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Republic of Azerbaijan

Azərbaycan Respublikası
Anthem: Azərbaycan marşı
(English: March of Azerbaijan)

Location of Azerbaijan
Location of Azerbaijan
and largest city
Official languagesAzerbaijani
Ethnic groups
91.6% Azerbaijani
2.02% Lezgin
1.35% Armenian
1.34% Russian
1.26% Talysh
2.43% other
GovernmentUnitary presidential constitutional republic
• President
Ilham Aliyev[1]
Mehriban Aliyeva
Ali Asadov
LegislatureNational Assembly
Statehood formation

4th century BC


28 May 1918

28 April 1920
• Independence
from the Soviet Union

30 August 1991
18 October 1991

12 November 1995
• Total
86,600 km2 (33,400 sq mi) (114th)
• Water (%)
• 2011 estimate
9,165,000[2] (89th)
• 1999 census
• Density
105.8/km2 (274.0/sq mi) (103rd)
GDP (PPP)2011 estimate
• Total
$93.055 billion[3]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2011 estimate
• Total
$62.321 billion[3]
• Per capita
Gini (2008)33.7[4]
HDI (2010)Increase 0.713[5]
high · 67th
CurrencyManat (AZN)
Time zoneAZT (UTC+04)
• Summer (DST)
Driving sideright
Calling code994
ISO 3166 codeAZ
An Azerbaijani carpet from the Shirvan group. Bijo rug", mid-19th century

Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan; officially called the Republic of Azerbaijan) is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. It is next to Russia in the north, Georgia, Armenia in the west, Iran in the south, and Caspian Sea on the east. Its capital city is Baku. Azerbaijan became independent from the Soviet Union when it collapsed in 1991.

Azerbaijan also includes the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, an enclave, which is next to Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, and Turkey to the northwest.

Azerbaijan's land is in Eurasia. It is called an Eurasian country by the United Nations. Because Azerbaijan is close to Europe and its history is related to Europe, Azerbaijan is a member of a number of European groups, including the Council of Europe since 2001. Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries. They have membership in 38 international organizations.[6] On May 9, 2006 Azerbaijan was elected to membership in the newly made Human Rights Council by the United Nations General Assembly.[7]

More than 90% of the people are ethnic Azerbaijanis. Minorities include Russians, Georgians and other minorities. The Constitution of Azerbaijan does not say there is an official religion. But, Shia Islam, is by far the largest religion in the country, followed by Sunni Islam. There are also a small number of Christians (mainly Eastern Orthodox), Jews (mainly Ashkenazi), agnostics and atheists.

The name of Azerbaijan comes from Atropates.[8][9] He was a Persian[10][11][12] satrap under the Achaemenid Empire.

History[change | change source]

Ancient Azerbaijan was named "Caucasian Albania" and was relatively independent under Roman/Byzantine (Roman Azerbaijan) and Persian control.

After the Arab conquest in the 7th century the country has been always under Muslim influence, when its people became Muslim, until the Russian Empire entered the Caucasus region.

From 1920 to 1991, Azerbaijan was a Communist country as a member of the Soviet Union.

Since the early 19th century many Russians settled in Azerbaijan, but after the end of the Soviet Union with the independence of Azerbaijan which is back in control, most Russians and other minorities have left the country and are continuing to leave the country.

Biodiversity[change | change source]

There are 106 species of mammals, 97 species of fish, 363 species of birds, 10 species of amphibians and 52 species of reptiles which have been recorded and classified in Azerbaijan.[13] The national animal of Azerbaijan is the Karabakh horse. It is a mountain-steppe racing and riding horse native to Azerbaijan. It is one of the oldest breeds, with ancestry dating to the ancient world. However today the horse is an endangered species.[14]

Azerbaijan's flora is more than 4,500 species of higher plants. Due the unique climate in Azerbaijan, the flora is much richer in the number of species than the flora of the other countries of the South Caucasus.[15] About 67 percent of the species growing in the whole Caucasus can be in Azerbaijan.

Education[change | change source]

Many Azerbaijanis have some form of higher education, most notably in scientific and technical subjects.[16] According to Soviet data, 100 percent of males and females (ages nine to forty-nine) were literate (able to read) in 1970.[16] In 2009, the literacy rate in Azerbaijan was 99.5 percent.[17]

Culture[change | change source]

The culture of Azerbaijan has come about as a result of many influences. Today, Western influences, including globalized consumer culture, are strong. National traditions are well kept in the country. Some of the main parts of the Azerbaijani culture are: music, literature, folk dances and art, cuisine, architecture, and movies.

Music and folk dances[change | change source]

Music of Azerbaijan builds on folk traditions that goes back nearly a thousand years.[18] Among national musical instruments there are 14 string instruments, eight percussion instruments and six wind instruments.[19]

Mugham, meykhana and Ashiq are some of the many musical traditions of Azerbaijan. Mugham is music with poetry and instrumental interludes. When performing Mugham, the singers have to bring their emotions into singing and music. Mugham singer Alim Qasimov is one of the five best singers of all time.[20] Meykhana is a song with no music. It is usually done by several people. They make up the words about a particular subject. Ashiq joins poetry, storytelling, dance and vocal and instrumental music. It is as a symbol of Azerbaijani culture.

