Recent Focused Series »

Indo-European Origins
Siberia
Northern California
The Caucasus
Imaginary Geography
Home » Cartography, Geopolitics, Linguistic Geography, Nationalism

Greater Turkey Vs. Greater Iran

Submitted by on November 24, 2011 – 3:59 am 16 Comments |  
Maps of Greater Turkey fro YouTube Videos Visions of a Greater Iran, discussed yesterday, come into conflict with other imaginings of geopolitical enlargement, particularly that of “Greater Turkey.” Harsh debates are posted under maps of hoped-for state expansion. The following exchange, accompanying a YouTube clip proselytizing for Greater Iran, typifies the more civil end of the argument spectrum:

 Azerigull: Long live Greater Iran, Empire of Iran. To all the turks with illusion that turkey is a nation, you should know that original turks in turkey today are about 5 million that came from China, the remaining population are children of Greece, beloved Iran, and Armania. Long live Empire of Iran, you will Rise again to bring Peace and Harmony to the World.

Agartali Vaiz: Greater Turkey will rise again to form the Small Turan from Bosnia to the Turkish areas of Iran also including Caspian coast; from Aleppo to Turkmenistan, from Crete to Batum, from Tesalonika to Shiraz. After that the project of greater Turan will be the second mission.

            YouTube and blogsite dreams of national aggrandizement form an intriguing genre. The discussion forums, when not disabled, make captivating if disturbing reading. Rival camps of extreme nationalists seem to take delight in grossly insulting each other. Although perhaps dismissible as the fantasies of marginal groups, these clips can reach hundreds of thousands of viewers. Viewer numbers vary tremendously, of course, as does video quality. Some productions are minimal: a single map of a “great state” accompanied by patriotic music. Others use fairly sophisticated cartographic animation to show projected change over time.

Maps of Extreme Interpretations of the Greater Turkish WorldDepictions of “Greater Turkey,” or “Future Turkey,” also vary significantly.  As can be seen in the maps posted above, mega-Turkey is envisaged by some as absorbing such neighboring areas as northern Syria, northern Iraq, northern and eastern Greece, and parts of the Caucasus. A few extremists hope to reclaim all of the lands ever held by the Ottoman Empire—and then some. One map turns northwestward to take in not just the former Yugoslavia, but also Austria, northern Germany, and northeastern France. Some maps of greater “Turkistan” and the “Turkish World” are comically extreme. Most depictions foresee the incorporation of all Kurdish-speaking areas into an enlarged Turkey.

A few proponents of Greater Turkey have gone well beyond drawing imaginary maps. The Turkish ultra-nationalist “Grey Wolves” have long struggled for a more powerful state that could eventually encompass all Turkic-speaking peoples. Turkish authorities have accused the group of carrying out 694 murders between 1974 and 1980. Although declining sharply after being outlawed in 1980, the Grey Wolves were able to prevent the Turkish screening of a film on the Armenian genocide as recently as 2004. Some evidence indicates that the group is resurfacing in western Europe. On October 31, 2011, the International Business Times reported allegations of Grey Wolf attacks against a Kurdish community center in Amsterdam and a Kurdish-owned shop in Saint-Étienne, France.

Map of Greater Turkey and Greater Azerbaijan The Turkic-speaking peoples of Iran and Central Asia, especially the Azeris, are caught between the claims of Turkish and Persian “super-nationalism.” Both sides assert rights to the Azeri-speaking region, although one depiction of Greater Turkey does map out a separate expanded Azerbaijan, presumably envisaged as an ally state. Not surprisingly, Greater Azerbaijan is envisaged separately by a group of hard-core Azeri nationalists. In general, however, Iranian Azeris strongly incline towards Iran. Many of the leaders of the Greater Iran movement are themselves Azeri.

The Iranian political allegiance of Turkic-speaking Azeris in northwestern Iran is not surprising. For centuries, the highest levels of the Persian state were dominated by people of Turkish heritage. The rulers of the Safavid Dynasty (1501–1736) were partially if not mostly of Azeri descent, and those of the Qajar Dynasty (1785–1925) stemmed from another group of Turkic people. Azeri Iranians are in general well integrated; virtually all are bilingual in Farsi, and many occupy high social, economic, religious, and political positions. Of course, not all Iranian Azeris embrace Iranian nationalism, and allegations of discrimination do persist. But Iran can to some extent be regarded as a Persian-Azeri partnership, underwritten by the religious bond of Twelver Shi’ism.

Previous Post
«
Next Post
»

Subscribe For Updates

It would be a pleasure to have you back on GeoCurrents in the future. You can sign up for email updates or follow our RSS Feed, Facebook, or Twitter for notifications of each new post:
        

Commenting Guidelines: GeoCurrents is a forum for the respectful exchange of ideas, and loaded political commentary can detract from that. We ask that you as a reader keep this in mind when sharing your thoughts in the comments below.

  • http://twitter.com/jayeshsharma Jayesh Sharma

    Interesting description. Just as an aside, most maps linked on Statoids.com are horribly outdated. (Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand & Uttaranchal are not depicted at all, more than10 years after they were formed). Only the Indian government and the mapsofindia.com have  reasonably correct ones

    • http://geocurrents.info Martin W. Lewis

      Thanks for the information.  MapsofIndia is a useful site. Many maps on the Stateoids website might be outdated, but the site does provide up-to-date information. I just learned from it, for example, that “The name of Orissa state has been changed to Odisha.” That change evidently happened this month. 

  • http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/ Maju

    Turkey is just like Spain or Iran (though maybe a bit more like France in some senses): still has to give away lands – in spite of all the genocides – to peoples oppressed under its boot. I’m thinking of the Kurds of course.

