Thursday, August 25, 2016


Explainer: The Politics Of Norouz

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva attend Norouz festivities in Baku on March 20.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva attend Norouz festivities in Baku on March 20.
By Eugen Tomiuc
In what has become a Norouz tradition, Azerbaijan's president participated in an egg-breaking competition with two popular characters associated with the spring holiday. And this year, as in previous years, Ilham Aliyev got the best of Kosa (Beardless) and Kechal (Bald-Headed).

In Azerbaijan, a former part of the Persian Empire where Norouz has deep roots, the president has for years used the Persian New Year as an occasion to highlight his public image by visiting Baku's old town and lighting a traditional Norouz fire.

It could be written off as fun and games, but in many areas of the world where Norouz is celebrated, the politics of the holiday can be serious business.

There are cases where regimes, whether religious or not, have regarded Norouz as a threat to their dominance and banned the holiday altogether. There are others where minority groups have identified themselves with the holiday and turned it into an unofficial national symbol. And there are those instances where even the date of the holiday has been subjected to the will of local strongmen.

But in no place is the politics of Norouz more evident than in Iran.

Pre-Islamic Iran is the cradle of Norouz, where it is believed to have been a holiday of the ancient Zoroastrian religion. It is so deeply rooted in the Iranian tradition and has such a powerful influence that even the Islamic Revolution of 1979 could not ban it. An official six-day holiday in Iran -- and 14-day vacation for schools -- Norouz has nevertheless been under constant fire from Muslim clerics, who call it un-Islamic.

Ironically, the rejection of Norouz has united fundamentalist Shi'ite Muslims in Iran and Sunnis in Afghanistan in their disdain of national traditions.

Iran's official attitude, however, is more ambiguous toward Norouz. While the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has issued repeated fatwas, or religious edicts, saying that Norouz "has no religious basis and will create a lot of damage and [moral] corruption," he is also the first to officially mark the beginning of Norouz with a national address.

Iran's conservative president, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, has exploited Khamenei's mixed message. Seeing that ordinary Iranians have always considered Norouz a powerful national symbol that transcends religion and goes back into Persia's millennia-long history, he has used Norouz to present himself as a nationalist and gain more public sympathy in his power struggle with the supreme leader.

The Iranian president has also seized the day as a tool of regional influence. He has invited neighboring Armenia's president to visit Tehran to attend Norouz celebrations, for example. And this year he was joining Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Tajikistan to participate in Norouz festivities.

PHOTO GALLERY: Norouz celebrations in Afghanistan

  • People throng Kabul's streets to enjoy the New Year festivities.
  • An Afghan National Army helicopter flies over the Sakhi Shrine in Kabul.
  • Formal celebrations get underway at the Sakhi Shrine
  • A boy sells balloons as the Norouz celebrations begin
  • Kabul families attend an amusement park to enjoy the festivities.
  • Boys kiss a holy flag that is traditionally raised on Norouz to mark the New Year.
  • Kabul men dance with each other as part of the Norouz celebrations.

For the more than 30 million Kurds scattered across several countries including Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, Norouz has long been a symbol of their struggle for national identity and unity.

In Turkey, both the legal representatives of the Kurdish minority, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) called for large demonstrations for Newroz, as they spell the holiday, on March 21.

The celebration of Norouz was only legalized in Turkey in 2000 under pressure from the European Union. Turkish authorities also use a different spelling -- Nevruz -- and reclaimed it as a Turkish holiday.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government has also given some cultural rights to Kurds -- who form at least 20 percent of the population and will celebrate the holiday according to their own traditions.

The tensions surrounding the holiday in Turkey descended into violence on March 20 when Kurdish protesters clashed with police trying to prevent Norouz festivities in two southeastern towns. At least nine people were hurt when people in the Turkish capital, Istanbul, and another city tried to mark the holiday.

But many Kurds will be looking toward the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan, where President Massoud Barzani will be making his annual Nowruz address on March 21.

Iraqi Kurds suffered decades of murderous repression under Saddam Hussein, but even the Iraqi dictator stopped short of banning Norouz. He instead declared an official "Day of the Tree" on March 21.

