Azerbaijan (/ˌæzərbaɪˈdʒɑːn/ AZ-ər-by-JAHN; Azerbaijani:
Azərbaycan [ɑzæɾbɑjˈd͡ʒɑn]), officially the
Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Respublikası
[ɑzæɾbɑjˈd͡ʒɑn ɾespublikɑˈsɯ]), is a country in the South
Caucasus region of
Eurasia at the crossroads of
Eastern Europe and
Western Asia. It is bound by the
Caspian Sea to the east,
the north, Georgia to the northwest,
Armenia to the west and
the south. The exclave of Nakhchivan is bound by
Armenia to the north
Iran to the south and west, and has an 11 km long
Turkey in the north west.
Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918
and became the first democratic state in the Muslim-oriented world.
The country was incorporated into the
Soviet Union in 1920 as the
Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. The modern
Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence on 30 August 1991, prior to
the official dissolution of the USSR in December 1991. In September
1991, the Armenian majority of the disputed
seceded to form the
Republic of Artsakh. The region and seven
adjacent districts outside it became de facto independent with the end
Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994. These regions are internationally
recognized as part of
Azerbaijan pending a solution to the status of
the Nagorno-Karabakh, found through negotiations facilitated by the
Azerbaijan is a unitary semi-presidential republic. The country is
a member state of the Council of Europe, the
OSCE and the NATO
Partnership for Peace
Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. It is one of six independent
Turkic states, an active member of the
Turkic Council and the TÜRKSOY
Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries and
holds membership in 38 international organizations. It is one of
the founding members of GUAM, the Commonwealth of Independent States
(CIS) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical
Weapons. A member of the
United Nations since 1992 after its
Azerbaijan was elected to membership in the newly
Human Rights Council
Human Rights Council by the
United Nations General
Assembly on 9 May 2006. Its term of office began on 19 June 2006.
Azerbaijan is also a member state of the Non-Aligned Movement, holds
observer status in World Trade Organization, and is a correspondent at
the International Telecommunication Union.
Constitution of Azerbaijan does not declare an official religion
and all major political forces in the country are secularist. However,
the majority of the population are of Muslim background. More than 89
percent of the population is Shia. Most Azerbaijanis, however, do
not actively practice any religion, and the country has been seen to
be one of the least religious countries in the Muslim world, with 53%
stating religion has little to no importance in their lives, according
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center and Gallup polls. Alcohol and non-Islamic
places are also permitted.
Azerbaijan has a high level
of human development which ranks on par with most Eastern European
countries. It has a high rate of economic development and
literacy, as well as a low rate of unemployment. However, the
ruling party, the New
Azerbaijan Party, has been accused of
authoritarianism and human rights abuses.
2.2 From the Sasanid period to the
2.3 Contemporary history
4.1 Foreign relations
4.2 Administrative divisions
6.5 Science and technology
7.1 Ethnic groups
8.1 Music and folk dances
8.3 Folk art
8.6 Visual art
8.8 Media and media freedom
8.9 Human rights in Azerbaijan
9 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
Atropatene and Caucasian Albania
Azerbaijan and its main cities
According to a modern etymology, the term
Azerbaijan derives from that
of Atropates, a Persian satrap under the
Achaemenid Empire, who was later reinstated as the satrap of Media
under Alexander the Great. The original etymology of this name
is thought to have its roots in the once-dominant Zoroastrianism. In
the Avesta's Frawardin
Yasht ("Hymn to the Guardian Angels"), there is
a mention of âterepâtahe ashaonô fravashîm ýazamaide, which
literally translates from
Avestan as "we worship the fravashi of the
holy Atropatene." The name "Atropates" itself is the Greek
transliteration of an Old Iranian, probably Median, compounded name
with the meaning "Protected by the (Holy) Fire" or "The Land of the
(Holy) Fire". The Greek name was mentioned by
Diodorus Siculus and
Strabo. Over the span of millennia, the name evolved to
Āturpātākān (Middle Persian), then to Ādharbādhagān,
Ādharbāyagān, Āzarbāydjān (New Persian) and present-day
Azerbaijan was first adopted for the area of the present-day
Azerbaijan by the government of
Musavat in 1918, after
the collapse of the Russian Empire, when the independent Azerbaijan
Republic was established. Until then, the designation had
been used exclusively to identify the adjacent region of contemporary
northwestern Iran, while the area of the Azerbaijan
Republic was formerly referred to as Arran and Shirvan.
On that basis
Iran protested the newly adopted country name.
During the Soviet rule, the country was also spelled in English from
Russian transliteration as Azerbaydzhan (Russian:
Main article: History of Azerbaijan
Further information: Caucasian Albania
Gobustan National Park
Gobustan National Park dating back to the 10th
millennium BC indicating a thriving culture. It is a
Heritage Site considered to be of "outstanding universal value".
The earliest evidence of human settlement in the territory of
Azerbaijan dates back to the late
Stone Age and is related to the
Guruchay culture of Azokh Cave. The
Upper Paleolithic and late
Bronze Age cultures are attested in the caves of Tağılar, Damcılı,
Zar, Yataq-yeri and in the necropolises of Leylatepe and Saraytepe.
Early settlements included the Scythians in the 9th century BC.
Following the Scythians, Iranian
Medes came to dominate the area to
the south of the Aras. The
Medes forged a vast empire between
900–700 BC, which was integrated into the Achaemenid Empire
around 550 BC. The area was conquered by the Achaemenids leading
to the spread of Zoroastrianism. Later it became part of Alexander
the Great's Empire and its successor, the Seleucid Empire. During this
Zoroastrianism spread in the
Caucasus and Atropatene.
Caucasian Albanians, the original inhabitants of northeastern
Azerbaijan, ruled that area from around the 4th century BC, and
established an independent kingdom.
From the Sasanid period to the
The Maiden Tower and The
Palace of the Shirvanshahs
Palace of the Shirvanshahs in the Old City of
Baku is a
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site built in the 11th–12th century.
Sasanian Empire turned
Caucasian Albania into a vassal state in
252, while King
Urnayr officially adopted Christianity as the state
religion in the 4th century. Despite Sassanid rule,
an entity in the region until the 9th century, while fully subordinate
to Sassanid Iran, and retained its monarchy. Despite being one of the
chief vassals of the Sasanian emperor, the Albanian king had only a
semblance of authority, and the Sasanian marzban (military governor)
held most civil, religious, and military authority.
In the first half of the 7th century, Caucasian Albania, as a vassal
of the Sasanians, came under nominal Muslim rule due to the Muslim
conquest of Persia. The
Umayyad Caliphate repulsed both the Sasanians
and Byzantines from
Transcaucasia and turned
Caucasian Albania into a
vassal state after Christian resistance led by King Javanshir, was
suppressed in 667. The power vacuum left by the decline of the Abbasid
Caliphate was filled by numerous local dynasties such as the
Sallarids, Sajids, and Shaddadids. At the beginning of the 11th
century, the territory was gradually seized by waves of Oghuz Turks
from Central Asia. The first of these Turkic dynasties established was
the Seljuk Empire, who entered the area now known as
The pre-Turkic population that lived on the territory of modern
Azerbaijan spoke several Indo-European and Caucasian languages, among
them Armenian and an Iranian language, Old Azeri,
which was gradually replaced by a Turkic language, the early precursor
Azerbaijani language of today. Some linguists have also
stated that the Tati dialects of
Iranian Azerbaijan and the Republic
of Azerbaijan, like those spoken by the Tats, are descended from Old
Azeri. Locally, the possessions of the subsequent Seljuk
Empire were ruled by Eldiguzids, technically vassals of the Seljuk
sultans, but sometimes de facto rulers themselves. Under the Seljuks,
local poets such as
Nizami Ganjavi and
Khaqani gave rise to a
Persian literature on the territory of present-day
The local dynasty of the Shirvanshahs became a vassal state of Timur's
Empire, and assisted him in his war with the ruler of the Golden Horde
Tokhtamysh. Following Timur's death, two independent and rival states
Kara Koyunlu and Aq Qoyunlu. The Shirvanshahs returned,
maintaining a high degree of autonomy as local rulers and vassals from
861, for numerous centuries to come. In 1501, the
Safavid dynasty of
Iran subdued the Shirvanshahs, and gained its possessions. In the
course of the next century, the Safavids converted the formerly Sunni
population to Shia Islam, as they did with the population
in what is modern-day Iran. The Safavids allowed the Shirvanshahs
to remain in power, under
Safavid suzerainty, until 1538, when Safavid
Tahmasp I (r. 1524–1576) completely deposed them, and made the
area into the
Safavid province of Shirvan. The Sunni Ottomans briefly
managed to occupy parts of present-day
Azerbaijan as a result of the
Safavid War of 1578–1590; by the early 17th century, they
were ousted by
Safavid Iranian ruler Abbas I (r. 1588–1629). In the
wake of the demise of the
Baku and its environs were
briefly occupied by the
Russians as a consequence of the Russo-Persian
War of 1722–1723. Despite brief intermissions such as these by
Safavid Iran's neighboring rivals, the land of what is today
Azerbaijan remained under Iranian rule from the earliest advent of the
Safavids up to the course of the 19th century.
Main articles: Russo-Persian Wars, Treaty of Gulistan, and Treaty of
Azerbaijan Democratic Republic,
Azerbaijan SSR, and
Territories of the khanates (and sultanates) in the 18th–19th
After the Safavids, the area was ruled by the Iranian Afsharid
dynasty. After the death of
Nader Shah (r. 1736–1747), many of his
former subjects capitalized on the eruption of instability. Numerous
self-ruling khanates with various forms of
autonomy emerged in the area. The rulers of these
khanates were directly related to the ruling dynasties of Iran, and
were vassals and subjects of the Iranian shah. The khanates
exercised control over their affairs via international trade routes
Central Asia and the West.
Thereafter, the area was under the successive rule of the Iranian
Zands and Qajars. From the late 18th century, Imperial Russia
switched to a more aggressive geo-political stance towards its two
neighbors and rivals to the south, namely
Iran and the Ottoman
Russia now actively tried to gain possession of the
Caucasus region which was, for the most part, in the hands of
Iran. In 1804, the
Russians invaded and sacked the Iranian town of
Ganja, sparking the Russo-Persian War of 1804–1813. The
Russians ended the Russo-Persian War of
1804–1813 with a victory.
The siege of Ganja Fortress in 1804 during the Russo-Persian War of
1804–1813 by Russian forces under the leadership of General Pavel
Following Qajar Iran's loss in the 1804–1813 war, it was forced to
concede suzerainty over most of the khanates, along with Georgia and
Dagestan to the Russian Empire, per the Treaty of Gulistan.
The area to the north of the river Aras, amongst which territory lies
Republic of Azerbaijan, was Iranian territory until
it was occupied by
Russia in the 19th century.
