Dr. Kaveh Farrokh
Kaveh Farrokh: Manuvera@aol.com
………….PART I: A SHORT INTRODUCTION TO PAN-TURANIANISM
……………..(1) A Brief Note on the Origins of Pan-Turanianism.
………………..(2) Some of the Beliefs of Pan-Turanianism.
…………………..(a) The Inventors of culture, language and civilization were Turks.
……………………………..(b) The Myth of the Grey Wolf
……………………………..(c) Ancient Sumeria was Turkish.
……………………………..(d) The culture of the ancient Greece and Anatolia is Turkish in origin.
……………………………..(e) The Etruscans of pre-Roman Italy were Turks.
……………………………..(f) Armenians are Turks.
……………………………..(g) The indigenous Indian peoples of North America are Turks.
……………………………..(h) Kurds and their Mede ancestors are Turks.
……………………………..(i) Tajiks are Turks.
……………………………..(j) Turks are the World’s Main Producers of World Class Persian Literature.
……………………………..(k) Judeo-Christianity and Islam have Turkish origins.
……………………………..(l) The Northern Iranians were all Turks.
……………………………..(m) The Parthian language was Turkish.
……………………………..(n) Bosnians, Macedonians, Albanians, and Ukrainians are Turks.
…………PART II: PAN-TURANIAN CLAIMS TO AZERBAIJAN
……………..(1) Greater Azerbaijan was divided between Russia and Persia.
…………………..(a) Arran & the Historical Azerbaijan.
…………………………….(b) The Musavats and the early Pan-Turanianists.
…………………………….(c) The Soviet Russians & Joseph Stalin.
…………………………….(d) Mr. Amin Rasulzadeh.
…………………………….(e) The role of Soviet Russia in 1941-1946.
……………..(2) Azerbaijanis have spoken Turkish since the advent of History.
……………………..(a) Archival Information.
……………………………..(b) The Turkic arrivals & Manzikert.
……………………………..(c) Linguistic Turkification.
……………………………..(d) Resistance against Ottoman Turks.
……………………………..(e) World War One.
…………………(3) Turks have been in the Caucasus for over 5000 Years.
……………………………..(a) Armenia, Georgia, Albania/Arran
……………..(4) The Safavid Empire was Turkish.
………………..(5) Sattar Khan was a pan-Turanian separatist.
……………………………(a) Mr. Mahmudali Chereganli.
……………………………(b) Sattar Khan & the Constitutional Movement of Persia.
……………………………(c) European Intervention.
……………………………(d) SANAM & the Fabrication of History.
…………………(6) Babak Khorramdin was a Turk who fought against Persia.
………………….(7) Azerbaijanis and all who speak Turkish are Turkish by race.
………………………(a) Ziya Gokalp
……………………………(b) The Richards et al. Genetic Studies
……………………………(c) The Analyses of Colin Renfrew
……………………………(d) The Cavalli-Sforza et al. Genetic Studies
……………………………(e) Transcending the Concept of “Race”
…………………(8) Iranian complacency.
……………………………(a) Difficulty balancing Aryan Persia with Islam
……………………………(b) Toleration of Anti-Persian cultural expressions
……………………………(c) Iran’s Neglect of Persian culture
……………………………(d) A Bitter Tsarist Legacy
…………PART III: THE GREY WOLVES
…………………(1) Who are the Grey Wolves?
…………………(2) Supporting Mr. Chehreganli
…………………(3) Operations in Foreign Countries
…………………(4) Grey Wolf Miscalculation: Greece
…………PART IV: THE PROMOTION OF DISCORD
…………………(1) Translating Nazi Literature to Turkish
…………………(2) Anti-Armenian Literature.
………………….(a) Similarity to Nazi Propaganda.
……………………………(b) Mr. Talaat Pasha & the 1915 Armenian Tragedy.
……………………………(c) Forgotten Gallant Turks who Saved Lives.
……………………………(d) Political Influence and Re-Writing History.
……………………………(e) The Role of Mr. Chehreganli & SANAM.
………………….(3) Anti-Iranian Literature.
………………….(4) The Status of non-Turkic speaking Azerbaijanis.
………………….(5) Racialism and Fanaticism: Cancer at an International Scale
………….PART V: GREY WOLVES & FAILURE IN AZERBAIJAN
………………….(1) Grey Wolf Public Relations Failures.
………………….(2) Hostility to Grey Wolf Activism among Iranian Azerbaijanis.
………………….(3) Tepid Reception in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
………….PART VI: GEOPOLITICAL INTERESTS & PETROLEUM DIPLOMACY
………………….(1) The Bernard Lewis Project.
………………….(2) Geopolitics & Petroleum Diplomacy.
……………………………(a) The Role of British Petroleum and Oil Companies
…………………………………..(b) Dismantling Geopolitical Obstacles: Dismembering Yugoslavia
………………….(3) Is Oil Running Out?
………………….(4) Manipulating Scholarship in the West:
……………………………(a) The ATC.
…………………………………..(c) Dr. Brenda Shaffer.
…………………………………..(d) A Personal Experience.
…………………..(5) Geopolitics & Re-inventing History: The Macedonia Example.
………………………..(a) Changing Skopje to the Republic of Macedonia.
……………………………………(b) Retroactive De-Hellenization & Petroleum Diplomacy.
……………………………………(c) South Slav Macedonian Nationalism.
……………………(6) Geopolitics and Psychological warfare.
……………………………………(a) Manufacturing Victims.
……………………………………(b) False Flag Incidents.
…………………….(7) Manipulation of Western Media.
…………………….(8) Iranians as Negative Propaganda Targets.
…………………….(9) Turkey & The Republic of Azerbaijan: Victims of Geopolitical Manipulation.
…………………….(10) The Iranian Experience with Geopolitics & Petroleum Diplomacy.
…………………………………….(a) The Same Old Story?
…………………………………….(b) The Partitioning Agenda Continues
…………………………………….(c) Supporting Racism to further The Bernard Lewis Plan
…………………….(11) A Final Note.
PART I: A SHORT INTRODUCTION TO PAN-TURANIANISM
What is pan-Turanianism? Simply put, pan-Turanianism is an ideology that aims at creating a Turkic super state stretching from the Balkans in Europe, eastwards across Turkey, Iran (Persia), the Caucasus, Central Asia up to and including northwest China (see map below):
The logic behind this is that all people who speak Turkish must be incorporated into this Turkic super state (see also Atabaki, 2001, Landau, 1995, Zenkovsky 1960 and Lewis, 1962 in References).
Hungarian pan-Turanianist activists go even further. They have proposed that the entire Eurasian landmass between Hungary and Norway in Europe to Japan and Korea was once an empire known as “Turania”. Apart from non-scholastic websites, no linguistic, anthropological and archeological evidence for such an empire exists. Pan-Turanian racialists and historians would beg to differ. They are impervious to logical explanations even in the face of hard evidence. Such is the case of all who are infected with the virulent virus of racialism (see C. Richards, 1997 and J. Searle-White, 2001 in References).
Pan-Turanianism, like Nazi “racial sciences”, or Stalinist “History”, has failed to convince the majority of western scholarship to its cause, and has been as equally unsuccessful in Eastern Europe, with the exception of Hungary and the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Much of pan-Turanian ideology is similar to pan-Germanic racism and Nazism; philosophies from which the Grey Wolves and pan-Turanian ideologues have drawn much of their inspiration (see Parts III & IV). Like the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s, the pan Turanian Turks envision their Turan super-state (like the Nazi “Germania”), in terms of “lebensraum” (German for “living space”) for all Turkic speaking peoples. The late president of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Abulfazl Elchibey (1938-2000), a Grey Wolf sympathizer himself (see Part II, item 4), is reputed to have stated that “…the road to Turkistan runs through Tabriz”. Tabriz has been an integral part of Persia for thousands of years.
(1) A Brief Note on the Origins of Pan-Turanianism.
Pan-Turanianism is perhaps one of the last racialist movements that first began in the 19th century. Traditional history cites its early origins amongst Ottoman officers and intelligentsia studying and residing in 1870s Imperial Germany. The fact that many Ottoman Turkish officials were becoming aware of their sense of “Turkishness” is beyond doubt of course, and the role of subsequent nationalists, such as Ziya Gokalp (see Part II, item 7a) is fully established historically.
What is far less known (or acknowledged) is the role of foreign (non-Turkish) interests in the manipulation of the Turks to service wider geopolitical interests. It is truly an irony that the idea of a Turanian empire never originated amongst the Ottoman Turks, but by a man of European descent. His name was Arminius (Hermann) Vambery (1832-1913), a Hungarian Professor, philologist and traveler who worked an as advisor to the Ottoman Sultan between 1857-1863 (see Vambery in Ottoman dress at left – European attire at right):
Vambery was in the employ of Lord Palmerston of the British Foreign office. It was during his tenure at the Sultan’s court when Vambery first made mention of the fiction of a pan-Turanian superstate to his Turkish hosts in Istanbul:
“…they (the Turks) could form a political entity stretching from the Altai Mountains in Eastern Asia to the Bosphorus…”
[Paksoy, H.B., ‘Basmachi’: TurkestanNational Liberation Movement 1916-1930s. In
Modern Encyclopedia of Religions in Russia and the Soviet Union, Florida: Academic International Press, 1991, Vol. 4].
Vambery’s thesis was based on the observation that as much of Central Asia used Turkic languages as their main vernacular (except Persian speaking Tajikestan), this then necessitated the formation of “Turan”. It has been speculated that Vambery’s mission was to create an anti-Slavic racialist movement among the Turks that would divert the Russians from the “Great Game” which they were playing against Britain in Persia and Central Asia (see also S. A. Zenkovsky in References).
Vambery retired as a professor of eastern languages at the University of Budapest between 1865-1905. He wrote many books on his travels to Turkey, Armenia, Persia and Central Asia. His expertise on languages and ethnology served the British Foreign Office very well indeed: a racialist idea was formed that would allow for the European manipulation of the Turks for a very long time to come.
Equally as interesting is the role played by Wilfred Blunt, known by some as the “great-grandfather” of pan-Arabism (of the later Cairo Office of British Intelligence), who was also one of the first to advocate a “Young Turk” movement. The Blunts are reputed to have been the founders of the Bank of England. Arnold J. Toynbee’s report to British intelligence regarding the Young Turk movement is also revealing (see Toynbee in References).
Just as pan-Turanianism was invented, British intelligence was plotting to disintegrate the Ottoman Empire by encouraging break away movements among its many nationalities. Although not generally reported, the British Empire had wanted to appropriate Turkish oil assets in Mesopotamia for at least a decade before the First World War (see William Engdahl in References).
The Ottoman Empire was one of the major geopolitical obstacles to the intended projection of British military, political and economic primacy into the Persian Gulf. The other “obstacle” was (and potentially is) Persia, present-day Iran.
The Achilles heel of the Ottoman Empire was its multi-ethnic composition. This was adroitly exploited to achieve its destruction from within. The role of TE Lawrence (of Arabia) in this endeavor is popular knowledge, however less known is the role played by British intelligence in the fomenting of earlier Albanian nationalism (Lady Dunham) and Bulgarian nationalism (Noel Buxton). The Kurds were also mobilized and by 1905, a “map of Kurdistan” soon appeared in London. Even today, Turkish officials suspect British complicity behind Kurdish separatism (see Part VI, item 9).
Interestingly, the Armenians and Assyrians were also promised statehood and independence. Their historical claims however, overlapped with those of the Ottoman Kurds, a fact which contributed to much subsequent bloodshed and tragedy, both during the war and after (Part IV, item 2b).
Even less known is the role played by an Italian national, Emmanuel Carasso (possibly a pseudonym). Carasso was involved in the setting up of the Young Turk Society in Thessaloniki (which was then under Turkish rule – now in Greece) with Turkish nationalists (see Arai in References). Strangely, Carasso was also involved in another project called “Macedonia Resurrected” (see also Part VI, item 5). Although many details remain classified, some believe that the headquarters of the Young Turk Movement and the Macedonia Resurrected movement were identical, and that British intelligence was implicated in both of these projects. Although circumstantial information for this exists, no solid proof of this particular allegation has appeared at this time. What is certain is the European role in the setting up of the Young Turks and the Macedonia Resurrected project (an anti-Greek movement since its inception). There are striking parallels between the “Macedonia Resurrected” and the subsequent “Greater Azerbaijan” movements (see Part VI, item 5).
It must be noted that Carasso was no mere lowly official. His post in the Young Turk movement was crucial (see photo below-left of a Young Turk parliament session in 1908 Istanbul). It was Carasso who informed Sultan Abdul Hamid (1842-1918) (see photo below-right) that he had been overthrown, and took the initiative in placing him under house arrest. Even when the Young Turks themselves were overthrown very shortly thereafter, Carasso retained his position of importance: he was in charge of food distribution networks in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Carasso is also reputed to have helped run the Ottoman intelligence services in the Balkans.
Young Turks Sultan Abdul Hamid
Vladimir Jacobsky became the editor of the Young Turk Newspaper (the owner of the paper was of course Turkish). Jacobsky had been educated in Italy, and despite much hype and speculation, his links with foreign intelligence organizations remain unclear. The editorial content of the Young Turk Newspaper was also overseen by a Dutchman by the name of Jacob Kann. Kann was intimately connected to the Dutch government; he conducted the personal banking of the king and queen of Holland. The economics editor of another Young Turk newspaper, The Turkish Homeland, was overseen by Alexander Helphand Parvus (1869-1924), reputed to have been a double agent (Russian and British) (see photo). There has been speculation of Parvus being involved in arms smuggling for the Turkish army during the Balkan wars (before World War One). See Zeman & Scharlau in references for further details.
Much of the history of these men has been confined to a select group of historians; not much is known in wider academia, popular knowledge, and especially among the Turks in general. Nevertheless, a British intelligence officer of World War One, John Buchan, has written a novel (see references) in which a number of these characters appear. The head of the whole operation is identified by Buchan as having been a certain “Aubrey Herbert”. Aubrey Herbert (1880-1923) (see photo below) was in fact one of the key intelligence officers operating in the Middle East during World War One, fought in the doomed Gallipoli invasion of Turkey in 1915, and was fluent in both Turkish and Arabic. TE Lawrence, the key foreign instigator of the anti-Turkish Arab revolt, is reputed to have noted of Herbert’s complicity in helping the rise of the short-lived Young Turk movement in Istanbul.
(2) Some of the Beliefs of Pan-Turanianism.
As with every racialist movement, pan-Turanianism has invented its own version of historical narcissism[i]. However, in this particular case, one may say that pan-Turanianism has produced a “history” that is not only incredible, but dare I say, entertaining. Pan-Turanian scholars have not only re-narrated a whole new version of world history, but have set new frontiers in the disciplines of linguistics, archaeology, anthropology and logic, one on par with the “Aryan Physics” of the Nazi regime of Germany (1920s-1940s).
Below are descriptions of a mere handful of these beliefs. As you read the list below, you will undoubtedly ask: how are these conclusions arrived at, and what kinds of minds manufacture such thoughts?
(a) The Inventors of culture, language and civilization were Turks.
Pan-Turanian ideologues have placed a very high priority on re-inventing past history. Much of this is based on the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Attaturk (1881-1938) (see photo below), who stated that: “Writing history is as important as making history”[ii] (see also H. Poulton and P. Robins in references).
Mustafa Kemal Attaturk
The re-interpretation and invention of past history began with full vigor during the first decades of the newly independent Turkish republic[iii]. This educational objective led to the First History Congress in Ankara in 1932. The majority of the leading “historians” who attended the congress hailed from political backgrounds with little or no formal academic graduate training as historians, anthropologists, archaeologists or linguists[iv]. It is noteworthy that The Turkish History Research Society (The Turkish Historical Society) was in fact a branch of the CHF (Republican People’s Party)[v].
At present, the government of Turkey has established a number of well funded associations that focus on language and history[vi] (see T. Timur in References). The mission of these institutions is to produce historical narratives and linguistic validation for pan-Turanian ideologies, (e.g. Mustafa Kemal Attaturk’s “Sun Language Theory”). These efforts are propelled by the aforementioned Turkish Historical Society, which has spawned a “Turkish History Thesis and Sun Language Theory” (originally proposed in the 1932 congress)[vii].
The “Thesis” has been founded on three basic ideological principles:
(a1) Nation-building along European parameters – Turkey was to become a west European state.
(a2) Rejecting Islam as the basis of ethnic and national identity. This was part of becoming more “European”. This may have been an attempt at offsetting European “Orientalism” (see Edward Said in References) – the need to confront Nordicist notions of Near Eastern “Orientals” (Turks, Persians, Arabs, etc.) being racially and culturally inferior to the Europeans.
(a3) Turks are to be presented as the heirs of nearly all civilizations.
The final objective is to conclusively “prove” that virtually all great civilizations of the past [viii] such as Sumeria (see c), the Hittites, Egypt, Persia (see h-j, l-m) are either Turkish in origin or have been founded by the Turks. Note map below that shows the prime centrality of Turks to every major civilization in India, China, Polynesia, Persia, all of Europe, the Near East, China, the Far East, and Africa:
Note the arrow showing the migration towards the Bering Strait of Alaska – this is meant to show that the Turks are the ancestors of the American Indians as well (see g below).
This is virtually identical to Nordicism which states that all of the great “Aryan” empires of Persia, Greece, India and Rome were founded by members of the Nordic “race” of contemporary northwestern Europe. As will be seen repeatedly in this commentary, Nordicism (along with its Fascist and Nazi successors) and Pan-Turanianism bear certain ideological resemblances. Persian chauvinism and many neo-Nazi movements have also drawn inspiration from Nazi-style fascism (Part IV, item 5).
The standard textbook for Turcocentric historical revisionism is Professor Silahi Diker’s 864 page “And the Whole World Was One Language – Ten Thousand Years of the Turks” (see Silahi Diker’s book in references and website in web references) (Professor Silahi’s photo below). The professor’s response to challenges to his theories and “evidence” is that:
“…all past (non-Turkish) research pertaining to the above has been “prejudicial”, “biased” and “anti-Turkish”.
Professor Silahi Deker
According to the distinguished Professor’s logic, research and history that fails to support pan-Turanianism is by definition “anti-Turkish”. Professor Diker is only one step away from the Nazi fascists of the 1930s who viewed any historical research contradicting their ideologies as “anti-German”. The Professor himself denies that he is motivated by any form of nationalism. He is a vivid reminder of a new generation of neo-Orientalist scholars who state that “I am not a racist but…” You may wish to refer to Professor Diker’s website (see Web references) for an insight into his beliefs.
One quote from Professor Diker’s website is revealing:
“Indeed, I have proven that the culture of 6300 B.C. Anatolia as discovered at Çatal Hüyük by archaeologist James Mellaart is Turkish, and since this almost 8300 years old culture was not created in a day, we can easily talk of a ‘Ten Thousand Years of the Turks’ …”
With a single stroke of his pen (or keyboard), the Professor has traced the entire civilization of humanity to the Turks and eliminated the Greek, Hittite, Armenian, Phrygian, and Iranian (Mede, Persian, etc.) legacies in Anatolia. As you read through the Professor’s book and his “dictionaries”, his cognition and especially his logical processes become somewhat clearer. But what Dr. Diker and other pan-Turanian activists are doing is nothing new; Soviet “historians” had engaged in this type of “academia” since the 1920s.
Pan-Turanian activists have learned a great deal from Soviet scholarship (see Part II, items 1c and 1e). If history fails to support your ideology, then all you need to do is to re-write that history to fit your beliefs. Logic and objectivity are never the hallmarks of any racist movement seeking to differentiate and divide nations and peoples along ethnic, linguistic, or religious lines.
Pan-Turanian activists however have failed (and continue to fail) in the face of northwest European, Greek, Italian, Indian, Iranian, Chinese, and Arabian historical archives, linguistics, archaeology, anthropology, not to mention genetic studies. Not a shred of “proof” actually exists for the truly fantastic narratives stated by pan-Turanian writers such as Silahi Diker.
There is a tremendous effort in place to push these ideas into mainstream western academia and media outlets (see Part VI, items 4 & 7). Grey Wolf activists (see item below and Part III) have been introducing these false ideas into the Republic of Azerbaijan and are trying to affect Iran’s Turcophone (e.g. Azerbaijani) populations as well (see Parts II-IV).
(b) The Myth of the Grey Wolf
Pan-Turanian activists have developed a fascinating mythology with respect to the origins of the Turks. This is the legend of a certain “Boz Kurt” (Grey Wolf) who roared out to the ancestors of the Turks and the Huns to migrate west from their homelands in Siberia and Central Asia. The Grey Wolf then allegedly pointed the way west and south: presumably against Persia, Anatolia, the Caucasus, the Near East, Russia, Ukraine, the Balkans, Greece and Western Europe.
According to the legend, it was this Grey Wolf that awakened the Turks to their legacy of conquest and civilization building (see propaganda poster below):
Grey Wolf activists (Part III: The Grey Wolves) use the hand to mimic the head of that mythical Grey Wolf (see photo below):
This symbol is often evoked in Turkish political rallies and popular venues (i.e. Soccer games) (see Part II-IV). Grey Wolf activists are attempting to export this mythology to foreign countries; especially Northern Iran and the Caucasus (see Part III).
Archival research, anthropology, archaeology, linguistics and academia in general have failed to provide historical veracity for the Grey Wolf myth. There are two general problems as well.
The first problem is that of logic. No major human population movement has ever been led by an animal such as a Grey Wolf, for the simple reason that beasts are not able to reason as humans do and do not understand notions such as nation-building or conquest.
The second problem is that of chronology. When did this Grey Wolf roar take place? If true, this must have happened thousands of years ago, virtually at the dawn of human history, as the Turks now claim that the Sumerians (c), Greece-Anatolia (d), Etruscans (e), etc. have Turkish origins. The Turks however, are virtual newcomers in the historical sense: By the time they had arrived in the Near East and Anatolia in the 11th century AD, all of the civilizations they claim to have founded had long since vanished. Turkish expansions began in the 6th Century AD – important pockets such as the Huns, Avars and Khazars had already penetrated Europe a few hundred years earlier. Professor Mallory has provided a sketch of the Turkish expansions (see References, p. 147):
Turkic languages (esp. Oghuzz West Turkic) spread very rapidly across Central Asia, the Caucasus, northern Persia and Anatolia. This was done through the process of Elite Dominance; the spread of a language by way of a small minority of warriors upon alien populations (see Part II, item 7).
Grey Wolf activists and pan-Turanian ideologues in general, habitually confuse the following:
[a] Race and Language. This is fully discussed in Part II, item 7 (Azerbaijanis are Turkic by race).
[b] Geography, Language & Race. Turkish racialists fail to make any distinction between facts on the ground today with past history. Simply put, this is the logic that if Turkish speakers reside in a particular area “X” today, then the history of that region must have been “Turkish” for time immemorial. This means that any race that has ever lived in Central Asia, Anatolia and Northern Iran for thousands of years before the historical Turkish arrivals have always been “Turks”. There is no acknowledgement of the fact that the Turks arrived as invaders who displaced or linguistically assimilated already resident populations.
Examples of this thinking are discussed in item l (claims that Northern Iranians were all Turks), Part II, items 2 (claiming Azerbaijanis have been Turkish since time began) and 3 (Claims that the Caucasus has been Turkish for over 5000 years).
(c) Ancient Sumeria was Turkish.
Humanity owes a great debt to the ancient Sumerians (present-day south Iraq/Kuwait) as they were the inventors of the wheel (see photo of Sumerian wheel below), and may have had a profound influence on Hebrew religious tradition and theology. They had an advanced system of city states with coded laws, advanced agriculture, standing armies, architecture, as well as sophisticated arts and crafts.
Pan-Turanian writers now claim to have “proof” that the Sumerians were ancient Turks. According to Professor Diker:
“…literary history goes back to 5000 years with the discovery of writing by the Sumerians who, as we will see spoke definitely a Turkish dialect…”
[See References and Web References]
This means that it was the Turks who invented writing as well as the wheel. The main source of “proof” is an invented dictionary that purports to “prove” that Sumerian and Turkish share the same roots. You may wish to see the English-Sumerian-Turkish on-line dictionaries, written by Polat Kaya in the Website references.
Similar methodologies have been used to “prove” the “Turkish origins” of widely varied historical peoples such as the Elamites of ancient (Pre-Aryan) southwest Iran. It would appear that writers such as Polat Kaya and Professor Diker are not cognizant of the basic rules of linguistics. This writer had already suggested to the distinguished Professor Diker to refer to Professor Ruhlen’s standard text on the origin of human language, a text which provides an introduction to the basic rules of linguistics as well as clearly delineating the distinction between Turkic languages from non-Turkic languages such as Elamite, Indo-European, etc. (see References).
(d) The culture of the ancient Greece and Anatolia is Turkish in origin.
Very little can be said except that pan-Turanian writers insist that they have found “evidence” for this rather fantastic “discovery”. This would mean that the original founders of western civilization were Turks, as ancient Greece has been “proven” to have been of Turkish origin.
According to pan-Turanian activists, the very Hellenic origin of the breathtaking works of Greek architecture (see Parthenon below), art, literature, scientific inquiry and philosophy are now being questioned by pan-Turanian activists.
Unimpressed by Professor Diker, Greek scholars have long complained of attempts by the Turks (and their supporters in English speaking media and academia) to de-Hellenecize the Greek legacy in Anatolia in particular (see Part VI, item 4a). Pan-Turanian writers now propose that the Greek term “Anatolia” (“the East” in Greek) has always been “Anadol” or “the land of many mothers” in proto-Turkish. Note Professor Diker’s observation on Anatolia and the foundations of Greco-Roman culture:
“…Turkish-speaking peoples of an advanced culture lived in Asia Minor nearly ten thousand years ago, we do not have any similar archaeological evidence in greater Asia at corresponding time. Thus we can claim that Anatolia was the first home of the Turks. The Mediterranean culture was not created solely by the Greeks and Romans but more so by these ancient Turkish-speaking peoples…”
This suggests Turkish primacy in Anatolia, the Aegean and possibly the Eastern Mediterranean before the rise of the Greeks. Even the pre-Roman foundations of Rome have now been retroactively Turcified (see below).
(e) The Etruscans of pre-Roman Italy were Turks.
According to pan-Turanian ideologues, the ancient Etruscans of Italy (see sample Etruscan art below) are said to have “spoken a Turkish dialect” according to Professor Diker.
Kindly note the following quotes from Professor Diker’s aforementioned website (taken from his text):
“…lost languages themselves… such as Sumerian, Elamite, Etruscan, Urartian, and Hurrian, branded vaguely Asian …had to be related to the Ural-Altaic group of which Turkish is the only major language spoken today in Eurasia …proof that these lost languages… were akin to Turkish …Through my deciphering process, a global distribution…of the Turkish languages during the last 5000 years of man’s history has been established…”
Dr. Diker also cites a genetic study that purports to show that the Etruscans were in fact a Turkish race (see Web References). The flaws of Dr. Diker’s interpretation will be re-examined in Part II, item 7. To summarize, pan-Turanian activists propose that the Etruscan foundation of ancient Rome is of Turkish origin. The implications of this are enormous: Rome, which has Etruscan and Calabrian roots, is now traced to the Turks. Few in Italy or mainstream Europe appear to have been impressed by Professor Diker. The main sources of western support for pan-Turanianism appear to be in the English-speaking world (see Part VI, items 4 & 7).
(f) Armenians are Turks.
The main impetus for this fantastic claim is linked to the statement made by the late president of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heidar Aliev (1923-2003) who stated that Armenia has no historical basis (Part II, item 3a). There are pan-Turanian activists who truly believe that Armenia is a historical invention; and have even cited “proof” of their assertions. International scholarship has yet to respond to the notion of a Turkic Central Asian origin for the Armenians.
The Armenians are claimed by a number of pan-Turanian ideologues to be simply a “lost” Turkish tribe. No mention is made of the Balkan origins of the Armenians or the fact that they have so many historical links to Achaemenid, Parthian and Sassanian Persia, as well as the Greco-Roman Byzantine Empire (see Part II, item 3a).
The Armenian language is in fact totally unique, despite its many shared features with Iranian languages (see Part II, item 3). Like Greek it is an independent branch of the Indo-European family. Armenian script is also unique (see below left), based most likely on the Proto-Canaanite script. It was Saint Mesrop Mashtots (362-440 AD) (see his statue below right in Oshakan, Armenia) who introduced the Armenian script as we know it today. The only outside influence in Armenian script may be Greek (note the order of the Armenian alphabet and writing from left-to-right)
Armenian Script] Mashtots]
Armenian folklore and legend is replete with references to not only its Indo-European roots but its Aryan legacy – the result of centuries of confluence with Iranian peoples and cultures (Achaemenid, Parthian, Sassanian, etc.). Note the following ancient Armenian legend:
“Long time ago there was a powerful warrior king named Arya…Arya had two sons…Armen and Iren…he sent each of his sons to conquer different lands…these became Armenia and Iran…”
(g) The indigenous Indian peoples of North America are Turks.
This is the idea that the North American Indians are Turks simply because many of the Amerindian migrations originated from East Asia over ten thousand years ago. The writer of this commentary was lectured personally by a Hungarian pan-Turanian gentleman who insisted that as the Indians fought from horseback, this was sufficient proof of their Turkish heritage. A pro pan-Turanian website makes the following claim:
“The Turanian people, genetically, are the most closely related people to the Native Americans (Amerindians). The appearance, if one wishes to know what is meant here, is also similar: take a look at moving pictures (not drawings or touched up photos) of Stalin or Lenin for an idea, or Alexander Lebed…”
[In “Red-Comrades-Turania” – see Web References ]
There are no scientifically valid studies that verify these claims. Note the depiction of a “Turkish-Indian” warrior below and the accompanying legendary Grey Wolf:
The reader may find the website by Polat Kalya “Turkish Language and the Native Americans” of interest (see Web References)
Pan-Turanian writers now claim “Genetic, Linguistic, and Historic Evidence” of the “Turkish Roots” of the Melungeons, by Mehmet Cakir, in a paper submitted to an English class in the University of Colorado (see Melungeons in Web References).
The Melungeons are in fact descendants of Portuguese and Spanish settlers abandoned earlier in North America. The Melungians have had racial admixture with the native Indians, Anglo-Saxons, and Blacks of North America.
(h) Kurds and their Mede ancestors are Turks. This is based on the following statement:
“The fact that Kurds are members of the Turkish race is a reality that is as clear and undeniable as 2×2=4”
(Krizl’lu M. Fahrettin, Her Bakimdan Turk Alan Turkler. Ankara, 1964).
Kurds are claimed as Turks simply because the ancient Medes, an ancient Iranian people who settled in large parts of what is now Kurdistan and Iranian Azerbaijan, are also considered as Turks by the pan-Turanian ideologues. The general term for Kurds has been “Mountain Turks”. Apart from academic circles in Turkey, the Republic of Azerbaijan and Hungary, very few scholars in the international arena have taken these claims seriously.
It is somewhat unclear as to how pan-Turanian activists accommodate the fact that international scholarship unanimously attests to the Iranian character of Kurdish (For samples see Arberry, Mackenzie, Nebez, in References). With the exception of the late Ziya Gokalp (Part II, item 7), no Kurdish academics have subscribed to pan-Turanian ideology.
(i) Tajiks are Turks. Tajikestan is now considered to be a Turkish republic, meaning that its people, culture, history and language are now viewed as Turkish. Kindly see the Turkish government website, “Oz Turkler” in the Website References.
This particular claim is a very strange departure from reality. Tajiks take great pride in their Iranian heritage. They have preserved their Persian language and Iranian lineage in the face of waves of Turkic, Hun and Mongol invasions over the centuries. Seventy years of Soviet attempts to weaken the Persian language and legacy of Tajikestan also failed in the face of popular cultural resistance.
Perhaps the greatest symbol of Iranian identity, not just in Iran, but wherever Iranian peoples (e.g. Kurds) and heritage (e.g. Caucasus) endure, is the “Nowruz” (lit. New Day/Year) festival, celebrated for thousands of years. The festival is commemorated in nearly religious terms by the Tajiks. Below is a photo of a girl representing the ancient Iranian goddess of fertility, Anahita in one of the Tajik traditions of Nowruz:
Girl rpresenting the ancient Iranian goddess of fertility, Anahait
The tray she carries is “Sabzeh” (Persian for “Green/fertile wheat”), a very ancient Iranian custom derived from the ancient Zoroastrian tradition of the Iranian peoples. Below left is another ancient Iranian custom (now forgotten by many Kurds and Persians) in which the Nowruz is announced by a symbolic “revellie call” accompanied by the very ancient Iranian “daf” (hand percussion instrument) in Dushanbe (Persian-Kurdish for “Monday”). The reveille call first appears among the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia (559-333 BC), where the Nowruz became a wider Iranian celebration (see photo of Achaemenid reveille officer below right – see Sekunda in references).
Reveille Call Reveille]
There are now attempts to redefine the Nowruz itself, undoubtedly via the Professor Dilker School of retroactive Turkification. Pan-Turanian activists now claim that the festival is derived from “an ancient Turkish custom”. “Nowruz” has also been Turkified to “Nevruz”. Few outside the pan-Turanian circle have taken this latest claim seriously.
(j) Turks are the World’s Main Producers of World Class Persian Literature.
Most of these claims are made with respect to Persian literature by literary giants such as Shams Tabrizi, Shabestari, Ganjei, Rumi and Shahryar.
Jaleledin Rumi (1207-1273 AD) was in fact born in eastern Persia, in the city of Balkh, now in western Afghanistan. Rumi’s family was obliged to migrate west, eventually ending up in Anatolia, due to the threats of Mongol attacks at the time. He eventually settled in Konya, where he died in 1273. Rumi is claimed as Turkish simply because he is buried in Turkish soil today in Konya. The assumption is that the inhabitants of Anatolia were all Turkic, when in fact this was not the case (see Part II, item 7). Even if they were, how does this transform Rumi into a Central Asian Turk? He was born in a Persian speaking area to begin with. But perhaps more interesting is that when it comes to re-defining Runi’s background, the Turks now have competition: the Afghans claim that Rumi was neither Persian nor Turkish, but Afghani! This is also intriguing in that (a) Afghanistan did not exist as a state during Rumi’s time[ix] and (b) Rumi never referred to himself as an Afghan or Turk. In fact, he views himself as a sort of “citizen of the world”. Rumi’s proper name was Muhammad; this was followed by the titles “Jalal al-Din” and “Khudawandagar” (roughly “lord” in Persian). In his poetry he used the pen-name “Khamush” (“silent” in Persian) and from the 15th century Rumi came to be known as Mawlawi, the term deriving from his earlier title of Mulla-yi rum, “the learned master of Anatolia”. Turks refer to Mawlawi as “Mevlana”.
Shahryar (1906-1988), is one of the greatest poets of contemporary Iran. He too is claimed as an “ethnic Turk” simply because he composed poems in Turkish as well as in Persian. But Shaharyar was a citizen of Iran and never disassociated himself from his homeland. The vast majority of Iranians are bilingual (or multilingual) and commonly compose songs and poetry in both their regional vernaculars (Kurdish, Turkish, Luri, etc.) and in Persian. Bilingualism is being used by pan-Turanian activists to re-define nationality. The logic is that since Shahryar did compose poems in Turkish then he must be an ethnic Turk. This is the classic case of mistaking language with race and identity (see Part II, item 7).
All other Persian poets (e.g. Shams Tabrizi, Shabestari, Ganjei) have been similarly Turkified. In the case of Tabrizi and Ganjei, the fact that they hailed from the Caucasus is sufficient reason for their retroactive Turkification.
It is also very interesting that pan-Turanian activists claim that Persian was never popular among the language of the ordinary folk, but only a “literary language” used as a medium of expression by otherwise “Turkish” literary and poetry artists. This is consistent with the narrative that all of Anatolia, the Caucasus, northern and northwestern Persia have been Turkish since the beginning of recorded civilization (see Part II, item 2).
But perhaps even more mystifying are attempts since the 1990s, to re-define the Shahnama as Turkish. The Shahnama (Persian for “Book of Kings”) is an epic literature that provides a glimpse into Persia’s pre-Islamic heritage and was compiled by the Persian poet Hakim Abu al-Qasim Mansur Firdowsi (935-1026). It is justly known as the “Iliad of Persia”.
A number of pan-Turanian activists have been referring to the Shahname as the “Seyhname” and Firdowsi as “Ferdevsi”, suggesting a Turanian membership for both. There are four major flaws with this assumption:
[a] The Shahnama was written in Persian.
[b] Firdowsi identified himself as a citizen of Persia (Eire-An or Iran)
[c] The Shahnama refers to itself as the epic of “Eire-An” (Iran) close to 700 times.
[d] The Shahname refers to “Turan” and the “Turanians” as the enemies of Persia, and recalls many of the battles fought between them and the Persian world.
Referring to the Shahname as a source of Turkish literature is as comical as a German taking pride in the legends of Alexander Nevsky (1220-63) – the Russian hero who defeated the Germanic Teutonic Knights in 1242.
