Sarkis M. Mkrtchian
What is Pan-Azerism? What is the difference and what does it have in common with Pan-Turkism? The study proves that these two concepts are closely related.
At present, given that the conditions for raising and implementing pan-Turkic ideas are not favorable, the panturkists have promoted pan-Nazism, for which there is favorable land and with which anti-Iranian forces and countries are interested.
As those Pan-Turkic organizations and figures who pursue the idea of the creation of Whole Azerbaijan outwardly do not use the words Pan-Turkism and Great Turan, even though all of their programs and words refer to the principles of Pan-Turk theorists.
Pan-Azerism, like Pan-Turkism, is an expansionist ideology. But if it is a mean for the panturkists towards creation of Great Turan, for Iranian-minded figures it is a historically-based project on the way to returning lost territories of Iran.
Atrpatakan intellectuals have played (and have) an important role in the preservation, strengthening of the Iranian identity and struggle against pan-Turkic programs, who consider themselves to be Azeris rather than Turks, for the simple reason that the spread of Turkish language in Atrpatakan has only changed the language of that society, but not identity, yet language is not the sole criteria for nationality.
Therefore, the pan-Azerists with pan-Turkic thinking believe that the northern and southern regions of the Arax River were, for thousands of years, a part of the Turks’ homeland, which later fell under the rule of Iran, and by the treaties of Gulistan (1813) and Turkmenchay (1828) it was divided between Iran and Russia.
And Iranian-minded pan-Azerists believe that by the two treaties mentioned above, Aran and Shirwan which used to be inseparable parts of Iran, were cut off from Iran and annexed to tsarist Russia due to the misguided policy of the kings of Qajar dynasty and in the early 20th century for various political reasons, already renamed, came to exist as a separate independent republic.
Since the second view has a serious scientific basis, it should serve as a guiding idea also for us in our understanding of the relationship between PanTurkism and Pan-Azerism.