About a decade later, in violation of the Gulistan treaty, the
Russians invaded Iran's Erivan Khanate. This sparked the final
bout of hostilities between the two, the Russo-Persian War of
1826–1828. The resulting Treaty of Turkmenchay, forced Qajar
cede sovereignty over the Erivan Khanate, the
Nakhchivan Khanate and
the remainder of the
Lankaran Khanate, comprising the last parts
of the soil of the contemporary Azerbaijani
Republic that were still
in Iranian hands. After incorporation of all Caucasian territories
Iran into Russia, the new border between the two was set at the
Aras River, which, upon the Soviet Union's disintegration,
subsequently became part of the border between
Iran and the Azerbaijan
Iran was forced to cede its Caucasian territories to
the 19th century, which thus included the territory of the modern-day
Azerbaijan Republic, while as a result of that cession, the
Azerbaijani ethnic group is nowadays parted between two nations: Iran
and Azerbaijan. Nevertheless, the number of ethnic
Iran far outnumber those in neighbouring Azerbaijan.
After the collapse of the
Russian Empire during World War I, the
short-lived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative
declared, constituting the present-day republics of Azerbaijan,
Georgia, and Armenia.
It was followed by the
March Days massacres that took
place between 30 March and 2 April 1918 in the city of
adjacent areas of the
Baku Governorate of the Russian Empire. When
the republic dissolved in May 1918, the leading
Musavat party declared
independence as the
Republic (ADR), adopting the
name of "Azerbaijan" for the new republic; a name that prior to the
proclamation of the ADR was solely used to refer to the adjacent
northwestern region of contemporary Iran. The ADR was the
first modern parliamentary republic in the Muslim world.
Among the important accomplishments of the Parliament was the
extension of suffrage to women, making
Azerbaijan the first Muslim
nation to grant women equal political rights with men. Another
important accomplishment of ADR was the establishment of
University, which was the first modern-type university founded in the
Map presented by the delegation of
Azerbaijan in the 1919 Paris Peace
By March 1920, it was obvious that Soviet
Russia would attack Baku.
Vladimir Lenin said that the invasion was justified as Soviet Russia
could not survive without Baku's oil. Independent Azerbaijan
lasted only 23 months until the
11th Soviet Red Army
11th Soviet Red Army invaded
it, establishing the
Azerbaijan SSR on 28 April 1920. Although the
bulk of the newly formed Azerbaijani army was engaged in putting down
an Armenian revolt that had just broken out in Karabakh, Azerbaijanis
did not surrender their brief independence of 1918–20 quickly or
easily. As many as 20,000 Azerbaijani soldiers died resisting what was
effectively a Russian reconquest.
On 13 October 1921, the Soviet republics of Russia, Armenia,
Azerbaijan, and Georgia signed an agreement with
Turkey known as the
Treaty of Kars. The previously independent
Republic of Aras would also
become the Nakhichevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist
Republic within the
Azerbaijan SSR by the treaty of Kars. On the other hand,
awarded the region of Zangezur and
Turkey agreed to return Gyumri
(then known as Alexandropol).
During World War II,
Azerbaijan played a crucial role in the strategic
energy policy of the Soviet Union, with 80 percent of the Soviet
Union's oil on the Eastern Front being supplied by Baku. By the Decree
Supreme Soviet of the USSR
Supreme Soviet of the USSR in February 1942, the commitment of
more than 500 workers and employees of the oil industry of Azerbaijan
were awarded orders and medals.
Operation Edelweiss carried out by the
Baku because of its importance as the energy
(petroleum) dynamo of the USSR. A fifth of all
in the Second World War from 1941 to 1945. Approximately 681,000
people with over 100,000 of them women went to the front, while the
total population of
Azerbaijan was 3.4 million at the time.
Some 250,000 people from
Azerbaijan were killed on the front. More
Azerbaijanis were named Heroes of the Soviet Union.
Azi Aslanov was twice awarded the Hero of
the Soviet Union.
Red Army paratroops during the
Black January tragedy in 1990
Following the politics of glasnost, initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev,
civil unrest and ethnic strife grew in various regions of the Soviet
Union, including Nagorno-Karabakh, an autonomous region of the
Azerbaijan SSR. The disturbances in Azerbaijan, in response to
Moscow's indifference to an already heated conflict, resulted in calls
for independence and secession, which culminated in the Black January
events in Baku. Later in 1990, the Supreme Council of the
Azerbaijan SSR dropped the words "Soviet Socialist" from the title,
adopted the "Declaration of Sovereignty of the
and restored the flag of the
Republic as the
state flag. As a consequence of the failed coup which occurred in
August in Moscow, on 18 October 1991, the Supreme Council of
Azerbaijan adopted a Declaration of Independence which was affirmed by
a nationwide referendum in December 1991, while the Soviet Union
officially ceased to exist on 26 December 1991.
The early years of independence were overshadowed by the
Nagorno-Karabakh war with the ethnic Armenian majority of
Nagorno-Karabakh backed by Armenia. By the end of the hostilities
Armenians controlled up to 20 percent of Azerbaijani
Nagorno-Karabakh itself. During the war
many atrocities were committed including the massacres at Malibeyli
and Gushchular, the Garadaghly massacre, the Agdaban and the Khojaly
massacres. Furthermore, an estimated 30,000 people have been
killed and more than a million people have been displaced. Four
United Nations Security Council Resolutions (822, 853, 874, and 884)
demand for "the immediate withdrawal of all Armenian forces from all
occupied territories of Azerbaijan." Many
Russians and Armenians
Azerbaijan during the 1990s. According to the 1970 census,
there were 510,000 ethnic
Russians and 484,000
In 1993, democratically elected president
Abulfaz Elchibey was
overthrown by a military insurrection led by Colonel Surat Huseynov,
which resulted in the rise to power of the former leader of Soviet
Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev. In 1994, Surat Huseynov, by that time
the prime minister, attempted another military coup against Heydar
Aliyev, but he was arrested and charged with treason. A year
later, in 1995, another coup was attempted against Aliyev, this time
by the commander of the
OMON special unit, Rovshan Javadov. The coup
was averted, resulting in the killing of the latter and disbanding of
OMON units. At the same time, the country was
tainted by rampant corruption in the governing bureaucracy. In
October 1998, Aliyev was reelected for a second term. Despite the much
improved economy, particularly with the exploitation of the
Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oil field and Shah Deniz gas field, Aliyev's
presidency was criticized due to suspected election frauds and
Ilham Aliyev, Heydar Aliyev's son, became chairman of the New
Azerbaijan Party as well as
President of Azerbaijan
President of Azerbaijan when his father
died in 2003. He was reelected to a third term as president in October
Azerbaijan map of Köppen climate classification
Main articles: Geography of Azerbaijan, Environment of Azerbaijan,
State reserves of Azerbaijan, and National parks of Azerbaijan
See also: Extreme points of Azerbaijan
Caucasus Mountains in northern Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is located in the
South Caucasus region of
Western Asia and Eastern Europe. It lies between
latitudes 38° and 42° N, and longitudes 44° and 51° E. The total
length of Azerbaijan's land borders is 2,648 km (1,645 mi),
of which 1,007 kilometers are with Armenia, 756 kilometers
with Iran, 480 kilometers with Georgia, 390 kilometers with
Russia and 15 kilometers with Turkey. The coastline
stretches for 800 km (497 mi), and the length of the widest
area of the Azerbaijani section of the
Caspian Sea is 456 km
(283 mi). The territory of
Azerbaijan extends 400 km
(249 mi) from north to south, and 500 km (311 mi) from
west to east.
Three physical features dominate Azerbaijan: the Caspian Sea, whose
shoreline forms a natural boundary to the east; the Greater Caucasus
mountain range to the north; and the extensive flatlands at the
country's center. There are also three mountain ranges, the Greater
and Lesser Caucasus, and the Talysh Mountains, together covering
approximately 40% of the country. The highest peak of Azerbaijan
Mount Bazardüzü (4,466 m), while the lowest point lies in
Caspian Sea (−28 m). Nearly half of all the mud volcanoes
on Earth are concentrated in Azerbaijan, these volcanoes were also
among nominees for the New7Wonders of Nature.
The main water sources are surface waters. However, only 24 of the
8,350 rivers are greater than 100 km (62 mi) in length.
All the rivers drain into the
Caspian Sea in the east of the
country. The largest lake is Sarysu (67 km²), and the
longest river is Kur (1,515 km), which is transboundary with
Armenia. Azerbaijan's four main islands in the
Caspian Sea have a
combined area of over thirty square kilometers.
Since the independence of
Azerbaijan in 1991, the Azerbaijani
government has taken drastic measures to preserve the environment of
Azerbaijan. But national protection of the environment started to
truly improve after 2001 when the state budget increased due to new
revenues provided by the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Within four
years protected areas doubled and now make up eight percent of the
country's territory. Since 2001 the government has set up seven large
reserves and almost doubled the sector of the budget earmarked for
Main articles: Orography of Azerbaijan, Climate of Azerbaijan, and
Water bodies of Azerbaijan
Mount Bazarduzu, the highest peak of Azerbaijan, as seen from Mount
The landscape of Khinalug valley
Azerbaijan is home to a vast variety of landscapes. Over half of
Azerbaijan's land mass consists of mountain ridges, crests, yailas,
and plateaus which rise up to hypsometric levels of
400–1000 meters (including the Middle and Lower lowlands), in
some places (Talis, Jeyranchol-Ajinohur and Langabiz-Alat foreranges)
up to 100–120 meters, and others from 0–50 meters and up
(Qobustan, Absheron). The rest of Azerbaijan's terrain consist of
plains and lowlands. Hypsometric marks within the
Caucasus region vary
from about −28 meters at the
Caspian Sea shoreline up to
4,466 meters (Bazardüzü peak).
The formation of climate in
Azerbaijan is influenced particularly by
cold arctic air masses of Scandinavian anticyclone, temperate of
Siberian anticyclone, and Central Asian anticyclone. Azerbaijan's
diverse landscape affects the ways air masses enter the country.
Greater Caucasus protects the country from direct influences of
cold air masses coming from the north. That leads to the formation of
subtropical climate on most foothills and plains of the country.
Meanwhile, plains and foothills are characterized by high solar
9 out of 11 existing climate zones are present in Azerbaijan.
Both the absolute minimum temperature ( −33 °C or
−27.4 °F ) and the absolute maximum temperature ( 46 °C
or 114.8 °F ) were observed in Julfa and Ordubad – regions of
Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. The maximum annual precipitation
Lankaran (1,600 to 1,800 mm or 63 to 71 in) and the
minimum in Absheron (200 to 350 mm or 7.9 to 13.8 in).
Murovdag is the highest mountain range in the Lesser Caucasus.
Rivers and lakes form the principal part of the water systems of
Azerbaijan, they were formed over a long geological timeframe and
changed significantly throughout that period. This is particularly
evidenced by remnants of ancient rivers found throughout the country.
The country's water systems are continually changing under the
influence of natural forces and human introduced industrial
activities. Artificial rivers (canals) and ponds are a part of
Azerbaijan's water systems. In terms of water supply,
below the average in the world with approximately 100,000 cubic metres
(3,531,467 cubic feet) per year of water per square kilometer.
All big water reservoirs are built on Kur. The hydrography of
Azerbaijan basically belongs to the
Caspian Sea basin.
