|38,000 (2009 census)
100,000 Meskhetian Turks (1999 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimate)
90,000 to 110,000 Meskhetian Turks (other estimates)
plus 17,577 Turkish nationals
|Regions with significant populations|
|Baku · Beylagan · Khachmaz · Saatli · Sabirabad|
|Turkish · Azerbaijani|
|Sunni Muslim · Shiite Muslim|
The First All-Union Census of the Soviet Union in 1926 recorded 8,570 Ottoman Turks living in the Soviet Union. The Ottoman Turks are no longer listed separately in the census, it is presumed that those who were living in Azerbaijan have either been assimilated into Azeri society or have left the country.
Meskhetian Turks migrationEdit
The Meskhetian Turks first arrived in Azerbaijan at the end of the nineteenth century, and more followed in 1918-1920. However, migration to Azerbaijan increased dramatically after World War II when the Soviet Union was preparing to launch a pressure campaign against Turkey. Vyacheslav Molotov, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, demanded to the surrender of three Anatolian provinces (Kars, Ardahan and Artvin); thus, war against Turkey seemed possible, and Joseph Stalin wanted to clear the strategic Turkish population situated in Meskheti, located near the Turkish-Georgian border which were likely to be hostile to Soviet intentions. Thus, in 1944, the Meskhetian Turks were forcefully deported from the Meskheti region in Georgia and accused of smuggling, banditry and espionage in collaboration with their kin across the Turkish border. Nationalistic policies at the time encouraged the slogan: "Georgia for Georgians" and that the Meskhetian Turks should be sent to Turkey "where they belong". Joseph Stalin deported the Meskhetian Turks to Central Asia (especially to Uzbekistan), thousands dying en route in cattle-trucks, and were not permitted by the Georgian government of Zviad Gamsakhurdia to return to their homeland.
Between the late 1950s and 1970s, about 25,000 to 30,000 Meskhetian Turks settled in Azerbaijan; furthermore, approximately 50,000 Meskhetian Turkish refugees came to Azerbaijan due to continued discrimination when the Meskhetian Turks living in Uzbekistan became the victims of riots by the ethnic Uzbeks in the Ferghana valley which led to over a hundred deaths. Most of the first wave of Meskhetian Turkish refugees from the Ferghana Valley settled in the Saatli and Sabirabad region and the regions of Khachmaz, Beylagan and Baku. Some 5,000 Meskhetian Turks have also arrived to Azerbaijan from Russia during the 1990s, and a few hundred arrived from Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan proper during the 1991-1994 war.
Mainland Turkish migrationEdit
|Turks in Azerbaijan according to the Azeri census|
The Meskhetian Turks are settled mostly in rural areas and in the cities of Baku, Beylagan, Khachmaz, Saatli, and Sabirabad. Those living in urban areas tend to be better off than those in agricultural areas.
According to the 2009 Azerbaijani population census there were 38,000 Turks living in Azerbaijan. However, official data regarding the Turkish community in Azerbaijan is unlikely to provide a true indication of the population as much of the community is officially registered as "Azerbaijani". Furthermore, no distinction is made in the census between Meskhetian Turks and Turks from Turkey who have become Azerbaijani citizens, both groups are classified in the official census as "Turks" or "Azerbaijani".
In the late 1950s and 1970s, about 25,000 to 30,000 Meskhetian Turks settled in Azerbaijan; and in 1989, approximately 50,000 Meskhetian Turksish refugees from Uzbekistan migrated to Azerbaijan. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees report published in 1999, that 100,000 Meskhetian Turks lived in Azerbaijan and the defunct Baku Institute of Peace and Democracy stated, in 2001, that between 90,000 and 110,000 Meskhetian Turks lived in Azerbaijan, similarly, academic estimates have also suggested that the Meskhetian Turksish community of Azerbaijan numbers 90,000 to 110,000. There is also, as of 2009, an additional 17,577 Turkish citizens living in Azerbaijan.
- The State Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan. "Population by ethnic groups". Retrieved 2012-01-16.
- UNHCR 1999, 14.
- Pentikäinen & Trier 2004, 13.
- Aydıngün et al. 2006, 13.
- Burford 2011, 42.
- NATO Parliamentary Assembly. "Minorities in the South Caucasus: Factor of Instability?". Retrieved 2012-01-16. Taken from the now defunct Baku Institute of Peace and Democracy estimate of 2001
- Çalışma ve Sosyal Güvenlik Bakanlığı. "YURTDIŞINDAKİ VATANDAŞLARIMIZLA İLGİLİ SAYISAL BİLGİLER (31.12.2009 tarihi itibarıyla)". Retrieved 2011-09-27.
- Akiner 1983, 381.
- Coene 2009, 67.
- Bennigsen & Broxup 1983, 30.
- Tomlinson 2005, 107.
- Kurbanov & Kurbanov 1995, 237.
- Cornell 2001, 183.
- Minority Rights Group International. "Meskhetian Turks". Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (18 December 2007). "Report on mass human rights violation". Retrieved 2012-01-17.
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 2003, 21.
- Daniloff, Caleb (1997). "Exile of the Meskheti Turks: Still Homesick Half a Century Later". Azerbaijan International. Retrieved 2012-01-17.
- Pentikäinen & Trier 2004, 19.
- Ryazantsev 2009, 167.
- Helton, Arthur C. (1998). Chapter Two: Contemporary Conditions and Dilemmas. "Meskhetian Turks: Solutions and Human Security". Open Society Institute. Retrieved 2012-01-17.
- Akiner, Shirin (1983), Islamic Peoples of the Soviet Union, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 0-7103-0025-5.
- Aydıngün, Ayşegül; Harding, Çigğdem Balım; Hoover, Matthew; Kuznetsov, Igor; Swerdlow, Steve (2006), Meskhetian Turks: An Introduction to their History, Culture, and Resettelment Experiences, Center for Applied Linguistics
- Bennigsen, Alexandre; Broxup, Marie (1983), The Islamic threat to the Soviet state, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 0-7099-0619-6.
- Burford, Tim (2011), Georgia, Bradt Travel Guides, ISBN 1-84162-357-1.
- Coene, Frederik (2009), The Caucasus: An Introduction, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 0-415-48660-2.
- Cornell, Svante E. (2001), Small nations and great powers: a study of ethnopolitical conflict in the Caucasus, Routledge, ISBN 0-7007-1162-7.
- Kurbanov, Rafik Osman-Ogly; Kurbanov, Erjan Rafik-Ogly (1995), "Religion and Politics in the Caucasus", in Bourdeaux, Michael (ed), The Politics of Religion in Russia and the New States of Eurasia, M.E. Sharpe, ISBN 1-56324-357-1.
- Pentikäinen, Oskari; Trier, Tom (2004), Between Integration and Resettlement: The Meskhetian Turks, European Centre For Minority Issues
- Ryazantsev, Sergey V. (2009), "Turkish Communities in the Russian Federation", International Journal on Multicultural Societies 11 (2): 155–173
- Tomlinson, Kathryn (2005), "Living Yesterday in Today and Tomorrow: Meskhetian Turks in Southern Russia", in Crossley, James G.; Karner, Christian (eds.), Writing History, Constructing Religion, Ashgate Publishing, ISBN 0-7546-5183-5.
- UNHCR (1999), Background Paper on Refugees and Asylum Seekers from Azerbaijan, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2003), International Protection Considerations Regarding Azerbaijani Asylum-Seekers and Refugees, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees