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Azerbaijan
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{{about|the independent country in the Caucasus}}{{pp-vandalism|small=yes}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{short description|Country in the South Caucasus}}{{Use dmy dates|date=January 2019}}{{Good article}}







factoids
| image_flag = Flag of Azerbaijan.svg| alt_flag = Three equally sized horizontal bands of blue, red, and green, with a white crescent and an eight-pointed star centered in the red band| image_coat = Emblem of Azerbaijan.svg| symbol_type = National emblem| national_motto = Azərbaycan marşı "March of Azerbaijan"}}center)}}| image_map = Azerbaijan with Nagorno Karabakh region.svgRepublic of Artsakh>Artsakh (light green).| capital = Baku| largest_city = capital40N50type:city}}Azerbaijani language>Azerbaijani| ethnic_groups_year = 2009weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131110034957weblink">The State Statistical Committee of the Azerbaijan Republic, The ethnic composition of the population according to the 2009 census. {azstat.org91.60% Azerbaijani people >2.02% Lezgian people>1.35% Armenians in Azerbaijan>1.34% Russians in Azerbaijan>1.26% Talysh people>item3_style=padding-top:0.2em;line-height:1.2emAzerbaijan#Ethnic groups>others}}| languages_type = Ethnic minority languagesArmenian language>Armenian, Avar language, Budukh language>Budukh, Georgian language, Juhuri language>Juhuri, Khinalug language, Kryts language>Kryts, Kurdish language, Lezgian language>Lezgian, Russian language, Rutul language>Rutul, Talysh language, Tat language (Caucasus)>Tat, Tsakhur language and Udi language>Udi| demonym = AzerbaijaniUnitary state Dominant-party system>dominant-party}} {{nowrapSemi-presidential system>semi-presidentialLAPORTE >FIRST=JODY YEAR=2016 EDITOR1-LAST=ELGIE EDITOR1-LINK=ROBERT ELGIE (ACADEMIC) EDITOR2-FIRST=SOPHIA TITLE=SEMI-PRESIDENTIALISM IN THE CAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA PUBLISHER=PALGRAVE MACMILLAN PAGES=91–117 ISBN=978-1-137-38780-6 OCLC=6039791976 REF=HARV, republic}} under an Authoritarianism"FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2018 – AZERBAIJAN" WEBSITE=FREEDOMHOUSE.ORG ACCESSDATE=7 OCTOBER 2018, en, President of Azerbaijan>President| leader_name1 = Ilham AliyevVice President of Azerbaijan>Vice President| leader_name2 = Mehriban AliyevaPrime Minister of Azerbaijan>Prime Minister| leader_name3 = Novruz MammadovNational Assembly of Azerbaijan>National AssemblyHistory of Azerbaijan>FormationAzerbaijan Democratic Republic>Democratic Republic| established_date1 = 28 May 1918Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic>Soviet Socialist Republic| established_date2 = 28 April 1920| established_event3 = Independence from Soviet Union
  • 30 August 1991 (declared)
  • 18 October 1991 (independence)
  • 25 December 1991 (completed){edih}
Alma-Ata Protocol>Full membership into the CIS| established_date4 = 21 December 1991United Nations Security Council Resolution 742>Admitted to the United Nations| established_date5 = 2 March 1992Constitution adopted}}| established_date6 = 12 November 1995| area_km2 = 86600| area_rank = 111th| area_sq_mi = 33436 | percent_water = 1.6LANGUAGE=AZERBAIJANI DATE=6 APRIL 2019, | population_estimate_year = 2019| population_estimate_rank = 91st| population_density_km2 = 115| population_density_sq_mi = 293 | population_density_rank = 99th| GDP_PPP = $178.470 billionWEB,weblink World Economic Outlook Database, October 2018, International Monetary Fund, IMF.org, 5 March 2019, | GDP_PPP_year = 2018| GDP_PPP_rank = 73rd| GDP_PPP_per_capita = $17,954| GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 75th| GDP_nominal = $45.592 billion| GDP_nominal_year = 2018| GDP_nominal_rank = 88th| GDP_nominal_per_capita = $4,586| GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = 106th| Gini = 16.6 | Gini_year = 2005| Gini_change = PUBLISHER=WORLD BANKACCESS-DATE=5 MARCH 2019, | Gini_rank = | HDI = 0.757 | HDI_year = 2017| HDI_change = steadyDATE=2016PUBLISHER=UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME, | HDI_rank = 80thAzerbaijani manat>Manat (₼)| currency_code = AZNAzerbaijan Time>AZT (UTC+04)| utc_offset_DST = | drives_on = rightTelephone numbers in Azerbaijan>+994| cctld = .az| today = }}Azerbaijan ({{IPAc-en|UK|audio=En-Azerbaijan-pronunciation.ogg|ËŒ|æ|z|É™|b|aɪ|ˈ|dÊ’|ɑː|n|,_|-|ˈ|Ê’|ɑː|n}}, {{IPAc-en|US|ËŒ|ɑː|z|É™r|b|aɪ|ˈ|dÊ’|ɑː|n|,_|ËŒ|æ|z|-|}};BOOK, Wells, John C., 2008, Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, 3rd, Longman, 978-1-4058-8118-0, BOOK, Roach, Peter, 2011, Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary, 18th, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-15253-2, {{IPA-az|ɑːzæɾbÉ‘jˈdÍ¡Ê’É‘n|}}), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan ( {{IPA-az|ɑːzæɾbÉ‘jˈdÍ¡Ê’É‘n ɾespublikɑˈsɯ|}}), is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia.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 places Azerbaijan in Western Asia; the CIA World Factbook places it mostly in Southwest Asia weblink and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary places it in both; NationalGeographic.com, and Encyclopædia Britannica also place Georgia in Asia. Conversely, some sources place Azerbaijan in Europe such as Worldatlas.com. It is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhchivan is bounded by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, and has an {{cvt|11|km|sing=on}} long border with Turkey in the northwest.The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918 and became the first secular democratic Muslim-majority state. In 1920 the country was incorporated into the Soviet Union as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.BOOK, Pipes, Richard, Richard Pipes, 1997, Cambridge, Massachusetts, The Formation of the Soviet Union: Communism and Nationalism 1917–1923, 218–220, 229, 2nd, Harvard University Press, 978-0-674-30951-7, The modern Republic of Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence on 30 August 1991,BOOK, King, David C., Azerbaijan, 2006, Marshall Cavendish, 27, 978-0761420118, shortly before the dissolution of the USSR in the same year. In September 1991, the Armenian majority of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region seceded to form the Republic of Artsakh.BOOK, Zürcher, Christoph, 2007, The Post-Soviet Wars: Rebellion, Ethnic Conflict, and Nationhood in the Caucasus ([Online-Ausg.]. ed.), New York, New York University Press, 168, 978-0814797099,
The region and seven adjacent districts outside it became de facto independent with the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994. These regions are internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan pending a solution to the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh through negotiations facilitated by the OSCE.
WEB
,weblink
, ru:Резолюция СБ ООН № 822 от 30 апреля 1993 года
, United Nations
, 4 January 2011
, ru
, yes
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110503185041weblink">weblink
, 3 May 2011
, WEB,weblink ru:Резолюция СБ ООН № 853 от 29 июля 1993 года, United Nations, 4 January 2011, ru, WEB
,weblink
, ru:Резолюция СБ ООН № 874 14 октября 1993 года
, United Nations
, 4 January 2011
, ru
, yes
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110503185045weblink">weblink
, 3 May 2011
, WEB
,weblink
, ru:Резолюция СБ ООН № 884 от 12 ноября 1993 года
, United Nations
, 4 January 2011
, ru
, yes
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110503185053weblink">weblink
, 3 May 2011
, Azerbaijan is a unitary semi-presidential republic. It is one of six independent Turkic states and an active member of the Turkic Council and the TÃœRKSOY community. Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries and holds membership in 38 international organizations,WEB
, Azerbaijan: Membership of international groupings/organisations
, British Foreign & Commonwealth Office
,weblink
, 26 May 2007
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070609103711weblink">weblink
, 9 June 2007
, no
, including the United Nations (since 1992), the Council of Europe, the Non-Aligned Movement, the OSCE, and the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. It is one of the founding members of GUAM, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)BOOK, Europa Publications Limited, 1998, Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, 154publisher=Routledge, 978-1-85743-058-5,
and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Azerbaijan also holds observer status in the World Trade Organization.
NEWS, The non-aligned engagement,weblink The Jakarta Post, 26 May 2011, While more than 89% of the population is Shia Muslim,BOOK, Azerbaijan Since Independence, Svante E., Cornell, M.E. Sharpepages=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.,
the Constitution of Azerbaijan does not declare an official religion and all major political forces in the country are secularist. Azerbaijan has a high level of human development that ranks on par with most Eastern European countries.
WEB, Human Development Index and its components, United Nations Development Programme,weblink PDF,
It has a high rate of economic development
NEWS
,weblink
, Interactive Infographic of the World's Best Countries
, Newsweek
, 15 August 2010
, 24 July 2011
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110722070231weblink">weblink
, 22 July 2011
, no
,
and literacy,
WEB,weblink Literacy rate among schoolchildren in Azerbaijan is 100% – UN report, News.Az, 28 October 2011,
as well as a low rate of unemployment.
WEB, Employment statistics in Azerbaijan, The State Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan,weblink 26 May 2007,
However, the ruling party, the New Azerbaijan Party, has been accused of authoritarianism and human rights abuses.WEB, Human Rights Watch: Azerbaijan, Human Rights Watch,weblink 6 March 2014
,