The Norouz protests in Kurdistan and southeastern Turkey come amid a year-old uprising in neighboring Syria, which also has a strong Kurdish minority.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's embattled regime has promised that it would allow Kurds to celebrate Norouz. The holiday, which the Syrian regime associates with Kurdish separatism, has been banned since 1963, when Assad's father came to power.

Assad's family is part of the Shi'ite Alawite sect, which also celebrates Norouz.

In Afghanistan, Norouz was reinstated as an official holiday after the fall of Taliban in 2001. Even during Taliban rule, the spirit of Norouz was so strong among Afghans that they kept celebrating it discreetly at home despite an official ban.

Taliban insurgents have issued periodic warnings against the observance of the holiday, and authorities have been constantly on the watch against possible bomb attacks during massive Norouz gatherings in Kabul and the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif.

In Central Asia's former Soviet republics, Norouz has been a recognized official holiday. But even times of celebration can take on an authoritarian hue, as in Uzbekistan, where President Islam Karimov has declared that he alone can decide when the holiday should start.

RFE/RL's Farda, Iraqi, Afghan and Azerbajani services contributed to this report
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Sınav from: South Azerbaijan
March 21, 2012 09:32
This is very interesting that the author of the article does not have a bit of information about the history of Iran and Azerbaijan but still states provocatively that Azerbaijan used to be part of Persian Empire. After the Arab Caliphates’s domination of the region (8 century A.D.) Until the demise of Turkic Qajar Empire in 1922 there’s been no Persian kingdom in this region that has been called Iran. All the empires were Turkic.

Nevruz is not a Persian New Year. I suggest the author to simply study the ancient Persian calendar or the Zoroastrian book named “Bondehesh” or the Ashkani book of “Vanuqe-azra” or “Jostari chand dar farhanqe Iran” by Dr.Mehrdad Bahar.

I’d like to remind the author that the Turks are not using a different spelling but Persians do. In Persian we do not use an adjective before a noun but in Turkish we do. So the author has to spell the New Year’s celebration like: “Ruze-No”.

By the way, when the subject of the article has got nothing to do with Azerbaijan, why the author has thrown in two irrespective paragraphs into the article?
We do understand the nature of elliptical paragraphs.
I wish I were RFE-RL’s correspondent too.
In Response

by: Diar from: Euro
March 21, 2012 18:15
"Nevruz is not a Persian New Year".

I agree. It is an Iranian tradition and definitely not Turkish. 'no' in persian or 'new' in Kurdish means 'new' and 'ruz' means 'day', words that have no meaning in Turkish. By the way, since using letters such as 'w', 'q', and 'x' is banned in Turkey because of their association with Kurdish language, Turkish government has dropped 'w' and uses 'v' instead; nevruz).

I think it would be a better idea if you yourself go and read the wikipedia:

"8 century A.D. Until the demise of Turkic Qajar Empire in 1922 there’s been no Persian kingdom in this region that has been called Iran. All the empires were Turkic."

Yes, you are absolutely right. But the country was always called as Iran and furthermore the official language of all those Turkic Caliphates or Kings was Persian even inside their palaces between the family members.
In Response

by: Hesham from: Lezginistan
March 22, 2012 04:45
Nowruz is a Persian word just like NoJavan, Nobaaveh, Nozaad, etc. In Persian, the adjective can come before the noun or vice-versa however in Kurdish, Gilaki, Talyshi and other Iranian languages, including Middle Persian, the Adjective comes before the noun. Also the Persian Empires such as Samanids and Buyids (before the establishment of Turks in the region) already celebrated Nowruz. Besides that, Nowruz is mentioned in Middle Persian texts and by numerous Islamic sources.

