The Egalitarian Uprising of the Turks in Iran - May 2006

In May 12, 2006 a comic strip story was published in a weekly magazine of Iran News Paper which is belong to The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). “What should we do in order to prevent the activity of cockroaches for transforming us to cockroaches?” was the title of the above mentioned story. In the narration, a boy asks to a cockroach in Persian and the cockroach replies to the child in Turkish. “How can it be possible to be rid of the cockroaches” is described in the course of story. It was evaluated by millions of Turks in Iran as an insulting and exclusion act against them. Despite the heavy costs of the uprising in Iran, however in various villages, towns and cities they condemned and objected to the perpetrators of the issue and wanted to be punished them.
22 May, Iran, Turk, cockroach, cartoon, insult, discrimination, uprising, justice

In May 12 2006 a comic strip story was publishedin a weekly magazine of Iran News Paper which is belong to The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). “What should we do in order to prevent activity of cockroachesfor transforming us to cockroaches?” was the title of the above mentioned story which appeared in pages reserved for children and teenagers of the  magazine which is published each Friday. In the first drawing that takes place at the beginning of narration, a boy asks to a cockroachin the language of cockroaches saying “soosoo soosking sisko sooski sooskung” (In Persian “susk” means cockroach). And cockroach replies to child saying “Nemene?” (In Iran, “Nemene?” means “What?” in the daily dialect spoken among the Turks.) Child doesn’t understand the language of the cockroachand story continues as follows [1]:

“…Hot summer days approach. Cockroaches will surround us once again eventually. …Indeed, cockroaches are not fearsome creatures. But they are impudent and this is the difficulty, one can’t know how to act against them. … So I should teach some techniques so that you can protect yourself against the invasion of cockroaches. The problem is that cockroaches do not understand human language. Grammar of the language of cockroaches is so difficult that eighty percent of them prefer to speak other languages rather than theirs. If cockroaches can’t understand their own language then how can you understand theirs? Thus negotiations come to a deadlock and using sweet methods including violence becomes inevitable.”

Thus first method that can be used for getting rid of the cockroaches -negotiation- is omitted. “Sweet methods of annihilation including violence” appears in the course of story. “Sweet methods of annihilation including violence” are briefly as follows:

Second Method: Since the cockroaches’ main source of nourishment is human excrete, they generally lives in closets sewerages and scavenge on human excrete. For a while met your need to excretion not in closets but in gardens and under the trees. Thus both trees and flowers in your garden grow better and nourishment sources of the cockroaches are cut. Then “the race of cockroaches become extinct” because of starvation.

Third Method:  Cockroaches feed on our product (excrete) and some creatures such as chickens, crows, frogs and lizards eat cockroaches. In order to extinct the race of cockroaches you can keep one of those creatures in your toilet then within two month “they will be extinct”.

Fourth Method: House slipper is one of the cause of nightmare for cockroaches. Millions years ego “primitive human beings” used this weapon in order to get rid of cockroaches. After the blow of slipper cockroaches fall and they try to stand up while laying on their backs. In such a case you should take a feather of a chicken and tickle them. They delight in to be tickled. At that moment give them a hard blow on their heads in such a way that they will be liquidized by the impact.

Fifth method: One can also use insecticides in order to get rid of cockroaches. These kinds of pesticides are found either as aerosol or as hydrosol form. You can pour the liquid insecticides to the drain-hole. And spray the gaseous insecticides to your toilet. Use the doughy ones as their feed.

Sixth Method: If you can’t use slipper or pesticides there is no way out of wrestling with them. By using wrestling techniques you can your hold opponents’ shoulders on the wrestling mat and eliminate them. If you could not obtain expected results from all those methods don’t be surprised at this, because in recent years our sport of wrestling is in regression and cockroacheshas gained dominance in this field.

Seventh Method: By finding the bravest (that is the most powerful and most respected one) of cockroachesyou can disgrace and insult it. You can give to it a pot which is full of water and command it to raise up its four feet, absolutely four feet because they are quadrupled [in Persian “quadrupled” used for an animal in a figurative sense]. Then you will invite other cockroachessaying “let that be a lesson to you.” Some people consider that this method may cause unexpected results because of a complex gaining control over the cockroach at that moment and makes it more deviant than before. However, the best way is to terminate its life at the beginning by a stroke of a slipper in order to cut short the matter and to put everybody at ease.