Name

{{further|Atropatene|Caucasian Albania|Aran to Azerbaijan name change}}(File:Azerbaijan Republic map.png|thumb|Azerbaijan and its main cities)According to a modern etymology, the term Azerbaijan derives from that of Atropates,BOOK, Houtsma, M. Th., Martijn Theodoor Houtsma, 1993, First Encyclopaedia of Islam 1913–1936, reprint, BRILL, 978-90-04-09796-4, BOOK, Schippmann, Klaus, 1989, Azerbaijan: Pre-Islamic History, 221–224, Encyclopædia Iranica, 978-0-933273-95-5, a PersianBOOK, Minahan, James, 1998, Miniature Empires: A Historical Dictionary of the Newly Independent States, 20, Greenwood Publishing Group, 978-0-313-30610-5, BOOK, Chamoux, François, 2003, Hellenistic Civilization, 26, John Wiley and Sons, 978-0-631-22241-5, BOOK, Bosworth A.B., Baynham E.J., 2002, Alexander the Great in Fact and fiction, 92, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-925275-6, satrap under the Achaemenid Empire, who was later reinstated as the satrap of Media under Alexander the Great.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.BOOK, Swietochowski, Tadeusz, Tadeusz Swietochowski, 1999, Lanham, Maryland, Historical Dictionary of Azerbaijan, The Scarecrow Press, 978-0-8108-3550-4, 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."BOOK, Darmesteter, James, James Darmesteter, 2004, Avesta Khorda Avesta: Book Of Common Prayer, 93, reprint, Frawardin Yasht,weblink Kessinger Publishing, 978-1-4191-0852-5, 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".WEB, Azerbaijan: Early History: Iranian and Greek Influences, U.S. Library of Congress,weblink 7 June 2006, The Greek name was mentioned by Diodorus Siculus and Strabo. Over the span of millennia, the name evolved to {{transl|pal|Āturpātākān}} (Middle Persian), then to {{transl|fa|Ādharbādhagān}}, {{transl|fa|Ādharbāyagān}}, {{transl|fa|Āzarbāydjān}} (New Persian) and present-day Azerbaijan.The name Azerbaijan was first adopted for the area of the present-day Republic of Azerbaijan by the government of Musavat in 1918,BOOK, Atabaki, Touraj, Touraj Atabaki, Iran and the First World War: Battleground of the Great Powers,weblink 4 September 2006, I.B.Tauris, 978-1-86064-964-6, 132, after the collapse of the Russian Empire, when the independent Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was established. Until then, the designation had been used exclusively to identify the adjacent region of contemporary northwestern Iran,BOOK, Atabaki, Touraj, Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and the Struggle for Power in Iran, 2000, I.B.Tauris, 9781860645549, 25, BOOK, Dekmejian, R. Hrair, Simonian, Hovann H., Troubled Waters: The Geopolitics of the Caspian Region, 2003, I.B. Tauris, 978-1860649226, 60,weblink Until 1918, when the Musavat regime decided to name the newly independent state Azerbaijan, this designation had been used exclusively to identify the Azerbaijan (Iran), Iranian province of Azerbaijan., BOOK, Rezvani, Babak, Ethno-territorial conflict and coexistence in the caucasus, Central Asia and Fereydan: academisch proefschrift, 2014, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 978-9048519286, 356, "The region to the north of the river Araxes was not called Azerbaijan prior to 1918, unlike the region in northwestern Iran that has been called since so long ago.", BOOK, Fragner, B.G., Soviet Nationalism: An Ideological Legacy to the Independent Republics of Central Asia, 2001, I.B. Tauris and Company, 13–32, In the post Islamic sense, Arran and Shirvan are often distinguished, while in the pre-Islamic era, Arran or the western Caucasian Albania roughly corresponds to the modern territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In the Soviet Union, Soviet era, in a breathtaking manipulation, Azerbaijan (Iran), historical 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., while the area of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was formerly referred to as Arran and Shirvan.BOOK,weblink Touraj, Atabaki, Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and the Struggle for Power in Iran, I.B.Tauris, 2000, 8, 9781860645549, On that basis Iran protested the newly adopted country name.BOOK, (...) the Baku and 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) (...), 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, 18,weblink 9781909724839, During the Soviet rule, the country was also spelled in English from the Russian transliteration as Azerbaydzhan ().BOOK,weblink The languages of the Soviet Union, Comrie, Bernard, 1981, Cambridge University Press, 9780521298773, Cambridge [England], 162, 6627395,

History

Antiquity

{{further|Caucasian Albania}}File:Ancient Azerbaijan 4.jpg|thumb|Petroglyphs in Gobustan National Park dating back to the 10th millennium BC indicating a thriving culture. It is a UNESCO World Heritage SiteWorld Heritage SiteThe 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.WEB, Azakov, Siyavush, National report on institutional landscape and research policy Social Sciences and Humanities in Azerbaijan, Institute of Physics, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences,weblink 27 May 2007, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20111116061819weblink">weblink 16 November 2011, dmy-all, 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.{{citation needed|date=May 2018}}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.BOOK, Journey from Tehran to Chicago: My Life in Iran and the United States, and a Brief History of Iran, H. Dizadji, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.C, Trafford Publishing, 2010, 9781426929182, USA, 105, The area was conquered by the Achaemenids leading to the spread of Zoroastrianism.BOOK, Chaumont, M. L., Albania, Encyclopædia Iranica, 1984,weblink Later it became part of Alexander the Great's Empire and its successor, the Seleucid Empire.{{citation needed|date=May 2018}} During this period, Zoroastrianism spread in the Caucasus and Atropatene. Caucasian Albanians, the original inhabitants of northeastern Azerbaijan,{{citation needed|date=May 2018}} ruled that area from around the 4th century BC, and established an independent kingdom.{{citation needed|date=May 2018}}

From the Sasanid period to the Safavid period

{{multiple image
| align = left
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| header = The Maiden Tower and The Palace of the Shirvanshahs in the Old City of Baku is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the 11th–12th century.
| image1 = Qız qalası ümumi 2016.jpg
| alt1 = Maiden Tower
| caption1 =
| width1 = 160
| image2 = ÅžirvanÅŸahlar saray kompleksi.jpg
| alt2 = Palace of the Shirvanshahs
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}}The 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{{Citation needed|date=October 2018}}. Despite Sassanid rule, Albania remained 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 Azerbaijan by 1067.The pre-Turkic population that lived on the territory of modern Azerbaijan spoke several Indo-European and Caucasian languages, among them ArmenianBOOK, Hewsen, Robert H., Salvatico, Christoper C., Armenia: A Historical Atlas, 2001, University of Chicago Press, 9780226332284,weblink en, BOOK, Samuelian, Thomas J., 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., 1982, Scholars Press, 9780891305651,weblink en, BOOK, Hewsen, Robert H., Armenia: a Historical Atlas, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2001, 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. 40,17Hewsen, Robert H. "The Kingdom of Artsakh," in T. Samuelian & M. Stone, eds. Medieval Armenian Culture. Chico, CA, 1983 and an Iranian language, Old Azeri, which was gradually replaced by a Turkic language, the early precursor of the Azerbaijani language of today.BOOK, Yarshater, E., The Iranian Language of Azerbaijan, Encyclopædia Iranica, III/2, 1987,weblink 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.BOOK, Ludwig, Paul, 1998, Cambridge, Proceedings of the Third European Conference of Iranian Studies, 1, Nicholas Sims-Williams (ed.), Wiesbaden: Reichert, 978-3-89500-070-6, BOOK, Roy, Olivier, 2007, The new Central Asia: geopolitics and the birth of nations, 6, reprint, I.B. Tauris,weblink 978-1-84511-552-4,
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 blossoming of Persian literature on the territory of present-day Azerbaijan.
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 emerged: 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,BOOK, R. Ward, Steven, 2009, Immortal: a military history of Iran and its armed forces, 43, Georgetown University Press, 978-1-58901-258-5, BOOK, Malcolm Wagstaff, John, 1985, The evolution of middle eastern landscapes: an outline to A.D. 1840, Part 1840, 205 publisher=Rowman & Littlefield,weblink 978-0-389-20577-7, BOOK, L. Altstadt, Audrey, 1992, The Azerbaijani Turks: power and identity under Russian rule, 5, Hoover Press,weblink 978-0-8179-9182-1,
as they did with the population in what is modern-day Iran.BOOK, Akiner, Shirin, Shirin Akiner, 2004, The Caspian: Politics, Energy and Security, 158, RoutledgeCurzon,weblink 978-0-7007-0501-6, The Safavids allowed the Shirvanshahs to remain in power, under Safavid suzerainty, until 1538, when Safavid king 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 Ottoman-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 Safavid Empire, 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.