Interestingly, the false premise of the “Turkish” origin of the Shahnama and miniatures relating to the Shahnama, was first formally proposed in a pavilion organized by the Saudi Arabian government on August 1, 1989 in Washington D.C.[x]. The pavilion exhibited a miniature depicting five astronomers with a Persian inscription of the Iranian Shahnama epic by Firdowsi as “Turkish Miniature” [see Jalal, Matini, 1989a, p.399 in References]:
Visitors to the pavilion erroneously concluded that the miniature, characters and inscriptions are all Turkish. The same type of impression may have recently been provided by Turkish Professor Günseli Renda in a London Turkish Arts exhibition (see next item).
With the exception of geopolitical lobbies (see Part VI)), the retroactive Turkification of Persian literature has found no meaningful support in Western Europe, India (where Persian was widely spoken during the Moghul era), and the Persian speaking countries of Afghanistan, Tajikestan and Iran.
(k) Judeo-Christianity and Islam have Turkish origins.
This has apparently been based on Hungarian born British novelist Arthur Koestler’s “The Thirteenth Tribe” (see References). The Holy Prophet Noah is also claimed to have been Turkish, therefore Judaism is to be regarded as having been of Turkish origin. This is at least partly based on a book entitled “Ruhnama” (Book/letter of the spirit) written by the President of Turkemenstan, Separmurat Niyazov “TurkmenBashi” (see Photo below – see also References and Web References):
Pan-Turanian activists in Turkmenistan have also organized a cult of personality around Turkmenbashi. The Moscow News reports that:
Turkmenbashi, or the Leader of All Turkmens, has been proclaimed God’s prophet on Earth… he has given his name to one of the months (and his mother’s to another) … the interior minister said that Turkmenbashi is “a great personality with a gift of prophecy”… One official explained … “God grants such powers, such greatness, such a fate only to the chosen, to those whom He sincerely loves and considers to be His inspired spokesmen.”
[Moscow News, No.33, Friday, 02.09.05]
What is most interesting are the western geopolitical and petroleum lobbies (see Part VI, items 2) who actively court individuals such as the distinguished president, overlooking not only their unorthodox views, but also their incessant violations of human rights. Many of these individuals are portrayed by Western (mainly English-speaking) media outlets as “standing for democracy”, “progressive” and as having a “western outlook”.
The logic of pan-Turkism can be extended to claim that Jesus Christ was Turkish – after all, Jesus was a Jew, therefore he must be have been Turkish. So far as I am aware, the pan-Turkists have not gone to that extent…yet. However, given the state of affairs, this author proposes that the day in which Jesus’ Turkish roots are “discovered”, may not be too far behind.
Professor Günseli Renda (see photo below) has made the following claim on an exhibition held in London on Turkish arts on April 12th, 2005:
“…similarities between the portraits of the Ottoman sultans in Firdevsi’s ‘Şeyhname,’ which for the first time provided a basis for the argument that the Ottoman sultans were descendants of Adam.”
[See following Web References]
Professor Gunseli Renda
Again, views such as these (despite their fantastic nature) are being actively promoted by many western media and academic outlets (Part VI, items 2 & 4).
The history of Islam has also been re-interpreted. There is now a very recent “revelation” by certain pan-Turanian writers that “proof” exists of the Holy Prophet Mohammad’s Turkish origins. According to this narrative, the Prophet was not an Arab of the Qureish tribe, but a Turk by the name of Memad-Oghlu. This is not surprising as even god is not beyond the reach of pan-Turanian ideologues. The first chapter of President Turkemenbashi’s book begins with: “In the name of Allah, the most exalted Turkemen”.
It is worth noting that Islamist movements in Turkey have incorporated the notion of Turkish racial superiority into their otherwise religious ideology. As noted by Robins, Islamists in Turkey aim for an Islamic super state with Turkey in the leadership role[xi]. This is related to the view that the Ottoman Empire was a Turkish Empire which dominated the Islamic world (expect Safavid/Afsharid/Zand/Qajar Persia and Moghul India) in the political and spiritual domains[xii].
(l) The Northern Iranians were all Turks.
Pan-Turanian activists simply state that all peoples who have ever existed in Central Asia, and the Steppes of Russia and the Ukraine have always been Turkish. With this simple and blanket statement, all ancient non-Turkic steppe peoples such as the ancient Cimmerians, Scythians/Saka, Sarmatians and Alans have been retroactively Turkified. The Scythians/Saka are now taught as having been among the “early Turks” and that Queen Tomeris (Georgian “Tamar”; European “Tamara”) was a “Turkish warrior queen”. These theories also form part of the overall claim to many parts of Russia and Ukraine as being part of the greater “Turan”.
Russian, Ukrainian, Polish and western scholars have overwhelmingly rejected these theories: modern scholarship overwhelmingly attests to the Iranian origin of the aforementioned peoples. The fact that Northern Iranian peoples spoke Iranian languages is as evident as the ancient Athenians having spoken Greek. The descendants of the North Iranian peoples, the Ossetians (see National Geographic photos below), speak an old North Iranian language (Ir-On and Digor) related to Persian and Kurdish. Turkish has no linguistic connection to modern Ossetian.
Ossetian is a term of Russian and Georgian origin. The Ossetians refer to themselves as “Ir-On” a variation of the term “Ir-An” (land of Aryans). “Ir” and/or “Eire” are the old Iranic, Indic and Celtic designations of “Aryan” (Noble, Lord). Ossetian historians, who acknowledge their Iranian heritage, explain their migration to Northern Georgia as a tactic of survival in the face of multitudes of Turkish, Hun and Mongol conquests that rummaged across Eurasia over the centuries.
Many of these Northern Iranians escaped and/or migrated to Persia and Europe to avoid annihilation or extermination at the hands of Turkic, Hun and Mongol invaders over the centuries. Their descendants live in Iranian Kurdistan (known formerly as Ard-Alan), Luristan (Sak-Vand) and Seistan (Saka-istan). None speak any Turkic languages or bear any affinities to Asiatic Turkic peoples. The aforementioned Persian Shahnama epic of Firdowsi recalls the Northern Iranian legends, and the desperate battles fought against the Turkic-Hun-Mongol invaders.
The original Turkic invaders were Asiatic, very similar to the Uralo-Altaic inhabitants of modern Korea, Northern China, and Japan (see Barnes in references and Part II, item 7). In contrast to the ancient Turks, The Northern Iranians (see reconstruction by Angus McBride Below – see Newark in references) are described by western scholars as follows:
“… Scythians and Sarmatians were of Iranian origin”
[John Channon & Robert Hudson, Penguin Historical Atlas of Russia, 1995, p.18 – see references]
“…Indo-European in appearance and spoke an Iranian tongue which bought them more closely to the Medes and Persians”
[Tim Newark, Barbarians, 1998, p.6 – see references]
“The Sarmatians…spoke an Iranian language similar to that of the Scythians and closely related to Persian”
[Richard Mariusz & Richard Mielczarek, The Sarmatians: 600 BC-450 AD, 2002, p.3 -see References]
Western scholars examining the anthropology, archaeology and linguistics of the Scythians/Saka, Sarmatians and Alans have long since determined their membership as being firmly within the Iranian family (see Abaev, Bachrach, Brzezinski, & Mielczarek, Melyukova, Sulimirski in References). The late professor of Sarmatian and Alan studies, Tadeusz Sulimirski (1898-1983) stated that the Northern Iranians were:
“…of Indo-European stock belonging to…the Iranian group, often called the Scythian group of peoples…they were akin to the ancient Medes, Parthians and Persians. Their language was related to that of the Avesta…”
[Tadesuz Sulimirski, The Sarmatians, London: Thames & Hudson, 1970, p.22]
The Avesta is used in Zoroastrian prayers, and is the ancestor of modern Ossetian. The river names, “Don”, “Donets”, “Dnieper” and “Dniester” are all of Iranian origin (see P.J. Mallory in References – Mallory’s map on p. 78 shown below):
Don/Danu = Water, River
Dnieper [Dana Apara] = the upper (old North Iranic = Apara) River
Dniester [Danu Nazdaya] = the near (old North Iranic = Nazdaya – Persian Nazdeek) River
The closest relative to the Iranic Don/Danu is the Celtic “Danuvius”, whose modern name is known as the “Danube” in Western Europe. Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius also settled Sarmatian warriors in Britain (e.g. modern Chester), where their Iranian mythology and culture appears to have influenced much of the local Celtic folklore (see Littleton & Malcor and Rankin in References).
Many Iranian words can be found in Slavic languages; either because they are both of the Satem branch of Indo-European languages or because of a long period of Iranic ascendancy on the steppes (see Gamkrelidze & Ivanov in References). Persian style words persist in many Slavic languages; examples include Mokry (wet) and Bogh (God). Much of the Slavic counting system is similar to modern Persian:
Slavic Iranian English
Dva Do Two
Chetyeri Chahar Four
Pianja Panj Five
Shest Shesh Six
Sot/Sotka Sat/Sadh Hundred
Perhaps of greatest importance is the role of the Northern Iranians as one of the three Aryan founding peoples of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. Scythians are the only peoples, besides the Medes and the Persians who were allowed to carry ceremonial daggers at Persepolis – note the photo of a Saka Tighrakhauda (pointed-hat Scythian) with a Mede (see Pyankov and Vogelsang in References – photo in Farrokh, p.4, see references):
Of equal importance is the Northern Iranian role in transmitting much of the arts, culture and architecture of Persia to both Europe, and the Far East, particularly to the Chinese and the Uralo-Altaic ancestors of the Turks and Koreans (Hsiang-Nou, Tueh-Chi, etc.). The oldest Persian carpet has been found in Pazyryk (see photo below) – the woman most likely represents an early representation of the Iranian goddess of fertility (Anahita or Tabid-Vesta):
Persian arts continue to have a powerful legacy in Central Asia, even after the demise of the Iranian populations there (see Azarpay, Griaznov, Knauer, and Hayashi in References).
The Aryan culture of Sassanian Persia is echoed among the Sarmatians of the Kerch peninsula in the Ukraine. The Persian concept of the lance duel is evident in Iran’s Naghsh-e-Rustam site near Shiraz (below left Photo by Chamanara, Kouchesfehani, Kial, Maddadi – see p. 31 Farrokh in references) – only the Sarmatians wielded similar tactics, weapons and culture (below right photo in Sulimiirski – see References):
To this day Ukrainian Cossacks recall the Iranic past of their nation – their traditional Cossack trousers are called “Shelevare”, just like the Iranian “Shalvar” (trousers).
The Huns and Turks adopted these tactics after their encounter with Iranian peoples who were still resident in Central Asia. Turkic invaders began their full scale penetrations of Central Asia from the 6th century AD, although military activities against Iranic peoples in Central Asia may have begun as early as the 1st century BC. From their homelands in eastern Mongolia, Turkic warriors virtually expelled the entire Indo-European presence in Central Asia (Tocharian and Iranian) and from there spread to Eastern Europe, Persia and Anatolia. The entire history of the Turkish expansions in Central Asia has been expostulated in Frye (see Frye, 1996 in references).
The corroboration and confluence from multiple domains of scholars hailing from different nationalities, is to say the least, overwhelmingly conclusive. Interested readers may wish to consult the recently published book on European cavalry entitled “Vsadniki Vojny. Kavalerija Jevropy” (see References) that was just published. That study provides further corroboration for what has been known in reputable scholarly circles: that the Persians, Medes, Scythians/Saka and Sarmatians share a common Iranic origin. As the proverbial expression goes, “the case is closed”.
Pan-Turanian activists simply reject and re-interpret all of this information. The mainstay of the Pan-Turanian position on the subject is aptly summarized eloquently by Professor Diker:
“My logic and reason did not accept … many alien kingdoms of Central Asia … to be all Indo-Iranian or even Indo-European…the Huns did not replace the Scythians; they had to be the Scythians themselves”.
[See References and Web References]
Let us see if this makes sense: if the evidence does not support the notion that Northern Iranians were Turkic, then they simply must have been Turkic.
Further insight into the Professor’s cognitive processes is found by an e-mail he sent to an individual who had questioned Dr. Silahi Diker’s conclusions regarding the Sumerians (item 2c):
I have been investigating the subject for 50 years. Be sure that I am not a nationalist as you would think. You are reading the same histories that are written for the last 150 years; and they repeat the same traditional nonsence. I have read them all.
I have very strong proofs on the matter. It sounds fantastic, but true. I am recently preparing a book on the Sumerians which prove without a single doubt that they are Proto-Turks. Now I also have proof that the Persians existed alongside the Turks (Sumerians) 5000 years ago. Because I find many Persian words in the Sumerian language.
It is worth noting that while Professor Diker dismisses hundreds of scholars and thousands of publications as “the same traditional nonsense”, he himself is not a historian by training. His educational background is in Geophysical Engineering (in which he has a Doctorate). As far as is known, Professor Diker lacks academic training and expertise in linguistics, anthropology, genetics, history-archival research and archaeological methodology.
As the gentle reader, I simply ask that you briefly contemplate the Professor’s statements. What the Professor calls “strong proofs on the matter” is in fact an expression of a psychological phenomenon known as Cognitive Dissonance: a state of conflict between two thoughts, beliefs, etc. People can accommodate cognitive Dissonance in one of two ways:
a] the contradicting information leads one to invent new thoughts or information in order to maintain the integrity of your own information.
b] modifying one’s beliefs to accommodate the new information.
The Professor and pan-Turanian ideologues in general, have unfortunately chosen [a].
No amount of creative retroactive Turkification, semantics, word play and passionate racialism can substitute for reputable scholarship, archaeology, anthropology or linguistics.
A great deal of funding and effort is currently being expended as alter the history of the Iranian legacy in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Western (mainly English speaking) universities are being courted to have them promote the academically fraudulent pan-Turanian narrative that all ancient North Iranian peoples of the Eastern European steppes and Central Asia were Turks and spoke Turkish (see professor Khidirbekughli’s comments in Part VI, items 4a).
Tragically, a small number of naive Iranian Azerbaijanis, courted by geopolitically funded separatist organizations (see Brenda Shaffer in Part VI, item 4b-c) have naively accepted Dr. Diker’s statements at face value and have been misled. This has been partly made possible by the foolishly complacent or outright indifferent attitude of the Iranians themselves (See Part II, Item 6). Fortunately, when exposed to reputable international scholarship, the majority of these misled individuals have turned away from pan-Turanian falsifications (see Part V).
Not to be outdone, Professor Diker is also reputed to be producing a Scythian/Saka-Turkish dictionary. Once this dictionary is published, the Professor will undoubtedly claim that he has “proven” the Turkish origins of the ancient North Iranian peoples. With this “proof”, Zoroastrianism will also be “proven” as Turkish! In fact this is already being claimed by a number of pan-Turanian writers (see Part III, item 2).
(m) The Parthian language was Turkish.
The Parthians are the dynasty that arose in Persia after the demise of Greek Seleucid rule in Persia. They inflicted crushing defeats on the Imperial Roman forces of Marcus Lucinius Crassus and Marc Antony. Pan-Turanianism now claims the Parthians to have been Turks. It is also rumoured that Cyrus II of the Achaemenid dynasty has been retroactively Turkified. Given the state of affairs, it may be a matter of time before the Sassanian dynasty too will be retroactively Turkified.
The argument of Parthian being Turkish is very curious, because Parthian (a distant ancestor to Avestan) is the precursor to Pahlavi, which in turn is ancestral to Kurdish, Luri, Persian and many other West Iranian languages (see Skaervo, Mackenzie in References). These languages are unintelligible to the Turks. Kindly refer to Professor G.R.F. Assar’s article “Parthian Language of the Ancient Turkish culture?” (in Web References) and Kaveh Farrokh’s “Parthian is not Turkish” (also in Web References). Nevertheless, it is highly possible that “proof” of Persian’s Turkish origins will soon surface, as pan-Turanian scholars claim to have already “proven” that Armenians (item 2f) and Kurds (item 2h) are Turkish.
It is a mystery as to why western lobbies are selectively silent with respect to the virtual torrent of historical falsifications flooding from pan-Turanian publishing houses. The Republic of Azerbaijan is openly receiving this information. Interestingly, there is a sophisticated system in place to spread this literature to Iran’s Azerbaijani population (see Part IV, Items 3-4). Pan-Turanianism has very influential friends in the west (see Part VI, items 1-2, 4 & 7), and as the proverbial expression goes, “the chickens have come home to roost”, especially in Iranian Azerbaijan.
(n) Bosnians, Macedonians, Albanians, and Ukrainians are Turks.
This belief is partly derived from item 2l discussed above. European Muslims of Macedonia, Bosnia and Albania and many Orthodox Christian South Slavs are now being entertained as “Balkan Turks”. Russia and the Ukraine are not beyond the reach of the Pan-Turanian dream, as claims are made against these states as well (e.g. Ukrainians are considered to be Turkish as the name “Cossack” is said to be derived from “Kazakh”).
[i]Robbins notes that the interpretation of history in Turkey is characterized by rigidity, partly a result of the traumatic period between 1918-1923. The success of the new republic which arose from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire and the constant eulogizing of Attaturk and those who fought for Turkish independence. See Philip Robins, Suits and Uniforms: Turkish Foreign Policy Since the Cold War, Hurst & Company, London, p.104.
[ii] This quote follows the preface of Mustafa Kemal Attaturk, The Speech, translated and abridged by Onder Renkliyildirim (Istanbul: Metro Publishers), p.4. Also cited in Robins, Philip, 2003, Suits and Uniforms, p.93.
[iii] Poulton, H. Top Hat, Grey Wolf and Crescent, 1997, P.110-114. Robins, Philip, 2003, Suits and Uniforms, p.93-95.
[iv] The phenomenon of politicians acting as historians first occurred during the Young Turk movement(). Notable are figures such as Ahmed Agaoglu, Yusuf Akcura, Ziya Gokalp, Fuad Korpulu.
[v] Key political figures Agaoglu, Gokalp, and Akcura both believed in the need for close cooperation between the government and historical societies. For an insight into the activities of Akcura in this regard see F. Georgeon, Aux Origines du Nationalisme Turc: Yusuf Akcura (1876-1935) (Paris: Institut d’Etudes Anatoliennes, 1980), p.234-236. Agaoglu’s activities can be examined in Frank Tachau, “The Search for National Identity Among the Turks’, Die Welt Des Islams, vol.8, no.3, 1963, p.174.
[vi] Taner Timur, “The Ottoman heritage” in Irvin C. Schick and Ertugrul Ahmet Tonak (eds.), Turkey in Transition (Oxford University Press, 1987), p.6.
[vii] Elements of this “Thesis” had already been incorporated into various school textbooks since 1929. See also Poulton, H. Top Hat, Grey Wolf and Crescent, 1997, P.101.
[viii] Robins, Philip, 2003, Suits and Uniforms, p.93.
[ix] Afghanistan was not recognized as such according to historical archives until the year 1747 at the earliest.
[x] This was held in the Washington Convention Centre. The display was entitled “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Yesterday and Today: A Cultural experience”. See Jalal Matini, “Persian artistic and literary pieces in the Saudi Arabian exhibition”, Iranshenasi: A Journal of Iranian Studies, 1989b, p.390-404.
[xi] Philip Robins, Suits and Uniforms: Turkish Foreign Policy Since the Cold War, Hurst & Company, London, p.96.
PART II: PAN-TURANIAN CLAIMS TO AZERBAIJAN
Part I <<>>Part III
Azerbaijanis have always been vigorously active in the political, cultural, linguistic, and commercial domains of Persia. Turkish, spoken by the majority of Iran’s Azerbaijani populace, is one of the many languages of Iran’s multi-ethnic populace. Turkish can be heard not only in Tabriz, but in many rural and metropolitan parts of Iran, especially in Tehran.
In my visit to Tehran a few years ago, I recall the cab driver asking me what music I wanted to hear in his car: “Sir are you in the mood for Turkish music?…I also have the latest from Ercan from Istanbul…or are you in the mood for Persian? On that note, how about some Luri or Kurdish?”
This tiny example neatly encapsulates what Persia has always been about since its founding by Cyrus the great. Persia is not confined by linear conceptions such as “race”, “language” or even “culture”. An Iranian can just as easily be speaking Arabic in Khuzistan, Baluchi in Zahedan, or Turkish in Maragheh. It is this Persia that certain opportunistic and naïve individuals and organizations believe they can destroy, and the main tool they have been using is “language and cultural rights” (Part VI, item 10). There is a distinction between legitimate rights (e.g. language, cultural expression, theology, etc.) versus entities who deceptively appropriate these “rights” to mask a divisive and potentially violent agenda.
The pan-Turanian theories discussed in Part I represent only a part of the picture. There is a whole set of beliefs being narrated about Iranian Azerbaijan in both the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Turkish Republic. They are using the Turkish language as an instrument to differentiate Iranian Turcophones from the rest of Iran. Some of the pan-Turanian claims to Iranian Azerbaijan can be summarized into the following:
(1) Greater Azerbaijan was divided between Russia and Persia.
(2) Azerbaijanis have spoken Turkish since the advent of History.
(3) Turks have been in the Caucasus for over 5000 Years.
(4) The Safavid Empire was Turkish.
(5) Sattar Khan was a pan-Turanian separatist.
(6) Babak Khorramdin was a Turk who fought against Persia.
(7) Azerbaijanis and all who speak Turkish are Turkish by race.
Before discussing these items, an important point must be revisited. Pan-Turanian claims to Azerbaijan are supported by a very powerful western lobby in the form of multinational and geopolitical petroleum interests. These hope to access and dominate the lucrative oil bonanza looming in the energy deposits of the Caucasus and Central Asia (see Part VI, items 1-3).
(1) Greater Azerbaijan was divided between Russia and Persia.
This is the belief that there was an independent kingdom by the name of “Azerbaijan” (encompassing Arran and Iranian Azerbaijan). This “kingdom” is then claimed to have been partitioned between Qajar Iran and Tsarist Russia in the treaties of Golestan (1813) and Turkemenchai (1827); leading to the creation of a Russian occupied North Azerbaijan and Iranian occupied South Azerbaijan. This account is a fictional narrative at best, and a gross distortion of historical events.
(a) Arran & the Historical Azerbaijan. The first recorded reference to Azerbaijan can be traced to Aturpat , the local Iranian commander of the region at the time of Alexander the Great’s conquest of Persia in 333 BC. Aturpat is Old Persian for “guardian/keeper” (pat/bad) of the “fire” (Atur) . The region of Aturpat, was known in Old Persian as Aturpatkan (“The place of the Guardian/keeper of the fire”). The region was known as such until the Arab conquests of Persia in the 7th century AD . After the battle of Nahavand, the Arabs broke through the Malayir plains of northwest Iran in 642 AD and into Aturpatkan. The region was henceforth referred to by its Arabic pronunciation, Azerbaijan.
Historical sources have clearly delineated the historical Azerbaijan as having been situated between the Daylamites of Northern Persia to their east, with the Araxes River as its northernmost limit. The region north/northeast of the Araxes River was known as Arran. This region was variously known as Ardan by the Parthians, as well as Alban/Albania as per the Caucasian designation. Armenian historians cite the region north of the Araxes as “Agvan”, “Agvanak”, “Alvan” or “Alvanak”. The region above the Araxes River has never been known as “Azerbaijan”. Professors Touraj Atabaki and Jalal Matini (see References) have listed numerous primary historical sources that provide indisputable evidence of the clear delineation between Arran/Albania and the historical Azerbaijan in Iran. A handful of these include:
Strabo (64/63 BC-23 AD): Cites the people of Iranian Azerbaijan (known as Media Atropatene at the time of Strabo) as Iranians and with Persian as their language . The “Persian” cited by Strabo would have most likely been of the Parthian Pahlavi variety at the time.
Arrian (92-c. 175 AD): The region north of the Araxes River is cited as “Albania” and south of the Araxes as “Media Atropatene”.
The Hodud-ol-Alam Text (10th century AD): Cites the Araxes River as the northern limit of Azerbaijan.
Ibn-Hawqal: Cites the Araxes River as the southern limit of Arran.
Al-Muqaddasi (10th Century AD): Divided Persia into eight regions which include both Azerbaijan and Arran. Defines Arran as being situated between the Caspian Sea and the Araxes River.
Yaqut Al-Hamavi (13th Century AD): Defines Arran and Azerbaijan as distinct territories with the Araxes River forming the boundary between them. Arran defined as north and west of the Araxes, with Azerbaijan to the south of the River.
Borhan-e-Qate (Completed 1632 AD): Aras (Araxes) defined as a river flowing past Tbilisi in Georgia and forming the boundary between Arran and Azerbaijan.
Sassanian emperor, Shapur I (r. 241-270 AD), cited Albania and Media Atropatene as two separate provinces of the Persian Empire. Professor Mark Whittow’s map of Oxford University (see references – see also item 6) clearly shows the historically attested distinction between ancient Arran/Albania and the original Azerbaijan in Iran (see below):
Note how the Araxes River separates Arran from the historical Azerbaijan (in Iran). It is interesting that virtually no maps such as these are ever discussed by pan-Turanian activists (and their western supporters) seeking to incite anti-Persian sentiments among Iranian Azerbaijanis. Even less acknowledged is the strong Armenian presence in historical Albania/Arran, especially west of the River Kur/Kura.
(b) The Musavats and the early Pan-Turanianists. The Islamic Democratic Musavat Party (IDMP) was established in the city of Baku in Arran in 1911 . Although nominally a pan-Islamic movement for the Caucasus, the IDMP was in fact a pan-Turanian movement with an Islamic flavour. The IDMP wanted to use Islam to target Turkish speakers of the Caucasus (Arran in particular) and Azerbaijan in Iran . In practice, the Musavats catered to the pan-Turanian elements of the Ottoman Empire who endeavoured to create a Turkish super-state stretching from Central Asia to the Aegean Sea .
The collapse of the Czarist Russian Empire by 1917 was the catalyst for the breaking away of many of Russia’s conquests of former Persian territory in the Caucasus. This resulted in the Musavats solidifying their ties to The Turkish Federalist Party in the Ottoman Empire by June 1917 . By November 1917, the first Musavat congress was inaugurated in the Caucasus (Arran?), after which the party was renamed as the Turkish Democratic Musavat Party (TDMP) . The full tilt of the Musavat party to pan-Turanianism was now evident.
By April 22, 1918, a political coalition of Mensheviks (Georgians), Dashnakists (Armenians) and TDMP (Turkish speaking as well some non-Turkish Muslims from the Caucasus), officially proclaimed the inauguration of the Transcaucasian Federative Republic. However on 26 May 1918, the Republic was dissolved with the Georgian Mensheviks proclaiming their own republic on the same day, with the Armenian Dashnakists doing the same two days later. The TDMP met on May 27 1918 in Tbilisi and selected the name of “Azerbaijan”, rather than Albania or Arran, as the title of their new “Independent Republic of Azerbaijan” (IRA) . The main proponents of this name change were local Turkish and non-Turkish Muslim elites as well as Ottoman pan-Turanian activists , many of them Ottoman officers who had recently fought against the Russians in the Caucasus with success (see photo of Ottoman officers campaigning in the Caucasus in World War One – see Nicolle in references).
It is worth noting that Nuri Pashi, a brother of Enver Pasha, also volunteered and fought against the Imperial Russians in the Caucasus during the First World War.
The main objective of “borrowing” Azerbaijan’s name and applying it to Arran was to create the illusion of a formerly “united” Azerbaijan that was divided in two by Persia and Russia. As the majority of the inhabitants of Arran and Azerbaijan speak Turkish and have family ties in both regions, the fiction of an “independent state” that was “divided” rapidly gained hold in former Arran.
The pan-Turanian activists first applied the name of Iran’s Azerbaijan to a former Iranian province (Arran) then proposed to annex the real Azerbaijan (in Iran) into their newly born republic . Even more amazing is how quickly the pan-Turanian ideologues of the Musavats began to believe their own propaganda. One example is Nasib Bey Ussubekov (a Musavat activist and one of the leaders of the republic in 1918) who made it clear that he regarded Iranian Azerbaijan as a part of the newly invented “Independent Republic of Azerbaijan”.
Czarist and Soviet Russia did much to advance the cause pan-Turanianism, a fact undoubtedly rejected by pan-Turanian and Russian scholars alike. Despite the fact that the Russians and Turks have fought several long and bloody wars against each other in history, the two powers have at times cooperated against Persia. This is noted by Professor Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh:
“The Russo-Ottoman agreement of 1724…conspired to dismember…Iran after the fall of the Safavid Empire, and to divide its territories between the Russian and Ottoman Empires”
[Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh, Small Players of the Great Game, 2004, p.15].
Both powers were forced to evacuate Persia by Nader Shah Afshar (1688-1747) (see photo below – further discussion item 2c).
(c) The Soviet Russians & Joseph Stalin. The Independent Republic of Azerbaijan was dismantled and overthrown by Soviet Russian forces on April 28th, 1920, immediately after which Arran once again became a part of the Russian empire . Interestingly, the Russians decided to retain the pan-Turanian invention for Arran, and began to refer to Arran as “The Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan”.
A quick study of rare historical archives reveals a very cynically self-serving (and an unintentionally pan-Turanian) Russian approach to the Arran affair:
“The name “Azerbaijan” for the Republic of Azerbaijan (Soviet Azerbaijan) was selected on the assumption that the stationing of such as republic would lead to that entity Iranian to become one…this is the reason why the name “Azerbaijan” was selected (for Arran)…anytime when it is necessary to select a name that refers to the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan, we should/can select the name Arran…”
Quote from Bartold, Soviet academic, politician and foreign office official. See Bartold, V.V., Sochineniia, Tom II, Chast I, Izdatelstvo Vostochnoi Literary, p.217, 1963.
This was a brilliant geopolitical move, as it now allowed for Russia, like the Ottoman Turks before them, to eventually make a grab for Iranian Azerbaijan. It is very likely that Joseph (Iosef) Stalin (born Djugashvilii – his mother was Ossetian) (see photo below) was complicit in this action. Stalin deliberately and repeatedly referred to many famous Iranian literary figures (such as Nizami, Ganji, Shabestari, etc.) as “great national Azerbaijani literary figures”, with no mention of their association and origins in Persia.
Stalin’s tactic was to lump all historical figures and references from Arran and Azerbaijan as “Azerbaijanis”, pretending that these were never distinct provinces of Persia, and that neither had any cultural, linguistic or historical association with Persia.
Stalin specifically worked at removing pre-communist (Tsarist) archives that referred to the historical designations of the Republic of Azerbaijan. This included the Russian language “Russian Encyclopedia” (printed in 1890, St. Petersburg & Leipzig, Imperial Germany – see Matini, 1989, p.455 in References) which clearly distinguished Albania/Arran from Azerbaijan in Iran.
It was Stalin who encouraged the museums and maps of the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan to refer to Azerbaijani cities in the Soviet Union and Iran as if they were one province. Stalin wanted no distinctions made between former Arran (Soviet Azerbaijan) and historical Azerbaijan (in Iran). He instructed his hand-picked historians (both in Soviet Azerbaijan and Russia) to revise the entire history of Arran and its association with Persia, and to blur Arran’s distinction from the historical Azerbaijan of Iran (recall the quote from Bartold we cited previously).
By 1937, Soviet “Anthropologists” formally coined the ethnic name of “Azeris” to the Albanians/Arranis. These were published as azerbaidzantsi in Russian and rapidly translated by the Soviets to azarbaycanli, in Turkish. Stalin’s historians were instructed to engage in the process of ethno-engineering in which invented terms were used to de-Persianize those ethnic groups of the USSR that had long-standing associations with the culture and history of Persia. This has resulted in generations of people in the Republic of Azerbaijan being indoctrinated with Stalinist propaganda and falsified history. Today, a large number of the people of the Republic of Azerbaijan believe that Iranian Azerbaijan, which they call “Guney (South) Azerbaijan“, is “occupied” by Iran, and must be “liberated” and “reunited” with the Republic of Azerbaijan. These false distortions are being actively promoted among Iranian Azerbaijanis.
It is interesting that pan-Turanian activists view Russia as an enemy, when Russia, between 1920-1990, spent much of its time and resources promoting their cause by directly sponsoring false anti-Persian scholarship and propaganda, to the benefit of pan-Turanian philosophies. Stalin supported the writing of the “Vatan Dili” (The Language of our Motherland), which provided a pan-Turanian version of the history of “Greater Azerbaijan” (Arran and the historical Azerbaijan of Iran). The Vatan Dili was specifically written to excise all references of Iranian Azerbaijan’s historical associations with Persia (e.g. Moses of Dasxuranci’s “History of the Caucasian Albanians” – see references, and item 3 further below).
Soviet ethno-engineers went much further however. Their literally created at least twenty-four ethnic-territorial designations for numerous “nationalities” that had never existed before in history. Most of these new “nationalities” were Turkic (e.g. Buryatia, Yakutia, Kirgiziya). The Soviets administratively organized a mosaic of distinct Turkic regions in the USSR and virtually wrote (or invented) histories for each them them. These actions have been very helpful to pan-Turanian ideologues. Thanks to Soviet ethnic engineering, pan-Turanian ideologues can now point to “dozens of Turkish nations” that “must be united into a single Turan”.
(d) Mr. Mohammad Amin Rasulzadeh. A leading proponent of Arran’s name change was Mohammad Amin Rasulzadeh (1884-1955), the first leader of the newly created Republic of Azerbaijan (see photo below). Rasulzadeh was of Iranian origin from Baku, and was in fact heavily involved in the constitutional democratic movement of Iran during the early 1900s (see Sattar Khan in item 5).
Rasulzadeh was in fact the editor of the newspaper Iran-e-Now (The New Iran). Russian influence and coercion finally forced the Iranian government to expel Rasulzadeh from Iran in 1909 (?); he was exiled to Ottoman Turkey, where the Young Turk movement had gained power.
The Young Turk movement had a profound psychological influence on Rasulzadeh; he became ensnared in the embrace of pan-Turanianism. It is noteworthy that before his conversion to pan-Turaniasm, Rasulzadeh viewed himself and his native Arran (Albania) in his writings as members of “Our beloved homeland Iran…” . By 1913, the Turanisized Rasulzadeh returned to the Caucasus where he joined the Musavat Party and became its leader shortly thereafter.
Iranians in general and Azerbaijani activists in particular, opposed the new name for Arran (Albania). Azerbaijani political activist Shaikh Mohammad Khiyabani (photo below) suggested that Iranian Azerbaijan’s name be changed to “Azadistan” (Land of Freedom) as to distinguish this from the newly created Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan . The usage of the term “Azerbaijan” for Arran was also protested by north Iranian (Gilan) activist, Mirza Kuchek Khan (1880-1921).
Rasulzadeh was to admit in 1924 to his former Iranian comrade, Sheikh Hassan Taqhizadeh (photo below – seated next to him is Seyyed Abolhassan Alavi) of Tabriz that he wished to do “whatever is in his power to avoid any further discontent among Iranians” and explicitly admitted that “Albania (present Republic of Azerbaijan) is different from Azerbaijan (the original Azerbaijan in Iran)” . Taqhizadeh and Alavi were the publishers of the popular Kaveh newspaper, named after one of ancient Persia’s semi-mythical heroes.
By the 1930s, Rasulzadeh’s writings revealed his full conversion to pan-Turanianism:
(a) At first he admitted that “Azerbaijan” (Arran and Azerbaijan in Iran?) was an ancient Iranian province that had been linguistically Turcified since at least the 13th century.
(b) He then rejected his previous writings and declared that Azerbaijan (both Arran and Azerbaijan in Iran) had always been “Turkish” and was never historically an integral part of Persia .
Rasulzadeh had betrayed his Iranian heritage in two ways. First, he failed to fulfill his promises to Iranian Azerbaijanis to rectify the name change he had bought for Arran (at pan-Turanian behest). Second, Rasulzadeh adopted a false, divisive, and racist ideology. Rasulzadeh’s legacy continues to haunt the Caucasus and Iran to this day. That legacy has also provided an excellent tool for geopolitical manipulation.
After his arrest and expulsion from Russia, Rasulzadeh settled in Turkey, where he died in 1954 (see his funeral in Turkey below). Rasulzadeh established the “Azerbaijan National Centre” in Turkey, a movement which at the time was organized for the purpose of opposing Soviet rule in Arran (modern Republic of Azerbaijan).
(e) The role of Soviet Russia in 1941-1946. The notion of a “divided north Azerbaijan versus a south Azerbaijan” was first invented by Russian historians of the Stalinist Soviet era . Russian troops were in fact occupying Iranian Azerbaijan and Kurdistan as part of a joint occupation force with the British since 1941 (the Americans came soon after).
As the Tehran conference of November 29, 1943 was taking place, Stalin (seated below left, US President Roosevelt in centre, British Prime Minister Churchill at right), had already planned to set up his puppet republics in both Iranian Azerbaijan and Kurdistan. Even before Britain, Soviet Russia and the USA had signed the Tripartite Treaty, The US Secretary of State, Cordell Hull (1871-1955) had expressed his concern for Soviet assistance for separatist movements within northern Iran – the United States viewed this as alarming at the time (see Hull in References).
Jafar Pishevari (????-1947) led the separatist “Azerbaijan Autonomous Republic” (see photo at left) and Qazi Mohammad (1913-1946) (see photo at right) the Kurdish “Republic of Mahabad” during 1945-1946. Both movements were dependent on the Soviet Union, and collapsed almost immediately after the Soviet withdrawal in 1946. What is very interesting is that no pan-Turanian activist (see Chehreganli in item 5a) make few (if any) references to the fact that both Pishevari and Mohammad’s movements occurred in areas under direct Russian occupation.
