Summer 2000 (8.2)
Press in Iran
there has been considerable discussion about the closure of reformist
newspapers in Iran. Many newspapers have closed, while many more
have started up.
in Iran which are featuring news in the Azeri language.
type of publication that seems to be thriving on a continuous
basis is the Azerbaijani press. Azerbaijani newspapers and magazines
got a boost after the election of President Mohammad Khatami.
A new phenomenon in Iranian Azerbaijan, like elsewhere in Iran,
is the publication of local newspapers in smaller cities. Persian-Azerbaijani
newspapers are published in small towns like Naqadeh, a small
town south of Urmia in West Azerbaijan Province. The number of
local papers in cities like Tabriz, Urmia and Ardabil has increased,
and they are able to attract support from local advertisers and
are managing to survive and thrive without government support.
Omid-e-Zanjan (Hope of Zanjan) is the leading newspaper in publishing
about issues related to Azerbaijanis. This newspaper is produced
in the city of Zanjan, the capital of Zanjan province. It even
has special issues related to Azerbaijanis, which are being distributed
in other Azerbaijani-populated provinces. This and other local
Azerbaijani papers write about the cultural rights of Azerbaijanis
and even criticize local and national authorities on issues related
to Azerbaijanis. Most of them advocate language rights and cultural
Usage of the Azerbaijani language in these bilingual publications
has improved. First of all, articles in the Azerbaijani language
are not just about literature and folklore anymore. There is
a trend towards "hard news" being published in Azerbaijani
along with various articles about political issues. Secondly,
there is evidence that the use of the Azerbaijani language is
evolving. Many of the local newspapers no longer write in the
local provincial dialects anymore but rather in more standard
Azerbaijani. For example, the verb, "we went" in the
past tense might have been written "getdukh" in Tabriz,
"getdik" in Ardabil, and "getdikh" in Urmia.
Also, the literary language of the Republic of Azerbaijan is
becoming more dominant though influences from Turkey and elements
of local accents are still evident in some articles. The Turkish
influence comes through satellite television broadcasts.
Currently, no local newspaper from Iranian Azerbaijan is available
on the Web. The way most people gain access to these publications
outside of Iran is to request relatives or friends to send them.
(8.2) Summer 2000.
© Azerbaijan International 2000. All rights reserved.
Back to Reader's
Back to Index AI 8.2 (Summer
| Magazine Choice | Topics