Contemporary history

{{see also|Azerbaijan Democratic Republic|Azerbaijan SSR|Operation Edelweiss}}(File:Khanates of the Caucasus in the 18th-19th centuries.png|thumb|left|upright=1.4|Territories of the khanates (and sultanates) in the 18th–19th century)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 autonomyBOOK, Walker, Christopher J., Armenia, the survival of a nation, 1980, Croom Helm, 45,weblink 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 the Caucasus (...), BOOK, Saparov, Arsène, From Conflict to Autonomy in the Caucasus: The Soviet Union and the Making of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno Karabakh, 2014, Routledge, 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 (...), JOURNAL, Kashani-Sabet, Firoozeh, May 1997, Fragile Frontiers: The Diminishing Domains of Qajar Iran, International Journal of Middle East Studies issue=2 url=, In 1795, Ibrahim Khalil Khan, the wali of Qarabagh, warned Sultan Selim III of Aqa 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., 10.1017/s0020743800064473, free, BOOK, Barker, Adele Marie, Grant, Bruce, The Russia Reader: History, Culture, Politics, 2010, Duke University Press, 978-0822346487, 253, 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 death of Nadir Shah in the mid-eighteenth century (...), BOOK, Avery, Peter, Hambly, Gavin, The Cambridge History of Iran edition=, 1991, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-20095-0, 126, Agha 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.,
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.Encyclopedia of Soviet law By Ferdinand Joseph Maria Feldbrugge, Gerard Pieter van den Berg, William B. Simons, Page 457 The khanates exercised control over their affairs via international trade routes between Central Asia and the West.
BOOK, King, Charles, Charles King (professor of international affairs), 2008, The ghost of freedom: a history of the Caucasus, 10publisher = University of Michigan,weblink 978-0-19-517775-6, Thereafter, the area was under the successive rule of the Iranian Zands and Qajars.BOOK, Hacikyan, Agop Jack, Agop Jack Hacikyan, Basmaijan, Gabriel, Franchuk, Edward S., Ouzounian, Nourhan, The Heritage of Armenian Literature: From the eighteenth century to modern times, 2005, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, 978-0814332214, 6, harv, 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 Empire.Gabor Agoston, Bruce Alan Masters. Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire Infobase Publishing, 1 January 2009 {{ISBN|1438110251}} p. 125 Russia now actively tried to gain possession of the Caucasus region which was, for the most part, in the hands of Iran.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Multiple Authors, Caucasus and Iran, Encyclopædia Iranicaurl=http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/caucasus-index, In 1804, the Russians invaded and sacked the Iranian town of Ganja, sparking the Russo-Persian War of 1804–1813.BOOK, Tucker, Spencer C., A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East, 2010, ABC-CLIO, 1035, 978-1851096725, January 1804. (...) Russo-Persian War. Russian invasion of Persia. (...) In January 1804 Russian forces under General Paul Tsitsianov (Sisianoff) invade Persia and storm the citadel of Ganjeh, beginning the Russo-Persian War (1804–1813)., The militarily superior Russians ended the Russo-Persian War of 1804–1813 with a victory.File:Взятии штурмом крепости Гянджи.jpg|thumb|upright|The siege of Ganja Fortress in 1804 during the Russo-Persian War of 1804–1813 by Russian forces under the leadership of General Pavel TsitsianovPavel TsitsianovFollowing 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.Timothy C. Dowling Russia at War: From the Mongol Conquest to Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Beyond pp 728–729 ABC-CLIO, 2 December 2014 {{ISBN|1598849484}}The area to the north of the river Aras, amongst which territory lies the contemporary Republic of Azerbaijan, was Iranian territory until it was occupied by Russia in the 19th century.BOOK, Swietochowski, Tadeusz, Tadeusz Swietochowski, 1995, Russia and Azerbaijan: A Borderland in Transition, 69, 133, Columbia University Press,weblink 978-0-231-07068-3, BOOK, L. Batalden, Sandra, 1997, The Newly Independent States of Eurasia: Handbook of Former Soviet Republics, 98, Greenwood Publishing Group,weblink 978-0-89774-940-4, BOOK, E. Ebel, Robert, Menon, Rajan, 2000, Energy and conflict in Central Asia and the Caucasus, 181, Rowman & Littlefield,weblink 978-0-7425-0063-1, BOOK, Andreeva, Elena, 2010, Russia and Iran in the great game: travelogues and orientalism, 6, reprint, Taylor & Francis,weblink 978-0-415-78153-4, BOOK, Çiçek, Kemal, Kuran, Ercüment, 2000, The Great Ottoman-Turkish Civilisation, University of Michigan,weblink 978-975-6782-18-7, BOOK, Ernest Meyer, Karl, Blair Brysac, Shareen, 2006, Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia, 66, Basic Books,weblink 978-0-465-04576-1, About a decade later, in violation of the Gulistan treaty, the Russians invaded Iran's Erivan Khanate.BOOK, Cronin, Stephanie, Iranian-Russian Encounters: Empires and Revolutions since 1800, 2013, Routledge, 978-0415624336, 63, Perhaps the most important legacy of Yermolov was his intention from early on to prepare the ground for the conquest of the remaining khanates under Iranian rule and to make the River Aras the new border. (...) Another provocative action by Yermolov was the Russian occupation of the northern shore of Lake Gokcha (Sivan) in the Khanate of Iravan in 1825. A clear violation of Golestan, this action was the most significant provocation by the Russian side. The Lake Gokcha occupation clearly showed that it was Russia and not Iran which initiated hostilities and breached Golestan, and that Iran was left with no choice but to come up with a proper response., BOOK, Dowling, Timothy C., Russia at War: From the Mongol Conquest to Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Beyond, 2015, ABC-CLIO, 978-1598849486, 729, In May 1826, Russia therefore occupied Mirak, in the Erivan khanate, in violation of the Treaty of Gulistan., This sparked the final bout of hostilities between the two, the Russo-Persian War of 1826–1828. The resulting Treaty of Turkmenchay, forced Qajar Iran to 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 from 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 Republic.Qajar Iran was forced to cede its Caucasian territories to Russia in 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.Swietochowski, Tadeusz. Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia 2003 Taylor and Francis, 2003. {{ISBN|1857431375}} p. 104 Nevertheless, the number of ethnic Azerbaijanis in Iran far outnumber those in neighbouring Azerbaijan.After the collapse of the Russian Empire during World War I, the short-lived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic was declared, constituting the present-day republics of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia.(File:Ottoman iran azerbaijan.jpg|left|thumb|Iran's official protest, after adoption of the name of Azerbaijan in 1918: "Naming the recently-created state of Caucasus "Azerbaijan", which was created in the aftermath of your (Ottomans) peace with Russia, while there is a province in Iran with the same name, surprised us. The embassy [of Iran] thinks a reconsideration is necessary.")It was followed by the March Days massacresJOURNAL, Smith, Michael, April 2001, Anatomy of Rumor: Murder Scandal, the Musavat Party and Narrative of the Russian Revolution in Baku, 1917–1920, Journal of Contemporary History, 36, 2, 228, 10.1177/002200940103600202, The results of the March events were immediate and total for the Musavat. Several hundreds of its members were killed in the fighting; up to 12,000 Muslim civilians perished; thousands of others fled Baku in a mass exodus, BOOK, Miniature Empires: A Historical Dictionary of the Newly Independent States, Minahan, James B., 978-0-313-30610-5, 22, The tensions and fighting between the Azerbaijanis and the Armenians in the federation culminated in the massacre of some 12,000 Azerbaijanis in Baku by radical Armenians and Bolshevik troops in March 1918, 1998, that took place between 30 March and 2 April 1918 in the city of Baku and adjacent areas of the Baku Governorate of the Russian Empire.WEB,weblink Pamiat' ob utratakh i Azerbaidzhanskoe obshchestvo/Traumatic Loss and Azerbaijani. National Memory, Michael Smith, Azerbaidzhan i Rossiia: obshchestva i gosudarstva (Azerbaijan and Russia: Societies and States), Sakharov Center, 21 August 2011, ru, When the republic dissolved in May 1918, the leading Musavat party declared independence as the Azerbaijan Democratic 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.Schulze, Reinhard. A Modern History of the Islamic World. I.B.Tauris, 2000. {{ISBN|978-1-86064-822-9}}. 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 Baku State University, which was the first modern-type university founded in the Muslim East.BOOK, Kazemzadeh, Firuz, Firuz Kazemzadeh, The Struggle for Transcaucasia: 1917–1921, The New York Philosophical Library, 1951, 978-0-8305-0076-5, 124, 222, 229, 269–270, File:1ST AZ REP.GIF|thumb|left|upright=1.5|Map presented by the delegation of Azerbaijan in the 1919 Paris Peace Conference ]] 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.WEB, Горянин, Александр, ru:Очень черное золото, GlobalRus, 28 August 2003,weblink 28 August 2003,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20030906163920weblink">weblink 6 September 2003, no, ru, WEB, Горянин, Александр, ru:История города Баку. Часть 3., Window2Baku,weblink ru, Independent Azerbaijan lasted only 23 months until the Bolshevik 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.BOOK, Pope, Hugh, 2006, Sons of the conquerors: the rise of the Turkic world, 116, New York, The Overlook Press, 978-1-58567-804-4, 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, Armenia was 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 of the 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 German Wehrmacht targeted Baku because of its importance as the energy (petroleum) dynamo of the USSR. A fifth of all Azerbaijanis fought 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.NEWS,weblinkdate=9 May 2011, "Contact.az"Hero of the Soviet Union>Heroes of the Soviet Union. Azerbaijani Major-General Azi Aslanov was twice awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union.NEWS,weblinkdate=8 May 2010accessdate=8 May 2010,

