This article is about the Azerbaijani ethnic group.
For an analysis of the population of the Republic of Azerbaijan, see Demographics of Azerbaijan.
"Azeri" redirects here.
For other uses, see Azeri (disambiguation).
|Regions with significant populations|
|Iran||15 million (Encyclopædia Britannica)
10.9–15 million (CIA factbook, Knüppel, Ethnologue, Swietochowski) 12–18.5 million (e.g. Elling, Minahan, Gheissari) 6–6.5 million
|United Arab Emirates||7,000|
Azerbaijanis (/ˌæzərbaɪˈdʒɑːni/; Azerbaijani: Azərbaycanlılar, آذربایجانلیلار) or Azeris (Azerbaijani: Azərilər, آذریلر), also known as Azerbaijani Turks (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Türkləri, آذربایجان تۆرکلری), are a Turkic ethnic group with mixed Caucasian and Iranian background, living mainly in the sovereign Republic of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijan region of Iran.
The world's largest number of ethnic Azerbaijanis live in Iran, followed by the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Following the Russo-Persian Wars of 1813 and 1828, the territories of Qajar Iran in the Caucasus were ceded to the Russian Empire, and the treaties of Gulistan in 1813 and Turkmenchay in 1828 finalized the borders between Russia and Iran.
After more than 80 years of being under the Russian Empire in the Caucasus, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was established in 1918 which established the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The name of "Azerbaijan" which the leading Musavat party adopted, for political reasons, was, prior to the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918, exclusively used to identify the adjacent region of contemporary northwestern Iran.
Certain lexical and grammatical differences formed within the Azerbaijani language as spoken in the Republic of Azerbaijan and Iran, after nearly two centuries of separation between the communities speaking the language; mutual intelligibility, however, has been preserved.
Additionally, the Turkish and Azerbaijani languages are mutually intelligible to a high enough degree that their speakers can have simple conversation without prior knowledge of the other.
The name Atropates is the Hellenistic form of Old Persian Aturpat which means 'guardian of fire' itself a compound of ātūr () 'fire' (later garbled into ādur (آذر) in (early) New Persian, and is pronounced āzar today) + -pat () suffix for -guardian, -lord, -master (-pat in early Middle Persian, -bod (بُد) in New Persian).
Present-day name Azerbaijan is the Arabicized from of Āzarpāyegān (Persian: آذرپایگان) meaning 'the guardians of fire' later becoming corrupted to Azerbaijan (Persian: آذربایجان) due to the phonemic shift from /p/ to /b/ and /g/ to /j/ which is a result of the medieval Arabic influences that followed the Arab invasion of Iran, and is due to the lack of the phoneme /p/ and /g/ in the Arabic language.
The word Azarpāyegān itself is ultimately from Old Persian Āturpātakān (Persian: آتورپاتکان) meaning 'the land associated with (satrap) Aturpat' or 'the land of fire guardians' (-an, here garbled into -kān , is a suffix for association or forming adverbs and plurals; e.g.: Gilan 'land associated with Gil people').
The modern ethnonym "Azerbaijani" or "Azeri" refers to the Turkic peoples of Iranian Azerbaijan and the Republic of Azerbaijan.
They historically called themselves or were referred to by others as Muslims, Turks, Turkmens, Persians, Iranians, or Ajams – that is to say that religious identification prevailed over ethnic identification.
When the Southern Caucasus became part of the Russian Empire in the nineteenth century, the Russian authorities, who traditionally referred to all Turkic people as Tatars, defined Tatars living in the Transcaucasus region as Caucasian or Aderbeijanskie (Адербейджанские) Tatars in order to distinguish them from other Turkic groups.
The Russian Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary, written in the 1890s, also referred to Tatars in Azerbaijan as Aderbeijans (адербейджаны), but noted that the term had not been widely adopted.
This ethnonym was also used by Joseph Deniker:
In Azerbaijani language publications, the expression "Azerbaijani nation" referring to those who were known as Tatars of the Caucasus first appeared in the newspaper Kashkul in 1880.
The influx of the Oghuz and other Turkmen tribes was further accentuated by the Mongol invasion.
Here, the Oghuz tribes divided into various smaller groups, some of whom – mostly Sunni – moved to Anatolia (e.g., the later Ottomans) and became settled, while others remained in the Caucasus region and later – due to the influence of the Safaviyya – eventually converted to the Shia branch of Islam.
The latter was to keep the name "Turkmen" or "Turcoman" for a long time: from the 13th century onwards they gradually Turkified the Iranian-speaking populations of Azerbaijan (historic Azerbaijan, also known as Iranian Azerbaijan) and Shirvan (Azerbaijan Republic), thus creating a new identity based on Shia and the use of Oghuz Turkic.
Today, this Turkic-speaking population is known as Azerbaijani.
Early Iranian settlements included the Scythians (Ishkuza Kingdom) in the ninth century BC.
The ancient Iranian people of the Medes forged a vast empire between 900 and 700 BC, which the Achaemenids integrated into their own empire around 550 BC.
Alexander the Great defeated the Achaemenids in 330 BC, but allowed the Median satrap Atropates to remain in power.
Caucasian Albania's ruler, King Urnayr, went to Armenia and then officially adopted Christianity as the state religion in the fourth century AD, and Albania remained a Christian state until the 8th century.
Muslim Arabs defeated the Sassanids and Byzantines as they marched into the Caucasus region.
The Arabs made Caucasian Albania a vassal state after the Christian resistance, led by Prince Javanshir, surrendered in 667.
However, despite pockets of continued resistance, the majority of the inhabitants of Azerbaijan converted to Islam.
The Seljuk period marked the influx of Oghuz nomads into the region.
The emerging dominance of the Turkic language was chronicled in epic poems or dastans, the oldest being the Book of Dede Korkut, which relate allegorical tales about the early Turks in the Caucasus and Asia Minor.
Turkic dominion was interrupted by the Mongols in 1227, but it returned with the Timurids and then Sunni Qara Qoyunlū (Black Sheep Turkmen) and Aq Qoyunlū (White Sheep Turkmen), who dominated Azerbaijan, large parts of Iran, eastern Anatolia, and other minor parts of West Asia, until the Shi'a Safavids took power in 1501.
Early modern period
The Safavids, alongside their Ottoman archrivals, dominated the entire West Asian region and beyond for centuries.
Noted for achievements in state-building, architecture, and the sciences, the Safavid state crumbled due to internal decay (mostly royal intrigues), ethnic minority uprisings and external pressures from the Russians, and the eventually opportunistic Afghans, who would mark the end of the dynasty.
The Safavids encouraged and spread Shi'a Islam, as well as the arts and culture, and Shah Abbas the Great created an intellectual atmosphere that according to some scholars was a new "golden age".
He reformed the government and the military and responded to the needs of the common people.
After the Safavid state disintegrated, it was followed by the conquest by Nader Shah Afshar, a Shia chieftain from Khorasan who reduced the power of the ghulat Shi'a and empowered a moderate form of Shi'ism, and, exceptionally noted for his military genius, making Iran reach its greatest extent since the Sassanid Empire.
Russia loomed as a threat to Persian and Turkish holdings in the Caucasus in this period.
The Russo-Persian Wars, despite already having had minor military conflicts in the 17th century, officially began in the eighteenth century and ended in the early nineteenth century with the Treaty of Gulistan of 1813 and the Treaty of Turkmenchay in 1828, which ceded the Caucasian portion of Qajar Iran to the Russian Empire.
While Azerbaijanis in Iran integrated into Iranian society, Azerbaijanis who used to live in Aran, were incorporated into the Russian Empire.
Modern period in Republic of Azerbaijan
After the collapse of the Russian Empire during World War I, the short-lived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic was declared, constituting what are the present-day republics of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia.
When the republic dissolved in May 1918, the leading Musavat party adopted the name "Azerbaijan" for the newly established Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which was proclaimed on 27 May 1918, for political reasons, even though the name of "Azerbaijan" had always been used to refer to the adjacent region of contemporary northwestern Iran.
Among the important accomplishments of the Parliament was the extension of suffrage to women, making Azerbaijan the first Muslim nation to grant women equal political rights with men.
Another important accomplishment of ADR was the establishment of Baku State University, which was the first modern-type university founded in Muslim East.
By March 1920, it was obvious that Soviet Russia would attack the much-needed Baku.
Although the bulk of the newly formed Azerbaijani army was engaged in putting down an Armenian revolt that had just broken out in Karabakh, Azeris did not surrender their brief independence of 1918–20 quickly or easily.
As many as 20,000 Azerbaijani soldiers died resisting what was effectively a Russian reconquest.
