Azerbaijanis in Turkey
|Regions with significant populations|
|Iğdır, Kars, Ağrı, Van, Bitlis, Erzurum, Ardahan|
|Predominately Twelver Shia Islam, sunni Islam|
|Part of a series on|
|Traditional areas of settlement|
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. According to some sources, there are about 800,000 Twelver Shias in Turkey, however this figure may differ substantially from the real one. Looklex Encyclopaedia puts the number of Azerbaijanis in Turkey at 800,000. Up to 300,000 of Azerbaijanis who reside in Turkey are citizens of Azerbaijan. In the Eastern Anatolia Region, Azerbaijanis are sometimes referred to as acem (see Ajam) or tat. They currently are the largest ethnic group in the city of Iğdır and second largest ethnic group in Kars, where they constitute majority in the district of Akyaka (Azerbaijani: Şörəyel).
History And Settlements
Azerbaijanis first settled in what is now Turkey during the period of Safavi governance over Kars and neighbouring areas.[dubious ] Their numbers grew during the first half of the nineteenth century, when following the Russo-Persian War (1804-1813), the Russo-Persian War (1826-1828) and the respectively out coming Gulistan and Turkmenchay treaties between Persia and Russia, Persia was forced to cede sovereignty over the khanates of Karabakh (1813), Nakhchivan (1828) and Erivan (1828), among others to Russia, 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 (or Iran) settling in its eastern regions, especially in the Şenkaya district of Erzurum and the Taşlıçay district of Ağrı. The Turkish dialect of Erzurum has been grammatically influenced by the Azerbaijani language. Phonemic analyses indicate that Azeri-influenced dialects are spoken as far as Elâzığ and Van's Erciş district.
In 1813, a group of Azerbaijanis 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. 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. 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.
In addition, in the early nineteenth century, several Sunni families from Shirvan, particularly from Agsu, 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. 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. 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. In 1941, already 5,000 Azerbaijanis lived in 60 villages along the Turkish bank of the Arpaçay. 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. 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.
After the failure of the USSR-created regional Azerbaijan People's Government in 1946, ethnic Azerbaijani political immigrants from Iran increased the numbers of Azerbaijanis in Turkey. By 1990, about 400,000 Azerbaijanis lived in a belt of land on the Turkish side of the Soviet border. Iranian Azerbaijanis have emigrated and resettled in large numbers in Istanbul, and many Iranian Azerbaijani students who came to study in Turkey have stayed there after the completion of their studies.
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.
In general, the Azerbaijani population in Turkey is considered well-integrated into Turkish society, mainly due to cultural and linguistic affinities between Azerbaijanis and Turks. Nevertheless, differences still remain in the areas of religion (Azerbaijanis are mainly Shi'a, whereas Turks are mostly Sunni Muslims), dialect, and self-conception in terms of historical memory and ethnic/national consciousness. In 2011, Sinan Oğan, an ethnic Azerbaijani and a diaspora activist from Iğdır, won a seat in the Turkish parliament as a Nationalist Movement Party candidate. Following the June 2015 election, Kıznaz Türkeli from the Peoples' Democratic Party, another ethnic Azeri, was elected to represent the same province.
- Aghasi Mammadov, boxer
- Ali Özgündüz, former public attorney and politician
- Süreyya Ağaoğlu, first female lawyer in Turkish history
- Cem Karaca, musician (Azerbaijani father)
- Haydar Hatemi, Turkish-Iranian Azerbaijani artist
- Samin Baghtcheban, Turkish-Iranian Azerbaijani musician, composer, author and translator
- Elnara Kerimova, Azerbaijani and Turkish conductor and chorus master.
