World Desk, Amar Ujala, Tehran
Updated Tue, 15 Dec 2020 01:42 PM IST
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Erdogan traveled to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, last week. There he took the salute of the military parade to celebrate Azerbaijan’s military victory over Armenia. Nagorno – Turkey provided military aid to Azerbaijan in the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the occupation of Karabakh region. Armenia thanked Erdogan for his help in his celebration.
This war lasted 44 days, which was a cause of trouble for Iran. Armenia and Azerbaijan both share Iran. In addition, millions of people of Azerbaijani origin and thousands of people of Armenian descent live in Iran. In the poem Erdogan read, he was saddened by how the Ars river flowing between Azerbaijan and Iran kept the Azerbaijani people apart. Erdogan’s poem was interpreted to mean that the Turkish president is talking of the unification of all Turks. There are also such areas, which fall in Iran.
The poem said- ‘They have separated us from the Arus river full of rocks. But I am not different from you. They have forcibly separated us. ‘ The same thing shocked the people of Iran. He understood the meaning of this poem that the President of Turkey is talking about mixing the territory of Iran in his country. Experts have said that to understand why a poem became such a big political issue, one has to look at the history of the region.
About 200 years ago there was a treaty at the end of the Russo-Persian War. It was signed by the king of the Qajar dynasty of Persia (today’s Iran). This dynasty ruled until 1925. The Russo-Persia Treaty is remembered to this day as a chapter of humiliation in Iran. Under that treaty, Russia occupied a large area of Persia. Under it, the Arus River was demarcated between the two countries. The land that Russia then occupied is now occupied by Azerbaijan and Armenia. Some of it is also in Turkey. According to experts, the Azerbaijani people may have settled on both sides of the river, but they feel connected. That is why reading Erdogan’s poem about the region passed through Iran.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javed Zarif said that no one can talk about our beloved Azerbaijan. He said in a tweet that Erdogan did not realize that he was ignoring the sovereignty of Azerbaijan. Iran’s foreign ministry has summoned the Turkish ambassador to Tehran to seek clarification on Erdogan’s remarks. Meanwhile, the Ambassador of Iran in Ankara was called by the Turkish government and protested against Iran’s statements. But on Saturday, when Zarif called Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Kavusoglu, he clarified that the Turkish president was not aware of Iran’s sensitivities. But Turkey has expressed strong opposition to the offensive language spoken about the President of Turkey in Iran.
Several members of Iran’s parliament have demanded an apology from Erdogan. The Deputy Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, Ali Nikzad, said that Erdogan either does not know history or has deliberately twisted it. On Sunday, 225 out of 290 members of the Iranian parliament issued a statement strongly condemning the Turkish leader’s remarks.
Turkey and Iran already have strained relations. Turkey is trying to become the leader of Sunni countries, while Iran considers itself the leader of Shia countries. This confrontation has taken a new shape on the case of Azerbaijan. This has warmed up the diplomacy of the region.