Azerbaijanis in Turkey

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This article is about Azerbaijanis in Russia. For Azerbaijanis in general, see the respective article.
Azerbaijanis in Turkey
Türkiyə azərbaycanlıları
Ahmedbey-agaoglu.jpg
Alibek Huseynzade.jpg
Samin baghcheban.jpg
E kerimova.jpg
Servet Çetin.jpg
Almas Ildyrym.jpg
Sinan ogan.jpg
Orhan Aydin Haciyeva.jpg
Total population
800,000 [1]
Regions with significant populations
Iğdır, Kars
Languages
Azerbaijani · Turkish
Religion
Predominately Shia Islam

Azerbaijanis in Turkey or Turkish Azerbaijanis (Azerbaijani: Türkiyə azərbaycanlıları) are Azerbaijani people in Turkey, and are Turkish citizens and permanent residents of ethnic Azerbaijani background. It is hard to determine how many ethnic Azerbaijanis currently reside in Turkey because ethnicity is a rather fluid concept in this country.[2] According to some sources, there are about 800,000 Twelver Shias in Turkey. Azeris are nearly totally Twelver Shias. However this figure may differ substantially from the real one.[3] Looklex Encyclopaedia puts the number of Azeris in Turkey at 800,000.[1] Up to 300,000 of Azeris who reside in Turkey are citizens of Azerbaijan.[4] In the Eastern Anatolia Region, Azeris are sometimes referred to as acem (see Ajam) or tat.[5] They currently are the largest ethnic group in the city of Iğdır[6][7] and second largest ethnic group in Kars.[8]

History[edit]

Azerbaijanis first settled in what is now Turkey during the period of Safavi governance over Kars and neighbouring areas.[dubious ][9] Their numbers grew at the beginning of the nineteenth century, when according to the Gulistan and Turkmenchay treaties between Persia and Russia, the latter gained sovereignty over the khanates of Karabakh (1813), Nakhchivan (1828) and Erivan (1828), among others, and the Treaty of Adrianople gave Christians and Muslims the right to choose a place of residence between Russia and Turkey. Similarly to those of the North Caucasus, large groups of local Muslim population refused to live within Russian boundaries and migrated to Turkey, settling in its eastern regions, especially in the Şenkaya district of Erzurum and the Taşlıçay district of Ağrı,[10][11][9][12] The Turkish dialect of Erzurum has been grammatically influenced by the Azeri language.[13] Phonemic analyses indicate that Azeri-influenced dialects are spoken as far as Elâzığ[14] and Van's Erciş district.[15]

In 1813, a group of Azeris from Karabakh settled in Aziziye, in the southern part of the Afyon Province. Today their descendants live in the villages of Büyük Karabağ and Orta Karabağ and have recently reestablished cultural ties with their historical homeland through the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency.[16] Despite having undergone major assimilation in their language and religious beliefs, they still identify themselves as Karabağlı and are viewed as a distinct group by the local population.[17] A different branch of the same group settled in Iğdır. Caferoğlu argues that the Afyon group may have left Karabakh for Turkey much earlier, in 1578, fighting for the Ottoman Empire in the Second Ottoman–Safavid War.[18]

In addition, in the early nineteenth century, several Sunni families from Shirvan, particularly from Agsu,[19] settled in Amasya, where for a long time they were known as Şirvanlı. In 1894, a unique baroque-style mosque was built here by Şeyh Hacı Mahmut Efendi. The mosque has been known as the Şirvanlı Mosque or the Azerîler Mosque.[20] The descendants of those migrants nowadays live in six villages of Amasya's Suluova and Merzifon districts and have preserved their Azeri identity and culture.[21] Another group of Azerbaijanis from Shaki relocated to Bursa in 1863.

The next wave of Azerbaijani immigration to eastern Turkey took place in 1918–1925, when many Muslim residents of then newly independent Armenia fled their homes, escaping massacres by armed bands of Armenian nationalists.[22] In 1941, already 5,000 Azerbaijanis lived in 60 villages along the Turkish bank of the Arpaçay.[23] They were followed by former members of the overthrown government of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan and their families, as well as many upper-class Azerbaijanis, who fled to Turkey in fear of persecution by the Bolsheviks and settled primarily in Istanbul, Bursa and Ankara.[24][25] Together with other political immigrants from the Caucasus and led by members of the deposed democratic government of Azerbaijan such as Rasulzadeh, Khasmammadov and Sultanov, some of them engaged in anti-Soviet political propaganda and activities in Turkey in an attempt to restore the independence of the Bolshevik-occupied Caucasus states. The signing of Soviet-Turkish non-aggression pacts in 1925 and 1935 created obstacles in continuing this activity in the form of arrests and bans on the publishing of anti-Soviet periodicals. This forced some politically active members of the movement to relocate to Germany and Poland by the late 1930s.[26]