There are 8,350 rivers of various lengths within Azerbaijan. Only 24
rivers are over 100 kilometers long. The Kura and Aras are
the major rivers in Azerbaijan, they run through the Kura-Aras
Lowland. The rivers that directly flow into the Caspian Sea, originate
mainly from the north-eastern slope of the Major
Caucasus and Talysh
Mountains and run along the Samur–Devechi and
Yanar Dag, translated as "burning mountain", is a natural gas fire
which blazes continuously on a hillside on the
Absheron Peninsula on
Caspian Sea near Baku, which itself is known as the "land of
fire." Flames jet out into the air from a thin, porous sandstone
layer. It is a tourist attraction to visitors to the
Main article: Wildlife of Azerbaijan
Fauna of Azerbaijan
Fauna of Azerbaijan and Flora of Azerbaijan
Karabakh horse is the national animal of Azerbaijan.
The first reports on the richness and diversity of animal life in
Azerbaijan can be found in travel notes of Eastern travelers. Animal
carvings on architectural monuments, ancient rocks and stones survived
up to the present times. The first information on the flora and fauna
Azerbaijan was collected during the visits of naturalists to
Azerbaijan in the 17th century.
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. The national animal
Azerbaijan is the
Karabakh horse, a mountain-steppe racing and
riding horse endemic to Azerbaijan. The
Karabakh horse has a
reputation for its good temper, speed, elegance and intelligence. It
is one of the oldest breeds, with ancestry dating to the ancient
world. However, today the horse is an endangered species.
Azerbaijan's flora consists of more than 4,500 species of higher
plants. Due to the unique climate in Azerbaijan, the flora is much
richer in the number of species than the flora of the other republics
of the South Caucasus. About 67 percent of the species growing in
Caucasus can be found in Azerbaijan.
Main article: Politics of Azerbaijan
Elections in Azerbaijan
Elections in Azerbaijan and Human rights in Azerbaijan
The son of former President Heydar Aliyev, Ilham Aliyev, succeeded his
father and has remained in power since 2003.
The structural formation of Azerbaijan's political system was
completed by the adoption of the new Constitution on 12 November 1995.
According to Article 23 of the Constitution, the state symbols of the
Republic are the flag, the coat of arms, and the national
anthem. The state power in
Azerbaijan is limited only by law for
internal issues, but for international affairs is additionally limited
by the provisions of international agreements.
The government of
Azerbaijan is based on the separation of powers
among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The
legislative power is held by the unicameral National Assembly and the
Supreme National Assembly in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.
Parliamentary elections are held every five years, on the first Sunday
of November. The Yeni
Azerbaijan Party, and independents loyal to the
ruling government, currently hold almost all of the Parliament's 125
seats. During the 2010 Parliamentary election, the opposition parties,
Musavat and Azerbaijani Popular Front Party, failed to win a single
seat. European observers found numerous irregularities in the run-up
to the election and on election day.
The executive power is held by the President, who is elected for a
seven-year term by direct elections, and the Prime Minister. The
president is authorized to form the Cabinet, a collective executive
body, accountable to both the President and the National Assembly.
Cabinet of Azerbaijan
Cabinet of Azerbaijan consists primarily of the prime minister,
his deputies, and ministers. The president does not have the right to
dissolve the National Assembly, but has the right to veto its
decisions. To override the presidential veto, the parliament must have
a majority of 95 votes. The judicial power is vested in the
Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, and the Economic Court. The
president nominates the judges in these courts. The European
Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) report refers to the
Azerbaijani justice model on the selection of new judges as best
practice that reflects the particular features and the course of
development towards ensuring the independence and quality of the
judiciary in a new democracy.
The Security Council is the deliberative body under the president, and
he organizes it according to the Constitution. It was established on
10 April 1997. The administrative department is not a part of the
president's office but manages the financial, technical and pecuniary
activities of both the president and his office.
Azerbaijan has held several elections since regaining its
independence and it has many of the formal institutions of democracy,
it remains classified as "not free" (on border with "partly free") by
Freedom House. In recent years, large numbers of Azerbaijani
journalists, bloggers, lawyers, and human rights activists have been
rounded up and jailed for their criticism of President Aliyev and
government authorities. A resolution adopted by the European
Parliament in September 2015 described
Azerbaijan as "having suffered
the greatest decline in democratic governance in all of
the past ten years," noting as well that its dialogue with the country
on human rights has "not made any substantial progress." On 17
March 2016, the
President of Azerbaijan
President of Azerbaijan signed a decree pardoning more
than a dozen of the persons regarded as political prisoners by some
NGOs. This decree was welcomed as a positive step by the US State
Department. On 16 March 2017 another pardon decree was signed,
which led to the release of additional persons regarded as political
Azerbaijan has been harshly criticized for bribing foreign officials
and diplomats in order to promote its causes abroad and legitimize its
elections at home, a practice which has been termed as Caviar
diplomacy. However, on 6 March 2017, ESISC
(European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center) published a
report called “The Armenian Connection” where it attacked human
rights NGOs and research organisations criticising human rights
violations and corruption in Azerbaijan. ESISC in that report asserted
that "Caviar diplomacy" report elaborated by ESI aimed to create
climate of suspicion based on slander to form a network of MPs that
would engage in a political war against Azerbaijan, and that the
network composed of European PMs, Armenian officials and some NGOs:
Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, "Human Rights House
Foundation", "Open Dialog, European Stability Initiative, and Helsinki
Committee for Human Rights, was financed by the Soros
Foundation. According to Robert Coalson (Radio Free Europe),
ESISC is a part of Baku's lobbying efforts to extend to the use of
front think tanks to shift public opinion. Freedom Files
Analytical Centre said that "The report is written in the worst
traditions of authoritarian propaganda".
Main article: Foreign relations of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan and the European Union
Vladimir Putin in
Azerbaijan in August 2013
Republic succeeded in
establishing diplomatic relations with six countries, sending
diplomatic representatives to
Germany and Finland. The process of
international recognition of Azerbaijan's independence from the
Soviet Union lasted roughly one year. The most recent
country to recognize
Azerbaijan was Bahrain, on 6 November 1996.
Full diplomatic relations, including mutual exchanges of missions,
were first established with Turkey, Pakistan, the United States,
Iran and Israel.
Azerbaijan has placed a particular emphasis
on its "special relationship" with Turkey.
Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries so far and
holds membership in 38 international organizations. It holds
observer status in the
Non-Aligned Movement and World Trade
Organization and is a correspondent at the International
Telecommunication Union. On 9 May 2006
Azerbaijan was elected to
membership in the newly established
Human Rights Council
Human Rights Council by the United
Nations General Assembly. The term of office began on 19 June
Azerbaijan for the first time elected as a non-permanent
member of the UN Security Council in 2011 with the support of 155
Ilham Aliyev attends the
Caspian Sea Summit in Astrakhan, Russia, 29
Foreign policy priorities of
Azerbaijan include, first of all, the
restoration of its territorial integrity; elimination of the
consequences of occupation of
Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other regions
Azerbaijan surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh; integration into
European and Euro-Atlantic structure; contribution to international
security; cooperation with international organizations; regional
cooperation and bilateral relations; strengthening of defense
capability; promotion of security by domestic policy means;
strengthening of democracy; preservation of ethnic and religious
tolerance; scientific, educational, and cultural policy and
preservation of moral values; economic and social development;
enhancing internal and border security; and migration, energy, and
transportation security policy.
The Azerbaijani government, in late 2007, stated that the
long-standing dispute over the Armenian-occupied territory of
Nagorno-Karabakh is almost certain to spark a new war if it remains
unresolved. The Government is in the process of increasing its
Azerbaijan is an active member of international coalitions fighting
Azerbaijan was one of the first countries to
offer support after the September 11 attacks. The country is
contributing to peacekeeping efforts in Kosovo,
Afghanistan and Iraq.
Azerbaijan is an active member of NATO's Partnership for Peace
program. It also maintains good relations with the
European Union and
could potentially one day apply for membership.
Main article: Administrative divisions of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is divided into 10 economic regions; 66 rayons (rayonlar,
singular rayon) and 77 cities (şəhərlər, singular şəhər) of
which 12 are under the direct authority of the republic.
Azerbaijan includes the Autonomous
respublika) of Nakhchivan. The
President of Azerbaijan
President of Azerbaijan appoints
the governors of these units, while the government of Nakhchivan is
elected and approved by the parliament of Nakhchivan Autonomous
Absheron Economic Region
Aran Economic Region
Azerbaijan is divided into 10 economic regions.
Note: The cities under the direct authority of the republic in
Main article: Azerbaijani Armed Forces
Azerbaijani Navy fleet during the 2011 military parade in Baku
Special Forces during military parade
The history of the modern
Azerbaijan army dates back to Azerbaijan
Republic in 1918, when the National Army of the newly
Republic was created on 26 June
Azerbaijan gained independence after the
dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Armed Forces of the
Azerbaijan were created according to the Law on the Armed Forces of 9
October 1991. The original date of the establishment of the
short-lived National Army is celebrated as Army Day (26 June) in
today's Azerbaijan. As of 2002,
Azerbaijan had 95,000 active
personnel in its armed forces. There are also 17,000 paramilitary
troops. The armed forces have three branches: the Land Forces,
the Air Forces and the Navy. Additionally the armed forces embrace
several military sub-groups that can be involved in state defense when
needed. These are the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal
Affairs and the State Border Service, which includes the
as well. The
Azerbaijan National Guard
Azerbaijan National Guard is a further paramilitary
force. It operates as a semi-independent entity of the
Protection Service, an agency subordinate to the President.
Contingent from the Azerbaijani military during the Moscow Victory Day
Parade, 9 May 2015
Azerbaijan adheres to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in
Europe and has signed all major international arms and weapons
Azerbaijan closely cooperates with
NATO in programs such as
Partnership for Peace
Partnership for Peace and Individual Partnership Action Plan.
Azerbaijan has deployed 151 of its Peacekeeping Forces in
another 184 in Afghanistan.
The defense budget of
Azerbaijan for 2011 was set at
US$3.1 billion. In addition to that, $1.36 billion was
planned to be used for the needs of the defense industry, which bring
up the total military budget to 4.6 billion. Azerbaijani
Ilham Aliyev said on 26 June 2011 that the defence spending
reached $3.3 billion that year.
Azerbaijan's defense budget for 2013 is $3.7 billion.
Azerbaijani defense industry manufactures small arms, artillery
systems, tanks, armors and noctovision devices, aviation bombs,
pilotless vehicles, various military vehicles and military planes and
Main article: Economy of Azerbaijan
After gaining independence in 1991,
Azerbaijan became a member of the
International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development, the
Islamic Development Bank
Islamic Development Bank and the
Asian Development Bank. The banking system of
of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan, commercial banks and non-banking
credit organizations. The National (now Central) Bank was created in
1992 based on the
Azerbaijan State Savings Bank, an affiliate of the
former State Savings Bank of the USSR. The Central Bank serves as
Azerbaijan's central bank, empowered to issue the national currency,
the Azerbaijani manat, and to supervise all commercial banks. Two
major commercial banks are UniBank and the state-owned International
Bank of Azerbaijan, run by Dr. Jahangir Hajiyev.
Pushed up by spending and demand growth, the 2007 Q1 inflation rate
reached 16.6%. Nominal incomes and monthly wages climbed 29% and
25% respectively against this figure, but price increases in non-oil
industry encouraged inflation.
