Kurds in Azerbaijan
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Kurds in Azerbaijan
Kurds in Azerbaijan
Ilham Aliyev and Mehriban Aliyeva attended opening of Kharibulbul Festival in Shusha 15.jpg
Tunar Rahmanoghly singing kurdish song "Rinda Min". Khari Bulbul Music Festival
Total population
Official: 6,100[1]
Estimate: 80.000 - 200.000 [2][3][4][5][6]
Languages
Kurdish (Kurmanji), Azerbaijani, Russian
Religion
Shia Islam, Yezidism[7]
Related ethnic groups
Iranian people

The Kurds in Azerbaijan (Kurdish: Kurdên Azerbaycanê‎) form a part of the historically significant Kurdish population in the post-Soviet space. Kurds established a presence in the Caucasus with the establishment of the Kurdish Shaddadid dynasty in the tenth and eleventh centuries.[8] Some Kurdish tribes were recorded in Karabakh by the end of the sixteenth century.[8] However, virtually the entire contemporary Kurdish population in the Republic of Azerbaijan descends from migrants from 19th century Qajar Iran.[8]

As a result of 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, Azerbaijan took back Kalbajar, Lachin, Qubadli and Zangilan.[9] According to 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement, internally displaced persons and refugees shall return to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent areas under the supervision of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.[10]

History

Early history

According to Russian and later Soviet ethnographer Grigory Chursin, another wave of Kurdish immigration in western parts of modern Azerbaijan may have taken place in 1589, at the time of the Ottoman-Safavid War, when "victorious Safavid soldiers" chose to stay in the conquered lands.[11] Safavids resettled Shi'a Kurds where borders of the historical regions of Karabakh and Zangezur met.[12] In the eighteenth century, many Kurdish tribes had formed tribal unions with Azeris in Karabakh lowlands.[13] Nineteenth-century Russian historian Peter Budkov mentioned that in 1728, groups of Kurds and Shahsevans engaged in semi-nomadic cattle-breeding in the Mughan plain applied for Russian citizenship.[14]

In 1807, amidst the Russo-Persian War over the South Caucasus, a tribe chief by the name of Mehmed Sefi Sultan moved from Persian to the Karabakh khanate followed by 600 Kurdish families. By the second half of the nineteenth century, Kurds were found in large numbers in the uyezds of Zangezur, Javanshir and Jabrayil.[11] In 1886, they constituted 4.68% of the population of the Elisabethpol Governorate.[15] Small populations of Kurds were also found in the uyezds of Nakhchivan, Sharur-Daralagoz and Aresh.[16] Mass migration of Kurds from Persia and to a lesser degree from the Ottoman Empire[17] into mountainous regions of present-day Azerbaijan continued all throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century, until 1920 when Azerbaijan became part of the Soviet Union. The Kurdish population of the South Caucasus was prone to internal immigration. In the 1920s, a number of Kurds from Azerbaijan relocated to Armenia where they settled mainly in the Azeri-populated regions,[11] which led the Kurdish population of Azerbaijan to significantly decrease in numbers.[18]

Common religion (unlike the majority of Kurds, Kurds of Azerbaijan are predominantly Shi'a Muslim like most Azeris)[7] and shared elements of culture led to rapid assimilation of Azerbaijan's Kurdish population already by the end of the nineteenth century. Statistical data from 1886 shows that Kurds of Jabrayil, Arash and partly Javanshir spoke Azeri as a first language. According to the first Soviet census of 1926, only 3,100 (or 8.3%) of Azerbaijan's Kurdish population (which at the time numbered 37,200 people) spoke Kurdish.[16]

A well-integrated community, Kurds were represented in the government of the shortly independent Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan in 1918-1920, among them Nurmammad bey Shahsuvarov who served as Minister of Education and Religious Affairs and Khosrov bey Sultanov, Minister of the Military and Governor General of Karabakh and Zangezur.[19]

Red Kurdistan

After the establishment of the Soviet rule in Azerbaijan, the Central Executive Committee of the Azerbaijan SSR created in 1923 an administrative unit known as Red Kurdistan in the districts of Lachin, Qubadli and Zangilan, with its capital in Lachin.[20] According to the 1926 census, 73% of its population was Kurdish and 26% was Azeri.[21] In 1930 it was abolished and most remaining Kurds were progressively recategorized as Azerbaijani.[22] In the 1930s, a traditional Kurdish puppet theatre kilim arasi in Aghjakand and a Kurdish Pedagogical College in Lachin still functioned.[11] Soviet authorities deported most of the Kurdish population of Azerbaijan and Armenia to Kazakhstan in 1937, and Kurds of Georgia in 1944.[23] Starting from 1961, there were efforts by deportees for the restoration of their rights, spearheaded by Mehmet Babayev who lived in Baku, which proved to be futile.[24]