Eighth method:  When their mustaches begin to grow cockroachesget married and give birth a lot of children immediately. So their population increase rapidly. One of the way for fighting against the cockroachesis making their condition of marriage more difficult. If you will increase the amount of deposit and rent five times higher than normally they are, then absolutely nobody gives his or her daughter to those cockroacheswho are still adolescent and have nothing to wear but only rags. It becomes wonderful if the army helps us and recruits them. Because they will die before the military service [two years in Iran] comes to an end.

Ninth Method:if your attempts to annihilate cockroachesfailed even after practicing all of these methods then there is no way other than living together with cockroachespeacefully. But if you can’t bear to look their faces then you can sent them to a plastic surgery and make them appear as a nightingale or a canary.

Anti-Turk attitude and act which are shown clearly and distinctly in this story caused anger of the millions of indigenous Turks in Iran and gave rise to a number of protests with high rate of participation in the most cities, towns and villages of Iran where Turkish population lives and  they continued  for many days.In the demonstrations  performed  cities of Tehran, Zanjan, Tabriz, Urmia, Ardabil, Ahar, Hamadan, Kaleybar, Mugan, Meyaneh, Maragheh, Khoy, Salmas, Meshkin Shahr and  Marand  a lot of people were  wounded and killed by the intervention of  security forces. Then thousands of Turks were arrested, jailed, tortured, dismissed and sent into the exile in order to control and to put an end to these protests. Some of the protesters escaped to foreign countries necessarily [2].

The protest lasted one week in cites and town where population consists of Turkish peoples and they echoed in theIslamic Consultative Assembly. Deputies such as Akbar Alami, Reza Rahmanî, Karim Shafei, Eshrat Shayegh etc. which are ethnic Turks made speeches in theIslamic Consultative Assembly and condemned above mentioned publication of the Newspaper vehemently. They stressed that responsibility of the Presidency and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidancein terms of this fact and that it must be get under scrutiny [3].

At first, this insulting act was commented as a misunderstanding by the related cartoonist and authorities of the newspaper. However as a result of increasing reactions, 9 days  after the date of appearance of the story, in May 21, 2006, authorities of the newspaper apologized to the people and made a statement about the dismiss of cartoonist Mana Neyestani.

When the protests increased as a reaction, Press Monitoring Commission stops the publication of newspaper and sends the file to the jurisdiction. Also the public prosecutor of Tabriz, Yoosef Firoozi makes a criminal complaint to an authorized court. After six years, 76th  Criminal Court of Tehran convicts directors of the Friday Magazine of the Newspaper by the majority of votes because of “insulting ethnic entities of the country and making publication which is disturbing for the public opinion and which is untrue” [4].

The wide spreading reaction for condemnation which was a reaction to the insulting story of the newspaper, echoed in the publishing and broadcasting organizations of some regional countries and of the world. However, considerable amount of the famous news organizations preferred to be silent about these events. Some news organizations which are known as having Persian nationalistattitude, distorted the matter and tried to show and stigmatize protesters as some schismatic and separatist fractions which depends on foreign countries.



[1] The link of scanned pages of the newspaper about the story: (Access: 09.07.14).

[2] The links of the related news: (Access: 07.07.14). (Access: 07.07.14). (Access: 07.07.14). (Access: 07.07.14).

[3] Related official report in the library, museum and documentation center of Islamic Consultative Assembly: (Access: 08.07.14).

[4] The links of news about the court order: (Access: 11.07.14). (Access: 11.07.14). (Access: 11.07.14). (Access: 11.07.14). (Access: 11.07.14).


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Some of the news titles on issue are given below with their links:

United States of America:

USA TODAY: Iran's president: U.S. will fail to provoke ethnic differences

The New York Times: Iran Shuts Paper for Cartoon Mocking Minority

The New York Times: Iran closes state paper over ethnic cartoon

The Washington Post: Iran Accuses U.S. of Provoking Tension

The Washington Post: Iran Closes Newspaper Over Cartoon Furor

The Washington Times: Tehran Not Amused by Cartoon That Spurred Riots

The Seattlle Times: Paper issues apology over false Iran story

Associated Press: Tehran not amused by cartoon that spurred riots!topic/soc.culture.iranian/V-ZshyMrWA8