Azerbaijan shows some signs of the
so-called "Dutch disease" because of its fast-growing energy sector,
which causes inflation and makes non-energy exports more expensive.
In the early 2000s the chronically high inflation was brought under
control. This led to the launch of a new currency, the new Azerbaijani
manat, on 1 January 2006, to cement the economic reforms and erase the
vestiges of an unstable economy.
Azerbaijan was cited as one of the top 10 reformers by the
World Bank's Doing Business Report.
Azerbaijan led the world as the top reformer in 2007/08, with
improvements on seven out of 10 indicators of regulatory reform.
Azerbaijan started operating a one-stop shop in January 2008 that
halved the time, cost and number of procedures to start a business.
Business registrations increased by 40% in the first six months.
Azerbaijan also eliminated the minimum loan cutoff of $1,100, more
than doubling the number of borrowers covered by the credit registry.
Also, taxpayers can now file forms and pay their taxes online.
Azerbaijan's extensive reforms moved it far up the ranks, from 97 to
33 in the overall ease of doing business.
Azerbaijan is also ranked 57th in the Global Competitiveness Report
for 2010–2011, above other CIS countries. By 2012 the GDP of
Azerbaijan had increased 20-fold from to its 1995 level.
Main article: Energy in Azerbaijan
Petroleum industry in Azerbaijan
A pumping unit for the mechanical extraction of oil on the outskirts
Azerbaijan is rich in oil and natural gas. The
history of the oil industry of
Azerbaijan dates back to the ancient
period. Arabian historian and traveler Ahmed Al-Belaruri mentioned
about the economics of Absheron peninsula in the ancient times, oil
lands, also, white and black oil in Absheron.
The region of the
Lesser Caucasus accounts for most of the country's
gold, silver, iron, copper, titanium, chromium, manganese, cobalt,
molybdenum, complex ore and antimony. In September 1994, a
30-year contract was signed between the State Oil Company of
Republic (SOCAR) and 13 oil companies, among them
Amoco, BP, ExxonMobil,
Lukoil and Statoil. As Western oil
companies are able to tap deepwater oilfields untouched by the Soviet
Azerbaijan is considered one of the most important spots
in the world for oil exploration and development. Meanwhile, the
State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan
State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan was established as an extra-budgetary
fund to ensure macroeconomic stability, transparency in the management
of oil revenue, and safeguarding of resources for future generations.
Azeriqaz, a sub-company of SOCAR, intends to ensure full gasification
of the country by 2021.
Azerbaijan is one of the sponsors of the
East–West and North–South energy transport corridors.
Baku–Tbilisi–Kars railway line will connect the Caspian region
with Turkey, is expected to be completed in July 2017. The
Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic
Pipeline (TAP) will deliver natural gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz
Turkey and Europe.
Azerbaijan extended the agreement on development of ACG until 2050
according to the amended PSA signed on 14 September 2017 by
co-venturers (BP, Chevron, INPEX, Statoil, ExxonMobil, TP, ITOCHU and
Main article: Agriculture in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan has the largest agricultural basin in the region. About
54.9 percent of
Azerbaijan is agricultural land. At the beginning
of 2007 there were 4,755,100 hectares of utilized agricultural
area. In the same year the total wood resources counted 136
million m³. Azerbaijan's agricultural scientific research
institutes are focused on meadows and pastures, horticulture and
subtropical crops, green vegetables, viticulture and wine-making,
cotton growing and medicinal plants. In some areas it is
profitable to grow grain, potatoes, sugar beets, cotton and
tobacco. Livestock, dairy products, and wine and spirits are also
important farm products. The Caspian fishing industry concentrates on
the dwindling stocks of sturgeon and beluga. In 2002 the Azerbaijani
merchant marine had 54 ships.
Some products previously imported from abroad have begun to be
produced locally. Among them are Coca-Cola by Coca-Cola Bottlers LTD,
beer by Baki-Kastel, parquet by Nehir and oil pipes by EUPEC Pipe
Main article: Tourism in Azerbaijan
Shahdag Mountain Resort
Shahdag Mountain Resort is the country's largest winter resort.
Tourism is an important part of the economy of Azerbaijan. The country
was a well-known tourist spot in the 1980s. However, the fall of the
Soviet Union, and the
Nagorno-Karabakh War during the 1990s, damaged
the tourist industry and the image of
Azerbaijan as a tourist
It was not until the 2000s that the tourism industry began to recover,
and the country has since experienced a high rate of growth in the
number of tourist visits and overnight stays. In the recent
Azerbaijan has also become a popular destination for religious,
spa, and health care tourism. During winter, the Shahdag Mountain
Resort offers skiing with state of the art facilities.
The government of
Azerbaijan has set the development of
an elite tourist destination as a top priority. It is a national
strategy to make tourism a major, if not the single largest,
contributor to the Azerbaijani economy. These activities are
regulated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan. There
are 63 countries which have visa-free score. E-visa – for
a visit of foreigners of visa-required countries to the
According to Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015 of the
World Economic Forum
Azerbaijan holds 84th place.
Azerbaijan placed among top ten countries due to the strongest growth
in visitor exports in years of 2010–2016 according to the report
prepared by the World Travel and Tourism Council. As well as,
Azerbaijan is at the first place (46.1%) among the countries which
have the fastest developing travel and tourism economies in addition
with strong inbound international visitor spending last year.
Transportation in Azerbaijan
Transportation in Azerbaijan and Rail transport in
The convenient location of
Azerbaijan on the crossroad of major
international traffic arteries, such as the
Silk Road and the
south–north corridor, highlights the strategic importance of
transportation sector for the country's economy. The transport
sector in the country includes roads, railways, aviation, and maritime
Azerbaijan is also an important economic hub in the transportation of
raw materials. The
Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline (BTC) became
operational in May 2006 and extends more than 1,774 kilometers
through the territories of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The BTC is
designed to transport up to 50 million tons of crude oil annually
and carries oil from the
Caspian Sea oilfields to global markets.
South Caucasus Pipeline, also stretching through the territory of
Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, became operational at the end of 2006
and offers additional gas supplies to the European market from the
Shah Deniz gas field. Shah Deniz is expected to produce up to
296 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. Azerbaijan
also plays a major role in the EU-sponsored
Silk Road Project.
In 2002, the Azerbaijani government established the Ministry of
Transport with a broad range of policy and regulatory functions. In
the same year, the country became a member of the Vienna Convention on
Road Traffic. The highest priority being; upgrading the transport
network and transforming transportation services into one of the key
comparative advantages of the country, as this would be highly
conducive to the development of other sectors of the economy.
In 2012, the construction of Kars–Tbilisi–
Baku railway expected to
provide transportation between
Europe through connecting the
Kazakhstan in the east with Turkey's
the European railway system in the west. Broad-gauge railways in 2010
stretched for 2,918 km (1,813 mi) and electrified railways
numbered 1,278 km (794 mi). By 2010, there were 35 airports
and one heliport.
Science and technology
Main articles: Communications in Azerbaijan,
Aerospace Agency, and List of Azerbaijani inventions and discoveries
Shamakhi Astrophysical Observatory
In the 21st century, a new oil and gas boom helped to improve the
situation in Azerbaijan's science and technology sectors, and the
government launched a campaign aimed at modernization and innovation.
The government estimates that profits from the information technology
and communication industry will grow and become comparable with those
from oil production.
Azerbaijan has a large and steadily growing Internet sector, mostly
uninfluenced by the global financial crisis; rapid growth is forecast
for at least five more years.
The country has also been making progress in developing its telecoms
sector. The Ministry of Communications & Information Technologies
(MCIT), as well as being an operator through its role in Aztelekom, is
both a policy-maker and regulator. Public pay phones are available for
local calls and require the purchase of a token from the telephone
exchange or some shops and kiosks. Tokens allow a call of indefinite
duration. As of 2009[update], there were 1,397,000 main telephone
lines and 1,485,000 internet users. There are four GSM
providers: Azercell, Bakcell, Azerfon (Nar Mobile),
network operators and one CDMA.
In the 21st century a number of prominent Azerbaijani geodynamics and
geotectonics scientists, inspired by the fundamental works of Elchin
Khalilov and others, designed hundreds of earthquake prediction
stations and earthquake-resistant buildings that now constitute the
bulk of The Republican Center of Seismic Service.
Azerbaijan National Aerospace Agency launched its first satellite
AzerSat 1 into orbit on 7 February 2013 from
Guiana Space Centre
Guiana Space Centre in
French Guiana at orbital positions 46° East. The
satellite will cover
Europe and significant part of Asian countries
and Africa and will have transmission for TV, radio broadcasting and
the internet. The launch of its own satellite on orbit is
Azerbaijan's first action in realizing prospective projects to turn
itself into a country with a space industry.
Main article: Demographics of Azerbaijan
Further information: Ethnic minorities in Azerbaijan
From the total population of 9,705,600 people as of the beginning of
2016, nearly 53,1% was urban population, the remaining 46,9% was the
rural population. 50,2% of the total population were female.The sex
ratio for total population in that year was therefore 0.99 males per
The 2011 population growth-rate was 0.85%, compared to 1.09%
worldwide. A significant factor restricting the population growth
is a high level of migration. In 2011
Azerbaijan saw migration of
Azerbaijani diaspora is found in 42 countries and in turn
there are many centers for ethnic minorities inside Azerbaijan,
including the German cultural society "Karelhaus", Slavic cultural
center, Azerbaijani-Israeli community, Kurdish cultural center,
International Talysh Association, Lezgin national center "Samur",
Crimean Tatars society, etc.
Ethnic composition (2009)
The ethnic composition of the population according to the 2009
population census: 91.60% Azerbaijanis, 2.02% Lezgians, 1.35%
Armenians (almost all
Armenians live in the break-away region of
Nagorno-Karabakh), 1.34% Russians, 1.26% Talysh, 0.56% Avars, 0.43%
Turks, 0.29% Tatars, 0.28% Tats, 0.24% Ukrainians, 0.14% Tsakhurs,
0.11% Georgians, 0.10% Jews, 0.07% Kurds, other 0.21%.
Azerbaijanis are by far the largest minority in Iran. The
number of ethnic
Iran furthermore far outnumber those
in neighboring Azerbaijan. The
CIA World Factbook
CIA World Factbook estimates Iranian
Azerbaijanis as comprising at least 16% of Iran's population.
Main article: List of cities in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan has 78 cities, 63 city districts, and one special
legal status city. These are followed by 261 urban-type settlements
and 4248 villages.
Main article: Languages of Azerbaijan
The official language is Azerbaijani (Turkic language), which is
spoken by approximately 92% of the population as a mother tongue.
