 21, 2009]

(Published on RFE/RL’s website, republished on Peyvand, Iranian Minorities Human Rights Organization )

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42 پاسخ »

  1. Dear writer, In Iran we have provinces called Azarbayejan; we don’t have «Iranian Azerbaijan». all people who I know prounounce it as Azar, not Azer.

  2. Hello I am so happy I found your blog page, I really found you by error,
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  3. azeri dye birsey yoxdur! biz oguz turkleriyik! azeri fars sozudur -talislara ve tatlara daha yaxin bir dildir…bizler ise oguz turleriyik – turkiye turkleri, c.Azerbaycan.S.Azerbaycan.Q.Azerbaycan turkleri, moldoviyada Gagauzlar — bizim dillerimiz eynidir..Gagauzlarin xristian olmagina baxmayaraq onlarda bizler kimi turkduler – Boyuk Azerbaycan turklernin diline en yaxin dil xristian moldoviyada yasayan Gagauzlarin dilidir! sonra Turkiye turklerinin dili ve daha sonra ise Turkmenlerin dilidir.. Biz fars deyilik! bir turke fars demek ona soymekden daha kotudur! imza Russiyada yasayan Oguz turku! Azerbaycanli

  4. bizim dil turk dilidir hansi qaynaga isterseniz yonelin siz orada farsa ait hec bir incelik gore bilmeyeceksiniz.Iranda yasayan oguz turkleri sizin sozlerden istifade etmekleri sadece sizinle uzun illerdir bir arada qaynasmaqlarindan ireli gelir.

  5. Salam from here,

    This article is so interesting for me, at least it will open my mind about linguistic situations in Iran. I’ve been interested in Azeri language (but I don’t learn it seriously, just as widening my insight) especially in Iran, and sometimes compare it with its counterparts in Azerbaijan Republic. It’s so complicated I think compared with my own country (maybe similar, but in different version)
    I am from Indonesia where there are about 750 vernacular languages are spoken (almost 50% Indonesians are ethnically Javanese and most of them also speak Javanese even at office). Eventhough there’s no any ban for them spoken widely, but the unity language (bahasa Indonesia which is derived from High Malay) has been increasingly predominant and those 750 vernacular languages here are declining. Mother language day is also celebrated here, but most Indonesians aren’t so interested about it. Just slogan.
    Reviving vernacular languages are provincial policies, and not centralized here. But it doesn’t mean seperation as many think about. Just for enriching and colouring Indonesia itself as our slogan «Bhinneka Tunggal Ika» or «Unity in Diversity».
    Anywhere, pressure will flourish resistance, and I hope Iranian minorities will be better in the future (at least their linguistic rights are respected).

    Lastly, I apologize if I compare it with what happened in my country..just for sharing and Thanks God for finding this site.

    Salam

    An Indonesian reader

  6. Professor R. N. Frye of Harvard, in the section called «PEOPLES OF IRAN» in Encyclopædia Iranica, says: «The long and complex history of Azari, a major Iranian language and the original language of the region, and its partial replacement with Azeri Turkish, the present-day language of Azerbaijan, is surveyed in detail and with a wealth of citations from historical sources elsewhere in the Encyclopaedia (see AZERBAIJAN vii). Although the original Azari gradually lost its stature as the prevalent language by the end of the 14th century, the fact that the region had produced some of the finest Persian writers and poets of classical Persian, including Qaṭrān of Tabriz.»

    (Anyone that thinks the present Turkic-Azeri was their mother language is a fool, under-educated, or wishes bad things for the people of Iran.)

    And what can you claim now? That the most celebrated Harvard Professor on Iranian studies is a ‹Persian Racist’? Learn to speak Persian.

  7. Professor Igrar Aliyev states that:
    “In the writing of medieval Arab historians (Ibn Hawqal, Muqqaddesi..), the people of Azarbaijan spoke Azari. This Azari was without doubt an Iranian language because it is also contrasted with Dari but it is also mentioned as Persian. It was not the same as the languages of the Caucasus mentioned by Arab historians. Azari is not exactly Dari (name used for the Khorasanian Persian which is the Modern Persian language). From the research conducted by researchers upon this language, this language is part of the North Western Iranian languages and was close to Talyshi language. Talyshi language has kept some of the characteristics of the Median language.”

