Qashqai (also spelled Ghashghai, Ghashghayi, Qašqāʾī, Qashqa'i, and Qashqayi) is a Southern Oghuz or Western OghuzTurkic language spoken by the Qashqai people, an ethnic group living mainly in the Fars region of Iran. In the Encyclopaedia Iranica Qashqai is also regarded as an independent third group of dialects within the southwestern Turkic languages. It is known to speakers as Turki. Estimates of the number of Qashqai speakers vary. Ethnologue gives a figure of 1.5 million. The Qashqai language is closely related to Azerbaijani, and some linguists consider it to be a dialect of that language.