Perspektivy ázerbájdžánského nacionalismu a separatismu v Íránu
PERSPECTIVES OF AZERBAIJANI NATIONALISM AND SEPARATISM IN IRAN
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Notwithstanding lack of detailed and freely accessible data, this paper examines the heavily underresearched issue of ethno-nationalism and separatism amid Iran's largest ethnic minority, Azerbaijanis, in an attempt to identify whether they may pose a threat to the territorial integrity of the Islamic Republic. Despite the fact that Azerbaijanis, a predominantly shiite community speaking a Turkic language, have historically been deeply integrated into Iranian society generating numerous élite members, recent decades have seen a gradual rise of nationalistic sentiments among them; sentiments that in some occassions have bordered on claims for secession. The authors claim that this process was instigated by a range of factors including the obtaining of independence by the post-Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan, introduction of Turkish and Azeri satellite TV broadcast to Iran’s Azerbaijani provinces and increasing levels of economic migration from Iranian Azerbaijan to Turkey. The authors conclude by stating that as of yet, the community of Iranian Azerbaijanis is deepy divided between religiously-minded assimilationists advocating for the established status quo and ever radicalized ethno-nationalists whose aim is to at least achieve more ethno-cultural rights for themselves.
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