There was never a Persian Empire; in either pre-Islamic or Islamic times, there was only an Iranian Empire, and Persia (Fars) was only one of its provinces (or satrapies). Persians were only one of the Iranian Empire’s nations. After the Islamic Conquest (636-642-651), Farsi was the native language of only the Persians. But it was the cultural language of the Iranian Empire, and of many others: the Seljuks, the Ilkhanids, the Ottomans, the Timurids, and the Mughal of India.
After I distributed Eid al Fitr wishes with Kemal Khojandi (14th c.) verses (translated from Farsi to English for the first time) to several friends worldwide, one of them asked me whether Kemal Khojandi was a Persian poet.
My friend did not make the distinction between ‘Persian’ and ‘Iranian’, between ‘Persia’ (‘Fars’) and ‘Iran’, and between Farsi language and literature from one side and Azeri, Turkmen, Baluch, Gorani, Faili, Lori, Bakhtiari, Qashqai, Gilani, Syriac Aramaic, Arabic and other languages from the other side.
I would not say that my friend made a mistake; quite contrarily, he was the victim of a vicious Anglo-French and American, colonial, Orientalist propaganda, which for reasons of historical forgery, political division, and colonial manipulation has for a quite long period made the totally erroneous equations: Iran = Persia and Persia = Iran. That’s a vicious lie.
What follows is my response slightly enlarged and edited. The topic is however vast and pertains to many historical falsifications and to the minimization of all the Turanian nations and civilizations. Furthermore, the colonial forgery creates also another non-historical divide between Iran and Turan. That’s an insidious lie too.
Promoted by the Western colonial Orientalists, the fallacious presentation of ‘Iran’ as ‘Persia’ consists in a spiritual genocide as it is tantamount to eradication of many nations from World History, usurpation of historical monuments of other nations, and attribution of other nations’ exploits and achievements to Persians, who have been only one of the Iranian nations in either pre-Islamic or Islamic and Modern Times. I will expand more on this topic in the future.
Kemal Khujandi, an Iranian — not a Persian!
Kemal Khojandi (1320-1400) is NOT a Persian, but an Iranian.
Persians are only the Iranians from Fars.
But, as you know, Iran is full of Goranis (who the Westerners call ‘Kurds’ although a Gorani native does not understand Talabani’s and Barzani’s Sorani language or Ocalan’s Kurmanji language), Azeris, Turkmens, Loris, Qashqais, Bakhtiaris, Baluchs and other nations.
This happens now and similar situations occurred before 400, 600, 1500, 2000 or 2500 years.
Historically, the terms Iran and Turan have been overlapping and they were never unfriendly or opposite to one another.
Western Orientalist colonial academia presented this fake reading of Oriental History as per which there was a hypothetical rivalry between Iran and Turan.
That’s a fake.
During Islamic Ages, the Orient was multilingual.
When people wanted to write Medicine, Mathematics, Astronomy, Astrology, Physics, Chemistry, people wrote in Arabic.
When people wanted to write Literature, Lyrics, Epics and Spiritual Poetry, people wrote in Farsi.
And the language of the army was mainly Turkic.
When Sultan Selim I wrote a letter to Ismail I Safavid before the battle at Caldiran (1514), he described himself as Fereydun and his opponent as Zahhak, referring to two basic heroes of Iranian (not Persian) Epics. All the Sultans spoke Farsi too.
Nezami Ganjavi, the national poet of Azerbaijan, wrote in Farsi and made fun of the Turkic languages for Poetry. He was an Azeri.
Now, Kemal Khujandi from Khujand in today’s Tajikistan originated from the area, which at the times was called Khurasan.
Historical Khurasan does NOT correspond to today’s Iranian province of Khurasan. It is far larger; see maps in attachment.
Due to the fact that Kemal Khujandi was a Khurasani, we can safely claim that Farsi was NOT his native language; this means that he was not a Persian, because Persians are those who native language is Farsi. In the past, they were mainly located in the province of Fars with Shiraz as capital; later they expanded in Esfahan, Kerman and Tehran.
Today’s Iran’s capital is mainly an Azeri – Turkmen city and this is understood when you ask the origin of the ancestors of the people whom you meet there. The last truly Iranian dynasty, the Qajar, were Turkmen; they transferred the capital to the then tiny, marginal Tehran. All Iranian dynasties from 1500 to 1900 were Turkmen Iranians, i.e. not Persian Iranians: the Safavids, the Afsharids and the Qajars.
Safavid Iran 1512
Azeris view Safavid Iran as an Azeri, not Persian, state; and they are right. Iran is identical with Turan. Fars (Persia) is just one province of Iran.
At the beginning of the 20th c., the English colonials, after they stabilized their criminal rule in India, imposed the ridiculous bogus-dynasty of the so-called Pahlavi; this family was Persian. The father of the last shah was an ignorant soldier, who even did not know the historical Iranian name Pahlavi. Some English Orientalists and Iranologists gave him special courses of Iranian History, misrepresenting it (as they have always done in their deceptive universities) as “Persian History”. Through this method, they destroyed the traditional imperial character of Iran, turning it to a ludicrous nationalist monarchy, which would inevitably oppress all the minorities – which actually happened. This is how strong empires are reduced to impotent states with silly nationalist or Islamist populations that can be easily manipulated through psychological tricks.
Afsharid Iran was an absolutely Turanian state, and the ruling dynasty was Turkmen originating from Khorasan. The state language and the cultural language was Farsi, the religious language was Arabic, and the army language was Turkmen. Colonial, Orientalist propaganda and historical forgery makes of the Afshar …. Iranians on cue!