It belongs to the
Turkic language family. Russian and Armenian (only
in Nagorno-Karabakh) are also spoken, and each are the mother tongue
of around 1.5% of the population respectively. Russian and
English play significant roles as second or third languages of
education and communication. There are a dozen other
minority languages spoken natively in the country. Avar,
Budukh, Georgian, Juhuri, Khinalug, Kryts,
Lezgian, Rutul, Talysh, Tat, Tsakhur, and Udi are
all spoken by small minorities. Some of these language communities are
very small and their numbers are decreasing. Armenian is almost
exclusively spoken in the break-away
Religions in Azerbaijan
Religion in Azerbaijan
Religion in Azerbaijan and Freedom of religion in
Bibi-Heybat Mosque before its destruction by the
1936. The mosque was built over the tomb of a descendant of
Around 98% of the population are Muslims. 90% of the Muslims are
Shia Muslims and 10% Sunni Muslims, and the
Azerbaijan has the second highest Shia population percentage in the
world. Other faiths are practised by the country's various ethnic
groups. Under article 48 of its Constitution,
Azerbaijan is a secular
state and ensures religious freedom. In a 2006–2008 Gallup poll,
only 21% of respondents from
Azerbaijan stated that religion is an
important part of their daily lives. This makes
Azerbaijan the least
religious Muslim-majority country in the world.
Of the nation's religious minorities, the estimated 280,000 Christians
(3.1%) are mostly Russian and Georgian Orthodox and Armenian
Apostolic (almost all
Armenians live in the break-away region of
Nagorno-Karabakh). In 2003, there were 250 Roman Catholics.
Other Christian denominations as of 2002 include Lutherans, Baptists
and Molokans. There is also a small Protestant
Azerbaijan also has an ancient
with a 2,000-year history;
Jewish organizations estimate that 12,000
Jews remain in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan also is home
to members of the Bahá'í, Hare Krishna and Jehovah's Witnesses
communities, as well as adherents of the other religious
communities. Some religious communities have been unofficially
restricted from religious freedom. A
U.S. State Department
U.S. State Department report on
the matter mentions detention of members of certain Muslim and
Christian groups, and many groups have difficulty registering with the
Main article: Education in Azerbaijan
Classroom in Dunya School
A relatively high percentage of
Azerbaijanis have obtained some form
of higher education, most notably in scientific and technical
subjects. In the Soviet era, literacy and average education
levels rose dramatically from their very low starting point, despite
two changes in the standard alphabet, from
Perso-Arabic script to
Latin in the 1920s and from Roman to
Cyrillic in the 1930s. According
to Soviet data, 100 percent of males and females (ages nine to
forty-nine) were literate in 1970. According to the United
Nations Development Program Report 2009, the literacy rate in
Azerbaijan is 99.5 percent.
Since independence, one of the first laws that Azerbaijan's Parliament
passed to disassociate itself from the
Soviet Union was to adopt a
modified-Latin alphabet to replace Cyrillic. Other than that the
Azerbaijani system has undergone little structural change. Initial
alterations have included the reestablishment of religious education
(banned during the Soviet period) and curriculum changes that have
reemphasized the use of the
Azerbaijani language and have eliminated
ideological content. In addition to elementary schools, the education
institutions include thousands of preschools, general secondary
schools, and vocational schools, including specialized secondary
schools and technical schools. Education through the eighth grade is
The Azerbaijani carpet and Kalaghai, a
UNESCO Masterpiece of
Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Culture of Azerbaijan
Culture of Azerbaijan and Literature of Azerbaijan
Intangible Cultural Heritage
Intangible Cultural Heritage List in Azerbaijan
The culture of
Azerbaijan has developed as a result of many
influences. Today, national traditions are well preserved in the
country despite Western influences, including globalized consumer
culture. Some of the main elements of the Azerbaijani culture are:
music, literature, folk dances and art, cuisine, architecture,
cinematography and Novruz Bayram. The latter is derived from the
traditional celebration of the New Year in the ancient Iranian
religion of Zoroastrianism. Novruz is a family holiday.
The profile of Azerbaijan's population consists, as stated above, of
Azerbaijanis, as well as other nationalities or ethnic groups,
compactly living in various areas of the country. Azerbaijani national
and traditional dresses are the
Chokha and Papakhi. There are radio
broadcasts in Russian, Georgian, Kurdish, Lezgian and Talysh
languages, which are financed from the state budget. Some local
radio stations in Balakan and Khachmaz organize broadcasts in Avar and
Baku several newspapers are published in Russian, Kurdish
(Dengi Kurd), Lezgian (Samur) and Talysh languages. Jewish
society "Sokhnut" publishes the newspaper Aziz.
Music and folk dances
Music of Azerbaijan
Music of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani dances
Uzeyir Hajibeyov merged traditional
Azerbaijani music with Western
styles in the early 20th century.
Music of Azerbaijan
Music of Azerbaijan builds on folk traditions that reach back nearly a
thousand years. For centuries
Azerbaijani music has evolved under
the badge of monody, producing rhythmically diverse melodies.
Azerbaijani music has a branchy mode system, where chromatization of
major and minor scales is of great importance. Among national
musical instruments there are 14 string instruments, eight percussion
instruments and six wind instruments. According to The Grove
Dictionary of Music and Musicians, "in terms of ethnicity, culture and
religion the Azerbaijani are musically much closer to
The Azerbaijani Mugam, a
UNESCO Masterpiece of Intangible Heritage of
Humanity 16th-century miniature of Nizami Ganjavi's Khosrow and Shirin
Mugham, meykhana and ashiq art are among the many musical traditions
Mugham is usually a suite with poetry and instrumental
interludes. When performing mugham, the singers have to transform
their emotions into singing and music. In contrast to the mugham
traditions of Central Asian countries, Azerbaijani mugham is more
free-form and less rigid; it is often compared to the improvised field
UNESCO proclaimed the Azerbaijani mugham tradition a
Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on 7
Meykhana is a kind of traditional Azerbaijani
distinctive folk unaccompanied song, usually performed by several
people improvising on a particular subject.
Ashiq combines poetry, storytelling, dance and vocal and instrumental
music into a traditional performance art that stands as a symbol of
Azerbaijani culture. It is a mystic troubadour or traveling bard who
sings and plays the saz. This tradition has its origin in the
Shamanistic beliefs of ancient Turkic peoples. Ashiqs' songs are
semi-improvised around common bases. Azerbaijan's ashiq art was
included in the list of
Intangible Cultural Heritage
Intangible Cultural Heritage by the
30 September 2009.
Since the mid-1960s, Western-influenced Azerbaijani pop music, in its
various forms, that has been growing in popularity in Azerbaijan,
while genres such as rock and hip hop are widely produced and enjoyed.
Azerbaijani pop and
Azerbaijani folk music
Azerbaijani folk music arose with the
international popularity of performers like Alim Qasimov, Rashid
Behbudov, Vagif Mustafazadeh, Muslim Magomayev,
Shovkat Alakbarova and
Azerbaijan is an enthusiastic participant in the
Eurovision Song Contest.
Azerbaijan made its debut appearance at the
2008 Eurovision Song Contest. The country's entry gained third place
in 2009 and fifth the following year. Ell and Nikki won the first
place at the
Eurovision Song Contest 2011
Eurovision Song Contest 2011 with the song "Running
Azerbaijan to host the contest in 2012, in
Baku. They have never missed a Grand Final.
There are dozens of Azerbaijani folk dances. They are performed at
formal celebrations and the dancers wear national clothes like the
Chokha, which is well-preserved within the national dances. Most
dances have a very fast rhythm. The national dance shows the
characteristics of the Azerbaijani nation.
Main article: Azerbaijani literature
Painting of Khurshidbanu Natavan, one of the most distinguished
Azerbaijani poets. She was also the daughter of the last ruler of the
Among the medieval authors born within the territorial limits of
Republic was Persian poet and philosopher Nizami,
called Ganjavi after his place of birth, Ganja, who was the author of
Khamseh ("The Quintuplet"), composed of five romantic poems,
including "The Treasure of Mysteries," "Khosrow and Shīrīn," and
"Leyli and Mejnūn."
The earliest known figure in
Azerbaijani literature was Izzeddin
Hasanoglu, who composed a divan consisting of Persian and Turkic
ghazals. In Persian ghazals he used his pen-name, while his
Turkic ghazals were composed under his own name of Hasanoghlu.
Classical literature in Azerbaijani was formed in the 14th century
based on the various Early Middle Ages dialects of
Tabriz and Shirvan.
Among the poets of this period were Gazi Burhanaddin, Haqiqi (pen-name
of Jahan-shah Qara Qoyunlu), and Habibi. The end of the 14th
century was also the period of starting literary activity of Imadaddin
Nesimi, one of the greatest Turkic
poets of the late 14th and early 15th centuries and one of the
most prominent early divan masters in Turkic literary history,
who also composed poetry in Persian and Arabic. The
divan and ghazal styles were further developed by poets Qasim
al-Anvar, Fuzuli and
Khatai (pen-name of
Safavid Shah Ismail I).
Book of Dede Korkut consists of two manuscripts copied in the 16th
century, was not written earlier than the 15th century.
It is a collection of 12 stories reflecting the oral tradition of
Oghuz nomads. The 16th-century poet, Muhammed Fuzuli produced his
timeless philosophical and lyrical Qazals in Arabic, Persian, and
Azerbaijani. Benefiting immensely from the fine literary traditions of
his environment, and building upon the legacy of his predecessors,
Fizuli was destined to become the leading literary figure of his
society. His major works include The Divan of Ghazals and The Qasidas.
In the same century,
Azerbaijani literature further flourished with
the development of
Ashik (Azerbaijani: Aşıq) poetic genre of bards.
During the same period, under the pen-name of Khatāī (Arabic:
خطائی for sinner)
Shah Ismail I
Shah Ismail I wrote about 1400 verses in
Azerbaijani, which were later published as his Divan. A unique
literary style known as qoshma (Azerbaijani: qoşma for improvization)
was introduced in this period, and developed by Shah Ismail and later
by his son and successor, Shah Tahmasp I.
In the span of the 17th and 18th centuries, Fizuli's unique genres as
Ashik poetry were taken up by prominent poets and writers such as
Qovsi of Tabriz, Shah Abbas Sani, Agha Mesih Shirvani, Nishat, Molla
Vali Vidadi, Molla Panah Vagif, Amani, Zafar and others. Along with
Turkmens and Uzbeks,
Azerbaijanis also celebrate the Epic of
Koroglu (from Azerbaijani: kor oğlu for blind man's son), a legendary
folk hero. Several documented versions of Koroglu epic remain at
the Institute for Manuscripts of the National Academy of Sciences of
Modern literature in
Azerbaijan is based on the Shirvani dialect
mainly, while in
Iran it is based on the Tabrizi one. The first
newspaper in Azerbaijani,
Akinchi was published in 1875. In the
mid-19th century, it was taught in the schools of Baku, Ganja, Shaki,
Tbilisi, and Yerevan. Since 1845, it has also been taught in the
University of Saint Petersburg
University of Saint Petersburg in Russia.
Main article: Azerbaijani folk art
Traditional Azerbaijani clothing and musical instruments
Azerbaijanis have a rich and distinctive culture, a major part of
which is decorative and applied art. This form of art is represented
by a wide range of handicrafts, such as chasing, jeweler, engraving in
metal, carving in wood, stone and bone, carpet-making, lasing, pattern
weaving and printing, knitting and embroidery. Each of these types of
decorative art, evidence of the endowments of the
is very much in favor here. Many interesting facts pertaining to the
development of arts and crafts in
Azerbaijan were reported by numerous
merchants, travelers and diplomats who had visited these places at
The Azerbaijani carpet is a traditional handmade textile of various
sizes, with dense texture and a pile or pile-less surface, whose
patterns are characteristic of Azerbaijan's many carpet-making
regions. In November 2010 the Azerbaijani carpet was proclaimed a
Masterpiece of Intangible Heritage by UNESCO.
