Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recited a poem during the Azerbaijani victory parade after the war against Armenia – but it was not well received in Iran.
A poem read by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sparked a diplomatic crisis between Iran and Turkey. The poem “Aras, Aras” refers to the division of the Azeri settlement area along the Aras River, which today forms the Iranian-Azerbaijani border. Iran saw this as an attack on its sovereign rights over its northern provinces. The subject was on the front pages of Iranian newspapers on Saturday.
The border was established in the Treaty of Turkmanchai in 1828 after Persia was defeated by Russia. The area in the north of the river was then assigned to Russia, the area in the south remained with Persia.
Iran hired a Turkish ambassador
Erdoğan quoted the poem in his speech during the Azerbaijani victory parade after the war against Armenia over Nagorno Karabakh on Thursday in Baku. In protest against this, the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Turkish ambassador to Tehran on Friday. Turkey responded by calling on the Iranian ambassador to insult Erdoğan.
“Didn’t he (Erdoğan) know that with this poem he was questioning Iran’s sovereignty?” Asked Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Jawad Sarif. “Nobody” should speak that way about the Iranian provinces of East and West Azerbaijan and Ardabil. All three provinces are “an Iranian fortress and an inseparable part of the country”.
“We condemn the aggressive comments about our president”
Erdoğan spokesman Fahrettin Altun replied Saturday, “We condemn the aggressive comments about our president and our country under the pretext of a poem.” The Iranian government is trying to distort the context of the verses.
In Iran, there are more than 11 million Azerbaijanis in the provinces of East and West Azerbaijan, Ardabil in the northeast of the country, and Sanjan, Hamedan, and Ghazvin in West and Central Iran. Besides Persian, they speak Azeri, which is similar to the Turkish language. Many Azeris in Iran are successful business people and most of the supermarkets in the country are run by them. There are no serious discussions in Iran regarding the accession of the Azerbaijani provinces to the Republic of Azerbaijan.