Can you find a Turkish text mentioning "Nevruz" or "Nowruz" before the Shahnamaeh of Ferdowsi or Middle Persian texts?
"earliest appearance is in Pahlavi texts, as nōg rōz "

So it is an Iranian (Iranic) day as its name suggest..of course other older civilizations might have celebrated the first day of spring, but by early Islamic time, only Iranians (Kurds/Persians/Talysh..) are mentioned in the sources (Biruni, Tha'abali, Masudi, etc).

by: kelly from: South Azerbaijan
March 22, 2012 03:52
adding to sinav info, during these periods in which the Turks were ruling Iran, the country had 3 official languages, Turkish was the language of the army and the crown, Persian was the language of the poets as it always have been and Arabic was the language of the Science, Philosophy , I agree with you Iran is a new, for instance, during qajars, iran was called ( mamalek mahruseh qajar ).
In Response

by: Hesham
March 22, 2012 15:36
Oh really?
Some of these commentators here are pan-Turkists who hate Iran and Iranian history. All the information given below is based on well known scholarly fact. Nowruz was already celebrated by Buyids and Samanids who were Iranian empires. As per "Turks Ruling Iran", although the dynasties were "Turkish" the administration and elite class of these empires were Iranians. That is why virtually all the documents from this era are in Persian. Seljuqs and Ghaznavids are considered "Persianized" by contemporary scholars. So anytime there was a "Turkish" king, there were Iranian and Persian administrator and Viziers who actually run the day to day affair of the country.

"Mamalek Mahruseh" means Protected Land. Look at the word "Mamalek" in Dehkhoda dictionary as terms like "Mamalek-e Azarbaijan, Mamalek-e Esfahan, Mamalek-e Khorasan.." were poplar then.

Qajar coins, it is called Iran in them.
A coin from Ahmad Shah Qajar:
"Shahanshah Iran" (King of Kings of Iran)
A coin from Muzaffar al-Din Qajar:
"Mamlekat-e Iran" ( The country of Iran):

Another coin from Muzaffar al-din Qajar:
"Shahanshah -e Iran"

So much for "Iran" not being used then right?

Despite Arabic being the main scientific language, Persian has had its own scientific language since Avicenna's Daneshnaameeh 'Alai and Biruni's al-Tafhim. As per Philosophy, most of the philosophy of Mir Fendreski, Naser Khusraw and many works of Suhrawardi, few works of Mulla Sadra and Sabzevari, some works of Avicenna, and many works of Nasir al-Din Tusi are in Persian.

As per the name "Iran" it is already mentioned in Sassanid inscriptions and goes back to Strabo. The name "Azerbaijan" also is Persian not Turkish, and it pre-dates the arrival of Turks by at least one millenium. Actually, at the time of the Samanids and Buyids where Nowruz is mentioned by many sources, the concept of "Azerbaijani" or "Anatolian" Turk did not exist.

In Response

by: Sınav from: South Azerbaijan
March 22, 2012 17:35
Oh yeah Hesham you are absolutely right.

We are bunch of Pan-Turks and you are not a Persian Chauvinist following a Pan-Iranian strand of expansionism.

To make sure you’re not paradoxical you may read your own resources thoroughly to figure out that the Turkish kings ruling the area recently known as Iran have had legalized about 3 languages as official and that’s why you feel so sure of yourself by the documents that the Iranian government puts at your disposal. (As a footnote: However, if our government in South Azerbaijan was not toppled, then she would never deceptively and desperately open those parts of the archives that would be deemed to prop up territorial integrity but instead she would come up with opening up in a bipartisan manner.)

We (As you brand Pan-Turks) study your government’s archives to support our discussions and you’d better learn Turkish language first to understand the composition of the lexicon of Azerbaijan.

But as I’ve guessed you’re not a Chauvinist and your right about whatever you say even about Azerbaijan and yes they were Persian as is God and as Albert Einstein was. Even let me delight you by sharing the fact that Adam and Eve used to communicate in Persian. Back in the history, no one existed but Persians. Bingo.
In Response

by: Musa from: New York
March 22, 2012 19:52
Each time an Azerbaijani tries to claim his own history or heritage, he/she is labeled as pan-Turkist by Persian racists!! According to your logic, just like Azeris are Turkified Persians, Seljuqs and Ghaznavids are considered "Persianized" Turks! LOOOOOL. let me laugh at you logic!