Independence

File:RedArmy Paratroops Baku 1990.jpg|thumb|Red Army paratroops during the Black JanuaryBlack JanuaryFollowing the politics of glasnost, initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev, civil unrest and ethnic strife grew in various regions of the Soviet Union, including Nagorno-Karabakh,BOOK, Croissant, Michael P., The Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict: causes and implications, United States of America, Praeger Publishers, 1998, 36, 37,weblink 978-0-275-96241-8, 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.NEWS,weblink Human Rights Watch. "Playing the "Communal Card": Communal Violence and Human Rights", Human Rights Watch, 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 Azerbaijan Republic" and restored the flag of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic as the state flag.WEB,weblink Milli Məclisin tarixi. Azərbaycan SSR Ali Soveti (1920–1991-ci illər), The history of Milli Majlis. Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan SSR (1920–1991), 1 December 2010, 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 country now celebrates its Independence Day on 18 October.BOOK,weblink 116, Azerbaijan, David C. King, Marshall Cavendish, 2006, The early years of independence were overshadowed by the Nagorno-Karabakh war with the ethnic Armenian majority of Nagorno-Karabakh backed by Armenia.Full text of the Bishkek Protocol with signatures of representatives of Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Armenia.weblink By the end of the hostilities in 1994, Armenians controlled up to 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh itself.WEB, Azerbaijan,weblink World Factbook, CIA, 2009, 4 June 2009,weblink 10 June 2009, no, Thomas De Waal. Black Garden: Armenia And Azerbaijan Through Peace and War. New York: New York University Press, p. 286. {{ISBN|978-0-8147-1945-9}}. During the war many atrocities were committed including the massacres at Malibeyli and Gushchular, the Garadaghly massacre, the Agdaban and the Khojaly massacres.NEWS,weblink Massacre by Armenians Being Reported, New York Times, 3 March 1992, 9 September 2013, NEWS, Smolowe, Jill,weblink Time, Tragedy Massacre in Khojaly, 16 March 1992, 9 September 2013, Furthermore, an estimated 30,000 people have been killed and more than a million people have been displaced.A Conflict That Can Be Resolved in Time: Nagorno-Karabakh. International Herald Tribune. 29 November 2003. 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."WEB, General Assembly adopts resolution reaffirming territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, demanding withdrawal of all Armenian forces, United Nations General Assembly, 14 March 2008,weblink 14 March 2008, Many Russians and Armenians left Azerbaijan during the 1990s.Southern Caucasus: Facing Integration Problems, Ethnic Russians Long For Better Life. EurasiaNet.org. 30 August 2003. According to the 1970 census, there were 510,000 ethnic Russians and 484,000 Armenians in Azerbaijan."Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979).File:Nagorno-Karabakh Map2.png|thumb|left|Current military situation in separatist Nagorno-KarabakhNagorno-KarabakhIn 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.WEB,weblink Azerbaijan: Rise to power, Encyclopedia of the Nations, 3 October 1993, 22 May 2011,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110610034017weblink">weblink 10 June 2011, no, 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.NEWS, Timeline: Azerbaijan A chronology of key events:, BBC News, 31 March 2011,weblink 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 Azerbaijan's OMON units.NEWS,weblink Azeri rights activist says 35 imprisoned special police unit members very sick, 2 June 2000, BBC Archive, 15 August 2009, NEWS,weblink Azerbaijan Coup Attempt Crushed Caucasus: Loyal forces storm a building and overcome mutinous police units, president reports., 18 March 1995, Los Angeles Times, 15 August 2009, Sonni, Efron, At the same time, the country was tainted by rampant corruption in the governing bureaucracy.NEWS,weblink Aliyev and son keep it in the family, 14 October 2003, BBC News, 14 October 2003, Stephen, Mulvey, 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 corruption.NEWS,weblink Azerbaijan's Geidar Aliev dies at 80, 16 December 2003, ChinaDaily, 13 December 2003,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20031217005135weblink">weblink 17 December 2003, no, Ilham Aliyev, Heydar Aliyev's son, became chairman of the New Azerbaijan Party as well as President of Azerbaijan when his father died in 2003. He was reelected to a third term as president in October 2013.WEB,weblink Nov 2013 – Action against opposition, Keesing's Record of World Events, 59, November 2013, 53026,

Geography

File:Koppen-Geiger Map AZE present.svg|thumb|Köppen-Geiger climate classification map for Azerbaijan.JOURNAL, Beck, Hylke E., Zimmermann, Niklaus E., McVicar, Tim R., Vergopolan, Noemi, Berg, Alexis, Wood, Eric F., Present and future Köppen-Geiger climate classification maps at 1-km resolution, Scientific Data, 30 October 2018, 5, 180214, 10.1038/sdata.2018.214, ]]{{See also|Extreme points of Azerbaijan}}File:Budug Azerbaijan16.jpg|thumb|Caucasus MountainsCaucasus MountainsGeographically, Azerbaijan is located in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia, straddling 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 {{convert|2648|km|0|abbr=on}}, 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.WEB, Geographical data, The State Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan,weblink 26 May 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070525040712weblink">weblink 25 May 2007, no, The coastline stretches for {{convert|800|km|0|abbr=on}}, and the length of the widest area of the Azerbaijani section of the Caspian Sea is {{convert|456|km|0|abbr=on}}. The territory of Azerbaijan extends {{convert|400|km|0|abbr=on}} from north to south, and {{convert|500|km|0|abbr=on}} 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.WEB, Azerbaijan: Biodiversity,weblink Central Asia and Transcaucasus Network on Plant Genetic Resources, 17 February 2017,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120208012911weblink">weblink 8 February 2012, 2003, yes, The highest peak of Azerbaijan is Mount Bazardüzü (4,466 m), while the lowest point lies in the 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.NEWS, Azerbaijan's mud volcanoes on Seven Wonders of Nature shortlist, News.Az,weblink 8 February 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100210062717weblink">weblink 10 February 2010, no, The main water sources are surface waters. However, only 24 of the 8,350 rivers are greater than {{convert|100|km|0|abbr=on}} 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 measures to preserve the environment of Azerbaijan. National protection of the environment accelerated 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 environmental protection.WEB,weblink Ecological problems in Azerbaijan, Enrin.grida.no, 30 June 2010,

