Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism, and Practice

Publication Date

Fall 2013


Today out of the seventy million population of Iran nearly twenty-five million are Turkish speakers. At least two thirds of this population lives in the provinces of East-West Azerbaijan, Ardabil, and the rest in and around the cities of Zanjan, Qazvin, Karaj and Tehran. Generally, the people in these areas refer to themselves as Turks, and they are Shia’ Muslims. This paper explores from an anthropological and ethnographic perspective the relationship of Azeri-Turkish speaking and Persian-speaking Iranians in the present and everyday spheres of social life. The objective is for a fine grained examination of this minority-majority encounter and what underlies the construction of a Turkish, Azeri and Azerbaijani identity in Iran. It is argued that the nature and the quality of Turkish and Persian speakers interaction have important bearing on how a minority population formulates a sense of self and based on it behaves socially, politically and nationally. The dynamics of identity construction is probed with reference to cultural sensibilities, language and boundary crossings that give reality and meaning to the historical affinity and national covenant in Iran.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.