Skip to content

Presidential candidates in Iran debate Turkish nationalism

Presidential candidates in Iran debate Turkish nationalism Masoud Pezeshkian called for restraint, Tehran, June 11, 2024, Reuters
By Newsroom
Jun 20, 2024 11:15 AM

Following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash, Iran will go to the polls on June 28 to elect a new president, with candidates now debating Turkish nationalism.

Masoud Pezeshkian, a reformist presidential candidate of Turkish descent, has made headlines with his remarks on pan-Turkism.

Addressing the presence of pan-Turkist movements, Pezeshkian responded to the question, “What will be your stance towards Pan-Turkists if you are elected?” with the following statement:

“If there were justice in Iran, no one would be a pan-anything. Turks and other ethnic groups have not been treated justly in Iran.”

In a program he attended last week, Pezeshkian emphasized the importance of merit and highlighted ethnic and sectarian discrimination in Iran with these words:

“Some Iranians of Turkmen, Kurdish, and Baluch descent are deprived of the status they deserve due to discrimination.”

In Iran’s East and West Azerbaijan provinces, also known as South Azerbaijan, there are approximately 25 million Azerbaijani Turks. With other Turkish communities like the Sahra Turkmens and Qashqai, the total number of Turks in Iran is estimated to exceed 35 million.

Last Updated:  Jun 23, 2024 10:30 AM