Azerbaijan was at the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 2008. They hosted the contest in 2012, in Baku.[21][22]

There are dozens of Azerbaijani folk dances. They are performed at formal festivals. The dancers wear national clothes like the Chokha. Most dances have a very fast rhythm.

Architecture[change | change source]

Azerbaijani architecture typically joins East and West.[23] Many ancient treasures such as the Maiden Tower and Palace of the Shirvanshahs in the Walled City of Baku survive in modern Azerbaijan. Plans have been shown for the building of the Azerbaijan Tower. It will reportedly replace the Burj Khalifa as the tallest building in the world. The planned height is 1,050 metres (3,440 ft).[24]

Movies[change | change source]

The movie industry in Azerbaijan dates back to 1898. In fact, Azerbaijan was among the first countries involved in making movies.[25] In 1991, after Azerbaijan gained its freedom from the Soviet Union, the first Baku International Film Festival East-West was held in Baku.

Food[change | change source]

The traditional food is famous for many vegetables and greens used seasonally in the dishes. Fresh herbs, including mint, cilantro (coriander), dill, basil, parsley, tarragon, leeks, chives, thyme, marjoram, green onion, and watercress, are very popular. They are often served with main dishes on the table. National dishes show the variety of the landscape. They are based on fish from the Caspian Sea, local meat (mainly mutton and beef), and the many seasonal vegetables and greens. Saffron-rice plov is the flagship food in Azerbaijan and black tea is the national beverage.[26]

Literature[change | change source]

The earliest known person in Azerbaijani literature was Hasanoghlu or Pur Hasan Asfaraini. He made a divan of Persian and Turkic ghazals.[27][28] Classical literature in Azerbaijani was formed in 14th century. Among the poets of this period were Gazi Burhanaddin and Haqiqi. The famed Book of Dede Korkut has two manuscripts copied in the 16th century.[29] It is a collection of 12 stories showing the oral tradition of Oghuz nomads.[30]

In the span of the 17th century and 18th century, Fizuli's unique types as well Ashik poetry were taken up by poets and writers such as Qovsi of Tabriz and Shah Abbas Sani.

The first newspaper in Azerbaijani, Akinchi was published in 1875.

Sports[change | change source]

Sport in Azerbaijan is very old. Even now, both traditional and modern sports are still practiced. Freestyle wrestling has been traditionally said to be Azerbaijan's national sport. The most popular sports in Azerbaijan are football and chess. The national football team does not do well in international competitions. On March 19, 2010, Azerbaijan won the bid to host the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.[31]

Futsal is another popular sport in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan national futsal team got fourth place in 2010 UEFA Futsal Championship.

Backgammon plays a major role in Azerbaijani culture.[32] This game is very popular in Azerbaijan and is widely played by the local public.[33]

Demographics[change | change source]

Ethnic composition (2009)[34]
Azerbaijani 91.60%
Lezgin 2.02%
Armenian 1.35%
Russian 1.34%
Talysh 1.26%
Other nations 2.43%

Out of 9,165,000 people (July 2011), nearly 52% were urban. The remaining 48% were rural.[35] 51% of the people were female.[35]

About 3 million Azerbaijanis, many of them guest workers, live in Russia.[36]

The biggest reason for death in 2005 was from respiratory diseases.[37]

Divisions[change | change source]

Azerbaijan is divided into 10 economic regions; 66 rayons and 77 cities. 11 cities are under the direct authority of the republic.[38] Azerbaijan includes the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.[39] The President of Azerbaijan picks the governors of these units. The government of Nakhchivan is elected and approved by the parliament of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.

Daghlig Shirvan
Yukhari Garabakh
Map of the administrative divisions of Azerbaijan. Note that the divisions of the Nakhchivan are listed separately.

Note: The cities under the direct authority of the republic in italics.

Economy[change | change source]

Azerbaijan is divided into 10 economic regions.

The economy of Azerbaijan is based on industry, agriculture, and on services including tourism. The energy sector based on the large reserves of crude oil and natural gas, is the main source of economic growth in Azerbaijan today, though half of the Azerbaijani people earn their income directly or indirectly through services and a third earn their income through agriculture.[40] The energy boom has led to massive foreign direct investment and the growth rate of the Azerbaijani economy is one of the world's highest.[41]

