Iranian Azerbaijan: Turks and Green Movement

Ethnic Turks in Iran give mostly passive support to anti-government protests, they will give stronger support, if the opposition pays attention to the problems of ethnic groups.

Turks make up a substantial minority of the population of Iran. Many of them live in northwestern Iran in the provinces of Ardabil, Zanjan, East Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan. These areas are often dubbed Southern Azerbaijan, while the Azerbaijan Republic constitutes Northern Azerbaijan.

The leaders of the Iranian opposition do not demand that the rights of non-Persian ethnic groups be defended. The population of Southern Azerbaijan will join the protests only if the Iranian opposition talks directly about the violation of the rights of Turks in Iran.

The population of Turks, which different estimates put at between twenty and thirty million people, gave just passive support to the current protests in Iran.
It is time to raise awareness about the problems of the Turkish population of Iran. There is a need to bring the truth about the situation of the rights of Iranian Turks in Southern Azerbaijan, to raise this problem at the international level.