Azeri Historian: The Term "Azerbaijanis" Was Coined In 1930’S


10.08.2009 20:10 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ "We cannot have national ideology unless we are
certain about our national self-identification," Doctor of History
Farid Alekperli, Department Head at Azerbaijan’s National Academy of
Sciences, says in an article entitled "Who are We? Where do we come
from, and Where do we Go". The article was published in Saturday’s
issue of "Zerkalo" Azerbaijani newspaper.

Before the 1930s’ Stalin reforms, the notion "Azerbaijanis" did not
simply exist, Azeri historian says, noting further that the term was
coined in the late 1930s by the great repressor’s will. Until 1936,
People in the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan (1918-1920) and
Azerbaijani Soviet Republic were officially known as Turks, he notes.

"Having lost their national self-identification, we got stuck in
debates on who we are, i.e. whether we descend from Sumerians, Talish
tribes, Albanians, Medes or some other ethnic group. There’ll be no
end to such tiresome and stupid debates unless we recognize that
our true ethnic origins are disguised behind the featureless term
‘Azerbaijanis’. We descend mostly from Turks, as well as Kurds, Tats,
Lezghins etc."

"Armenians, Persians and other nations still call us Turks," Alekperli

Bringing the example of Arab states and Iranian Azeris, who "have
been calling themselves ‘Turks’ from time immemorial", the historian
expresses conviction that no one confuses them with the Turks living
in Turkey.

Alekperli is concerned that use of the artificial term "Azerbaijanis"
may result in the loss of national identity, assimilation to Russians
and Western nations and eventually, it may lead to mancurtization,
especially under the pressures of globalization policy.