- Melahat Abbasova, Turkish actress and producer
- Nigar Talibova, Turkish model
- Sinan Şamil Sam, Turkish-German boxer
- Hafız Süleymanoğlu, Weightlifting, World and European Champion
- Rasim Başak, basketball player
- Servet Tazegül — 2012 Olympic gold medal winner
- Servet Çetin, football player
- Sinan Oğan, politician
- Tamer Karadağlı, Turkish actor
- Alihan Samedov, master player of instruments (balaban, clarinet, tutek, oboe, saxophone), chess master
- Mubariz Mansimov, businessman, billionaire and founder of Palmali Group of Companies
- Telman Ismailov, businessman, billionaire and founder of AST Group of Companies
- Samad bey Rafibeyli, Turkish army general
- Ahmet Ağaoğlu, Azerbaijani and Turkish publicist and journalist
- Nesrin Javadzadeh, actress
- Nuri Berköz, Lt.General, General Commander of Turkish Gendarmerie
- Nuri Saryal, scientist, engineer
- Aref Ghafouri, Illusionist
Notes and references
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- Human Rights Watch 1999 Report on Turkey
- Turkey: Religions & Peoples - Encyclopædia of the Orient
- Life of Azerbaijanis in Turkey Archived 2003-12-29 at the Wayback Machine.. An interview with Sayyad Aran, Consule General of the Azerbaijan Republic to Istanbul. Azerbaijan Today
- (in Turkish) Qarslı bir azərbaycanlının ürək sözləri. Erol Özaydın
- (in Turkish)Hurriyen
- (in Turkish) Iğdır Sevdası, Mücahit Özden Hun
- (in Turkish) KARS: AKP'nin kozu tarım desteği. Milliyet. 23 June 2007. Retrieved 6 December 2008
- Ercilasun, Ahmet. Kars ili ağızları. Ankara: Gazi Universitesi, 1983; p. 46–49)
- Azerbaijan and the Challenge of Multiple Identities Archived May 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. by Alireza Asgharzadeh. The Middle East Review of International Affairs
- Allen F. Chew. "An Atlas of Russian History: Eleven Centuries of Changing Borders". Yale University Press, 1967. pp 74.
- "Islam, nationalism and state in the Muslim Caucasus". Archived from the original on 15 April 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- "Caucasus and Central Asia Newsletter 2003" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 June 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- 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
- Asian and African Studies by Ḥevrah ha-Mizraḥit ha-Yiśreʾelit. Jerusalem Academic Press., 1987; p. 57
- Peter A. Andrews. Türkiye'de etnik gruplar. Akyüz Kitabevi, Istanbul: 1992. ISBN 975-7350-03-6
- Ali Ertuğrul Gürtekin, Hasan Şahmaranoğlu. Necip Asım Yazıksız (Balhasanoğlu) ve Kilis ağzı üzerine incelemeler. Kilis Kültür Derneği, 1995; p. 97
- A thesis on some of the regional dialects of Turkey.
- Muhan Bâli.Erciş'li Emrah ile Selvi Han hikâyesi varyantların tesbiti ve halk hikâyeciliği bakımından önemi. Baylan Matbaası, 1973; p. 25
- Symposium Dedicated to Karabakh Azeris in Turkey to Be Held. Vesti.az. 6 March 2014.
- Yalgin, A.R. Emirdağ ve Iğdır'da Karabağlılar Oymağı Arasında. Türk Folklor Araştırmaları Dergisi, 74:1476
- Caferoglu, A. Karabağ Türkmenleri ve Şirvanlılar. 1959; p. 178
- Azerbaycan'dan Amasya'ya Ziyaret. Amasyanin Sesi. 18 September 2011.
- Turkiye Diyanet Vakfi Islam ansiklopedisi. v.33. 2008; p.589
- Ayrancı Köyü – Biz Azeriler
- (in Russian) Turkish-Armenian War of 1920
- Mammad Amin Rasulzade: Founding Father of the First Republic - Azer.com
- Wedding Palace: Murtuza Mukhtarov's Residence - Azer.com
- (in Russian) Giorgi Mamulia. Prometheus Journal of History and Culture Archived February 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Akhulgo. April 2010.
- Alan Cowell. Turks at Rally Assail Soviet Moves. The New York Times. January 26, 1990. Retrieved August 20, 2009.
- "AZERBAIJAN vi. Population and its Occupations and Culture". Encyclopædia Iranica. August 18, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
- "Increased migration Iranian Azeris to Turkey". Tabnak news. 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
- Over 15,000 Azerbaijanis Received Turkish Citizenship. Zerkalo. 11 March 2013.
- (in Russian) Azeris. Great Soviet Encyclopedia
- Azeri Elected to Turkish Parliament. Day.az. 13 June 2011.
- Hdp'nin İlk Azeri Adayı Mazbatasını Aldı. Haberler.com. 17 June 2015.