Handwork coppery in Lahic
Azerbaijan has been since the ancient times known as a center of a
large variety of crafts. The archeological dig on the territory of
Azerbaijan testifies to the well developed agriculture, stock raising,
metal working, pottery, ceramics, and carpet-weaving that date as far
back as to the 2nd millennium BC. Archeological sites in Dashbulaq,
Hasansu, Zayamchai, and Tovuzchai uncovered from the BTC pipeline have
revealed early Iron Age artifacts.
Azerbaijani carpets can be categorized under several large groups and
a multitude of subgroups. Scientific research of the Azerbaijani
carpet is connected with the name of Latif Kerimov, a prominent
scientist and artist. It was his classification that related the four
large groups of carpets with the four geographical zones of
Azerbaijan, Guba-Shirvan, Ganja-Kazakh,
Karabakh and Tabriz.
Main article: Azerbaijani cuisine
Dushbara, a traditional Azerbaijani meal
Pakhlava and Badambura are traditional desserts, usually eaten with
The traditional cuisine is famous for an abundance of 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 and
often accompany main dishes on the table. Climatic diversity and
fertility of the land are reflected in the national dishes, which are
based on fish from the Caspian Sea, local meat (mainly mutton and
beef), and an abundance of seasonal vegetables and greens.
Saffron-rice plov is the flagship food in
Azerbaijan and black tea is
the national beverage.
Azerbaijanis often use traditional armudu
(pear-shaped) glass as they have very strong tea culture.
Popular traditional dishes include bozbash (lamb soup that exists in
several regional varieties with the addition of different vegetables),
qutab (fried turnover with a filling of greens or minced meat) and
dushbara (sort of dumplings of dough filled with ground meat and
Main article: Architecture of Azerbaijan
Momine Khatun Mausoleum
Momine Khatun Mausoleum in Nakhchivan built in the 12th century
Azerbaijani architecture typically combines elements of East and
West. Azerbaijiani architecture has heavy influences from Persian
architecture. Many ancient architectural treasures such as the Maiden
Palace of the Shirvanshahs
Palace of the Shirvanshahs in the Walled City of Baku
survive in modern Azerbaijan. Entries submitted on the
Heritage tentative list include the Ateshgah of Baku, Momine Khatun
Mausoleum, Hirkan National Park, Binegadi National Park, Lökbatan Mud
Baku Stage Mountain, Caspian Shore Defensive Constructions,
Shusha National Reserve, Ordubad National Reserve and the Palace of
Among other architectural treasures are Quadrangular Castle in
Parigala in Yukhary Chardaglar, a number of bridges spanning
the Aras River, and several mausoleums. In the 19th and early 20th
centuries, little monumental architecture was created, but distinctive
residences were built in
Baku and elsewhere. Among the most recent
architectural monuments, the
Baku subways are noted for their lavish
The task for modern Azerbaijani architecture is diverse application of
modern aesthetics, the search for an architect's own artistic style
and inclusion of the existing historico-cultural environment. Major
projects such as
Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, Flame Towers, Baku
Baku White City and
SOCAR Tower have transformed the
country's skyline and promotes its contemporary identity.
Main article: Visual arts of Azerbaijan
A miniature painting of a battle scene on the walls of the Palace of
Shaki Khans, 18th century, city of Shaki
Azerbaijani art includes one of the oldest art objects in the world,
which were discovered as
Gamigaya Petroglyphs in the territory of
Ordubad Rayon are dated back to the 1st to 4th centuries BC. About
1500 dislodged and carved rock paintings with images of deer, goats,
bulls, dogs, snakes, birds, fantastic beings and also people,
carriages and various symbols had been found out on basalt rocks.
Norwegian ethnographer and adventurer
Thor Heyerdahl was convinced
that people from the area went to
Scandinavia in about 100 AD and took
their boat building skills with them, and transmuted them into the
Viking boats in Northern Europe.
Over the centuries,
Azerbaijani art has gone through many stylistic
changes. Azerbaijani painting is traditionally characterized by a
warmth of colour and light, as exemplified in the works of Azim
Azimzade and Bahruz Kangarli, and a preoccupation with religious
figures and cultural motifs. Azerbaijani painting enjoyed
Caucasus for hundreds of years, from the Romanesque and
Ottoman periods, and through the Soviet and
Baroque periods, the
latter two of which saw fruition in Azerbaijan. Other notable artists
who fall within these periods include Sattar Bahlulzade, Togrul
Narimanbekov, Tahir Salahov, Alakbar Rezaguliyev, Mirza Gadim Iravani,
Mikayil Abdullayev and Boyukagha Mirzazade.
Scene from the Azerbaijani film In the Kingdom of Oil and Millions,
Main articles: Cinema of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani animation, and
Television in Azerbaijan
The film industry in
Azerbaijan dates back to 1898. In fact,
Azerbaijan was among the first countries involved in
cinematography. Therefore, it's not surprising that this
apparatus soon showed up in
Baku – at the start of the 20th century,
this bay town on the Caspian was producing more than 50 percent of the
world's supply of oil. Just like today, the oil industry attracted
foreigners eager to invest and to work. In 1919, during the
Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, a documentary The Celebration of the
Anniversary of Azerbaijani Independence was filmed on Azerbaijan's
independence day, 27 May, and premiered in June 1919 at several
theatres in Baku. After the Soviet power was established in 1920,
Nariman Narimanov, Chairman of the Revolutionary Committee of
Azerbaijan, signed a decree nationalizing Azerbaijan's cinema. This
also influenced the creation of Azerbaijani animation.
In 1991, after
Azerbaijan gained its independence from the Soviet
Union, the first
Baku International Film Festival East-West was held
in Baku. In December 2000, the former President of Azerbaijan, Heydar
Aliyev, signed a decree proclaiming 2 August to be the professional
holiday of filmmakers of Azerbaijan. Today Azerbaijani filmmakers are
again dealing with issues similar to those faced by cinematographers
prior to the establishment of the
Soviet Union in 1920. Once again,
both choice of content and sponsorship of films are largely left up to
the initiative of the filmmaker.
Media and media freedom
Media of Azerbaijan
Media of Azerbaijan and Media freedom in Azerbaijan
There are three state-owned television channels: AzTV, Idman TV and
Medeniyyet TV. One public channel and 6 private channels: İctimai
Television, ANS TV, Space TV, Lider TV, Azad
Azerbaijan TV, Xazar TV
and Region TV.
Human rights in Azerbaijan
Main article: Human rights in Azerbaijan
Constitution of Azerbaijan claims to guarantee freedom of speech,
but this is denied in practice. After several years of decline in
press and media freedom, in 2014 the media environment in Azerbaijan
deteriorated rapidly under a governmental campaign to silence any
opposition and criticism, even while the country led the Committee of
Ministers of the
Council of Europe
Council of Europe (May–November 2014). Spurious
legal charges and impunity in violence against journalists have
remained the norm. All foreign broadcasts are banned in the
According to the 2013
Freedom House Freedom of the Press report,
Azerbaijan's press freedom status is "not free," and
177th out of 196 countries.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and
Voice of America
Voice of America are banned in
During the last few years,[when?] three journalists were killed and
several prosecuted in trials described as unfair by international
human rights organizations.
Azerbaijan has the biggest number of
journalists imprisoned in
Central Asia in 2015, according
to the Committee to Protect Journalists, and is the 5th most censored
country in the world, ahead of
Iran and China.
A report by an
Amnesty International researcher in October 2015 points
to '...the severe deterioration of human rights in
Azerbaijan over the
past few years. Sadly
Azerbaijan has been allowed to get away with
unprecedented levels of repression and in the process almost wipe out
its civil society'. Amnesty's 2015/16 annual report on the
country stated ' ... persecution of political dissent continued. Human
rights organizations remained unable to resume their work. At least 18
prisoners of conscience remained in detention at the end of the year.
Reprisals against independent journalists and activists persisted both
in the country and abroad, while their family members also faced
harassment and arrests. International human rights monitors were
barred and expelled from the country. Reports of torture and other
The Guardian reported in April 2017 that "Azerbaijan’s ruling elite
operated a secret $2.9bn (£2.2bn) scheme to pay prominent Europeans,
buy luxury goods and launder money through a network of opaque British
companies .... Leaked data shows that the Azerbaijani leadership,
accused of serial human rights abuses, systemic corruption and rigging
elections, made more than 16,000 covert payments from 2012 to 2014.
Some of this money went to politicians and journalists, as part of an
international lobbying operation to deflect criticism of
Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, and to promote a positive
image of his oil-rich country." There was no suggestion that all
recipients were aware of the source of the money as it arrived via a
Main article: Sport in Azerbaijan
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was the 2013 World Rapid Chess and three-time
European Team Chess champion.
Freestyle wrestling has been traditionally regarded as Azerbaijan's
national sport, in which
Azerbaijan won up to fourteen medals,
including four golds since joining the National Olympic Committee.
Currently, the most popular sports include football and wrestling.
Football is the most popular sport in Azerbaijan, and the Association
of Football Federations of
Azerbaijan with 9,122 registered players,
is the largest sporting association in the country. The
national football team of
Azerbaijan demonstrates relatively low
performance in the international arena compared to the nation football
clubs. The most successful Azerbaijani football clubs are Neftchi
Baku, Qarabağ, and Gabala. In 2012, Neftchi
Baku became the first
Azerbaijani team to advance to the group stage of a European
competition, beating APOEL of
Cyprus 4–2 on aggregate in the
play-off round of the 2012-13
UEFA Europa League. In 2014,
Qarabağ became the second Azerbaijani club advancing to the group
UEFA Europa League. In 2017, after beating Copenhagen
2–2(a) in the play-off round of the
UEFA Champions League, Qarabağ
became the first Azerbaijani club to reach the Group stage.
Futsal is another popular sport in Azerbaijan. The
futsal team reached fourth place in the 2010
while domestic club
Araz Naxçivan clinched bronze medals at the
Futsal Cup and 2013–14
Azerbaijan was the main sponsor of Spanish football club Atlético de
Madrid during seasons 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, a partnership that the
club described should 'promote the image of
Azerbaijan in the
Backgammon also plays a major role in Azerbaijani culture. The
game is very popular in
Azerbaijan and is widely played among the
local public. There are also different variations of backgammon
developed and analyzed by Azerbaijani experts.
Baku National Stadium was used for the first
European Games in June
Azerbaijan is one of the leading volleyball countries in the world and
Azerbaijan Women's Volleyball Super League is one of strongest
women leagues in world. Its women's national team came fourth at the
2005 European Championship. Over the last years, clubs like
Baku and Azerrail
Baku achieved great success at European
cups. Azerbaijani volleyball players include likes of Valeriya
Korotenko, Oksana Parkhomenko, Inessa Korkmaz,
Natalya Mammadova and
Other well-known Azerbaijani athletes are Namig Abdullayev, Toghrul
Asgarov, Rovshan Bayramov, Sharif Sharifov,
Mariya Stadnik and Farid
Mansurov in wrestling, Nazim Huseynov, Elnur Mammadli, Elkhan Mammadov
Rustam Orujov in judo,
Rafael Aghayev in karate, Magomedrasul
Aghasi Mammadov in boxing,
Nizami Pashayev in Olympic
Azad Asgarov in pankration,
Eduard Mammadov in
K-1 fighter Zabit Samedov.