Landscape

File:Bazarduzu detail.JPG|thumb|Mount Bazarduzu, the highest peak of Azerbaijan, as seen from Mount ShahdaghMount Shahdagh(File:Azerbajiani landscape - Another version.jpg|thumb|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).WEB,weblink Orography of Azerbaijan, United Nations Environment Programme, 30 June 2010, The formation of climate in Azerbaijan is influenced particularly by cold arctic air masses of Scandinavian anticyclone, temperate air masses of Siberian anticyclone, and Central Asian anticyclone.WEB, Azerbaijan – Climate, Heydar Aliyev Foundation,weblink 26 May 2007, Azerbaijan's diverse landscape affects the ways air masses enter the country. The 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 radiation rates.9 out of 11 existing climate zones are present in Azerbaijan.WEB, Climate, Water Resources of the Azerbaijan Republic, Institute of Hydrometeorology, Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources,weblink 26 May 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070524005453weblink">weblink 24 May 2007, yes, Both the absolute minimum temperature ( {{convert|-33|°C|°F|1|disp=or}} ) and the absolute maximum temperature ( {{convert|46|°C|°F|1|disp=or}} ) were observed in Julfa and Ordubad – regions of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. The maximum annual precipitation falls in Lankaran ({{convert|1600|to|1800|mm|abbr=on|disp=or}}) and the minimum in Absheron ({{convert|200|to|350|mm|abbr=on|disp=or}}).File:Murov mountain in Azerbaijan-Caucasus3.jpg|thumb|left|Murovdag is the highest mountain range in the Lesser CaucasusLesser CaucasusRivers 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, Azerbaijan is below the average in the world with approximately {{convert|100000|m3|0|abbr=off}} 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.WEB, Azerbaijan: Geography, Central Asia and Caucasus Institute,weblink 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 Lankaran lowlands.Yanar Dag, translated as "burning mountain", is a natural gas fire which blazes continuously on a hillside on the Absheron Peninsula on the 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 Baku area.

Biodiversity

{{Further|Fauna of Azerbaijan|Flora of Azerbaijan}}File:Stamp of Azerbaijan 750.jpg|thumb|The Karabakh horseKarabakh horseThe 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 of 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 of 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.WEB, The Karabakh Horse, Karabakh Foundation,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101013010330weblink">weblink 13 October 2010, dmy-all, 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.WEB,weblink Azerbaijan – Flora, Heydar Aliyev Foundation, 5 March 2010, About 67 percent of the species growing in the whole Caucasus can be found in Azerbaijan.

Politics

{{See also|Elections in Azerbaijan|Human rights in Azerbaijan}}(File:Gobierno de Azerbaiyán, Baku, Azerbaiyán, 2016-09-26, DD 27.jpg|thumb|Government building)File:Munich Security Conference 2010 - dett aliyew 0014.jpg|upright|thumb|The son of former President Heydar Aliyev, Ilham AliyevIlham AliyevThe 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 Azerbaijan 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 Constitution of Azerbaijan states that it is a presidential republic with three branches of power – Executive, Legislative and Judicial. The legislative power is held by the unicameral National Assembly and the Supreme National Assembly in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. The Parliament of Azerbaijan, called Milli Majlis, consists of 125 deputies and elected based on majority voting system, with a term of 5 years for each elected member. The elections are held every five years, on the first Sunday of November. The Parliament is not responsible for formation of the government, but the Constitution requires approval of the Cabinet of Ministers by Milli Majlis(Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic, Articles 104-107). 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.NEWS, Monitors criticize Azerbaijani elections, Al Jazeera,weblink 8 November 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101111072636weblink">weblink 11 November 2010, no, 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. The 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, reflecting the particular features and the course of development towards ensuring the independence and quality of the judiciary in a new democracy.WEB,weblink Efficiency of justice – CEPEJ – European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) – Report requested by the Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan – Assessment of policy and procedures for the selection of judges in Azerbaijan – prepared by Mr Audun Hognes BERG, Head of International Secretariat, Norwegian Courts Administration, CEPEJ Bureau member and Ms Ivana GORANIĆ, Director of the Judicial Academy, Republic of Croatia, Representative of the Lisbon Network to the CEPEJ, CEPEJ, Council of Europe, Human Rights and Rule of Law, Efficiency of justice -, wcd.coe.int, 14 March 2017, JOURNAL, Jean, Jean – Paul, 2015, High quality justice for all member states of the Council of Europe,weblink Council of Europe, 119, Azerbaijan's system of governance nominally can be called two-tiered. The top or highest tier of the government is the Executive Power headed by President. The President appoints the Cabinet of Ministers and other high-ranking officials. The Local Executive Authority is merely continuation of Executive Power. The legal status of local state administration in Azerbaijan is determined by the Provision on Local Executive Authority (Yerli Icra Hakimiyati), adopted 16 June 1999. In June 2012, the President approved the new Regulation, which granted additional powers to Local Executive Authorities, strengthening their dominant position in Azerbaijan's local affairsWEB, Azərbaycan Prezidentinin Rəsmi internet səhifəsi,weblink president.az, az, Chapter 9 of the Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic addresses major issues of local self-government, such as the legal status of municipalities, types of local self-government bodies, their basic powers and relationships to other official entities. The other nominal tier of governance is municipalities (Bələdiyə) and members of municipalities are elected by general vote in Municipal elections every five years. Currently there are 1,607 municipalities across the country. The Law on Municipal Elections and the Law on the Status of Municipalities were the first to be adopted in the field of local government (2 July 1999). The Law on Municipal Service regulates the activities of municipal employees, their rights, duties, labor conditions and social benefits, and outlines the structure of the executive apparatus and the organization of municipal service. The Law on the Status of Municipalities regulates the role and structure of municipal bodies and outlines state guarantees of legal and financial autonomy. The law pays special attention to the adoption and execution of municipal programs concerning social protection, social and economic development and the local environment.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.Although 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.WEB, Azerbaijan – Freedom House, FreedomHouse.org,weblink 4 August 2013, WEB, Combined Average Ratings: Independent Countries 2009, FreedomHouse.org, 2009,weblink 10 July 2012, {{dead link|date=December 2017 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} 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."Jailed without trial in Azerbaijan," The Washington Post. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2015. A resolution adopted by the European Parliament in September 2015 described Azerbaijan as "having suffered the greatest decline in democratic governance in all of Eurasia over the past ten years," noting as well that its dialogue with the country on human rights has "not made any substantial progress.""No, this is the truth about Azerbaijan's repression." The Washington Post. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2015. On 17 March 2016, the President of Azerbaijan signed a decree pardoning more than a dozen of the persons regarded as political prisoners by some NGOs.Azərbaycan Prezidentinin Rəsmi internet səhifəsi – SƏNƏDLƏR » Sərəncamlar Məhkum edilmiş bir sıra şəxslərin əfv olunması haqqında Azərbaycan Respublikası Prezidentinin Sərəncamı. President.az. Retrieved on 1 July 2017. This decree was welcomed as a positive step by the US State Department.Release of Activists, Journalists, and Political Party Members in Azerbaijan. 2009–2017.state.gov. Retrieved on 1 July 2017. On 16 March 2017 another pardon decree was signed, which led to the release of additional persons regarded as political prisoners.Azərbaycan Prezidentinin Rəsmi internet səhifəsi – SƏNƏDLƏR » Sərəncamlar Məhkum edilmiş bir sıra şəxslərin əfv olunması haqqında Azərbaycan Respublikası Prezidentinin Sərəncamı. President.az. Retrieved on 1 July 2017.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.WEB, DISGRACED: Azerbaijan and the End of Election Monitoring As We Know It,weblink European Stability Initiative, 5 November 2013, NEWS,weblink Plush hotels and caviar diplomacy: how Azerbaijan's elite wooed MPs, Jamie Doward, the Guardian, 4 July 2015, NEWS,weblink Europe's caviar diplomacy with Azerbaijan must end, 4 July 2015, NEWS,weblink Baku Smooths Over Its Rights Record with a Thick Layer of Caviar, RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, 4 July 2015, However, on 6 March 2017, ESISC (European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center) published a report called "The Armenian Connection", in which it attacked human rights NGOs and research organisations criticising human rights violations and corruption in Azerbaijan.ESISC in that report asserted that the "Caviar diplomacy" report elaborated by ESI aimed to create a 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.WEB,weblink The Armenian Connection: How a secret caucus of MPs and NGOs, since 2012, created a network within the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to hide violations of international law, www.esisc.org, 26 April 2017, WEB,weblink The Armenian Connection. Chapter 2: " Mr X ", Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, www.esisc.org, 26 April 2017, According to Robert Coalson (Radio Free Europe), ESISC is a part of Baku's lobbying efforts to extend the use of front think tanks to shift public opinion.Baku Smooths Over Its Rights Record With A Thick Layer Of Caviar Radio Free Europe, November 08, 2013 Freedom Files Analytical Centre said that "The report is written in the worst traditions of authoritarian propaganda".[https:civicsolidarity.org/sites/default/files/az_lobbying_corruption_report_10_march_2017_public_version_color_1.pdf AN EXPLORATION INTO AZERBAIJAN'S SOPHISTICATED SYSTEM OF PROJECTING ITS INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE, BUYING WESTERN POLITICIANS AND CAPTURING INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS] // Freedom Files Analytical Centre (Civic Solidarity Platform), March 2017