Kurds continued to assimilate into the dominant culture of the neighbouring Azeris.[25] Historically mixed Azeri-Kurdish marriages were commonplace; however the Kurdish language was rarely passed on to the children in such marriages.[16]

Nagorno-Karabakh War

The First Nagorno-Karabakh War between Armenia and Azerbaijan spilled across the region of Nagorno-Karabakh into the traditionally Kurdish populated areas in both of these countries.In the late 1980s 18,000 Kurds left from Armenia to Azerbaijan.[26] In 1992-1993, Armenian troops advanced into Kalbajar, Lachin, Qubadli and Zangilan, forcing the non-Armenian civilian population out.[27] As much as 80% of the Kurdish population of those regions settled in IDP camps in Aghjabadi.[28]

Demographics

1926[29] 1939[30] 1959[31] 1970[32] 1979[33] 1989[34] 1999[35] 2009[36]
41,193 6,005 1,487 5,488 5,676 12,226 13,100 6,100

Notable people

References

  1. ^ "Population of Azerbaijan by ethnic groups". azstat.org. azstat.org. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ "Kürtler". azerb.com. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ "Azerbaycan: Kürtler". refworld. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ "Ar?ivlenmi? kopya". Archived from the original on 10 July 2013. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ http://www.rferl.org/content/azerbaijan_kurds_fear_loss_national_identity/24252317.html
  6. ^ An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of the Russian and Soviet Empires, James Stuart Olson, Lee Brigance Pappas, Nicholas Charles Pappas, Greenwood Publishing Group, (1994), ISBN 0313274975, p.409
  7. ^ a b . ? ? ? Archived 2012-02-03 at WebCite. Sakharov Centre.
  8. ^ a b c Yilmaz, Harun (2014). "The Rise of Red Kurdistan". Iranian Studies. 47 (5): 801-802. doi:10.1080/00210862.2014.934153. S2CID 163144462.
  9. ^ "aldan azad edilmi? h?r v? k?ndl?rimiz". Azerbaijan State News Agency (in Azerbaijani). 1 December 2020. Archived from the original on 1 December 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ "Statement by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and President of the Russian Federation". Kremlin.ru.
  11. ^ a b c d ?.?. ? ? ? ? ? // ?. -- ?., 1962. -- No No 2.
  12. ^ ? ?.?. , ? ? ?. -- «», 2002. -- ?. 199. -- ISBN 5-94628-118-6
  13. ^ ?.?. . ? ? ? ? ? ? XVI -- XIX // - . -- : . ?, 1949. -- ?. 135-136.
  14. ^ ?.?. ? ? XVIII ?. -- ?: - , 1948. -- ?. 91.
  15. ^ ? // ? ? 86 (82 ?. ? 4 .). -- ., 1890--1907.
  16. ^ a b c ?. ?. ?, ? ? ? ? XIX-XX ., "? ?", IV, ?., 1969.
  17. ^ ? ?. - ? ? Archived 2012-09-11 at archive.today. Kurdishcenter.ru.
  18. ^ Encyclopedia of World Cultures, David Levinson, G.K. Hall & Co. (1991), p.225
  19. ^ ? ? (.) // ? IRS-. -- ?. 40-41.
  20. ^ The Kurds: A Contemporary Overview, Philip G. Kreyenbroek, Stefan Sperl, Routledge, (1992), ISBN 0-415-07265-4, p.201
  21. ^ "? ? 1926".
  22. ^ Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War, Thomas De Waal, NYU Press, ISBN 0-8147-1945-7, p.133
  23. ^ (in Russian) ?.
  24. ^ (in Turkish) Kurdistana Sor
  25. ^ David McDowall ? = A modern history of the Kurds. -- 3, illustrated, revised. -- I.B.Tauris, 2004. -- ?. 192. -- ISBN 1850434166, 9781850434160
  26. ^ Thomas de Waal Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan through Peace and War. -- New York University Press, 2004. -- page 327 -- ISBN 0-8147-1944-9, 0-8147-1945-7
  27. ^ Azerbaijan. Seven Years of Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. -- Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, December 1994. -- ?. 14. -- ISBN 1-56432-142-8
  28. ^ ?. ? ( 1999 ?) Archived 2011-08-26 at WebCite. «».
  29. ^ "? 1926 ?. ?". «». Archived from the original on 2012-02-03.
  30. ^ "? 1939 ?. ?". «». Archived from the original on 2012-02-03.
  31. ^ "? 1959 ?. ?". «». Archived from the original on 2012-02-03.
  32. ^ "? 1970 ?. ?". «». Archived from the original on 2012-02-03.
  33. ^ "? 1979 ?. ?". «». Archived from the original on 2011-08-26.
  34. ^ "? 1989 ?. ?". «». Archived from the original on 2011-08-26.
  35. ^ "? ( 1999 ?)publisher=""". Archived from the original on 2011-08-26.
  36. ^ "Ethnic composition of Azerbaijan: 2009 census". Archived from the original on 2012-02-03.

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