Pishevari Qazi Mohammed]
Note the exact similarity of the uniforms of the Kurdish “martyrs” to the Russian uniforms of the period. Below is a photo of Kurdish “martyrs” of the Soviet-supported Mahabad Republic – compare these to the field cap and uniform (note shoulder epaulettes) of General Georgi Zhukov (1896-1974) (immediately below the “martyrs” photo):
Note again the exact similarity of the uniforms of the “Azerbaijan Feda-iyan” led by Gholam Yahya Daneshiyan (see photo at left – Daneshiyan stands at right) to the Russian uniforms of the period. Below right is a reconstruction of Russian officers in Berlin in 1945; by author Steven Zaloga and history illustrator Ron Volstad (see references for details):
Despite the photo’s poor quality, Gholam Yahya’s uniform is clearly that of a Junior Lieutenant of the Russian red Army; the two men standing next to Yahya wear the uniforms and caps of Soviet NKVD officers (Red Army political/intelligence officers).
Pan-Azeri separatists also fail to explain why the Pishevari government collapsed so quickly as Tehran marched in to reclaim its authority. The Russians, who had been forced by International pressure (mainly US president Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) – see photo below) to end their occupation of Northern Persia, had left Pishevari with a large amount of ammunition and automatic weapons – they had also turned over to Pishevari much of the heavy equipment they had captured earlier in 1941 from the Iranian army.
Even as Russia reluctantly vacated Iran, she bought Communist activists from a number of nations (e.g. Anti-Athens Greek Communists) into Azerbaijan to fight for Pishevari. This was mainly due to concerns that the vast majority of Azerbaijanis viewed Pishevari as a Russian stooge and puppet, and would not fight for him. As their forces rapidly dissolved, Pishevari and his followers fled to the USSR. In Tabriz, capital of Iranian Azerbaijan, huge crowds celebrated the departure of Pishevari and his Russian supporters. These facts are corroborated in excerpts by the aforementioned Iranian Azerbaijani professor, Touraj Atabaki:
“What appears to have been much more crucial than “Western pressure”…in bringing about the downfall of the Azerbaijani Democrats was the lack of popular (Azerbaijani) support they had to cope…the speed with which their regime (Pishevari) collapsed … the virtual absence of any form of popular armed resistance to the central government’s troops…” (p.176).
[Touraj Atabaki, Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and the Struggle for Power in Iran. Published I.B. Taurus Publishers, 2000]
Even as he was rejected by the very Azerbaijani people he so passionately advocated, Mr. Pishevari continued his fantasy of partitioning Iran as he sat in Baku. It was after his ejection from Iran, that Pishevari formalized the myth of a “north” and “south” Azerbaijan (the idea had already been toyed with by Soviet historians since the 1920s). As noted previously, “North” means the Republic of Azerbaijan (former Arran) and “South” is the historical Azerbaijan of Iran.
There are now vigorous attempts by pan-Turanian activists and their western sympathizers to virtually ignore any link between Mr. Pishevari and Communist Russian support for his cause. In the Republic of Azerbaijan for example, Pishevari is officially presented as a hero “fighting to liberate the Azeri Turks from the racist Persians”. Sadly, there are now a number of naïve Iranian Azerbaijanis who officially celebrate Pishevari’s birthday. It would seem that time and historical revisionism has transformed Mr. Pishevari from Soviet collaborator to legend.
Archival research again reveals a less flattering image of Mr. Pishevari: a man with an openly servile attitude towards his Kremlin masters. Note Mr. Pishevari’s telegram to Mr. Mir Jaafar Bagherov, First Secretary of the Communist Party and Stalin’s hand-picked man in Soviet Azerbaijan:
“Dear and Kind Father Mir Jaafar Bagherov,
The people of “south” Azerbaijan who are, beyond any doubt, a part of “north” Azerbaijan, like all peoples of the world, have eyed their hopes on the great people of the Soviet Union and the government of the Soviet Union.”
As published in the Azerbaijan Newspaper, No. 213, Azar 1329 (Iranian chronology), p.224, in Baku, The Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan. This is cited by Jalal Matini, Azerbaijan Koja Ast? [Where is Azerbaijan?]. Iranshenasi, Volume I, No.3, 1989b, p.458.
Note photo below of Mr. Pishevari in Baku with the Soviet sponsored Azerbaijan Newspaper:
“The government of the Soviet Union”? The politically embarrassing Bagherov telegram reveals that Mr. Pishevari was still dreaming of “heroically” re-entering Iran – riding on the back of Soviet tanks of course. Thanks to massive funding and propaganda efforts, some misinformed Azerbaijanis are unaware of this information. The fact remains that Mr. Pishevari was a stooge of Mr. Joseph Stalin and his cronies in Moscow.
It is truly sad to see how misguided Mr. Pishevari was. The story of his demise however is even more tragic and is being hidden from public knowledge. “Official” Soviet history has it that Mr. Pishevari died in hospital and/or as a result of a car accident in Baku. The real history may be different however.
Although many of those details remain classified, a Georgian immigrant whose family had ties to the former Soviet regime (who has asked not be identified), noted that during his stay in Baku, Mr. Pishevari began to express doubts as to the wisdom of his actions and even felt that he had betrayed his nation, Iran. The fear of Pishevari “coming out” led Bagherov to quickly eliminate Pishevari before he made any embarrassing public statements. He may either have been suffocated with a pillow or died in his car as a result of deliberate mechanical tampering. These details cannot be independently verified and most likely the entire truth of these final tragic events will never be known.
One of Stalin’s aims was to use his occupation as leverage to force oil concessions from the Iranian government at the time. Interestingly, a number of declassified documents suggest that the British were sympathetic to the Russians annexing Northern Persia. The British thought that they should “share” Persia’s oil with the Russians. As noted by Professor Louis:
“There was a powerful current of (British) Foreign Office thought…that Anglo-Soviet relations could be improved if it could be demonstrated to the Russians that the British did not intend to corner all of the Persian oil resources”
[Louis, Wm., R., The British Empire in the Middle East, 1984, p.57]
Note the following statement made by the British Head of the Northern Department of the Foreign Office, Mr. C.F.A. Warner, at the height of the Pishevari crisis, where he suggested that the British:
“…look at the problem from the long-term angle of Anglo-Soviet relations rather than from the point of view of the feckless Persians”.
[Louis, Wm., R., The British Empire in the Middle East, 1984, p.58]
NOTE: Feckless generally means having no effect or importance, lacking purpose or vitality, feeble or ineffective, careless and irresponsible.
Pishevari was in fact trying to convert regional economic grievances into a full blown separatist movement – with Russian support. This is very similar to what is happening today with the geopolitically sponsored movements such as the United Azerbaijan Movement who endeavour at creating separatism based on local (mainly economic) grievances and linguistic differences (item 5a).
(2) Azerbaijanis have spoken Turkish since the advent of History.
(a) Archival Information.
Once again, historical archives contradict pan-Turanian ideology. Note the following example:
Al-Istakhri (10th Century AD): Cites people of Azerbaijan speaking both Persian and Arabic (as would have been the case in the entire Persian realm stretching to Central Asia at the time of the Caliphates). The Arranis are mentioned as speaking a different dialect, called “Arrani” which was different from that spoken by the Azerbaijanis.
The notion of Azerbaijanis as never having been part of the Persian nation linguistically and historically is again dramatically contradicted by:
Al-Masudi (10th Century AD): Reported Persians as “a people whose borders are the Mahat Mountains and Azerbaijan up to Armenia and Arran, and Baylaqan up to Darband (in the Caucaus), and Rayy and Tabaristan amd Masqat and Shabaran and Jorgan (Gorgan) and Abarshahr, and that is Nishabur, and Heart and Merv and other places in the land of Khorassan, and Sejistan and Kerman and Fars and Ahvaz…all these lands were one kingdom with one sovereign and one language…the language differed slightly…such as Pahlavi, Dari, Azeri, as well as other Persian languages.”
The Arrani dialect mentioned by Al-Istakhri was most likely a transitional post-Pahlavi language (like modern Kurdish), however it may have been a derivative of a North Iranian language, such as Ossetian. Azeri was a Pahalvi based Iranian dialect, and there are unconfirmed reports of a certain “Fahlavi” dialect that is still spoken in isolated pockets in Azerbaijan. Most Iranian dialects were displaced by the migration of Oghuzz Turkic speaking arrivals to Arran and Azerbaijan from Central Asia, from and after the 11th century.
(b) The Turkic arrivals & Manzikert. Pockets of Turkish arrivals to Arran and Azerbaijan are recorded in 1029 and 1044, however it was in 1054 when the Seljuk Turk warrior chief, Tughrul Beg, arrived to and received the submission of the local Iranian rulers of Arran and Azerbaijan. The local Iranian dialects, Azeri in particular, were gradually replaced by a Turkic language of the southwest family (Oghuzz). It was Alp Arslan (1029-72) who established the Seljuk dominion over much of Anatolia, Persia and Mesopotamia and ensured the legacy of the Turkish language in Azerbaijan and Arran. Byzantine Emperor Romanus Diogenes IV met Alp Arslan in the Battle at Manzikert and was defeated and captured by the Seljuks on August 19 or 26, 1071. A key element in the defeat of the Greeks was the act of betrayal by Andronicus Ducas, the commander of Romanus’ rearguard. At a crucial moment in the battle, Ducas simply retired to Constantinople (modern Istanbul), apparently in a short-sighted and self-serving attempt at enhancing his own political position.
The Manzikert battle, and Alp Arslan’s victory was of immense consequence:
[a] It was a major factor leading to the crusades,
[b] The downfall of Constantinople in 1453
[c] Expansion of subsequent (Ottoman) Turkish power into Central Europe by the 1600s
[d] It ensured the survival of Turkish as the main vernacular in Azerbaijan and Arran
(c) Linguistic Turkification. The process of linguistic Turkification was reinforced with the arrival of the Mongols in the 1200s, and their Il-Khanid dynasty in Persia. Tamerlane’s descendants, the Qara/Kara-Qoyunlu (Black Sheep) and Ak/Aq-Qoyunlu (White Sheep) also ruled Iran. It must be noted that the Turkish migrants became absorbed into mainstream Persia, and they greatly patronized Persian, arts, culture and literature. Turks as whole have been tremendously influenced by Iranian culture – a prime example is the Moghul Dynasty of India, of Turkmen-Mongol descent. The Moghuls promoted Persian culture in India, a legacy which lasts to this day in modern India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
By the early 16th century (see Safavids item 4), Azerbaijani Turkish had largely replaced the indigenous Iranian Azeri in Azerbaijan and had also spread to Arran. The Turkish language however, did not alter the thousands year long Iranian character and legacy of Arran and Azerbaijan. As noted in item 4, the Safavid dynasty, whose members spoke Turkish in court and introduced much Turkish vocabulary to Iran, considered themselves as the heirs of Persia and bitterly fought the Ottoman Turks throughout their reign.
In Persia, identity has never been delineated by singular, simplistic and narrow concepts such as “race”, “mother language” or even “religion”. Consider the following examples:
The Buyid dynasty (945-1055 AD), hailed from the Daylamites of Northern Persia who spoke a post-Sassanian Pahlavi dialect. Note illustration of a Dailamite female governess/warrior of Rayy (near modern Tehran):
Banu of Rayy
The aforementioned Nader Shah was an ethnic Turcomen and adhered to the Sunni branch of Islam. Karim Khan Zand (1705-1779) (see illustration below) and his partisans spoke Luri, a west Iranian language distinct from Persian and Kurdish. The Zands (like Nader Shah before them) were essential in preserving Persia’s territorial integrity after the fall of the Safavids.
(d) Resistance against Ottoman Turks. The bitter legacy of Ottoman attempts to annex Azerbaijan and Arran, and to dismember Iran, has been long remembered by the Azerbaijanis, who virtually always stood as Persia’s front line against Ottoman expansionism. Note the following observation by Professor Atabaki:
‘The well-established Ottoman policy of military expansion into Azerbaijan…goes a long way in explaining the hostile Azerbaijani attitude towards what came to be the modern Republic of Turkey”
[Touraj Atabaki, 2000, p.11]
Pan-Turanian ideologues are attempting to change this history as well. Simply put, they are perpetuating (yet another) fraudulent view that Azerbaijanis and Ottoman Turks have been friendly allies ever since the foundation of the Ottoman Empire. This is as absurd as trying to pretend that Russia and Germany were close allies during World War One (1914-1918) and World War Two (1941-1945).
The Safavids (Azerbaijanis), Nader Shah Afshar (Turcomen) and Karim Khan Zand (Lur) all considered themselves to be the heirs of the ancient Persian realm. It is truly ironic to see pan-Turanian ideologues claiming the Safavids and Afsharids (among others) as “ethnic Turks”, as it was these who formed a major factor in resisting the Ottoman Empire and defeating its attempts to annex Persia.
(e) World War One. Pan-Turanian ideologues have been deluding themsleves about the history of the Perso-Ottoman wars ever since the foundation of the Young Turk movement (and perhaps earlier). When Iran was in virtual chaos during and after World War One, the Ottomans simply marched into Iran’s Azerbaijan province, believing they could easily create another “Musavat” style pan-Turanian movement. Their flawed sense of history (and reality) resulted in an abysmal failure:
“Contrary to their expectations, the achievements of pan-Turkists in Azerbaijan during and immediately after World War One were not very impressive. Although the province was occupied by Ottoman troops, their attempts to create a solid base of support among Azerbaijanis ended in failure…did not succeed in facilitating Azerbaijani-Ottoman relations…arrest popular leaders Khiyabani and Nowbari and sent them into exile…what they (the Ottomans) did resulted in whipping up anti-Ottoman sentiment…”
[Touraj Atabaki, 2000, p.11 – see References]
Very little is known about Ottoman military activities in Iran during World War One. The Ottomans had in fact built three airbases in Iranian Azerbaijan and Kurdistan – note the air base in Baku as well (see map below of Ottoman bases in Iran and Baku – Nicolle in references):
There are three ways in which pan-Turanian ideologues are re-writing this particular saga of history:
[a] They state that there was no forceful occupation of Iran’s Azerbaijan
[b] That the Azerbaijani’s welcomed the Ottoman occupiers
[c] Khiyabani (item 1a) was a pan-Turanian seperatist and an ally of the Ottomans (see item 5a).
As with nearly all of their assertions, pan-Turanian statements diverge from historical veracity to the extreme.
(3) Turks have been in the Caucasus for over 5000 Years.
This is a relatively new claim, apparently first made in the late 1970s. Pan-Turanian activists claim to have proof that the Turks have the oldest, most influential and deeply rooted influence in the Caucasus. Simply put, pan-Turanian ideology now claims not only Iranian Azerbaijan, but the entire Caucasus (Armenia, The Republic of Georgia, The Republic of Azerbaijan, Daghestan, Chechniya, and other autonomous regions). The Turkish legacy is claimed to date back to at least 5000 years.
This is at best, a grandiose exaggeration. The real influence of the Turks begins with the Seljuks and Ottomans, and even then, the Turks are only one more layer upon an ancient region that has seen a rich and varied legacy. If anything, it is the Persian and (to a lesser extent), the Greco-Roman legacies that remain in the Caucasus. The Turks, like the Russians and Ukrainians certainly have their legacy in the Caucasus. The issue in question is the exaggeration of the Turkish role, now proposed by pan-Turanian ideologues.
The Caucasus is one of the oldest cradles of human civilization – a prime example being the proto-Kartvelian Hurrian empire (2500-1270 BC) which at one time ruled much of northwest Iran and contemporary Kurdistan. The Hurrian legacy is still evident among the Kurds who use the ergative feature in their speech – a phenomenon seen in modern Georgian. While the Caucasus has certainly seen its share of Persian, Greek, Turkish and Russian influence, she has in turn vigorously and profoundly influenced all of these cultures in turn.
(a) Armenia, Georgia, Albania/Arran (see and Adontz, Blockley, Chamich, Farrokh, Garosian, Grousset, Lang, Moses of Dasxuranci, Oberling, Razhdan, Russell, Whittow in references). Archival records, anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics fail to substantiate pan-Turanian ideology. The aforementioned Professor Whittow has concluded that:
“The oldest outside influence in Trans-Caucasia is that of Persia (p.203)…many of its populations, including Armenians and Georgians, as well as Persians and Kurds, the Transcaucasus had much closer ties with the former Sassanian world to its south and east than with the world to the west (p.204)”.
[Whittow, Mark, The Making of Byzantium: 600-1025, Berkley: University of California Press, p. 203-204].
Understandably, objective information about any Persian legacy in the Caucasus is viewed as threatening to pan-Turanian activists and their geopolitical and petroleum supporters in the west (see Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmain’s observations in Part VI, item 8).
With regards to Armenia, pan-Turanian nationalists are terse and strikingly clear:
“Armenia is a fictitious state created on Azerbaijani land …”
(Excerpted from the late Heydar Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, “Decree of the President of Azerbaijan on the Genocide of the Azerbaijanis.” 26 March 1998)
It is very shocking to have a head of state refer to a neighboring nation in such a dismissive manner. Armenians are perhaps one of the world’s most ancient and inventive people’s of history. Simply put, the late President’s assessment widely diverges from reality. Armenians are now understood to have been derived from the post-Hittite Phyrgian migrations that originated in the Balkans (they migrated across the Aegean and Anatolia to reach the Caucasus). They predate the arrival of any Turkic or Mongol people in the Caucasus by thousands of years. (See Bishop Ukhtanes of Sebasteia in references)
Armenians are perhaps one of the oldest surviving Indo-European peoples and may trace their origins to the ancient Phrygians who migrated from the Balkans into Anatolia, eventually taking residence in historical Armenia. They have no anthropological, linguistic or cultural links to Central Asian Turkic peoples (see item 7 below).
The Armenian connection to Persia is as old as the Persian Empire itself, and some would argue even earlier, to the time of the Medes.
From the mid 6th century to the late 4th century BC Armenia and much of Georgia were a part of the Achaemenid Persian Empire (559-333 BC). The independent Armenian kingdom was ruled by an Iranian dynasty, which was a branch of the royal house of Parthia in Persia.
The Iberian kingdom (The Kartli – the eastern half of modern Georgia) had Persian ruling classes up to the 6th century AD. Armenians, Georgians and Albanians/Arranis adopted much of Persia’s aristocratic ways, arts, music, dress, dance, literature, and culture (see Frye 1984, and Ghirshman in references). Persian words are still prevalent in modern Georgian (e.g. Panjera-“window”) and Armenian (e.g. Khoda-“God”). Armenian has so many Iranian loan words that linguists incorrectly viewed it as an Iranian language for years. Even with the spread of Christianity across the western Caucasus and with it, increasing Greco-Roman influence, Persian and Zoroastrian traditions continued to endure.
The Armenian term for nobility – “Naxarar” – is of Persian (Sassanian?) origin. Armenian warriors were so highly regarded by the Sassanians that they were allowed to wear the emblems and regalia of the “Savaran”, Sassanian Persia’s elite cavalry. When the Gok (Celestial/blue) Turks and their Hephthalite allies attempted to invade Sassanian Persia from Central Asia in 619 AD, it was Smbat Bargratuni (see depiction by Angus McBride below – Farrokh in references), a Sassanian general of Armenian origin who conclusively defeated their forces:
Equally important are Armenian links to the Greco-Roman Byzantine Empire. Many historical Byzantine figures of note may have had Armenian ancestry. These may include Leo V (ruled 813-820), Basil I (ruled 867-886), John Tzimiskes (ruled 969-976), and perhaps the wife of Emperor Theophilos, Empress Theodora who is reputed to have restored orthodoxy in 843 AD. When examining Byzantine seals and records, a very large number of Armenian names are evident – examples include Bardas-Bardanes (related to Persian “Bardia”), Arsabir, Artabasdos (related to Persian “Arta”) and Symbatios. Significantly, a very large number of officers in the Byzantine armies were of Armenian origin (e.g. Narses).
One reference that has been almost totally removed from the Republic of Azerbaijan by both Soviet and pan-Turanian activists is Moses of Dasxuranci’s History of the Caucasian Albanians (see References). Originally written in the 10th century AD, this book also reproduced older manuscripts as well. Dasxuranci has made the connection of the Albanians/Arranis to Persia absolutely clear. An example of this is the description of the Sepahbod (Marshall) of Albania and his officers who fought at the Battle of Qadissiyah in 637 AD (see Dowsett’s translation of Dasxuranci, p.110-113), in which the Arabs emerged victorious. Not surprisingly, few of the educated elites in the Republic of Azerbaijan have even heard of Moses of Dasxuranci.
Byzantine records make no reference to any Turkic origins with respect to Armenia, Georgia and Albania/Arran. Instead, as noted previously, the only outside cultural influences in the Caucasus are those of the Persians followed by the Greeks.
Turkic peoples appear as invaders from the Central Asian Steppes which they had also conquered from their original homeland in Eastern Mongolia. One of the earliest Turkic arrivals appears to the north of the Caucasus: the Khazars who converted to Judaism. Byzantine and Armenian sources make no mention of any of the Turkic arrivals being indigenous to the Caucasus, Northern Iran or Anatolia. In almost every case, they came as warrior-invaders and introduced their language on the majority non-Turkic populations of Arran/Albania, the historical Azerbaijan (in Iran), as well as Anatolia.
The onset of powerful Turkish influence can be traced to the Ottoman Empire and its wars with the Safavid Empire in Persia (see item 5 further below). Despite centuries of warfare between the Ottomans and the Safavids (followed by the Afsharids), the legacy of Persian cultural influence continued unabated. Georgian and Armenian figures continued to rank prominently in Medieval Persian affairs. Examples include:
Zaynab Begom queen of Shah Tahmasp
Allahverdi Khan who was commander of the Safavid Army between 1595-1613)
Khosrow Mirza (Rostam Khan) one of the most important Safavid officials
Constantin Mirza, son of Georgian king Alexander, sent to govern Fars province
It is impossible to provide an exhaustive list of prominent Armenians and Georgians, however, the point has hopefully been made to the interested reader.
It was only after the wars of Imperial Czarist Russia that Persia was permanently pushed out of the Caucasus, except for Azerbaijan and Talysh. The Treaties of Golestan (1813) and Turkemenchai (1827) compelled Persia to accede to Russia’s conquests in the Caucasus.
(4) The Safavid Empire was Turkish.
Ever since his brief tenure as president of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 1991-1993, Abulfazl Elchibey (1938-2000) (see photo below) was vehemently anti-Persian and openly called for the partitioning of Iran (see Hiro in References).
Note some of the excerpts of his speech at the V Congress [Kurultai] of the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, 30-31 January 1998 delivered in Turkey:
“The creation of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in the Northern Azerbaijan on some of Azerbaijani lands in 1918-1921, and its restoration…in 1991, does not mean that the Azerbaijan national liberation movement is over. … The new stage will end with the creation and or restoration of a united Azerbaijani statehood. … Already [in Iran] there are active organizations, whose sole purpose is the state independence of the Azeri Turks.”
Dr. Elchibey has conveniently neglected to mention how Arran was re-named as “Azerbaijan” by pan-Turanian nationalists and that the real Azerbaijan is situated in Iran today (as noted in Item 1). Elchibey’s claims of the “restoration of a united Azerbaijani statehood” is void of any historical basis or veracity for the simple reason that no such state has ever existed.
Dr. Elchibey based much of his ideology on his re-invention of the Safavids of Persia as an exclusively Turkish dynasty. He had been a history professor in Baku during the communist era and had been jailed for years by the Soviets.
Elchibey was barred from teaching upon his release. He then turned to archival and records research, and here is where one may raise a few questions. As an archival researcher, what went through Elchibey’s mind as he observed the pre-1918 maps showing Arran, its association with Persia and the history of the Safavid Empire? Perhaps he never saw them, as the Soviets had already spent over 70 years expunging archives, re-writing history books and falsifying information in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Dr. Elchibey’s mind was as much a victim of fabricated information as it was of his own Chauvinism.
In an almost bizarre act of publicity, Elchibey made a public spectacle of hanging a portrait of Shah Ismail (ruled 1501-1524), the founder of the Safavid dynasty (1501-1736) in his home (see a European portrait of Shah Ismail below).
This was an attempt to “prove” that the Safavids were anti-Persian Turks and a Turkish empire. Note how the portrait contradicts Elchibey. The partially visible Latin lettering states Ismail as the king (note the term “Rex”) of Persia (note the “Per” is evident on the top right side of this partial photo). Elchibey must have seen this portrait during his long tenure as a professor and archivist. From the viewpoint of a cognitive psychologist an interesting question can be asked: how did Elchibey’s mind work at accommodating information that contradicted his ideology? Cognitive dissonance.
More importantly, Elchibey’s ideology runs contrary to the historical fact that the Safavids endeavoured to recreate the Persian Empire and their boundaries corresponded to ancient Persia (see map of Sassanian Persia at its maximum extent in 610 AD (below left) and a map of Safavid Persia (below right) at the eve of the Battle of Caldiran (before Ottoman Sultan Selim’s successful attack) in 1514 AD.
SafavidMap [Pic 60- SassMap
While true that by the time of the Safavids, Turkish had become prevalent in Iranian Azerbaijan and Arran, the Safavids were vehemently anti-Ottoman. Elchibey conveniently forgot to mention that the Ottoman Turks fought Ismail at Chaldiran (1514).and forcibly occupied much of western and Northern Persia and the Caucasus before being militarily expelled by Shah Abbas the Great (1587-1629) (see photo below – see Custos in references) in 1603. Also neglected is the fact that Safavid Persia and Europe were allies against the Ottoman Turks for centuries. A dramatic example of this is the role of the English engineer/adventurers, known as the Sherley brothers who helped Shah Abbas create an indigenous musket and cannon industry to fight the formidable Ottomans. Shah Abbas’ personal bodyguard were recruited from the Armenians and the Georgians of the Caucasus (recall item 3a).
Note the clear inscription “Shach Abas Persarum Rex” – Shah Abbas, King/ Sovereign of Persia. The copper engraving shown above of Shah Abbas, made by Dominicus Custos lists him among the Atrium of the heroic “Caesars” of history – in reference to his victories over the Ottomans. Custos makes a particular emphasis on linking Shah Abbas to the “Mnemona Cyrus” (the Memory of Cyrus the Great of Persia). The Safavids regarded themselves as the heirs of the Persian Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great (559-530 BC), as corroborated by European sources (see Matini 1992 in References).
Pan-Turanian activists (and a number of western academics) are engaged in Herculean efforts to expunge this information and suppress these historical archives from Iranian Azerbaijanis. Instead they rationalize the wars of Shah Ismail and Abbas as “wars between Turkish brothers based on religion (Sunni versus Shiite)”. Fraudulent terms such as “The great Turkish-Azeri Empire” are also being invented to push the pan-Turanian agenda forward. All of these attempts at outright falsification ignore the following:
(a) Why did the Safavids fight in the name of Persia?
(b) Why did Shah Abbas decide to make Isfahan the capital of Persia in 1598?
(c) Why was Persian architecture, music, literature and the arts so actively promoted?
(d) Why did the Safavids so strongly insist on Shiism versus Sunnism to distinguish themselves from the Sultans of Istanbul?
Incredibly, Pan-Turanian activists have explained these events as “mistakes”. As the gentle reader, you may wish to contemplate what “mistakes” these actually signify. But it is here where we run into further historical ironies. The Ottoman Turks were themselves great patrons of Persian literature and the Turkish Sultans wrote and spoke Persian very well. Sultan Selim “Yavuz” (The Grim) (1465-1520) (see photo below) wrote in Persian to his archenemy, Shah Ismail, even as Ismail wrote back to him in Turkish!
Elchibey also failed to mention that Ismail was in fact Kurdish, and was an adherent of the ancient Sufi cults of western and northern Persia. Ismail followed the teachings of Sheik Gilani in Northern Persia (see photo of Gilani’s shrine in northern Persia below – see Tarverdi in references). Many Kurds in Iraq and Turkey (as well as Turkish Alevis) follow Gilani’s teachings today and view Ismail as an enlightened Avatar. Ismail also claimed to be a descendant of the Royal house of the Sassanian Empire (224-651 AD).
Elchibey represented the final evolution of a racist philosopher, one who projects imagined events into a history that never existed, and one who is able to rationalize and believe what his thinking process produces.
Despite their high level of university education, many pan-Turanian activists (such as the late Abulfazl Elchibey), are virtually immune to scholastic or logical explanations that contradict their beliefs. Their cognitive dissonance leads to reinterpret what is historically true as False and what is False as truth. The same cognitive process is true of Western European Nordicists/racial chauvinists, pan-Kurdish nationalists, Persian chauvinists, and Religious fundamentalists.
Elchibey went to his grave believing the rhetoric of the Grey Wolves and fleeing any suggestion that Arran ever existed or (heaven forbid) had any association with Persia. This is a real tragedy as Elchibey was known for his piety, incorruptibility, honesty and personal kindness. It is unfortunate that his thinking process led him to have such a profound hatred of Armenians and Iranians, peoples with whom Azerbaijanis as a whole, enjoy rich historical, anthropological and cultural links.
Less reported is the fact that after his overthrow by Heidar Aliev (1923-2003) (below left photo), Tansu Ciller (Turkish Prime Minister 1993-1996, below centre photo) was implicated in a failed coup to reinstall Elchibey in Baku. This act resulted in a furious scandal in Turkey, and Ciller’s fanatic pro-Grey Wolf leanings (not to mention a select group of Turkish officers, who were complicit in the affair) were now more openly exposed to the Turkish public. It was Suleiman Demirel (below right photo) who tipped off the Baku government to the attempted coup.
Aliev Ciller Demirel
It must be noted that Demirel has been on record several times noting that Iran and Turkey have much to gain by directly and constructively co-operating and working together (rather than against each other) in the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Near East. He is among many Turks who realize that Iranians and Turks have had a long history of admixture and cultural exchanges. Tragically, it would appear that people like Tansu Ciller and the Grey Wolves have a somewhat different view.
(5) Sattar Khan was a pan-Turanian separatist.
(a) Mr. Mahmudali Chereganli.
Mr. Chehreganli (see photo below) has made a career at attempting to incite hatred among Iranian Azerbaijanis against Iran. He portrays Azerbaijanis as “Turks oppressed by Persians”, and has been a major force in the fraudulent re-narration of Babak Khorramdin’s rebellion as an “anti-Persian” movement (see item 6). Chehreganli leads a movement entitled SANAM (South Azerbaijan National Awakening Movement) (Kindly see Website References).
There is a parallel movement residing in Baku (allegedly set-up by Azerbaijanis of Iranian origin) known as the UAM (United Azerbaijan Movement). There is also the South Azerbaijan National Liberation Movement as well as the Azerbaijan National Front (AZNF). It is SANAM however that has received the greatest western support (see also Part VI).
Mr. Chehreganli’s SANAM website is replete with false, simplistic and inflammatory information. The distortions begin with the personal dossier of Chehreganli, the chairman of SANAM (Persian section of SANAM website – see Web References):
“Mahmudali Chehregani – Chehreganli – was born in the village of Chehregan…His grandfather Sattar Khan Chehreganli was an intellectual who participated in three Azerbaijani revolutions: the constitutional movement, the Azadistan movement, and the national and people’s government…he completed his Doctorate in linguistics at Tehran’s Tarbiat Modarress University…”
The few highlighted lines are replete with fraudulent information. First, Mr. Chehreganli is claiming one of Iran’s greatest heroes, Sattar khan (1868-1914) (see photo below) as his ancestor, because both share the name Chehreganli.
People who share the same last name are not necessarily related. In that case, all who bear the surname “Smith” are members of the same family. Another detail not mentioned in SANAM: Sattar Khan was born in Janali, not Chehregan.
The issue of kinship is irrelevant. Even if we accept that Mr. Chehreganli has legitimately “proven” his lineage to Sattar Khan, he still cannot change the history of his (alleged) grandfather who fought in the name of a united Persia (see “Sattar Khan” below). Mr. Chehreganli has re-narrated Sattar Khan as an Azerbaijani separatist and “a Turkish patriot”. Sheikh Khiyabani (recall item 1d) has also been re-invented as a separatist. Historical archives contradict Mr. Chehreganli.
While true that Khiyabani was strongly in favour of local autonomy for Azerbaijan, he was clear that we wished to do so within the framework of a united Iran. A sample of foreign archives states that he:
“…had no desire or intention of severing Azerbaijan from Iran”
[British Foreign Office Archives 371/1278, 11-12 September, 1920 – also cited by Atabaki, 2000, p.50, 205]
Chehreganli claims that Khiyabani’s term “Azadistan” (land of freedom), and his pursuit of autonomy is clear proof of Khiyabani’s separatist objectives. This is patently false, and is a distorted interpretation of actual historical events. First, as recounted in item 1d, Khiyabani was against the Musavat-Rasulzadeh re-invention of Arran/Albania as “Azerbaijan”. The term “Azadistan” was an attempt to disassociate from the actions of Rasulzadeh and his supporters in Baku. Second, there is a very large difference between seeking local autonomy within a sovereign state and being a pan-Turanian separatist.
The real nature of Mr. Pishvari’s “national and people’s government” has already been recounted in item 1e. Suffice it so say that Mr. Chehreganli has a talent for blurring facts and re-inventing them within his fictional narratives.
There are other puzzling inaccuracies in the SANAM website, namely the chronology of Sattar Khan’s career. Simply put, it would have been physically impossible for Sattar Khan to have “participated” in the “Azadistan” and Pishvari movements – Sattar Khan had already passed away before their onset.
What is most interesting is Mr. Chehreganli’s background and adoption of pan-Turanianism as a professional career. It is true that Mr. Chehreganli was a student at Tarbiat Modarress University. In reality, his academic performance was less than spectacular; he never achieved the graduate credentials necessary to become a Doctoral candidate. With his career options narrowing as a result of academic mediocrity, Mr. Chehreganli “discovered” separatist ethnic politics. His first “demand” was to exhume his “grandfather’s remains” (meaning Sattar Khan) from Tehran’s Shah Abdul Azim cemetery and “return it to his homeland” (meaning a separate Azerbaijan from Iran). Mr. Chehreganli had found his calling at last: a failed academic whose career was to promote misinformation and alienation.
Fact or fiction, the next series of events are as entertaining as a Hollywood screenplay. Mr. Chehreganli ran for Iran’s parliament and claimed to have obtained “800,000 votes”. This claim is not only unverifiable, but suspect (see Part III – items 2-3). He then claims that he was arrested and tortured because of his “advocacy” for the rights of his “race”. Whatever the truth, Chehreganli was released from jail and left Iran. He travelled to Baku where he was awarded an honorary Doctoral degree in recognition of his anti-Iran political platform.
Western outlets regularly refer to Mr. Chereganli as a “Professor of linguistics” when in fact his academic training in the field is suspect at best. As far as can be determined, Mr. Chehreganli has never produced a credible dissertation. Nevertheless, his nominal “expertise” is being cynically trumpeted to project a mirage of academic authority. These “academic credentials” are being used by western geopolitical interests to further their economic (i.e. Petroleum) objectives (Part VI).
(b) Sattar Khan & the Constitutional Movement of Persia.
The actual history of Sattar Khan is different from what Mr. Chehreganli is stating. Sattar Khan was a legendary hero of the constitutional revolution of Iran (1905-1911), which was virtually the first of its type in western Asia and the Caucasus. To this day, Iranians of all stripes refer to him as the “Sardar-e-Melli” (The national Champion-leader).
The complete narrative of the Constitutional Movement is beyond the scope of the discussion here, however a few points may be highlighted, especially with respect to points being re-narrated by Mr. Chehreganli.
[b1] Qajar monarch Muzaffar al-Din Shah (1853 – 1907) (see photo below) agreed to a constitutional monarchy for Persia in August 1906.
Muzaffar al-Din -Shah
[b2] The first Tehran Assembly or Majlis (1906-1908) managed to limit the powers of the Shah and his ministers. Among its many reforms was the freedom of the press. Below is a photo of the building where the first Majlis was convened.
[b3] Muhammad Ali Shah (1872–1925; ruled 1906-1909) (photo below) moves to limit constitutionalists (June 1, 1908). Ambassador Zapolski of Russia and Ambassador Marling of Britain openly warn the Majlis to comply with the Shah’s wishes.
Muhammad Ali Shah
[b4] Russian Cossack Brigade in Persia (See photo of Russian Cossack leader Liakhov and a number of his troops – Chaqeri in references), in support of Muhammad Ali Shah, bombarded the Majlis on June 24, 1908.
[b5] By July 1908, the Shah imprisons many constitutionalists. See Photo below (Shuster in references) of their imprisonment at the Bagh-e-Shah (Garden of the Shah) below:
[b6] Surviving delegates fled to Tabriz. In Tabriz, the local Azeris (see photo of Tabriz Mojaheds below – see Chaqeri in References ) join forces with these men and organize a resistance army against the anti-constitutionalist Royalist troops.
[b7] Sattar Khan and his colleague, Bagher Khan, organized the resistance. Volunteers from the Caucasus join Sattar Khan. Sattar Khan resists Royalist forces besieging Tabriz for nine months -attacks barricades on April 22nd, 1909.
[b8] The siege of Tabriz ends – Russians invade and occupy Tabriz on April 1909 – photo below is the Persian Cossack brigade commanded by Russian officers (see Shuster in References). This unit in particular was a direct instrument of foreign (Russian and indirectly British) influence in Persia in the early 20th century.