Foreign relations

{{See also|Azerbaijan and the European Union}}File:Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meet with Ilham Aliyev.jpg|thumb|President İlham Aliyev with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip ErdoğanRecep Tayyip ErdoğanThe short-lived Azerbaijan Democratic Republic succeeded in establishing diplomatic relations with six countries, sending diplomatic representatives to Germany and Finland.WEB, Azerbaijan – Foreign Relations, Country Studies,weblink 31 May 2007, The process of international recognition of Azerbaijan's independence from the collapsing Soviet Union lasted roughly one year. The most recent country to recognize Azerbaijan was Bahrain, on 6 November 1996.WEB, Bilateral relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,weblink 27 May 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070504074309weblink">weblink 4 May 2007, no, Full diplomatic relations, including mutual exchanges of missions, were first established with Turkey, Pakistan, the United States, Iran and Israel.WEB,weblink 15th Anniversary of Israel-Azebraijan Diplomatic Relations, 21 March 2008, Lenk, Arthur, 7 March 2007, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, Azerbaijan has placed a particular emphasis on its "special relationship" with Turkey.NEWS, Kardas, Saban, Turkey Develops Special Relationship with Azerbaijan,weblink Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume, 23 December 2010, WEB, Katik, Mevlut, Azerbaijan and Turkey Coordinate Nagorno-Karabakh Negotiation Position,weblink EurasiaNet, 23 December 2010, 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 by the United Nations General Assembly. The term of office began on 19 June 2006.WEB
,weblink
, Elections & Appointments – Human Rights Council
, United Nations
, 3 January 2009
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20081220224503weblink">weblink
, 20 December 2008
, no, Azerbaijan for the first time elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2011 with the support of 155 countries.
File:Ilham Aliyev met with Russian President Vladimir Putin 02.jpg|thumb|Ilham Aliyev met with Russian president Vladimir PutinVladimir PutinForeign 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 of Azerbaijan surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh;NEWS, Selim Özertem, Hasan, Independence of Kosovo and the Nagorno-Karabakh Issue, TurkishWeekly,weblink 24 April 2008, 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.WEB, National Security Concept of the Republic of Azerbaijan, United Nations, 23 May 2007,weblink 23 May 2007, 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 military budget.NEWS, Botelho, Greg, Tuysuz, Gul, 18 Armenian, 12 Azerbaijani troops killed in fighting,weblink CNN, 3 April 2016, Azerbaijan is an active member of international coalitions fighting international terrorism. Azerbaijan was one of the first countries to offer support after the September 11 attacks.WEB, Rex Tillerson affirms US support for Azerbaijan's efforts to diversify its economy,weblink 14 April 2017, en, 29 March 2017, 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.

Administrative divisions

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.WEB,weblink The State Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Administrative and territorial units of Azerbaijan Republic, Azstat.org, 22 May 2011,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110512043157weblink">weblink 12 May 2011, no, Moreover, Azerbaijan includes the Autonomous Republic (muxtar respublika) of Nakhchivan. The President of Azerbaijan appoints the governors of these units, while the government of Nakhchivan is elected and approved by the parliament of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.{{col-begin-small}}{{col-5}}
Absheron Economic Region


Aran Economic Region


Daglig-Shirvan
{{col-5}}
Ganja-Gazakh


Guba-Khachmaz


Kalbajar-Lachin


Lankaran
{{col-5}}

Nakhchivan


Shaki-Zaqatala


Yukhari-Garabakh
{{col-5}}(File:Azerbaijan economic regions.png|thumb|upright=1.8|right| Azerbaijan is divided into 10 economic regions.){{col-end}}Note: The cities under the direct authority of the republic in italics.

Largest cities

{{Largest cities of Azerbaijan}}

Military

File:Azeri navy in port.jpg|left|thumb|Azerbaijani NavyAzerbaijani NavyThe history of the modern Azerbaijan army dates back to Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918, when the National Army of the newly formed Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was created on 26 June 1918.Azerbaijan: Short History of Statehood {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20070718172824weblink |date=18 July 2007 }}, Embassy of Republic of Azerbaijan in Pakistan, 2005, Chapter 3.Creation of National Army in 1918 {{ru icon}}. When Azerbaijan gained independence after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan were created according to the Law on the Armed Forces of 9 October 1991.Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Armed Forces, No. 210-XII, 9 October 1991 {{ru icon}}. The original date of the establishment of the short-lived National Army is celebrated as Army Day (26 June) in today's Azerbaijan.Azerbaijan's Army Day (26 June){{dead link|date=November 2017 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} declared by Presidential Decree of 22 May 1998.As of 2002, Azerbaijan had 95,000 active personnel in its armed forces. There are also 17,000 paramilitary troops.C. W. Blandy Azerbaijan: Is War Over Nagornyy Karabakh a Realistic Option? Advanced Research and Assessment Group. Caucasus Series 08/17. – Defense Academy of the United Kingdom, 2008, p.12 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 Coast Guard as well. The Azerbaijan National Guard is a further paramilitary force. It operates as a semi-independent entity of the Special State Protection Service, an agency subordinate to the President.WEB,weblink ru:Выступление Президента Азербайджанской Республики, Верховного Главнокомандующего Гейдара Алиева на церемонии, посвященной 5-й годовщине образования Национальной гвардии – Штаб Национальной гвардии Азербайджана, Heydar Aliyev Heritage Research Center, 25 December 1996, ru, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110724235004weblink">weblink 24 July 2011, File:Парад в честь 70-летия Великой Победы - 33.jpg|thumb|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 treaties. Azerbaijan closely cooperates with NATO in programs such as Partnership for Peace and Individual Partnership Action Plan. Azerbaijan has deployed 151 of its Peacekeeping Forces in Iraq and another 184 in Afghanistan.WEB, Abbasov, Shahin, Azerbaijan: Baku Can Leapfrog over Ukraine, Georgia for NATO Membership, EurasiaNet,weblink 3 June 2009,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090606053322weblink">weblink 6 June 2009, no, The defense budget of Azerbaijan for 2011 was set at US$3.1 billion.NEWS, Владимир Мухин,weblink Карабахский детонатор на взводе – Ð’ Баку и Ереване все четче звучит воинственная риторика, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 24 January 2011, 22 May 2011,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110514041854weblink">weblink 14 May 2011, no, 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.NEWS,weblink Russia's neighbors are preparing for war (CIS countries and Georgia has surprised the world of increasing military expenditures), Gruzianews.ru, 22 February 2011, 15 October 2013,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131015070615weblink">weblink 15 October 2013, yes, dmy-all, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on 26 June 2011 that the defence spending reached $3.3 billion that year.WEB,weblink AFP: Azerbaijan warns Armenia with show of military might, 26 June 2011, 15 October 2013, Azerbaijan's defense budget for 2013 is $3.7 billion.NEWS, Eastern approaches Ex-communist Europe,weblink The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: A festering sore, The Economist, 3 October 2013, 15 October 2013, NEWS,weblink Baku says Armenian president still hypocrite before world community, News.Az, 15 October 2013, Azerbaijani defense industry manufactures small arms, artillery systems, tanks, armors and noctovision devices, aviation bombs, pilotless vehicles, various military vehicles and military planes and helicopters.WEB, Azerbaijan to start manufacturing arms, military hardware in 2008, BBC Monitoring Service,weblink 26 January 2008, NEWS, Azerbaijan to produce tanks, aviation bombs and pilotless vehicles in 2009, panarmenian,weblink 24 December 2008,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090109213303weblink">weblink 9 January 2009, no, NEWS, Uzeir Jafarov: "Azerbaijan will be unable to produce competitive military technique in the next five years", Today.Az,weblink 26 September 2008, NEWS, President Ilham Aliyev attends the openings of several defense-related facilities, Today.Az,weblink 4 March 2011,

