OguzTV: The undercurrent dynasty seems to have been to unite all land previously ruled by their ancestors, the moves led to long lasting wars between the Gajars and Russia, as Russia quested to seize Southern Caucasus. Ultimately, these hostilities led to the division of Azerbaijan into a northern part ruled by Russia and a southern part ruled by the Gajar confederation, as agreed in the treaties of Gulustan (1813) and Turkmenchay (1828).
Before the split, the Azerbaijani boarders reached from what is today Derbet (Darband), the most southern city of Russia, to the province of Hamadan, southwest of Tehran. During Russian rule of Northern Azerbaijan, its territory decreased significantly, this later became the Republic of Azerbaijan.Southern Azerbaijan is the Southern part of historically united Azerbaijan annexed to Iran after 1925 following the collapse of the TurkAz- Gajar Empire.
South Azerbaijan is currently a region in the northwest so called of Iran which lies south of Armenia and the Republic of North Azerbaijan and est of Turkey.
South Azerbaijan encompasses the province of East Azerbaijan Province, West Azerbaijan Province, Ardebil Province, Zenjan Province, Ghazvin Province, Hamadan Province, Markazi Province, Alborz, Anzali and Astara regions and Rasht city parts of Gilan Provinces and 6 Cities parts of Kordestan Provinces(Sonqur, Bicar, Qurve ..Cities).
The most significant cites of South Azerbaijan are Tabriz, Ardabil, Urmia, Zenjan, Khoy, Salmas, Sovuqbulaq (Mahabad) Sulduz (Naghadeh), Qoshachay(Miyandab), Ahar, Mughan, Sarab, Sayinqala(Shahindej), Astara, Saveh, Ghazvin, etc. Tabriz is the largest city and the capital of Southern Azerbaijan.
This region has great geographical and environmental diversity made up of mountains, valleys, forests, lakes and marshlands. Southern Azerbaijan is mostly populated by Shi’a Muslims; however, there are other religions minorities such as non-believers, Sunni Turks and Ahl Haq followers in South Azerbaijan.
Regardless of different religious views, the Southern Azerbaijanis speak Azerbaijani Turkic, a dialect of Oghuz Turkic language that is similar to Turkish and Turkmen. It is extremely difficult to give an accurate estimate of the population since it has been reported that the Iranian authorities tamper with the official statistics.
The members of the population of Azerbaijani descent in so called of Iran is estimated to be around 35 million . There are additionally large communities of Azerbaijani Turks living abroad, not only in Azerbaijan, but in countries such as Turkey, Russia, Georgia, U.S.A, Kazakhstan, Germany, Ukraine and Canada. Many immigrants from the Southern Azerbaijani territory have moved to other parts of Iran such as Tehran. At present, nearly 8 million Southern Azerbaijanis live outside Southern Azerbaijan, where more than a million of them are political immigrants, living in Europe and America. A million of them live in southern Iran while approximately 6 million live in the city of Tehran.
Right to Self-Determination and Independence
This brought to en end the great Turkish Qajar empire. Unfortunately, after the collapse of Qajar empire in 1923 and installment of Reza Pahlavi by foreign powers to the crown, the situation changed drastically. A very tolerant Qajar system gave way to a despotic, narrow-minded, racist regime with the fever of Aryan melancholy. Reza Pahlavi who was uneducated and illiterate himself hired many intellectuals to fabricate ” one language, one religion” country of so-called Iran.
The land which is called Iran today was settlement and cultural center of Turks. ‘’ Ariyayi’’ language speakers before coming to this land Turkish ethnics started from Sumerian ilam, qutti, arattu, and other Turkich ethnic groups have been resident and owner of this place. Today some of Azerbaijani Turks the main part of the natural heirs of Sumerian Turks. Since the millennium at the expense of their own blood to protect the land held by the labor of their hands and inhabited, today in their own homeland are being treated and under pressure as immigrants and strangers.
Turks have dominated and ruled Iran and the lands beyond it for thousands of years, and the northwest of Iran has long been the Azerbaijani Turks’ homeland. However, after the Gajar, the last Azerbaijani kingdom in Iran collapsed, the Pahlavi dynasty dominated Iran and this saw the beginnings of the anti-Turk movement.
However historian proved AZ ƏR (grade warrior) belonged to the Turkish nation, Persian chauvinist started covering up the truth about a long history and making a false identity for Azerbaijani Turks by adding ‘’I’’ to AZER they were claiming Azeri Turks language and its part of Pahlavi(Persian).
Persian chauvinists claimed ‘’Genghis khan changed their language’’, ‘’ shah ismail safavi gave Azerbaijani Turkish identity’’ or ‘’ Ottoman Empire during two weeks invasion of Tebriz changed Azerbaijani language to Turkish’’ trying to prove their false statements. Since pahlavi period negative propaganda and more severe systematic mass assimilation against Arabs and Turks started from khomeyini period.The state of fear and oppression continued until 1979 revolution which ousted Pahlavi regime and replaced it with a theocratic terrorist regime of mollas. The so called revolution of 1979 were aborted by abrupt coming to power of mollas. Only the administration changed, leaving the system intact. All projects of assimilation, depopulation, de-Turkisation, and destruction of South Azerbaijan were followed by Islamic regime. Oppressions were increased, population doubled, and poverty is hundred time worse than before.
