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Alakbarli F. U. Historical Reasons of the Development of Common Traits and Distinctions in National Character of the Azerbaijani Who Live in the Republic of Azerbaijan and Iran

The paper analyses the main stages and factors of formation of Azerbaijani national character, whose holders are divided into two sub-ethnic groups — northern Azeris (in the Republic of Azerbaijan) (their psychology was influenced by Russian and European culture in the years of the Russian Empire, ‘Soviet Socialist’ culture and ideology in the Soviet period; and it is based on the interaction with the North Caucasian Muslim peoples and the Christian nations of the South Caucasus) and south (Iranian) Azeri (from 1813–1828 their ethnic consciousness started to form).

Ethnic identity is characterized by ‘azerbaijanism’ in Azerbaijan (i.e, they consider themselves primarily as the Azerbaijanis, and then associate themselves with different sub-ethnic groups); and by ‘eraniyat’ within the southern Azerbaijanis (they consider themselves as the Iranians).

Shiite Islam, the essential role of the Safavid dynasty and qizilbashes (Shah Ismail’s followers) in the formation of the Azerbaijani national mentality influenced the formation of ‘magical’ mentality with emotional, imagery and poetic perception of the world. Today, there are characteristic differences between northern and southern Azerbaijanis: the first have secular mind, weak religiousness, sincerity. Iranian Azerbaijanis are conformists, polite, restraint; such features as loyalty friendship, accuracy and honour bring them closer to the modern Turks that are under European influence.

Keywords: the Azerbaijanis, the Turks, the Iranians, Shiite Islam, national character, ethnic identity, sub ethnic groups.

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