Azerbaijanis

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This article is about the Azerbaijani ethnic group. Azerbaijanis_sentence_0

For an analysis of the population of the Republic of Azerbaijan, see Demographics of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijanis_sentence_1

"Azeri" redirects here. Azerbaijanis_sentence_2

For other uses, see Azeri (disambiguation). Azerbaijanis_sentence_3

Azerbaijanis_table_infobox_0

Azerbaijanis Azərbaycanlılar آذربایجانلیلار‎Azerbaijanis_table_caption_0
Total populationAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_0_0
Regions with significant populationsAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_1_0
IranAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_2_0 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 millionAzerbaijanis_cell_0_2_1

AzerbaijanAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_3_0 10,205,810Azerbaijanis_cell_0_3_1
RussiaAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_4_0 603,070–1,500,000Azerbaijanis_cell_0_4_1
TurkeyAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_5_0 530,000–800,000Azerbaijanis_cell_0_5_1
GeorgiaAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_6_0 233,178Azerbaijanis_cell_0_6_1
KazakhstanAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_7_0 85,292Azerbaijanis_cell_0_7_1
FranceAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_8_0 70,000Azerbaijanis_cell_0_8_1
UkraineAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_9_0 45,176Azerbaijanis_cell_0_9_1
UzbekistanAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_10_0 44,400Azerbaijanis_cell_0_10_1
TurkmenistanAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_11_0 33,365Azerbaijanis_cell_0_11_1
United StatesAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_12_0 24,377–400,000Azerbaijanis_cell_0_12_1
NetherlandsAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_13_0 18,000Azerbaijanis_cell_0_13_1
KyrgyzstanAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_14_0 17,823Azerbaijanis_cell_0_14_1
GermanyAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_15_0 15,219Azerbaijanis_cell_0_15_1
United Arab EmiratesAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_16_0 7,000Azerbaijanis_cell_0_16_1
CanadaAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_17_0 6,425Azerbaijanis_cell_0_17_1
United KingdomAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_18_0 6,220Azerbaijanis_cell_0_18_1
BelarusAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_19_0 5,567Azerbaijanis_cell_0_19_1
SwedenAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_20_0 2,935Azerbaijanis_cell_0_20_1
LatviaAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_21_0 1,657Azerbaijanis_cell_0_21_1
AustraliaAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_22_0 1,036Azerbaijanis_cell_0_22_1
AustriaAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_23_0 1,000Azerbaijanis_cell_0_23_1
EstoniaAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_24_0 940Azerbaijanis_cell_0_24_1
NorwayAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_25_0 806Azerbaijanis_cell_0_25_1
LithuaniaAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_26_0 648Azerbaijanis_cell_0_26_1
LanguagesAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_27_0
ReligionAzerbaijanis_header_cell_0_28_0

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_4

They are the second-most numerous ethnic group among the Turkic peoples after Turkish people and are predominantly Shia Muslims. Azerbaijanis_sentence_5

They comprise the largest ethnic group in the Republic of Azerbaijan and the second-largest ethnic group in neighboring Iran and Georgia. Azerbaijanis_sentence_6

The world's largest number of ethnic Azerbaijanis live in Iran, followed by the Republic of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijanis_sentence_7

They speak the Azerbaijani language, belonging to the Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages. Azerbaijanis_sentence_8

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_9

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_10

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_11

The Azerbaijani language is closely related to Turkish, Qashqai, Gagauz, Turkmen and Crimean Tatar, sharing varying degrees of mutual intelligibility with each of those languages. Azerbaijanis_sentence_12

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_13

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_14

Etymology Azerbaijanis_section_0

Azerbaijan is believed to be named after Atropates, a Persian satrap (governor) who ruled in Atropatene (modern Iranian Azerbaijan) circa 321 BC. Azerbaijanis_sentence_15

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). Azerbaijanis_sentence_16

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_17

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'). Azerbaijanis_sentence_18

Ethnonym Azerbaijanis_section_1

The modern ethnonym "Azerbaijani" or "Azeri" refers to the Turkic peoples of Iranian Azerbaijan and the Republic of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijanis_sentence_19

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_20

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_21

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_22

This ethnonym was also used by Joseph Deniker: Azerbaijanis_sentence_23

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_24

History Azerbaijanis_section_2

Main articles: History of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan (Iran) § History Azerbaijanis_sentence_25