    There are hundreds of ancient books on the fact that the original language of the people of Azerbaijan was Persian-Azari, which later became «Turkified.» If an Azari wants to learn his or her «mother tongue» they should study Middle Persian (Pahlavi).

  8. For several thousand years, the original language of people living in Azerbaijan was Middle Persian (a dialect known as «Pahlavi»). As a result of recent «turkification» many Azerbaijanis lost the ability to speak Persian-Azari and replaced it with the Turkic dialect. The article claims that, «Iran’s ethnic Azeris can hardly write and read in Azeri Turkish because there is no education in their own, mother language. » Your mother language was Persian. Even the official Azerbaijan Government Site says: «4th-3rd century BC – Darius III’s (Persian King of Kings) General Atropat is made King of Media Minor. Thus, the land is named after him as ‹Atoorpatkan›.» What Pan-Turkists can’t seem to answer is why their ‹Turkic› land is named after a Persian General who served a Persian King and was an adherent of the Persian religion of Zoroastriansm? They also are not able to explain why Ba-Ku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is a conjunction of the Persian words «Baad» (wind) and «Kubideh» (to pound) (BaKu = wind pounded city and was called Baad-Kubideh in texts several thousand years old). Pan-Turkists also can’t explain why all the important ancient artifacts in Azerbaijan, including stone carvings, are in Persian-Azari (Pahlavi). Turkic as your «mother tongue»? Give me a break. «Turk» is a Chinese word and the origin of the real Turks is the Altai Mountains in China/Mongolia.

  9. Thanks for your writing,it is adorable ,but i think that there isnt any language ,accent ,dialect by the name of Azeri,our language is Turkish and we are from azerbaijan , like Tatars,Uygurs,Turkey ,irans gashgayi Turks and……, that their language is Turkish ,and in the end i wanna finish by one sentence (( Stop persian Racism ))

  10. Thanks for your writing,it is adorable ,but i think that there isnt any language ,accent ,dialect by the name of Azeri,our language is Turkish and we are from azerbaijan , like Tatars,Uygurs,Turkey ,irans gashgayi Turks and……, that their language is Turkish and azerbaijanians language is Turkish like them

  11. It’s amazing to what extent Persians and Kurds are trying to prove Azeris are not Turks. People, please keep your identity and let others speak for themselves. It’s as simple as that. Yes, Azeris are Turks with their own distinct culture and identity, which is neither anatolian nor persian. And, they’re not“aryan”, which is perfectly fine, unless if you have a racism problem.

    Folks are bringing up the issue of Kurds in Turkey to this blog, which is on “Azeri Turkish”. Why create a distraction here? Why don’t you recognize the rights of Azeri Turks and expect mutual respect? Claims are made about good persian intentions towards Azeri Turks. Is banning the Azeri language a good intention? Is jailing Azeris for using their ethnic names and language a good intention? On the other hand claims are made that Kurds in Turkey cannot speak kurdish in private. How did that happen? Turkey has bugged all their homes? As someone commented, Kurds in Turkey enjoy many cultural rights including TV and Radio stations in kurdish.

  12. Dear Serkan,
    I am half-Persian half-Azeri, but I do not wish to be confused with the person who posted under «Guest» and who says he is half-Persian half-Turkish (I assume he meant Azeri Turk)…I have not mentioned Kurds in any of my postings…

  13. To the situation of Azeri brothers in Iran, I can’t say too much about as I don’t exactly know the conditions Azeri’s live in… But here in Turkey, the general belief of an ordinary man is that Azeri Turks are being oppressed and marginalized by Persian chauvinism. No joke, I even came across some Iranians claiming that Azeri Turkish is related to some sort of ‹Azari›, which they believe is a Persian dialect?!? Wouldn’t that upset you when you hear this kind of crap?

    Anyways, I hope everything gets well and that Azeri Turks get their well-deserved rights.

    • Reza!Thanks for letting me know I rellay love persian font, it’s beautiful. I’m a Japanese so it’s never strange for me to see Japanese / Chinese characters (even Korean, I see them a lot on street signs in my hometown) but persian is rellay different. I started to realize how others feel about Japanese characters.

  14. Hello, I’m Turkish and want to reply to the person who says he’s half Turkish & half Persian:

    Yes, many mistakes are made by my country (Turkey) in regards to Kurds and the price we had to pay for this was high. However, the current situation is very different. Kurds can freely express themselves in Kurdish. We have singers who sing in Kurdish, TV-stations in Kurdish, names of towns changed to Kurdish, Kurdish language courses… We even have universities training Kurdologists… Yet, we are not perfect but the Kurds in Turkey are now in better condition than in any of our neighbors… They can even shout their support to PKK without even getting punished :). Try to beat that!

