Do the Talysh and Tat Languages Have a Future in Azerbaijan?

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Other minor ethnic groups whose populations are 15, or less census are: Tsakhurs , situated primarily in Zakataly region; Georgians 9, living primarily in Gakh region ; Kurds 6, ; Tats 10,, based in the northern regions ; Jews 9, living in Guba region and Baku city ; and Udins 3,, based mainly in the northern regions. Azerbaijan is an immensely diverse country with more than 15 different ethnic groups comprising 8.

However, the proportion of minority communities in the country has been decreasing in recent years due to continued conflict and discrimination against ethnic minorities, as well as internal displacement. While still nominally part of Azerbaijan, the territory has been under de facto autonomous rule since the outbreak of a protracted conflict in the early s between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

It is estimated that in the wake of conflict in the s, , Armenians left the country and only around 18, remained in Azerbaijan outside of Nagorno-Karabakh region. Although a ceasefire was established in , no official peace settlement has been signed and despite periodic discussions violence has flared up on occasions in recent years. A major ceasefire violation occurred in April when dozens of soldiers on both sides died in clashes. Fighting continued for four days before a ceasefire was agreed. Border skirmishes have persisted since then at a lower level, with multiple incidents during that saw soldiers from both sides killed or injured, including an incident in July when Armenian-backed troops shelled an Azerbaijani village, killing two Azeris, one of them a two-year old toddler.

Amidst fears of secession and state disintegration, the authorities primarily regard the situation of ethnic minorities from the perspective of national security, rather than human rights and inclusion. In particular, the Azerbaijani government actively discourages initiatives by Azerbaijani NGOs to engage Armenians, and information on the situation within Nagorno-Karabakh is tightly controlled. As a result, the situation for Armenians remaining in Azerbaijan outside Armenian-controlled territory remains difficult: hate speech against Armenians continues to feature heavily in state-controlled media, while peace-building efforts involving civil society actors are typically undermined, sometimes resulting in physical assaults on the property and persons of those involved.

More broadly, the use of minority languages in Azerbaijan continues to be restricted. Azerbaijan has not yet ratified the European charter for Regional and Minority languages, a treaty imposed by the Council of Europe in to protect regional and minority languages in Europe. As a result a number of minority communities — Farsi-speaking Talysh in the south of the country, Caucasian Lezgins in the north, displaced Meskhetian Turks from Central Asia and displaced Kurds from the Armenian-occupied Lachin region — have all experienced discrimination, restrictions on the ability to teach in their first languages and harassment by local authorities.

This is reflective of a government that has placed little emphasis on promoting anti-discriminatory measures, despite the clear need to move beyond its current securitized approach to non-Azeri communities in the country. The Azerbaijani authorities continue to be heavily criticized for the arbitrary detention of peaceful demonstrators and the arrest and imprisonment of human rights defenders and opposition politicians. It borders Iran to the south, Armenia to the west, Georgia to the north-west and the Republic of Dagestan in the Russian Federation to the north across the Caucasus mountain range.

Nagorno-Karabakh, formerly an autonomous region in Soviet times, lies in south-west Azerbaijan; populated largely by Armenians, it has been the focus of conflict since Azerbaijan historically formed a borderland between the Russian and Iranian empires and their spheres of influence. This is reflected in the fact that today there are greater numbers of ethnic Azeris living in Iran, where they comprise approximately one-fifth to one-quarter of the total population exact numbers are uncertain , than in Azerbaijan.

At the end of , Nagorno-Karabakh rapidly became a rallying point for Azeri nationalism. Having initially fared well in the war, Azerbaijan suffered a series of catastrophic defeats in , leading not only to the taking of Nagorno-Karabakh but the occupation of seven regions of Azerbaijan surrounding it by Karabakh Armenian forces backed by Armenia.

Armenian occupation of these territories was accompanied by the forced expulsion of ethnic Azeris. Although statistics are practically impossible to verify, it is thought that there are in the region of , internally displaced people and refugees from Armenia living in Azerbaijan today, accounting for some 9 per cent of the total population.