Ancient residents of the area spoke Old Azeri from the Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. Azerbaijanis_sentence_26

In the 11th century AD with Seljukid conquests, Oghuz Turkic tribes started moving across the Iranian Plateau into the Caucasus and Anatolia. Azerbaijanis_sentence_27

The influx of the Oghuz and other Turkmen tribes was further accentuated by the Mongol invasion. Azerbaijanis_sentence_28

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_29

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_30

Today, this Turkic-speaking population is known as Azerbaijani. Azerbaijanis_sentence_31

Ancient period Azerbaijanis_section_3

Caucasian-speaking Albanian tribes are believed to be the earliest inhabitants of the region where the modern-day Republic of Azerbaijan is located. Azerbaijanis_sentence_32

Early Iranian settlements included the Scythians (Ishkuza Kingdom) in the ninth century BC. Azerbaijanis_sentence_33

Following the Scythians, the Medes came to dominate the area to the south of the Aras River. Azerbaijanis_sentence_34

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_35

During this period, Zoroastrianism spread in the Caucasus and in Atropatene. Azerbaijanis_sentence_36

Alexander the Great defeated the Achaemenids in 330 BC, but allowed the Median satrap Atropates to remain in power. Azerbaijanis_sentence_37

Following the decline of the Seleucids in Persia in 247 BC, an Armenian Kingdom exercised control over parts of Caucasian Albania. Azerbaijanis_sentence_38

Caucasian Albanians established a kingdom in the first century BC and largely remained independent until the Persian Sassanids made their kingdom a vassal state in 252 AD. Azerbaijanis_sentence_39

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_40

Sassanid control ended with their defeat by Muslim Arabs in 642 AD, through the Muslim conquest of Persia. Azerbaijanis_sentence_41

Medieval period Azerbaijanis_section_4

Muslim Arabs defeated the Sassanids and Byzantines as they marched into the Caucasus region. Azerbaijanis_sentence_42

The Arabs made Caucasian Albania a vassal state after the Christian resistance, led by Prince Javanshir, surrendered in 667. Azerbaijanis_sentence_43

Between the ninth and tenth centuries, Arab authors began to refer to the region between the Kura and Aras rivers as Arran. Azerbaijanis_sentence_44

During this time, Arabs from Basra and Kufa came to Azerbaijan and seized lands that indigenous peoples had abandoned; the Arabs became a land-owning elite. Azerbaijanis_sentence_45

Conversion to Islam was slow as local resistance persisted for centuries and resentment grew as small groups of Arabs began migrating to cities such as Tabriz and Maraghah. Azerbaijanis_sentence_46

This influx sparked a major rebellion in Iranian Azerbaijan from 816–837, led by a Persian Zoroastrian commoner named Babak Khorramdin. Azerbaijanis_sentence_47

However, despite pockets of continued resistance, the majority of the inhabitants of Azerbaijan converted to Islam. Azerbaijanis_sentence_48

Later, in the 10th and 11th centuries, parts of Azerbaijan were ruled by the Kurdish dynasty of Shaddadid and Arab Radawids. Azerbaijanis_sentence_49

In the middle of the eleventh century, the Seljuq dynasty overthrew Arab rule and established an empire that encompassed most of Southwest Asia. Azerbaijanis_sentence_50

The Seljuk period marked the influx of Oghuz nomads into the region. Azerbaijanis_sentence_51

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_52

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_53

Early modern period Azerbaijanis_section_5

See also: Treaty of Gulistan and Treaty of Turkmenchay Azerbaijanis_sentence_54

The Safavids, who rose from around Ardabil in Iranian Azerbaijan and lasted until 1722, established the foundations of the modern Iranian state. Azerbaijanis_sentence_55

The Safavids, alongside their Ottoman archrivals, dominated the entire West Asian region and beyond for centuries. Azerbaijanis_sentence_56

At its peak under Shah Abbas the Great, it rivaled its political and ideological archrival the Ottoman empire in military strength. Azerbaijanis_sentence_57

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_58

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". Azerbaijanis_sentence_59

He reformed the government and the military and responded to the needs of the common people. Azerbaijanis_sentence_60