  15. I am half Turkish half Persian.

    Kurds in Turkey never had and doesn’t have linguistic freedom in official degrees. Unlike Azeris, they were banned to use it privately till mid 2000’s. Names of their citiess where changed to Turkish. They were told to be ‹Mountain Turks›. None of you can’t deny these without lying.

    Azeris were always told to be of Turkic people. With start of 20th century genetic researches started about them and it showed that they are partly Caucasian and partly Persian. They were Turkified locals. But these findings wouldn’t change their Turk identity. They were well adopted, never denied. Because Persians never had the wrong intentions that Turkish state had. It is a reality that they were made fun of but Persians doesn’t see them like they make jokes about them as you can imagine. They were protectors of Iran. As they made the army of Persians they were also their rulers as the military power meant everything.

    I am not a supporter of Iranian Regime today. But let’s be honest. Even the most Europanized contry of region, Turkey doesn’t give these kinds of freedoms (education in native language) to their Kurd citizens. (which are at least 20 percent of country which I think is a lot lot more ) They didnt even recognize them. In this perspective even recognition of Azeris is a big deal for Iran’s state which is a total disgrace. Azeris should wait until the situation in region would develop as the Persian state would evolve into a state of freedom. Or maybe revolve.

  16. تورکون دیلی رسمی السون.in iran threre are language racism .

  17. The comment about Azeris being closer to Turkish people than to Persians was made by Zarina, and I felt it deserved a rebuttal, or at the very least a clarification.

  18. P.S. I was answering Zarina in that previous commentary, hence the confusion.

  19. And yes, I wholeheartedly agree with you, that Turkish (Altaic) and Persian (Indo-European) are two completely distinct languages.

    An Azeri who does not know Farsi very well, would understand a person from Istanbul better than he would a person from Shiraz.

    I will fight to assert Azeri identity however, as I am already quite angry that official government websites list many Azeri-speaking cities in Hamadan Province as «Persian-speaking».

    Hamadan Province has always had an Azeri majority, and is historically speaking, Azerbaijan.

    I remember my late grandmother’s poem still…»Chixtim Alvand Dagina, Baxtim Cennet Bagina…» (there’s more of course).

  20. Sayin Abbas Bey,

    The last comment was mine, not Zarina’s.

    Sagol,

    P.B.

  21. Dear Zarina khanom, salam…
    Thanks a lot for this insightful comment. Just a small correction: I didn’t and wouldn’t say «AzeriS are closer to Turkish than Persian people» but pointed to the language that Azeri Turkish is distinct from Persian and close to Anatolian Turkish («Azeri Turkish is a Turkic language, similar to, but not the same like Turkey’s Turkish. It is distinct from Persian, Iran’s state and official language.») You agree?

  22. Zarina,

    Azeris are linguistically and to some degree, culturally closer to Anatolian Turks, but there are elements of Azeri culture (including the common Shia faith they share with Persians) that make them closer to Persians. Genetically speaking (DNA analysis done by several ethnologists), Azeris are closer to other Kavkaz people and in several cases to Persians, than Anatolian Turks. Azeri mugham is much closer to Persian musical styles than Anatolian Turkish music. There is not much in common between mugham and Anatolian «sarkilar» (Turkey’s classical and traditional music), nor to the more modern «Arabesk» style of Anatolian Turkish music. Azeri dances are typically Kavkaz…the women with two long braids and typical Kavkaz costumes is found in other Kavkaz nations. The linguistic factor is a strong one however. Anatolian Turkish and Azeri Turkish come from the same Oghuz parent language, and historically, centuries of Seljuk rule left its Turkic imprint in both the Caucasus and Asia Minor. So there is also a common historic link between Azeris and Anatolian Turks. Yet there was also bitter rivalry and even hatred between the Shia Safavis who were Azerbaijani and the Sunni Ottoman Turks. Safavi rule bound Azeri and Persian together. In Iran, intermarriage between Azeris and Persians who share a common Shia faith and a common Iranian nationality, dates back to Safavi rule…it is not a new phenomenon and goes back centuries. Hence there has also been cross-pollination of cultures between Azeri culture and Persian culture, resulting in a certain closeness that cannot be denied.
    So it all depends on which aspect of Azeris you are talking about when you simply say, «Azeris are much closer to Turkish than Persian people».
    I am half Azeri and half Persian. I am proud of both, even though I am upset by certain things, such as the website for my father’s home town in Hamadan province, being entirely in Farsi even though the town he comes from is one hundred percent Azeri-speaking, and the Farsi version of wikipedia wrongly stating that the city is Persian-speaking when in fact it is not.