After the failure of the USSR-created regional Azerbaijan People's Government in 1946, ethnic Azeri political immigrants from Iran increased the numbers of Azerbaijanis in Turkey.[9] By 1990, about 400,000 Azerbaijanis lived in a belt of land on the Turkish side of the Soviet border.[27] Iranian Azerbaijanis have emigrated and resettled in large numbers Istanbul,[28] and many Iranian Azeris students have emigrated from Iran to Turkey.[29]

Finally, starting from the early 1990s tens of thousands of immigrants from the newly independent Azerbaijan have made their way to Turkey due to economic reasons, settling mostly in big cities. According to the Turkish Ministry of the Interior, between 2003 and 2013 alone over 15,000 immigrants from Azerbaijan received Turkish citizenship.[30]

The Terekeme people are often considered a sub-ethnic group of Azerbaijanis of Sunni Muslim background.[31]

In general, the Azerbaijani population in Turkey is considered well-integrated into Turkish society, mainly due to cultural and linguistic affinities between Azerbaijani and Anatolian Turks. Nevertheless, differences still remain in the areas of religion (Azerbaijanis are mainly Shi'a, whereas Anatolian Turks are mostly Sunni Muslims), dialect, and self-conception in terms of historical memory and ethnic/national consciousness.[9] In 2011, Sinan Oğan, an ethnic Azerbaijani and a diaspora activist from Iğdır, won a seat in the Turkish parliament.[32]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Turkey-Peoples". Looklex Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Human Rights Watch 1999 Report on Turkey
  3. ^ Turkey: Religions & Peoples - Encyclopædia of the Orient
  4. ^ Life of Azerbaijanis in Turkey. An interview with Sayyad Aran, Consule General of the Azerbaijan Republic to Istanbul. Azerbaijan Today
  5. ^ (Turkish) Qarslı bir azərbaycanlının ürək sözləri. Erol Özaydın
  6. ^ (Turkish)Hurriyen
  7. ^ (Turkish) Iğdır Sevdası, Mücahit Özden Hun
  8. ^ (Turkish) KARS: AKP'nin kozu tarım desteği. Milliyet. 23 June 2007. Retrieved 6 December 2008
  9. ^ a b c d Azerbaijan and the Challenge of Multiple Identities by Alireza Asgharzadeh. The Middle East Review of International Affairs
  10. ^ Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia: A Legal Appraisal by Tim Potier. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. 2001. p.2 ISBN 90-411-1477-7
  11. ^ Asian and African Studies by Ḥevrah ha-Mizraḥit ha-Yiśreʾelit. Jerusalem Academic Press., 1987; p. 57
  12. ^ Peter A. Andrews. Türkiye'de etnik gruplar. Akyüz Kitabevi, Istanbul: 1992. ISBN 975-7350-03-6
  13. ^ Ali Ertuğrul Gürtekin, Hasan Şahmaranoğlu. Necip Asım Yazıksız (Balhasanoğlu) ve Kilis ağzı üzerine incelemeler. Kilis Kültür Derneği, 1995; p. 97
  14. ^ A thesis on some of the regional dialects of Turkey.
  15. ^ Muhan Bâli.Erciş'li Emrah ile Selvi Han hikâyesi varyantların tesbiti ve halk hikâyeciliği bakımından önemi. Baylan Matbaası, 1973; p. 25
  16. ^ [Symposium Dedicated to Karabakh Azeris in Turkey to Be Held]. Vesti.az. 6 March 2014.
  17. ^ Yalgin, A.R. Emirdağ ve Iğdır'da Karabağlılar Oymağı Arasında. Türk Folklor Araştırmaları Dergisi, 74:1476
  18. ^ Caferoglu, A. Karabağ Türkmenleri ve Şirvanlılar. 1959; p. 178
  19. ^ Azerbaycan'dan Amasya'ya Ziyaret. Amasyanin Sesi. 18 September 2011.
  20. ^ Turkiye Diyanet Vakfi Islam ansiklopedisi. v.33. 2008; p.589
  21. ^ Ayrancı Köyü – Biz Azeriler
  22. ^ (Russian) Turkish-Armenian War of 1920
  23. ^ [1]
  24. ^ Mammad Amin Rasulzade: Founding Father of the First Republic - Azer.com
  25. ^ Wedding Palace: Murtuza Mukhtarov's Residence - Azer.com
  26. ^ (Russian) Giorgi Mamulia. Prometheus Journal of History and Culture. Akhulgo. April 2010.
  27. ^ Alan Cowell. Turks at Rally Assail Soviet Moves. New York Times. January 26, 1990. Retrieved August 20, 2009.
  28. ^ "AZERBAIJAN vi. Population and its Occupations and Culture". Encyclopædia Iranica. August 18, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Increased migration Iranian Azeris to Turkey". Tabnak news. 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  30. ^ Over 15,000 Azerbaijanis Received Turkish Citizenship. Zerkalo. 11 March 2013.
  31. ^ (Russian) Azeris. Great Soviet Encyclopedia
  32. ^ Azeri Elected to Turkish Parliament. Day.az. 13 June 2011.