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_61

The brief reign of Karim Khan came next, followed by the Qajars, who ruled what is the present-day Azerbaijan Republic and Iran from 1779. Azerbaijanis_sentence_62

Russia loomed as a threat to Persian and Turkish holdings in the Caucasus in this period. Azerbaijanis_sentence_63

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_64

While Azerbaijanis in Iran integrated into Iranian society, Azerbaijanis who used to live in Aran, were incorporated into the Russian Empire. Azerbaijanis_sentence_65

Modern period in Republic of Azerbaijan Azerbaijanis_section_6

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_66

This was followed by March Days massacres that took place between 30 March and 2 April 1918 in the city of Baku and adjacent areas of the Baku Governorate of the Russian Empire. Azerbaijanis_sentence_67

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_68

The ADR was the first modern parliamentary republic in the Turkic world and Muslim world. Azerbaijanis_sentence_69

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_70

Another important accomplishment of ADR was the establishment of Baku State University, which was the first modern-type university founded in Muslim East. Azerbaijanis_sentence_71

By March 1920, it was obvious that Soviet Russia would attack the much-needed Baku. Azerbaijanis_sentence_72

Vladimir Lenin said that the invasion was justified as Soviet Russia could not survive without Baku's oil. Azerbaijanis_sentence_73

Independent Azerbaijan lasted only 23 months until the Bolshevik 11th Soviet Red Army invaded it, establishing the Azerbaijan SSR on 28 April 1920. Azerbaijanis_sentence_74

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_75

As many as 20,000 Azerbaijani soldiers died resisting what was effectively a Russian reconquest. Azerbaijanis_sentence_76

The brief independence gained by the short-lived Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918–1920 was followed by over 70 years of Soviet rule. Azerbaijanis_sentence_77

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_78

Modern period in Iran Azerbaijanis_section_7

In Iran, Azerbaijanis such as Sattar Khan sought constitutional reform. Azerbaijanis_sentence_79

The Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906–11 shook the Qajar dynasty. Azerbaijanis_sentence_80

A parliament (Majlis) was founded on the efforts of the constitutionalists, and pro-democracy newspapers appeared. Azerbaijanis_sentence_81

The last Shah of the Qajar dynasty was soon removed in a military coup led by Reza Khan. Azerbaijanis_sentence_82

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_83

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_84

The Soviet military presence in Iranian Azerbaijan was mainly aimed at securing the Allied supply route during World War II. Azerbaijanis_sentence_85

Concerned with the continued Soviet presence after World War II, the United States and Britain pressured the Soviets to withdraw by late 1946. Azerbaijanis_sentence_86

Immediately thereafter, the Iranian government regained control of Iranian Azerbaijan. Azerbaijanis_sentence_87

According to Professor Gary R. Hess: Azerbaijanis_sentence_88

Origins of the Azerbaijanis Azerbaijanis_section_8

Main article: Origin of the Azerbaijanis Azerbaijanis_sentence_89

In many references, Azerbaijanis are designated as a Turkic people, due to their Turkic language. Azerbaijanis_sentence_90

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_91

Historian Vladimir Minorsky writes that largely Iranian and Caucasian populations became Turkic-speaking: Azerbaijanis_sentence_92

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_93

The Median Empire is believed to have conquered and assimilated the Mannaeans by the 6th century BC. Azerbaijanis_sentence_94

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_95

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_96

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_97

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_98

Turkification Azerbaijanis_section_9

Main article: Turkification Azerbaijanis_sentence_99

Turkification of the Azerbaijanis derives from the Turkic settlements in the area now known as Azerbaijan, which began and accelerated during the Seljuk period. Azerbaijanis_sentence_100

The migration of Oghuz Turks from present-day Turkmenistan, which is attested by linguistic similarity, remained high through the Mongol period, as many troops under the Ilkhans were Turkic. Azerbaijanis_sentence_101

By the Safavid period, the Turkic nature of Azerbaijan increased with the influence of the Qizilbash, an association of the Turkoman nomadic tribes that was the backbone of the Safavid Empire. Azerbaijanis_sentence_102

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_103

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_104

Iranian origin Azerbaijanis_section_10

Main articles: Iranian peoples, Persian peoples, Tat people (Iran), and Tat people (Caucasus) Azerbaijanis_sentence_105