The brief independence gained by the short-lived Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918–1920 was followed by over 70 years of Soviet rule.
After the restoration of independence in October 1991, the Republic of Azerbaijan became embroiled in a war with neighboring Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Modern period in Iran
In Iran, Azerbaijanis such as Sattar Khan sought constitutional reform.
The Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906–11 shook the Qajar dynasty.
A parliament (Majlis) was founded on the efforts of the constitutionalists, and pro-democracy newspapers appeared.
The last Shah of the Qajar dynasty was soon removed in a military coup led by Reza Khan.
In the quest to impose national homogeneity on a country where half of the population were ethnic minorities, Reza Shah banned in quick succession the use of the Azerbaijani language in schools, theatrical performances, religious ceremonies, and books.
Upon the dethronement of Reza Shah in September 1941, Soviet forces took control of Iranian Azerbaijan and helped to set up the Azerbaijan People's Government, a client state under the leadership of Sayyid Jafar Pishevari backed by Soviet Azerbaijan.
Immediately thereafter, the Iranian government regained control of Iranian Azerbaijan.
According to Professor Gary R. Hess:
Origins of the Azerbaijanis
Main article: Origin of the Azerbaijanis
Modern-day Azerbaijanis are believed to be primarily the descendants of the Caucasian Albanian and Iranian peoples who lived in the areas of the Caucasus and north of Iran, respectively, prior to Turkification.
Historian Vladimir Minorsky writes that largely Iranian and Caucasian populations became Turkic-speaking:
The Azerbaijanis of Iran are believed to be descended from various groups, including Mannaeans, an ancient people who lived in the territory of present-day northwestern Iran to the south of Lake Urmia at around the 10th to 7th centuries BC, and spoke a dialect related to Hurrian (a non-Semitic and non-Indo-European language related to Urartian), and the Medes, an ancient Iranian ethnic group which, under the rule of King Cyaxares, established the Median Empire and came to dominate the region.
The Median Empire is believed to have conquered and assimilated the Mannaeans by the 6th century BC.
Historical research suggests that the Old Azeri language, belonging to the Northwestern branch of the Iranian languages and believed to have descended from the language of the Medes, gradually gained currency and was widely spoken in said region for many centuries.
Some Azerbaijanis of the Republic of Azerbaijan are believed to be descended from the inhabitants of Caucasian Albania, an ancient country located in the eastern Caucasus region, and various Iranian peoples which settled the region.
They claim there is evidence that, due to repeated invasions and migrations, the aboriginal Caucasian population may have gradually been culturally and linguistically assimilated, first by Iranian peoples, such as the Persians, and later by the Oghuz Turks.
Considerable information has been learned about the Caucasian Albanians, including their language, history, early conversion to Christianity, and relations with the Armenians and Georgians, under whose strong religious and cultural influence the Caucasian Albanians came in the coming centuries.
Main article: Turkification
Turkification of the Azerbaijanis derives from the Turkic settlements in the area now known as Azerbaijan, which began and accelerated during the Seljuk period.
Most academics view the linguistic Turkicisation of predominantly non-Turkic-speaking indigenous peoples and assimilation of small populations of Turkic tribes as the most likely origin for the people of Azerbaijan.
Some genetic research on the Azerbaijani people supports the view that the Azerbaijanis originate from a native population long resident in the area who adopted a Turkic language through a process of "elite dominance", i.e. a limited number of Turkic settlers had a substantial cultural impact but left only weak patrilineal genetic traces.
It is believed that the Medes mixed with Mannai.
Ancient written accounts, such as one written by Arab historian Al-Masudi, attest to an Iranian presence in the region:
Archaeological evidence indicates that the Iranian religion of Zoroastrianism was prominent throughout the Caucasus before Christianity and Islam.
It has also been hypothesized that the population of Iranian Azerbaijan was predominantly Persian-speaking before the Oghuz arrived.
This claim is supported by the many figures of Persian literature who came from regions now populated by ethnic Azerbaijani and who wrote in Persian prior to and during the Oghuz migration, such as Qatran Tabrizi, Shams Tabrizi, Nizami Ganjavi, and Khaghani.
The claim is mentioned by other medieval historians, such as Al-Muqaddasi.
Encyclopaedia Iranica says:
According to Encyclopædia Britannica:
Considerable information has been learned about the Caucasian Albanians including their language, history, early conversion to Christianity.
