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Talysh people

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© Eugene Ipavec
Flag of the Talysh National Movement

Talysh (also Talishi, Taleshi or Talyshi) are an Iranian people who speak Talysh language one of the Northwestern Iranian languages. The Talysh people are mostly found in Southern Azerbaijan and North-western Iran.

The Talysh people were once numerous in population, but have now dwindled into a small minority. Most Talysh in Azerbaijan have been assimilated into the mainstream Azerbaijani community, with only the elderly speaking Talysh. It is estimated that the Talysh make 2% of Azerbaijan's population, while many Talysh claim that they make up to 11% of Azerbaijan's population. The different figures are based on the differences between language and ethnic origins. Nationalists claim that the combined Talysh population of Azerbaijan and Iran numbers up to 2 million.[1]

The Talysh are primarily Sunni muslims, although a sizeable Shi'a minority exists.[2]

Notes

  1. Minahan, James - Miniature Empires: A Historical Dictionary of the Newly Independent, page 18, ISBN 0313306109
  2. Wixman, Ronald - The Peoples of the USSR: An Ethnographic Handbook, page 184, ISBN 0873325060