The Iranian origins of the Azerbaijanis likely derive from ancient Iranian tribes, such as the Medes in Iranian Azerbaijan, and Scythian invaders who arrived during the eighth century BC. Azerbaijanis_sentence_106

It is believed that the Medes mixed with Mannai. Azerbaijanis_sentence_107

Ancient written accounts, such as one written by Arab historian Al-Masudi, attest to an Iranian presence in the region: Azerbaijanis_sentence_108

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Iranian religion of Zoroastrianism was prominent throughout the Caucasus before Christianity and Islam. Azerbaijanis_sentence_109

It has also been hypothesized that the population of Iranian Azerbaijan was predominantly Persian-speaking before the Oghuz arrived. Azerbaijanis_sentence_110

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_111

It is also supported by Nozhat al-Majales anthology, Strabo, Al-Istakhri, and Al-Masudi, who all describe the language of the region as Persian. Azerbaijanis_sentence_112

The claim is mentioned by other medieval historians, such as Al-Muqaddasi. Azerbaijanis_sentence_113

Encyclopaedia Iranica says: Azerbaijanis_sentence_114

Caucasian origin Azerbaijanis_section_11

Main articles: Peoples of the Caucasus and Caucasian Albania Azerbaijanis_sentence_115

According to Encyclopædia Britannica: Azerbaijanis_sentence_116

There is evidence that, due to repeated invasions and migrations, aboriginal Caucasians may have been culturally assimilated, first by Ancient Iranian peoples and later by the Oghuz. Azerbaijanis_sentence_117

Considerable information has been learned about the Caucasian Albanians including their language, history, early conversion to Christianity. Azerbaijanis_sentence_118

The Udi language, still spoken in Azerbaijan, may be a remnant of the Albanians' language. Azerbaijanis_sentence_119

Genetics Azerbaijanis_section_12

Genetic studies demonstrate that northern Azerbaijanis are more closely related to other Caucasian people like Georgians and Armenians than they are to Iranians or Turks. Azerbaijanis_sentence_120

Research conducted by Maziar Ashrafian Bonab, et al. Azerbaijanis_sentence_121

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 . Azerbaijanis_sentence_122

No close genetic relationship was observed between Azeris of Iran and the people of Turkey or Central Asians. Azerbaijanis_sentence_123

According to the current results, present-day Kurds and Azeris of Iran seem to belong to a common genetic pool. Azerbaijanis_sentence_124

Iranian Azerbaijanis are genetically more similar to northern Azerbaijanis and the neighboring Turkic population than they are to geographically distant Turkmen populations. Azerbaijanis_sentence_125

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_126

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). Azerbaijanis_sentence_127

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_128

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%. Azerbaijanis_sentence_129

MtDNA analysis indicates that Persians, Anatolians and Caucasians are part of a larger West Eurasian group that is secondary to that of the Caucasus. Azerbaijanis_sentence_130

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_131

Iranians have a relatively diverse range of Y-chromosome haplotypes. Azerbaijanis_sentence_132

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_133

The range of haplogroups across the region may reflect historical genetic admixture, perhaps as a result of invasive male migrations. Azerbaijanis_sentence_134

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_135

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_136

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_137

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_138

Demographics and society Azerbaijanis_section_13

See also: Azerbaijani population, Demographics of Azerbaijan, Demographics of Iran, and List of Azerbaijanis Azerbaijanis_sentence_139

The vast majority of Azerbaijanis live in the Republic of Azerbaijan and Iranian Azerbaijan. Azerbaijanis_sentence_140

Between 8 and 18.5 million Azerbaijanis live in Iran, mainly in the northwestern provinces. Azerbaijanis_sentence_141

Approximately 9.1 million Azerbaijanis are found in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijanis_sentence_142

A diaspora of over a million is spread throughout the rest of the world. Azerbaijanis_sentence_143

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_144

No Azerbaijanis were recorded in the 2001 census in Armenia, where the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resulted in population shifts. Azerbaijanis_sentence_145

Other sources, such as national censuses, confirm the presence of Azerbaijanis throughout the other states of the former Soviet Union. Azerbaijanis_sentence_146

In the Republic of Azerbaijan Azerbaijanis_section_14

See also: Wedding tradition in Azerbaijan Azerbaijanis_sentence_147

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_148

The literacy rate is very high, and is estimated at 99.5%. Azerbaijanis_sentence_149

