The Azerbaijani language is the official language of Republic of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani is a Turkic language related to both Turkmen and Turkish, but draws its greatest influence from Persian. Azerbaijani is also known as Azeri Turkish, Azari, Azeri, and Azerbaijani Turkish. About four million speakers of the Azerbaijani language are monolingual while some 98 percent of those who speak Azerbaijani regard it as their first language. In addition to the speakers residing in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani is also spoken in Georgia, eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, and in the Russian Republic of Dagestan. Azerbaijani is an old language whose earliest written texts date to the sixteenth century. Akinchi, the first newspaper published in Azerbaijani, began in the year 1875. There are between 25 and 50 million native speakers worldwide today.