Russian Coassack Brigade
Sattar Khan rallied the entire nation of Iran to a constitutional democratic cause, and in this endeavour had the support of the entire spectrum of Iran’s populace, such as the northern Iranians (see 1908 photo of Rasht volunteers below left – Chaqeri in references) and Bakhtiaris from Isfahan (see 1909 photo below right- Chaqeri in references), not to mention Mashad (northeast Iran), etc. It was these Bakhtiaris and Rashtis (from Gilan) who supported Sattar Khan in July 1909. This allowed for the second Majlis to convene.
Mr. Chehreganli avoids any mention of the multi-ethnic nature of Sattar Khan’s movement across Iran (see also the role of the Armenians in part IV, item 1). Sattar Khan and his allies all fought under the Persian banner. Note Sattar Khan’s own comrades in Azerbaijan, shown fighting below in Tabriz under the tricolour Persian flag in 1908 (Chaqeri in references):
Professor Atabaki makes clear that:
“In the constitutional revolution, like minded Azerbaijanis, Persians, Bakhtiyaris, and Gilanis fought alongside one another against…the absolute arbitrary power of the monarchy…their objective was not to divide this power (of Law and government) among the different ethnic groupings in the country in order to establish separate independent states based on ethnic identity.” (p.28)
[Touraj Atabaki, Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and the Struggle for Power in Iran. Published I.B. Taurus Publishers, 2000]
(c) European Intervention.
Imperial Britain and Czarist Russia were unhappy at the prospect of a Persian government that did not cater primarily to their economic interests. They did their utmost to destroy the fruits of the constitutional movement and supported the autocratic Shah. Their tactic was to lure Sattar Khan and Bagher Khan from Tabriz to Tehran. To that end, there appears to be a connection to a certain telegram issued to Mr. George Birly, British ambassador in Iran on March 16, 1910 by the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
If the British and Russians were hoping to isolate and possibly discredit Sattar Khan and Bagher khan, they certainly failed. When Sattar Khan arrived in Tehran on 3 April 1910; the citizens of Tehran were ecstatic in their welcome and hailed him as a national hero and messiah. Both Sattar Khan and fellow Azeri comrade-in-Arms, Bagher Khan had been bestowed with the “Sardar-e-Melli” (Leader of the Nation) title by the Tehran assembly. The assembly also ordered that gold plaque portraits be drawn in honour of both Sattar Khan and Bagher Khan in recognition of their services to Persia. Throughout Iran, in places such as Rasht, Tehran, Qazvin or Isfahan, committees proudly bore the name “Sattar Khan”. Sattar Khan and his followers then settled in Tehran’s Atabak Park.
It is here where a gross tragedy occurred. Details are not totally clear, however it appears that a coalition of radical Constitutionalists wanted to disarm Sattar Khan, in the interests of party building along European lines (see Chaqeri p.166 in References).. These included many of Sattar Khan’s former Azeri comrades from Tabriz (e.g. Tabriz Social-Democratic group) as well as other Azeris such as Taqhizadeh. The Armenian Yephrem Khan, another one of Sattar Khan’s comrade in arms, was chief of Tehran’s police and was present in Atabak Park. A shooting incident broke on the night of August 7, 1910. Sattar Khan was injured by the police and he died on November 9, 1914. He was buried in Tehran’s Shah Abdul Azim’s graveyard. To this day, Sattar Khan’s exploits and commitment to Constitutional reform in Persia are vividly recalled in Iranian literature.
With respect to the Atabak Park incident, Chehreganli’s supporters claim that “…Sattar Khan was killed by the racist Persians…”. As noted by Professor Chaqeri:
“What is usually and intentionally forgotten…is…that…the revolutionaries were divided into two hostile political camps: the radicals and the conservatives…this new atmosphere…led to bloodshed…the idea of disarming (Sattar Khan’s) Mojaheds and Feda’is originated simultaneously in…the radical constitutionalists and in the British and Russian governments…the majority of those who took part in the Atabak park incident belonged to the radical wing of revolutionary fighters…Taqhizadeh (himself Azeri from Tabriz)…his close associates (included many Azeris)…and the Tabriz Social-Democratic Group…”
[Chaqeri, Cosroe, Origins of Social Democracy in Modern Iran, 2001, p.166-167].
Predictably, Mr. Chehreganli’s attempts at falsifying history fail when exposed to archival research. It would appear that Mr. Chehreganli is hoping to re-narrate the political factions (Radical vs. Conservative) at Atabak Park in terms of ethnic groups (Persian vs. Azeri).
The Atabak park tragedy did not derail the democratically representative Tehran Assembly (Majlis), thanks to the original exploits of Sattar Khan. The Tehran Assembly, turned to Morgan Shuster (see Shuster in References), to act as treasurer-general with wide-ranging powers to finally put Persia’s chaotic financial house in order. Shuster arrived on May 1911. Imperial Russia was furious – Shuster’s reforms were viewed as a threat. The Russians demanded the following from Tehran’s assembly (Majlis) (see Adelson, p.96 in References):
[a] Shuster was to be immediately dismissed
[b] The Iranian gendarmes were to replaced by Russian controlled Cossacks
[c] Persia was to issue an official apology to Czarist Russia
Naturally, the Majlis rejected this affront to Persia’s sovereignty. Russia promptly invaded Persia through Azerbaijan and by the end of 1911 re-issued its dictates:
[a] Shuster was again demanded to be immediately dismissed
[b] No other foreign advisors were to be hired by the Majlis without prior British and Russian approval
[c] Persia was to reimburse Russia for the costs of its military invasion of Persia
The Majlis again rejected the Imperial Russian demands. The British government was fully supportive of Russian actions – even the potential of a modern, forward looking domestic democracy within Iran was unfathomable to the policymakers of London and Moscow.
The Russians and their anti-Constitutionalist supporters took full advantage of these events to kill off many of the Iranian constitutional activists in Tabriz during their 1911-1912 invasion of northern Persia. . Note 1912 photo of the Russian hanging of Sattar Khan’s nephews at left (Chaqeri in References) and the disembowelment of Yusef Hokhabad by local Russophiles (a Tabriz supporter of the Iranian constitutional movement – Chaqeri in References) at right:
Note picture below of more executions of Democratic reformers in Tabriz; figures with drawn swords and man at right are Tsarist Russian troops:
By 1914, 20,000 Russian troops were occupying much of Northern Persia (see Chaqeri, p.286 and Mclean, p.82 in references). The photographic evidence of their brutality is historically documented. Chaqeri cites W.S. Blunt (see References; blunt also cited in Part I, item 1) who stated:
“There has been an abominable massacre by the Russians at Tabriz…men, women and children killed, women raped and every imaginable abomination perpetuated…This is (British Prime Minister) Grey’s doing as distinctly as he had given the orders; yet almost no protest is made in our (British) press…”
[Wilfred S. Blunt, My Diaries, Being a Personal Narrative of Events (Part II: 1900-1914), pp.213, 388-389].
(d) SANAM & the Fabrication of History.
Incredibly, despite historical archives and massive documentation (see Adelson, Blunt, Browne, Chaqeri, and Shuster in references), the followers of Chehreganli reject all of this information and insist that all of the atrocities were exclusively committed by “murderous Persians” (virtually no mention of the Russian and British roles).
The information expostulated in this section of the commentary is being thoroughly distorted, re-narrated and even expunged by pan-Turanian ideologues (recall SANAM website and its narrative of Sattar Khan) and their western supporters (see Brenda Shaffer in part VI, item 4c).
When factual information is presented to Chehregani and his followers, the predictable psychological reaction is that of cognitive dissonance cited earlier with respect to Professor Diker and Elchibey. Sattar Khan’s movement is even being re-narrated as “a Turkish movement”.
If Sattar Khan was indeed a pan-Turanian activist, then:
(a) Why would non-Azerbaijanis, like the Rashtis, Mazandaranis or Bakhtiaris support him?
(b) Why was he a powerful symbol of the entire constitutional movement in Persia?
(c) Why was he honoured twice by the Tehran national assembly?
(d) Why does he remain one of Iran’s most potent symbols of justice and egalitarianism?
To state that Sattar Khan was anti-Persian is as historically illogical as stating that George Washington, the first president of the American Republic, was anti-American!
Sattar Khan would roll in his grave if he heard of Mr. Chehreganli, the SANAM movement and the UAM. The majority of Iranian Azerbaijanis are deeply offended by Mr. Chehreganli’s claims regarding Sattar Khan (see “Welcome to Tabriz Iran” weblink in Website References). Many view Chehreganli’s fiction as simply another divisive tool which is being ultimately perpetuated by geopolitical objectives (Part VI).
Chereganli is determined to destroy Persia, and in that endeavour he has created another fictional narrative: Babak Khorramdin, one of Persia’s greatest champions, is now claimed as a pan-Turanian hero.
(6) Babak Khorramdin was a Turk who fought against Persia.
Babak Khorramdin (Persian for “those of who follow the joyful religion”) is one of ancient Persia’s greatest icons. Babak (see reconstruction below) fought the Arabian Abbassid Caliphate in Baghdad (750-1258 AD) to restore the independence of Persia which had been lost after the Arab victories over the Sassanian Empire at the Battles of Qadissiya (637 AD) and Nehavand 651 (AD).
Predictably, Babak Khorramdin has now been retroactively Turkified by SANAM and re-named as “Bay Beg”. Mr. Chereganli claims that Babak and his followers were:
(a) all Turkish
(b) fighting “the racist Persians to free themselves from Persia”.
Again, a quick study of historical archives contradicts pan-Turanian claims. First, Babak’s name is derived from that of the first Sassanian monarch Ardashir-e-Babak-an, who lived hundreds of years before Khorramdin. The name “Babak” is derived from the name of the father of the first monarch of the Sassanian Empire (224-651 AD), Ardashir I Babak-an (180-239 AD). Babak/Pabek was himself the son of Sassan, the high priest at the Temple of goddess Anahita in Persis (see Wilcox, p.36 in References). Babak can also mean “little father” or “faithful” in Sassanian Pahlavi (see Mackenzie in References). Babak is also the name of a character in the Shahname epic.
As noted previously (items 2-3), the Turkish language did not arrive in Azerbaijan and Arran until three centuries later at the earliest. The inhabitants of historical Azerbaijan (in Iran) and Arran spoke Iranian languages at the time (items 1-2). Babak and his followers never spoke a word of Turkish.
Romano-Byzantine sources are clear in identifying the Babak Khorramdin rebellion as a Persian movement aimed at re-establishing Persia’s independence from Arab Caliphate rule and reviving her Zoroastrian past (see for example Reference for Laurent (Canard), esp. pages 133-134 357-381). Oxford Medieval historian, Professor Mark Whittow has noted that:
“Azerbaijan was the scene of frequent anti-caliphal and anti-Arab revolts during the eighth and ninth centuries, and Byzantine sources talk of Persian warriors seeking refuge in the 830s from the caliph’s armies by taking service under the Byzantine emperor Theophilos (p.195)…Azerbaijan had a Persian population and was a traditional centre of the Zoroastrian religion…(p.203)…The Khurramites were a…Persian sect, influenced by Shiite doctrines, but with their roots in a pre-Islamic Persian religious movement (p.215)”.
[Whittow, Mark, The Making of Byzantium: 600-1025, Berkley: University of California Press, p.195, 203, 215].
There are simply no historical references to Babak (or any of his followers) being Turkish, or fighting for a “Turkish homeland”. As noted previously, Pan-Turanian activists (e.g. UAM) simply reject any history or factual information that contradicts their views. Mr. Chehreganli himself represents the classic psychological case of cognitive dissonance par excellence.
For over a thousand years, the people of Azerbaijan have held annual celebrations (July 9th) to honor the exploits of Babak Khorramdin. Babak’s fort is located in Azerbaijan’s Bez Mountain (see photo below). The fort was the base from which Babak Khorramdin, his brave and resilient wife, Banu Khorramdin and his followers began their long resistance movement against the Abbasid caliphs (816-837 AD). They were identified as the “Sorkh-Jamegan” (Persian for “those who wear red attire”); red has been the colour of many Zoroastrian and ancient mystical Aryan cults in pre-Islamic Persia .
Pan-Turanian activists have attempted to turn these celebrations into anti-Persian events. There are reports that Grey Wolves activists from Turkey and the Republic of Azerbaijan join the celebrations, chant anti-Iranian slogans and distribute anti-Iran literature (Parts III & IV). This is dramatically illustrated by the photograph below (from Mr. Chehreganli’s aforementioned SANAM website) showing pan-Turanian activists raising their hands with the Grey Wolf salute. As noted in Part I (item 2b), this salute is based on the fictitious Grey Wolf legend originally invented by the pan-Turanian ideologues of Turkey. Although Grey Wolves activists would beg to differ, their salute is as historically meaningless (and alien) to Azerbaijanis as it is for Armenians and Greeks.
Azer-Wolves Wolf Hand
The people who engage in the racist Grey Wolf salute are insulting their ancestral Iranian heritage – just as the misled and ignorant Russian neo-Nazis are glorifying their greatest enemy: Hitler and Nazism (see Part IV, item 5).
It is truly tragic to see how ignorant and indifferent a select number of Iranian Azerbaijanis (and Iranians in general) have become with respect to their history – a cultural vacuum which allows racist opportunists (and their geopolitical allies) to cynically exploit, not only in Azerbaijan, but in many parts of Iran (Khuzestan, Kurdistan, Baluchistan, etc.).
There is also a painting of Babak Khorramdin wearing Grey Wolf head gear – another attempt at falsely portraying this ancient Persian icon as “Turanian” (note that his complexion has been deliberately painted in a yellowish hue to suggest Asiatic ancestry):
Though entertaining at first sight, this painting is portraying the Babak that never was. This is yet another assault against Persia’s heritage, identity and the historical unity of her people. How offended would the Turks be if foreigners began claiming Alp Arslan or Suleiman the magnificent as non-Turks?
To claim that Babak Khorramdin was an anti-Persian Turkish separatist is as illogical as claiming Sam Houston was a Mexican who fought in the name of Greater Spain against Texas.
(7) Azerbaijanis and all who speak Turkish are Turkish by race.
(a) Ziya Gokalp.
The notion of Azeris being Turkish because of language is based on the late Ziya Gokalp (1876-1924) who equated language with racial and ethnic membership: you are racially Turkish if you speak Turkish. This is a standard argument of characters like Mr. Chehreganli and his western geopolitical supporters. Gokalp was in fact a Kurd born in Diyarbakr. He is one of a long line of non-Turks who helped build pan-Turanian ideology (Part I, item 1).
By no means is the discussion in this item attempting to simplistically outline the complex (and anthropolically interwoven) Iranian and Turkish national, ethnic, and linguistic identities. Such a Herculean task would require volumes of text. Instead, we are clearly confining the discussion to the linear and (in my opinion) divisive concept of “race” – in the purely anthological sense.
The main weakness of Gokalp’s simplistic premise is his oversimplification of the complex interrelationships between ethnicity, nationality, language and historical migrations. His logic is that speakers of a language “X” must also be racially members of “X”.
A Canadian anthropologist (who does not wish to be named in this commentary) has recently noted to me of the humorous application of Gokalp’s logic to North American English speakers. In the United States alone, millions of English speakers are of African descent. However, English is a Germanic language, originally spoken by the Anglo-Saxon invaders of ancient 4th century Romano-Celtic Britain. If Gokalp’s logic is correct, African Americans and European Americans must be of the same racial stock as they both speak English. For a more visual example, compare the photos of Black-American actor Samuel L. Jackson (left) with contemporary Hollywood director Peter Jackson (right):
Both characters share the name “Jackson”, as well as the English language. Being an Anglophone and having an English name does not mean that one is automatically Anglo-Saxon by race. In that case, the entire Black, Asian, Hispanic, Amerindian population of the United States and Canada are Anglo-Saxons. Likewise, being a Turcophone does not mean that one is automatically Turkish or Turkic by race. National identity is based on a number of domains, only one of which is defined by language. Nevertheless, this simplistic logic (language = race) is being used to attack the Iranian heritage of the people of Azerbaijan and Iran in general.
But since when does language alone define cultural and/or national identity? As your writer, I write in English, does this mean that I, like Peter Jackson, am Anglo-Saxon?
National identity is multi-faceted. A Belgian could be either a Francophone (Walloon) or Dutch dialect speaker (Flemish). A Frenchman can be Basque (Eskuri) or speak an Italian dialect (e.g. Provencal, Corsican, etc.). In northern France, many of the inhabitants lay claim to a proud Celtic tradition (Brittany).
Have you, gentle reader, ever contemplated that the so-called “Middle East peoples” (itself a bogus and meaningless term) are just as complex and diverse in their origins as the peoples of Europe and the rest of the world? It is a mystery as to why westerners have insisted on applying such linear, simplistic and rigid concepts to define complex peoples such as Iranians, Turks and Arabs? These rigidly simplistic concepts are highly divisive and misleading.
Many modern Turks hail from Bosnian, Georgian, Iranian (Persian, Kurdish, Azeri) Greek, Arab, Venetian, Slavic and Armenian backgrounds. Arabs are just as diverse – in the eastern Arab world, many have Iranian ancestry (Persian and Kurdish) – the Levant has seen multitudes of Hittite, Mittani, etc. settlers in its history. In the Western Arab world one finds a plethora of Christians (Greek Orthodox, Coptic, etc.). One can also trace much of the ancestry of modern Arabs to the earlier Semitic peoples such as the Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians (Aramaic-speakers), Syriacs, etc.
The Iranian ethnic mosaic is far too complex to even begin attempting to define it in the confines of this commentary. If we extend timelines back to pre-Aryan arrivals, we witness proto-Elamites in the Southwest and Southeast, and Hurrian arrivals from the Caucasus. We then have a long period of Iranian Aryan migrations onto the Iranian plateau and eastern Anatolia (many areas of western Iran and modern Kurdistan was already settled by Assyrian peoples). Arab settlers also arrived during Sassanian and post-Sassanian eras (a number of their descendants survive in Khorrassan and Tajikestan) – these are then eclipsed by subsequent Turkic and Mongol arrivals. The very overall sketch just outlined highlights how complex definitions such as “race” and “language” are.
Gokalp was not entirely wrong about Iran – there are a plethora of Turkic settlers who can trace their ancestry to the original Oghuzz (the aforementioned Nader Shah was a Turkmen). But even the identity of the Turkmen (meaning “very Turk”) is hotly disputed. There are claims of strong Iranic admixture within them. This is not surprising as Turkic and Iranic peoples have been intertwined in Central Asia for thousands of years. Even the Mongols who invaded Persia are said to have had some Iranian (North Iranic?) ancestry (see Turnbull in references).
Interestingly, no mainstream western, Turkish, or Iranian scholars have challenged the logical veracity of Gokalp’s argument that Azerbaijanis are Turkish simply because they speak Turkish. This is one area of academic and popular complacency, especially amongst the Iranians and Europeans, that has allowed pan-Turaninism to come as far as it has today.
(b) The Richards et al. Genetic Studies.
Genetic studies have provided very interesting results. Professor Martin Richards and 26 other researchers conducted a very detailed genetic analysis of Turks, Arabs, and Iranians.
The sample body of Ossetians (n=106 – large), Azerbaijanis (n=48 – adequate sample size), and Kurds (n=53 – adequate sample size) were more than sufficient to be able to draw conceptually valid inferences. In addition, the study had a large number of Armenians (n=109) as well.
A major conceptual flaw with the study was that Kurds, Azerbaijanis and Ossetians were segregated from the Iranian sample. This has resulted in two major shortcomings:
[a] Incorrect delineation of the Iranian family: Ossetians are descendants of the North Iranian Alans (see Part I, item 2l); Kurds descendants of the west-Iranian Mede as well as North Iranian Alan and Saka peoples. In addition, no Mazandaranis, Rashtis, Baluchis, Khorassanis, etc. were examined. It is also unclear why the large Richards research team excluded Iranian specialists from participating in the study. The study certainly enlisted the help of world class Turkish (e.g. Professor Mukaddes Golge) and Arabian (e.g. Professor Nadia Al-Zaheri) specialists.
[b] Small sample size: Only 12 subjects were defined as “Iranians”. These are too few to draw any statistically valid conclusions – you need at least 30 subjects in scientific studies (see Tabachnik & Fidell, Rencher, and Jaccard in references). This means that the reports of the Richards team on the “Iranians” are statistically invalid.
Nevertheless, the study has yielded dramatically significant results, despite its conceptual flaws in ethnically classifying Iranians. Put simply, the results strongly contradict pan-Turanian ideology.
The results are especially interesting with respect to Azeris. Azeris, like the Kurds, Ossetians and Armenians, show a high incidence of U5 lineages – genes common among Europeans as a whole. The results are aptly summarized as such:
“…many Armenian and Azeri types are derived from European and northern Caucasian types (p.1263)…The U5 cluster… in Europe… although rare elsewhere in the Near east, are especially concentrated in the Kurds, Armenians and Azeris…a hint of partial European ancestry for these populations – not entirely unexpected on historical and linguistic grounds (p.1264)”
[Richards et al., (2000). Tracing European founder lineages in the Near Eastern mtDNA pool. American Journal of Human Genetics, 67, p.1263-1264, 2000]
One of my colleagues has noted that these results are as threatening to pan-Turanian ideology as they are to European neo-Nazi/Nordicist movements. Nordicists are vehemently (and violently) opposed to any notion that Europeans have racial connections to any peoples of the Near East.
Among academic researchers however, these findings are neither earth-shattering nor surprising. They are simply another piece of the puzzle of the Indo-European origins of the Iranian family and the Armenians. What is especially damaging to pan-Turanian ideology is the notion that Azerbaijanis and Armenians may have much more in common that has been admitted.
But there is one finding that most likely is of interest to modern day Turks: The Richards team had a large sample of Turks from Turkey (n=218) and also found incidences of the U5 gene cluster.
This is not surprising either. The Turkish language is historically, a relative newcomer to Anatolia; it was introduced by a minority of Turkic Oghuzz warriors from Central Asia (recall Part II, item 2).
The genetic ancestry of modern Turks is highly varied, mainly as a result of multiple migrations, wars and empires. While modern Turks (and a growing number of Hungarians) stress their genetic connection to Central Asia, scientific evidence fails to corroborate their beliefs. True, there are Turkmen Turks of Central Asian stock in eastern Turkey, however a large proportion of modern Turks have Balkan, Persian, Greek, Armenian, Kurdish, Azeri, Georgian, Varangian, and even some Celtic ancestry. The latter seems surprising; however the term “Ankara” may be derived from the Celtic “Ankyra”. The Galatian Celts appear in Anatolia’s interior after the Greeks defeated them in 230 BC. The original Turkic stock from Central Asia (some of whom live in northeast Iran today) have little or no connection to the European-type U5 cluster.
(c) The Analyses of Colin Renfrew.
Professor Colin Renfrew (see 1994 References) notes how Turkic languages spread by Elite Dominance:
“…incoming minorities…conquer other populations and…impose their languages on them. The Altaic family spread in this fashion…”
[Colin Renfrew, World linguistic diversity, Scientific American, 270(1), 1994, p.118]
Genetic alteration can only occur as a result of one of more of the following:
[a] Sustained migrations across a long period of time
[b] Population dispersals by farming,
[c] Dispersals forced by climactic changes.
In general, the Turks did not arrive peacefully but as conquering elites who imposed their languages upon indigenous populations (Azeris, Arranis, etc.). Conquering elites provide very modest genetic changes to the indigenous populations that they conquer. However, they can alter the population’s language as result of their elite military and political dominance.
(d) The Cavalli-Sforza et al. Genetic Studies.
Renfrew’s studies have been corroborated by Professor Luigi Cavalli-Sforza (see photo below) and his colleagues, who have concluded the following after decades of genetic research:
“Around the third century B.C., groups speaking Turkish languages…threatened empires in China, Tibet, India, Central Asia, before eventually arriving in Turkey…genetic traces of their movement can sometimes be found, but they are often diluted, since the numbers of conquerors were always much smaller than the populations they conquered…(p.125)…Turks…conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453..replacement of Greek with Turkish ..Genetic effects of invasion were modest in Turkey. Their armies had few soldiers…invading Turkish populations would be small relative to the subject populations that had a long civilization and history…(p.152).”
[Cavalli-Sforza, Luigi (2000). Genes, Peoples and Languages. New York: North Point Press. P.125, 152]
Interestingly, Cavalli-Sforza notes of a broad genetic grouping that includes many parts of Iran, Turkey, the Caucasus and Greece. While these regions certainly vary in their histories, religions and languages, one can find many cultural facets in common (cuisine being one small example). Turks have much stronger anthropological links to Iranians, Greeks and Armenians than their ideologues would wish to admit. Racialism however is the dogma of division and hate: information such as this is ignored.
European researchers have long known of the dichotomy between Grey Wolf pan-Turanian ideology and factual information. Note the following observation by history Professor Fernandez-Arnesto:
“The homogeneity of the (Turkish) nation is an unwritten dogma, although few Turks would seriously maintain that they are a pure race. For thousands of years before their arrival, Anatolia has been the home of the Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Assyrians and countless forgotten peoples, as well as being a highway into Europe for conquering armies. In that mixture of genes, the Turks were just one more ingredient…the Janissaries…were recruited in boyhood from the Christian subject peoples…in the multiracial Ottoman Empire, many soldiers and administrators took wives from among the inhabitants of the provinces in which they served ”.
Felipe Fernandez-Arnesto, The Peoples of Europe, London: Times Books, 1994, p.203]
What Professor Fernandez-Arnesto states has been known to international scholarship for a long time. Few in the international scholastic arena have been swayed by what Professor Fernandez-Arnesto characterizes as the “homogeneity…dogma” of a single Turkish “race”. Hungarians speak a language that is a distant relative of Turkish; does this mean they are Turkic by race? Grey Wolf activists would insist that the answer is a resounding “yes”, however the aforementioned genetics Professor Cavalli-Sforza again contradicts dogma:
“…a Magyar (Hungarian) monarchy imposed its language on the local Romance-speaking population…Today barely 10 percent of the genes in Hungary can be attributed to Uralic (Turkic) conquerors…”
[Cavalli-Sforza, Luigi, Genes, Peoples and Languages, New York: North Point Press, 2000, p.151]
(e) Transcending the Concept of “Race”.
Hungarians are considered to be Magyar speaking Europeans – not an Asiatic Turkic people. In like manner, why are the Azerbaijanis (of Iran in particular) being forcibly re-defined as “Turanian” simply because they speak Seljuk Oghuzz Turkish? How can a single index (Turkish language) be used to virtually erase Azerbaijan’s mighty civilizational identity in Persia? Azerbaijan has been of vital importance in the development of Persian civilization, just as Hungary has been a vital element in the development of European civilization.
It is here where Professor Diker’s “genetic proof” of a “Turkish-Etruscan” connection (Part II, item 2e) can be logically disassembled. Like Gokalp, Professor Diker is confusing “Turkophone” with “Turkic” (as in Central Asian). The study cited by Diker has only demonstrated a link between the inhabitants of today’s Turkey (I suspect mainly, western Turkey) and the Etruscans. But as we have seen, modern Turks are a highly varied genetic mix who speak Turkish (excepting the Kurds of Eastern Turkey). Has Professor Diker compared the ancient Etruscans to modern day Sinkiang Turks for example?
Cultural links between Anatolia, mainland Greece and southern Italy have been in existence for thousands of years. This cultural system was itself linked first to the ancient Mesopotamian cultures and later to Persia. Nik Spatari (see references) has provided an exhaustive compendium of the artistic and cultural intercourse between the different peoples of the Aegean, pre-Roman Calabrian and Estruscan Italy, Anatolia, and Persia. The term used to summarize this ancient cultural zone is called “Assi-tite” by Spatari. The aforementioned Richards study provides support for the already established archeological analyses by noting on:
“…the heavy historical gene flow between Greece and other populations of the eastern Mediterranean”.
[Richards et al, 2000, p.1267]
Again, none of these studies reveal any Central Asian or Turkish speaking connections, as no Turks existed in the Caucasus, Anatolia, the Near East, the Aegean or Persia at the times of the ancient Sumerians, Hittites, Greeks, Achaemenids, etc. In essence, scientific studies, historical archives, anthropology, linguistics and Socratic questioning fail to substantiate pan-Turanian ideology . It would seem that Professor Diker and pan-Turanian activists are simply playing with semantics by replacing terms such as “Greek” and “Persian” with “Turkish”. Professor Diker will undoubtedly invent a way of explaining away everything that has been discussed in this section. Indeed, the pseudo-science of racialism utilizes word play, fact distortion, archival falsification, and creative semantics as its main methods of inquiry. Racialists always appear under the guise of “science” and “history”, but in reality, they are nothing more than intellectual hooligans seeking to appease their cognitive dissonance.
As noted repeatedly in this commentary, racist dogma of any creed or persuasion fails the test of objective scrutiny. The thesis of a pan-Turanian homeland in which the inhabitants of Central Asia, Sinkiang, modern Turkey and Azerbaijan are all one “super race” is based on fiction. This is similar to the Nazi fantasy of the “Aryan super nation” that would encompass much of the Eurasian landmass.
Language is only one of the many domains that may or may not define national identity. Similarly, the tribalistic concept of “race” cannot be used to define national identity in a binary fashion. In the American Republic, an American can be of any “race” (Black, Asian, Anglo-Saxon, or Hispanic), religion (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, etc.) or political persuasion. In Iran, the definition goes even further – to be an Iranian one does not even have to speak Persian as one’s first language. In Khuzistan there are Arab-speakers, in the southwest Baluchi, in the west Kurdish and Luri, and in some parts of Khorrassan, Fars and of course Azerbaijan: Turkish. India, an ancient civilization with many links to Persia, has dozens of languages and dialects and a variety of faiths and cultures, yet all are subsumed under a single and distinguished civilization.
Modern Turks are just as accepting of diversity (irrespective of the Kurdish issue today), undoubtedly a result of their high level of education. In cosmopolitan Istanbul (ancient Constantinople), one can hear Georgian, Kurdish, and Persian spoken alongside Turkish. There is also a thriving Jewish community – thanks to the generosity of the Sultans who welcomed the persecuted Jews of medieval Spain. Although many of Turkey’s enemies would beg to differ, Turks have all the hallmarks of a civilization.
It is here where the strict application of “Nationalism” appears to fail. A true pluralistic domain is able to accept and embrace all, regardless of “nationality”, “race”, or “language”. What do we mean by the “pluralistic domain”? Here we speak of a true civilization (e.g. Western civilization, Islamic civilization, India, etc.). The enemies of that civilization are racialist and religious dogmas.
How simplistically vulgar it is dehumanize peoples into “my race-your race”, especially when it comes to Iranians and Turks. As noted before, Iranians and Turks are two peoples whose fates have been intertwined: Turkic and Iranic mixtures are evident from the mountains of the Tien Shan all the way to the shores of the Aegean. There are so many beautiful and complex mixtures of the two peoples that it almost boggles the mind.
It is here were the barbaric aspects of “race criteria” break down. In Afghanistan we have the Mongol descended “Hazara” (lit. “The Thousand” in Persian) who now speak Persian, or the many people of Khazar Turkish-Jewish descent in Dagestan (next to Chechniya) who speak Persian. Conversely, Azerbaijanis are an essentially Iranic people who mainly speak Turkish. A branch of the Turcophone Azeris are believed to have been settled in Iran’s Fars province by the Safavids– they are today known as the Qashqai’s (note photo of Qashaqi girl by Shahyar Mahabadi).
“Aryan” Persia is herself is indebted to peoples such as the Babylonians, Sumerians, Elamites or Kartvelians. The Turkic peoples such as the Ghaznavids, Mamluks, Seljuks and even the Ottomans were great patrons of Persian literature, poetry, arts and music (recall Part II, item 4). To this day, one can see Persian inscriptions in the Dulmabahce Palace of Istanbul. The often unfairly vilified Arabs, under the Islamic Empire, allowed for the transmission of much (Sassanian) Persian knowledge and culture to Spain. Iranian Jewry has a long history inside of Persia, dating back to Median times. Jews have often played a key role in the preservation and promotion of Persian language and culture. Persia, since its inception, has housed a plethora of “races”, languages and religions, and is home to all of them. The genetic tapestry of Persia is best exemplified by the Persian carpet: a complex interweave of diverse and intricate colours and designs.
(8) Iranian complacency.
This author has critically focused on the activities of the Grey Wolves in Azerbaijan and the Caucasus. However, to blame the current situation exclusively on pan-Turanian ideologues is overly simplistic. It is a fact that the Iranians (as a whole) are also to blame for the current predicament.
But in what way? The answer to that question obliges one to enter a veritable hornet’s nest of (endless) political debates and passionate discussions with no end. By no means does this writer offer any “solutions”, nor does this writer pretend to be the “ultimate expert” in any sense. However, it is possible to share a number of surprising observations.
(a) Difficulty balancing Aryan Persia with Islam
The first western intellectual to astutely observe this has been author/researcher, Sandra. In her book (The Iranians – see References), Mackie points to the classic Iranian identity conundrum: pride in Persia versus loyalty to Islam. Although it is not the place of the author to offer sweeping opinions, an idea may be entertained. Many Iranians are somewhat “binary” or “black and white” when it comes to their national identity.
Makie notes that there seems to be a divide between those who appreciate the past of Persia versus those who only wish to identify with Islam. A number of the former (Persia’s past) usually tend to hold anti-Islamic views and (unfairly) blame the Arabs for Iran’s historical and present-day ills. In contrast, a number of the latter (Islamic identity) view Persia’s pre-Islamic past with disdain and contempt.
This intellectual “tug of war” has been very damaging in that it has absorbed much of the Iranian intellectual impetus for nearly a century (perhaps longer). It has allowed for the rise of anti-Persian cultural expression (see (b) below). Many Iranians are simply tired of this “binary” state of affairs, and wish to arrive at a healthy synthesis: accommodating Persia’s Aryan heritage with its mighty legacy in the formation of Islamic civilization.
(b) Toleration of Anti-Persian cultural expressions
Iranians have been surprisingly meek in the face of certain anti-Persian cultural expressions notably the following.
“Nasee-o-naleest”. The above mentioned “tug of war” (Persia-Islam) has produced a unqiue phenomenon among a number of the Iran’s new generation: rejection of Persia and Islam. This view is associated with a unique interpretation of western liberalism. Any pride expressed with respect to Persia is labeled as “Nasee-o-naleest” (derived from the western-English word “nationalist”).
The label associates authoritarianism, dictatorship, narrow-minded, and violent oppression with virtually any favorable observations of Persia, especially pre-Islamic (Aryan) Persia. Some of this may be explained by the alienation of Iran’s youth at present from the endless political wranglings, not to mention the constant state of international confrontation. The term may also be partly traced to a number of leftist political activists of the latter days of the former Pahlavi regime.
Another “modern” view is that Iran’s past history is irrelevant simply because it happened in the past, and as such bears no relation to the present. This belief is especially targeted against Iran’s pre-Islamic heritage. This view may have its origins in the anti-Pahlavi regime movements of the 1960s and 1970s.
“Choveneesm-e-Fars”. A number of leftist political platforms in the 1960s and 1970s re-cycled a term that had been invented by Soviet historians: “Choveneesm-e-Fars”. As the term was originally associated with the discredited pro-Soviet Pishevari movement, it was never taken seriously by the majority of Iran’s populace.
“Choveneesm-e-Fars” is a term that challenges the historical unity of Persia in three ways. First, it states that the “real Persia” only constitutes the Persian-speaking heartlands and the northeast. This is the logic that any Iranian domain in which Persian is not the majority language, is not an integral part of Persia in the historical and cultural sense, and must seceede. Second, Persians are seen as “oppressors” of the “cultural and linguistic rights” of non-Persians. Third, any individual who challenges that assertion is labeled as a “Persian chauvinist” and/or “Nasee-o-naleest”.
The term “Choveneesm-e-Fars” is still used by the followers of the highly discredited and unpopular MKO (Mujaheddin Khalq Organization). This observation is denied by the MKO of course. Nevertheless, actions speak louder than words. The leadership of the MKO was on Saddam Hussein’s payroll throughout much of the Iran-Iraq war. MKO ideologues fought against regular Iranian troops and terrorized Iranian civilians throughout that war. The MKO continued to support Saddam’s territorial claims to southwest Iran (Khuzistan) right up to US-led invasion of Iraq. The below audio-video news clip provides rare footage of the leader of the MKO (Massoud Rajavi) meeting with and Saddam Hussein and Tariq Aziz (kindly click on the box below):
Mr. Rajavi’s allusions to “Choveneesm-e-Fars” neatly coincided with Pan-Arab claims to Khuzestan.
The term “Choveneesm-e-Fars” was one of an array of political weapons used by the Iranian left in the 1960s and 1970s to mobilize Iran’s various ethnic groups (Baluchis, Azeris, Khuzestan Arabs, Turcomen, etc.) in a bid to eject the former Pahlavi regime from power.
Perhaps the Iranian leftists originally viewed “Choveneesm-e-Fars” from a romantic-Bohemian “human rights” vantage point; whatever their motives the damage has been done.
Today, the MKO has found powerful western patrons, particularly the English, Americans and Israelis. In their myopia to support the MKO, geopolitical lobbies seem to have conveniently forgotten the fact that it was the MKO who murdered American personnel in the 1970s. Their ideology was vehemently anti-modern and anti-western in its inception. The movement is said to resemble a cult and all democratic dissent is violently suppressed. MKO denies all of these allegations of course.