The Udi language, still spoken in Azerbaijan, may be a remnant of the Albanians' language.
Research conducted by Maziar Ashrafian Bonab, et al.
of the Department of Genetics at University of Cambridge showed that Azeris living in Iran are connected to the Persian (Iranian) people of Iran in terms of their FST (fixation index) value, their MRCA (most recent common ancestor), and their mtDNA genetic types, and that Azeris are distant from Anatolian Turks and European Turks .
No close genetic relationship was observed between Azeris of Iran and the people of Turkey or Central Asians.
According to the current results, present-day Kurds and Azeris of Iran seem to belong to a common genetic pool.
Iranian Azerbaijanis are genetically more similar to northern Azerbaijanis and the neighboring Turkic population than they are to geographically distant Turkmen populations.
However, it is also significant that the evidence of genetic admixture derived from Central Asians (specifically Haplogroup H12), notably the Turkmen, is higher for Azerbaijanis than that of their Georgian and Armenian neighbors.
Iranian-speaking populations from Azerbaijan (the Talysh and Tats) are genetically closer to Azerbaijanis of the Republic than to other Iranian-speaking populations (Persian people and Kurds from Iran, Ossetians, and Tajiks).
Some genetic studies support the view that the Azerbaijanis originate from a native population long resident in the area who adopted a Turkic language through a process of "elite dominance", i.e. a limited number of Turkic immigrants had a substantial cultural impact but left only weak patrilineal genetic traces.
The mtDNA subclade U7a4 peaks among the modern inhabitants of Azerbaijan (26%) and Azerbaijani inhabitants of northwestern Iran (16–22%), while occurring in the rest of Iran at frequencies from 2–16%.
MtDNA analysis indicates that Persians, Anatolians and Caucasians are part of a larger West Eurasian group that is secondary to that of the Caucasus.
While genetic analysis of mtDNA indicates that Caucasian populations are genetically closer to Europeans than to Near Easterners, Y-chromosome results indicate closer affinity to Near Eastern groups.
Iranians have a relatively diverse range of Y-chromosome haplotypes.
A population from central Iran (Isfahan) shows closer similarity in terms of haplogroup distributions to Caucasians and Azerbaijanis than to populations from southern or northern Iran.
The range of haplogroups across the region may reflect historical genetic admixture, perhaps as a result of invasive male migrations.
In a comparative study (2013) on the complete mitochondrial DNA diversity in Iranians has indicated that Iranian Azeris are more related to the people of Georgia, than they are to other Iranians, as well as to Armenians.
However the same multidimensional scaling plot shows that Azeris from the Caucasus, despite their supposed common origin with Iranian Azeris, cluster closer with other Iranians (e.g. Persians, etc.) than they do with Iranian Azeris.
Other studies support that present-day Iranian main genetic stock comes from the ancient autochthonous people and a genetic input from eastern people would be a minor one.
Thus, Iranian Azeris have the closest genetic distance to Iranian Kurds and there is no significant difference between these two populations and other major ethnic groups of Iran.
Demographics and society
The vast majority of Azerbaijanis live in the Republic of Azerbaijan and Iranian Azerbaijan.
Between 8 and 18.5 million Azerbaijanis live in Iran, mainly in the northwestern provinces.
Approximately 9.1 million Azerbaijanis are found in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
A diaspora of over a million is spread throughout the rest of the world.
According to Ethnologue, there are over 1 million speakers of the northern Azerbaijani dialect in southern Dagestan, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian proper, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
No Azerbaijanis were recorded in the 2001 census in Armenia, where the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resulted in population shifts.
Other sources, such as national censuses, confirm the presence of Azerbaijanis throughout the other states of the former Soviet Union.
In the Republic of Azerbaijan
See also: Wedding tradition in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijanis are by far the largest ethnic group in The Republic of Azerbaijan (over 90%), holding the second-largest community of ethnic Azerbaijanis after neighboring Iran.
The literacy rate is very high, and is estimated at 99.5%.
Azerbaijan began the twentieth century with institutions based upon those of Russia and the Soviet Union, with an official policy of atheism and strict state control over most aspects of society.
Since independence, there is a secular system.
Azerbaijan has benefited from the oil industry, but high levels of corruption have prevented greater prosperity for the population.
