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The historical development of Azerbaijani can be divided into two major periods: early (c.16th to 18th century) and modern (18th century to present).Modern literature in the Republic of Azerbaijan is based on the Shirvani dialect mainly, while in Iranian Azerbaijan region (historic Azerbaijan) it is based on the Tabrizi one.Prior to the establishment of the pan-Turkist Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, who adopted the name of "Azerbaijan" for political reasons in 1918, the name of "Azerbaijan" was exclusively used to identify the adjacent region of contemporary northwestern Iran.Despite the wide use of Azerbaijani in the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, it became the official language of Azerbaijan only in 1956.
Since 1845, it has also been taught in the Saint Petersburg State University in Russia.
In 1853, Azerbaijani became a compulsory language for students of all backgrounds in all of Transcaucasia with the exception of the Tiflis Governorate.
and North Azerbaijani (spoken mainly in the Republic of Azerbaijan and Russia) and South Azerbaijani (spoken in Iran, Iraq and Syria) are each classified as separate languages with "significant differences in phonology, lexicon, morphology, syntax, and loanwords." The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) encodes North Azerbaijani and South Azerbaijani as distinct languages.
or Northern Azerbaijani, is the official language of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
It is closely related to the modern day Istanbul Turkish, the official language of Turkey.
Four varieties have been accorded ISO 639-3 codes: North Azerbaijani, South Azerbaijani, Salchuq, and Qashqai.