Although Iranians rightly despise the MKO, very few are aware of the cultural weapons they are promoting. Organizations like the MKO openly advocate anti-Persian cultural terminology (Choveneesm-e-Fars) and ally themselves with geopolitically funded separatist groups in their short-sighted and selfish bids to gain political office.
The term “Choveneesm-e-Fars” is now a cultural geo-political weapon at the hands of the MKO against the cultural, historical and territorial integrity of Persia. Mr. Rajavi has made common cause with Mr. Chehreganli, who states in his website the need to “liberate the “oppressed peoples of Iran” from “Choveneesm-e-Fars”.
(c) Iran’s Neglect of Persian culture
As noted succinctly by Professor Olson:
“What is ironic about the fact that the“Azerbaijan question” was allowed to devolop to the stage that it did from 1991 to the present is that it occurred under the watch of an Islamic Republic preaching the universalist discourse of Islam, never realizing that such values could result in accelerated particularisms, including the strengthening of sub-group nationalisms the could grow to threaten the state”
[Olson, Robert, Turkey-Iran Relations, 1979-2004: Revolution, Ideology, War, Coups and Geopolitics, 2004, p.156].
As Olson has duly observed above, the current regime in Tehran appears to be overly interested in Arabian affairs (Palestinian issues, etc.) and neglecting the cultural state of affairs at home. It is this vacuum, created largely by Iran’s current education system that is allowing separatist organizations to operate with virtual impunity.
Iranian high school students at the senior level obtain no education in Persia’s history, especially its pre-Islamic past. These have been largely removed from the curricula since 1979. A professor at the Tarbiat Modarress University (his identiy is hidden in this commentary) noted the following to the author by telephone:
“In our university library there are just 3 books on pre-Islamic Persia…pan-Turkist types like Chehreganli, one of our former students, can make claims that Azerbaijan has been Turanian since time immemorial simply because there is no academic platform to stop them…meanwhile pan-Turanian activists in Azerbaijan make unsubstantiated claims…all of this could be easily halted if we had the academic resources…the regime needs to take notice”
Given these circumstances, it is no wonder that nonsense narratives about Iranian icons (e.g. Babak Khorramdin, Sattar Khan), history (claiming Azerbaijan as Turanian) or languages (claiming Parthian as Turkish) are have been allowed to spread among Iran’s youth – there simply are no adequately organized educational structures in place to combat pan-Turanian ideology.
Nevetheless there are signs that the people of Iran are taking notice of the dangers of pan-Turanianism. The defense of Iran’s heritage and integrity is now resting mainly on the shoulders of Iran’s people – many of whom (like the author) are non-partisan. The good news is that Iran is literally bursting with books about Persia and the interest is among young and old is spreading.
To its credit, the regime in Tehran seems to have partly woken up to the cultural danger facing Iran. After a long hiatus, a number of western Iranologists are now returning to conduct archaeological surveys in Iran. Conferences on Persia have been gaining ground in Iran as well. There are positive but small steps that can help in the struggle of the people of Iran against organizations such as SANAM, the MKO, Pezhak and the Al-Ahwaz organizations. However, more must be done as the aforementioned separatist organizations have very powerful geopolitical allies and have access to virtually unlimited funds (see discussions in Part VI as well).
(d) A Bitter Tsarist Legacy
The information in this section will undoubtedly make a number of Iranians uncomfortable. Nevertheless, despite its unpalatable nature, certain facts need to be addressed.
The followers of Mr. Chehreganli and SANAM often refer to the how “Persian chauvinists” engage in disparaging ethnic jokes against Azeris. Of course, Mr. Chehreganli either does not know, or wants it to be known, that many of these “jokes” are not even Persian in origin.
In Part II, items 5b-c, we noted of the brutal role of Imperial Russian troops in early twentieth century Iran. What is virtually unknown is the role played by Imperial Tsarist agents in fomenting negative and potentially divisive cultural cultural expressions in Iran, especially against Northern Iranians in Gilan (Rasht in particular) and Azerbaijan.
The Russians (and British) were very concerned with a cultural dynamic in Iran that could lead to the rise of a modern and progressive state. The Russians and English were especially concerned with the leadership role that northern Iranians (e.g. Azeris, Rashtis, etc.) had played in Iran’s democratic movement of the early 1900s. It would appear that the united nature of the constitutional movement in which Azeri, Bakhtiari, Mazandarnai, Mashahdi, etc. fought side by side in the name of a democratic, progressive and modern Iran was not palatable to the distinguished policy makers in Moscow and London. A means had to be found to divide the Iranians and dissolve their historical bonds.
It was in here where the Russian secret police had the distinction of inventing the first anti-Iranian cultural weapons. They even outdid the British, who themselves had been working to undermine Iran’s unity since the 19th century (see Part VI, item 10).
The cultural weapons are the so-called venomous “jokes” targeted against Iran’s Azeri population and the north in general (esp. Rasht). This is not surprising as it was always these regions that would put up the first fight against any Russian invasion. The Bakhtiaris and Lurs were also targeted, partly due to fears of their martial abilities.
The “jokes” themselves are anything but humorous, especially when these are narrated to non-Iranians. In general these “jokes” always question the intelligence of the Azeris and the valour of the Rashtis. The Russian invention is especially ingenious as the Azeris have in reality always been highly industrious and among Iran’s educational elites. Among their many virtues, the Rashtis were known to be good fighters, as was seen in their support of Sattar Khan.
What is not known is that many members of the Imperial Russian secret police (like the KGB later) spoke and wrote fluent Persian and were able to easily blend into Iran’s native population. It did not take long for the so-called “jokes” to take hold.
Each and every time Iranians engage in these so-called “jokes”, they are forwarding an anti-Iranian agenda, one that goes back to the early 1900s. They are also helping Mr. Chehreganli, SANAM and their Geopolitical supporters.
Part I <<>>Part III
Atabaki, T., Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and the Struggle for Power in Iran, p.7.
Kasravi, A. Azeri ya Zaban-e Bastan-e Azarbaijan, 2nd print, Tehran, Taban, 1938, p.8.
It is notable that this region was identified as the land in which Zoroastrian “fire-temples were very common”, as cited in Yaqut al-Hamavi, Kitab Mujam Al Buldan, Wustenfled F. (ed.) vol.1, Leipzig, Brockhaus, 1866, p.17.
Atabaki, T., Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and the Struggle for Power in Iran, p.7.
Strabo Geographica, see p. 17-18 regarding Azerbaijan and Arran.
Matini, Jalal, “Azerbaijan Koja Ast?”, 1989, Iranshenasi, I(3), p.452.
Matini, Jalal, “Azerbaijan Koja Ast?”, 1989, Iranshenasi, I(3), p.452.
Ibid. Matini also notes that Greater Azerbaijan nationalists such as Abbas-Ali Javadi have inaccurately cited the new republic as having been the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan. This may perhaps be an attempt to provide a historical (albeit fictional) background for the rise of the Soviet-supported Pishevari movement in Iranian Azerbaijan in the mid-1940s.
Chaqueri, Cosroe, Origins of Social Democracy in Iran, 2001, p.209.
Matini, Jalal, “Azerbaijan Koja Ast?”, 1989, Iranshenasi, I(3), p.445.
The Ottoman Turks had successfully defeated and expelled the Russians from Kars on April 26, 1918, a full month before the declaration of the “Republic of Azerbaijan”. For the little studied area of Ottoman operations and personnel in the Caucasus and Iran during World War One, consult Nicolle, David, The Ottoman Army: 1914-1918, 1994, p.37, 39-40.
Matini, Jalal, “Azerbaijan Koja Ast?”, 1989, Iranshenasi, I(3), p.452.
Chaqueri, Cosroe, Origins of Social Democracy in Iran, 2001, p.118, 174-181, 209-210.
Rasulzadeh, Mohammad Amin, 1910, Tanqid-e Ferqeh-e E’tedaliyun ya Ejtema’iyun E’tedaliyun, Tehran, Farus. See also citation by Atabaki, Touraj, Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and the Struggle for Power in Iran, 2000, p.38.
Pan-Turanian activists also portray Khiyabani as a sort of “closet separatist”. Refer to Atabaki’s 2000 text for further discussion.
Kasravi, A. Tarijh-e-Hejdah Saleh-e Azarbaijan, op. cit., p.872.
Blucher, W.V., Zeitenwende, Persian Translation: Safar-nameh-e-Blucher, Tehran, Khwarami, 1984, p.37. Tancoigne, A Narrative, p.177. See Ayandeh (1988), vol 4, no.s 1-2, p. 57-59).
Ramazani, R., op. cit. p.115. See also citation by Atabaki, Touraj, Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and the Struggle for Power in Iran, 2000, p.25.
Chaqeri, Origins of Social Democracy in Iran, p.209; Watson, A History, p.26; Bassett, The Land of Imams, p.266; US Consular Report, p.294.
Matini, Jalal, “Azerbaijan Koja Ast?”, 1989, Iranshenasi, I(3), p.449.
The author, who is born in Greece, met a number of ex-Greek communists who had fought against Athens on Russia’s behalf after the Second World War. After their defeat, they retreated to Skopje in Yugoslavia, which was re-named by the Communists as “Macedonia”. Russia then bought a number of these to prop up Pishevari’s flagging movement.
The Mazdak rebellion fought centuries earlier during the pre-Islamic Sassanian regin, are also reputed to have worn red garments.
History has seen repeated instances of a minority group introducing its language upon a majority population. The Romance-speaking population of Pannonia adopted the Turkic language of the Hunnic invaders of Attila. Again, the actual genetic trace of the original Magyar Turkic invaders is negligible (see Cavalli-Sforza in references). As noted by Professor Colin Renfrew (see references) languages can be spread by conquest, agricultural and economic factors, occupation of uninhabited lands, and climate changes forcing population movements.
PART III: THE GREY WOLVES
Part II<<>>Part IV
The Grey Wolves of Turkey are perhaps the most actively racist pan-Turanian organization in existence today. Europe has had first hand exposure to Grey Wolf violence: the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) on May 13, 1981 in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square (below left photo taken seconds after incident) by Grey Wolf activist Mehmet Ali Agca[i] (below right photo – taken during his arrest by Italian police):
Another example is Colonel. Iskander Hamidov, a member of the Azeri chapter of the Grey Wolves, whose brutality against Armenian civilians (esp. 10 April 1992) is legendary (see also Part IV, item 2).
In reality, it is the Turks who have suffered most at the hands of the Grey Wolves. During much of the 1970s, the Grey Wolves murdered hundreds of distinguished public figures, trade union activists, lawyers and human rights advocates, journalists, and students. For more information, kindly refer to Martin Lee’s article in the Web References.
(1) Who are the Grey Wolves?
The origins of the Grey Wolves may be possibly traced to 1968, when they were apparently built up by certain elements in Turkish intelligence (as well as Suleiman Demirel) mainly as a counterweight to left-wing Communists (?) and possibly student activists. They derive their name from the Grey Wolf legend and use their hands to mimic the heads of wolves (Part I, item 2b). The Otuken website provides further insight into BozKurt (Grey Wolf) ultra nationalism (see Web references).
There are three Grey Wolf mottos worthy of mention:
(1) The Nation of Turks is neither Turkey nor Turkestan, but the great nation of all Turks, the great and immortal kingdom of Turan (see Matini, 1989 in references, p.448)
(2) Our aim is to unify 100 million Turks into a single nation (see Gokalp 1952 – esp. p.28 & 1959 in references)
(3) All things are for the Turks and for the benefit of Turks (see Matini, 1989 in references, p.448).
There are surprising parallels between the above statements and the beliefs of Nordic Nazism. The first two mottos resemble the pan-Germanic philosophy of creating a vast Germanic super state from the shores of the Atlantic to the borders of Siberia. The third motto bears the echoes of the Nazi “Aryan superman” or “ubermensch”, in which the Nordic-Germanic race (HeerenVolk) is to tower above all others by ruling and enslaving them.
No longer confined to the lunatic fringes of Turkish society, Grey Wolf-ism is now emerging among mainstream politicians. Note the photo of Turkish politicians Devlet Bahtseli in Turkey (below left) and Alpsalan Turkes at a rally in the Republic of Azerbaijan (right)
Mr. Turkes has been reported as being fully supportive of Grey Wolf anti-Iranian and anti-Armenian activism in the Republic of Azerbaijan. He has been described as a fanatic racialist. Given these circumstances, the translation of Nazi literature into Turkish and its mass distribution should be viewed as an alarming development (Part IV, item 1).
There are also disturbing reports of Grey Wolf expansionist ideology spreading among the highly educated Turkish elites. On the 6th of February 2001, Meral Aksener, a strident pan-Turanian activist who was Interior Minister during the Tansu Ciller-Mesut Yilmaz government (1994-1996), openly advocated to media outlets for the union of the Republic of Azerbaijan with Turkey[ii]. This is chillingly similar to Nazi Germany’s Anchluss (re-union) demands with Austria in 1938. Aksener’s statement appeared to have the blessing of the Turkish armed forces (TAF) and National Intelligence Agency (MIT)[iii].
Perhaps most tragic is the appeal of the Grey Wolf movement among the youth of Turkey (note photo of a youth wing of the Grey Wolves):
It is the youth who are the future. Most important of all is the question of their views with respect to Greeks, Armenians, Iranians and all others who are seen, one way or another, as “obstacles” to the dream of a “Greater Turan”…
(2) Supporting Mr. Chehreganli
There are unofficial reports that certain prominent Turks are working with Mr. Chehreganli and other separatist organizations to dismember Iran as a sovereign state. The Turks are simply being used and misled by Mr. Chehreganli, a man who at the very least, fabricates information and falsifies history to suit his own ambitions. Chehreganli’s assertions of full Turkish support for his schemes appear to be validated by the following undated photo with Mr. Mohsun, a Turkish government official.
Imagine the fury that would be felt across Turkey if Iran officially invited and hosted the leaders of the PKK organization to Tehran, complete with photo-ops, full media and TV coverage, foreign correspondents and publicized meetings with top Iranian and foreign officials. Such an action would correctly be viewed as highly provocative by Ankara. The Turks have accused the Iranians of supporting the PKK in the past (Part VI, item 9).
(3) Operations in Foreign Countries
Many officers of the Turkish army with Grey Wolf leanings have served in the Caucasus fighting Armenians and Russians (in the CheChen war)[iv]. There are unconfirmed reports of Turkish officers training Grey Wolf activists to operate inside Iran. Recall the earlier discussion of Grey Wolf activists inserting themselves into the annual Babak Khorramdin celebrations in Iran’s Bez Mountain (Part II, item 6).
Grey Wolf tactics at information dissemination in Iran are identical to contemporary neo-Nazi organizations in Europe. As noted before Pamphlets and Grey Wolves literature are regularly distributed throughout Iranian Azerbaijan (Part II, item 6; Part IV, item 2). It is also interesting that photos of Mr.s Pishevari and Chehreganli as well as a variety of “Azerbaijan” flags are also actively displayed in the Babak rallies. Like the European fascists, Grey Wolf activists display flags and pictures to deliberately inflame racialist passions and confrontation.
Pan-Turanian activists are working very hard to use the Babak celebrations as a tool to create a violent incident that would pit Azerbaijanis against “the racist Persians” (see also Part VI, item 6b). As in the former Yugoslavia this ”incident” would then be widely reported by media outlets serving as the mouthpieces of geopolitical-petroleum lobbies (Part VI, items 1-4, 7), and of course attract the attention of Human Rights organizations (Part VI, item 2b).
Grey Wolves activists have already been sending thousands of their followers into foreign countries to interfere in their political, cultural and social events. A little noticed report by Mezopotamya Radio on January 26, 2005, noted that:
“…Thousands of Turkmens have been sent to Iraq by the Turkish authorities, aiming to give the pro-Turkish Turkmen Front a better position in the Iraqi elections…several coach drivers…confirmed that they have been involved in transporting Turkmens from Turkey to South Kurdistan via the Xabur border…”
[January 26, 2005 – see also web references]
Interestingly, western media outlets are silent with respect to Grey Wolf activities in Iran, the Caucasus, Iraq and the Balkans. Western media and academics make no reference to Grey Wolf complicity in generating the “800,000 Azerbaijani votes” that Mr. Chehreganli continually claims to have collected. Western silence has allowed pan-Turanian activism inside foreign countries to go virtually unhindered and unnoticed.
(4) Grey Wolf Miscalculation: Greece
Greece is not exactly on the Grey Wolf hit list either. As noted in Part I (item 2d), Grey Wolf “historians” claim to have “proven” that ancient Greece (esp. Minoan Greece) was Turkish. Meanwhile, the Greeks have long complained of Turkish jets violating their airspace.
Strangely, Anglo-American media outlets have remained surprisingly silent with respect to Greek complaints. Anglo-American silence is partly due to the successful lobbying of the virtually unknown but powerful Turkish American Council (ATC) in Washington (see Part VI, item 4a).
Greek frustration and concern with Grey Wolf activities in Albania and the former Yugoslavia and Skopje (re-named by Communist activists as “Macedonia” to apply geopolitical pressure on Greece – see Part VI, item 5) go largely unreported in the Anglo-American press.
Ironically, the Grey Wolves have succeeded in creating one of histories greatest ironies: thanks to their rhetoric and activities, the Grey Wolves have succeeded at creating the first ever military alliance between Greece and Persia.
Greece initiated a military alliance with Iran in the June of 1998. This alliance also includes Armenia. Russia, also concerned with Grey Wolf activities and ambitions in the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Balkans, and “Tataristan” in the Crimea, also provides covert support to the Greek initiated alliance. Greek Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos (photo below) flew to Tehran on June 29, 1999 and met with Iranian officials to hammer out the final details of the historical alliance.
Part II<<>>Part IV
[i] The pope officially forgave his would-be assassin in the December of 1983.
[ii] Olson, Robert, 2004, p.108-109. Citation from Hurriyet, 6 February 2001.
[iii] Olson, Robert, 2004, p.108-109.
[iv] Robins, Philip, 2003, Suits and Uniforms, p.78-79.
PART IV: THE PROMOTION OF DISCORD
Part III <<>>Part V
(1) Translating Nazi Literature to Turkish
Perhaps the most alarming development in the Republic of Azerbaijan and Turkey are attempts by Grey Wolves and pan-Turanian ideologues to spread racialist hate literature. There are strong indications that modern-day pan-Turanian ideologies (the Grey wolves in Turkey and the Republic of Azerbaijan in particular) are “discovering” Adolph Hitler’s manual of racial hate entitled “Mein Kampf” (My Struggle). Note the original “Mein Kampf” in German by Hitler at left and the recent Turkish translation (KavGam) at right.
Sales of the book are reputed to be high according to Associated News writer James C. Helicke (see web References). To be fair, the reasons for its interest among Turks go beyond simple pan-Turanian expansionism. According to Helicke, many Turks are feeling the frustration with growing pan-Kurdish separatism and are critical of Israel, the United States and the European Union. To the observer this would appear strange, since on the surface at least, Turkey is an ally to both Israel and the west. Helicke quotes Umit Ozdag (writer of the Turkish daily, Aksam):
“Turks feel ill-treated by the West…Turks think they are being exploited. They are angry with the demands of the European Union and United States. But those who anger them the most are Kurdish nationalists…Turks who think they are being stabbed in the back read Hitler. That is a … very dangerous development.”
It is precisely in this climate of distrust and conspiracy mills that racist hate literature may be able to prosper, as it did in 1920s Germany. Like Nazism, Pan-Turanianism depends on the constant repetition of its false ideology to spread and solidify its messages.
The Turkish Republic is a parliamentary democracy, and as such, freedom of speech thrives in Turkey. However, creeds of hate, if allowed to expand, have the potential to spread like a malignant cancer. This is a problem every democracy (including Turkey) faces. The question to be asked is: how motivated are the grey Wolves and their ideological kin to create animosity between Turks and their Armenian, Greek and Iranian neighbors? What could possibly be the benefit of promoting or even contemplating hate literature?
It was on March 26, 1998, when the President of Azerbaijan, Heidar Aliev (1923-2003), issued his “Decree on the Genocide of the Azerbaijanis”. This “decree” is essentially a call for hatred against Armenians, Iranians and non-Turkish speaking Azerbaijanis. What is disturbing is how little attention this has received in western media outlets. This is mainly due to the very anti-Iranian attitudes prevalent in the western world (Part VI, items 7-8), as well as the drive to access the rich petroleum deposits of the Caucasus and Central Asia (Part VI, items 1-3).
(2) Anti-Armenian Literature.
Perhaps the most shocking element in aforementioned March 26, 1988 decree is the statement that:
“Armenia is a fictitious state created on Azerbaijani land …”
This was published in most governmental newspapers in the Government of Azerbaijan at the time. The decree is said to be accessible in English as well. The text was reputedly written by the fanatically anti-Armenian and anti-Iranian, Vafa Guluzade (Photo below), an ex-KGB agent who is now a “born-again pan-Turanianist”:
It is worth noting that Mr. Guluzade, and other individuals who share his outlook, are now actively courted by western officials.
(a) Similarity to Nazi Propaganda.
There are striking similarities between present-day Grey Wolf anti-Armenian literature and the anti-Jewish Nazi literature of the 1930s. This is the cliché “stab in the back” theme in which the evil swarthy Armenian is the culprit (below left). Note the similarity of this poster to the Nazi-depicted “cowardly Jew” who “stabs the valiant German warrior in the back” (below right). It is no secret that hate groups create despicably false images of the “other” to disseminate their poisonous agenda.
(b) Mr. Talaat Pasha & The 1915 Armenian Tragedy.
Then there is the Ottoman Grand Vizier, Mehmed Talaat Pasha (1874-1921), himself reputedly of Bulgarian and Jewish descent (see photo below). Mehmed Talaat Pasha was responsible for the elimination of over one million Armenians.
As Minister of the Interior Talaat was entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring Ottoman Turkey’s domestic capabilities to wage war and support the military.
It was Talaat’s office that ordered the Armenians to be systematically deported from the eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire. The Armenians were generally deported to Syria and Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) in the April of 1915. Most never survived the “long march”. Some of the survivors (along with numbers of Pontic Greeks who had also suffered killings) crossed the Iranian border where some 50,000 (or more) were given shelter by Iran’s Azerbaijani population and the government in Tehran. The rest escaped to Russia, Syria/Lebanon, Cyprus, Europe, Canada and the United States.
This is history’s first case of mass genocide. Although estimates vary, most agree that over one million Armenians perished as a result of the policies of Talaat Pasha’s office. Many Pontic Greeks perished as well. Talaat’s subsequent denials of knowledge or involvement were generally disregarded by the majority of contemporary observers at that time and at present.
But history is not so easily dismissed: there is simply too much archival corroboration regarding this tragedy. Note some highlights from a telegram dated July 16, 1915, sent by US Ambassador to Ottoman Turkey, Henry Morgenthau to the Secretary of State in Washington:
“…Deportation of and excesses against peaceful Armenians is increasing and from harrowing reports of eye witnesses it appears that a campaign of race extermination is in progress under a pretext of reprisal against rebellion…Protests as well as threats are unavailing and probably incite the Ottoman government to more drastic measures as they are determined to disclaim responsibility for their absolute disregard of capitulations …Suggest you inform belligerent nations and mission boards of this.”
[United States of America, National Archives and Records Administration Record Group 59, Records of the Department of State Decimal File 867, Internal Affairs of Turkey
Decimal File 860J, Internal Affairs of Armenia; See also Rawlinson in references; see Armenian Genocide in Web References]
The photo below is a sample of the tragedies of the time. For further archival information on the tragedy, see Nazer and Kloian in References.
But there is another non-Turkish angle to the Armenian genocide – the role of some Ottoman Kurds. Many of these were levies in the Ottoman Empire. These had a role in the massacres of both Armenian and Assyrian Christian communities in Eastern Anatolia and modern Northern Iraq. The photo below of Ottoman Kurdish levies in 1917 Anatolia is of interest as it shows officers dressed in Ottoman uniforms, with regular soldiers in their traditional Kurdish attire (Nicolle in References)
Nevertheless, the Armenian tragedy remains a contentious one among today’s Turks. The term “Genocide” is simply not acknowledged. Modern Turkish historians seem to be divided into two camps. The first camp seems to deny the veracity of the entire episode, and the other explains the events as atrocities committed by both sides. They point to previous Armenian cooperation with the Russians and allege an Armenian role in brutalizing Turkish and Kurdish civilians.
Many modern Turks also complain of the “Yellow Journalism” of the time in addition to a continuing general anti-Turkish bias amongst Europeans. This certainly cannot be discounted, given the very negative reactions by much of European popular opinion against the long-standing Turkish application to enter the EU.
These observations however fail to explain why so many untold numbers of apolitical innocent civilians were liquidated by the offices of Mr. Talaat Pasha. Armenians cite pan-Turanian racialism as the real culprit of the tragedy.
(c) Forgotten Gallant Turks who Saved Lives.
One important fact has been forgotten by historians of all sides (including Turks): Many Turks risked their lives to save Armenian civilians and by doing so put their own lives in danger. Anti-Turkish sentiments typically portray all Turks as evil and barbaric. This is unfair and unjust, and shows a brazen disregard for historical balance. True, the savage murders were committed by Ottoman authorities, but the main impulse for these came from religious zealots and members of the earlier Young Turk movement. This author was told by a survivor of the tragedy (she has asked for her identity to be hidden) in no uncertain terms that:
“…there were many good self-sacrificing and courageous Turks…god bless them…many risked themselves, their families and their lives to save us from the hell hounds of Talaat Pasha…many perished…they were even treated worse than the Armenians if they were caught…”
(d) Political Influence and Re-Writing History.
A number of western outlets are seeking to downplay and/or deny the veracity of the Armenian genocide, and there are serious attempts to influence academic scholarship with regards to this issue. Note the statement by the late Mr. Sam Weems:
“This entire Armenian genocide claim is as bogus as a three-dollar bill and (they) know it!”
[See Tall Armenian Tale in Web references]
Mr. Weems’ book “Armenia: Secrets of a “Christian” Terrorist State” (photo below – see References) purports a link between the Armenian Church and terrorism since the 1890s and rejects the historical veracity of the Armenian genocide. One can only imagine the uproar (and rightly so) if any one foolishly denied the Jewish holocaust at the hands of the Nazis. The Armenian holocaust is being sidelined in the interests of geopolitics and Petroleum diplomacy (see Part VI, items 1-3).
It is worth noting that in Canada, publications that deny genocides (e.g. the Hebrew Holocause, the Armenian genocide, Stalin’s mass murder of Ukrainians) are legally regarded as Hate literature.
There are strong allegations that certain members of the US government have been colluding with individuals who have pan-Turanianism sympathies. A scandal erupted when (former) FBI translator Sibel Edmonds accused the FBI of covering up clandestine communications and financial dealings (or payoffs?) between certain Turkish nationals and the office of House Speaker Dennis Hastert (see Website References). According to Reporter David Rose:
“One of the Turkish targets of these wiretaps claimed that the price for getting Dennis Hastert to withdraw the (Armenian Genocide) resolution would be $500,000. Now, I do emphasize there’s no evidence at all that he received such a payment, but that is what is said to have been recorded in one of the wiretaps”.
No actual proof has been produced of Hastert ever receiving a payoff: there simply is no “smoking gun”. However, Hastert has noted that he withdrew support for the resolution due to a letter written to him by President Clinton who had noted that such a resolution would not be in the interests of US-Turkish relations. There have nevertheless been numerous other instances of such allegations. The issue is the use of funding and political influence to alter historical information. There is plenty of evidence that this is in fact happening (see Part VI, item 4a).
Nevertheless, political pressures and alleged funding appear to be having their effect. Simply put, there appears to be an alternative history to the Armenian massacres, one that proposes that
[a] the Armenians “started it”
[b] the Ottomans are not responsible for what took place
Professor Justin McCarthy of Louisville University states that:
“On 26 May 1915, the government gave orders to relocate the Armenians…the only actual documents on the deportation show a soliticiousness for the welfare of the deportees-instructions on properly selling property, defending columns of Armenians…caring for health and sanitation…”
[Justin McCarthy, The Ottoman Peoples and the End of Empire, London: Arnold & Oxford University Press, 2001, p.110-111]
Perhaps the Professor has chosen to ignore the virtual libraries of memos and archives already in place. But why is the Professor selectively ignoring information regarding Talaat Pasha and his office? History is being literally re-written as a result of successful political lobbying – facts which were beyond dispute are now open for alteration by the highest bidder.
There certainly are powerful lobbies supporting attempts to sway popular attention away from the Armenian tragedy. In 1989, a US Senate resolution marking the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Armenian genocide was blocked as a result a result of successful Turkish lobbying.
(e) The Role of Mr. Chehreganli & SANAM.
And then there is Mr. Chehreganli and his support for the anti-Armenian Grey Wolf agenda. The man is very anti-Armenian in his views. Mr. Chehreganli is now advancing the fraudulent notion that Armenians have always been the enemies of the Azerbaijanis. It is also very interesting that Chehreganli makes no mention of how supportive the Armenian Social Democrats were of Sattar Khan’s movement. The Armenians stood by him in Tabriz, both during the siege and even after the Russians arrived. The valiant heroism of the Armenians in Tabriz during the brutal Imperial Russian occupation (Part II, item 5c) is all but forgotten: the Armenians risked their lives and families to protect Azeri civilians from Russian atrocities (see Chaqeri, p.165 in references). See photo below of Iranian Armenian supporters of the Persian Constitutional movement (see Chaqeri in references).
As noted in Part II, item 5b, Sattar Khan was tragically and fatally wounded in Tehran’s Atabak Park during an apparently bungled disarming operation. As noted by Chaqeri (p. 165) the Armenian role (Yephrem Khan) in the Atabak Park tragedy has been grossly exaggerated by the “Stalinist School of Historiography on Iran”. Both Armenians (esp. Republic of Armenia) and Azerbaijanis (esp. Republic of Azerbaijan) appear to have a biased view of those events. Pan-Turanian activists have again used a selective view of those events to further instigate Armenian-Azerbaijani friction.
Armenians and Azerbaijanis have fought side by side numerous times in history, the Constitutional Movement of Persia being only one example. There is a long history of friendship, trade, cooperation and intermarriage between the two peoples. This was especially evident during the long Safavid-Ottoman wars. Relations between the Armenians and the Arranis (now Republic of Azerbaijan) soured after the Russians sponsored some of the latter against the former to commit atrocities, after the failed 1905 Russian revolution.
Mr. Chehreganli’s SANAM website now has two anti-Armenian links entitled “Azeri Genocide” and “Armenian Terror”. He produces pictures of dead Azeris at Armenian hands in the Nagorno-Karabakh tragedy (see below left) as well as a new link (with a single photo) of the (alleged) victim of “Persian chauvinism” (see right):
What Chehreganli does not mention are the Grey Wolf fighters in the Caucasus who have engaged in the brutal ethnic cleansing of Armenian civilians. See Hrair H. Khatcherian’s photo below of ruins of Horek (Talish) which was destroyed and its Armenian residents massacred.
Mr. Chehreganli also fails to mention that the late President Elchibey’s Grey Wolf paramilitary gangs were responsible for the massacre in the Nagorno Karabakh town of Khojally (Xocalli). The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has seen extremities committed by both sides, truly an unnecessary tragedy that must be resolved by fraternal dialogue.
Chehreganli has also ordered his supporters to promote anti-Armenian views within Iran as well. SANAM-Grey Wolf supporters regularly appeal to the tragic Karabakh issue in an anti-Armenian racialist fashion during the Babak rallies (see below photo):
The Grey Wolf salute in the above photo would chillingly remind any Armenian of the wider pan-Turanian Grey Wolf agenda at work here. Note the photograph of Chehreganli being held aloft behind the yellow Karabakh banner.
Chehreganli is again re-defining issues in very simplistic and racialistic terms. He denies that the Armenian-Azeri disputes are mainly territorial and political in origin. Not so, according to Chehreganli – he narrates the disputes as a race war between “Azeri-Turks” and “treacherous Armenians”. This is all music to the ears of Grey Wolf racist ideologues.
The photo of the alleged victim of “Persian chauvinism” is interesting as well. Has the photo been deliberately planted for provocation? The point to be made is that of context. Perhaps the dead man was a victim of political violence, perhaps not. The question (like the Armenian issue) is this: how (and why) does the photo provide “conclusive proof” of a Persian-Azeri race war?
Chehreganli has been working tirelessly to create a Persian-Azeri conflict, and given his history of deception, false historiography and racialism, this photo appears to be simply another tool in that quest. He is now an equal opportunity hate-monger: he despises his nation of origin (Iran), as much as he does Armenia.
The Armenians state clearly that they have been the victims of pan-Turanian ideology and have repeatedly warned the international community of the dangers of pan-Turanian ideology to Greece, the Balkans, the Orthodox Slavic world, Iranian peoples (Persians, Azeris, Kurds, etc.), the Caucasus as well as the Near East. It would seem that these warnings are being simply ignored, in the name of good old fashioned economics and geo politics.
(3) Anti-Iranian Literature.
Anti-Iranian literature can be traced as far back as 1918, when Mr. Amin Rasulzadeh in support of his friends in the Musavats, re-wrote history in 1918 by re-naming Arran as “Azerbaijan”. Mr. Stalin’s and the former Soviet Union’s services to pan-Turanianism by way of document falsifications and invented historiography (e.g. Vatan Dili), have been duly noted (Part II, item 1c).
A number of people in the Republic of Azerbaijan (and some of their supporters in Iranian Azerbaijan) truly believe that Mr. Pishevari was a hero, and seem oblivious of his support by Mr. Stalin and Communist Russia, and the role of oil in that crisis. The late Dr. Elchibey’s hate literature and speeches against Iran are cherished as absolute truths. Mr. Chehreganli is portrayed as the representative of “the national re-awakening of South Azerbaijan”. Persia’s national heroes such as Babak Khorramdin (Part II, item 6) and Sattar Khan (Part II, item 5) have long since been re-narrated into the pan-Turanian cause.
Recall the late Abulfazl Elchibey’s speech (already cited in Part II, item 4) in which he openly called for Iran’s destruction. Many of the Republic of Azerbaijan’s opposition parties in Baku openly call for “an expanded Azerbaijan, exclusively and only for ethnic Azeris”.
There are efforts at teaching Elchibey-ism and much of Grey Wolf ideology in general, to students in the elementary, secondary and post-secondary curricula in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Books are also being published, with the explicit aim of encouraging Iranian Azerbaijanis to question their historical links to Persia. The wife of the late President Heidar Aliev is reputed to have published a book in which much of the history of Azerbaijan has been de-Persianized. This writer has also been informed by Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmain of a book by a certain Chingiz Qajar, which was published in Turkey (no date, publisher’s citation, ISBN or copyright). The glossy cover and pages are reported as providing illustrations of monuments in Iran and Central Asia. The book predictably cites historical figures such as Queen Tomyris, and Babak Khorramdin, prophet Zoroaster, Soharavardi, Rashid-al-din, Shaikh Safi, Mir Ali Tabrizi (the calligrapher), Nezami, Khaqani, Baba Kuhi of Shiraz (because he came from Shirvan), Nasir-al-din Tusi, as well some of the Safavids as well as the Qajars as “Turkish”. At least the author acknowledges that the Ottoman invasions of Azerbaijan obliged many of the local talents to flee to Ghazvin and Isfahan.
The South Azerbaijan (Iran) human rights website (see Web References) has adopted an interesting and confrontational anti-Iranian logo (see photo):
Within Iran, Mr. Chehreganli and SANAM are hard at work. Thanks to generous foreign support (Part VI, items 1,4,6-8), anti-Iran pamphlets are being deliberately and systematically placed in many parts of Iran’s northwest. Note photo below of a roadside pole:
The top picture on the pole depicts the symbolic pan-Turanian Grey Wolf – on the bottom is what appears to be a portrait of Jafar Pishevari. As noted repeatedly in this commentary, the Grey Wolf legend lacks any historical basis, and as a mythology is thoroughly alien to the region. Mr. Pishevari’s real credentials have been duly discussed in Part II, item 1e.
The Grey Wolves are engaged in their usual pastime of re-writing history: they wish to convey the false narrative that Pishevari represents the “historical aspirations of the Azerbaijani people”. This is analogous to stating that Vidkun Quisling (1887-1945), a Norwegian politician who betrayed his nation for the Nazis, was a man who truly represented the people of Norway. History is not so easily re-written.
Pan-Turanian activists and their western supporters are loathe to admit that the Azerbaijanis resented Pishevari’s separatist tendencies. They continue to insist that Azerbaijan is “under Persian occupation” and make no mention of the foreign sponsorship of Pishevari, as well as today’s “neo-Pishevari” movements (Part VI, items 1-4, 6-8, 10). More interestingly, they fail to take into account the true feelings of the vast majority of the Azerbaijanis of the Pishevari period and especially today (Part V).
Referral to the aforementioned contents of this article as well as Mr. Chehreganli’s SANAM website provides sufficient information on the anti-Iran dimensions of this Grey Wolf pan-Turanian movement.
(4) The Status of non-Turkic speaking Azerbaijanis.
