No  : 301 / 2005

 Date: 22.11.05

General Secretary, United Nations 

You Excellency, Mr. Koffi Annan

We would like to bring to your attention once again that the national and human rights of Southern Azerbaijanis are being breached under the administration of Iran. Activists representing our people are demanding our human rights according to United Nations proclamations however Iran continues to undermine us through aggressive and repressive policies. May we bring to your attention Amnesty International’s statement of concern on 24 October 2005 related to Southern Azerbaijan: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE130462005?open&of=ENG-IRN. We are writing to you about our people whose nationhood is being plundered with almost no precedence anytime or in any country and outline below our rationale for your perusal:

Around ninety years ago, the so-called “Protected Countries,” now called Iran, were ruled by a dynasty of Azerbaijani origin called the Qajars. They were subsequently toppled by the great powers of the time and replaced by a regime spearheading racism driven by a policy of Persianisation. This was in contrast to the preceding Qajar regime which recognised the equal status of the peoples of what is now Iran, with the consequence that today the thirty million indigenous Turkic Azerbaijanis that live in Iran are deprived of our national and human rights. We are left with the situation where Azerbaijanis constitute a majority in Iran but remain surprising deprived of our  basic rights, for example, the right to study and promote public discourse in our native language.

We remind you of our letter and its attachment in winter 2000 undersigned by all the advisory members of our Committee, as well as by Mr. Ebulfezl Elchibey, the first President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (Northern), where the attachment was a copy of the appeal by Seyid Jefer Pisheveri in 1946. We should mention that Mr. Pisheveri was the leader of a short-lived democratic government established in Southern Azerbaijan in 1945, overthrown within a year following military aggression by the Iranian Shah of the day.  As well as our various appeals, our Committee writes to you every year informing you of Iranian authorities suppressing democratic demonstrations of our people in our annual event of Babek Castle.

Undoubtedly you are well familiar with the mentality of rulers of Iran since the Pahlavide dynasty. Their single minded pursuit of policies to assimilate Southern Azerbaijanis continues today, though now regrettably, under the banner of Islam.  In particular, we draw to your attention the last presidential election, whose surprise victor Mr Ehmedi-Nejad, elected with only a fraction of the vote, is departing from the Islamic approach of granting equal status to all, in favour of worrying speeches embracing policies of Persian chauvinism. Besides, we express our concern about the clout recently given to the policy of Persianism in Iran concealed under the ex-President Hashimi Rafsanjani’s religious cover, where this transfer of power is contrary to the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Our homeland is subject to attempts of assimilation by ongoing national chauvinism and racism through the following methods:

  • Assimilation policies to alter ethic composition, e.g. the Provinces of Erak, Hemedan, Qezvin and Zenjan. These territories have been broken off from Azerbaijan proper but we had submitted to you a map of the territories of historic Southern Azerbaijan, referred to here as Azerbaijan proper, and we attach it again for your information. These boundaries have been authenticated using the “Tarikhi-Tabari” (Tabari’s History), written 1200 years ago and “Hududalem” (The Boundaries of the World), 1000 years ago. In addition, these territories, as ever, are populated by Turkic Azerbaijani speakers. Although some of these cities are undergoing the attack of bilingualism, their villages are Turkic speakers.
  • Illegal misappropriation, whereby transferring the administration of parts of Azerbaijan proper to Persian provinces, e.g. Astara, Enzeli and Beyjar (Bijar);
  • Divide and rule e.g. partitioning Southern Azerbaijan into the provinces of (i) East Azerbaijan, (ii) West Azerbaijan , (iii) Zenjan, (iv) Qezvin, (v) Hemedan, and (vi) Erak; (vii) recently the province of Erdebil;
  • Economical deprivation where Southern Azerbaijan is endowed with rich potentials but suffers from deliberate policies of underinvestment and dispersal of Azerbaijani wealth holders to other parts of Iran. This explains why Southern Azerbaijan was regarded as wealthy country 100 years ago but is rundown today.  According to the statistics released officially in 1996, national income per head in Iran was $600 but only $250 in Region-1 of Southern Azerbaijan (Erdebil, Zenjan, Urmu, and Tebriz).  Furthermore they showed that surplus values in these regions were four time less than those in the rest of country, suggesting that the working community of Southern Azerbaijan is proportionately worse off than Persian counterparts.
  • Depriving the 30 million Azerbaijanis of our basic right of education in our mother tongue and alienating our people not to use our language freely in radio, television, the press and other cultural activities.
  • Arbitrarily arresting the activists of our national movement under false and dubious accusations and subjecting them to torture.

Your Excellency,

We believe that in combating the above injustices, Southern Azerbaijan is obliged to upholding UN Article 1541 declared in 1960 granting the right of self-determination to nations. We should add that the Iranian state is a signatory to this declaration and has also signed Treaty 2002-A ratified by member states in 1966. Having collectively considered the above, the case is put forward for the nation of Southern Azerbaijan to proclaim the right to self determination. Undoubtedly, we are qualified to appeal to you for proclaiming our right for self-determination and expect to hear from you.  Naturally, we will continue our democratic struggle without being distracted or diverged from our aims. Nonetheless, we strive to open up the doors to our reawakened youth, to our age old repressed people and to our nation undergoing tense moments.

We believe that today’s politics is not conducted anymore by left-and-right politics but by the struggle of democrats against autocrats. We are relying on you as we are sure that conscientious individuals cannot be content with the obliteration and ruthless repression of a nation such as ours.

As a civil nation, we believe all the problems facing us must be resolved by democratic means through debate.  Can we therefore request you to pay due attention to our letters written to you so far, as well as this letter, and raise the issue of the “right of self determination of Southern Azerbaijan” in appropriate UN committees?

Yours Sincerely

Boyuk Resuloglu

Chairperson

The Committee for Defending the Rights of the World Azerbaijanis

CC:

  1. UN representatives of the USA, UK, France, and Germany.
  2. UN representatives of Republic of Azerbaijan (Northern), Turkey, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.
  3. General Secretariat of the European Council.
  4. News Papers: London times, Washington Post, Lomond, FAZ in Germany, Musavat, Yeni Azerbaycan, Ayna, Zaman.
  5. Radio and TV: Radio Liberty, BBC, Voice of America, Aljazeera, Radio Israel and GunAz TV.
  6. Azerbaijani website: Azad tribun, Tribun and Shamsi.
  7. Representatives of our Committee in the various countries.

 

Text Box: Northern Azerbaijan
 

Text Box: Southern Azerbaijan
 

Historic and Modern Southern Azerbaijani Regions subdivided on the basis of local Turkic Azerbaijani dialects

Region Identifier

(Bölgə Göstəricisi)

Region Name

(Bölgə Adı)

Region’s Dialect

(Bölgənin Ləhcəsi)

I

Tebriz (Təbriz)

Tebriz (Təbriz)

II

Qaradagh (Qaradağ)

Oguz (Oğuz)

III

Yam

Yam

IV

Uygur (Uyğur)

Avej (Avəc)

V

Maraga (Marağa)

Jigati (Cığatı)

VI

Erdebil (Ərdəbil)

Erdebil (Ərdəbil)

VII

Zenjan (Zəncan)

Rustemkhanli (Rüstəmxanlı)

VIII

Hemedan (Həmədan)

Hemedan (Həmədan)

IX

Kheles (Xələs)

Kheles (Xələs)

 

Azərbaijani Turkic

print    forward    download

 main page     up

 

info@dunazhak.net