Despite these problems, there is a financial rebirth in Azerbaijan as positive economic predictions and an active political opposition appear determined to improve the lives of average Azerbaijanis.
Main article: Iranian Azerbaijanis
While population estimates in Azerbaijan are considered reliable due to regular censuses, the figures for Iran remain questionable.
Since the early twentieth century, successive Iranian governments have avoided publishing statistics on ethnic groups.
Unofficial population estimates of Azerbaijanis in Iran are around the 16% area put forth by the CIA and Library of Congress.
An independent poll in 2009 placed the figure at around 20–22%.
Nevertheless, regardless of the highest or lowest estimates or publications, Azerbaijanis in Iran comprise by far the second-largest ethnic group in the nation as well as by far the largest minority ethnic group.
Furthermore, once again regardless of any estimate or publication, the number of Azerbaijanis in Iran by far outnumber the amount of Azerbaijanis in the neighboring Republic of Azerbaijan, and comprise the largest number of ethnic Azerbaijanis in the world.
Azerbaijani minorities live in the Qorveh and Bijar counties of Kurdistan, in Gilan, as ethnic enclaves in Galugah in Mazandaran, around Lotfabad and Dargaz in Razavi Khorasan, and in the town of Gonbad-e Qabus in Golestan.
They are the largest ethnic groups after Persians in Tehran and the Tehran Province.
Generally, Azerbaijanis in Iran were regarded as "a well integrated linguistic minority" by academics prior to Iran's Islamic Revolution.
Despite friction, Azerbaijanis in Iran came to be well represented at all levels of "political, military, and intellectual hierarchies, as well as the religious hierarchy".
Resentment came with Pahlavi policies that suppressed the use of the Azerbaijani language in local government, schools, and the press.
However, with the advent of the Iranian Revolution in 1979, emphasis shifted away from nationalism as the new government highlighted religion as the main unifying factor.
Islamic theocratic institutions dominate nearly all aspects of society.
The Azerbaijani language and its literature are banned in Iranian schools.
There are signs of civil unrest due to the policies of the Iranian government in Iranian Azerbaijan and increased interaction with fellow Azerbaijanis in Azerbaijan and satellite broadcasts from Turkey and other Turkic countries have revived Azerbaijani nationalism.
In May 2006, Iranian Azerbaijan witnessed riots over publication of a cartoon depicting a cockroach speaking Azerbaijani that many Azerbaijanis found offensive.
The cartoon was drawn by Mana Neyestani, an Azeri, who was fired along with his editor as a result of the controversy.
One of the major incidents that happened recently was Azeris protests in Iran (2015) started in November 2015, after children's television programme Fitileha aired on 6 November on state TV that ridiculed and mocked the accent and language of Azeris and included offensive jokes.
As a result, hundreds of ethnic Azeris have protested a program on state TV that contained what they consider an ethnic slur.
Police in Iran have clashed with protesting people, fired tear gas to disperse crowds, and many demonstrators were arrested.
One of the protesters, Ali Akbar Murtaza, reportedly "died of injuries" in Urmia.
The head of the country's state broadcaster Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Mohammad Sarafraz has apologized for airing the program, whose broadcast was later discontinued.
Azerbaijanis are an intrinsic community of Iran, and their style of living closely resemble those of Persians:
There is significant cross-border trade between Azerbaijan and Iran, and Azerbaijanis from Azerbaijan go into Iran to buy goods that are cheaper, but the relationship was tense until recently.
See also: Azerbaijani ethnic groups
There are several Azerbaijani ethnic groups, each of which has particularities in the economy, culture, and everyday life.
Some Azerbaijani ethnic groups continued in the last quarter of the 19th century.
Major Azerbaijani ethnic groups:
See also: Azerbaijani diaspora
In Azerbaijan, women were granted the right to vote in 1917.
Women have attained Western-style equality in major cities such as Baku, although in rural areas more reactionary views remain.
Violence against women, including rape, is rarely reported, especially in rural areas, not unlike other parts of the former Soviet Union.
In Azerbaijan, the veil was abandoned during the Soviet period.
Women are under-represented in elective office but have attained high positions in parliament.
An Azerbaijani woman is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in Azerbaijan, and two others are Justices of the Constitutional Court.
In the 2010 election, women constituted 16% of all MPs (twenty seats in total) in the National Assembly of Azerbaijan.
Abortion is available on demand in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
In Iran, a groundswell of grassroots movements have sought gender equality since the 1980s.
