Iranian Turks’ new parliamentary faction breaking more taboos

Iranian Turks’ new parliamentary faction breaking more taboos

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 31

By Umid Niayesh – Trend:

For the first time in the Islamic Republic’s history, Iranian Turkic-speaking MPs, including Azerbaijanis formed a parliamentary faction calling it “Faction of Turkic Regions.”

The faction held its first meeting on Oct. 30 and elected Masoud Pezeshkian and Nader Qazipour, Tabriz and Urmia representatives, as its head and deputy head, respectively.

At least 100 MPs of Iran’s 290-member parliament from different political backgrounds were present in the faction’s first meeting.

Besides Iranian north-western Azerbaijani MPs, who are about 40 in number, representatives from other areas of Iran with Turkic population, including capital city of Tehran, Shiraz and Qom are also members to the faction, holding 34 percent of the parliament seats.

There is no accurate or official statistics about the number of Turkic-speaking population of Iran, however Ali Akbar Salehi, the Islamic Republic’s then foreign minister, said during a visit to Turkey in 2012 that “about 40 percent of Iranians speak Turkish, so this is a big link between Turkey and Iran.”

The move to form a faction based on ethnic identity itself is a daring move, as the Iranian officials have always tried to eliminate Iran’s ethnic diversity and have not permitted the issues with ethnic background to be highlighted in the country.

Now some ethnic Turks from the administration’s inner circles have decided to form a parliamentary group for “a strategic management with an aim to solve the problems of the regions inhabited by Turkic population.”

Actually the issues related to the ethnic groups’ rights have found way to Iran’s political discourses in recent years and politicians started to refer to that, in particular during the elections.

Head of the newly created Turkic faction Masoud Pezeshkian (second on the right) surrounded by other MPs in the Iranian parliament

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani published a statement during his presidential campaign in June 2013 regarding teaching of the ethnic mother tongues of Iranians (Kurdish, Azerbaijani, Arabic, etc.), officially emphasizing his intention to fully implement the Article 15 of Iran’s Constitution. In his statement, Rouhani also promised to abandon the look towards the ethnicities from the security lens.

Furthermore, during a visit to Tabriz in 2013, Rouhani promised that an Azerbaijani language and literature academy will be established in the city.

It was the first time that two important demands of Azerbaijani activists and scholars were among the concrete promises of a presidential candidate.

Rouhani is well known for his background in intelligence, and his approach towards the Iranian ethnic groups can be considered as a sign of some change in the Islamic Republic’s viewpoint regarding the issue.

Therefore, the formation of the Turkic faction in Iran’s parliament can be seen as realization of those changes in Iran’s major policies regarding the ethnic groups.

However, the faction has already caused concerns among certain Iranian intellectual circles, which see it as a threatening step against Iran’s national unity, through intensifying ethnic sectarianism.

On the other hand, the faction’s supporters emphasize that it is causing no threat to the country’s national unity, but is contributing to the national security through preventing radicalization of ethnic groups’ demands.

In fact, formation of an ethnic faction in the parliament can not be considered as a big deal given that in many countries, including in some neighbors of Iran, ethnic-based parties are represented in the parliament.

Although the Iranian administration seems to have softened its attitude towards the rights of the ethnic groups, still a major and effective part of academic, political and intellectual (either close to government or opposition) circles continue to see the ethnic rights’ issues as a security problem and essentially unnecessary.

Therefore, the majority of Iranian society, in particular intellectual circles need, even more than the government, to update their attitude to the issue based on today’s conditions.

---

Umid Niayesh is Trend Agency’s staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh

Armenian side reacting inadequately to process of clarifying border - President Aliyev
Armenian side reacting inadequately to process of clarifying border - President Aliyev
Azerbaijan continues mine clearance in liberated lands
Azerbaijan continues mine clearance in liberated lands
Azerbaijan allocates funds for construction of school in Nij settlement of Gabala district (UPDATE)
Azerbaijan allocates funds for construction of school in Nij settlement of Gabala district (UPDATE)
Loading Bars
Latest
Cargo transportation volumes surge in Kazakhstan
GPON-based technology being introduced in villages of Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Iran anticipates another JCPOA Joint Commission Meeting - MFA
No alternative to implementation of trilateral statement on Karabakh - Russian president
Azerbaijan preparing to vaccinate citizens with Russian 'Sputnik V' COVID-19 vaccine
Convention on simplification of customs procedures enters into force for Uzbekistan
Iranian Oil Minister talks about exports, contracts in oil sector
GSMA predicts growth in number of mobile service users in Azerbaijan by 2025
Polish company eyes producing packaging materials for automotive industry in Uzbekistan
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for May 17
Weekly review of Georgian's capital markets (May 10 through May 14)
Azerbaijan continues military exercises, with extensive use of maps (VIDEO)
Iran’s trade turnover with UK announced
Kyoto Convention enters into force in Turkmenistan
Investment in Iran's industrial sector increases
Georgian microfinance organizations reveal data on their profits
SOCAR Ukraine resumes premium fuel sales
Turkmenistan introduces changes to customs system
Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic sees annual increase in GDP
Train in Iowa hauling hazardous materials derails, catches fire
BTA announces extension of bicycle roads in Baku
Iran to determine condition of its joint oil fields with other countries
Armenian side reacting inadequately to process of clarifying border - President Aliyev
Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan reveals 4M2021 cargo transportation data
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
Azerbaijan continues mine clearance in liberated lands
Saudi Arabia lifts quarantine requirement for COVID vaccinated foreign visitors
Three people killed after knife attack in Urals
FGP-WPMP implementation progresses at Kazakhstan’s Tengiz field
India's Cumulative Vaccination Coverage Crosses 18 Crore Mark: Centre
Azerbaijani Nakhchivan's 4M2021 manufacturing value of agricultural products grows
Crude production at Kazakhstan’s Tengiz revealed for 1Q2021
Investment proposal submitted for White Dragon project involving TAP
Georgia reports 504 new cases of coronavirus for May 17
Uzbekneftegaz updates electricity supply systems at Shurtan oil and gas production dep’t
Kazakhstan-Romania trade down amid COVID-19
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Iran shares data on trade turnover with US
Azerbaijan allocates funds for construction of school in Nij settlement of Gabala district
Kazakhstan’s Air Astana halting flights to Maldives
Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan raises investments in fixed assets
Azerbaijan allocates funds for construction of highway in Gabala district
Iranian Oil Minister talks dev't of Iran-Saudi Arabia joint Farzad B gas field
President of Russia’s Tatarstan arrives in Turkmenistan
Azerbaijani troops involved in exercises occupy concentration areas (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan's SOCAR to issue new bonds
French companies to develop tourism infrastructure of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan reveals volume of industrial products produced at FEZ in 2020
Azerbaijani president calls his Kazakh counterpart
Revenues of Azerbaijani Nakhchivan from communication, information services grow
IRICA unveils data of Iran’s trade turnover with Germany
Kulevi oil terminal of SOCAR constructing new storage tank
SOCAR’s Black Sea Oil Terminal to handle bitumen products
Turkmenistan preparing state budget for 2022
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan up
Netherlands contributes to development of agriculture sector in Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan sees increase in 4M2021 foreign trade turnover figures
Development of innovations to boost Azerbaijan's technology export potential - AZINNEX
Iran discloses trade turnover with France
SOCAR’s Kulevi terminal sees increase in storage capacity
Volume of transshipment by SOCAR’s Black Sea Oil Terminal revealed
Azerbaijani Sumgayit Industrial Park's resident expanding exports
More Vaccines To Be Available In India In Next Two Months: AIIMS Chief
Second wave turns corner as daily cases fall for 7 days, Health News, ET HealthWorld
Vaccinated or not, ensure physical distancing, ventilation and mask up: Indian govt’s chief scientific advisor
Turkmenistan to launch special passenger trains between Ashgabat, Turkmenbashi
Average monthly salary in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan up
Second Batch Of Sputnik V Vaccine Reaches India
Azerbaijan partially resumes full-time lessons at schools in several cities and districts (PHOTO)
Uzbekistan reveals COVID-19 data for May 17
EIB allocates two tranches of loan for IGB project
25 more oxygen generators to reach India from Europe next week
Iranian currency rates for May 17
Azerbaijani currency rates for May 17
Kazakhstan’s KazTransOil opens tender for research work in oil&gas
Oil mixed in tight range, Asia's COVID-19 restrictions weigh on sentiment
Ryanair posts record annual loss, but says COVID-19 recovery has begun
Southern Gas Corridor’s expansion to depend on firm market demand
Satti rig’s upgrade complete for BP project in Caspian
Azerbaijan partially resuming traditional form of education
Azerbaijani, French FMs discuss situation on border with Armenia
Iranian Chamber of Commerce discusses potential of maritime and port sector
UNICEF Representative in Georgia receives coronavirus vaccine
Chinese city raises COVID-19 alert level in 4 neighborhoods
Iran receives 2nd delivery of Covid-19 vaccines through COVAX Facility
Belgian companies keep on being active on Azerbaijani market – ambassador
Kazakhstan reports over 2,000 new COVID-19 cases
Turkey registers 10,512 new COVID-19 cases
G7 urged to donate 'emergency' supplies to vaccine-sharing scheme
Brazil reports 1,036 more COVID-19 deaths
Blinken discusses Gaza in calls with Qatari, Egyptian, Saudi foreign ministers
Argentina reports 270 more deaths from COVID-19
About 1,000 people evacuated due to wildfire near Los Angeles
Palestinians resume rocket attacks on southern Israel - army
Saudi Arabia to lift travel ban on citizens from May 17
Number of COVID-2019 cases across globe up by over 658,000 in past day, WHO reports
Two dead, dozens hurt in Israeli synagogue accident
Azerbaijan launches project to develop women's entrepreneurship
Bitcoin rises 5.6% to $49,337.72
UK records another 1,926 coronavirus cases, 4 deaths
All news