Photographer's Note

I am back from Iran filled with wonderful memories and several cards full of photographs. What a hospitable and handsome race the Iranians are. And what treasures they possess in ancient architecture, art, music, cuisine and in their complex and turbulent history that stretches back to the dawn of history.

My photo was actually taken near the very end of my sojourn in Iran and I am posting it as I am still suffering from jet lag and have only looked at my last memory card in order to put something on TE today.

The photo was taken on our way from Kandovan to Zanjan in the incredibly beautiful province of East Azerbaijan where the mineral rich landscape makes one imagine that a giant hand has baked marble tortes, cupcakes and had compressed layers of sesame halva into incredible shapes.

East Azerbaijan Province (Persian: استان آذربایجان شرقی‎, Āzarbāijān-e Sharqi: Azerbaijani: شرقی آذربایجان اوستانی) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is located in Iranian Azerbaijan, bordering with Armenia, Republic of Azerbaijan, Ardabil Province, West Azerbaijan Province, and Zanjan Province. The capital of East Azerbaijan is Tabriz. East Azerbaijan Province is in Regions 3 of Iran, with its secretariat located in its capital city, Tabriz.
As a teacher of languages, I was interested in the Azeri language used in this province of Iran. I could at times use the Turkish words I knew exist in the Croatian language and I always got a response. For instance, when I saw the thick woven socks I instinctively said papucheh and the shopkeeper echoed the same word with a smile. Hence I include the following information about Azeri:
Turkic Azeri only began replacing the Iranian Old Azeri language with the advent of rule of the Safavid dynasty in Persia, when hundreds of thousands of Kizilbash (Shia) Turcomans from Anatolia arrived into Azerbaijan, being forced out by the Ottoman Sultan Selim I with more to follow. Earlier, many Turkic speaking nomads had chosen the green pastures of Azerbaijan, Aran and Shrivan for their settlement as early as the advent of the Seljuqs. However, they only filled in the pasturelands while the farmlands, villages and the cities remained Iranian in language and culture. The linguistic conversion of Azerbaijan went hand in hand with the conversion of the Azeris into Shiism. By the late 1800s, the Turkification of Azerbaijan was near completion, with Iranian speakers found solely in tiny isolated recesses of the mountains or other remote areas (such as Harzand, Galin Ghuya, Shahrud villages in Khalkhal and Anarjan). The city of Tabriz---capital of Azerbaijan, however, maintained a number of distinctly Old Azari-speaking neighbourhoods well into the Qajar period of the Persian history. The Qajar dynasty was of Turkic origin.

By the way, Turkic people comprise 11% of the population. And let me stress that the Persian Iranians are not Arab, they are an Indo-European race, an Aryan people in whose language one can find words similar to Germanic, Romance, and Slavic. Numerals, family terms, anatomical words- they all sound familiar to those who are aware of linguistics.

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Additional Photos by Klaudio Branko Dadich (daddo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3569 W: 114 N: 6363] (28730)
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