No we do not hate Iranian history! we are telling the truth! we are against the history that is based on other people's achievements and nationalism that is based dehumanizing other cultures!

for 1000 years Azeris and Persians lived together with no problem! Until you guys decided that you belong to a superior Aryan race in 1924 and we all subhumans need to be subjected to your high culture. The culture, which was crated by contribution from all other minorities living in Iran.

by: John from: Vancouver, Canada
March 22, 2012 17:21
The author has no idea about the politics of Nowruz at all! Calling Nowruz as a Persian New Year is already insult for all of non Persians who celebrate it! Azerbaijan has not been part of the Persia for at least 1000 years and portraying them as celebrating Persian New Year is an insult for every Azerbaijani.

In Response

by: Hesham from: Lezginistan
March 23, 2012 04:22
Azerbaijan is a Persian name and only in the 20th century did the Russans call their Turkish population as "Azerbaijani". Else Azerbaijan itself predates the Turkish population of the region by at least 1000 years as it is an Iranian name.

Now for the other name used by the same person, kelly, Persian has a huge vocabulary much like English which is 80/60% Latin/Greek. Persian is about 40% Arabic in scientific writing but less in colloquial (John Perry) however you forget to mention these "Arabic" words are used differently in Persian with different meaning and pronounciaion. Also it wouldn't be bad to look at Chagatay and Ottoman Turkish.. that is Turkish written languages which are today dead languages because I guess they were not pure enough! Virtually all Persian words and Arabic words used in Persian (taking different meaning) exist in Ottoman Turkish. Now would you consider Chagatay and Ottoman Turkish as abortive languages?
So Ataturk wanted to purify Ottoman Turkish and created a whole new language. But you pople who accuse Iranians of racism gloat that we have loanwords in our language while you tried to purify yours (and still have considerable loan words).

By the way I would start with the loanword "Azerbaijan" which is Persian since you are so concerned about purity. The second word is "Nowruz" , you can also delete it.

On the Ghaznavids, you won't find a single Turkish document from their realm in that era. By the way when I say Turkish I mean a whole group of languages, else Anatolian and Azeri Turkish did not exist then. But there are hundreds of Persian documents from the Ghazvanid realm.. You might want to check Encyclopaedia of Islam on Ghaznavids to see about the background of their Viziers and the culture they promoted.
And no we don't need to make history. Just like the Qajar coins I showed you. What was your response to those Qajar coins? Silence.
I would also update your knowledge on Avicenna. He has at least two Persian words: "Resaaleyeh RagShenaasi" and "Daaneshnaameye 'Alaai"... and actually he coin many native
scietific Persian terms. Can you show me a 1000 year old scientific book in Turkish on the same level as that of the Daneshnameh of Avicenna? As per Philosophy in Persian , have you head of Naser Khusraw? Read his Goshayesh o Rahayesh, also from 1000 years ago. So that is two good examples of scientific and philosophical work.
Sorry, Turkish did not have official status in Iran, neither did Arabic. That is because the official language is the language of adminitration (Divan) that is used by officils to run the day to day affairs of the country. Even if the King spoke Turkish with his wife, official and everyday affair was handed by the Viziers.
The only two Turkish languages that had some literatur were Chagatay and Ottoman Turkish, which are dead languages today.

Note the jealously from pan-Turkist users trying to insult the Persian language (while they also try to claim good works of Persian as their own)! and denying that Nowruz is a Persian word!

As per fascism, sorry you guys should not be giving lessons..just check out how many genocides are associated with which group in the regions.

And finally, let me suggest that oneday we take all the Kurds, Talysh, etc., of Turkey/Caucasus and all the anti-Iran Turks can move to those countries.. much like Pakistan and India, then the problem is solved.

by: kelly from: South Azerbaijan
March 22, 2012 20:57
Hesham your argument doesn't have a leg to stand on, and yet you're trying in vain to shoot yourself in the foot. since when Persian language has got to the level of a ( Scientific Language )? Lets just for a second consider what you're saying is true and ultimate fact, then shouldn't a curious and questioning mind ask why all of Abu Ali Sina's works are written in Arabic and not your precious Persian language? and why his famous book ( shafa ) has not yet been translated into Persian? perhaps your Persian langauge which Arabic vocabulary make up more than 75% of this abortive language doesn't have the needed scientific and philosophical elements to it.
In Response

by: Hesham from: Lezginistan
March 23, 2012 04:21
To Musa, Kelly/ Saniva/John (same person)