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_150

Since independence, there is a secular system. Azerbaijanis_sentence_151

Azerbaijan has benefited from the oil industry, but high levels of corruption have prevented greater prosperity for the population. Azerbaijanis_sentence_152

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_153

In Iran Azerbaijanis_section_15

Main article: Iranian Azerbaijanis Azerbaijanis_sentence_154

While population estimates in Azerbaijan are considered reliable due to regular censuses, the figures for Iran remain questionable. Azerbaijanis_sentence_155

Since the early twentieth century, successive Iranian governments have avoided publishing statistics on ethnic groups. Azerbaijanis_sentence_156

Unofficial population estimates of Azerbaijanis in Iran are around the 16% area put forth by the CIA and Library of Congress. Azerbaijanis_sentence_157

An independent poll in 2009 placed the figure at around 20–22%. Azerbaijanis_sentence_158

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_159

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_160

Azerbaijanis in Iran are mainly found in the northwest provinces: West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan, Ardabil, Zanjan, parts of Hamadan, Qazvin, and Markazi. Azerbaijanis_sentence_161

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_162

Large Azerbaijani populations can also be found in central Iran (Tehran # Alborz) due to internal migration. Azerbaijanis_sentence_163

Azerbaijanis make up 25% of Tehran's population and 30.3% – 33% of the population of the Tehran Province, where Azerbaijanis are found in every city. Azerbaijanis_sentence_164

They are the largest ethnic groups after Persians in Tehran and the Tehran Province. Azerbaijanis_sentence_165

Many Azerbaijanis have emigrated and resettled in large numbers in Khorasan, living beside linguistically related Khorasani Turks, especially in Mashhad. Azerbaijanis_sentence_166

Generally, Azerbaijanis in Iran were regarded as "a well integrated linguistic minority" by academics prior to Iran's Islamic Revolution. Azerbaijanis_sentence_167

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". Azerbaijanis_sentence_168

Resentment came with Pahlavi policies that suppressed the use of the Azerbaijani language in local government, schools, and the press. Azerbaijanis_sentence_169

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_170

Islamic theocratic institutions dominate nearly all aspects of society. Azerbaijanis_sentence_171

The Azerbaijani language and its literature are banned in Iranian schools. Azerbaijanis_sentence_172

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_173

In May 2006, Iranian Azerbaijan witnessed riots over publication of a cartoon depicting a cockroach speaking Azerbaijani that many Azerbaijanis found offensive. Azerbaijanis_sentence_174

The cartoon was drawn by Mana Neyestani, an Azeri, who was fired along with his editor as a result of the controversy. Azerbaijanis_sentence_175

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_176

As a result, hundreds of ethnic Azeris have protested a program on state TV that contained what they consider an ethnic slur. Azerbaijanis_sentence_177

Demonstrations were held in Tabriz, Urmia, Ardabil, and Zanjan, as well as Tehran and Karaj. Azerbaijanis_sentence_178

Police in Iran have clashed with protesting people, fired tear gas to disperse crowds, and many demonstrators were arrested. Azerbaijanis_sentence_179

One of the protesters, Ali Akbar Murtaza, reportedly "died of injuries" in Urmia. Azerbaijanis_sentence_180

There were also protests held in front of Iranian embassies in Istanbul and Baku. Azerbaijanis_sentence_181

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_sentence_182

Azerbaijanis are an intrinsic community of Iran, and their style of living closely resemble those of Persians: Azerbaijanis_sentence_183

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_184

However, relations have significantly improved since the Rouhani administration took office. Azerbaijanis_sentence_185

Subgroups Azerbaijanis_section_16

See also: Azerbaijani ethnic groups Azerbaijanis_sentence_186

There are several Azerbaijani ethnic groups, each of which has particularities in the economy, culture, and everyday life. Azerbaijanis_sentence_187

Some Azerbaijani ethnic groups continued in the last quarter of the 19th century. Azerbaijanis_sentence_188

