South Azerbaijanis prepare for ‘uprising’
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsAn “International Council of South Azerbaijani Turks” was created at a meeting of Iranian Azeri exiles and activists from Turkey and Azerbaijan over the weekend. The organizers said the gathering was held despite “obstruction efforts by the fascist Iranian regime.” They also condemned Iran’s “ugly attacks” against Azerbaijan.
Following the “First International Forum of South Azerbaijani Turks,” which gathered in Ankara over the weekend, the International Council of South Azerbaijani Turks was established, which will coordinate efforts to inform and raise awareness in the international community about the oppression and breaches of human rights that ethnic Azeris are subjected to in Iran, Cemal Mehmethanoğlu, a Turkish Azeri who is one of the group’s organizers, told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.
In the meeting, the council discussed what position Turks in southern Azerbaijan should take in light of tensions that may erupt in the region in the near future, Mehmethanoğlu said. The council will inform international organizations such as the United Nations and NATO, as well as political parties and civic groups in Turkey about the problems facing South Azerbaijani Turks. The organization will hold meetings in Moscow, Brussels and Washington in the near future.
The venue for the weekend’s gathering, organized by Azerbaijan Center Association, a Turkish civic group chaired by Mehmethanoğlu, was changed on the day of the event, because the office of the governor declared it was forbidden to hold the meeting at the hotel the group had planned to use. The Azerbaijan Center Association convened the gathering at a different hotel.
It was not Turkish officials who hampered the group, Mehmethanoğlu said, but the Iranian government, which could not tolerate the meeting.