The Republic of Azerbaijan has a large number of Iranian speaking citizens, notably the Talysh and the Tats, who are said to be underrepresented and often downplayed in census statistics. Pan-Turanian ideologues may see them as a nuisance because they:
[a] contradict the thesis that all Azerbaijanis (in Iran and Arran) speak Turkish
[b] are a reminder of the region’s Iranian linguistic, anthropological and cultural legacies.
Ironically, pan-Turanian attempts at inciting separatism within Iran have backfired in the Republic of Azerbaijan. This is due to the extremely anti-Persian Grey Wolf ideology which has begun to alienate Azerbaijan’s non-Turkish speaking minorities. There is now a Talysh Independence Movement, a dynamic which makes the young Republic of Azerbaijan highly vulnerable (see article by Turkish writer Asim Oku in Web References).
The non-Iranian Lezgians (who speak three related non-Iranic Caucasian dialects) have also expressed their distinctiveness, especially in the mid 1990s. Interestingly, Western (mainly English speaking) media outlets, Human Rights organizations and academic platforms have been silent with respect to these developments.
Azerbaijan was also reputed to have had a large Armenian community, especially in Baku. This is of course no longer the case, thanks to the bitterness and animosity that has been brewing as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflicts.
It is still unclear how these minorities will fit into pan-Turanian ideology, especially with respect to attempts at creating a “united Azerbaijan” (Republic of Azerbaijan and Iranian Azerbaijan).
(5) Racialism and Fanaticism: Cancer at an International Scale
Two important points need to be made. First (as noted repeatedly before) the majority of Turks in Turkey as well as the inhabitants of the Republic of Azerbaijan do not embrace Grey Wolf activism and seriously question much of the racist ideology of pan-Turanianism. It is important to again re-iterate how highly educated and cosmopolitan many Turks are. Again, many Turks today favor dialogue with Greece and Armenia to help amicably resolve the tragic historical disputes between them.
The second point relates to the first. Racialism is a cancer that threatens every race, creed and religion today, and the potential for that cancer resides in us all, regardless of our race, nationality, religion or language. Groups advocating hate are literally mushrooming across the Western World, the Near East and Asia. They are all surprisingly similar in that they all wish to narcissistically worship their “race” and/or religion while cultivating a dogma of hatred against the members of the “other”. Below are only a few shocking examples.
Perhaps Europe’s most absurd hate group today is the Russian fascist movement which has adopted pan-Nordic neo-Nazi ideology alongside its infamous Hitler salute (see below).
Russian neo-Nazis are an oxymoronic organization. These gentlemen have conveniently “forgotten” Hitler’s brutal and barbaric invasion of Russia on June 22, 1941, a war which cost the lives of over 20 million Russian men, women and children. Hitler’s Nazi ideology ranked Slavic peoples such as the Russians among the inferior Untermenschen (Subhumans) “slave races”. Millions of Russian prisoners were murdered in cold blood by the Nazis – in flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention (see “Aryan” German officers executing a Russian soldier):
The Russian Nazi salute is as absurd and self-deprecating as the Azerbaijani (from the Republic or within Iran) who engages in the Grey Wolf salute (Part II, item 6).
Racialist philosophers glorify the literature of narcissistic race-worship, perpetuate hatred and division, and as such represent the most repugnant element of the human psyche. Their ideologies only lead to bitterness and confrontation, and like all fascist movements, ultimately end up defeating themselves.
History has already seen the likes of Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1855-1927), one of the founders of West European and Nordic racism (and ultimately Nazism) (see photo at left) or Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau (1816–1882), who in addition to his Chamberlain-style Nordicism, also helped originate Persian Aryan chauvinism (see photo at right).
Gobineau’s “Aryanism” has led a number of Iranians to the simplistic and erroneous view that Arabs are to blame for all of Iran’s social, cultural and political ills. These same individuals also believe in the cultural superiority of their “Aryan” heritage (Persian and Kurdish) over those of the “non-Aryans” of Western Asia and the Near East.
There was even a pro-Nazi “Kaboud” movement in Iran (late 1930s-early 1940s); below photo depicts one of their secret fascist gatherings in the early 1940s. Today that Aryanist movement has resurfaced as the virtually unknown SUMKA (see Web References, see also “Neo Nazi in Iran” in Web references). One of their mottos is: “Iran Bartar az Ham-e” whose approximate translation is: Iran superior to All. Fortunately, few Iranians have even heard of SUMKA and would reject much of their nonsense. But imagine if certain western lobbies, harboring a geopolitical/economic agenda, decided to promote and fund this tiny organization by hosting multitudes of websites, hiring “professors”, setting up radio/television programs, and propelling “human rights” and political advocacy platforms?
Greece has long been known for her traditions of democracy – a term of Greek origin (Demos = people & Kratus = government). She too is now home to a very small xenophobic neo-Nazi style movement that identifies with west European racist organizations. This is the “Chryssi Avgi” (Golden Dawn) movement which is vehemently racist, shown demonstrating below in central Athens (April 30, 2002):
For the first time in its history, Greece has seen the appearance of an organization that contradicts much of what the ancient Greeks have given to the world. There are neo-Nazi organizations in other non-Nordic European countries such as Italy (see the Furozo Nuevo [The New Force/Power] in Rome’s Risorgomento Square, December 2000 – below left) and Spain (see Spanish neo Fascists in Madrid saluting a portrait of Franco – below right)
By aping the Neanderthal behavior of Nordicists, Spanish, Italian, and Greek neo-Nazis are rejecting their proud Mediterranean heritage – conveniently forgetting the crucial role that the Mediterranean has played in the foundations of western civilization. Racism obliges its adherents to engage in moronic, barbaric and self-deprecating behavior.
In Japan there is a fringe Pan-Turanian organization known as the National Socialist Japanese Workers and Welfare Party (NSJWWP) founded in 1982 (see flag below). They essentially combine Nazism and Pan-Turanian ideology.
Although the NSJWWP is a very small organization, there are a number of Japanese who deny any responsibility for war crimes committed in China during the 1930s and 1940s. In turn, many of these individuals view China as a nation that entertains historical grievances to extract political gains from Japan.
Mr. Chehreganli’s SANAM organization (see their Grey Wolf rally at Babak castle in Iran below – note Chehreganli’s photo held aloft) is a fringe Nazi-style racist movement (note again their Grey Wolf salute in photo below). SANAM denies this of course in its website, stating that they wish for the “peaceful” attainment of their aims. Mr. Chehreganli has yet to explain how he proposes to achieve Iran’s dismemberment by “peaceful means”? These fascists are the proverbial (Grey) wolves in sheep’s clothing: how ironic that they accuse their critics of fascism!
Western patronage and support is seeking to portray dangerous and racist movements such as Chehreganli’s SANAM and the Grey Wolves as legitimate “human rights” and “national awakening” organizations. As will be noted in Part VI, item 2b, the same type of organizations were mobilized to dismember former Yugoslavia.
Part III <<>>Part V
PART V: GREY WOLVES & FAILURE IN AZERBAIJAN
Part IV <<>>Part VI
(1) Grey Wolf Public Relations Failures.
Despite massive funding from organizations within Turkey as well as generous American and now Israeli support (Part VI, items 1-2), pan-Turanian Grey Wolf activists have not been successful at swaying the majority of Iranian Azerbaijanis to their separatist cause. This was dramatically illustrated when Olympic gold medallist, Naim Suleimanoghlu (himself a Bulgarian Turkish migrant – see photo at left) asked Hossein Rezazadeh (Iran’s heavy weight Olympic gold medallist – photo at right) to renounce his Iranian nationality, accept Turkish citizenship and join the Turkish Olympic team. Among the rewards promised to Rezazadeh were 10 million dollars in cash and luxury automobiles. Suleimanoghlu’s offer was made in public to Rezazadeh in the November of 2002, who had arrived at Istanbul airport. Rezazadeh responded to Suleimanoghlu’s offer with the following statement: “I am an Iranian and love my country and people.”
For a full detailed report refer to Payvand News Website:
Suleymanoglu offers Rezazadeh Turkish citizenship
This event has perhaps been one of the greatest public relations disasters ever faced by the Grey Wolves, as it has undermined the very basis of their beliefs and racism. Put simply, Rezazadeh’s response was not exactly what they wanted to hear. Many “Grey Wolves” activists were reportedly “shocked” at hearing this news.
It is reputed that a very large number of English speaking media outlets and academics (see Brenda Shaffer, Part VI, item 4c) were hoping that Rezazadeh would accede to Suleimanoghlu’s request, as this would allow for the commencement of an anti-Iranian separatist campaign in the western media. Similar tactics were deployed against the Federalist State of Yugoslavia to encourage its destruction in the 1990s (Part VI, item 2b).
Failures like these have been consistently hushed up by the Grey Wolves and their supporters in the western world who remain committed to recruiting prominent Iranian Azerbaijanis to their cause. What is interesting is the inability of these activists to accept the fact that the vast majority of Iranian Azerbaijanis, like Rezazadeh, not only reject separatism, but are also offended by such actions.
(2) Hostility to Grey Wolf Activism among Iranian Azerbaijanis.
Undeterred by the cool reception of the majority of Iranian Turcophones in general, the Grey Wolves are adamant to “support the aspiration of our Turkish kin in occupied Azerbaijan (meaning Iran)”.
These efforts are doomed to failure for the simple fact that history and scholarship is not on the side of the pan-Turanian activists. Most important of all however are the opinions of the Iranian Azerbaijanis themselves.
Keyvan Valizadeh, an Iranian Azeri, graciously gave permission for excerpts of his earlier statements to be published in this commentary. His e-mail (dated 21/09/2005) to me stipulated that:
“…The link between Chehregani and the Pentagon is a thing that the Azaris also don’t know, the hatred and fights between Ottoman Turks and Iranian Azaris are also ignored!…Thank you and don’t forget that it is not a fight of Azaris alone but of the Iranian Nation as a whole against pan-turkism.”
Excerpts from Mr. Valizadeh’s earlier messages aptly summarize how many Iranian Azerbaijanis and people of Iranic Caucasian descent feel about Mr. Chehreganli, his Grey Wolf allies and western Geopolitical supporters in particular:
“…Years before in Maragheh (were I am from) the pan-turkists gave me leaflets that said the “first Azeri hero that fought the Persians for their independance was Babak Khorramdin”. I was now shocked because I knew it was false. I knew that Babak (whose name I noticed was not Turkish) was fighting the Arabs and not the Persians and wanted to restore the glory of Persia and the ancient religion of the Persians. And I distanced myself from them Because I hated their ocean of lies…
Mr. Valizadeh then quotes Persian poet Hafez to vividly describe Grey Wolf activism:
Do not consider the intestinal conflicts of sects
For, not having found the truth, they went to the invention
The following quote by Mr. Valizadeh is also significant, as it summarizes the feelings of the majority of Iranian Azerbaijanis:
“…Many of the Azaris I spoke had discovered the Truth too and were glad to say that their ancestors were Cyrus or Dariush (Darius) and not the Mongols the Turks claim to be their ancestors…”
(3) Tepid Reception in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Despite claims to the contrary, Pan-Turanianism has also failed to make major inroads in the Republic of Azerbaijan. As with all racialist movements, the followers of the Grey Wolves in the Republic constitute a minority at best. There are also unconfirmed reports stating that many of the residents of the Republic of Azerbaijan view Grey Wolf ideology with cynicism. Many in that state are cognizant of their past historic links to Persia.
Dr. Brenda Shaffer of Harvard University (see part VI, item 4c) claims to have “proven” that the majority of the people of the Republic of Azerbaijan dislike Iran. In fact, this is untrue (see discussion of Professor Zia Boniyadov in Part VI, item 4c).
Then there is the unfolding drama within the Republic of Azerbaijan itself. The Republic of Azerbaijan is a new nation state whose inhabitants have been robbed of their thousands of years of association with Persia, making them extremely vulnerable to tough questions regarding their national and ethnic origins. The deformities and vulgarities of racism have the potential to tragically complicate Azerbaijan’s nation-state building efforts and seriously undermine democracy in the country. Nevertheless, the Republic is moving towards a healthy democratic model, barring geopolitical interference of course. A democratic process allows for the full expression of a wide spectrum of opinion. It is in such an atmosphere of healthy debate that the modern inhabitants of the Republic of Azerbaijan will be made fully aware of their historical links with Persia.
Finally, Persian culture remains firmly rooted in the Republic of Azerbaijan, despite powerful attempts by Stalinism, pan-Turanianism and present western geopolitical and petroleum lobbies to stamp it out. The Iranian Nowruz is celebrated every year in the Republic, as seen by these girls in Baku dressed in traditional Iranian attire reminiscent of Sassanian times (left photo by Hamid Zargarzadeh). Below right is another Persian tradition of the Nowruz seen in Baku – the “Sabzeh” (recall Part I, item 2i):
Part IV <<>>Part VI
PART VI: GEOPOLITICALINTERESTS & PETROLEUM DIPLOMACY
Part V <<>> Index
(1) The Bernard Lewis Project.
Professor Bernard Lewis (photo below) is an octogenarian expert of the “Middle East” (itself an invented geopolitical term). Lewis is indeed a “master” scholar and expert on the Turks, Iranian and Arabs (see sample of his books in references). And herein lays the tragedy: Lewis wields his treasure trove of knowledge as an engine of destruction. Few have ever heard of “The Bernard Lewis Project”.
Professor Lewis first unveiled his project in the Bilderberg Meeting in Baden, Austria, on April 27-29, 1979[i] [ii] (see the only photo available of a Bilderberg Conference – 1954 photo). He formally proposed the fragmentation and balkanization of Iran along regional, ethnic and linguistic lines especially among the Arabs of Khuzestan (the Al-Ahwaz project), the Baluchis (the Pakhtunistan project), the Kurds (the Greater Kurdistan project) and the Azerbaijanis (the Greater Azerbaijan Project)[iii].
Dreyfus and LeMarc (see References, p. 157) provide a very succinct summary of the plan’s methodology:
“According to Lewis, the British should encourage rebellions for national autonomy by the minorities such as the Lebanese Druze, Baluchis, Azerbaiajni Turks, Syrian Alawites, the Copts of Ethiopia, Sudanese mystical sects, Arabian tribes…the goal is the break-up of the Middle East into a mosaic of competing ministates and the weakening of the sovereignty of existing republics and kingdoms…spark a series of breakaway movements by Iran’s Kurds, Azeris, baluchis, and Arabs…these independence movements, in turn would represent dire threats to Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan and other neighbouring states.”
The report is almost too incredible to believe: this is indeed the dark side of Professor Lewis’ distinguished academic career. For the students of geopolitical and Petroleum Diplomacy however, there is nothing new regarding the “chop-up Iran” agenda (item 10).
Robert Olson (see References, esp. p.108-158) has provided a surprisingly candid and sober assessment of the Greater Azerbaijan Project. He has provided a detailed assessment of how the intelligence and military agencies of Turkey, USA and Israel have set up bases and networks in Northern Iraq, Eastern Turkey and the Republic of Azerbaijan (esp. Nakhchivan) to broadcast anti-Iran hate propaganda into Iranian Azerbaijan. There is in fact a foreign-funded anti-Iran separatist radio station known as the Voice of Southern Azerbaijan (VOSA).
The relationship between VOSA and the Rashet Bet radio station (see photo below) of Israel was first reported by independent reporter Nick Grace. The report is available on the Clandestine Radio Intel Website (see Web references). Excerpts from his report are as follows:
“…According to monitor Nikolai Pashkevich in Russia, “when I tuned in my receiver to this channel I found an open carrier with ‘Reshet Bet… on the background and then VOSA signing on” (CDX 180). Rashet Bet is, of course, a news service of Israel Radio. The German Telecommunications department has also pinpointed VOSA’s location to be somewhere around Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia (BCDX 351.)…VOSA is clearly supervised and arranged by Israel’s intelligence agency: the Mossad…”.
Olson also reports of sophisticated telecommunications equipment mounted on specialized vehicles that regularly drive inside Iranian territory, beam propaganda (presumably on video and radio) and retire across the border once their programs are concluded. Below left is a photograph of the latest military spy communications truck, the SmarTruck II – note state of the art communications panels inside the vehicle (below right photo):
The main role of VOSA-Rashet Bet and the SmarTruck II vehicles are to target Iranian Azerbaijanis with false and provocative information, mainly as narrated by Mr. Chehreganli and Dr. Brenda Shaffer (see item 4).
Olson has also reported of a plan to station western (American) heavy military equipment (e.g. tanks, missiles) in the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Moscow News report on September 26, 2005, has also reported of such assistance taking place (Web References).
CIA operative, Reuel Marc Gerecht’s book, “Know Thine Enemy” (see Edward Shirley in References) neatly encapsulates current geopolitical objectives in Iranian Azerbaijan and Iran as a whole. Note the following review by Jason Athanasiadis in the Asia Times (Apr 29, 2005):
Gerecht …mulls over … cultivating high-ranking Azeris to inciting separatist Kurds …
he sheds valuable light on how an intelligence professional might approach the dismemberment of a hostile country. “I continuously scripted possible covert action mischief in my mind. Iranian Azerbaijan was rich in possibilities. Accessible through Turkey and ex-Soviet Azerbaijan, eyed already by nationalists in Baku …Iran’s richest agricultural province was an ideal covert action theatre.”
[Jason Athanasiadis, Stirring the Ethnic Pot, Asia Times On-line, Apr 29, 2005 –see Web references]
Political reporter, Michel Chossudovsky, has provided the following assessment:
“Washington has been involved in covert intelligence operations inside Iran. American and British intelligence and Special Forces (working with their Israeli counterparts) are involved in this operation… Targeting Iran … broadly serves the interests of the Anglo-American oil conglomerates, the Wall Street financial establishment and the military-industrial complex…The announcement to target Iran should come as no surprise. It is part of the battle for oil…In Baku, Azerbaijan Rumsfeld was busy discussing …the stated short term objective …to “neutralize Iran”. The longer term objective under the Pentagon’s “Caspian Plan” is to exert military and economic control over the entire Caspian Sea basin, with a view to ensuring US authority over oil reserves and pipeline corridors.”
[Michel Chossudovsky, Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran, in Global Research Publications On-line, May 1, 2005, See Web References]
Rumsfeld’s goal to “neutralize Iran” is actually a description of Olson’s prediction of the intended “Right-sizing of Iran” (p.236) – destroying Iran as a sovereign state and erasing its Persian heritage.
In practice, this means that Western and democratic states have allied themselves with dangerously racist organizations (e.g. SANAM, Grey Wolves, etc.) in the endeavour to dismember a sovereign state. Very little thought seems to have been put into the consequences of such irresponsible actions. Grey Wolf ideologues falsely and naively believe that the present anti-Iranian geopolitical situation will allow them to finally realize their fantastic dream of their pan-Turanian super state, stretching from China to the Balkans, encompassing Central Asia, the Caucasus, Russia, Ukraine and Persia in its wake.
Western patronage of Grey Wolf ideologues (e.g. Mr. Chehreganli) is ultimately futile and doomed to failure (recall Part V). These actions will cost western taxpayers billions of wasted Dollars, Pounds and Euros. Imagine if that same money were to go to the promotion of education, friendship societies, health care and even support for the victims of the recent Hurricane Katrina Disaster in New Orleans.
The fact however is brutally and cynically clear: geopolitical agendas and petroleum diplomats has always ranked the economic (petroleum) equation higher than the human one. The partitioning of Iran (Bernard Lewis Project) is seen as an economic necessity (see item 3 below).
But herein lies the irony: the Bernard Lewis plan is also directed against Turkey (see item 9 below) and Arab states such as Iraq. It is interesting that some media reports are now suggesting that the only vialble solution to the western Iraqi entanglement is to partition that state along ethnic/sectarian lines. This would mean that Iraq would be split into three separate Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish mini-states:
The formation of a Greater Kurdistan for example, may potentially lead to the disintegration of not only Iran, but Turkey, Iraq and Syria[iv]. The formation of a Greater Azerbaijan would eliminate a significant portion of Iran’s industrial base, geography, and demography.[v] This would in turn encourage a pan-Kurdish separatist movement encompassing Iran, Turkey and Syria, leading to the break-up or diminution of those states. As noted by Engdahl (p.171), the Bernard Lewis Plan endeavours to:
“…promote the Balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along Tribal and religious lines. Lewis argued that the West should encourage autonomous groups such as the Kurds…Ethiopian Copts… Azerbaijanis…the chaos would spread in…an “Arc of Crisis”… ”.
There are indications that the Iran-Iraq war may have been part of the larger Bernard Lewis plan. Iran was to be invaded with the specific purpose of carving it up into small mini-states.
Direct evidence of the British origins of the Iraqi invasion plan was reported in The New York Times newspaper early in the war (See article entitled “British in 1950, Helped Map Iraqi Invasion of Iran” by Halloran, R. in The New York Times, Thursday, Oct.16, 1980.). Interestingly, this report was ignored by the mainstream press and media. The points of this report are summarized as follows:
(1) A detailed invasion plan had been prepared for the Iraqi armed forces in 1950 by the British Military advisors for Iraq, a full 30 years before the invasion of Iran by Saddam Hussein.
(2) The main draft of the plan had been in preparation by the British since 1937. The main axes of advance detailed in the plan corresponded exactly to the Iraqi invasion of Iran on September 22, 1980.
(3) The main objective of this war plan “…called for Iraqi forces to occupy Khuzistan province and then negotiate an armistice with the Iranian government that would include the relinquishment of the province to Iraq…also liberate the Arab-speaking people living in Khuzistan”. Significantly, successive changes in the Iraqi government over the next thirty years did not alter the major objectives of the British plan; these were simply updated as time progressed.
The British plan for Iran’s invasion indicates that even before the Bernard Lewis Plan was unveiled in the Bilderberg Conference, detailed British plans for eliminating Iran as a state have bene in place long before 1979.
(2) Geopolitics & Petroleum Diplomacy.
(a) The Role of British Petroleum and Oil Companies
Although not generally known, Imperial Britain has had a keen interest in the Baku oilfields since the beginning of the twentieth century. This is dramatically illustrated from the May 23, 1914, London Petroleum Review, which reports the Ottoman oils fields of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq and Kuwait) as “a second Baku in the making” (note the report blow – the “Baku” caption is highlighted for reference – see also William Engdahl (p.40-41) in References):
It was in the 1860s when Russian geologists discovered substantial petroleum deposits along the Western Caspian, mainly in the former Persian territory of Baku. The British certainly had eyes for those Baku deposits, but these were under Russian occupation at the time (recall the Golestan and Turkemenchai treaties cited before).
This is why they had such a keen interest in the “second Baku” of Mesopotamia. The First World War allowed Imperial Britain to move into Mesopotamia and the Persian Gulf as to appropriate the region’s oil deposits for itself. The major weapon used by British intelligence to dissolve the Ottoman Empire was its ethnic diversity, expressed mainly by different languages (e.g. Kurdish, Arabic) and religions (Christian, Muslim, Alevi, etc.). Petroleum diplomacy has had a long tradition of mobilizing ethnic strife to achieve its geopolitical and economic objectives. This is based on the proven Roman dictum: Divide and Rule.
The collapse of the former Soviet Union finally allowed for the opening of the Caspian oil market bonanza to western interests. The legendary poise and patience of British Petroleum (BP) diplomacy has again paid off. The present chief executive officer of British Petroleum is Edmund John Philip Browne (Baron Browne of Madingley) (left Photo below). He was a party to the nearly three and a half years of negotiations with Heidar Aliev (the late President of the Republic of Azerbaijan) to develop Azerbaijani oil deposits. On September 20th, 1994, Aliev signed a production sharing contract with a whole host of western and Turkish oil companies in Baku’s Gulistan Palace (below right photo – Browne 2nd from left in front row, Aliev – in front centre -stands next to him).
The presence of BP in this project is significant. Other members of note on September 20th, 1994, were John Imle (Unocal – recall its disastrous role in Afghanistan), Stanislav Pugach, (Russian Ministry of Fuel and Energy), Tom Hamilton (Pennzoil) and Sitki Sancar (Turkish Petroleum).
At present, the Anglo-American petroleum access to the oil and gas deposits of the Caspian basin is extracted via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. This pipeline meanders through Eastern Turkey, around Armenia, through Georgia and finally through to the Republic of Azerbaijan. The security concerns with the pipeline however are high, making the project economically costly. Georgia is unstable, and has struggled to maintain its Ossetian and Abkhazian minorities within its borders. Eastern Turkey, teeming with Kurds, is vulnerable to attacks by separatists there. This explains why the pipeline has virtually skirted around the Kurdish region – proof again of the project’s costly and inefficient basis.
The intense political manoeuvring between Turkey, Iran, Russia, the Anglo-American political and economic elites, and the EU in the Caspian region has been characterized by some as “The New Great Game” – perhaps this is true. The end result for Iran has been unsuccessful in that she has been barred from any economic participation in the pipeline (mainly as result of Anglo-US foreign policy)[vi].
Iran is a stable and politically unified state, which (unlike Turkey) minimizes the need to maintain large military forces in potentially hostile regions (e.g. eastern Turkey’s Kurdish region) in order to safeguard pipelines. It is far more economical to transport Caspian oil via Iran’s efficient transportation system which links the northern Caucasian regions to the Persian Gulf, where modern and efficient ports are fully operational. Allowing Iran to participate in the Caspian project however is geopolitically inconsistent with the Bernard Lewis plan, unveiled in the Bilderberg Conference of 1979 (item 1).
(b) Dismantling Geopolitical Obstacles: Dismembering Yugoslavia
William Engdahl (see References) has provided a detailed analysis of Petroleum geopolitics and its ambitions in the Caucasus. Engdahl also argues that the civil war and partitioning of Yugoslavia is part of the larger scheme to secure the Caspian pipeline into Europe
“…The Yugoslav model had to be dismantled…Yugoslavia also lay on a critical path to the potential oil riches of Central Asia …the National Endowment for Democracy…began…handing out generous doses of dollars in every corner of Yugoslavia, financing opposition groups…journalists…trade union opposition…and human rights NGOs…(p.240)…using groups such as the Soros Foundation…financial support was channeled into often extreme nationalist or former fascist organizations that would guarantee dismemberment of Yugoslavia (p.241)…”
[William, Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order. London: Pluto Press, p.240-241, 2004]
Sean Gervasi’s little known article entitled “Germany, U.S. and the Yugoslav Crisis” (see References) reported that Yugoslavia was
“…the target of a covert policy waged by the west and its allies, primarily Germany, the United States, Britain, Turkey and Saudi Arabia…to divide Yugoslavia into its ethnic components…a process of national fragmentation and fratricidal war…Germany…demanded that the Bush administration adopt the German policy of working for the “dissociation”, that is, the dismantling, of Yugoslavia.”
[Sean Gervasi, Germany, U.S., and the Yugoslav Crisis: The civil war as lethal shadow play, Covert Action Quarterly, Volume 43, p.41,43]
Why? Because, a strong, large and united state in the Balkans (Yugoslavia) was viewed as a potential obstacle to the coming oil pipelines of the Caspian Sea, just as Iran is today.
One the fringe fascist organizations that were promoted and supported by the west was the vehemently far-right and anti-Serbian “Croatian Rights Party” In Yugoslavia (see photo below by Gervasi – see References).
The parallels with today’s Iran are striking. The west is currently supporting “extreme nationalist” and “fascist organizations” such as the Grey Wolves and Mr. Chehreganli’s SANAM organization
Engdahl cites two additional reasons for western sponsorship of Yugoslavia’s partitioning:
[a] she was a highly successful multiethnic state which had blended elements of both socialism and capitalism into its economy. The present mini-state successors of Yugoslavia are shadows of their former economic selves. Poverty and economic instability are the legacies of the Yugoslav tragedy (see child-beggar in Prishtiwie, Kosovo – photo by Gervasi – see References].
Mr. Chehreganli has promised Iranian Azerbaijanis that if they separate from their ancestral nation, they will be rewarded with a booming western style economy, which he proudly dubs as “The Kuwait of the Caspian”. The reality is far different. The photo of the dejected Bosnian child aptly summarizes what awaits the peoples of the region should Mr. Chehreganli succeed in igniting a fratricidal war in Iran and the Caucasus.
[b] the need to have “…a commanding and clearly permanent military presence in the strategic Balkans within reach of the Caspian Sea” [Engdahl, 2004, p.244]
The Caspian Sea?
The objectives of the Azerbaijan project (e.g. SANAM, UAM) of the Bernard Lewis Plan are designed to promote western (mainly Anglo-American) geopolitical and Petroleum interests. Mr. Chereganli’s SANAM movement openly acknowledges the role of western and Turkish support (in the name of “Human Rights”) for their cause:
“…Since 2002 the foreign representations of SANAM has been opening. At present, 24 representations -Bureau of the United States of America, Europe, Turkey and also the Azerbaijani Republic have been functioning…is known by the European Union, European Parliament, …UNO …”
[See SANAM website – click on “About SANAM” link in English – refer to Web References]
Two specific objectives will be achieved by the “re-unification” of “north” and “south” Azerbaijan:
[a] A potentially powerful Iranian state is removed from the international arena. The logic is that with Iran dismembered, the profit margin would increase as there would no longer be any need to economically and politically accommodate a large and potentially powerful state. Many western geopolitical interests are determined to gain access to the Iranian portion of the Caspian by either dismantling or reducing the present state of Iran.
Such a multi-ethnically unified state (like former Yugoslavia in the Balkans) would set limitations on foreign business operations on its sovereign territory. The destruction of a large and powerful state leads to smaller states which are more easily bought under the political and economic control of the aforementioned geopolitical interests.
[b] The Petroleum consortiums will have much easier geographical access to the Caspian region, making the process of Petroleum transportation far less costly than the present Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. With Iranian Azerbaijan, Kurdistan and Khuzestan detached from western Iran, the “Iranian oil market”, especially in Khuzestan will be opened to multinational interests.
The key question to be asked is this: is the state of Iran a geopolitical obstacle to Petroleum Diplomacy? As noted by Engdahl:
“The overall emphasis is on removing obstacles – whether political, economic, legal and logistical – to the increased procurement of foreign oil…”
[William, Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order. London: Pluto Press, p.264, 2004].
Olson’s study of Turkish-Iranian relations notes how Iran is itself an obstacle to geopolitical lobbies and Petroleum diplomacy:
“Iran was still an obstacle to the new combinazione (Pax Israel-Pax Americana), and its government and/or state would have to be changed, removed or dimished”
[Olson, Robert, Turkey-Iran Relations, 1979-2004: Revolution, Ideology, War, Coups and Geopolitics, 2004, p.236].
Olson also notes how the use of Azerbaijani separatism simultaneously accommodates geopolitical objectives by removing Iran as a powerful state [a] and facilitate petroleum commerce [b]:
“The re-emergence of the Azeri question also fit the international geostrategic objectives of the US, EU, Turkey and Israel. First it would lessen the baility of Iran to participate in the distribution network of oil and gas pipelines criss-crossing Central Asia, the Middle East and Southwest Asia. Second, the growth of Azeri nationalism facilitated US and EU efforts to make the Caspian Basin region a “second” Persian Gulf…to exclude Arab and many Muslim countries…from having any effective voice in international affairs…to more effectively determine the price and access to…the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea basin.”
[Olson, Robert, Turkey-Iran Relations, 1979-2004: Revolution, Ideology, War, Coups and Geopolitics, 2004, p.155-156]
If the Greater Khorassan and Baluchistan projects are revived (and there are indications that this is happening), then eastern Iran will be detached as well, allowing for pipelines to be laid from Central Asia to Iran’s southern waters. Engdahl has argued that the main reason that the Taliban of Afghanistan was supported by the West was due to hopes of laying a Central Asian pipeline across Afghan territory all the way to Pakistani ports.
A popular argument in today’s media outlets is that much of today’s predicament is the result of more than two and half decades of political and ideological alienation between Iran and the United States. There is no question that this animosity must be lifted, and is a major contributor to present day politics. However the issue being discussed here is the largely unreported geopolitical and economic factor: Petroleum Diplomacy.
(3) Is Oil Running Out?
Cheap and plentiful Oil is rapidly becoming a diminishing resource. This fact has been hidden from global popular knowledge. All the facts about to be reported below are listed under Part VI References: Diminishing Petroleum Resources, just after the Web references. These are also reported by the aforementioned William Engdahl (see References, p.258-263, 284).
Just two days before the horrors of Sept 11, 2001, a very interesting memo was delivered to Tony Blair’s Cabinet Office in London. The Memo was called “Submission to the Cabinet Office on Energy Policy”. Virtually unknown is the fact that the panel which submitted the report to the British Prime Minister’s office included the aforementioned British Petroleum chairman, Lord Browne.
A number of details from that report and other subsequent communiqués can be summarized into the following:
[a] Global supplies of cheap oil are diminishing – output will soon decline. The global peak for oil was forecasted to be 5-10 years away and Natural Gas 20 years away.
[b] One of the reasons for declining access to cheap oil will have to do with the rise of new economic global powers: China, India and possibly Indonesia.
[c] At present, oil supplies are contributing 90% of the world’s transportation fuel as well as 40% of the world’s other vital energy necessities.
[d] Large investments in available Middle Eastern supplies will only result in limited increases. “Available” means those regions under the full sway of western interests.
[e] There is a significant amount of underdeveloped oil resources in the Middle East, notably Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the oil Emirates of the Persian Gulf. Iraq alone has been estimated to have perhaps 432 billion barrels of oil reserves, making it an even larger resource than Saudi Arabia. Western Africa and Libya were also reported as having significant reserves.
[f] The Caspian Sea region, especially in the Republic of Azerbaijan, is also seen as a lucrative resource base.
The report was prepared collaboratively by the following:
· United Kingdom Oil Depletion Analysis Centre (esp. world-renowned geologist, Dr. Colin J. Campbell
· British petroleum
· Colorado School of Mines
· Princeton University’s Geology Department
· The French Petroleum Institute
· University of Uppsala (Sweden)
· Petroconsultants (Switzerland)
· Douglas-Westwood Ltd.
Although news reports did appear in some of the world’s most highly respected media outlets (see Part VI References: Diminishing Petroleum Resources), none of these appear to have attracted much attention.
Engdahl’s analysis of the main thrust of geopolitical and Petroleum Diplomacy are of interest:
“…controlling every major existing and potential oil source and transport route on earth…deception would be essential…”
[Engdahl, 2004, p.263-264]
It is no co-incidence that geopolitical lobbies are also courting the overtly racist “Al-Ahwaz” Arab separatist organization in the endeavour to separate the oil-rich Khuzestan province in Iran’s southwest (see item 10).
SANAM, The Grey Wolves, the UAM, Dr. Silahi Diker, Mr. Mahmudali Chehreganli, and some elements of western scholarship (see following item), western media outlets (item 7) are all expendable assets in the “deception” (i.e. the Bernard Lewis Project) to extend geopolitical and petroleum hegemony.
(4) Manipulating Scholarship in the West:
There are a number of lobbies actively promoting pan-Turanian ideology in the west. The majority of these constitute the Petroleum and geopolitical lobbies discussed earlier in items 1-3. An important lobby affiliated with these is the American Turkish Council (ATC- see Web References).
(a) The ATC.
It is no coincidence that the ATC is one of the most powerful lobbies in America today. As a “non-profit” organization, the ATC operates tax-free and is kept out of the media and legal spotlights. But perhaps the most interesting component is the “educational committee” of the ATC. This committee has successfully lobbied the US public and government branches on behalf of the ATC.
Political reporter Christopher Deliso has cited a distinguished array of American ATC members (see Web References). Their chair has been known to include Brent Scowcroft, an influential member of the US government. According to Deliso, the American membership is represented by an impressive array of military contractors such as Boeing, Bechtel International, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, General Electric, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and United Technologies/Sikorsky.
Political writer, John Stanton, has conducted considerable research into the activities of the ATC and its attempts to influence western centers of higher learning (see References).
Popular opinion regularly speaks of a powerful Jewish lobby in the US government: virtually unknown is the role of the “Turkish lobby”. These include Senators John Breaux and John McCain, and many other people of considerable influence including Richard Perle, Douglas Feith (long time chair of the Defense Policy Board and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy), and Paul Wolfowitz (Deputy Defense Secretary). The Turkish lobby is now able to overpower the Greek and Armenian lobbies in the US government. This has allowed for the unhindered manipulation of historical scholarship in American universities.
Reports of attempts at manipulating western scholarship began to surface in earnest by the mid-1990s. As reported in the Hellenic Nationalist Page
“Turkey has intensified her attempts to spread her propaganda to internationally renowned universities around the world…in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Amy Magarao Rubin exposes the Turkish attempts at historic revisionism…fraud and influence of appointments is being mentioned…”
[Hellenic nationalist Page – See Web References
It has been ten years since that report was put forward to US government officials and universities. Not only has that report has been quietly shelved, but the very warnings of that report are now being realized. For the first time in civilized human history, politics is being allowed to influence academia. Put simply, major western (mainly English language) universities are accommodating and promoting pan-Turanian ideology. Note the following review by Kazakh Professor Doulatbek Khidirbekughli’s of Schoeberlein’s “Mysterious Eurasia” which was hosted by Harvard University’s Eurasian Studies Society (CESS):
“Ten thousand years ago, ancestors of the Turkic tribes inhabited Central Eurasia. These Turkic Eurasian tribes migrated in all directions. During this great migration of peoples, they influenced the cultures of the European peoples, including Western Christianity, as well as the cultures of the …Chinese civilizations in the East…Some of these subsequently crossed the Bering Strait, forming the stock from which some Native American peoples descended. In Western Eurasia contact between Turkic and Germanic peoples came with the fall of the Roman Empire as the Huns settled in Europe.”
