Azerbaijani literature (Azerbaijani:Azərbaycan ədəbiyyatı) refers to the literature written in Azerbaijani, a Turkic language, which currently is the official state language of the Republic of Azerbaijan and is the first-language of most people in Iranian Azerbaijan. While the majority of Azerbaijani people live in Iran, modern Azerbaijani literature is overwhelmingly produced in the Republic of Azerbaijan, where the language has official status. Three scripts are used for writing the language : Azerbaijani Latin script in the Republic of Azerbaijan, Persian alphabet in Iranian Azerbaijan andCyrillic script in Russia.
The first examples of Azerbaijani literature date to the late 1200s following the arrival of Oghuz Turks inCaucasus and were written in Perso-Arabic script. Several major authors helped to develop Azerbaijani literature from the 1300s until the 1600s andpoetry figures prominently in their works. Towards the end of the 19th century popular literature such as newspapers began to be published in Azerbaijani language. The production of written works in Azerbaijani was banned in Iran (Persia) under the rule of Reza Shah (1925–41) and in Soviet Azerbaijan Stalin's "Red Terror" campaign targeted thousands of Azerbaijani writers, journalists, teachers, intellectuals and others and resulted in the changing of the Azerbaijani alphabet into one with a Cyrillic alphabet.
Modern Azerbaijani literature is almost exclusively produced in the Republic of Azerbaijan and despite being widely spoken in Iranian Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani is not formally taught in schools nor are publications in Azerbaijani easily available.