Monday 5 December 2022

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Babek Chalabiyanli’s Presentation on Brussels Conference

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In Brussels,the EU headquarters,  activists from Iran’s ethnic minority populations, as well as politicians from Arab and regional nations and other countries worldwide gathered on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st  of January for a conference named “Together to Counter Iranian-Sponsored Terrorism”.

Babek Chalabiyanli, the spokesperson of the Azerbaijan National Resistance Organization (ANRO), was one of the speakers at the conference.

below is Chalaboyanli’s full presentation:

Ladies and gentlemen and dear audience, as a spokesperson of “Azerbaijani National Resistance Organization,” first of all I must many thanks for this great organizing and congratulate our brother’s in “Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Al Ahwaz”. Today I’m very happy for being with our great allies and I believe today is a milestone in the Non-Persian struggle.

We the South Azerbaijani Turkish people have been struggling to achieve our self-determination of rights for several decades.

The country which is called Iran nowadays consists of the diversity of ethnic elements; Turks, Arabs, Persians, Baluchi’s, Kurdish, Turkmans, and…

During the last 200 years, Persian bureaucrats and Persian nationalism have gained a great influence in central government. For this reason, the Turks of South Azerbaijan have been struggling to take their fate into their own hands since, 110 years.
1905 Constitutional Revolution, 1918 Sheikh Mohammad Khiyabani Movement, 1945 National Government of (South) Azerbaijan, 1979 Muslim People’s Republican Party and the modern day (South) Azerbaijan National Movement are the main political movements of the modern history of South Azerbaijan. Even though they seem separate from each other, they are actually parts of an entire process, through which the South Azerbaijani Turks have tried to dominate their fate.
In this process, sometimes social democracy, sometimes socialism, sometimes religious ideology and sometimes nationalism has become the actuator ideology. But as the main aim and common denominator, the will of self-rule have remained same.

 

Despite the Qajar dynasty (1785 to 1925) was of Turkish-origin, the Persian bureaucracy and Persian nationalism were dominant in the capital Tehran, by the ending years of the Qajar Empire. South Azerbaijani Turks who were un-pleased by the corrupted regime started the Constitutional Revolution “Mashrutiyat” (1905).  The revolution was spread all over the country and the Azerbaijani Turks were the pioneer of the revolution. At that time, the Azerbaijani Turks, who were keen to self-rule, put the “Law of State and Provincial Councils” into the first constitution, by the force of arms. The “Council of Azerbaijan”, which was established as a result of this law, governed Azerbaijan for a certain period and in this way, the Turks of South Azerbaijan took control over their own destiny.

Sheikh Muhammad Khiyabani, who was a cadre of the Constitutional Revolution, continued the same path and established an autonomous administration in Tabriz, in 1918.
After the Qajar Empire was collapsed in 1925 and Pahlavi Monarchy was established, Persian nationalism became the official ideology of ultra-centralist government in Tehran. There was a crushing pressure on non-Persian communities especially on Turks and Arabs as the main historical rival. Overwhelming economic, cultural and political pressure created a great displeasure and anger in Azerbaijan, as well as the other ethnic-national regions.

 

In 1945, the Azerbaijani intellectuals created a semi-independent administration by establishing the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan and “National Government of Azerbaijan,” by evaluating the conditions on the field. In 1979, the Turks of South Azerbaijan tried to dominate their own destiny by utilizing religious ideology. The Muslim People’s Republican Party and its leaders clearly opposed Khomeini’s “Velayat-e Faghih”, arguing that was against people’s will and demanded the Law of State and Provincial Councils be put into effect again.

The modern Azerbaijan National Movement, which escalated by 1990s, spread to a much broader base in comparison with previous movements, emphasizing national rights. Although this movement ideologically has certain differences from the previous ones, the main common denominator is same; the desire of the South Azerbaijani Turks to dominate their own destiny.
South Azerbaijani Turks, like past 110 years, are willing to dominate their fate and are keeping up its struggle. This is a historical demand of South Azerbaijani Turks, whether in the form of an independent state or in a rearranged Iranian frame.
Today, South Azerbaijani Turkish intellectuals, activists and organizations see their legitimate right to use all internationally accepted methods to enjoy self-determination right.
ladies and gentlemen as you know Turkish people in Iran are always playing significant roles in all changes and everyone believes that without Turkish people contribution’s any single change in Iran is almost impossible. Despite all, I must confess that we still couldn’t achieve any desired goals, but I think now we do have enough experiences to do not do mistakes again like in past we did.

I need to mention according to the last few decades experience’s Azerbaijani people decided to separate their way from the centralist groups in Iran, because in 1979 at Muslim People’s Republican Party struggle, in 2006 in widespread Turkish people protests against regime after Iran newspaper insulting, in 2010,2011 and 2012 at Urmia Lake demonstrations all the Iranian reformist and opposition groups left us along with the cruel regime and nobody made a solidarity with us, so followed by then you know we didn’t support Green Movement, so they couldn’t a success and recent nationwide protest in Iran in the first few days all Azerbaijani Turkish organization just observed after analyzing the conditions they decided to support the protests because we don’t want fight for someone else. In my opinion, all the non-Persian nation need solidarity with together and I do believe Turks and Arabs solidarity will play a significate role in the regime change in Iran.

 

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