[Doulatbek Khidirbekughli Mysterious Eurasia: Thoughts in Response to Dr. Schoeberlein, CESS, Volume 3, Number 1, Winter 2004 – See Web References]
Recall the discussion in Part I, item 2, where we noted of Professor Silahi Diker’s claims of a 10,000 year civilizational legacy of the Turks as harbingers of world civilization (item 2a) and as the ancestors of the North American Indians (item 2g). Central to this argument is the fraudulent fallacy that “Turkic tribes inhabited Central Eurasia” (item 2l) as far back as 10,000 years ago. As noted in Part 1, item 2l, Turkic tribes arrived much later into Central Asia, with the earliest penetrations occurring in the 3rd century BC. The professor is retroactively Turcifying all earlier non-Turkic peoples of the steppes. As noted previously, pan-Turanian academics repeatedly confuse facts on the ground today with past history. Thanks to universities such as Harvard, a fringe racialist ideology formed in 1920s Turkey is now being given a prestigious academic platform to propagate and disseminate its false and divisive doctrines into mainstream western society.
Virtually unnoticed is another powerful lobby known as the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) (see http://www.csis.org/ in web references). The CSIS website shows the powerful interest of petroleum and geopolitical lobbies with respect to the Republic of Azerbaijan. A very revealing link is entitled “Caspian Sea Region” (see http://parstimes.com/Caspian.html in Web References). This link reveals at least 21 academic and governmental organizations involved with “Caspian Studies”.
This is all a very recent development, and it is curious as to why so many academic outlets have virtually mushroomed – and what purpose these organizations serve. A quick study reveals famous names such as the University of Bremen, University of Indiana, University of Michigan, Berkeley, Virginia Tech University, Columbia and Harvard University. There is also a link to “Iran” on the top menu bar which shows surprising detail on that nation’s natural resources, especially on the Caspian Sea.
(c) Dr. Brenda Shaffer.
The leading western academic outlet providing support for pan-Turanian ambitions in Iranian Azerbaijan is the Caspian Studies Program at Harvard University (see http://bcsia.ksg.harvard.edu/?program=CSP in Web References). The Research Director of the Caspian Studies Project is Brenda Shaffer
(see photo below):
Dr. Brenda Shaffer is an American-born and Israeli-educated research director of Harvard University’s Caspian Studies Program. Her program is mainly funded by major oil companies and the US-Azeri Chamber of Commerce, which itself enjoys extensive funding by various anti-Iran economic and political interests. Despite her apparent profile as an academic, Shaffer has become a highly active proponent for the destruction of the state of Iran, by way of her political advocacy for Azerbaijani separatism. This is reflected in her writings as well as regular appearances in the media outlets of the US[vii], Britain[viii], Europe, Turkey and the Republic of Azerbaijan. She regularly appears in separatist Azerbaijani gatherings as a guest speaker. Previous to her Harvard posting, Dr. Shaffer served in Israel as a policy analyst, intelligence agent and in the Israeli Defence Forces.
Shaffer’s book, Borders and Brethren: Iran and the Challenge of Azerbaijani Identity (see References – see book jacket below) claims to have proven that no such thing as a unifying collective Iranian identity exists.
Shaffer also claims to have “objective proof” that the bulk of Azerbaijanis wish to separate from Iran. Shaffer’s textbook has become a standard reference for Washington Analysts, who regularly defer to Dr. Shaffer’s apparent “expertise” in Caspian and Iranian affairs[ix] – she is in fact a prolific writer on the Caspian and Iran. The confidence of the distinguished gentlemen in Washington is rather misplaced, as Dr. Shaffer has relied on Soviet methods of historiography. The aforementioned Professor Atabaki (of Iranian Azerbaijani descent) has provided a book review of Dr. Shaffer’s text – and with his permission, some of his direct reports are reproduced below (along with my humble comments):
1) “Within the first two chapters, however, the reader becomes disappointed with the unbalanced and sometimes even biased political appraisal which not only dominates the author’s methodology but also shapes her selective amnesia in recalling historical data… shortcomings in Shaffer’s study are vivid, both in regard to methodology and the data she offers us…”
Recall our discussions with respect to how the history of Babak Khorramdin, Sattar Khan, and the Safavids have been re-narrated by pan-Turanian ideologues. Professor Atabaki’s description of Dr. Shaffer’s “selective amnesia in recalling historical data” reminds us of the late Dr. Elchibey discussed earlier.
Had Shaffer’s text appeared during the Soviet era, her writing style would be indistinguishable from contemporary Stalinist history books. This is because she skilfully omits information that contradicts her views.
This is especially evident in Shaffer’s following statement:
“Amir Ali Lakhrudi, chairman of the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan and a witness to the December 12 (Azer 21) takeover in Tabriz, stated that when Tehran retook the city, 30,000 people were killed and 300,000 deported and 10,000 immigrated to Soviet (north) Azerbaijan.”
As we noted in Part II (item 1e), there were no mass deportations, arrests or killings. Most importantly, there was no indigenous resistance to Tehran (item 1e). Dr. Shaffer’s methodology is indeed beset by selective amnesia.
2) “… Shaffer insists on mapping out the purely ethnic dimensions… one would expect arguments based on fieldwork among rural as well as urban Azerbaijanis in Iran as well as in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, her fieldwork is limited to interviews with some Iranian Azerbaijanis, elite individuals living in the Diaspora, often driven by strong political motivations. Obviously studying ethnic sentiments and identity in present- day Iran without conducting all-inclusive fieldwork inside Iran is inequitable… the author has not always observed academic accuracy in presenting data
In short, Dr. Shaffer of Harvard University is engaging in biased data selection – any Doctoral candidate or Professor caught engaging in such practices (i.e. violation of academic accuracy) would be failed and expelled from any reputable university and their credentials would be permanently stripped. To put it bluntly, biased data selection is the statistical equivalent of lying.
This is glaringly evident in the way Shaffer misrepresents the 1918 journal Azarbayjan, Joz’i la-yanfakk-i Iran (Azerbaijan, an Inseparable Part of Iran). Shaffer only refers to its title as “Azarbayjan”, and omits the rest of the title. Why? Because if she also included Joz’i la-yanfakk-i Iran (Azerbaijan, an Inseparable Part of Iran), this would contradict the message she is trying to get across: that the journal is an expression of an implied “separatist” identity. Once again, this is a prime example of “cut and paste” Stalinist scholarship.
These practices are not only tolerated but apparently encouraged by Dr. Shaffer’s sponsors in the US government. This is tragic, as this is the case of the blind leading the blind. People like Brenda Shaffer will only widen the chasm of misunderstanding between the United States and the people of Iran.
3) “…she (Brenda Shaffer) asserts that “the [Islamic] revolution’s failure to bring significant democratization attracted some [Iranian] Azerbaijanis, who had previously identified themselves chiefly as Iranians, to ethnic-based messages” (p. 79) and notes that “anti-Iranian sentiments …run high in the Republic of Azerbaijan” (p. 164). In neither case does she offer documentary evidence supporting her argument.”
This is similar to pan-Turanian scholarship. Arguments and “evidence” are always claimed (or invented), yet the only real “evidence” is the statement itself. Dr. Shaffer’s blanket statement that “anti-Iranian sentiments …run high in the Republic of Azerbaijan” is highly selective and is in fact untrue. Many highly educated academics in the Republic of Azerbaijan reject the Soviet-style historiography that Dr. Shaffer is reviving
This has been aptly expressed by the late Professor Zia Boniyadov (former academic of the Oriental Studies Institute of Soviet Azerbaijan) during a visit to Tehran in early 1989[x].
Professor Boniyadov noted that much of the historical claims of pan-Turanian ideology against Iranian Azerbaijan (i.e. “division” of “Greater Azerbaijan” by Iran and Russia) have their academic roots in the Stalinist era of the former Soviet Union[xi]. Boniyadov has noted that much of the claims for Iran’s destruction are “…Stalinist policies and expansionist…those who now pursue such policies in the name of ‘culture’…are simply the followers of Bagherov and Heidar Aliev and Stalin…”[xii]. It would seem that these statements were not to the liking of certain elements – the Professor was mysteriously murdered in his homeland in 1997. Viewpoints such as Boniyadov’s have been conveniently ignored by regional “experts” such as Shaffer, simply because they fail to validate her beliefs.
4) “…In conclusion, Borders and Brethren is an excellent example of how a political agenda can dehistoricize and decontextualize history…”
The key term is “political agenda” – this is what pays Dr. Shaffer’s salary. To put it mildly, Dr. Shaffer is telling the petroleum and geopolitical lobbies what they wish to hear, and they reward her with the proverbial “funding” and wide media and conference exposure. Is it I who is being overly alarmist, or is there a process of “academic prostitution” taking place?
The fact that Dr. Shaffer relies on pan-Turanian and Stalinist schools of “scholarship” does not appear to be of much consequence to her supporters. This is interesting as Soviet propaganda as a whole has generally been regarded as a laughing stock in the west. One example of comical historical revisionism were claims by Soviet “historians” that it was the Russians who invented the steam engine! If I may be so bold, I would suggest that Professors Diker and Shaffer consider collaborating with each other – after all, their methodologies and mindsets do intersect to a great extent.
Modern western scholarship seems to be selectively reviving past Soviet Stalinist historiography and collaborating with pan-Turanian activists to achieve the disintegration of Iran.
(5) Geopolitics & Re-inventing History: The Macedonia Example.
Persia is not the only country which has witnessed its historical icons and geographical names hijacked in the quest to manufacture new nation-states. This has also happened in the Balkans, namely against Greece. There are two similarities between the “Greater Azerbaijan” and “Macedonia Resurrected” projects.
(a) Changing Skopje to the Republic of Macedonia.
As noted previously, the Yugoslav Federation disintegrated in the 1990s. One of the former federated regions, which had a pre-dominantly Bulgarian-speaking Slavic majority, appropriated the ancient Hellenic geographical designation “Macedonia”. This region was previously known as “Skopje” – the actual Macedonia remains mostly in modern Greece. Not surprisingly, a number of Greeks have suggested that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia be referred to by its former name: Skopje.
Note how this process is virtually identical to the way in which Albania/Arran was renamed as “Azerbaijan”, when in fact the real historical Azerbaijan has always resided in Persia (Part II, item 1).
The “Macedonia Resurrected” project not only threatens Greek territorial integrity, but the very basis of her culture and identity. Like anti-Iran Azerbaijan projects, there are now fraudulent “academic” projects endeavouring to prove that Macedonia was never historically Greek but “Macedonian”. Even the very Hellenic origins of Alexander and his father Phillip are being doubted by a select group of “experts”.
(b) Retroactive De-Hellenization & Petroleum Diplomacy.
The appropriation of geographical nomenclature has been immediately followed with claims to the Macedonian legacy of ancient Greece and all of the associated icons of that legacy. The Hellenic legacy of Phillip of Macedon, Alexander the Great and Macedonia is being rejected. This is a process called Retroactive De-Hellenization.
Again a quick study of archival documents contradicts the de-Hellenization of Macedonia. The term “Phillip” is derived from the Greek stem words “Phil” (to love) and “Hippos” (horses) – literally translated as “one who is affectionate to/loves horses”. “Alexander” is broadly translated as “the protector of men”. A handful of references below serve to illustrate the Hellenic legacy of Macedonia:
“…Now surely, as they all talk the same language, they ought to be able to find a better way of settling their differences…In any case, the Greeks, with their absurd notions of warfare, never even thought of opposing me when I led my army to Macedonia”.
[Herodotus commenting on the invasion of Greece by Darius the Great of Persia – Book VII 417-418 – see References]
“…but the Dorians on the contrary have been constantly on the move; their home in Deucalion’s reign was Phthiotis and in the reign of Dorus son of Hellen the country known as Histiaeotis in the neighbourhood of Ossa and Olympus; driven from there by the Cadmeians they settled in Pindus and were known as Macedons; thence they migrated to Dryopis, and finally to the Peloponnese, where they got their present name of Dorians.”
[Herodotus commenting on the Greek tribes of Dorians, Ionians, Aeolians, who were originally known as Macedones according to Herodotus – Book Book I 56 – see References]
There is virtually an endless stream of additional archival references, some which include: Thucydides (4.124), Demosthenes (Speeches 11-20, the Letter of Philip), Arrian (14,4), Quintus C. Rufus (3,3), Diodorus (17.67.1), Plutarch (47,6 & 69,4), Polybius (Book IX 37), Pausanias (7.6), Strabo (7.8), and Aphrahat/Aphraates.
Nevertheless, these facts seem to matter little. It is as if by the stroke of a pen, the Hellenic legacy of Macedonia is to be erased by those harboring a geopolitical agenda. This appears to be fitting into the larger scheme of the new Petroleum diplomacy.
As noted above, Skopje (renamed Republic of Macedonia) is a former province of Yugoslavia and neatly sits astride the pipeline route. In that endeavor, even history is to be changed to fit contemporary geo-economics. It is no co-incidence that the “Macedonia Resurrected” project is now funded by the same Soros Foundation which helped finance the bloody disintegration of Yugoslavia – all in the latent aim of pipeline politics.
(c) South Slav Macedonian Nationalism.
Meanwhile the south Slav (Bulgarian-speaking?) residents of former Skopje view themselves as the heirs of a de-Hellenicized “Macedonia” which claims many facets of ancient Greek culture, and territory. Like pan-Turanian ideologues, no acknowledgement is made with respect to the fact that the south Slavs migrated to Skopje centuries after the foundation of ancient Greece. Similar to Professors Dikler (Turkey) and Khidirbekughli (Kazakhestan), facts on the ground today are deliberately confused with ancient history. Macedonian “nationalists”, like the Grey Wolves are impervious to objective archival and historical information. Faith-based nationalism and political orientation often results in the process of Cognitive Dissonance.
(6) Geopolitics and Psychological warfare
(a) Manufacturing Victims
Renowned clinical psychologist Dr. Tana Dineen (see references) notes that “Victim-making is part of …fabrications and illusions…(p.35)”. Dr. Dineen speaks of the abuse that’s been occurring in the field of psychology. Her statements are just as valid in the field of geopolitical manipulation. She notes that the process of “Manufacturing Victims” involves
“…exaggerated claims, unsupported “expert opinions”, sweeping public statements based on minimal or questionable data, broad generalizations…to understand this “other history” one must consider…how…”facts” were created or distorted to prove a biased view or to support a political or financial interest” (p.107
Professional cultural agitators such as Mr. Chehreganli and Dr. Brenda Shaffer certainly fit the criteria in the clinical sense. Both have “created or distorted“ information and are regularly consulted in order to solicit their “expert opinions” on Iranian Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis in general. Recall our discussion in Part II, where Chehreganli has literally “created” a new history for Sattar Khan (Part II, item 5) and Babak Khorramdin (Part II, item 6). Chehreganli has also “distorted” the details of the Soviet supported Pishevari movement in 1946.
As seen in item 4c, Professor Atabaki has exposed Dr. Shaffer’s text as being riveted with “…exaggerated claims…sweeping public statements based on minimal or questionable data, broad generalizations”. The aim of Dr. Brenda Shaffer, Mr. Mahmudali Chehreganli, the UAM and similar organizations is to “manufacture” Azerbaijanis as “victims”. Claims of Azerbaijani “victimhood” are masking a nefariously destructive ideology. As noted by Dineen, manufacturing victims serves to “to prove a biased view or to support a political or financial interest”.
Manufacturing victims is part of the “deception” of oil diplomacy, described earlier by Engdahl (item 3): media portrayals of “victims” are simply another sophisticated tool in that “deception”. The Yugoslav tragedy was in reality a gross travesty that witnessed the vitimhood of all Yugoslavs – nevertheless the Serbs were disproportionately villified in the press. The same is true with respect to Iranians today (see item 7).
(b) False Flag Incidents.
One of the classic weapons of manufacting victims is the use of False Flag incidents. This is the situation of creating a violent incident and staging it as to falsely implicate an innocent party. The main objective of False Flag incidents is to manufacture victims to further a wider geopolitical agenda
Although concrete evidence has yet to surface, Imperial Britain is said to have utilized such practices in their India colony to pit Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus against each other. A more recent example of a False Flag incidents has been reported in present-day Basra, Iraq by Christopher Bollyn of the American Free Press (see Web references):
“…After shooting and killing Iraqi police and civilians in Basra, two British agents from the Special Air Service (SAS)…disguised as suicide bombers from the Mehdi Army, were caught “red-handed” in a car loaded with explosives… Paul Wood of the BBC said the two British agents “…weapons, explosives and communications gear are standard kit for British special forces”…The two bearded British agents had been wearing black wigs and disguised as members of … the Mehdi Army…commonly employed tactic of “false flag terrorism”… Arab disguises are meant to guarantee that eyewitnesses of whatever terror operation the men were involved in saying that it been carried out by Iraqis.”
Iranians have accused British operatives of having been involved in recent “ethnic clashes” in Iran’s Khuzestan province. These involve dressing up as Arabs, spraying anti-Iran graffiti on walls, inciting anti-Persian feelings among local Arabs, etc. All of these claims are vociferously rejected by the British, who in turn accuse the Iranians of being involved in covert anti-British activities in Basra.
Nevertheless, the question of British complicity can be raised in relation to the capture of eight British servicemen by Iranian authorities on June 21, 2004. While the British alleged that the servicemen were engaged in patrol boat training, the Iranians noted that the servicemen had clearly violated Iranian territorial waters[xv]. The servicemen were later repatriated to British authorities without incident.
Close examination of the servicemen’s equipment appears to undermine the British claim of having been solely engaged in river patrol training. The gentlemen were carrying spy cameras[xvi], detailed maps of Iranian territory[xvii], and satellite communications equipment[xviii] when they were captured. Militarily, such equipment is standard to personnel engaged in intelligence gathering on hostile territory[xix] as opposed to routine river patrol training, where such equipment is unnecessary.
It is also interesting that many of these so-called “ethnic clashes” have been happening nearly simultaneously. As noted in Part III, item 3, Grey Wolf activists have been also working hard to create false flag incidents in Iranian Azerbaijan. So far, their efforts appear to have been unsuccessful. It is highly likely that the anti-Iran Kurdish separatist “Pezhak” organization (see item 9) has engaged in False Flag incdients in the recent riots in Iranian Kurdistan recently.
(7) Manipulation of Western Media.
In addition to their successes in western academia, pan-Turanian writers have been gaining steady support in the western (esp. English-speaking) world. As will be seen below, many media outlets are inadvertently becoming virtual mouthpieces for organizations such as the Grey Wolves.
The August 2000 issue of Celator (an academic journal for numismatic studies) published the following letter by Dean Sirigos
“…Turkey’s current nationalist ideology…seeks to deny the area’s (Asia Minor) Hellenic past. Tragically much of the mainstream US media have ratified this false revisionism, for example by identifying Ephesus as an “an ancient Turkish city” (CNN, 11/16/99) and … without references to their ancient Greek or Hellenistic past”.
[Dean Sirigos, Associate, American Hellenic Media Project (AHMP) – letter written to Celator journal on August 2000) – refer to Web References].
In 1993, the editor in Chief of the prestigious Turkish newspaper, Hurriyet, Erturul Ozdok made the following statement to New York Times correspondent, Alan Cowell:
“For us, the Bosnian Muslims are Turks”
The only element binding modern Turks to Bosnians is the Muslim religion; otherwise there is nothing else in common. Bosnians speak South Slav languages closely akin to Serbo-Croatian and are ethnic south Slavs. Turks speak an Altaic language unrelated to Indo-European languages. What Mr. Ozdok is stating is based on ideological beliefs, not objective facts. Cowell passively accepted Ozdok’s statements without the slightest effort at questioning their validity. Cowell then reported the following observation of the Turks made with respect to the Bosnians in the New York Times:
“…a powerful sentiment toward their religious and ethnic kin…”
[New York Times, January 19, 1993, p.A9]
Space limitations do not allow for the plethora of misinformed quotes now mushrooming in the western media; however one striking example was reported to the writer by a French Professor (who does not wish to be identified on-line):
“I recall many years ago watching a French TV talk-show program about the Kurds…the program then stated that the Kurds are a Turkish race…an audience participant who was Kurdish rose from her seat and angrily protested stating that Kurds speak an Iranian language and that Kurds are not Turks…the speaker simply paused and moved on with the program…”
Let us revisit the aforementioned Professor Günseli Renda, who recently stated in London, in the presence of the Turkish ambassador to England (Akın Alptuna) that “…the Ottoman sultans were descendants of Adam”. Professor Renda’s presentations were attended by BBC producer-speaker Michael Buerk (he stands at left next to Ambassador Akın Alptuna – photo below).
It is here where we must pause for thought. Professor Renda and Ambassador Alptuna may be excused – they may truly believe that the Ottoman Sultans were direct descendants of Adam. What is far more intriguing is what BBC producer Michael Buerk truly thinks of Adam and his “Ottoman descendants”? His pleasant smile belies the latent nature of his convictions.
Mr. Chehreganli has been allowed to appear in New York City parades in order to gain a wider (western) audience for his separatist agenda (see photo below – Chehreganli at left and wearing a red ribbon):
Note flags and the caption (barely legible) “South Azerbaijan National Awakening Movement”. It would appear that support for Iran’s destruction is becoming more overt and direct. It may be only a matter of time before the “Azerbaijan issue” begins to hit mainstream western media outlets.
(8) Iranians as Negative Propaganda Targets
The promotion of separatism in Iran has been highly facilitated by the incessant portrayal of Iranians as negative propaganda targets. The Serbs were also vilified just prior to the partitioning of Yugoslavia. Iranians however have been the target of over twenty five years of negative media portrayals. Popular entertainment personalities such as radio host Howard Stern (below left photo) are on record as having stated “Kill all Iranians, Kill them”. Actors George Clooney (in “Peacemaker”- below middle photo) and Chuck Norris (in “The Hitman” – below right photo) have both used derogatory language against Iran and Iranians in their movies. One can only imagine what would happen to Mr.s Stern, Clooney and Norris if they dared used such language against any other ethnic group. They would be banished from the entertainment industry for good.
Stern Clooney] Norris
It may be no exaggeration to state that Iranians are the most vilified and negatively portrayed people in the Anglo-Saxon media today. The majority of North Americans hold very irrational and inaccurate views of Iranians. The very word “Iran” evokes a knee-jerk reaction among most North Americans. “Iran” is now associated with abstractions such as “evil”, “terrorist”, or “fundamentalist”.
As noted by the author in previous writings, the majority of North Americans believe the Iranians to be Arabs. Simplistic abstractions and irrational beliefs have led to substandard reporting among many prestigious English language news outlets such as The Washington Times. Note the following quote by Editor Arnaud de Borchgrave (see photo below)
“TIME’s Michael Ware nailed down the details of Iran’s plans to create a greater Iranian Shiite empire…Iran’s objective could be a civil war between Shia Muslim and Sunni Muslim that would 1) encourage the U.S. to pull out its troops post-haste rather than be caught in the middle, and 2) secure Shia Iraq for a greater Shia Islam. The eastern Saudi oilfields, where Shia Arabs are in the majority, would then be one small Kuwait away”
[Arnaud de Borchgrave, Commentary: Iran’s strategy in Iraq, The Washington Times On-line, Aug. 15, 2005 – see Web References]
What is most shocking regarding Mr. de Borchgrave’s statement is the very fact that it is taken seriously by western (mainly North American) readers. The notion of a “greater Iranian Shiite empire” is as logically absurd and untenable as a “greater Italian Catholic empire”. Catholic Ukrainians, Poles, Frenchman, Fillipinos, Spaniards, etc. are no more likely (or willing) to join Italy in a “greater Italian Catholic empire” than are Saudi, Iraqi, Kuwaiti, etc Arabs within a “greater Iranian Shiite empire”.
It seems that Mr. de Borchgrave has failed to grasp the distinction religion and nationality. As for “Iran’s objective could be a civil war between Shia Muslim and Sunni Muslim”, Mr. de Borchgrave fails to realize that sectarian instability within Iraq also threatens Iran’s own geopolitical stability. Simply put, Iran has nothing to gain from a potential civil war in a neighbouring country. The level of intellectual sophistication exhibited by Mr. de Borchgrave appears to rival that of Mr. Howard Stern mentioned earlier.
Editors such as Mr. de Borchgrave have no interest in exploring the possibility that Iranians can be well-adjusted three-dimensional human beings. Perhaps Mr. de Borchgrave is unaware that Iranians today are among the most highly educated and successful immigrants in the United States and Canada (see report by Karen Kelly in Web References). Facts such as these never make it to the evening news. Professor James Bill has provided a rare and balanced view of the present state of affairs:
“…the masses of Iranian people…hold warm feelings toward…American citizens…the American public has not been so forgiving…public opinion surveys consistently reveal that Americans consider Iran to be the least popular country in the world…distorted and simplistic mass media representations, such as the widely distributed Hollywood film “Not Without My Daughter!” (see poster below), question the very civility and humanity of Iranians…some officials such as former Secretary of State Warren Christopher, have had a personal, visceral dislike of Iran…”
James A. Bill, Iran and the United States: A Clash of Hegemonies, Middle East Report, 212, p.45, 1999].
As noted by Professor Bill, irrational views regarding Iranians are displayed at the highest levels. This has resulted in a very unique phenomenon: re-writing the Persian chapter of human history. Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian has duly noted of the current relentless assault on the heritage of Persian civilization in Afghanistan, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Indian subcontinent, The Near East, The Persian Gulf and The Islamic World, a process fully supported by the aforementioned geopolitical lobbies:
“…A not too hidden agenda to deny or… ignore the far-reaching cultural influence of Iran …When the Soviet Union disintegrated, very few were aware that the liberated countries of its southern republics (i.e. Azerbaijan Republic) had histories and cultures linked with Iran. The realization of this fact must have come as a shock to the governments of Western nations. The result was pressure on scholars to revise their writings and reattribute to others the chapters hitherto devoted to ‘Iran extérieur’…In more recent times pan-Turkists and Stalinists, though at odds with each other, had tried hard … to erase all remaining traces of Persian …Their example has inspired a new breed of imperialist nation-builders who, in turn, use their clout to distort history, for immediate purposes or as a reward to nations in need of creating an identity for themselves from the many strands of that of Greater Iran”
[Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian, The Other Terror (Parts I & II), posted on Iranian.com, see Web References]
Iranians as a whole have become propaganda targets. Their identity, culture, history, and legacy are at stake. But the silent assault goes much further: Professor Bill has noted that the very humanity and civility of the Iranians are now under siege. All of this makes perfect sense if we transcend the domain of morality and view the situation from a geopolitical and economic perspective. All the areas eyed by petroleum giants such as BP, Shell or Chevron are presently in Iranian territory or reside in areas that have a mighty Persian legacy (e.g. the Caucasus). To successfully appropriate those energy deposits, the very legacy and idea of Persia must be destroyed. This means that the very dignity in one being a citizen of “Eire-An” or Persia must be eliminated:
“A review of a book by Christin Marschall… has her quoting an official of the State Department in Abu Dhabi that American policy in the Persian Gulf in the 1980s aimed at “securing the free flow of oil at reasonable prices, freedom of navigation and the support of the friendly Arab regimes in the area.” And the main threat to that policy was Iran, the quote adds, because of the “policy of its government, [but also because of] Iranian society and the pride that comes with being Iranian.”
[Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian, The Other Terror (Parts I & II), posted on Iranian.com, see Web References]
Ms. Farmanfarmaian’s succinct reporting should give the Iranian and non-Iranian reader pause for thought. The real propaganda targets are the people of Iran, irrespective of who holds the reigns of power in Tehran. Promotion and support for characters such as Mr. Chehreganli is wholly consistent with the policy of critically undermining “Iranian society and the pride that comes with being Iranian”. In the endeavour to dismember Iran, Mr. Chehreganli (with a whole lot of help from his geopolitical friends) is at the forefront in assaulting the very pride that is seen as “the main threat” to “the free flow of oil at reasonable prices”.
Media outlets, once the guardians of truth and objective reporting, seem to steer towards sensational and vindictive journalism whenever Iranians are involved. Portraying Iranians as negative propaganda targets is wholly consistent with the long-term objectives of Petroleum diplomacy.
(9) Turkey & The Republic of Azerbaijan: Victims of Geopolitical Manipulation.
The Bernard Lewis Project is using the Grey Wolves to implement its goal of fragmenting the Middle East into mini-states. Grey Wolf activists may have forgotten one small detail: the Bernard Lewis plan also targets Turkey for partitioning. Ironically, the Grey Wolves are ultimately acting in the worst interests of Turkey. Their dream to fragment Iran into mini-states will only endanger Turkey’s own territorial integrity, as most of the world’s Kurds live in eastern Anatolia.
A large number of Turks are wary of Kurdish separatism and suspect foreign complicity, an allegation that is not entirely unfounded. An amazing piece of anecdotal information was provided to me by two Georgian nationals who were visiting Turkey in the spring of 2002. On an Istanbul ferry, they met an American officer who stated to them, in no uncertain terms:
“We like the Kurds…we can use them to partition the entire region, I guess the Turks should be reasonable and mature and accept this and just let the Kurds go…”
There is no independent corroboration for this statement, nor has the name of this alleged person been identified. Also, we have no way of knowing if this officer was expressing a personal opinion or reflecting the mindset of his paymasters. If true however, this statement appears to confirm what many Turks have been suspecting all along: that the west is cynically supporting pan-Turanianism to create a war between the Turks and their neighbours while plotting Turkey’s own internal disintegration behind their backs.
This may explain the recent attempts at reaching out to Iran, Greece and Armenia. These are very positive steps, however the Turks are still supporting and promoting Grey Wolf activities within Iran and the Caucasus (and presumably elsewhere). SANAM continues to be supported as well.
There are possible reasons for this. First, the Turkish economy has been rescued a number of times by the IMF. Turkish ties to western geopolitical lobbies are very strong. Simply put, they may not have much choice or room to manoeuvre “Because of US (Financial-IMF loans, etc.) largesse and Turkish dependency on such funds…” (Olson, p.181 – see references).
Second, Turks have suspected that Iran has supported the separatist PKK party as well as fundamentalist groups. This is somewhat interesting as the major aid for the PKK has came from a variety of western sources, including Greece and England. The British are widely suspected by the Turks as having incited the Kurds to revolt against the new Turkish Republic in 1925[xx], in an attempt to weaken the Turkish bargaining position over the future of the ex-Ottoman vilayet (province) of Mosul[xxi]. Both Med-TV (see logo below) and its successor Medya-TV have been noted for their close links to the PKK. The broadcasts of Med-TV were made from Brussels and operated under license from the London-based Independent Television Commission for much of the 1990s[xxii]. The Turkish government did manage to persuade the British to drop their sponsorship of the Med-TV[xxiii], however this only resulted in the creation of a new station, Medya-TV, which apparently broadcasts with British sponsorship.
The Turks may also not be aware of how anti-Iranian the PKK movement is. Essentially a Stalinist and Communist movement at its inception, the PKK relied on Stalinist historical manuals, which conveyed a very strong anti-Persian message. A satellite branch of the PKK known as “Pezhak” has been active in Iran recently, working hard to promote bloodshed and ethnic violence between Persians and Kurds. The PKK has worked very hard to culturally distance the Kurds from their historical associations with Persia – the Nowruz is now called by PKK ideologues as the “Kurdish New Year”. Iranians as a whole have a natural cultural and historical affinity to the Kurds, who are their ethnic cousins. Instead, the PKK has indoctrinated anti-Persian attitudes for decades. These attitudes are also prevalent among organizations such as the PUK, and KDP in Iraq as well as the Komala and KDP wing within Iran.
To summarize, the Iranians are as suspicious of the PKK (and similar organizations) as are the Turks. Although the gentlemen of the PKK, PUK, KDP, etc, may disagree, the Kurds too are simply another element of the Bernard Lewis plan for the Near East (see also item 10).
Turkish Islamic fundamentalist groups are Sunni and as such have been generously funded by the Bin-Laden style Madrasah systems of Saudi Arabia. The Madrasahs are vehemently anti-Persian. Whatever the truth of alleged Iranian complicity, there are no genuine calls for cooperation between iran and Turkey – as indicated by the recent high profile Turkish visits to Iran. The problem however is that no action is being taken to stop Grey Wolf activists from destabilizing their neighbours. As noted before, Turkish hands may be tied. More nefariously, the genie of racialism is out of the bottle; racialists often go against the policies of their governments (recall Tansu Ciller discussed earlier in this on-line book)
This being said, Turkey is still a democracy, and the people have made themselves heard. Public pressure forced the Turkish government to reject American requests for assistance in the Iraq invasion. As noted before, the Turkish populace is educated, has a voice, and makes itself felt. Thanks to the Turkish people, cooler heads may yet prevail. However, time is running out. Vast sums of money have already been spent for over two decades by geopolitical lobbies to create a heartrending and tragic conflict.
Are the Turks being set-up? In the humble opinion of this writer, the answer is yes. Simply put, a role has been neatly scripted for Turkey – that of a geopolitical partner to western geopolitical/Petroleum interests. The Turkish role is to facilitate the projection of military and economic might into the Caucasus, Iran, the Near East and the Persian Gulf. This “script” has been aptly summarized by Zalmay Khalilzad, Ian Lesser and Stephen Larabee (see references):
“Turkey is ideally suited to play a vital role to ensure security both in the Persian Gulf and in the Caspian Basin. Turkish military facilities provide an excellent location for projecting power to both regions…”(p.85)
[Zalmay Khalilzad, Ian O. Lesser, F. Stephen Larrabee, The Future of Turkish-Western Relations: Toward a Strategic Plan, 2000, p.85 – see also Ofra Bengio, The Turkish-Israeli Relationship: Changing ties of Middle Eastern Outsiders, 2004.
The Turks have been conveniently assigned the role of foot soldiers in the upcoming Petroleum wars. The report by the Khalizad team was prepared by the Center for Middle East Public Policy-National Security Research Division for the Smith-Richardson Foundation. This very same report mobilizes Pan-Turanian ideology as an instrument of foreign policy:
“Turks already consider the Caspian Basin as very important because of ethnic ties” (p.85)
[Zalmay Khalilzad, Ian O. Lesser, F. Stephen Larrabee, The Future of Turkish-Western Relations: Toward a Strategic Plan, 2000, p.85]
But what about the ethnic ties between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus to Persia and modern day Iranians? It would appear that Khalilzad is selectively adopting Grey Wolf rhetoric to cynically promote a wider Petroleum agenda. It is precisely that agenda that is putting the Turks in danger. We have already noted how Grey Wolf chauvinism has resulted in a Greek-Iranian-Armenian alliance. Further geopolitical tensions may lead to a series of tragic Turkish-Iranian, Turkish-Armenian and possibly Turkish-Russian conflicts. Such a calamity must be avoided – peace, rationality, cooperation, and dialogue are the only alternatives.
As noted repeatedly in this article, the majority of Turks reject Grey Wolf activism and favor accommodation, trade, and expansion of ties with the Iranians. The same is true with respect to mainstream Turkish attitudes to Greece and Armenia. The majority of Turks are aware of the very rich cultural links between them and the Persian world, Greece and the Caucasus. All of these peoples enjoy many deep-rooted cultural ties, a fact vehemently rejected by racist ideologues from all sides.
Many of the intelligentsia of the Republic of Azerbaijan are also wary of geological machinations in the Caucasus. Farhad Husseinov, a democratic activist from the Republic of Azerbaijan, notes of cynical western support for anti-Democratic autocrats in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Husseinov further adds that:
“Azerbaijan is the latest victim of this sacrifice of freedom in the pursuit of stability. A country of 8.5 million people – roughly half of whom live in poverty… it is preparing for parliamentary elections in early November. Baku, the capital, is the next obvious candidate for a democratic revolution of the kind witnessed in Georgia and Ukraine. At stake are the multibillion-dollar investments of oil giants like BP and Chevron… The incumbent president, Ilham Aliyev, is a Soviet-educated autocrat who inherited power from his late father, Geidar Aliyev, in late 2003 as a result of rigged elections followed by a ruthless police crackdown. Opposition activists were imprisoned and tortured. Yet the creation of the first dynastic regime in the post-Soviet space was, incongruously, blessed by the administration of George W. Bush.”
[Farhad Husseinov, It’s Azerbaijan’s Turn, International Herald Tribune On-Line, September 28, 2005]
It is interesting that the “Human Rights” organizations of the west are silent with respect to the anti-Democratic policies in place in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Citing such reports would be inconsistent with the economic interests of the petroleum organizations moving into the Caucasus.
As noted previously, there is no widespread antipathy against Iran in the Azerbaijan Republic, irrespective of Dr. Shaffer’s beliefs. An increasing number in fact are aware that Grey Wolf activism is being ultimately propelled by “multibillion-dollar …oil giants like BP and Chevron”.
(10) The Iranian Experience with Geopolitics & Petroleum Diplomacy.
(a) The Same Old Story?
There is nothing new in foreign powers trying to exploit Iran’s ethnic diversity in order to destroy it. The British have been entertaining this since the 18th century. It is now acknowledged by British historians that, ever since the 1880s:
“The British would regularly toy with the idea of partitioning Persia, usually as a temporary response to a crisis”
[Edward Ingram, Britain’s Persian Connection 1798-1828: Prelude to the Great Game in Asia, 1992, p.41.]