Economy

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, and the Asian Development Bank.WEB
, Azerbaijan – General Information
, Heydar Aliyev Foundation
,weblink
, 22 May 2007
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070505020428weblink">weblink
, 5 May 2007
, no
,
The banking system of Azerbaijan consists 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%.WEB, Azerbaijan's Q1 inflation rate 16.6%, National Bank Chief says, Today.Az,weblink 29 May 2007,
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.WEB, Mehdizade, Sevinj, Azerbaijan's New Manats: Design and Transition to a New Currency, Azerbaijan International,weblink WEB, Ismayilov, Rovshan, Azerbaijan's Manat Makeover: Good Times Ahead?,weblink EurasiaNet, 7 December 2010, In 2008, Azerbaijan was cited as one of the top 10 reformers by the World Bank's Doing Business Report.WEB
,weblink
, Top 10 reformers from Doing Business 2009
, 28 September 2008
, World Bank Group
, Doing Business
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080912213246weblink">weblink
, 12 September 2008
, no
, Azerbaijan is also ranked 57th in the Global Competitiveness Report for 2010–2011, above other CIS countries.WEB
,weblink
, World Economic Forum – The Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011
, PDF
, 4 January 2011
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101206104835weblink">weblinkdocsWEF_GlobalCompetitivenessReport_2010-11.pdf
, 6 December 2010
, no
,
By 2012 the GDP of Azerbaijan had increased 20-fold from to its 1995 level.Bibliothek der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung,weblink
According to World Bank's Doing Business report 2019, Azerbaijan improved its position in the Ease of doing business rank from 57 to 25.BOOK,weblink Doing Business 2019, World Bank, World Bank Publications, 2018, 1464813264, 5, 11, 13, WEB,weblink Doing Business 2019: A Year of Record Reforms, Rising Influence, World Bank, en, 2 November 2018, WEB,weblink Vie des affaires : la France perd encore du terrain - Les Echos, RICHARD HIAULT, www.lesechos.fr, fr, 2 November 2018, BOOK,weblink Doing Business 2018, World Bank, World Bank Publications, 2017, 1464811474, 4, As a result of implementing a record number of reforms mainly involving institutional changes among the 10 top improvers, to do business in Azerbaijan became easier, such as time and cost to get construction permit reduced significantly (time by 80 days and cost by 12.563 AZN), process of connecting electricity grid rationalized, as well as getting credit simplified.

Energy

{{further|Petroleum industry in Azerbaijan}}
File:Oil pump in Baku.jpg|thumb|A pumping unit for the mechanical extraction of oil on the outskirts of Baku]]Two-thirds of Azerbaijan is rich in oil and natural gas.WEB
, Azerbaijan – General Information
, Heydar Aliyev Foundation
,weblink
, 22 May 2007
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070528033940weblink">weblink
, 28 May 2007
, no
, The history of the oil industry of Azerbaijan dates back to the ancient period. Arabian historian and traveler Ahmed Al-Belaruri discussed the economy of the Absheron peninsula in anntiquity, mentioning its oil in particular.WEB,weblink HISTORY OF DEVELOPMENT OF OIL INDUSTRY, There are lots of pipelines in Azerbaijan.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 Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and 13 oil companies, among them Amoco, BP, ExxonMobil, Lukoil and Equinor. As Western oil companies are able to tap deepwater oilfields untouched by the Soviet exploitation, Azerbaijan is considered one of the most important spots in the world for oil exploration and development.WEB
, Azerbaijan: Economy
, globalEDGE
,weblink
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071012194537weblink">weblink
, yes
, 12 October 2007
, 29 May 2007
, Meanwhile, the 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.WEB
,weblink
, SOCAR plans to completed full gasification of Azerbaijan only by 2021
, Azerbaijan Business Center
, 6 June 2010
, yes
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20111003221052weblink">weblink
, 3 October 2011
, 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 gas to Turkey and Europe.Azerbaijan extended the agreement on development of ACG until 2050 according to the amended PSA signed on 14 September 2017 by SOCAR and co-venturers (BP, Chevron, INPEX, Equinor, ExxonMobil, TP, ITOCHU and ONGC Videsh).WEB,weblink The Azerbaijan government and co-venturers sign amended and restated Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli PSA {{!, Press releases {{!}} Media {{!}} BP|last=|first=|date=|website=bp.com|language=en|access-date=21 September 2017}}

Agriculture

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.WEB
, Natural resources
, The State Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan
,weblink
, 26 May 2007
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070610085820weblink">weblink
, 10 June 2007
, yes
,
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.
WEB
, Azerbaijan: Status of Database
, Central Asia and Caucasus Institute
,weblink
, 28 May 2007
, yes
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070320100930weblink">weblink
, 20 March 2007
,
In some areas it is profitable to grow grain, potatoes, sugar beets, cotton
WEB,weblink Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor – Azerbaijan, 4 July 2015,
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.
WEB
, Azerbaijan: Transportation
, Encyclopedia of the Nations
,weblink
, 24 May 2007
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070418210415weblink">weblink
, 18 April 2007
, no
, 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 Coating Azerbaijan.WEB
, Industry
, Statistical Yearbook of Azerbaijan 2004
,weblink
, 26 May 2007
, PDF
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070202100114weblink">weblink
, 2 February 2007
, yes
,

Tourism

File:Shahdag01.jpg|thumb|Shahdag Mountain ResortShahdag Mountain ResortTourism 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 destination.WEB,weblink Rapid Tourism Assessment for the Azerbaijan Tourism Sector Development Program – Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), 9 September 2013, 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.Azərbaycan Qarabağın turizm imkanlarını təbliğ edir {{az icon}} In the recent years, Azerbaijan has also become a popular destination for religious, spa, and health care tourism.WEB, Ismayilov, Rovshan, Azerbaijan: Baku Boom Has Yet to Hit Regions, EurasiaNet,weblink 12 August 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070819211953weblink">weblink 19 August 2007, no, During winter, the Shahdag Mountain Resort offers skiing with state of the art facilities.The government of Azerbaijan has set the development of Azerbaijan as 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.WEB,weblink Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan: Goals, Tourism.az, 6 February 2004, 4 January 2011,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101128233315weblink">weblink 28 November 2010, no, These activities are regulated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan.There are 63 countries which have visa-free score.Global Passport Power Rank | Passport Index 2017. Passportindex.org. Retrieved on 1 July 2017.E-visaHome Page | The Electronic Visa System of Azerbaijan Republic. Evisa.gov.az. Retrieved on 1 July 2017. – for a visit of foreigners of visa-required countries to the Republic of Azerbaijan.According to Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015 of the World Economic Forum, Azerbaijan holds 84th place.Crotti, Robert and Misrahi, Tiffany(2015) Chapter 1.1 "The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index 2015: T&T as a Resilient Contribution to National Development" in The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index 2015. World Economic ForumAccording to a report by the World Travel and Tourism Council, Azerbaijan was among the top ten countries showing the strongest growth in visitor exports between 2010 and 2016,WEB,weblink Research, 2017, www.wttc.org, PDF, In addition, Azerbaijan placed first (46.1%) among countries with the fastest-developing travel and tourism economies, with strong indicators for inbound international visitor spending last year.WEB,weblink Where's hot? This summer's most popular holiday spots, Katie, Hope, 19 July 2017, www.bbc.com,

Transportation

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.WEB, Ziyadov, Taleh, The New Silk Roads, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Silk Road Studies Program,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130725084438weblink">weblink 25 July 2013, The transport sector in the country includes roads, railways, aviation, and maritime transport.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.JOURNAL, Zeyno Baran, Zeyno Baran, The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline: Implications for Turkey,weblink The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline: Oil Window to the West, 103–118, PDF, 2005, 30 December 2007, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080227022300weblink">weblink 27 February 2008, The 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.PRESS RELEASE, SCP Commissioning Commences, BP,weblink 1 June 2006, 4 June 2008, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071011104709weblink">weblink 11 October 2007, 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.WEB,weblink List of Contracting Parties to the Convention on Road Traffic, UN Economic Commission for Europe, 23 January 2010, yes,weblink 23 May 2011, Priorities are upgrading the transport network and improving transportation services in order to better facilitate the development of other sectors of the economy.The 2012 construction of Kars–Tbilisi–Baku railway was meant to improve transportation between Asia and Europe by connecting the railways of China and Kazakhstan in the east to the European railway system in the west via Turkey. In 2010 Broad-gauge railways and electrified railways stretched for {{convert|2918|km|0|abbr=on}} and {{convert|1278|km|0|abbr=on}} respectively. By 2010, there were 35 airports and one heliport.

