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Azerbaijan Reaches Out To Turkic Diaspora Group Of Qizilbashs

Historical heritage groups uniting in common cause

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The Qizilbashs are Turk tribes mainly descending from the regions of Anatolia and Azerbaijan, and further expanding to the neighbouring regions of Afghanistan, Bulgaria, India, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey and so on. They only differ from other Oghuz Turks “based on our sectarian identity of being Shia/Shitte Turkic community.” (Photo: Qiizilbash Global Heritage Şura Facebook logo) 

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Fuad Muradov, Chairman of the State Committee on Work with Diaspora of the Republic of Azerbaijan, had an online meeting with a group of members of the Qizilbash World Heritage Shura (Council) living in different countries.

The Qizilbashs are the descendants of seven Oghuz Turkic tribes who supported the Azerbaijani Safavid dynasty which had been ruling a vast empire with its capital in Tabriz. Qizibash Tribes are subdivided into clans which are Afshar, Bayat, Dulqadir, Javanshir, Rumlu, Shamlu, Shahseven and Ustaclu. Known as fierce warriors, the Ottoman Turks called them Qizilbash due to the red caps that they wore to signify their loyalty to the Safavids. 

The Safavid empire covered the territories of modern Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Georgia, Dagestan, Armenia, Afghanistan, Western Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and Eastern Turkey.

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Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone claimed that the Kizilbash of Kabul in the 19th century were a “colony of Turks who spoke Persian and among themselves Turkic.” Described as “learned, affluent and influential,” in recent years in Afghanistan, they abandoned the Turkic language in favor of Persian and became “in fact Persianized Turks.”

In Bulgaria, they pretend to be Sunnis outwardly, yet they hold onto their Shia interpretation of their favor at home.

In Canada, apparently 3,335 people speak Azerbaijani as a mother tongue, yet only 40% of them speak Azerbaijani at home.

The Qizilbash World Heritage Shura was officially registered in Canada in 2022. This organization was created to coordinate the joint activities of Azerbaijanis of Qizilbash origin, who resettled their ancestors from the historical lands of Azerbaijan to other countries, familiarizing them with the Azerbaijani language and culture, integrating them into Azerbaijani society. Numerous ethnic groups from more than 20 countries of the world work together with the Qizilbash community.

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The speakers of the Qizilbash World Heritage Council, gathered on the Facebook page of the Qizilbash World Heritage Council, exchanging views and discussing various topics. Most of the group members are young people. Born in a foreign country, young people who have become part of the country in which they live face the realities of the era of globalization, are interested in their ancestral roots and are proud of their Qizilbash-Azerbaijani origin.

Welcoming the participants, Fuad Muradov said that he was glad to see the Qizilbash World Heritage Shura and its members as a new organization among the numerous Azerbaijani diasporas. He informed them about the multifaceted work, projects and programs implemented by the Committee on the basis of the diaspora policy of the Azerbaijani state in relation to Azeraijan’s compatriots living abroad

Emphasizing the importance of preserving the historical and cultural heritage of Azerbaijani people and passing it on to future generations, the chairman drew attention to the steps being taken to popularize the Azerbaijani language and the prospects for further cooperation.

The participants of the meeting expressed hope that they would be able to continue fruitful cooperation with Azerbaijan and promote closer ties.

Rachel Avraham is a political analyst working at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights.  She is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings at the American, Israeli and Arab Media.”  

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

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Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

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Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

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