    Whatever the case what I find funny and grossly disturbing is the nightmarish ethnic megalomania of the individuals who draw and support these maps.

    Next time what? Greater Luxembourg?! You may find intriguing and amusing Krutwig’s greater Vasconia (although he would never use the term “greater” at all it’s well beyond the usual Basque nationalist claims).

    • http://geocurrents.info Martin W. Lewis

      Thanks for the comments and the interesting links. I hope to post a map next week showing all countries for which ultra-nationalists have posted “Greater X” YouTube videos.   

      • http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/ Maju

        Don’t get me wrong: actually Krutwig was an anarchist turned nationalist and his maps are anecdotal with no support… His work however served as ideological standpoint to reignite regular Basque nationalism in the 1960s and 70s, under fascism.

        But I find amusing these hyping of “Greater whatever” when there is not even the proper ethnicity in the places claimed. At least Greater Serbia included mostly areas with Serbian majority but these Greater Iran and Turkey are total nonsense megalomaniac posters.

        • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

          I can’t say I find these “Greater whatever” claims “amusing” (as people are bound to be hurt), but they do sound very anachronistic: it used to be the case that power was proportionate to the size of the land, but not anymore. If I had my own personal state, I’d go for a small but (relatively) prosperous one, something along the lines of Luxembourg, Qatar, Singapore… not a big, clunky empire like the Ottomans or the Russians…

        • John

          You must be very uneducated to say such statements. Why don’t you try googling Greater Iran. It is and was an actually thing, that refers to all the countries living in the Iranian Plateau that were both conquered and influenced by the Persian people for thousands of years.

  • Anonymous

    Sometimes Greater is used in a contrary context, Indonesia is sometimes labelled as Greater Java by various separatist groups – Aceh, Bali, West Papua (Irian Jaya).

    Fed Up Germans suggest that Germany should leave the EU to become a “Greater Switzerland”. Not a territorial claim, just a plea for return of sovereignty to the people of Germany from the EU, so they can live peacefully, make lots of money and have 6 week vacations in Greece and Spain :smile:

    Asya – Loretta Napoleoni has suggested that the Peoples Republic of China envisions itself as the Greater Singapore :smile:

    • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

      Speaking of “Greater Whatever”, it’s interesting how the meaning of such designations has changed from the historical “larger area, not quite the true/core Whatever” to “big, more important Whatever”. This is the case with “Greater Russia” (vs. “Smaller Russia” = Ukraine): http://languages-of-the-world.blogspot.com/2010/03/more-on-ukraine-and-ukrainian.html

  • Doctortiter

    Pan-Turkic nationalists delude themselves into thinking that Azerbaijanis want anything to do with their suicidal dogma. Unfortunately it is none other than this form of nationalism that led to Kurdish genocides and Armenian genocides in Anatolia, during the early days of secular Turkey, all thanks to Ataturk and his sidekick Inonu. 

    What pan-Turkic nationalists fail to realize is the very nationalism they stand for contradicts most of their genetic origins and realities. 

    For instance, Turks of Turkey are predominantly genetically Anatolian. The average genetic makeup of a Turkish Turk is something like 60% Anatolian, 20% Greek, 10% Armenian, or Caucasian, or East European and another 10% Middle Eastern and Central Asian. 

    History shows that the Turkic-speakers of Turkey used to be speakers of indigenous Anatolian languages, which were not Altaic but Indo-European instead, closely related to Greek. 

    History also shows that the Turkic-speakers of Azerbaijan used to be speakers of indigenous Azerbaijani languages, which were not Altaic but were also Indo-European, specifically northwestern Iranian. 

    The good thing is many Azerbaijanis know this and which is why even the Safavid Empire called itself “the first native Iranian/Persian empire since the Muslim conquest”. This is why the Safavid’s, though an admixture of Azeris, Kurds and even Georgians, identified with the native Iranian and Persian ethnic, linguistic and cultural identity. 

    The unfortunate thing is that Turks of Turkey are the biggest ones falling for this mass delusion. And why not, since their Ataturk-made country was inherently pan-Turkic from day one. 

    What’s sadder is how many Pan-Turks believed that the Seljuk Empire that ruled over Iran was fully Turkic, but that clearly wasn’t the case. While it’s true the rulers were Turkic, they were heavily Persianized to the point they spoke Persian, practiced the Persian culture and thus identified the nation as that which is successor to Sassanid and pre-Sassanid Persian dynasties. 

    But of course, dogma is called dogma for a good reason, and Pan-Turkic nationalism is just that. Delusional dogma.

    • turkic

      you are son of bitch maybe you are Armenian or Persian maybe a Kurd…

    • شومي

      you are not

  • Pingback: { Brown Pundits } » Blog-Roll updated with “GeoCurrents”

  • KURDISTAN

    hahaha fucking turks. a new era is comming. every day there are more and more kurds. there is no need for a war. we will fuuck your women and your mixrace will rot in hell like the real sliteyed blackhaired ugly mongol turks

    BIJI KURD U KURDISTAN

    the turkish dog cant stop us anymore

  • Steve

    The Author is either Schitzo or just plain stupid.

    • SirBedevere

      It’s an interesting diagnosis. What symptoms of these two conditions do you see here?

  • turkic

    please read the life of Mir-Hossein Mousavis who is iran’s politican I believe greater Turkic oghuz state.Azerbaijan and iran Azerbaijan will be well integrated in the future that is their right.Azerbaijan and iran azebaijan totally make 30~40 million population also it will be second Turkic state as population mass.