The New York Sun: Iran Closes Paper Over Cartoon Ridiculing Azeris

Herald Tribune: Iran detains staff, closes newspaper

CPJ: State paper closed, editor and cartoonist charged



Mediya Forum: Milli Məclisdə Təbriz Hadisələri İlə Bağlı Məsələ Qaldırılıb

Mediya Forum: İran Rejimi Azərbaycan Xalqına Güllə Atdı. Təbrizdə Etiraz Aksiyaları Qanlı Toqquşmalarla Nəticələnib

Mediya Forum: Avrupadakı Azərbaycan Diyasporu Təbriz Hadisələri İlə Bağlı Beynəlxalq İctimaiyyətə Müraciətlər Göndərib

Mediya Forum: 22 May 2006. Təbriz

Mediya Forum: Mayın 22-də Təbrizdə Keçirilən Aksiyadan Fotoşəkillər


United Kingdom:

The Quardian: Riots prompt Iran to close major newspaper

BBC: Iranian paper banned over carton

بی بی سی: 'دشمنان' عامل تحرکات قومی اخير مناطق ترک نشين ايران


Republic of India:

One India: Iran's Azeris march to condemn cartoon and riots


Islamic Republic of Iran:

 روزنامه اعتماد: تجمع‌های اعتراضی در تبريز، اروميه و تهران

خبر گزاری ایلنا: هزاران نفر روز دوشنبه مقابل استانداری آذربایجان شرقی تجمع کردند

تبریز نیوز: تجمع هزاران تن از مردم تبریز در اعتراض به چاپ کاریکاتوری در روزنامه دولتی ایران به خشونت کشیده شد

خبر گزاری ايرنا: نماينده مردم تبريز: قضيه روزنامه "ايران" پايان يافته تلقی شود

خبر نامه گویا: اهانت به هويت و ارزشهای فرهنگی اقوام ايرانی محكوم است، بيانيه نهضت آزادی ايران

خبر گزاری ایلنا: در اعتراض به توهين يک روزنامه به آذری‌‏زبان‌‏ها؛ دانشجويان دانشگاه محقق اردبيلی تحصن كردند

خبرگزاری ميراث‌ فرهنگی:  دو نماينده مجلس در تذكر شفاهی به عملكرد روزنامه ايران در مورد چاپ مطلب توهين‌آميز به شهروندان آذری اعتراض كردند

خبرگزاری كار ايران (ايلنا): اعتراض دانشجويان آذری‌‏زبان به كاريكاتور روزنامه ايران دانشگاه زنجان را به تعطيلی كشاند

ايران امروز: تظاهرات خشونت‌آميز در تبريز

عصر ایران: مانا نيستانی و مهرداد قاسم‌‏فر در راه سومین دادگاه

عصر ایران: سؤال اعلمی از وزير كشور و وزير دفاع


Some news sites of Iranian regime opponents abroad:

پيام فدايی: مصاحبه پيام فدايی با رفيق اشرف دهقانیدر مورد رويدادهای اخير آذربايجان و مساله ملی

راه کارگر: تظاهرات ده­ها هزار نفری در تبریز!

تبریز سسی: روزشمار وقایع خرداد ۸۵در زنجان

آچیق: تحلیلی بر سیر حوادث اخیر آذربایجان

آچیق: موج دستگیریها در پی تظاهراتهای گسترده برای محکوم کردن چاپ کاریکاتور تحقیر آمیز علیه ترکها در روزنامه ایران

ساوالان سسی: اخبار مربوط به موج دستگیریها در پی تظاهراتهای گسترده برای محکوم کردن چاپ کاریکاتور تحقیر آمیز علیه ترکها در روزنامه ایران

آزربایجان سسی رادیوسو: آن روزها سولدوز، غيرتی به بزرگی آذربايجان بود!.htm



The Jerusalem Post: Iran: US won't provoke ethnic unrest in Iran



Pravda: Iran: one of states newspapers closed, two people detained, for anti-Azeri cartoon



Radikal: Hamamböcekli karikatür İranlı Azeri'yi isyan ettirdi

Radikal: 'Hamamböceği'ne Azeri öfkesi dinmiyor

Radikal: İran ve 'hamamböceği' tartışması

Zaman: İran’ın karikatür krizi

Sabah: İran ile Azeriler arasında karikatür krizi

Haber7: Tahran´da karikatür krizi

USAK: İran’daki Karikatür Krizi ve Azerilerin Ayaklanması 



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