Major Azerbaijani ethnic groups: Azerbaijanis_sentence_189

Azerbaijanis_unordered_list_0

Azerbaijanis_unordered_list_1

  • Azerbaijanis_item_1_10
  • Azerbaijanis_item_1_11
  • Azerbaijanis_item_1_12

Diaspora Azerbaijanis_section_17

See also: Azerbaijani diaspora Azerbaijanis_sentence_190

Women Azerbaijanis_section_18

See also: Women in Azerbaijan and Women in Iran Azerbaijanis_sentence_191

In Azerbaijan, women were granted the right to vote in 1917. Azerbaijanis_sentence_192

Women have attained Western-style equality in major cities such as Baku, although in rural areas more reactionary views remain. Azerbaijanis_sentence_193

Violence against women, including rape, is rarely reported, especially in rural areas, not unlike other parts of the former Soviet Union. Azerbaijanis_sentence_194

In Azerbaijan, the veil was abandoned during the Soviet period. Azerbaijanis_sentence_195

Women are under-represented in elective office but have attained high positions in parliament. Azerbaijanis_sentence_196

An Azerbaijani woman is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in Azerbaijan, and two others are Justices of the Constitutional Court. Azerbaijanis_sentence_197

In the 2010 election, women constituted 16% of all MPs (twenty seats in total) in the National Assembly of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijanis_sentence_198

Abortion is available on demand in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijanis_sentence_199

The human rights ombudsman since 2002, Elmira Süleymanova, is a woman. Azerbaijanis_sentence_200

In Iran, a groundswell of grassroots movements have sought gender equality since the 1980s. Azerbaijanis_sentence_201

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_202

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_203

In the 2004 legislative elections, nine women were elected to parliament (Majlis), eight of whom were conservatives. Azerbaijanis_sentence_204

The social fate of Azerbaijani women largely mirrors that of other women in Iran. Azerbaijanis_sentence_205

Culture Azerbaijanis_section_19

Main articles: Culture of Azerbaijan and Culture of Iran Azerbaijanis_sentence_206

In many respects, Azerbaijanis are Eurasian and bi-cultural. Azerbaijanis_sentence_207

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_208

Modern Azerbaijani culture includes significant achievements in literature, art, music, and film. Azerbaijanis_sentence_209

Language and literature Azerbaijanis_section_20

Main articles: Azerbaijani language and Azerbaijani literature Azerbaijanis_sentence_210

The Azerbaijanis speak Azerbaijani, a Turkic language descended from the Western Oghuz Turkic language that became established in Azerbaijan in the 11th and 12th century CE. Azerbaijanis_sentence_211

Early Oghuz was mainly an oral language, and the later compiled epics and heroic stories of Dede Korkut probably derive from an oral tradition. Azerbaijanis_sentence_212

The first accepted Oghuz Turkic text goes back to the 15th century. Azerbaijanis_sentence_213

The first written, classical Azerbaijani literature arose after the Mongol invasion. Azerbaijanis_sentence_214

Some of the earliest Azerbaijani writings trace back to the poet Nasimi (died 1417) and then decades later Fuzûlî (1483–1556). Azerbaijanis_sentence_215

Ismail I, Shah of Safavid Iran wrote Azerbaijani poetry under the pen name Khatâ'i. Azerbaijanis_sentence_216

Modern Azerbaijani literature continued with a traditional emphasis upon humanism, as conveyed in the writings of Samad Vurgun, Shahriar, and many others. Azerbaijanis_sentence_217

Azerbaijanis are generally bilingual, often fluent in either Russian (in Azerbaijan) or Persian (in Iran) in addition to their native Azerbaijani. Azerbaijanis_sentence_218

As of 1996, around 38% of Azerbaijan's roughly 8,000,000 population spoke Russian fluently. Azerbaijanis_sentence_219

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_220

Religion Azerbaijanis_section_21

Main articles: Religion in Azerbaijan, Islam in Azerbaijan, and Islam in Iran Azerbaijanis_sentence_221

The majority of Azerbaijanis are Twelver Shi'a Muslims. Azerbaijanis_sentence_222

Religious minorities include Sunni Muslims (mainly Shafi'i just like other Muslims in the surrounding North Caucasus), Christians, Jews, and Baháʼís. Azerbaijanis_sentence_223

An unknown number of Azerbaijanis in the Republic of Azerbaijan have no religious affiliation. Azerbaijanis_sentence_224

Many describe themselves as Shia Muslims. Azerbaijanis_sentence_225

There is a small number of Naqshbandi Sufis among Muslim Azerbaijanis. Azerbaijanis_sentence_226

