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The Musavat Azerbaijan policy towards kurds: parallels with post-Soviet Azerbaijan’s ethnic policy

Artyom Tonoyan

Liana Petrosyan

vol. XII (2)

Pages 46-62

Abstract: The three censuses conducted in Azerbaijan during the post-Soviet period (1999, 2009, and 2019) reveal a significant decline (more than 300 percent) in the number of Kurds in the country over 20 years (1999-2019). This trend is consistent with Azerbaijan’s policies towards indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities. In this context, the situation parallels the experiences of other ethnic groups residing in Azerbaijan, including the Talysh people, Lezgins, Avars, and others. The primary objective of the present article is to examine the underpinnings of Azerbaijan’s policy towards indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, with a specific focus on the Kurdish case. In terms of timeframe, the authors specifically chose the period of the first republic of Azerbaijan (1918-1920). This decision is based on the recognition that, when investigating the ethnic policy of Azerbaijan within this timeframe, the researcher is not necessarily obligated to address whether Azerbaijan could pursue an independent policy separate from the center (Moscow). This specific question gains relevance in the subsequent 70 years, covering the Soviet period, but does not apply to the years 1918-1920. When examining the issue, priority was given to the historical-comparative method by the authors. Accordingly, in selecting the temporal starting point for the examination, the period when Turkism was in action as a viable ideology in Azerbaijan was deemed pivotal.

Keywords: Musavat, Kurds, post-Soviet Azerbaijan, Talysh people, ethnic policy, ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, Khosrov bey Sultanov, Koturly 

Artyom Tonoyan and Liana Petrosyan
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