Cultural diversity

Disasters on the battlefield contributed to internal turmoil throughout the early s as successive governments rose and fell according to developments in the Nagorno-Karabakh war. It was eventually Heydar Aliyev, former first secretary of the Azerbaijani Communist Party who acceded to the presidency in Through a combination of political guile, lucrative contracts for Caspian oil exploitation and a fragmented opposition, President Aliyev was able to entrench his regime over a decade and ultimately secure the accession of his son Ilham to the presidency in The YAP has retained a high level of cohesiveness since its creation, remaining closely intertwined with both familial loyalties in its higher echelons and state structures employment in the public sector is contingent on YAP membership.

In April , heavy fighting broke out between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, with both sides blaming the other for triggering clashes that left at least 30 soldiers dead. The opening of the Baku—Tbilisi—Ceyhan pipeline in July has brought billions of dollars of revenue to Azerbaijan. However, in a context of corruption, the extent to which ordinary Azerbaijani citizens, in particularly members of marginalized minorities, have benefitted from the oil boom is limited.

These issues are especially pertinent as Aliyev and his supporters have cemented their position in the country, with rights groups highlighting the persistent lack of transparency surrounding oil deals. Azerbaijan is characterized by a poor governance environment. Its political system may be described as super-presidential, with virtually all significant decision-making powers concentrated in the office of the president. The current president, Ilham Aliyev, has been in power since his position was strengthened by a landslide victory in the presidential elections, with the next presidential elections scheduled for October The ruling political party, New Azerbaijan Party Yeni Azerbaycan Partiyasi, YAP , is headed by Aliyev and dominates the political system, with little substantive resistance from opposition parties.

In addition, there are few opportunities for legal redress within the Azerbaijani legal system with the judiciary firmly under the control of the executive. In this environment, minorities and minority rights activists are especially vulnerable to exclusion and persecution, with little recourse to official justice mechanisms.

Azerbaijan lacks comprehensive legislation with regard to ethnic minorities and at an institutional level there is no specific body to deal with minority issues, only the Ombudsman Institute. Stalin's actions have had consequences. Four peaceful petitions during the Soviet era to be recognized as an autonomous republic - and all four rejected - have consequences. Severe under-funding of Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan has had consequences.

Racial profiling and discrimination have consequences. The result is lack of trust. Start with officially coming to terms with the genocide against the Armenians. Your arguments are spurious.

After facing off for decades, Armenia and Azerbaijan start shooting

They do not withstand Karl Popper's rigorous testing and falsification. This is why a security zone outside Nagorno-Karabakh proper is vital, precisely because Armenians will no longer subject themselves to the genocidal policies of Turkic nationalities and because they lack a trustworthy partner on the other side. Enough is enough. Where did they disappear? Turkic people were removed from Yerevan after the Armenians were mass murdered in Turkey. Armenians did not want to live with the Turks any longer after they realized all the Turks have done for years was take away their boys devshrime to convert to islam, tax them extra for being non-muslim millet system , Massacre them in the hundreds of thousands during Sultan Hamid II's rule, then massacre them in the millions during WWI.

After that, it left a bad taste in the mouth for Armenians. But, interestingly, if you look at Arstakh what you all call Karabakh , consensus data going back hundreds of years shows that it was always settled by majority ARmenians. Never ever had a majority of Azeris or Turks. It is more Armenian than Armenia. Today Armenia is a monoethnic vountry.

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Armenia removed not just Azeris, but also Jews, Russians,etc. I wonder how many Russian schools there are in Armenia. I wonder how many working Armenian churches remain in the Anatolian regions of Turkey? Or Greek? Or Assyrian temples for that matter? Turks Azeris included since they are from the same Mongol faction came to the region and for hundreds of years until present have destroyed churches and taken over others to convert to mosques. Turkification of cultures and societies has been taking place in the region for years as they move forward to erase identities of historical people in the region which have existed for thousands of years before them.

That's because they've been swallowing up any culture in their region and Turkifying them. Armenia has a mosque in the middle of Yerevan. They have large numbers of muslims in their communities throughout Armenia, including large numbers of Yazidi muslims. Jews have been leaving Turkic regions as well. Large numbers of Jews have left ancient towns in Turkey which had Jewish communities for years. Especially after Mein Kempf in the mids became a best seller in Turkey, selling copies into the hundreds of thousands. And Erdogan saying last year that Hitler is a good example of how autocratic rule works.

So what's your point? That we don't have Jews and Azeris in Armenia?


