Turks in Iran can fundamentally change results of presidential elections: Trend News commentator
Dalga Khatinoglu, head of Trend Persian Desk
Active participation of non-Persian population in the next presidential elections in Iran can guarantee the victory of the reformist camp representatives, otherwise the current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will easily win the elections.
Taking into consideration that the majority of the population in Iran is Kurds, Turks and other peoples, their decisive influence on the results of the voting is undeniable. According to the Election Commission of Iran, currently 48 million people in the country have the voting right. According to unofficial data, nearly 35 million Turks (Azerbaijanis) live in Iran and, except the Kurds, the Turks make up the smallest number of voters.
Wide boycott of the previous presidential elections, in which only 30 percent of Kurds participated, resulted in Ahmadinejad's victory.
Averagely 50 percent of the population with vote right participate in various elections in Iran. If people does not take part in the election actively, Ahmadinejad will need to gain approximately 10-11 million votes in order to win the next presidential elections. And if to consider that the ranks of the Voluntary revolutionaries (Basij) and the Corps of the Iranian Revolution (Sepah) have about 13 million people supporting Ahmadinejad, the current Iranian President will be able to easily win. However, active participation of non-Persian people in the elections can dramatically change the results.
Reformist candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi of Turkic origin delivered a speech in the sports complex Takhti in Tabriz in front of 30,000 countrymen on May 26. Unlike Ahmadinejad's visits to provinces, Mousavi did not distribute any money or food and the government did assemble people there. For example, during Ahmadinejad's visits to provinces even school children, workers of various fields, soldiers from other neighboring towns were collected and they were even handed out potatoes, money and other things.
Supervisory Board's non-approval of nomination of Akbar Alami, who enjoys great credibility in Western Azerbaijan, of course, will again cause aggressive relationship of Turks against authorities and elections. However, given that partial cultural freedom provided by ex-president and reformist candidate Mohammad Khatami was completely abolished during the presidency of Ahmadinejad, the Turkish people are most likely to support Mousavi. The 25-percent inflation, country isolation because of the gross foreign policy, rigid restrictions on cultural freedom and increased unemployment alienated the people from Ahmadinejad, who now promised that "oil revenues will be on dinner tables of Iranian people."
Another reformist candidate Mehdi Karroubi is lor by origin and speaks with lor accent. Thus, he can receive more support from lors and Kurds, who are and close to lor people. However, all peoples living in Iran like Karroubi's sharp language.
It is noticeable that Mousavi is also supported by Kurds. The history has witnessed facts of coalition of Turkish-Kurdish nations. In 1945-46, at the time of independence of Iranian Turks under the leadership of Jafar Pishavari, a coalition was organized headed by Kurdish Ghazi Mohammad, who rebelled against the Iranian authorities and established own independent power. In 1946, a parliament in Tabriz signed a cooperation agreement with the Pishavari government. In any case, there are many historical facts of cooperation and support each other of the two peoples, despite the fact that the assimilation of these two nations has given rise to resentment and negative attitudes on both sides.
Support for Mousavi by his wife Zehra Kukhnavardin and her involvement in her husband's campaign aroused great interest of Iranian people, the fact that resembles the wife of Barack Obama, who has always been with her husband during his election campaign.
Whatever the case, according to official figures, 15 million Turkish citizens of Iranian origin have the right to vote in the country and their participation could create big problems for Ahmadinejad.