The falsification of history in Azerbaijan, with state support, continues

The falsification of history in Azerbaijan, with state support, continues, not without the forgery of historical documents. And the dictator I. Aliyev, just in the current year, has managed to refer to Armenia as Western Azerbaijan several times.

This dirty campaign began with the involvement of the Agvans as distant ancestors of the Azerbaijanis with the aim of justifying Azerbaijan’s claims to the originally Armenian territories of Artsakh, Syunik, and Nakhichevan.

To ascertain the truth, the question arises: what processes form a particular new ethnic group (ethnos), with the purpose of determining the period of formation of this independent ethnos? Moreover, it is obvious that each new ethnos can be formed as a result of either the process of ethnogenesis or the process of ethnocideogenesis, or a process consisting of a combination of these two options.

By ethnogenesis, we mean the natural historical process of forming a new ethnos on the basis of already existing ethnic components, without pursuing a policy of ethnocide. Ethnocideogenesis is the process of forming a new ethnos on the basis of existing ethnic components through ethnocide. Moreover, the policy of ethnocide against certain ethnic groups is aimed at destroying the self-awareness of these ethnic groups. It is conducted with the aim of replacing the previous self-awareness with a new one, including language and self-naming.

Components from which a new ethnos is formed are commonly referred to by adding the prefix “proto” to the name of the ethnos. For example, the Prototurkmens, which is often used in the form of “Turkmen tribes.” By the way, it was the Turkmen tribes that founded the Seljuk and Ottoman Empires.

The process of forming a new ethnos is considered complete when, according to one or another sound principle, the core of the ethnos is formed, in particular, with a common language and self-name for all members of the core. Subsequently, the ethnos undergoes gradual development: rises, declines, peaks.

In general, over the development period of the ethnos, the assimilation of other ethnic representatives is possible, as well as the assimilation of their own representatives by other ethnic groups. These processes during development can occur either naturally, without pursuing a policy of ethnocide, or as a result of such a policy.

An ethnos may contain a subethnos (subethnic group) and/or an ethnographic group, members of which differ in the peculiarities of their culture and additional (secondary) self-naming. The subethnos recognizes its affiliation with its own larger ethnos, while the ethnographic group does not. Ethnographers determine the latter’s affiliation with the larger ethnos.

It is clear that any subethnic or ethnographic group must have its own large ethnos. In other words, the absence of a large ethnos will mean that we are dealing not with a subethnos or an ethnographic group, but with an independent ethnos (ethnic group).

It is well known that the term “Caucasian Tatars” referred to Turkic-speaking ethnic Ayrums, Jevanshirs, Bayats, Kajars, Afshars, Padars, and other groups of nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes in Transcaucasia. (Some of these groups are also settled in the Iranian province of Azerbaijan). There are three different versions about their ethnicity in Azerbaijan: the Caucasian Tatars are ethnic Azerbaijanis, subethnos of Azerbaijanis, or ethnographic groups.

It should be noted here that the commonality of language or lifestyle (nomadic, semi-nomadic, and settled) is not a sufficient characteristic for the group of Caucasian Tatars to be considered a unified, independent ethnos. There are many examples when the language of several multiethnic groups coincides, such as Spanish.

It is also clear that the formation of the aforementioned Turkic-speaking ethnic groups was primarily based on the Turkmen tribes, which invaded our region starting from the 11th century. Therefore, the Caucasian Tatars are more likely Turkmens rather than Azerbaijanis.

The last two versions are entirely ruled out, because, as noted above, the absence of a large ethnos among the Caucasian Tatars means that we are dealing not with the subethnos or ethnographic group of some ethnos, but with various independent ethnoses (ethnic groups).

After all, as for the self-naming “azerbaijani” with the meaning of ethnic Azerbaijani, it is a product of political choice from the Kremlin in 1936. (Which excludes the formation of ethnic Azerbaijanis through the process of ethnogenesis).

The word “Turk” among the Caucasian Tatars had only a pan-Turkic meaning, referring to multiethnic Turks. (By the way, unlike Azerbaijanis, by the beginning of the 1930s in Turkey, the word “Turk” in Turkish had acquired a second meaning – referring to an ethnic Turk, with the self-naming Turk).

Thus, it is not difficult to understand that slightly before the end of the Middle Ages, multiethnic Caucasian Tatars were formed based on proto-Turkmens. And on this basis, ethnic Azerbaijanis were formed. That is, Ayrums, Jevanshirs, Bayats, Kajars, Afshars, Padars, and other nomadic and semi-nomadic ethnic groups are proto-Azerbaijanis. Moreover, it is not difficult to determine that the formation of ethnic Azerbaijanis did not occur earlier than the first half of the 20th century.


At the beginning of the last century, for example, Uzeyir Hajibeyov wrote:

“If you ask one of us:

  • Who are you?
  • I am a Muslim, – will be the answer.
  • To what nation do you belong?
  • To the Muslim nation.
  • What religion do you practice?
  • Muslim.
  • What language do you speak?
  • In the Muslim language.”

This means that by the beginning of the 20th century, the self-naming of the multiethnic Caucasian Tatars and some other indigenous residents of Transcaucasia of the Muslim faith had been eradicated on a mass scale.

However, there cannot be an ethnos without self-naming. So what does the absence of self-naming among the Caucasian Tatars at the beginning of the 20th century say? Of course, it says that the process of forming a new ethnos has begun or will begin soon. And years, or maybe even decades later, the same people developed a common ethnic self-naming as Azerbaijani.

At the same time, after forming a large ethnos in the form of Azerbaijanis (not to be confused with the Iranian people of Azari), the descendants of the Caucasian Tatars, now settled in Azerbaijan or Iran, and somehow retaining their previous self-naming, such as the Afshars, are a sub-ethnos or an ethnographic group of Azerbaijanis.

By the way, all known Caucasian Tatars of that period did not consider Azerbaijani Turks (Caucasian Tatars plus similar ethnic groups settled in the Iranian province of Azerbaijan) an independent ethnos. For example, the founder of Azerbaijan (1918-1920), M. E. Rasulzade, was only “on the eve and during World War I, step by step, approaching the recognition of Azerbaijani Turks as an independent nation” (see in the book by Aydin Balayev, Mammad Emin Rasulzadeh (1884-1955), at the end of page 37).

Read more: Aydin Balayev, Mammad Emin Rasulzade (1884-1955)

Translated by Vigen Avetisyan


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