Your writing style matches the same name.
Let me first say, there was no "Azerbaijani" a thousand years ago. You won't find a document mentioning an ethnicity named "Azerbaijani".. it is actually a amaglation of native Iranians with Oghuz inhabitants which formed probably in the 13th-16th century. Nowruz was already established by Buyids/Samanids before the first Oghuz Turks entered the area. By the way Babak, Tabriz, Zanjan, Azerbaijan and etc., are all Persian words. Of course I know, for you guys Sumerians were Turks but sorry that is not mainstream history.

So "Azerbaijani" before Oghuz invasion was simply Iranian spaking land..It was in other word "Persian" in the sense of Iranians. Babak Khorramdin is a good example.
Remnants of that are now Kurds, Talysh, Tats and etc who would
be the native inhabitants..

In Response

by: Hesham
March 23, 2012 04:31
Once you actually read about Avicenna and find out that he has several works in Persian including Daneshnama and Rag-Shenaasi, then please educate yourself.
Now all it is with racist Turks is "doesn't have a leg to stand on" and using racist words/claims and then calling other people "racist". Infact your idea that Nowruz is a Turkish word is probably the one that doesn't have anything (even air) to stand upon.

As per "Abortive" language, you probably mean Ottoman Turkish which was aborted because it was not pure enough, because racist like pure stuff? As far as I know Persian has been standing tall for more than a thousand years. It has borrowed and also given words to surrounding language. By far, the Arabic vocabulary (much like Latin/Greek in English) is used now in different context in Persian than Arabic, and although one can write pure Persian (given the vast corpus of Avesta, Middle, Old Persian, Sogdian..etc. and oher Iranian languages), we are not interested in being "pure" :)
The fact of the matter is that according to Goethe, Persian literature is one of the main four pillars of world literature. Now do you think Iranians should care what racist Turks say about Persian or should they take Goethe? Also Daneshnama contains both science and philosopy.
So your premise was false.

by: Hesham from: Lezginistan
March 23, 2012 04:56
and lets get to the bottom of it..
Nationalist Turks don't like Iranians (Perians, Kurds, Tats, Tajiks, Talysh, Zazas) and this is shown by the treatment of Iranians in Uzbekistan, republic of Azerbaijan (which has a Persian name that has no ethnic meaning) and Turkey (whose name by itself alienates the native Armenian/Kurd/Assyrians/Greeks). They also don't lke Armenians, Greeks, Russians, etc.

So perhaps the best possible solution is a population exchange between Iranian/Armenian elements of Turkey/republic of Azerbaijan and those people in Iran who consider themselves Turkish instead of Iranians.
Problem solved and then you won't need to falsify history by ignoring Qajar coins, mainstream history, or not knowing about the daneshnama. Given the waste of time already, I think that solution will work.. And by the way I am from one of the Iranian groups in Iran.

In Response

by: Hesham from: Lezgnistian
March 23, 2012 13:08
As a last comment I'll touch upon two points as I know my only response will be insults and LOOOLs, which is not my type of conversation:
Robert L. Canfield, Turko-Persia in historical perspective, Cambridge University Press, 1991. pg 8: "The Ghaznavids (989-1149) were essentially Persianized Turks who in manner of the pre-Islamic Persians encouraged the development of high culture"
I recommend the rading of the above book. The authors are not Iranians and give a good overview of Turko-Iranian interactions.
The article shows that Kurds in Turkey are peresecuted for celebrating Nowruz. Infact, few years back, Turks in Turkey did not know what Nowruz was.
"earliest appearance is in Pahlavi texts, as nōg rōz "

by: kelly from:
March 23, 2012 10:16
Hesham show yourself to a psychologist, your are an emotional trainreck. so here we are in the 21st century and an individual obsessed with past, dead trying to bring to ill minded solution to the live. this is exactly the problem which today's iran is suffering. and this is exactly why Iranian with persian identity couldn't get a grasp of modernism. one of the reason is persian language is abortive, read ( daryoush ashouries books ) , you should all know that persian language only has about 273 simple verbs, and this language still lacks ( culture of critique)
In Response

by: Hesham from: Lezgnistian
March 23, 2012 15:44
I think your personal attack shows that you lost.. now trying to show the racist side as well. I guss the Armenian genocide is an example of modernity you are talking about it:

Sorry I counted 1500+ simple verbs here:
Plus thousands of compund verbs here:
Persian's vocabulary come from compound words,...I would be worried about Turkish.. Don't worry Persian is known for its world literature.. I don't need to attack Turkish language, because we are not racist. :)
All the stuff you say about Persian language just shows the inferiority complex of Turkish racists.

by: Sınav from: South Azerbaijan
March 24, 2012 10:52

- Azerbaijan is a Persian name and only in the 20th century did the Russans call their Turkish population as "Azerbaijani". Else Azerbaijan itself predates the Turkish population of the region by at least 1000 years as it is an Iranian name.

-- Azerbaijan is not a Persian name. As I told you Azerbaijan is compound name made up of “Az” - “Ər” - “Bay” – “-Can”. Any of these parts has got its meaning in Turkish language. You’d better study our language a bit as you did oblige us to study your language.( You are guilty of Cultural Genocide)

- "Arabic" words are used differently in Persian with different meaning and pronounciaion.

-- It seems that you’ve not studied Persian language well. As evidence I refer you to the secondary high school period when we studied Persian grammar for two consecutive years (Dastur zabane Farsi 1 and 2). Arabic words are used intact in the Persian language and any word containing elements of Arabic grammar is not Persian.

In university we studies Persian language too (3 credits). Then we were being told that the Pahlavi Language is the basis of recent Persian language while no one ever tried to explain why and why we do not understand that so-called Pahlavi language or why we do not find any common lexicons between the former and the recent one. That’s how the so-called Pahlavi language was abortive and along the time the recent Persian language came up with its indebted entity, containing so many Arabic and Turkish vocabularies.

- Ataturk wanted to purify Ottoman Turkish and created a whole new language.

-- AtuTurk did not create a new language. He said we should streamline the Turkish language so that it can facilitate education. But In Iran the Persians try to purify their language while completely creating a new language. I remember, first they said do not connect the suffix “Ha” to the end of the words because it seems Arabic. Then They said use “Ya” as much as you can when you have a vocabulary containing “Hamza” and then the issue of “Bal-qard”, “Rayane”, “Yarane” and these stuffs came up. Your Mr.Haddade-Adel is the one who is creating new languages. Don’t ever mistake him for AtaTurk.

- And no we don't need to make history
-- You do make history and anyone trying to bust you is caught by Iranian secret polis (Ettelaat) on charges of “treason” and “threat to national security”. We already know how many books have not got their licenses for publishing and how many others have lost their licenses a few years after being published. Naser Purpirar’s books about the fake history of Iran are a case in point. They publish what they want you to know and abolish what weakens you in your discussions and then you come to me and say go and read this one or that one.

- Just like the Qajar coins I showed you
-- As I told you the Persian language used to be the governmental language and that’s why your coins are pressed in Persian.

- Can you show me a 1000 year old scientific book in Turkish on the same level as that of the Daneshnameh of Avicenna?

-- No I cannot show you such a thing because all those who wanted, ended up serving terms in Ettelaat’s dungeons. As soon as they are freed, I’ll come up with your requests. As soon as you let us study our own language and history at schools, I’ll come up with your requests.

- The only two Turkish languages that had some literatur were Chagatay and Ottoman Turkish, which are dead languages today.

-- As long as you do not know a language you cannot suggest if it does have a literature or not.

