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Thread: [Split] Azeri Iranians: Identity & Heritage

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    [Split] Azeri Iranians: Identity & Heritage

    Quote Originally Posted by Afshar View Post
    In the description of this forum area it states "Language-based discussion section for the Persian language", and clearly Azeri belongs in "Language-based discussion section the for Anatolian Turkish and Azeri languages".
    Azeries that I know identify themselves as of being Turkish origin rather than irani.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gandhara View Post
    Azeries that I know identify themselves as of being Turkish origin rather than irani.
    That's a touchy subject, if your speaking of Azeris from the republic of Azerbaijan, then I cant speak for them. But the Iranian ones, which I think is what this thread's about, are a bit of a different case. Generally you'll see a split between what they consider themselves, some in iran refer to themselves as "Tork" and acknowledge they're supposedly "Turkish", but many are also indifferent to the term and just refer to themselves as Iranian. I get the sense that there's more national unity in Iran regardless of ethnic background than other surrounding nations, most people in Iran are pretty intermingled from an ethnic sense that its become irrelevant what your ethnicity is when it comes to the bigger picture. And besides, I can never tell apart an "Iranian Azeri" from a Persian culturally, same names, same overlap in physical features, and AFAIK, now there's genetic evidence that backs up the notion that ancestral wise the only difference is a cultural shift towards the Turkic customs.
    Last edited by ancestryfan1994; 05-27-2017 at 08:05 PM.

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    "Tork" is a common colloquialism within Iran to denote a Turkic speaker. As is the case in places like Afghanistan, the language of one's ancestors is typically used to denote their ethnic affiliation. Within Iran, the descriptor of "Iranian" is also akin to "Afghan", in that it represents nationality and not ethnicity.

    The use of the word "Turk" in Turkey is more complicated and, depending on the context or intent of the user, could mean linguistic identity, ethnic status or nationality. That leads to substantial confusion when other Turkic ethnic groups in the region (Azeris, Gagauz, Iraqi Turkoman) are discussed. Azeri Iranians are certainly Turkic in language, are a Turkic-Iranic hybrid culturally and Iranian by nationality. That one can be both a "Tork" (i.e. a Turkic speaker in Iran) and be an Iranian isn't a contradiction, but it's treated as such, usually either by foreigners ignorant of the region, or some Turks from Turkey who merge all three fields into one.

    Azeries that I know identify themselves as of being Turkish origin rather than irani.
    Culturally, Azeris from both Iran and Azerbaijan are a rich amalgamation of authentic Turkish and Iranian traditions, with regional local infusions in Azerbaijan to a lesser degree. There's no escaping the ancient, medieval and pre-modern influences of Iranian culture in what we could describe as "Greater Azerbaijan" for the sake of this discussion. Those Azeris you know are probably conforming with a false dichotomy ("Turkish or Iranian") likely secondary to the ambiguity of the term "Turk" from Turkey. Let's not forget the cultural influence Turkey has had in recent decades in Azerbaijan and even Iran. I suspect ethno-nationalism partially contributes to the forwarding of that false dichotomy, FWIW.

    Adding a new dimension to the discussion further, the Oghuz Turks seemed to shift towards the "Turkoman" ethnonym to denote those of their tribe who became Muslim. Clearly, by Medieval Oghuz standards, any modern Turk or Azeri who's no longer Muslim would no longer be considered a "Turk" by them. Therein lies the problem with this self-designation - It's too fluid!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ancestryfan1994 View Post
    That's a touchy subject, if your speaking of Azeris from the republic of Azerbaijan, then I cant speak for them. But the Iranian ones, which I think is what this thread's about, are a bit of a different case. Generally you'll see a split between what they consider themselves, some in iran refer to themselves as "Tork" and acknowledge they're supposedly "Turkish", but many are also indifferent to the term and just refer to themselves as Iranian. I get the sense that there's more national unity in Iran regardless of ethnic background than other surrounding nations, most people in Iran are pretty intermingled from an ethnic sense that its become irrelevant what your ethnicity is when it comes to the bigger picture. And besides, I can never tell apart an "Iranian Azeri" from a Persian culturally, same names, same overlap in physical features, and AFAIK, now there's genetic evidence that backs up the notion that ancestral wise the only difference is a cultural shift towards the Turkic customs.
    I was speaking on ethnic grounds not on geographical boundary's basis. Iran also has a Baloch population which is ethnically non Irani but yes they have Irani nationality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gandhara View Post
    I was speaking on ethnic grounds not on geographical boundary's basis. Iran also has a Baloch population which is ethnically non Irani but yes they have Irani nationality.
    Ethnically non Irani.. what does that mean exactly?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jesus View Post
    Ethnically non Irani.. what does that mean exactly?
    I didn't realize "Irani" was an ethnic group, yeah. Please explain Gandhara...

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  12. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jesus View Post
    Ethnically non Irani.. what does that mean exactly?
    Means being different from the Irani people in broader spectrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Awale View Post
    I didn't realize "Irani" was an ethnic group, yeah. Please explain Gandhara...
    Explained above, let me know if I can clarify it further by illustrating an example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gandhara View Post
    Means being different from the Irani people in broader spectrum.
    How are they mainly different? To you, I mean. Are we talking genetics, culture, linguistics... What?

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  16. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Awale View Post
    How are they mainly different? To you, I mean. Are we talking genetics, culture, linguistics... What?
    Speaking about all of it that u mentioned above. Balochs and also Azeries claim a unique identity, speak Balochi/Azeri different dress code , language, tradition and history. They do not identify themselves as Irani. Genetically speaking if you insist we can label them an Irani but that would be like opening a Pandora box as the Indo - Iranian group of languages include a vast number of countries and ethnicities and always some type of genetic similarity will exist between neighboring populations. What is your version and take on that?
    Last edited by Gandhara; 05-28-2017 at 09:22 PM.

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    I think you'll find that actually, for the most part, they do consider themselves "Irani". There was a classic example of an Iranian Azeri olympic weightlifter who was offered the chance to compete for Turkey, and he turned the offer down citing the love he had for Iran making switching nations not be a viable option. Like I said, in todays Iran, most people are united as Iranians regardless of their ethnic origins, as an off topic example, in the Iranian international sport level, there would have been a mass exodus of athletes going off to play for other nations if there was some sort of dissent with being labelled Iranian, I'd say for every 10 athletes on the Iranian olympic teams for example, at least 4 would be of non ethnic Persian origins. The ethnic groups that live together in todays Iran have been doing so since times before countries and borders even existed. Persians, Azeris, Armenians, Kurds, Georgians, and the list goes on, all lived among each other and intermingled etc. My family claim to be "Muslims", so im assuming the same was done historically for our ancestors, and yet Armenians (A christian ethnic group) still found a way to enter our gene pool.

    As for the history of the Azeris of Iran, again, from what I remember reading on this forum and online historical sources, the Iranian Azeris are actually a product of what seems to have been a cultural shift to their current status, so essentially they're "Turkified" Persians. This would make sense from a genetic viewpoint because in the GEDmatch oracles, Azeri is always in my top 3 despite my family having no Azeri ancestry. Also, honestly, Iranian Azeri culture and people really dont seem alien to a guy like me who comes from an ethnic Persian family, to me they're just fellow Iranians who are able to speak a turkic language alongside farsi, but their names are the same as everybody else, and they look the same as every body else. Im sure if i was to visit tabriz which is the Iranian Azeri hub, i wouldn't really feel out of place, bar for a few bits of details here and there. The baloch however, I do see a case to be made for them.
    Last edited by ancestryfan1994; 05-28-2017 at 11:05 PM.

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