What About Azerbaijan.
In the 11th century AD, with Seljukid conquests, Turkic Oghuz tribes began moving across the Iranian plateau into the Caucasus and Anatolia. The influx of the Oghuz and other Turkoman tribes was further accentuated by the Mongol invasion. Then, the Oghuz tribes were split into various smaller groups, some mostly Sunni moved to Anatolia (where the Usmanlei - Ottomans - settled), while others remained in the Caucasus region and later, due to the influence of the Safawi empire in the 16th century, converted to Ja'fari Shi'ism (see sbme5SafawismNov25-13 - see also fap1RacialWars7Jul-14).
Important to note, Azerbaijan is in the first place in the world for the number of mud volcanoes - one of the visible signs of the presence of oil and gas reserves hidden deep beneath land and sea in the Caspian region. Gas seeps occur when a pocket filled largely with methane gas under the ground finds a passage to the surface. One such famous gas seep is Y?n?r D?gh (fire mountain) on the Absheron Peninsula where a continuous fire burns along a hill-side. People often go there to see dancing flames which never get extinguished. It is easy to understand how such eternal fires became objects of worship.
The appearance of the Zoroastrians in Azerbaijan is closely connected with these geological phenomena. Fire worship was paramount throughout pre-Islamic history in a region stretching from the Caucasus to the Indian sub-continent (see the origins of the Aryan race & the ancient symbol of Nazism in Google).
Azerbaijan had the first Muslim democracy in the world in 1919-20 when it was independent. That past is not likely to come to life again in the near future. Opposition activists claim the current regime is a "family dictatorship" - like Assad's - and thus more liable to pave the way for Islamic militancy, rather than a return to democracy. Political Islam - Sunni or Shi'ite - is just as strongly opposed to democracy.
Opponents of the regime say Azerbaijan's political freedoms have declined with the rise in oil income. Like his late father Heidar, Ilham Aliyev is described as a "totalitarian thief". He is said to be "spoiled" and "even more corrupt than his father". Ilham depends heavily on a thuggish police-state system.