Iran's abortive & moonshot attempts to portray Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi as Persian doomed to failure
By Ramiz Abbasli
Iran's abortive and moonshot attempts to portray the great Azerbaijani poet, Nizami Ganjavi, as a Persian author, are doomed to failure as just the word "Ganjavi" - a native of Ganca - the ancient Azerbaijani city, speaks volumes.
This attempt was a complete wash-out in the past and the renewed attempts amid Tehran's tense relations with Azerbaijan are morally bound to fail. Azerbaijan can stand on its own two feet and protect both national interests and heritage.
Addressing the 10th Global Baku Forum, themed “The World of Today: Challenges and Hopes” on March 9, 2023, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev once again recalled that Nizami Ganjavi was born, lived, died, and was buried in his native city of Ganja, one of the ancient cities of Azerbaijan.
In this regard, an article by poet Ramiz Abbasli, entitled "Lies and truth about Nizami", was published in the latest issue of the literary magazine Rossiyskiy Kolokol in an attempt to debunk Iran's unsubstantiated claim.
Noting that Ganjavi was a great poet, the author underlined that like all great poets, he also belongs to all mankind. However, he said that there are attempts to attribute the Azerbaijani poet to Persian literature.
The author adds that in the era of Nizami - in the XII century - there was no Persia.
“Persia, the state of the Sassanids, to whose literature they want to attribute Nizami, collapsed in 650. In the XII century, there was no Persia, and neither was its literature. Nizami was born, grew up, and created in the Turkic state of the Seljuk Empire, in the Turkic city of Ganja,” Abbasli wrote.
In the XVIII century, in one of the Iskandar-name manuscripts, lines were found that say: “Although I am lost in the Ganja Sea, like a pearl, I am from Khuzistan.”
Based on this, many scientists, without examining this issue, began to write, that Nizami comes from the Iranian city of Qom.
However, in the thirties of the XX century, Soviet orientalist E. Bertels proved that these lines do not exist in other manuscripts of Iskandar-name. That is, this is just a gross falsification - in those days it happened: scribes used to add things on their own accord. Taking this into account, many researchers call it fake. For example, Oxford University Professor Julia Scott Meisami and Iranian scientists to this day write that Nizami comes from the Iranian city of Qom and that he was a Persian poet.
Some pseudo-scholars, referring to the XIII century author Kirakos Gandzaseki, want to present Nizami as a Persian poet. In the second half of the XIII century, Kirakos wrote in his book that "many people, immigrants from Iran, and a few Christians" live in Ganja. Based on this, the above scientists made a hasty conclusion that in the XII century, there were a lot of Persians in Ganja (Kirakos does not write anything about Persians) and, accordingly, Nizami is also Persian.
However, Kirakos wrote about the second half of the XIII century when the Mongol invasion was raging, the population of central Iran, fleeing from the invaders, moved to the outskirts, including northern Azerbaijan, but they were not only Persians; they were Persians, and Arabs, and Turks, and Jews. About the era of Nizami, that is, about the XII century, Arab historians, geographers, and travelers of that time give accurate information: “Ganja is a Turkmen city”, “Arran (northern Azerbaijan) is teeming with Turkmens”.
To conclude, the article based solely on irrefutable facts proves that Ganjavi is a Turkic poet, a classic of Azerbaijani literature, Ramiz Abbasli said.
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