- About the word Newruz.
-- I guess you should once more read my very first comment here to evade from losing the point.
In Response

by: Hesham from: Lezgnisstan
March 24, 2012 16:32
I am sorry that you cannot find any serious academics and scientists to take your claims that Nowruz and Azerbaijan are not Persian words. Oh yes, your historian is Naser Pourpirar who does not even have a doctorate (or even college degree) and claims that Iranian Achaemenids, Sassanids and Parthians are invention of Jews. I should rest my case right there, except to tell you that his theories are not taken seriously in any work or Encyclopedia.
By the way all his books have been published but not taken seriously and responded to by different authors (for example google Dariush Ahmadi who is an Azerbaijani Iranian and has the book Herzaareyeh PorShokhooh).
When discussing history though, we care about scholars with university chairs and historians with at least a Ph.D., who have amny journal publications.

Let me just provide some serious academic sources.
Your claim: “Azerbaijan is not a Persian name.” Is false. Your making up a psuedo etmology. I will quote Vladimir Minorsky: Called in Middle Persian Aturpatakan, older new-Persian Adharbadhagan, Adharbayagan, at present Azarbaydj̲an, Greek ᾿Ατροπατήνη, Byzantine Greek ᾿Αδραβιγάνων, Armenian Atrapatakan, Syriac Adhorbayg̲han, the province was called after the general Atropates (“protected by fire”), who at the time of Alexander’s invasion proclaimed his independence (328 B.C.) and thus preserved his kingdom (Media Minor, Strabo, xi, 13, 1) in the north-western corner of later Persia (cf. Ibn al-Muqaffa, in Yaqūt, i, 172, and al-Maqdisi, 375: Adharbadh b. Biwarasf). (Minorsky, V. “Adharbaydjan (Azarbaydjan) .”Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P.Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online.) In fact Atrapat occurs in the Avesta as well as Old Persian.
So if you want to make the charge of cultural genocide, "it is you that is making cultural genocide as Azerbaijan, Caucasus and Turkey had Iranian and Armenian /Greek population."
What about the Iranian Talyh, Kurds, Tats, Zazas of Turkey and republic of Azerbaijan? How is their culture doing? Don't mix history with your modern politics, Azerbaijan does not hve Turkish roots and to show how false your etymology is, you have to invent an etymology for its old from Atrapatakan which evolved to Adharabadegaan then modern Azerbaijan.
As per your claim that you cannot find a 1000 year old text in Turkish like Avicenna's Daneshnama, let me tell you that Turkey, Uzbekistan, Republic of Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, etc.. would have found such a text,.. So your conspiracy theory that Iranian government is hiding is nonse and has no basis.
In Response

by: Hesham from: Lezginistan
March 24, 2012 16:40
Let me make this the last statement here, as this is tiring.. Your sources are Nase Pourpirar and your own etymological inventions, my sources are mainstream Western Universitry history books..You won't find any weird theories in these books about Nowruz/Azarbaijan being Turkish words or Jews inventing the Sassanid empire (Pourpirar theory). By the way all the nonsen of Pourpirar are available but as you can see, it had no effect on real scholarship. Because real scholarship is a peer-reviewed and scholarly system that is not a place for weblogs and internet messages.

Have a nice Nowruz..I would suggest you guys instead of being bitter try to work hard like this guy:

In Response

by: Hesham from: Lezginistan
March 24, 2012 18:01
I am not sure if my response to the person above in two parts got posted, but let me make a final comment as I have family to take careof..Pourpirar that the above reader refers to is a person who does not have a college degree and claims that everything up to the 18th century in Iranian history is a Jewish invention. And unlike what the above person states, he has his own publishing house, weblog and his books are easly obtailable. Serious scientists look to the Encyclopaedia of Islam for information on the Near East.
on linguistics:
If anyone is interested in reading the on the Persian language (and some criticism coming from racist Turkish circles whether it is verbs, Nowruz, loan words, their disbelief in Middle Persian or etc.), they can read the following Persian article:
However, instead of wasting time and distorting words (such as Nowruz), wouldn’t it have been better that the Turkish friends here also put efforts like this:
Or this English book:
Or work hard like this:

The fact is Persian, Arabic and Tukish, and virtually all languages of the world are behind English and Dariush Ashouri (who is not a linguist but a sociologist) uses the term "third world language" to refer to languages that are not English, French, German and Russian. However, this terminology by sociologist (not a linguist) has no scientific basis. Some languages have different characteristics, for example Arabic can make a verb out of any word it has, Persian unlike Arabic has infix, suffix, and prefix (Turkish has prefix only) and etc.. its verb system is functional and is now getting more attention:

and ...etc.