Azerbaijan has a Formula One race-track and the country hosted its
first Formula One Grand Prix on 19 June 2016. Other annual
sporting events held in the country are the
Baku Cup tennis tournament
Tour d'Azerbaïdjan cycling race.
Azerbaijan hosted several major sport competitions since the late
2000s, including the 2013 F1 Powerboat World Championship, 2012 FIFA
U-17 Women's World Cup, 2011 AIBA World
Boxing Championships, 2010
European Wrestling Championships, 2009 Rhythmic Gymnastics European
Championships, 2014 European Taekwondo Championships, 2014 Rhythmic
Gymnastics European Championships, 2016 World Chess Olympiad. On
8 December 2012,
Baku was selected to host the 2015 European Games,
the first to be held in competition's history.
Baku is also set
to host the fourth
Islamic Solidarity Games
Islamic Solidarity Games in 2017.
Outline of Azerbaijan
Visa policy of Azerbaijan
The Congress of World Azerbaijanis
Index of Azerbaijan-related articles
Nagorno-Karabakh is recognized as 'part of Azerbaijan.
^ The State Statistical Committee of the
Azerbaijan Republic, The
ethnic composition of the population according to the 2009 census.
^ a b c LaPorte, Jody (2016). "Semi-presidentialism in Azerbaijan"
(PDF). In Elgie, Robert; Moestrup, Sophia. Semi-Presidentialism in the
Caucasus and Central Asia. London:
Palgrave Macmillan (published 15
May 2016). pp. 91–117. doi:10.1057/978-1-137-38781-3_4.
ISBN 978-1-137-38780-6. LCCN 2016939393.
OCLC 6039791976. Retrieved 13 October 2017. LaPorte examines the
dynamics of semi-presidentialism in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan’s regime
is a curious hybrid, in which semi-presidential institutions operate
in the larger context of authoritarianism. The author compares formal
Constitutional provisions with the practice of politics in the
country, suggesting that formal and informal sources of authority come
together to enhance the effective powers of the presidency. In
addition to the considerable formal powers laid out in the
Constitution, Azerbaijan’s president also benefits from the support
of the ruling party and informal family and patronage networks.
LaPorte concludes by discussing the theoretical implications of this
symbiosis between formal and informal institutions in Azerbaijan’s
^ "Аzərbаycаndа dеmоqrаfik vəziyyət" (in Azerbaijani).
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^ a b c d "Azerbaijan". International Monetary Fund.
^ "Gini Index". World Bank. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
^ "Human Development Report 2016 – "Human Development for everyone""
United Nations Development Programme. 2016. Retrieved 21 March
^ While often politically aligned with Europe,
Azerbaijan is generally
considered to be at least mostly in
Southwest Asia geographically with
its northern part bisected by the standard Asia-
Europe divide, the
Greater Caucasus. The
United Nations classification of world regions
Azerbaijan in Western Asia; the
CIA World Factbook
CIA World Factbook places it
Southwest Asia  and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate
Dictionary places it in both; NationalGeographic.com, and
Encyclopædia Britannica also place Georgia in Asia. Conversely, some
Europe such as Worldatlas.com.
^ a b c d Swietochowski, Tadeusz (1995).
Russia and Azerbaijan: A
Borderland in Transition. Columbia University Press. pp. 69, 133.
^ Pipes, Richard (1997). The Formation of the Soviet Union: Communism
and Nationalism 1917–1923 (2nd ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts:
Harvard University Press. pp. 218–220, 229.
^ King, David C. (2006). Azerbaijan. Marshall Cavendish. p. 27.
^ Zürcher, Christoph (2007). The Post-Soviet Wars: Rebellion, Ethnic
Conflict, and Nationhood in the
Caucasus ([Online-Ausg.]. ed.). New
York: New York University Press. p. 168.
^ Резолюция СБ ООН № 822 от 30 апреля 1993
года (in Russian). United Nations. Archived from the original on 3
May 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
^ Резолюция СБ ООН № 853 от 29 июля 1993
года (in Russian). United Nations. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
^ Резолюция СБ ООН № 874 14 октября 1993
года (in Russian). United Nations. Archived from the original on 3
May 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
^ Резолюция СБ ООН № 884 от 12 ноября 1993
года (in Russian). United Nations. Archived from the original on 3
May 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
^ a b c d "Azerbaijan: Membership of international
groupings/organisations". British Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
Archived from the original on 9 June 2007. Retrieved 26 May
^ Europa Publications Limited (1998).
Eastern Europe and the
Commonwealth of Independent States. Routledge. p. 154.
^ a b "Elections & Appointments – Human Rights Council". United
Nations. Archived from the original on 20 December 2008. Retrieved 3
^ "The non-aligned engagement". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 26 May
^ Cornell, Svante E. (2010).
Azerbaijan Since Independence. M.E.
Sharpe. pp. 165, 284. Indicative of general regional trends and a
natural reemergence of previously oppressed religious identity, an
increasingly popular ideological basis for the pursuit of political
objectives has been Islam.... The government, for its part, has shown
an official commitment to Islam by building mosques and respecting
Islamic values... Unofficial Islamic groups sought to use aspects of
Islam to mobilize the population and establish the foundations for a
future political struggle.... Unlike Turkey,
Azerbaijan does not have
the powerful ideological legacy of secularism... the conflict with
Armenia has bred frustration that is increasingly being answered by a
combined Islamic and nationalist sentiment, especially among younger
people... All major political forces are committed to secularism and
are based, if anything, on a nationalist agenda.
^ What Alabamians and Iranians Have in Common. Gallup. Retrieved on 30
^ Islam and Secularism: the Azerbaijani experience and its reflection
in France. Prweb.com (17 June 2013). Retrieved on 30 June 2017.
^ Muslims and Islam: Key findings in the U.S. and around the world
Pew Research Center. Pewresearch.org (26 May 2017). Retrieved on 30
Human Development Index
Human Development Index and its components" (PDF). United Nations
^ "Interactive Infographic of the World's Best Countries". Newsweek.
15 August 2010. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved
24 July 2011.
Literacy rate among schoolchildren in
Azerbaijan is 100% – UN
report". News.Az. 28 October 2011.
^ "Employment statistics in Azerbaijan". The State Statistical
Committee of the
Republic of Azerbaijan. Retrieved 26 May 2007.
^ "Human Rights Watch: Azerbaijan". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 6
^ Houtsma, M. Th. (1993). First Encyclopaedia of Islam 1913–1936
(reprint ed.). BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-09796-4.
^ Schippmann, Klaus (1989). Azerbaijan: Pre-Islamic History.
Encyclopædia Iranica. pp. 221–224.
^ Minahan, James (1998). Miniature Empires: A Historical Dictionary of
the Newly Independent States. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 20.
^ Chamoux, François (2003). Hellenistic Civilization. John Wiley and
Sons. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-631-22241-5.
^ Bosworth A.B., Baynham E.J. (2002).
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great in Fact and
fiction. Oxford University Press. p. 92.
^ Nevertheless, "despite being one of the chief vassals of Sasanian
Shahanshah, the Albanian king had only a semblance of authority, and
the Sassanid marzban (military governor) held most civil, religious,
and military authority.
^ a b Swietochowski, Tadeusz (1999). Historical Dictionary of
Azerbaijan. Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press.
^ Darmesteter, James (2004). "Frawardin Yasht".
Avesta Khorda Avesta:
Book Of Common Prayer (reprint ed.). Kessinger Publishing. p. 93.
^ a b "Azerbaijan: Early History: Iranian and Greek Influences". U.S.
Library of Congress. Retrieved 7 June 2006.
^ Atabaki, Touraj (4 September 2006).
Iran and the First World War:
Battleground of the Great Powers. I.B.Tauris. p. 132.
^ a b Atabaki, Touraj (2000). Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and the Struggle
for Power in Iran. I.B.Tauris. p. 25.
^ a b Dekmejian, R. Hrair; Simonian, Hovann H. (2003). Troubled
Waters: The Geopolitics of the Caspian Region. I.B. Tauris.
p. 60. ISBN 978-1860649226. Until 1918, when the Musavat
regime decided to name the newly independent state Azerbaijan, this
designation had been used exclusively to identify the Iranian province
^ a b Rezvani, Babak (2014). Ethno-territorial conflict and
coexistence in the caucasus,
Central Asia and Fereydan: academisch
proefschrift. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. p. 356.
ISBN 978-9048519286. The region to the north of the river Araxes
was not called
Azerbaijan prior to 1918, unlike the region in
Iran that has been called since so long ago.
^ Fragner, B.G. (2001). Soviet Nationalism: An Ideological Legacy to
the Independent Republics of Central Asia. I.B. Tauris and Company.
pp. 13–32. In the post Islamic sense, Arran and
often distinguished, while in the pre-Islamic era, Arran or the
Caucasian Albania roughly corresponds to the modern territory
Republic of Azerbaijan. In the Soviet era, in a breathtaking
Azerbaijan (northwestern Iran) was
reinterpreted as "South Azerbaijan" in order for the Soviets to lay
territorial claim on historical
Azerbaijan proper which is located in
modern-day northwestern Iran.
^ Atabaki, Touraj (2000). Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and the Struggle for
Power in Iran. I.B.Tauris. p. 8. ISBN 9781860645549.
^ Bournoutian, George A. (2016). The 1820 Russian Survey of the
Khanate of Shirvan: A Primary Source on the Demography and Economy of
an Iranian Province prior to its Annexation by Russia. Gibb Memorial
Trust. p. 18. ISBN 9781909724839. (...) the
Elisavetpol guberniias, declared their independence (to 1920), and,
despite Iranian protests, took the name of
Azerbaijan (as noted, the
same designation as the historical region in northwestern Iran)
^ 1947-, Comrie, Bernard, (1981). The languages of the Soviet Union.
Cambridge [England]: Cambridge University Press. p. 162.
ISBN 9780521298773. OCLC 6627395.
^ Azakov, Siyavush. "National report on institutional landscape and
research policy Social Sciences and Humanities in Azerbaijan" (PDF).
Institute of Physics.
Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences.
Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 November 2011. Retrieved 27 May
^ Chaumont, M. L. (1984). "Albania". Encyclopædia Iranica.
^ Hewsen, Robert H. (2001). "Armenia: a Historical Atlas". Chicago:
University of Chicago Press. Missing or empty url= (help) map
^ Hewsen, Robert H. (1982). Thomas J. Samuelian, ed. "Ethno-History
and the Armenian Influence upon the Caucasian Albanians". Classical
Armenian Culture: Influences and Creativity. (Philadelphia: Scholars
Press. p. 45. Missing or empty url= (help)
^ Hewsen, Robert H. (2001). Armenia: a Historical Atlas. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press. pp. 32–33, map 19 (shows the
territory of modern Nagorno–
Karabakh as part of the Orontids'
Kingdom of Armenia).