After gaining independence in 1991 with the end of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan made the long and difficult change from a command economy to a market economy. The government has largely completed privatization of agricultural lands and small, medium and large state-owned companies. Azerbaijan is continuing making economic reforms, and old economic ties and structures have been slowly replaced. With independence, Azerbaijan became a member of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Islamic Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank. Azerbaijan's currency is the Azerbaijani manat (AZN) which is divided into 100 qəpik. It became the national currency in 1992 and replaced the old Soviet ruble. The Central Bank of Azerbaijan was created in 1992. The Central Bank serves as Azerbaijan's central bank, and is responsible for printing and distributing the national currency, the Azerbaijani manat, and to control all commercial banks.[42]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "President of Azerbaijan". Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  2. 11 July – The International Population Day, The demographic situation in Azerbaijan, The State Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, 11 July 2011, retrieved 12 July 2011
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Azerbaijan". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved April 17, 2012.
  4. "Distribution of family income – Gini index". The World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved September 1, 2009.
  5. "Human Development Report 2010" (PDF). United Nations. 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
  6. "Azerbaijan: Membership of international groupings/organisations:". British Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Retrieved May 26, 2007.
  7. "Elections & Appointments – Human Rights Council". United Nations. Retrieved January 3, 2009.
  8. Houtsma, M. Th (1993). First Encyclopaedia of Islam 1913–1936 (reprint ed.). BRILL. ISBN 9004097961. ISBN 9789004097964.
  9. Schippmann, Klaus (1989). Azerbaijan: Pre-Islamic History. Encyclopædia Iranica. pp. 221–224. ISBN 0933273959. ISBN 9780933273955.
  10. Minahan, James (1998). Miniature Empires: A Historical Dictionary of the Newly Independent States. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 20. ISBN 0313306109. ISBN 9780313306105.
  11. Chamoux, François (2003). Hellenistic Civilization. John Wiley and Sons. p. 26. ISBN 0631222413. ISBN 9780631222415.
  12. Bosworth A.B., Baynham E.J. (2002). Alexander the Great in Fact and Fiction. Oxford University Press. p. 92. ISBN 0199252750. ISBN 9780199252756.
  13. "Azerbaijan: Biodiversity". Central Asia and Caucasus Institute. Retrieved 2007-05-26.
  14. "The Karabakh Horse". Karabakh Foundation. Archived from the original on 2010-10-13.
  15. "Azerbaijan – Flora". Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Azerbaijan: A Country Study, Education, Health, and Welfare". Country Studies.
  17. "Human Development Report 2009" (PDF). United Nations Development Program 2009. Retrieved 2009. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  18. David C. King. Azerbaijan, Marshall Cavendish, 2006, p. 94
  19. "The Azerbaijan musical instruments". Archived from the original on 2007-08-26. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
  20. Hutcheon, David (September 19, 2008). "Alim Qasimov: the living legend you've never heard of". London: The Times. Retrieved September 19, 2008.
  21. "Azerbaijan wins the Eurovision Song Contest". BBC. May 14, 2011. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  22. Lusher, Adam (May 15, 2011). "Azerbaijan wins Eurovision Song Contest". London: Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  23. Khanlou, Pirouz. "Baku's Architecture A Fusion of East and West". Azerbaijan International. Retrieved Winter 1994. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  24. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2012-05-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. "Cinema in Azerbaijan: Pre-Soviet Era". "Azerbaijan International". Autumn 1997. Retrieved Autumn 1997. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  26. Akhmedov, IA. "Азербайджанская кухня". Издательство "Ишыг".(in Russian)
  27. Beale, Thomas William; Keene Henry George (1894). "Pur Hasan Asfaraini". An Oriental Biographical Dictionary. W.H.Allen. p. 311.
  28. A.Caferoglu, "Adhari(azeri)",in Encyclopedia of Islam, (new edition), Vol. 1, (Leiden, 1986)
  29. Michael E. Meeker, “The Dede Korkut Ethic”, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Aug., 1992), 395–417.
  30. İlker Evrım Bınbaş,Encyclopædia Iranica, "Oguz Khan Narratives" Encyclopædia Iranica | Articles, accessed October, 2010. "The Ketāb-e Dede Qorqut, which is a collection of twelve stories reflecting the oral traditions of the Turkmens in the 15th-century eastern Anatolia, is also called Oḡuz-nāma"
  31. FIFA (March 19, 2010). "FIFA Executive Committee approves special funding for Chile and Haiti". Press release. Archived from the original on March 22, 2010. Retrieved March 20, 2010. 
  32. "История нард". 1-Kalyan. Retrieved 2007-05-27. (in Russian)
  33. Нарды – игра, требующая сноровки и удачи (in Russian)
  34. The State Statistical Committee of the Azerbaijan Republic, The ethnic composition of the people according to the 2009 census.
  35. 35.0 35.1 "Population". Azerbaijan Gender Information Center. Archived from the original on 2007-05-10. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
  36. Sohbetqizi, Naila. "Azerbaijan Acts to Limit the Discrimination Against Azeris in Russia". EurasiaNet. Retrieved November 10, 2002.
  37. "Population morbidity by main diseases groups". The Ministry of Health. Retrieved May 27, 2007.
  38. "The State Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Administrative and territorial units of Azerbaijan Republic". Retrieved 2011-05-22.
  39. "Azerbaijan". World Factbook. CIA. 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2009.
  40. CIA World Factbook - Azerbaijan
  41. Country Studies - Azerbaijan Library of Congress
  42. "Azerbaijan – General Information". Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Archived from the original on 5 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-22.

Other websites[change | change source]

General information[change | change source]

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