Protests in defiance of government bans are dispersed through violence, as on 12 June 2006 when female demonstrators in Haft Tir Square in Tehran were beaten.
Past Iranian leaders, such as the reformer ex-president Mohammad Khatami promised women greater rights, but the Guardian Council of Iran opposes changes that they interpret as contrary to Islamic doctrine.
In the 2004 legislative elections, nine women were elected to parliament (Majlis), eight of whom were conservatives.
The social fate of Azerbaijani women largely mirrors that of other women in Iran.
In many respects, Azerbaijanis are Eurasian and bi-cultural.
The Azerbaijanis of Azerbaijan Republic have absorbed Soviet and Eastern European influences, whereas Iranian Azeris have retained their culture which to a large extent is identical to the culture of other Iranian peoples including Persians and Kurds.
Modern Azerbaijani culture includes significant achievements in literature, art, music, and film.
Language and literature
Early Oghuz was mainly an oral language, and the later compiled epics and heroic stories of Dede Korkut probably derive from an oral tradition.
The first accepted Oghuz Turkic text goes back to the 15th century.
The first written, classical Azerbaijani literature arose after the Mongol invasion.
Azerbaijanis are generally bilingual, often fluent in either Russian (in Azerbaijan) or Persian (in Iran) in addition to their native Azerbaijani.
As of 1996, around 38% of Azerbaijan's roughly 8,000,000 population spoke Russian fluently.
An independent telephone survey in Iran in 2009 reported that 20% of respondents could understand Azerbaijani, the most spoken minority language in Iran, and all respondents could understand Persian.
An unknown number of Azerbaijanis in the Republic of Azerbaijan have no religious affiliation.
Many describe themselves as Shia Muslims.
Christian Azerbaijanis number around 5,000 people in the Republic of Azerbaijan and consist mostly of recent converts.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijanis have increasingly returned to their Islamic heritage as recent reports indicate that many Azerbaijani youth are being drawn to Islam.
Azerbaijanis express themselves in a variety of artistic ways including dance, music, and film.
Azerbaijani folk dances are ancient and similar to that of their neighbors in the Caucasus and Iran.
In the group dance the performers come together in a semi-circular or circular formation as, "The leader of these dances often executes special figures as well as signaling and changes in the foot patterns, movements, or direction in which the group is moving, often by gesturing with his or her hand, in which a kerchief is held."
Solitary dances are performed by both men and women and involve subtle hand motions in addition to sequenced steps.
Lezginka, a dance shared by all Caucasus-derived or Caucasus-influenced ethnic groups, is also popular amongst Azerbaijanis.
Azerbaijani classical music, called mugham, is often an emotional singing performance.
Some Azerbaijani musicians have received international acclaim, including Rashid Behbudov (who could sing in over eight languages), Muslim Magomayev (a pop star from the Soviet era), Googoosh, and more recently Sami Yusuf.
After the 1979 revolution in Iran due to the clerical opposition to music in general, Azerbaijani music took a different course.
According to Iranian singer Hossein Alizadeh, "Historically in Iran, music faced strong opposition from the religious establishment, forcing it to go underground."
Azerbaijani film and television are largely broadcast in Azerbaijan with limited outlets in Iran.
Some Azerbaijanis have been prolific film-makers, such as Rustam Ibragimbekov, who wrote Burnt by the Sun, winner of the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1994.
Many Iranians have been prominent in the cinematic tradition of Iran, which has received critical praise since the 1980s.
Sports have historically been an important part of Azerbaijani life.
The Soviet legacy has in modern times propelled some Azerbaijanis to become accomplished athletes at the Olympic level.
The Azerbaijani government supports the country's athletic legacy and encourages youth participation.
Football is popular in both The Republic of Azerbaijan and Iran.
Weight lifters, such as Iran's Hossein Reza Zadeh, world super heavyweight-lifting record holder and two-time Olympic champion in 2000 and 2004, or Hadi Saei is a former Iranian Taekwondo athlete who became the most successful Iranian athlete in Olympic history and Nizami Pashayev, who won the European heavyweight title in 2006, have excelled at the international level.
Chess is another popular pastime in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
- List of Azerbaijanis
- Peoples of the Caucasus
- Iranian Azerbaijanis
- Azerbaijan (Iran)
- Peoples of the Caucasus in Iran
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azerbaijanis.