^ Моисей Хоренский. Армянская
География VII в. Перевод Патканова К.П.
СПб., 1877. стр. 40,17
^ Hewsen, Robert H. "The Kingdom of Artsakh," in T. Samuelian & M.
Stone, eds. Medieval Armenian Culture. Chico, CA, 1983
^ Yarshater, E. (1987). "The Iranian Language of Azerbaijan".
Encyclopædia Iranica. III/2.
^ Ludwig, Paul (1998). Proceedings of the Third European Conference of
Iranian Studies. 1 (Nicholas Sims-Williams (ed.) ed.). Cambridge:
Wiesbaden: Reichert. ISBN 978-3-89500-070-6.
^ Roy, Olivier (2007). The new Central Asia: geopolitics and the birth
of nations (reprint ed.). I.B. Tauris. p. 6.
^ R. Ward, Steven (2009). Immortal: a military history of
Iran and its
armed forces. Georgetown University Press. p. 43.
^ Malcolm Wagstaff, John (1985). The evolution of middle eastern
landscapes: an outline to A.D. 1840, Part 1840. Rowman &
Littlefield. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-389-20577-7.
^ L. Altstadt, Audrey (1992). The Azerbaijani Turks: power and
identity under Russian rule. Hoover Press. p. 5.
^ Akiner, Shirin (2004). The Caspian: Politics, Energy and Security.
RoutledgeCurzon. p. 158. ISBN 978-0-7007-0501-6.
^ Walker, Christopher J. (1980). Armenia, the survival of a nation.
Croom Helm. p. 45. Tsitsianov next moved against the
semi-independent Iranian khanates. On the thinnest of pretexts he
captured the Muslim town of Gandja, the seat of Islamic learning in
^ Saparov, Arsène (2014). From Conflict to Autonomy in the Caucasus:
Soviet Union and the Making of Abkhazia,
South Ossetia and Nagorno
Karabakh. Routledge. ISBN 978-1317637837. Even though these
principalities [the khanates] had not been under Iranian suzerainty
since the assassination of
Nadir Shah in 1747, they were traditionally
considered an inalienable part of Iranian domains. (...) To the
semi-independent Caucasian principalities the appearance of the new
Great Power (...)
^ Kashani-Sabet, Firoozeh (May 1997). "Fragile Frontiers: The
Diminishing Domains of Qajar Iran". International Journal of Middle
East Studies. 29 (2): 210. doi:10.1017/s0020743800064473 . In 1795,
Ibrahim Khalil Khan, the wali of Qarabagh, warned Sultan Selim III of
Muhammad Khan's ambitions. Fearing for his independence, he
informed the Sultan of Aqa
Muhammad Khan's ability to subdue
Azerbaijan and later Qarabagh, Erivan, and Georgia.
^ Barker, Adele Marie; Grant, Bruce (2010). The
History, Culture, Politics. Duke University Press. p. 253.
ISBN 978-0822346487. But they were relatively more accessible
given the organization of small, centralized, semi-independent
khanates that functioned through the decline of Iranian rule after the
Nadir Shah in the mid-eighteenth century (...)
^ Avery, Peter; Hambly, Gavin (1991). The Cambridge History of Iran.
Cambridge University Press. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-521-20095-0.
Muhammad Khan could now turn to the restoration of the outlying
provinces of the
Safavid kingdom. Returning to Tehran in the spring of
1795, he assembled a force of some 60,000 cavalry and infantry and in
Shawwal Dhul-Qa'da/May, set off for Azarbaijan, intending to conquer
the country between the rivers Aras and Kura, formerly under Safavid
control. This region comprised a number of khanates of which the most
important was Qarabagh, with its capital at Shusha; Ganja, with its
capital of the same name;
Shirvan across the Kura, with its capital at
Shamakhi; and to the north-west, on both banks of the Kura, Christian
Georgia (Gurjistan), with its capital at Tiflis.
^ Encyclopedia of Soviet law By Ferdinand Joseph Maria Feldbrugge,
Gerard Pieter van den Berg, William B. Simons, Page 457
^ King, Charles (2008). The ghost of freedom: a history of the
Caucasus. University of Michigan. p. 10.
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^ Babinger, Franz (2008). "Nesīmī, Seyyid ʿImād al-Dīn".
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^ Michael E. Meeker, "The Dede Korkut Ethic", International Journal of
Middle East Studies, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Aug. 1992), 395–417. excerpt:
Book of Dede Korkut is an early record of oral Turkic folktales in
Anatolia, and as such, one of the mythic charters of Turkish
nationalist ideology. The oldest versions of the
Book of Dede Korkut
consist of two manuscripts copied in the 16th century. The twelve
stories that are recorded in these manuscripts are believed to be
derived from a cycle of stories and songs circulating among Turkic
peoples living in northeastern Anatolia and northwestern Azerbaijan.
According to Lewis (1974), an older substratum of these oral
traditions dates to conflicts between the ancient Oghuz and their
Turkish rivals in
Central Asia (the Pecheneks and the Kipchaks), but
this substratum has been clothed in references to the 14th-century
campaigns of the Akkoyunlu Confederation of Turkic tribes against the
Georgians, the Abkhaz, and the Greeks in Trebizond. Such stories and
songs would have emerged no earlier than the beginning of the 13th
century, and the written versions that have reached us would have been
composed no later than the beginning of the 15th century. By this
Turkic peoples in question had been in touch with Islamic
civilization for several centuries, had come to call themselves
"Turcoman" rather than "Oghuz," had close associations with sedentary
and urbanized societies, and were participating in Islamized regimes
that included nomads, farmers, and townsmen. Some had abandoned their
nomadic way of life altogether.
^ Cemal Kafadar(1995), "in Between Two Worlds: Construction of the
Ottoman states", University of California Press, 1995. Excerpt: "It
was not earlier than the fifteenth century. Based on the fact that the
author is buttering up both the Akkoyunlu and Ottoman rulers, it has
been suggested that the composition belongs to someone living in the
undefined border region lands between the two states during the reign
of Uzun Hassan (1466–78). G. Lewis on the hand dates the composition
"fairly early in the 15th century at least."
^ a b İlker Evrım Bınbaş, Encyclopædia Iranica, "Oguz Khan
Narratives" Encyclopædia Iranica Articles. Retrieved 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"
^ Minorsky, Vladimir (1942). "The Poetry of Shah Ismail". Bulletin of
the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 10
(4): 1053. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00090182.
^ Samuel, Geoffrey; Gregor, Hamish; Stutchbury, Elisabeth (1994).
Tantra and Popular Religion in Tibet. International Academy of Indian
Culture and Aditya Prakashan. p. 60.
^ "The traditional art of Azerbaijani carpet weaving in the Republic
of Azerbaijan". Unesco.org. Archived from the original on 5 December
2010. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
^ "Azerbaijani carpet entered
UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural
Azerbaijan Press Agency. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
^ "Ancient Heritage of the BTC – SCP Pipeline Corridor".
Smithsonian. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
^ "Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Educación, la Ciencia
y la Cultura". UNESCO.
^ Once in a Lifetime Journey. "The Best
^ Akhmedov, IA. Азербайджанская кухня (in
Russian). Издательство "Ишыг".
^ "Chaihana: culture in action". Aze.info. Retrieved 14 December
^ The Azerbaijani Turks: power and identity under Russian rule. Audrey
L. Altstadt. Hoover Institution Press. 1992.
^ Khanlou, Pirouz. "Baku's Architecture A Fusion of East and West".
Azerbaijan International. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
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^ "World Heritage Sites in Azerbaijan". World Heritage Site.
^ "Over 70 underground stations to be built in Baku". News.Az.
Retrieved 18 February 2011.
^ 1 February 2012 Jon Walton (1 February 2012). "$100 Billion Khazar
Islands Taking Shape". Construction Digital. Archived from the
original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
^ Glass, Nick. "
Flame Towers light up Baku's historic skyline". CNN.
Retrieved 14 April 2013.
^ Наскальные рисунки Гямигая. irs-az.com.
^ "Ornaments Coming from Gobustan". Diva International.
^ "Gobustan Rock Art". www.worldheritagesite.org. Retrieved 11 October
^ "Azerbaijani Artists". www.arthistoryarchive.com. Retrieved 11
^ "Steps of Time & Art is not only ugly".
universes-in-universe.org. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
^ a b "Cinema in Azerbaijan: Pre-Soviet Era". "Azerbaijan
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^ Celebrating 100 Years in Film, not 80 by Aydin Kazimzade. Azerbaijan
International, Autumn 1997
^ a b "Azerbaijani cinema in 1920–1935: Silent films".
^ Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, The Protection of
media freedom in Europe.Background report prepared by Mr William
Horsley, special representative for media freedom of the Association
of European Journalists
^ Freedom House,
Azerbaijan 2015 Press Freedom report
^ "Freedom of the Press 2013" (PDF). Freedom House.
^ "Threat to retransmission of BBC,
Voice of America
Voice of America and Radio
Liberty/Radio Free Europe". Reporters Without Borders.
^ Ognianova, Nina. "
Baku 2015: Press freedom, Azerbaijan, and the
European Games". Committee to Protect Journalists.
^ Nozadze, Natalia. "
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^ Amnesty, International. "Annual report on Azerbaijan". Amnesty
^ Harding, Luke; Barr, Caelainn; Nagapetyants, Dina (4 September
2017). "UK at centre of secret $3bn Azerbaijani money laundering and
lobbying scheme". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
^ "Azərbaycanda nə qədər futbolçu var?". news.milli
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^ "Football in Azerbaijan". www.fifa.com. FIFA. Retrieved 27 January
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футбольным клубом, вышедшим в
групповой этап еврокубков – ФОТО.
.az (in Russian). Archived from the original on 1 September 2012.
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^ ЦСКА вылетел из еврокубков (in Russian).
UEFA. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
^ "Liverpool and Sporting make it as Qarabağ create history".
UEFA.com. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
^ "Araz clinch third place on penalties". UEFA. 25 April 2010.
Archived from the original on 23 December 2010. Retrieved 25 April
^ "Azerbaijan: Official Atlético sponsor". Club Atlético de Madrid.
Retrieved 25 April 2015.
^ История нард (in Russian). 1-Kalyan. Retrieved 27 May
^ Нарды – игра, требующая сноровки и
удачи (in Russian)
^ История Нард (in Russian). Nards.
^ "More than just Mammadova: Azerbaijan's ladies cause World
Championship upset". www.fivb.org (Press release). Retrieved 8 May
^ "Vakıfbank women achieve historic success, winning intercontinental
volleyball trophy". www.hurriyetdailynews.com. Retrieved 8 May
^ Sylt, Christian. "F1 Will Race in
Azerbaijan in 2016 Says
Ecclestone". www.forbes.com. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
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sportsmanship". www.baku2015.com. Archived from the original on 26
September 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
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de Waal, Thomas. Black Garden. NYU (2003). ISBN 0-8147-1945-7
Azerbaijan Diary : A Rogue Reporter's Adventures
in an Oil-Rich, War-Torn, Post-Soviet Republic. M E Sharpe (1998).
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