I don't see very many Armenians in Azerbaijan for Jews in Turkey for that matter as well. I wonder if there is some sort of a secret plan how to bring Russia and Turkey into yet another conflict. Maybe someone wants to increase a pressure on Russia by another war. It is also possible that Azeri dictator wants to only solve his domestic problems although he has full backing of Turkey.

It is no coincidense that after so many years this had to happen now: dramatic decrease of oil price, leaking of the Panama documents in which the Aliyev family was prominently named, falling standards of living, abysimal human rights record. This was a show of strength and diversion of attention from the real problem namely an Azerbaijan which deserves a better leadership that will negotiate on the future of Nagorno-Karabakh instead of demanding its "immediate surrender".

Unfortunately the present energy security of Europe doesn't allow it, but in the near future Azerbaijan will find itself without the protective umbrella of the energy sector. Timing is interesting, isn't it? Especially how this occurred literally a day or two before the Panama leaks which exposed the Aliyev family's underground secret gold trading. Oh, how times of events are interesting. The Azerbaijan dictator, Ilham Aliyev, will not agree to install a mechanism to detect ceasefire violations. The Azerbaijan dictator's very predictable pattern is to violate ceasefires when going to international meetings to discuss the conflict.

If the Azeri dictator has nothing to hide, then agree to a ceasefire detection system, and of course, this will not happen because it will reveal the truth. Great point Amphion. There is no doubt that the Armenians are on defensive positions and happy with the status quo of the land they control. Azeris are firing on offensive positions but pretending the Armenians actually shot first.

Which is a joke and no one in the real world believes. But I think further than this, the Azeri president does not want a resolution. He knows by saying "give it all back to me" that the ARmenians are not going to negotiate. If he truly wanted a negotiation, he would have realistic terms. He lives off of this conflict. Let's remember that for over a year his country has been in financial and economic decline. Oil goes down, and the country is in shambles. On top of the economic disaster they are facing, Aliyev has recently been found on the Panama leaks as an underground secret gold miner.

He has used his country's funds to invest in gold for his family. This NK issue is a great distraction point for his people in order to not take to the streets as they did a couple of months ago asking for his resignation. Instead, he can focus his country's hate on the neighbor. He wants an ongoing conflict here. He doesn't want a resolution.

If he takes NK, his people will start focusing their attention on his shortcomings as a leader soon after as they realize he has jacked millions of dollars from country assets to privately invest in gold. While his country at the same time is asking international banks for loans.

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His future is on a thin rope right now. I wonder what money Armenia lives on. From your comment it sounds as if Armenia is a well-developed country with its independent economy.


One even cannot compare Armenia to Azerbaijan, Armenia is far behind Azerbaijan. Did I ever say Armenia was very well off? Just stating facts about Azerbaijani economic factors and Panama leaks which are leading to the incredibly awesome timing of this latest toss up. Facts you can't ignore. Over the weekend the Panama paper leaks showed that Aliyev is part of an underground gold mining and trading business.

He is using his country's funds to establish greater personal wealth for his country through some secretive gold mining operations. Just prior to the weekend, he orders his troops to attack Armenian territories. All we need to do in life is sometimes step back and see the whole picture to understand why someone would commit such crimes and put his own people at risk for death.

It's because he wants to divert attention away from him and save his own political skin. Instead of people in Baku in the streets now protesting this tyrant as they did a couple of months ago due to the financial and economic failures of his leadership, they are now in the streets supporting the tyrant who has been stealing his country's funds to setup gold businesses in order to support him for the attacks on Armenia. See article. Readers' comments Reader comments are listed below.

Sort: Newest first Oldest first Readers' most recommended. Putin's Payback time brought to you by Erdogan. To the Editorial, For some reason it was strange not to read about UN resolutions regarding this conflict. First, make sure that there is a conflict. Second, make sure that people kill each other with your weapons.

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Third, insert yourself as the only mediator between them. Fourth, screw them both. Read more. Azerbaijan disambiguation Azerbaijan or Azarbaijan may refer to: Azerbaijan , the largest country in the Caucasus region Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic , part of the former Soviet Union — Azerbaijan Democratic Republic , a short-lived state — Western Azerbaijan political concept , an irredentist concept of the Republic of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic , part of the former Soviet Union — Azerbaijan Democratic Republic , a short-lived state — Western Azerbaijan political concept , an irredentist concept of the Republic of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Iran , a region of northwest Iran.

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