Christian Azerbaijanis number around 5,000 people in the Republic of Azerbaijan and consist mostly of recent converts. Azerbaijanis_sentence_227

Some Azerbaijanis from rural regions retain pre-Islamic animist or Zoroastrian-influenced beliefs, such as the sanctity of certain sites and the veneration of fire, certain trees and rocks. Azerbaijanis_sentence_228

In Azerbaijan, traditions from other religions are often celebrated in addition to Islamic holidays, including Norouz and Christmas. Azerbaijanis_sentence_229

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_sentence_230

Performing arts Azerbaijanis_section_22

See also: Music of Azerbaijan and Music of Iran Azerbaijanis_sentence_231

Azerbaijanis express themselves in a variety of artistic ways including dance, music, and film. Azerbaijanis_sentence_232

Azerbaijani folk dances are ancient and similar to that of their neighbors in the Caucasus and Iran. Azerbaijanis_sentence_233

The group dance is a common form found from southeastern Europe to the Caspian Sea. Azerbaijanis_sentence_234

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." Azerbaijanis_sentence_235

Solitary dances are performed by both men and women and involve subtle hand motions in addition to sequenced steps. Azerbaijanis_sentence_236

Lezginka, a dance shared by all Caucasus-derived or Caucasus-influenced ethnic groups, is also popular amongst Azerbaijanis. Azerbaijanis_sentence_237

Azerbaijani musical tradition can be traced back to singing bards called Ashiqs, a vocation that survives. Azerbaijanis_sentence_238

Modern Ashiqs play the saz (lute) and sing dastans (historical ballads). Azerbaijanis_sentence_239

Other musical instruments include the tar (another type of lute), balaban (a wind instrument), kamancha (fiddle), and the dhol (drums). Azerbaijanis_sentence_240

Azerbaijani classical music, called mugham, is often an emotional singing performance. Azerbaijanis_sentence_241

Composers Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Gara Garayev and Fikret Amirov created a hybrid style that combines Western classical music with mugham. Azerbaijanis_sentence_242

Other Azerbaijanis, notably Vagif and Aziza Mustafa Zadeh, mixed jazz with mugham. Azerbaijanis_sentence_243

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_244

After the 1979 revolution in Iran due to the clerical opposition to music in general, Azerbaijani music took a different course. Azerbaijanis_sentence_245

According to Iranian singer Hossein Alizadeh, "Historically in Iran, music faced strong opposition from the religious establishment, forcing it to go underground." Azerbaijanis_sentence_246

Azerbaijani film and television are largely broadcast in Azerbaijan with limited outlets in Iran. Azerbaijanis_sentence_247

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_248

Many Iranians have been prominent in the cinematic tradition of Iran, which has received critical praise since the 1980s. Azerbaijanis_sentence_249

Sports Azerbaijanis_section_23

See also: Azerbaijan national football team, Azerbaijan at the Olympics, and List of Azerbaijani Olympic medalists Azerbaijanis_sentence_250

Sports have historically been an important part of Azerbaijani life. Azerbaijanis_sentence_251

Horseback competitions were praised in the Book of Dede Korkut and by poets and writers such as Khaqani. Azerbaijanis_sentence_252

Other ancient sports include wrestling, javelin throwing and fencing. Azerbaijanis_sentence_253

The Soviet legacy has in modern times propelled some Azerbaijanis to become accomplished athletes at the Olympic level. Azerbaijanis_sentence_254

The Azerbaijani government supports the country's athletic legacy and encourages youth participation. Azerbaijanis_sentence_255

Football is popular in both The Republic of Azerbaijan and Iran. Azerbaijanis_sentence_256

. Azerbaijanis_sentence_257

Iranian athletes have particularly excelled in weight lifting, gymnastics, shooting, javelin throwing, karate, boxing, and wrestling. Azerbaijanis_sentence_258

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. Azerbaijanis_sentence_259

Chess is another popular pastime in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijanis_sentence_260

The country has produced many notable players, such as Teimour Radjabov, Vugar Gashimov and Shahriyar Mammadyarov, all three highly ranked internationally. Azerbaijanis_sentence_261

See also Azerbaijanis_section_24

Azerbaijanis_unordered_list_2


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azerbaijanis.