Category: Talesh – تالش

Ali Abdoli Voice of Talysh the Republic of Azerbaijan

Ali Abdoli Voice of Talysh the Republic of Azerbaijan

A Letter from Ali Abdoli, Iranian citizen, scientist and writer, to the Republic of Azerbaijani and international community regarding the arrest of Talysh academic Hilal Mamadov by the government of the Republic of Azerbaijan:

Not long ago the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan made a declaration about the arrest of  academic Hilal Mammadov. In this declaration they also accused me; and afterwards some western media resources made publications under heading, “Iran and Azerbaijan relations strained after new accusations.”

Persons who knows me personally are witnesses of under the conditions I live under now: That is why I don’t see any need to defend myself to those that know me. But the said accusations can cause some misunderstanding for those who don’t know me closely so I feel the need to give some information about myself, my job and my activity.

As a citizen of Iran I don’t work in any state enterprise. As an independent researcher I have worked in the field of culture during the last 40 years. Very unfortunately, the repressive regime of the Republic of Azerbaijan has exploited my academic work and made it a tool of its anti-Iranian policy.  I am known as a researcher of Talysh people and culture, which is an ethnic subgroup of Iranian people. Frequently when the the autocratic regime of the Republic of Azerbaijan wants to arrest or destroy some activist or journalist it uses  my name and charges me with groundless and defamatory accusations.

Recently the Chief Editor of the newspaper “Tolyshi Sado”  (a news journal concerning the culture and history of Talysh people) Hilal Mammadov was arrested under a false drug possession charge, which the Republic of Azerbaijan soon transformed into a charge of high treason.  Astonishingly, I was declared as his co-conspirator in this absurd plot.

Everyone knows that I work as a researcher of Tat and Talysh people and cultures and during the period of my activity I have published 18 books and 40 articles in this field – I am an academic.  For my work in 1992 I was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate degree from the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences.

I have a bookstore in the city of Rizvanshahr of Iran and support with income from this bookstore my wife and my son.

I am 61 years old; I am very tired and exhausted and have no strength to think of anything else.

I love my motherland Iran and I am ready to sacrifice my life for it.

And I have never been engaged in any political issue for what I could be accused.

We have friendship relationships with Hilal Mammadov as with any other Talysh cultural activist and I am very proud of this friendship. But our friendship has no element of ‘secret activity.’  Our academic consultations together never passed the boundaries of research of Talysh cultural issues. I had a friendship with the late Noruz-ali Mammadov also: Unfortunately, the repressive regime of the Republic of Azerbaijan killed him conducting nothing more than academic cultural work with me; and the repressive government of the Republic of Azerbaijan has now is willing to destroy Hilal Mammadov also.

Who will be the next, for God’s sake?!

The autocratic and repressive regime of the the Republic of Azerbaijan wants to destroy national minorities in Azerbaijan; Talysh minority representatives especially suffer from the government of Republic of Azerbaijan most of all. Anyone who wants to be productive and thoughtful will be destroyed by Baku police.

As any free conscientious person I am very concerned about it. But I am not able to change such a bad condition that this regime caused for its ethnic minorities. However, I shall not allow my personality to be used as a toy by the repressive government of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

If you want to know information about me you can go to my personal site:


Ali Abdoli

email:   Aliabdoli1[at]
پایگاه تالش پژوهی علی عبدلی

تالش، طبيعت تالش،فرهنگ عامه ، كتابخانه ، تاريخ و باستان شناسی تالش، زبان تالشی ،مشاهیر، ادبيات

letter of Ali Abdoli Voice of Talysh

letter of Ali Abdoli Voice of Talysh

Video of Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan killing Novruzali Mamadov and Hilal Mamadov (who has now been arrested) reading the eulogy.



Submitted by Center for Independent Media

A recent AP article states:  Azerbaijan arrests reporter behind Internet hit: BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — A journalist in Azerbaijan best known for creating a wildly popular Internet video that became a cult favorite in Russia has been arrested on drug possession charges [in the Republic of Azerbaijan], police said Friday. Mammadov’s lawyer, Anar Qasimli, said the charges against his client were without basis, and the reporter’s relatives insist he is the victim of a police set-up. Mammadov will be kept in custody for three months while the probe is ongoing, Qasimli said. If found guilty, Mammadov faces a prison sentence of up to 12 years. Mammadov is a member of Azerbaijan’s Talysh ethnic minority, which resides along the country’s border with Iran, and edits a local newspaper, ‘Talysh Voice.’ Mammadov has in the past criticized authorities for allegedly repressing minority populations in Azerbaijan.”

Hilal Mamedov Baku Talesh Voice of Talesh Astara

I have known Hilal Mamdedov for years.  Hilal is an ethnic Iranian, from the Talesh community (near the Caspian coast).  However, Hilal has never lived in the Iran of today, but lives in what is now called the “Republic of Azerbaijan.”

Roughly 150 years ago, what is today called “The Republic of Azerbaijan” was a part of Northern Iran and was seized by Russia.   Soon after, Russia became the USSR and Stalin quickly realized the value of oil resources there and (rightfully) feared the risk of the native people that wanted the province to repatriate with Iran – Many people were slaughtered; many books were burned to craft a new identity for the people taken as captives in a land newly controlled by Russia.  In what became a bizarre twist in history, Stalin and Turkish nationalists commenced a program to strip ethnic Iranians of their identity.  Ottoman-Turkey assisted in importing Turkish nationalism, mixed with brutally repressive tactics, and after a few generations the lower Caucuses still experiences today what many historians call “a severe identity crisis that is more a consequence of Stalin’s imagination, than historical fact.”  Although the USSR no longer exists, the blueprint that Joseph Stalin and the Ottoman-Turks left behind is still being exploited to siphon-off the oil from the Caspian for the benefit of everyone except the people that live there. The autocratic governement and bogus journalism emanating from the Republic of Azerbaijan is being supported and financed by major global oil companies who also hire ‘Blackwater’ type paramilitary forces to subdue the people.

Hilal Mamdedov is from the Talesh community (Mountain Iranians) – a group that did not bend to allow their identity to be taken from them.  The Talesh regional flag carries the tripartite Green, White and Red Iranian colors and the famous sun emblem (though the flag is explicitly outlawed in the Republic of Azerbaijan).  The news article suggests that Hilal has been arrested for “heroin” possession, which to anyone who knows him is an absurd lie on its face.  He is an exceptionally learned, talented and healthy man known world-wide for his gift for journalism and passion for nature.  Many years ago on a business trip to Baku, I hiked what used to be the Iranian mountains with Hilal (they are now a part of the Republic of Azerbaijan). Hilal is an outdoorsman and the kindest person one can hope to meet; he is the type of person who will go out of his way to give his time and hospitality to a complete stranger.  I invite you to browse his photos on Facebook which are sort of a glimpse into his character and maybe interesting for Iranians from a perspective of cultural anthropology.  I have seen on this site the term “Greater Iran” used.  This is a man that represents the Iran that was.  He is the ethnic cousin of Iranians, and comes from a group that would not allow their Iranian roots to be erased.  I encourage you to raise awareness about his plight and to share his story.  It also appears that several sites carrying his newspaper have vanished into thin air.

Below are three videos: Two are about the Talesh people; and the third is about the autocratic government that rules the Republic of Azerbaijan for the benefit of about 20-30 powerful families and the major oil companies that back them.

Who are the Talesh?

Corruption & Oil inAzerbaijan:    Baku District Court Azerbaijan