  23. George(s),

    Dunjamali, or, the correct spelling, Dunyamali, does sounds Turkish, or Azerbaijani: «dunya» means «world» and «mal» means «wealth» or «property», so with the suffics «i» here the name measn «property of the world»…

    And yes, Azeris or Azerbaijanis, which is more correct, are much closer to Turkish than Persian people, if this is what you are asking about..

  24. Hi

    I just wanted to know… my grandfather was born in Baku. He lived there till the soviet occupation. Hi’s name was Mohamed Oglu Dunjamali. Mohamed and Ogku sound very turkish to me but what about Dunjamali. I’m not even sure about the correct spelling. So I still don’t get this… are Azeris more close to turkish or iranian people`?

  25. Menim dilim olen deyil, fars diline donen deyil…

    Indi farslarin novbetidi…farslar turk dilini oyrenmelidiler…

  26. Dear Araz, thanks a lot for the feedback. Frankly, I am not familiar with the subject «racism in Iran.»

  27. Dear Mr Djavadi
    I found your article very usefull. Considering your knowlege in Azeri’s political situation in iran I wonder if u could creat a new article in wikipedia titled «Racism in iran».
    yours,

  28. You refer to Ayatollah Khamenei as an ethnic Azeri…Ayatollah Khamenei is only half Azeri (father’s side) and he was born in Mashad, a Persian city. His knowledge of Azeri is very poor, and he speaks what little he knows with a heavy Persian accent. Hence, I would hesitate to refer to him an as ethnic Azeri.

    O Meshede anadan olub, yani farslar arasinda dunyaya gelib, ve hech azerice danishmir…men ozum az az qaniram, ama onnan daha yaxshi basha dushurem.

    Besides, he identifies with Persians only, so he is not an ethnic Azeri please…
    neyse…

  29. By the way, 60 percent of Hamadan Province (Hemedan Ostani) in Iran is Azeri-speaking. That is, the MAJORITY.

  30. To the creators of the «Ostandariye Hamadan» website, Famenin (Pamulu), my father’s home town, is NOT a Persian-speaking city, it is AZERI-speaking, and the same goes for neighboring Razan.

    I am not anti-Persian as my own mother is Persian. But I am SICK and TIRED of seeing websites related to Famenin inaccurately list the spoken language there as «Farsi».

    Famenin shehri turkdu(r), turk qalacaq. Famenin shehri hech vaxt farshlashmayacaq.

    So to those ethnocentric Persians who think they can change the face and identity of my father’s native town: do zar bede ash, be hamin khiyal bash.

  31. Mr. Djavadi,

    I respectfully disagree with a couple of statements in your article. First, there’s an official ban on Azeri Turkish in Iran. The only place where Aeris can speak their mother tongue is at home. It’s simple, there’s no way the authorities can police people at their homes.

    Comparing the situation of Kurds in Turkey to the Azeris in Iran is misplaced. I hear this a lot from Persians. Are Persians punishing Azeri Turks because of the situation of the Kurds in Turkey? The fact is that today Kurds in Turkey enjoy linguistic and cultural freedom. Azeris in Iran don’t have any linguistic rights. On the other hand Kurds in Iran are supported when it comes to settling them in west Azerbaijan. Kurds in Iran and Turkey want to keep their tribal lifestyle and continue to live on various sorts of trafficking activities. This is in contrast to Azeris who have been on the forefront of modernization in Iran.

    Kurds in Turkey want to form a separate country. Azeris in Iran want cultural and linguistic rights within the framework of Iran. That’s what Pishawari stated clearly years ago. Persians never accepted it, and tried to portray him as a separatist.

    • Understood. And thanks. On the Kurds in Turkey and those «small liberties» for Azeris in Iran, I respectfully disagree. On general picture, however, I think you are right. Thanks for the comment.

