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Azerbaijani girls in traditional dresses
|c. 28–35 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Iran||more than 15 million (Encyclopædia Britannica)
12.9–18 million (CIA factbook, Knüppel, Izady, Swietochowski)
18–27 million (e.g. Elling, Shaffer, Minahan, Gheissari)
|United Arab Emirates||7,000|
|Predominantly Shia Islam; minority Sunni Islam, Judaism,Bahá'í Faith,Zoroastrianism,Irreligion,Christianity|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Turkic peoples (Oghuz Turks), Iranian peoples (specifically Persians and Tats), Caucasian peoples|
Azerbaijanis (//) or Azeris (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycanlılar آذربایجانلیلار, Azərilər آذریلر), also known as Azerbaijani Turks (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Türkləri آذربایجان تورکلری), are a Turkicethnic group in the Caucasus living mainly in Iranian Azerbaijan and the independent Republic of Azerbaijan. They are the second most numerous ethnic group among the Turkic peoples after Anatolian Turks. They are predominantly Shi'i Muslims, and have a mixed cultural heritage, including Turkic,Iranian, and Caucasian elements. They comprise the largest ethnic group in Republic of Azerbaijan and by far the second-largest ethnic group in neighboring Iran. The world's largest number of ethnic Azerbaijanis live in Iran, followed by Azerbaijan.
Following the Russo-Persian Wars of 1813 and 1828, the territories of the Qajar Empire in the Caucasus were ceded to the Russian Empire and the treaties of Gulistan in 1813 and Turkmenchay in 1828 finalized the borders between Czarist Russia and Qajar Iran. The formation of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918 established the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Despite living on two sides of an international border, the Azeris form a single ethnic group. However, northerners and southerners differ due to nearly two centuries of separate social evolution of Iranian Azerbaijanis and Azerbaijanis in Russian/Soviet-influenced Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani language unifies Azeris, and is mutually intelligible with Turkmen, Qashqai, Gagauz, Turkish, and the dialects spoken by the Iraqi Turkmen, all of which belong to the Oghuz, or Western, group of Turkic languages.
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