Academician talks on importance of Azerbaijani language in Iran
By Sabina Mammadli
For centuries, the language of communication in Iran was not Persian, but Azerbaijani-Turkic, President of Azerbaijani National Sciences Academy (ANAS) Isa Habibbayli wrote in an article, Azernews reports.
"Even now in big cities, the representatives of various nationalities use the Azerbaijani language to communicate with each other. However, as rightly observed by President Ilham Aliyev, the Azerbaijani language was deliberately reduced to the "spoken language" level - it is not taught in Iranian schools," he said.
According to the article, the Azerbaijani language, which is the native language of Azerbaijanis residing in Southern Azerbaijan, was subjected to the influence of a large number of Arabic-Persian words, which were alien to the Azerbaijani language grammar and structure, resulting in significant changes in its colloquial features and writing style.
He added that all these factors have put the Azerbaijani language in Iran in jeopardy.
"In accordance with this, it is necessary to teach the Azerbaijani language on a constant basis in secondary and higher schools in Iran," he stressed.
Further, the academician noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran, which opens schools, newspapers, radio channels, and churches for a small number of Armenians, should also recognize the right of millions of Azerbaijanis to study in their native language.
"Depriving more than 35 million Azerbaijanis living in Iran of the right to study in their native language is completely contrary to human rights and humanity in general and is unacceptable. Azerbaijanis' rights in Iran have to be restored," Habibbayli finalized.
To recap, speaking at the international conference under the motto “Along the Middle Corridor: Geopolitics, Security and Economy” at ADA University, President Ilham Aliyev also highlighted this problem.
“We have 340 schools in Azerbaijan where lessons are conducted in the Russian language. We have 10 Georgian schools in Azerbaijan. In Georgia, there are 116 Azerbaijani schools although there is something like 200,000-300,000 Azerbaijanis in Georgia. There are Armenian schools in Iran. But there are no Azerbaijani schools in Iran. How can that happen?” the president questioned.
He underscored that this issue is a part of a society that has the same ethnic origin, speaks the same language, and has the same values as Azerbaijan.
“How can we be indifferent to that? Why can’t they learn their language at school? They are losing the language, you know. The problem is that. Why we are raising it is that the Azerbaijani language which is spoken in Iran is losing its literary component. It has become a language people speak at home. This issue must be addressed. And I am raising this issue also because this is a concern for us. I hope that the pro-Armenian actions of the Iranian government will not damage the very fragile peace, and I think, there will be more understanding of the necessity to take into account the feelings of the Azerbaijanis and our interests,” President Aliyev emphasized.
Sabina Mammadli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SabinaMmdl
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