  32. Correction, it was the first entry that I was referring to. My apologies.

  33. The last entry to these comments illustrates the fundamental problem of the Persians towards the Azeri Turkish people of Azerbaijan; they deny the existence of the Azeri Turkish language. They reluctantly call it Azeri, and then try to prove that it is in fact a Persian dialect. Without even understanding a word of Azeri Turkish, Persians can tell that Azeri Turkish is not Turkish. Any linguist would tell you that Azeri Turkish is Turkish, same grammar and structure, with minor differences of choice of words., like the differences between French of France and French of Quebec. On the other hand, Persians are quick to call the language of Tajikistan Persian and not Tajiki. Why so much zeal to suppress the Azeri Turkish? Why so much zeal to prove that Azeris Turks are Aryans? There’re many multi-ethnic countries in the world that live is harmony and are strong. It’s ok to have non-Aryans in Iran. We can be a strong country only when there’s real mutual respect, no more false or empty statements.

  34. Doğrusu Abbas bəy bu məsələ Duşmənçiliq lə nifrətdən keçib… bunu bizdə yox bizə qarşı görə bilərsiz…
    bu kin, bu nifrət ki türklərdən buların gözünü tutub, bir şey yaradır o da aynısını onlara qarşıdır…

    həyə çox avam onlara inanıb indi biz dinsəq də bizim üzümüzə, (türk türkə) -farsı savunmaya və oların nifrətini görməməzdən gələrək – tüpürəcəklər.

    belə yuyublar beyinləri… bildiqcə gördükcə acısı yandırır adamı…

    qarnı zığlı biz yox ki olardılar bizə qarşı bu işləri görməkdə…

    nəysə, duşmançılıq eliyən, gərək də qarşısında aynı təbkiyi gözləsin
    yumuşaqlıqla diyəndə saymamazlıqdan, eşitməməzliqdən, grməməzliqdən… gəlirlər

    doğru evlərdə danışılır… yox hələ buyursunlar onu da qoymasınlar… qardaşım bu olan iş deyil ona görə evlərə girib bunu dəyişməyə bacadan düşmürlər, qapıdan girillər, pambığla baş kəsirlər. elə vurullar heç özün bilmirsən hardan yeyibsən…..

    mediyalarının gücüylə, və çox uzun sürəc kullanılıb gündən günə daha gücləşən psycho işlərlər… beyinləri elə gözəl yuyublar ki… bunu sanıram yaxcı görürsüz…

    bir də ki bu gizlinc nəslkoşi deyil nəmənədi?

  35. عزیز یاغمور، فکر لرینیزی، گوردوکلرینیز، بیلدیکلرینیزی پایلاشدیغینیز اوچون ساغ اولون. مسئله اولدوقجا «پیتداشیق» و چتین دیر و منیم نظریمه گوره بیر ایکی مقاله و یا پاراگرافدا آیدین لاشماز. شخصا منیم امیدیم اودور کی، آرادا دشمن لیک، نفرت ، قان و آیریلیق یارانماسین. احتراملا، عباس

  36. but now Sir in Turkey Kurds have the right to be educated in their mother language/// they have their own TV and ….

    they are may be 10% of 70 million of Turkey population, but what about us in Iran?

    we are 30% of 70 million popularity but we have been ignored and being punished of being Turk always…

    being discriminated, ridiculed, banned of having our language to be a part of our education, imprissoned if we ask for Turks rights, ( even Kurds or Arabs or … any ethnics except for your beloved persians ). ….

    we always being sensored even by our own people who already has been asimilated , was burn a Turk but grown as a Fars and give birth for persians….

  37. Thanks. I know, it’s a disputed issue, the name of the «Turkic» language we speak in Iranian Azerbaijan. I wish I could send you a copy of an article I wrote back in 1987 in the Istanbul-based «Turk Dunyasi Tarih Dergisi» entitled: «Azerbaycan Turkce’sinin Adlandirilmasi Hakkinda Bazi Notlar.» There I argue that «Azerbaycanca» or «Turki» or «Azeri» are not very appropriate. But, yes, I understand your concerns.

  38. A nice write-up with a logical conclusion. However, there is no language called ‹Azeri-Turkish› in the world. It’s simply Azeri or Azerbaijani, as the world knows it officially. Turkish is spoken in Turkey only. Other Turkic languages, including Azeri, could not be called ‹Turkish›. It’s better to keep it more precise, especially when the article had originally been written for a radio station, not a weblog. Thanks.

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