In 1907, Britain in an accord signed with Russia in 1905, practically proposed to partition Persia into two distinct “spheres of influence” (see map below) with the north awarded to Czarist Russia (blue area) and the south to Britain (pink/red area); central area was to be a “neutral’ zone (see Adelson, p. 59-62 in References).
The Iranians have witnessed numerous self-serving and cynical acts of violent and forceful foreign interference into their internal affairs in the recent history. This commentary has already noted the role of Britain and Russia in crushing the Iranian Constitutional Reform movement in Persia in the early 1900s. Professor Cosroe Chaqueri, notes of the role performed by the Russians and the British in crushing the first indigenous democracy movement of Western Asia. He describes:
“…democratic aspirations of a people being crushed by savage Cossacks of…tsarist Russia, with the cynical complicity of yet another European power, Britain – all in the name of Western civilization”
[Chaqeri, Cosroe, Origins of Social Democracy in Modern Iran, 2001, p.197].
The Iranians subsequently witnessed the Petroleum diplomacy of British Petroleum, who in collusion with the American CIA, overthrew yet another indigenous and popularly elected government, led by Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh (1882-1967) in 1953 (see photo below).
There is also nothing new with respect to the falsification of Persia’s history to suit short-term business and geopolitical objectives. Whole schools and faculties to that end were first invented in the former Soviet Union – these have now been re-invigorated in the West. The calls for the partitioning of Iran’s northwest in the name of pan-Turanianism are as old as the Young Turk and Musavat movements (Part I, Part II, item 1).
(b) The Partitioning Agenda Continues
The twentieth century witnessed the Soviet Union using its military presence in occupied Iran to set up puppet mini-states among Iranian Kurds and Azeris (Part II, item1e). Saddam Hussein and pan-Arab ideologues targeted the Arabs of southwest Iran in an endeavour to have them separate and join “the Arab nation”. There are also reports of efforts at inciting separatist passions among the Baluchis of Southeast Iran.
These efforts are still continuing, with many western universities having founded academic institutions with an interest in partitioning Iran (mainly in the United States and Britain). In addition to Shaffer’s programs (item 4), there are others such as the “Al-Ahwaz Studies” centre in Britain which endeavours to separate Iran’s Khuzestan province (see Web references). There are now “maps of Arabistan” which claim a historical legitimacy in Khuzestan dating back thousands of years (see map of the Al-Ahwaz society below, refer to Web References):
What is most interesting in this map is the way it depicts “the independent nations of Baluchistan, and Kurdistan”. The Al-Ahwaz website makes a point of co-operating with the “other oppressed peoples of Iran to support our mutual aims for national liberation”. There are specific links to Chehreganli’s SANAM organization. Interestingly, Mr. Chehreganli has himself made clear that he intends to merge the activities of his organization with that of organizations such as Al-Ahwaz.
Almost predictably, the western world in the form of “Human Rights” and “Cultural” organizations, are again throwing their support behind (yet another) fringe racialist movement. This was preposterously demonstrated on June 31st, 2005 when Pierre Pettigrew (Canadian Minister of Foreign affairs) officially met with Rafiq Abu-Sharif, a seperatist representative of the Al-Ahwaz organization (see Pettigrew at left and Abu-Sharif at right):
According to the Al-Ahwaz website, Abu-Sharif “…submitted a detailed letter to Pettigrew…detailing the nationalities under oppression…in Iran…”. Let us be clear by what Mr. Abu-Sharif means by “nationalities under oppression…in Iran”. Abu-Sharif isn’t just referring to Iranian Arabs; he is simultaneously advancing the cause of Mr. Chehreganli and Kurdish separatist groups.
How would the distinguished Canadian Minister (himself a Francophone) feel if a foreign nation was providing official recognition to the FLQ (Front de Liberation du Quebec) terrorist and French separatist organization of 1970s Quebec?
But perhaps Mr. Pettigrew and other supporters of the Al-Ahwaz movement have chosen to forget that Iran’s Arabs rejected and fought against Mr. Saddam Hussein’s pan-Arabist attempts at annexing Iran’s Khuzestan province during the bloody 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war (see photo below of Iranian Arabs preparing for battle against Saddam’s forces invading Iran in the 1980s):
The only non-Arab is the professional soldier with the green beret, who is training the Iranian Arabs on the use of a grenade launcher. There are now serious attempts by Mr. Abu-Sharif and his organization to re-write this part of Iran’s history – predictably with the support of certain geopolitical and Petroleum lobbies.
There is also strong funding and support for Kurdish anti-Iran academic literature, personified by Dr. Mehrdad Izady (photo below left) and his book (below right) – “The Kurds: A Concise Handbook” (see References):
The book is a Kurdish version of the Soviet-Pishevari sponsored “Vatan Dili” for Azerbaijan – it essentially writes out the Kurds from the history of Persia and attempts to portray a “Kurdish nation” (in an anti-Iranian context) that never was. This book has been celebrated by anti-Near East individuals such as Daniel Pipes who has noted that:
“…he (Izady) provides copious bibliographic references for further reading. Even Middle East specialists will find almost everything in Izady’s handbook … has done an exemplary job of bringing so much together in a clear and reliable fashion”.
[See Daniel Pipe’s web link in Web References]
The reality is different however. Like other racist organizations such as the pan-Turanian activists, Persian chauvinists or the Greek Chrysi Avgi, Izady manufactures information. Many of his references, when observed objectively, fail to support his assertions, making his book decidedly unreliable. The book is laden with errors and outright falsifications. One example is the claim that Ms. Pari Zangeneh, a popular Iranian opera singer, is Kurdish, when in fact Ms. Zangeneh has admitted to this author that she is not Kurdish and originally hails from Kashan. The last name “Zangeneh” originally derives from that of her ex-husband. Falsifications such as these are typical of Mr. Izady’s Soviet-style historiography, yet the book continues to be viewed by many western “experts” as a valid source of information. Like Brenda Shaffer, and Mr. Chehreganli, Dr. Izady has also been granted audience in front of the US congress due to his “expertise”.
(c) Supporting Racism to further The Bernard Lewis Plan
The Iranians have already been the victims of racial hatred, most recently by pan-Arabism, and now by the Islamic Fundamentalist followers of Mr. Osama Bin laden. Pan-Arab racist literature has had the distinction of producing works such as Khairullah Tulfah’s “Three Whom God should not have Created: Iranians, Jews and Flies”. During the Iran-Iraq war, thousands of not only Iraqi troops, but Arab volunteers from many Arab nations, drew inspiration from the likes of Tulfa (For more information, refer to Kaveh Farrokh’s article on pan-Arabism in Web References).
The CIA and Pakistan intelligence generously funded and trained an anti-Persian religious fanatic, Mr. Bin Laden up to the 1990s, in the effort to eject the Soviets out of Afghanistan. Bin Laden was later courted in the hope to set up a Central Asian pipeline across Afghanistan. Predictably, his openly brutal treatment of Persian speakers went virtually unreported in the western press and “Human Rights” organizations.
It is both a shame and a sham to see a great nation, the United States, a land of racial diversity, tolerance, and democracy, making common cause with pan-Turanian ideologues who openly admire and draw inspiration from Hitler and Nazism. The Americans heroically fought the Nazis in World War Two in the name of justice and liberty.
But the recent western embrace of anti-democratic and anti-Iranian racist demagogues is anything but strange. Mr. Saddam Hussein, a pan-Arab racist, not only invaded Iran in 1980, but was generously rewarded with chemical and biological weapons, which he used not only against Iranian troops, but liberally against Iranian civilians and Iraq’s own helpless Kurdish population. Not only did any of this repel the west from Saddam, he was openly courted and congratulated by western officials such as Mr. Donald Rumsfeld (below left):
Although the above clearly shows the hypocrisy of the man, Rumsfeld is remarkably consistent in his focus: he profoundly dislikes Iranians. Even as the horrors of the gas attack on Halabja were surfacing, Rumsfeld and western media outlets were apologetic and circumspect – after all, Saddam was a useful ally against Iran in the 1980s.
Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian has noted that:
“…some of us (Iranians) remember how the United States insisted that it was Iran, not Iraq, that was using poisonous chemicals against Kurds, and so strong was that propaganda that most believed it, even after Flavio Cotti of the International Red Cross publicly corrected the record. Nobody was willing to defend Iranians, even less say a word against Iraqi bombing of World Heritage sites like Isfahan (and other important monuments)…”
[Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian, Defending Our Turf, posted on Iranian.com, see Web References]
Saddam finally outlived his usefulness and was as callously removed as the end butt of a used cigarette. Now that militant anti-Iranian pan-Arabism has temporarily spent itself, Mr. Rumsfeld (and friends) has “discovered” pan-Turanianism. Mr. Rumsfeld has in fact met Mr. Chehreganli several times and has shaken his hand in the name of Iran’s destruction. The US-Chehreganli connection was recently elaborated by Professor William Beeman (see Web References):
“…there have been continued contacts between Iranian Azerbaijani separatist Mahmudali Chehregani and the Bush administration…There is continued administration contact and support for the MEK…”
[William O. Beeman, US Attack on Iran may be in the Cards, Pacific News Service On-Line, June 28, 2005]
Then there is the “nuclear issue” of Iran, a topic which the author has purposefully avoided mentioning in this publication[xxiv]. The author has no firm opinion formed on the subject, as his knowledge of the issues are rudimentary at best. However, the writer does propose that even if Iran completely dismantled its nuclear program, the bigger (geopolitical-Petroleum) agenda would remain unchanged. Iran would still be vilified and attempts to dismember it (a la Chereganli) would continue unabated.
Many Iranians share this cynicism, viewing the current “nuclear crisis” as not only another extension of Petroleum Diplomacy[xxv], but an attempt to hinder Iran’s technological progress. Peaceful nuclear technology allows for the advancement of many areas of expertise, especially medicine. As noted by Mr. Reza Vatandoust, a high-profile and well respected member of Iran’s on-line cultural platforms:
“…this issue is not about preventing the falling of nuclear weapons into the hands of “So called terrorists”, it is about preventing/stopping the advancement of the Iranian people into the future.”
Mr. Vatandoust’s statement evokes vivid memories of Mr. George Ball in the 1970s and his vehement opposition to all aspects of technological advancement in Iran. Mainstream non-partisan Iranians now increasingly suspect that attempts are being made to hinder Iran’s technological progress, irrespective of whether there is a nuclear program in place or not. In the wider geopolitical-Petroleum scenario, it is simply not “good business” to have a technologically powerful and economically viable Iran. Such an Iran simply does not fit into the nefarious Bernard Lewis Plan.
This being said mention must be made of the long standing bellicose propaganda emanating from the seats of Tehran’s government. There is particular venom directed against Israel with outrageous calls for its destruction. But Why? Statements such as “Israel must be wiped off the map” only serve to focus international wrath against Iran and are a godsend to those with a long-standing geopolitical agenda to dismember Iran and destroy its Persian heritage.
Iran also has no historical disputes with Israel. First, Iranians have long-standing links with the Jewish people, dating to the time of the Medes and Cyrus the Great. Few in the world are aware the one of the first elements of the Jewish Diaspora settled in Hamadan, where many of their descendants live to this day. The tomb of esther and Mordechai is in Hamadan. Second, Iran has no territorial disputes with the Israel. Third, Iran is not an Arab country. Arab problems with Israel are best settled by the parties themselves.
As noted in Part II, item 8c, many Iranians have become disillusioned and tired of the current government’s adoption of pan-Arab issues. Iranians vividly recall how the majority of Arab nations sent volunteers to fight Iran in the 8 year Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), while offering meek protests with respect to the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflicts. The Arab world (with the exception of the Shia in Lebanon and Iraq) has certainly had a very cool reception to Iran, despite its pro pan-Arab rhetoric. Arab ideologues continue to openly call for Iran’s destruction as a nation, reject any suggestion of a Persian legacy in their culture or Islam, and continue to make demands on Iranian territory. As noted previously by this author, a number of hard-core Muslim fundamentalists regularly chant “death to Iran” alongside the boringly familiar “death to America…etc.”.
Having criticized the Iranians, geopolitical lobbies (including Israel) have nothing to gain by trying to dismember Iran as a state. These actions will only aggravate an already tense situation. Simply, the madness must end. It is time for calm and rational discourse to take place between reasonable people. To be frank, many Iranians are bored of slogans and propaganda, however they all unanimous in opposing any attempts at dismembering Persia and its legacy.
(11) A Final Note.
It is my sincere hope that this article will draw attention to pan-Turanian ideologues and allow questions to be raised as to their ambitions, especially in Iranian Azerbaijan and the Caucasus.Chauvenism in any shape or form (e.g. Nordicism/Nazism, Persian Chauvenism, Pan-Arabism, pan-Kurdism, pan-Turkism, etc.) remains a menace to humanity and world peace.
The main objective of this on-line book/commentary has been a simple one: preventing conflict by questioning the motives of those who wish to promote comflict. Their dogmas fail when exposed to the rigours of objective information. More important than objective information is the basic human decency of realizing how futile and wasteful wars, conflicts and child-like tribalisms are. Wars avail nothing but destruction and anguish. Conflict often has its roots in ignorance, as noted by the wise saying of the Guru Nanak (1469-1539 AD), the founder of the Sikh religion in India:
“Ignorance is the root of all Evil”.
Any teaching that promotes hatred is ultimately rooted in ignorance, and ignorance can be defeated with knowledge and human decency.
Part V <<>> Index
[i] Engdahl, 2004, p.171.
[ii] Robert Eringer has provided a rare and detailed report on the Bilderberg Group as well as the Trilateral Commission and other covert power groups in the western world. See references for details.
[iii] Dreyfus and LeMarc, 1980, p.157.
[iv] “Pakhtunistan” would assist in the process of the disintegration of Pakistan, Iran and possibly Afghanistan.
[v] As with the Al-Ahwaz and Arabian Gulf projects, the Azerbaijan project is being supported by lobbies harboring economic objectives. As noted by Olson, “…the growth of Azeri nationalism facilitated US and EU efforts to make the Caspian basin region a ‘second Persian Gulf’…” (Turkey-Iran Relations, 1979-2004, 2004, p.155-156).
[vi] Olson, 2004, p.89.
[vii] Dr. Shaffer asked the US Congress in 2002 to lift long-standing US sanctions on the Republic of Azerbaijan despite long-standing concerns with the Republic’s human rights records and anti-democratic procedures..
[viii] Dr. Shaffer has given speeches to the nationalist, pan-Azeri Vatan Society in Britain in 2004.
[ix] Afshin Molavi, a US-based Iranian analyst, has noted that Shaffer’s book has “captivated the attention of [Iranian] regime change advocates in Washington.”
[x] Matini, Jalal, “Azerbaijan Koja Ast?”, 1989, Iranshenasi, I(3), p.447.
[xiii] The professor’s knowledge of all phonological and orthographic (Arabic-based) varieties of Persian are impressive. The Professor showed the author during his interview, a copy of old Tajiki hand-written manuscripts that he was researching. Maclean is also versed in the Dehlavi (Moghul Indian) style of Persian, the Masnavi of Jallale-Din Rumi, the Golestan Saadi and the Divan-e- Hafez.
[xiv] By “nation building” I assume that the Professor meant Iranian nationalism attempts at nation-building. This means that Iranians have invented Azerbaijan’s history as a way of keeping that province in Iran.
[xv] “Released Britons return to Iraq”, BBC TV News Broadcast June 25th, 2004, also available on the following website http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3837943.stm.
[xvi] Iran’s Arabic language Al-Alam television noted after the seizure of the British and their equipment that “…on board (the seized boats of the British) they (Iranian authorities) found weapons and spy cameras, plus detailed maps of areas within Iran and Iraq.” The full text of this broadcast is provided in the on-line Payvand News network site of June 23, 2004 edition, http://www.payvand.com/news/04/jun/1141.html.
[xviii] Gedye, Robin & Savill, Richard “Iran releases eight captured servicemen”, The Telegraph, June 25th, 2004, also available on the following website http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/06/25/wiran25.xml.
[xx] Philip Robins, Suits and Uniforms: Turkish Foreign Policy Since the Cold War, Hurst & Company, London, p.172-173.
[xxii] Philip Robins, Suits and Uniforms: Turkish Foreign Policy Since the Cold War, Hurst & Company, London, p.81.
[xxiii] Philip Robins, Suits and Uniforms: Turkish Foreign Policy Since the Cold War, Hurst & Company, London, p.81. it is interesting to note that when British Foreign Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind visited Turkey in September 1995, the Turks made their dissatisfaction with British sponsorship of Med-TV very clear to the secretary.
[xxiv] For further discussion of the nucluer issue, refer to Professor Kaveh Afrasiabi’s article “US media and Iran’s nuclear threat” (see Web References).
[xxv] One tiny piece of inconsistency is worthy of note: politically unstable Pakistan, with its vast arsenal of nucleur bombs, is not seen as a threat. This is very illogical, as much of the nation’s populace and upper leadership seethes with anti-US sentiment, and there is a genuine danger of a Taliban style takeover. The Taliban are highly irrational and bear a fanatic hatred of the west. Rather than finally confront reality, mainstream American analysts continue to parrot the fallacy that all Pakistanis and Saudis are friends of the United States.
Part V <<>> Index
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Vogelsang, W.J. (1992). The Rise and Organization of the Achaemenid Empire: The Eastern Iranian Influence. Leiden: E.J. Brill.
Volstad, J. Steven (1995). The Red Army of the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945. London: Osprey Publishing.
Weems, S. A. (2002). Armenia: Secrets of a “Christian” Terrorist State. Dallas: St. John’s Press.
Whittow, M. (1996). The Making of Byzantium: 600-1025. Berkley: University of California Press.
Wilcox, P. (1987, reprinted 1999). Rome’s Enemies 3: Parthians and Sassanid Persians. London: Osprey Publishing – Men at Arms Series.
Zeman, Zbynek & Scharlau, Winfried (1965), The merchant of revolution. The life of Alexander Israel Helphand (Parvus)
. London: Oxford University Press. See especially pages 125-144.
Zenkovsky, S. A. (1960). Pan-Turkism and Islam in Russia. Cambridge-Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
PART I: A SHORT INTRODUCTION TO PAN-TURANIANISM
Professor Silahi Diker’s Turcocentric theories of Civilization:
And the Whole World was One Language (Ten Thousand Year of the Turks)
Professor Silahi Diker’s offer of Etruscans as Turks:
Etruscans Genetic Study – Turkic World
North American Indians as Turks:
Turkish Language and the Native Americans
Turkish origins of Melungians by Mehmet Cakir:
The Melungeons: Genetic, Linguistic, and Historic Evidence of Their Turkish Roots
The notion of Tajiks being Turks:
Turkemenistan President, Separmurat Turkmenbashi narrative of Propher Noah as Turkish:
Pan-Turanian claims to Prophet Noah’s origins
Turkish professor Gunseli/Guzide Renda proposes that the Ottoman Sultans are the direct descendants of Adam:
Prof. Guzide Renda tells about the art of portraiture during the Ottoman era in a series of conferences based
on the exhibition “Turks: A Journey of a Thousand Years, 600-1600”
Professor G.R.F. Assar:
Parthian Language of the Ancient “Turkish culture?
Parthian is not Turkish
PART II: PAN-TURANIAN CLAIMS TO AZERBAIJAN
A Georgian website discussing the Persian legacy in the Caucasus:
History of Georgian-Iranian Relations.
A website for the Chehreganli separatist movement:
SANAM (South Azerbaijan Independence Movement)
An Azerbaijani website from Tabriz, Iran. This openly rejects pan-Turanianism and affirms Azerbaijan’s historical, cultural, linguistic and theological bonds with Persia
Welcome to Tabriz, Iran: Land of Nobility and Gallantry
PART III: THE GREY WOLVES
Martin Lee’s article on the political context of the rise of Grey Wolf activism. This was originally published on Monday, May 14, 2001 in the San Francisco Bay Guardian:
When John Paul II Was Shot in St. Peter’s Square: Turkish Spy Scandals Shed New Light on Papal Murder Attempt
A very interesting Turkish ultra-nationalist website that also collates many of the beliefs and aims of the BozKurt (Grey Wolves):
Mezopotamya Radio, January 26, 2005
Thousands of Turkmen sent to Iraq by Turkey: report
PART IV: THE PROMOTION OF DISCORD
James C. Helicke’s article on the sale of “Mein Kampf” in Turkey
‘Mein Kampf’ a Best Seller in Turkey
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4361733.stm (same report in BBC News)
Document and photographic archives of Armenian 1915 tragedy
Website which explains the Armenian Genocide as a Fraud
Tall Armenian Tale: The Other Side of Falsified Genocide
The scandalous contacts between members of the US government and Turkish officials
Did Speaker Hastert Accept Turkish Bribes to Deny Armenian Genocide and Approve Weapons Sales?
Interesting link of South Azerbaijan Human Rights (S.A.H.R.) organization co-hosted by the Arab separatist Al-Ahwaz organization of southwest Iran:
South Azerbaijan Human Rights (S.A.H.R.)
Asim Oku’s Article on the vulnerability of the Republic of Azerbaijan to separatist movements
Iran Can Blow Up Azerbaijan From Within
The Talysh and Lezgian Independence Movements of the Republic of Azerbaijan
http://www.geocities.com/master8885/DPolicy/talish.html (Independence Issues)
http://www.geocities.com/master8885/DPolicy/yua.htm (Human Rights Issues)
The Revival of the Iranian Right-Wing Kaboud Movement – today known as SUMKA
SUMKA (Hezb-e-Sosialeeste-ye-Melee-ye Kargaran-e Iran)
A Persian language Neo-Nazi site:
Neo Nazi in Iran
PART V: GREY WOLVES & FAILURE IN AZERBAIJAN
The Suleymanoghlu offer of Turkish citizen ship to Rezazadeh, see the following article posted at Payvand News Website:
Suleymanoglu offers Rezazadeh Turkish citizenship
PART VI: GEOPOLITICAL INTERESTS & PETROLEUM DIPLOMACY
A report by Nick Grace for the Clandestine Radio Intel Web on Israeli sponsorship of the VOSA (Voice of Southern Azerbaijan)
Voice of Southern Azerbaijan
The Moscow News Report on US military assistance to Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan Republic.
Russia in a Hurry to Sell Weapons to Iran
Interesting article by Jason Athanasiadis in the Asia Times on the role of the CIA in trying to dismember Iran and separate Azerbaijan
Stirring the Ethnic Pot (Apr 29, 2005)
Michel Chossudovsky’s article on western objectives in Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea
Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran (May 1, 2005)
Greek reports of Turkish attempts at manipulating western scholarship
US Scholars Outraged at Turkish Propaganda
A descriptive website of the activities of the American-Turkish Council (ATC)
The American Turkish Council
Christopher Deliso’s article outlining the influence of the ATC in America
How Foreign Lobbies Imperil America
Hellenic nationalist Page reports on Turkish efforts to influence scholarship
US Scholars Outraged at Turklish Propaganda
Doulatbek Khidirbekughli’sa review on Harvard University’s Eurasian Studies Society (CESS), Volume 3, Number 1, Winter 2004
Mysterious Eurasia: Thoughts on Response to Dr. Schoeberlein
A revealing website into Geopolitics and Caspian Sea resources
Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Compendium of governmental and academic lobbies
Caspian Sea Region
Greek Protest regarding de-Hellenization of Asia Minor:
Dean Sirigos, Associate, American Hellenic Media Project (AHMP) – letter written to Celator journal on August 2000)
Article by Christopher Bollyn of the American Free Press, outlining British involvement in the Basra False Flag Incidents
Arrest of British Terror Agents in Basra Exposes Source of Iraqi Sectarian Terror Bombing
Arnaud de Borchgrave’s failure to distinguish between religion and nationality on The Washington Times On-line, Aug. 15, 2005
Commentary: Iran’s strategy in Iraq
Karen Kelly’s report on Iranian Engineer’s innovations (September 8, 2005)
Engineering professor among world’s top innovators: Parham Aarabi recognized for the profound impact of his research on the way we live and work
Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian’s assessment of how short-term politics has resulted in the distortion of scholarship as pertaining to Iranian studies
The Other Terror
http://www.iranian.com/FSFF/2005/February/Terror/index.html (Part I)
http://www.iranian.com/FSFF/2005/February/Terror/index2.html (Part II)
Farhad Husseinov’s article on the growing democracy movement in the Republic of Azerbaijan
It’s Azerbaijan’s Turn
Daniel Pipe’s review of books on Kurdish issues
Political platform for Arab separatism from Iran’s Khuzistan province
The Official Site of Ahwaz and Ahwazi Arabic Revolution (Arabistan)
http://www.al-ahwaz.com/ (in Arabic)
http://alahwaz.com/ (in Persian)
An academic venue for Ahwaz studies
The Al-Ahwaz studies organization
Kaveh Farrokh’s assessment of anti-Iranian Arab nationalism
Pan-Arabism’s Legacy of Confrontation with Iran
http://www.azargoshnasp.net/~iran/recent_history/panarabism/miraspan-arabism.pdf (in Persian)
Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian’s assessment of how Iran’s heritage and historical dignity is under assault
Defending Our Turf
Professor William Beeman’s article on geopolitical support for Chehreganli
Rumblings in Azerbaijan — Bush’s Hawks Eye Northern Iran
Professor William Beeman’s article on possible western military cooperation with Chehreganli
U.S. attack on Iran may be in the cards
Professor William Beeman’s article on how false information on Azerbaijan can lead to military conflict
Ignorance on Iran could lead to an Unwise Attack
Interesting article by Professor William O. Beeman on US support for Azerbaijan separatism and Mr. Chehreganli
US Attack on Iran may be in the Cards
http://news.pacificnews.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=9da0bcd682e7e4b57ad05d619b4a18c3 (June 28, 2005)
Kaveh Afrasiabi’s report on British assessments of Iran’s WMD programs
Building a case, any case, against Iran
Kaveh Afrasiabi’s article on double standards on Iran’s nucluer issues in Asia Times On-line
US media and Iran’s Nuclear Threat
http://web.tickle.com/tests/uiq/index-pop.jsp?sid=2699&supp=tmp_iq_GROUPE10_redswingline&z= (May 11, 2005)
Part VI References:
Diminishing Petroleum Resources
The Memo to Tony Blair:
“Submission to the Cabinet Office on Energy Policy”, The Oil Depletion Analysis Centre, September 9, 2001. http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk
In addition to Engdahl (see numerous references in Footnotes 5-6 on p.284 (see References).refer to:
Heinburg, Richard (2003). The Party’s Over: Oil, water and the Fate of Industrialized Societies. New Society Publishers.
The following three articles in the Guardian newspapers are of interest:
Meacher, Michael (Senior Blair cabinet member). The War on terrorism is bogus. Guardian (British Newspaper), September 6, 2003.
Wright, George. “Wolfowitz: The Iraq War was About Oil”. Guardian, June 4, 2004.
Ash, Timothy Garten. “Next Stop Syria?” Guardian, January 22, 2004.
Robbins notes that the interpretation of history in Turkey is characterized by rigidity, partly a result of the traumatic period between 1918-1923. The success of the new republic which arose from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire and the constant eulogizing of Attaturk and those who fought for Turkish independence. See Philip Robins, Suits and Uniforms: Turkish Foreign Policy Since the Cold War, Hurst & Company, London, p.104.
 This quote follows the preface of Mustafa Kemal Attaturk, The Speech, translated and abridged by Onder Renkliyildirim (Istanbul: Metro Publishers), p.4. Also cited in Robins, Philip, 2003, Suits and Uniforms, p.93.
 Poulton, H. Top Hat, Grey Wolf and Crescent, 1997, P.110-114. Robins, Philip, 2003, Suits and Uniforms, p.93-95.
 The phenomenon of politicians acting as historians first occurred during the Young Turk movement(). Notable are figures such as Ahmed Agaoglu, Yusuf Akcura, Ziya Gokalp, Fuad Korpulu.
 Key political figures Agaoglu, Gokalp, and Akcura both believed in the need for close cooperation between the government and historical societies. For an insight into the activities of Akcura in this regard see F. Georgeon, Aux Origines du Nationalisme Turc: Yusuf Akcura (1876-1935) (Paris: Institut d’Etudes Anatoliennes, 1980), p.234-236. Agaoglu’s activities can be examined in Frank Tachau, “The Search for National Identity Among the Turks’, Die Welt Des Islams, vol.8, no.3, 1963, p.174.
 Taner Timur, “The Ottoman heritage” in Irvin C. Schick and Ertugrul Ahmet Tonak (eds.), Turkey in Transition (Oxford University Press, 1987), p.6.
 Elements of this “Thesis” had already been incorporated into various school textbooks since 1929. See also Poulton, H. Top Hat, Grey Wolf and Crescent, 1997, P.101.
 Robins, Philip, 2003, Suits and Uniforms, p.93.
 Afghanistan was not recognized as such according to historical archives until the year 1747 at the earliest.
 This was held in the Washington Convention Centre. The display was entitled “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Yesterday and Today: A Cultural experience”. See Jalal Matini, “Persian artistic and literary pieces in the Saudi Arabian exhibition”, Iranshenasi: A Journal of Iranian Studies, 1989b, p.390-404.
 Philip Robins, Suits and Uniforms: Turkish Foreign Policy Since the Cold War, Hurst & Company, London, p.96.
 Atabaki, T., Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and the Struggle for Power in Iran, p.7.
 Kasravi, A. Azeri ya Zaban-e Bastan-e Azarbaijan, 2nd print, Tehran, Taban, 1938, p.8.
 It is notable that this region was identified as the land in which Zoroastrian “fire-temples were very common”, as cited in Yaqut al-Hamavi, Kitab Mujam Al Buldan, Wustenfled F. (ed.) vol.1, Leipzig, Brockhaus, 1866, p.17.
 Atabaki, T., Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and the Struggle for Power in Iran, p.7.
 Strabo Geographica, see p. 17-18 regarding Azerbaijan and Arran.
 Matini, Jalal, “Azerbaijan Koja Ast?”, 1989, Iranshenasi, I(3), p.452.
 Matini, Jalal, “Azerbaijan Koja Ast?”, 1989, Iranshenasi, I(3), p.452.
 Ibid. Matini also notes that Greater Azerbaijan nationalists such as Abbas-Ali Javadi have inaccurately cited the new republic as having been the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan. This may perhaps be an attempt to provide a historical (albeit fictional) background for the rise of the Soviet-supported Pishevari movement in Iranian Azerbaijan in the mid-1940s.
 Chaqueri, Cosroe, Origins of Social Democracy in Iran, 2001, p.209.
 Matini, Jalal, “Azerbaijan Koja Ast?”, 1989, Iranshenasi, I(3), p.445.
 The Ottoman Turks had successfully defeated and expelled the Russians from Kars on April 26, 1918, a full month before the declaration of the “Republic of Azerbaijan”. For the little studied area of Ottoman operations and personnel in the Caucasus and Iran during World War One, consult Nicolle, David, The Ottoman Army: 1914-1918, 1994, p.37, 39-40.
 Matini, Jalal, “Azerbaijan Koja Ast?”, 1989, Iranshenasi, I(3), p.452.
 Chaqueri, Cosroe, Origins of Social Democracy in Iran, 2001, p.118, 174-181, 209-210.
 Rasulzadeh, Mohammad Amin, 1910, Tanqid-e Ferqeh-e E’tedaliyun ya Ejtema’iyun E’tedaliyun, Tehran, Farus. See also citation by Atabaki, Touraj, Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and the Struggle for Power in Iran, 2000, p.38.
 Pan-Turanian activists also portray Khiyabani as a sort of “closet separatist”. Refer to Atabaki’s 2000 text for further discussion.
 Kasravi, A. Tarijh-e-Hejdah Saleh-e Azarbaijan, op. cit., p.872.
 Blucher, W.V., Zeitenwende, Persian Translation: Safar-nameh-e-Blucher, Tehran, Khwarami, 1984, p.37. Tancoigne, A Narrative, p.177. See Ayandeh (1988), vol 4, no.s 1-2, p. 57-59).
 Ramazani, R., op. cit. p.115. See also citation by Atabaki, Touraj, Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and the Struggle for Power in Iran, 2000, p.25.
 Chaqeri, Origins of Social Democracy in Iran, p.209; Watson, A History, p.26; Bassett, The Land of Imams, p.266; US Consular Report, p.294.
 Matini, Jalal, “Azerbaijan Koja Ast?”, 1989, Iranshenasi, I(3), p.449.
 The author, who is born in Greece, met a number of ex-Greek communists who had fought against Athens on Russia’s behalf after the Second World War. After their defeat, they retreated to Skopje in Yugoslavia, which was re-named by the Communists as “Macedonia”. Russia then bought a number of these to prop up Pishevari’s flagging movement.
 The Mazdak rebellion fought centuries earlier during the pre-Islamic Sassanian regin, are also reputed to have worn red garments.
 History has seen repeated instances of a minority group introducing its language upon a majority population. The Romance-speaking population of Pannonia adopted the Turkic language of the Hunnic invaders of Attila. Again, the actual genetic trace of the original Magyar Turkic invaders is negligible (see Cavalli-Sforza in references). As noted by Professor Colin Renfrew (see references) languages can be spread by conquest, agricultural and economic factors, occupation of uninhabited lands, and climate changes forcing population movements.
 The pope officially forgave his would-be assassin in the December of 1983.
 Olson, Robert, 2004, p.108-109. Citation from Hurriyet, 6 February 2001.
 Olson, Robert, 2004, p.108-109.
 Robins, Philip, 2003, Suits and Uniforms, p.78-79.
 Engdahl, 2004, p.171.
 Robert Eringer has provided a rare and detailed report on the Bilderberg Group as well as the Trilateral Commission and other covert power groups in the western world. See references for details.
 Dreyfus and LeMarc, 1980, p.157.
 “Pakhtunistan” would assist in the process of the disintegration of Pakistan, Iran and possibly Afghanistan.
 As with the Al-Ahwaz and Arabian Gulf projects, the Azerbaijan project is being supported by lobbies harboring economic objectives. As noted by Olson, “…the growth of Azeri nationalism facilitated US and EU efforts to make the Caspian basin region a ‘second Persian Gulf’…” (Turkey-Iran Relations, 1979-2004, 2004, p.155-156).
 Olson, 2004, p.89.
 Dr. Shaffer asked the US Congress in 2002 to lift long-standing US sanctions on the Republic of Azerbaijan despite long-standing concerns with the Republic’s human rights records and anti-democratic procedures..
 Dr. Shaffer has given speeches to the nationalist, pan-Azeri Vatan Society in Britain in 2004.
 Afshin Molavi, a US-based Iranian analyst, has noted that Shaffer’s book has “captivated the attention of [Iranian] regime change advocates in Washington.”
 Matini, Jalal, “Azerbaijan Koja Ast?”, 1989, Iranshenasi, I(3), p.447.
 The professor’s knowledge of all phonological and orthographic (Arabic-based) varieties of Persian are impressive. The Professor showed the author during his interview, a copy of old Tajiki hand-written manuscripts that he was researching. Maclean is also versed in the Dehlavi (Moghul Indian) style of Persian, the Masnavi of Jallale-Din Rumi, the Golestan Saadi and the Divan-e- Hafez.
 By “nation building” I assume that the Professor meant Iranian nationalism attempts at nation-building. This means that Iranians have invented Azerbaijan’s history as a way of keeping that province in Iran.
 “Released Britons return to Iraq”, BBC TV News Broadcast June 25th, 2004, also available on the following website http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3837943.stm.
 Iran’s Arabic language Al-Alam television noted after the seizure of the British and their equipment that “…on board (the seized boats of the British) they (Iranian authorities) found weapons and spy cameras, plus detailed maps of areas within Iran and Iraq.” The full text of this broadcast is provided in the on-line Payvand News network site of June 23, 2004 edition, http://www.payvand.com/news/04/jun/1141.html.
 Gedye, Robin & Savill, Richard “Iran releases eight captured servicemen”, The Telegraph, June 25th, 2004, also available on the following website http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/06/25/wiran25.xml.
 Philip Robins, Suits and Uniforms: Turkish Foreign Policy Since the Cold War, Hurst & Company, London, p.172-173.
 Philip Robins, Suits and Uniforms: Turkish Foreign Policy Since the Cold War, Hurst & Company, London, p.81.
 Philip Robins, Suits and Uniforms: Turkish Foreign Policy Since the Cold War, Hurst & Company, London, p.81. it is interesting to note that when British Foreign Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind visited Turkey in September 1995, the Turks made their dissatisfaction with British sponsorship of Med-TV very clear to the secretary.
 For further discussion of the nucluer issue, refer to Professor Kaveh Afrasiabi’s article “US media and Iran’s nuclear threat” (see Web References).
 One tiny piece of inconsistency is worthy of note: politically unstable Pakistan, with its vast arsenal of nucleur bombs, is not seen as a threat. This is very illogical, as much of the nation’s populace and upper leadership seethes with anti-US sentiment, and there is a genuine danger of a Taliban style takeover. The Taliban are highly irrational and bear a fanatic hatred of the west. Rather than finally confront reality, mainstream American analysts continue to parrot the fallacy that all Pakistanis and Saudis are friends of the United States.