Since that time *(1923) – non-Persian ethnic groups and specially Turks in majority, in particular clearly been subjected to insults and harassment. Mass assimilation applying at schools, army, administration, judiciary and Turkish language has been banned in all official state bodies, dissected exposed to the historical land of Azerbaijan cities, villages, mountains, rivers, and other historical places names were changed and Turkish names, Turkish literature and music were also banned .This policy still continuing. Persian chauvinists under the territorial integrity name of Iran applying assimilation policy,violence against non-Persian nations , compulsory military power is aimed to become a slave.
As a result, the Iranian government has consistently and repeatedly split Southern Azerbaijan into several different regions and perused a policy of separating the peoples of the region from their native languages and culture. Iran’s regimes have also altered the ethnic demography of the separated provinces of Azerbaijan by relocating groups of Fars into some of the Southern Azerbaijani provinces like Qazvin and Hamadan.( South Azerbaijan encompasses the province of East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, Ardebil Province, Zenjan Province, Ghazvin, Hamadan, Markazi, Alborz, Anzali and Astara regions parts of Gilan Provinces and parts of kordestan Provinces( Songour, Bicar, Ghourve Cities).
The continuance of the assimilation policy in Southern Azerbaijan by the regime in Tehran has to lead to a significant social and national identity crisis. The Iranian government has been running wide spread propaganda against any non-Fars national identity in Iran, so that the ethnic peoples will stop embracing their own traditional cultures and assimilate into the Persian centralised model.
Southern Azerbaijani women face double discrimination, since they experience inequality in terms of their gender and also for belonging to a minority group.
Now, after over 80 years of losing her sovereignty, South Azerbaijan is still under foreign occupation. South Azerbaijani Turk is deprived of his/her basic human and national rights such as education in own language, work, and live in own land with own culture.
South Azerbaijan has demonstrated will and ability to realize its Right to Self- Determination. South Azerbaijan had established democratic self-governance in 1920, 1945 and 1979. The people of South Azerbaijan enjoyed an inordinate political, social, cultural and economic development and preserved its cultural, linguistic, ethnic and territorial identity while self-governed.
The people of South Azerbaijan have demonstrated a resilient will to exercise and realize their right to Self Determination. In a free plebiscite, if held today, the vast majority of people of South Azerbaijan would vote for a Self- Governed South Azerbaijan which is the paramount remedy available under international law. South Azerbaijani Turks need all democratic non-governmental organizations and governments to hear our cry of independence, freedom and democracy.
Linguistic and cultural rights
Linguistic and cultural rights Currently the Azerbaijani Turkish language is suppressed in Iran, even though the Iranian constitution enshrines the right to minority groups to use their own language. The central government, however, prohibits use of Azerbaijani Turkish in schools, and no education is available at any level, and even at the University of Tabriz, where seven other languages are taught. Azerbaijanis want to be able to use their language when in contact with regional authorities and the judicial system, in particular to exercise the basic cultural rights as set out in article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Additionally, a number of street and place names have systematically been changed into Farsi.
One central problem in the media is that in reality the language used is a version of pseudo-Farsi with Azerbaijani Turkish influences. Therefore, Southern Azerbaijani people have campaigned for media productions to be broadcast in the correct form of the Azerbaijani Turkish language – both on radio and television. There is a strong feeling that the Azerbaijani cultural and historical heritage is being ignored, and even in some cases physically destroyed by bombing to make way for new buildings, in the case with the Ark Castle in Tabriz.
Genocide Day—17 December
17th December is the anniversary of the Southern Azerbaijanis genocide carried out by the Tehran regime during its occupation and the overthrowing of Azerbaijan
People’s Republic in 1946. During this invasion, 50000 Southern Azerbaijani civilians were killed and half a million were exiled or arbitrarily detained. The mass killings was discussed at the Nuremberg Court in 1948 and finally in 1950 was legally recognized as an act of genocide. The United States Supreme Court Associate Justice William O. Douglas in his famous book “Strange Lands and Friendly People” notes the event, he describes as vandalism done by Iran Army in Azerbaijan reminds him of the Nazis soldiers’ behavior towards France. This violence is known as the Genocide in Southern Azerbaijan.
During the aforementioned invasion of Southern Azerbaijan by the Pahlavi regime in 1946, all the books found to be published in the Azerbaijani Turkic language were burnt in public on 17 December 1946. The public use of Azerbaijani people`s mother tongue has been prohibited since then.
The United Nations has accorded the aforesaid actions against the Southern Azerbaijanis between 15 December 1948 and 19 December 1966, as breach of the international covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and it has also been declared as cultural genocide. Southern Azerbaijani civil activists hold special ceremonies on “book day”. They present Azerbaijani Turkish books to each other as gifts and some even donate Turkish books to retailers. SothernAzerbaijan