Regime's Turkophobia: 60,000 Armenians have schools in Iran, while 30 million Azerbaijani Turks are deprived of their language
Historically, Iran is considered the cradle of Turkish culture, which has been standing for thousands of years. Isfahan, Rey and other cities were the central parts of the ancient Turkish Seljuk state. It is no secret that a large number of Turkmens (known as Oghuz Turks) still live in the areas around the Caspian Sea, more precisely, from the city of Rasht to the borders of Turkmenistan and in southwestern Iran.
There are currently more than 50,000 nationalities of Turkish origin in Iran, and about 30,000 of them are Azerbaijani Turks. However, today those peoples of Turkic origin are under great pressure to speak their mother tongue. It is interesting that the Iranian regime opens special schools in the Armenian language in Iran for approximately 60,000 Armenian minorities. However, 30 million Azerbaijani Turks are forbidden to speak their mother tongue and even give their children their national names.
Elyar Kamrani, a political analyst from South Azerbaijan, while making a statement for Azernews, noted that the Turkophobia in Iran is not only related to the regime, this fear has a centuries-old history.
“The Turkish language has been banned in Iran for over 100 years. There are languages that, despite the ban, are not fined or prosecuted. But when our activists in Iran speak in Azerbaijani language, they are imprisoned for years or expelled from the country. This law has been in force since the time of Mohammad Rza Pahlavi. In Iran, regardless of era and government, the nation has suffered oppression due to the use of the Azerbaijani language. The use of this language is prohibited not only in schools, but also in shops and in food names. Otherwise, this person is either arrested or pays a large fine. Even the use of Turkish names is prohibited,” he said
Kamrani said that not only under the "mullah" regime but also in the Shah's period before the revolution, there was hatred towards the Azerbaijani Turks. The reason for Iran's fear of the Turkish language and the Turkish nation is that Iran's 100-year-old policy of assimilation may fail.
Pointing the reasons, the expert said that Azerbaijani Turks are the most numerous nation living in Iran.
“Thousands of people were expelled from their country and family
because they did not know the Persian (Farsi) language, they were
not allowed into schools. Despite the fact that it was impossible
before, but now Azerbaijanis and Turks are expressing their protest
in schools, squares, and offices, fearing no one, with slogan
saying "Turkic-speaking madrasah - for everyone." This is our
national right. Not only Iran, no one has the right to ban and
ignore it. I believe that as much it is important for a person to
breathe, is as much important to defend their national rights,” the
According to him, the only request of the Azerbaijani Turks is that the Azerbaijani language is equally respected with Persian. The opportunity must be created for everyone to make their own choice and be educated in the language of their choice.
“Although there are currently around 60,000 Armenians living in Iran, there are over 30 million of us - the Turks. However, no matter how much the Turks suffer in the country, the Armenians are given the exact opposite - full comfort. In Iran, Armenians speak the language they want, go to school, and mix up in society. Not only the language, they even promote their religion as they want,” Elyar Kamrani said.
He also spoke about the projects by the “mullah” regime, which turned out to be unsuccessful. Those were which the Azerbaijani language should be taught in high schools, institutes or universities, but not in secondary schools. However, the Turks opposed this project and it was not implemented. The only requirement of the Azerbaijani Turks is that the teaching of the Persian language and even the Armenian language, as well as the teaching of our language, be allowed and legalized in the same way.
“Later there was such a project that although in some schools it is allowed to speak Azerbaijani, the writing must also be translated into Persian. Of course, the Azerbaijani Turks oppose this and continue to demand their wishes. The Persians use all methods to completely eliminate the Azerbaijani language in the country. But by no means will this happen. As always, we will continue our protests and not allow the fall of our language and nation in the country,” the expert concluded.
Rena Murshud is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @RenaTagiyeva
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