azerbaijani people in Iran

Iranian Azerbaijanis: Culture, Foods, Clothes, Music & more!

Iran is a broad country with diverse ethnic groups. Iran is home to the majority of Turkic people of different ethnicities. Iranian Turk people include Turkmen, Azeris, and other Turk people who are living as divergent tribes in different parts of Iran, such as the Qashqai people, Khorasani Turks, Afshar people, and Qarai Turks. The majority of Turks in Iran are Azeris. Iranian Azerbaijanis or Azeris are among the most lovely people inside and outside Iran. The beautiful Turkic culture and warm attitude towards people are some of the most noticeable features of Azeri ethnicity. In this article, we will learn more about the Azeri people of Iran.

People and Ethnicity

Azerbaijani people are one of the major ethnic groups in Iran. Being the second major ethnic group in Iran, they also include several sub-ethnic groups such as the Shahsevan, the Qarapapaqs, the Ayrums, the Bayat, the Qajars, the Qaradaghis, and the Gharagozloo. Iranian Azerbaijanis also have different names, such as Iranian Azeris, Iranian Turks, Persian Turks, or Persian Azerbaijanis. Iranian Azerbaijanis are generally known for their strong sense of community and family values, and social morals. They place a great emphasis on respect for elders and community solidarity. Azeri people tend to have close-knit family structures, which often translates into a strong work ethic and a desire to provide for one’s family.

Azeri clothing

Iranian Azerbaijanis in traditional costumes

Persian Azerbaijanis or Iranian Turks are also famous for their hospitality and welcoming nature. They take great pride in hosting guests and making them feel comfortable. If you visit an Azerbaijani’s house, or if you’re a guest at your friend’s house who is Azeri, you will feel like you are at your own home. From delicious traditional meals, including kebabs, stews, and rice dishes, which are a staple of Azerbaijani cuisine, to feeling comfortable and having the most relaxing time, the Azeri people will provide everything for you.

Azeri Music

Azeri music is a rich and diverse musical tradition that has evolved over centuries. Azerbaijani music includes parts of Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan. Distinctive rhythms and melodies are highlights of Azeri music. One of the popular forms of Azerbaijani music is Ashiq which is a type of Iranian folk music that is performed by troubadours known as Ashiqs. Ashiq music is characterized by its rhythms and use of beautiful lyrics. In recent years, modern styles of music such as pop, rock, and hip-hop have also gained popularity in Azerbaijani music. Azerbaijani pop music is recognized for its lively rhythms and memorable melodies, often accompanied by lyrics that explore themes of romance and human connections.

Azeri Dance

As music is a major part of Azeri culture, the Azeri dances are also popular and beautiful. Azeri dances are a part of their folklore culture which has been passed on to generations. There are a variety of dance forms, all of which are authentic and dynamic. One of the most famous Azeri dances is the Lezgi dance, inspired by the Lezgins. The Lezgi dance moves include some slow and fast rhythmic dances that are performed with special boots and clothes.

azeri dance

Azeri dance, a beautiful custom

Delicious Azerbaijani Food

Iranian Azerbaijani cuisine is known for its rich and flavorful dishes that are often influenced by the region’s Turkish and Persian heritage. There is a wide range of dishes, all of which have great tastes and flavors. The cuisine is normally characterized by the use of spices and meats, especially beef or lamb.

Kebab & Kebab Bonab

Another popular Azerbaijani dish is Kebab, which is made from grilled or roasted meat (usually lamb or beef) that is marinated in a mixture of spices and herbs. Kebab is often served with grilled vegetables such as peppers, onions, and tomatoes.
There is also Kebab Bonab which comes from the city of Bonab in East Azerbaijan province. Kebab Bonab is a little different from normal Kebab in terms of taste and process of making. Kebab Bonab is famous all over the region, and it is a must-try food.


Dushbara is the Azerbaijani version of dumplings which is made of little doughs filled with meat, tomato, and onions.

Carrot Khoresht

Carrot Khoresht is a popular dish in Azerbaijan, made from carrots, meat, saffron, prune, and onions. Carrot Khoresht is very delicious and tasty, and you should try it when you visit Iran.

Kufteh Tabrizi

Kufteh Tabrizi is another traditional Azerbaijani dish that consists of fresh herbs, spices, vegetables, and meat. Kufteh Tabrizi is an internationally famous dish, and it is very flavorful. This dish is also known as meatballs.

kufteh tabrizi

Kufteh Tabrizi, a famous traditional meal


Plov, a rice dish that is popular throughout Central Asia and the Caucasus, is also a staple of Azerbaijani cuisine. Azerbaijani plov is typically made with rice, lamb, onions, and dried fruits such as raisins or apricots.


Qutab is an Azerbaijani specialty, a type of stuffed flatbread that is often filled with ground meat, herbs, and onions. The bread is cooked on a griddle and served hot, often with yogurt or tomato sauce.


Azerbaijani cuisine also features a variety of soups, such as ash-e reshteh, a thick soup made from noodles, beans, and herbs. Other popular soups include dovga, a yogurt-based soup flavored with herbs and vegetables, which is very delicious and unique.


One popular Azerbaijani dish is dolma, which consists of stuffed vegetables such as grape leaves, eggplant, and peppers. The stuffing is typically made from a mixture of rice, meat, herbs, and spices, and the dish is often served with yogurt.