So insted of Turks insulting Persians or Persians insulting Arabs and Arabs insulting Turks,..they should concentrate on their own culture and language. As per the etymology of Nowruz and Azerbaijan, I think scienticsts are clear and the third response to the person above demonstrated it (as it goes back to Middle Persian Nog Rouz).


by: Sınav from: South Azerbaijan
March 24, 2012 16:23
- As per fascism, sorry you guys should not be giving lessons..just check out how many genocides are associated with which group in the regions… oneday we take all the Kurds, Talysh, etc., of Turkey/Caucasus and all the anti-Iran Turks can move to those countries.. much like Pakistan and India, then the problem is solved.

-- But we are the only ones who should be giving you lessons. Believe me. Your words are the exact words that Hitler and Slobodan Milosevic used to utter. Your words also remind me of Omar Al-bashir. Anyone who criticized their racism was raped and expelled. They were the ones who committed the greatest genocides that shook the world. And you talk like them and act like them. You have helped Armenian to occupy Azerbaijan because you never wanted to see a United Azerbaijan. You deprived Azerbaijani people of all their rights. You ruined all Turkish cities in Iran to decorate Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and other Persian cities. You shed our blood because we wanted to be free of your systematic racism. You abused religion and called us the enemies of Allah because we never wanted to believe that an Islamic government can be oppressive. Our brothers and sister are still in your prisons. You are the ones associated with genocide. I assure you that the Problem will be solved as soon as South Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Khuzistan, Baluchistan and the Turkmens in Iran find their Independence.

Do not blame us because we want to discuss facts with Armenians, the side that rejects to open up its archives or join a commission of historians for investigation. The side that has committed genocides within South Azerbaijan and Northern Azerbaijan but you friendly Persians never did never talk about them as you don’t right now.

If you are so concerned about genocide and still do not want to admit the genocides that Armenians and Persians have committed against Turks then why not talk about the genocides that were ran against the Arabs of Iran which led to the creation of Al-Ahwas movement. Why not talk about the massacre of Baluchs which pushed them to create Rigi movement.

- there was no "Azerbaijani" a thousand years ago.
-- Yes there was. Here’s the few books you can find the evidence of her existence:

1- Farhange-Qate, Muhammad Huseyd ibn kholf Tabrizi
2- Tarikhe Masudi, Moruj-Al-Zahab
3- Hamd –Allah-Mostofi Qazvini, Nehzat-Al-Qolub

- we are not interested in being "pure"

Yes you are. That’s why you have created the theory of “Nejade Pak Ariyayi”(Pure Aryan Race). That’s why Reza Khan was so in love with Hitler’s Genocide campaign. That’s why you are massacring any non-Persian Since the Pahlavis dynasty because you find us impure.

- Nationalist Turks don't like Iranians (Perians, Kurds, Tats, Tajiks, Talysh, Zazas) and this is shown by the treatment of Iranians in Uzbekistan, republic of Azerbaijan (which has a Persian name that has no ethnic meaning)

-- The reason is that you Persians have oppressed over 24 million strong Azerbaijani community of Iran. You have subjected us to your racism. You have made humiliating jokes against us and you have insulted us in your media and Publications. You have killed our people in masses because we fought for our very basic rights that have been approved by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that is why Persians are hated in all Turkish states, including Republic of Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan and so on.

By the way, I personally do not need another username to address you sth. If you are facing objections that’s due to your own provocative behavior.

by: ashoka kanishka from: Hind
March 26, 2012 05:47
But it is celebrated in India by the "Parsis" - migrated people from persia or faras a close knit community and almost on verge of extinction.

Notable Big Indian Business Houses are Parsis .

They practice Zorastrianism.

One thing is noteworthy , ethnicity gets represented time and time again , People can ( or forced ) change religion and beliefs but ethnicity cannot be changed for ancestors is not a matter of choice.

Plurality will always exist homogenisation is not possible.

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