Persian dolma

Dolma, a traditional and tasty food


Iranian Azerbaijanis have a rich cultural heritage. The clothing and dresses play an important role in Azeri culture, reflecting elements of Turk people and taking inspiration from nature. Vibrant and colorful designs, unique shapes, and high-quality materials are the distinctive features of any Azeri clothing. Although the dress style of Persian Turks has changed over time, the traditional dresses of the Azeri people show the rich culture and artistic taste of Persian Turks.

Men’s traditional clothing typically includes a long shirt, called “arkhalig,” which is worn over loose-fitting trousers, called “shalvar.” Over the shirt, they wear a long, sleeveless coat called “chapan” or “shaliteh.” The coat is often made of wool and features intricate embroidery and patterns. Men also wear a headscarf called “kelaghayi,” which is made of silk and an essential part of their attire. Shoes are usually made of leather and are simple in design. Note that these dresses may have different names in different groups of Azeri people, but the general design and features are the same.

Azeri clothing

Traditional clothes of Azeri people in different colors

Women’s traditional clothing is more diverse and colorful than men’s clothing. It includes a long dress, usually made of silk or velvet, and is adorned with beautiful patterns and designs. The women also wear a scarf called “charqad” or “yayliq,” which is colorful and vibrant. Women’s traditional clothing is mostly long dresses called “Kuynik.”

Art & Handicrafts

The art and handicrafts of the Azeri people are a fascinating and beautiful part of their culture. Iranian Azerbaijanis are known for their artistry in different fields. From unique architecture to carpet weaving, designing ceramics, pottery, miniature painting, poetry, and literature, Persian Turks have reflected their identity very well in the culture and history of Iran as they are the second major ethnic group of the country.

For example, carpet weaving by the Azeri people is very famous inside and outside of the region. High-quality and fascinating designs are only two features of the carpet weaving industry among the Azeri people. Besides the success of carpet weaving in the Azeri people’s culture, poetry and literature are another great part of their identity. Several famous poets and writers have devoted their lives and talents to creating some of the most amazing literary works and poems.

Tabriz Leather

Tabriz is one of the major leather centers of Iran renowned worldwide. The leather industry is very popular in Tabriz, resulting in great leather shoes and bags, some of which even exported to other countries. If you are a big fan of this industry, you can visit the Tabriz Shoe Museum, the first shoe museum in Iran.

Carpet weaving

Carpet weaving is one of the oldest traditions of the Persian Turks. The city of Tabriz was the center of carpet weaving in the history of Iran, with stunning and valuable carpets featuring unique designs and beautiful patterns. The unique carpets of Tabriz or Turk carpets are famous worldwide.

tabriz carpet

Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex

Where do Azeris Live in Iran?

Comprising around one-quarter of the country’s population, the majority of Azerbaijani citizens are from the Iranian Azerbaijan region, which encompasses the provinces of East Azerbaijan, Ardabil, Zanjan, and West Azerbaijan. However, there are also smaller populations of Iranian Azerbaijanis residing in other provinces, such as Kurdistan, Qazvin, Hamadan, Gilan, Markazi, and Kermanshah. The cities with the largest Azeri populations include Tabriz, the provincial capital of East Azerbaijan, and Urmia, the provincial capital of West Azerbaijan.

In addition to these urban centers, Azeris also live in many rural areas throughout the region. They have a strong presence in agriculture and livestock, with many Azeris working as farmers, ranchers, and herders. Azeri culture is also deeply intertwined with the region’s rich history, and there are many important historical and cultural sites located throughout the Azeri provinces and cities.

Unesco Heritage Sites in Azeri Cities

UNESCO World Heritage Sites are recognized for their cultural and historical significance, and visiting them can transport you back in time. The Azeri cities of Iran are home to several UNESCO sites that attract visitors from all over the world.

Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex

The Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex is located in the city of Tabriz and is one of the oldest and largest covered bazaars in the world. The Tabriz Historic Bazaar consists of several interconnected buildings, courtyards, and alleys that date back to the 13th century. The complex includes numerous shops, mosques, and caravanserais and is an important center for trade and commerce in Tabriz.

Takht-e Soleyman

Takht-e Soleyman is an ancient site located in the city of Takab. The site includes the remains of a Zoroastrian fire temple that dates back to the Sassanian era. The site also consists of several other structures, including a palace, a mosque, and a lake.

Takht-e Soleyman

An ancient city and Zoroastrian temple complex

Sheikh Safi al-din Khanegah & Shrine

Located in the city of Ardabil, the Sheikh Safi al-din Khanegah and Shrine is a complex that includes the tomb of Sheikh Safi al-din Ardabili, who was a prominent Sufi mystic and the founder of the Safavid dynasty. The complex features a mosque, a library, and several other structures that date back to the 16th century.

Gonbad-e Qabus

Gonbad-e Qabus is a tower located in the city of Gonbad-e Qabus in Golestan province. Gonbad-e Qabus is also home to some Azeri people. The tower is one of the oldest and tallest brick towers in the world. The tower was built in the 11th century and is an important example of Islamic architecture. Gonbad-e Qabus is recognized by UNESCO for its cultural and historical importance.

Last Words

Iran is one of the most diverse countries located in Asia. The ancient country of Iran has been home to various ethnic groups. Azeri people, or Azerbaijanis, are one of the ethnic groups from Turkic roots that have called Iran their home since the Medieval period. Iranian Azerbaijanis or Azeris are one of the lovely and hospitable ethnic groups that live in different parts of Iran. Since they come from a Turkic root, Iranian Azerbaijanis are well-known for their art and culture. Azeri people are very rich in terms of culture and traditions, music, dances, food, clothes, literature, crafts, and handicrafts.

Are you planning to travel to Iran? Check out our Iran Tours.

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