Science and technology

File:Shamakhi observatory.jpg|thumb|Shamakhi Astrophysical ObservatoryShamakhi Astrophysical ObservatoryIn 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 to those from oil production.NEWS, Azerbaijan aims for hi-tech state,weblink Euronews, 19 December 2010, 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.WEB, Azerbaijan is in TOP 10 of countries showing dynamic growth in Internet and mobile communications penetration,weblink bakutel.az, 15 April 2013, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130507054828weblink">weblink 7 May 2013, 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}}, there were 1,397,000 main telephone linesCIA.gov, CIA World Factbook Telephones – main lines in use, Azerbaijan 1,397,000 main lines and 1,485,000 internet users.CIA.gov, CIA World Factbook Internet users, Azerbaijan Internet users: 1,485,000. There are four GSM providers: Azercell, Bakcell, Azerfon (Nar Mobile), Nakhtel 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.NEWS, Azerbaijani scientist invents earthquake-resistant building, News.Az,weblink 18 March 2011, WEB, International Station for the Forecasting of Earthquakes Atropatena-AZ3, Baku, Azerbaijan, Global Network for the Forecasting of Earthquakes,weblink NEWS, ru:Азербайджанский ученый изобрел метод оповещения о землетрясении, BlackSea News,weblink 29 March 2011, ru, The Azerbaijan National Aerospace Agency launched its first satellite AzerSat 1 into orbit on 7 February 2013 from Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana at orbital positions 46° East.NEWS, Arianespace signs deal to launch Azerbaijani satellite,weblink News.Az, 5 November 2010,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101108155851weblink">weblink 8 November 2010, no, WEB, Azerbaijan signs deal with Arianespace to launch satellite,weblink Space Travel, 5 November 2010,weblink" title="archive.today/20101106142156weblink">weblink 6 November 2010, no, WEB,weblink Orbital Contracted to Build Azerbaijan's First Satellite, SatelliteToday, 28 November 2010, 1 April 2011,weblink" title="archive.today/20110510101859weblink">weblink 10 May 2011, no, The satellite covers Europe and a significant part of Asia and Africa and serves the transmission of TV and radio broadcasting as well as the Internet.NEWS,weblink Baku developing satellite to kick off national space program, Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review, 3 December 2009, 4 January 2011, The launching of a satellite into orbit is Azerbaijan's first step in realizing its goal of becoming a nation with its own space industry, capable of successfully implementing more projects in the future.NEWS,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110511074234weblink">weblink 11 May 2011,weblink Meeting held to coordinate orbital slots for Azersat, News.Az, 16 November 2009, 18 March 2016, NEWS, Азербайджан рассчитывает запустить спутник связи AzerSat, ComNews,weblink 29 July 2009, ru,

Demographics

{{further|Ethnic minorities in Azerbaijan}}(File:Bevölkerungspyramide Aserbaidschan 2016.png|thumb|Population pyramid){{as of|2019|January|df=|lc=|since=}}, 52.8% of Azerbaijan's total population of 9,981,457 is urban, with the remaining 47.2% being rural. 50.1% of the total population is female. The sex ratio in the same year was 0.99 males per female.WEB,weblink Azərbaycanda demoqrafik vəziyyət, State Statistical Committee of Azerbaijan, az, 2019-02-28, The 2011 population growth-rate was 0.85%, compared to 1.09% worldwide. A significant factor restricting population growth is a high level of migration. In 2011 Azerbaijan saw a migration of −1.14/1,000 people.The Azerbaijani diaspora is found in 42 countriesWEB, Xaricdəki təşkilatlar, State Committee on Work with Diaspora,weblink 25 May 2007, Az, 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", Azerbaijani-Tatar community, Crimean Tatars society, etc.WEB, Ethnic minorities, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,weblink 27 May 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070417093650weblink">weblink 17 April 2007, no,

Ethnic groups{| class"wikitable infobox" style"float:right; margin-left:1em;"

! style="background:#f99;" colspan="2"|Ethnic composition (2009)Azerbaijani people>Azerbaijani91.60%Lezgian people>Lezgian2.02%Armenians in Azerbaijan>Armenian1.35%Russians in Azerbaijan>Russian1.34%Talysh people>Talysh1.26%|2.43%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%.Iranian Azerbaijanis are by far the largest minority in Iran. The number of ethnic Azerbaijanis in Iran furthermore far outnumber those in neighboring Azerbaijan. The CIA World Factbook estimates Iranian Azerbaijanis as constituting at least 16% of Iran's population.CIA – The World Factbook. CIA.gov {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20120203093100weblink |date=3 February 2012 }} "Iran".

Urbanization

In total, Azerbaijan has 78 cities, 63 city districts, and one special legal status city. These are followed by 261 urban-type settlements and 4248 villages.Azərbaycanın əhalisi | Azərbaycan Respublikasının Dövlət Statistika Komitəsi. Stat.gov.az. Retrieved on 1 July 2017.

Languages

The official language is Azerbaijani, which is a Turkic language. Azerbaijani is spoken by approximately 92% of the population as a mother tongue.Population by language, sex and urban/rural residence, UN Data. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 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.{{citation needed|date=August 2016}} There are a dozen other minority languages spoken natively in the country.WEB,weblink Ethnologue report for Azerbaijan, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 3 January 2009,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20081218031424weblink">weblink 18 December 2008, no, Avar, Budukh,WEB,weblink Endangered languages in Europe and North Asia, 4 July 2015, 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.Clifton, John M., editor. 2002 (vol 1.), 2003 (vol. 2). Studies in languages of Azerbaijan. Baku, Azerbaijan and Saint Petersburg, Russia: Institute of International Relations, Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan and North Eurasian Group, SIL International. Armenian is almost exclusively spoken in the break-away Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Religion

{{Bar boxPUBLISHER=GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITYDATE=JULY 2012ARCHIVE-DATE=17 JULY 2015, yes, | titlebar=#ddd| float=right| bars={{Bar percent|Islam|green|97.4}}{{Bar percent|Christianity|blue|1.1}}{{Bar percent|None|yellow|1.0}}{{Bar percent|Others|grey|0.5}}}}File:Bibi Heybat Mosque Baku 1.jpg|thumb|left|The Bibi-Heybat Mosque in Baku. The mosque is built over the tomb of a descendant of MuhammadMuhammadAround 97% of the population are Muslims.WEB,weblink Mapping The Global Muslim Population, PDF, 22 May 2011,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110519092435weblink">weblink 19 May 2011, yes, 85% of the Muslims are Shia Muslims and 15% Sunni Muslims,Administrative Department of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan – Presidential Library – Religion. (PDF) . Retrieved on 1 July 2017. and the Republic of Azerbaijan has the second highest Shia population percentage in the world.Mapping the Global Muslim Population | Pew Research Center. Pewforum.org (7 October 2009). Retrieved on 1 July 2017. 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.GALLUP – What Alabamians and Iranians Have in Common – data accessed on 19 August 2014Of the nation's religious minorities, the estimated 280,000 Christians (3.1%)WEB,weblink Global Christianity, 1 December 2014, Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project, 4 July 2015, 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.WEB, Catholic Church in Azerbaijan, Catholic-Hierarchy,weblink 27 May 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070429114809weblink">weblink 29 April 2007, no, Other Christian denominations as of 2002 include Lutherans, Baptists and Molokans.WEB, Corley, Felix, Azerbaijan: 125 religious groups re-registered, Keston News Service, 9 March 2002,weblink 9 April 2002,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110724052726weblink">weblink 24 July 2011, yes, dmy-all, There is also a small Protestant community.NEWS,weblink 5,000 Azerbaijanis adopted Christianity, Day.az, 7 July 2007, Russian, 30 January 2012, NEWS,weblink Christian Missionaries Becoming Active in Azerbaijan, Tehran Radio, 19 June 2011, Azerbaijani, 12 August 2012,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140219223500weblink">weblink 19 February 2014, yes, Azerbaijan also has an ancient Jewish population with a 2,000-year history; Jewish organizations estimate that 12,000 Jews remain in Azerbaijan.NEWS, Rothholz, Peter, Jewish Life in Azerbaijan Embodies Muslim-Majority Nation's Culture of Tolerance,weblink JNS.org, BreakingIsraelNews, 20 November 2015, bot: unknown,weblink 21 November 2015, NEWS, Baku gives land for Jewish cultural center, kosher restaurant,weblink Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 11 December 2013, MAGAZINE, Allen-Ebrahimian, Bethany, How I Accidentally Became a Lobbyist for Azerbaijan,weblink Foreign Policy, WEB, Sloame, Joanna, Azerbaijan,weblink Jewish Virtual Library, American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 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 report on the matter mentions detention of members of certain Muslim and Christian groups, and many groups have difficulty registering with the SCWRA.Azerbaijan. state.gov

Education

File:Dunya1.jpg|thumb|right|Classroom in Dunya School ]]A relatively high percentage of Azerbaijanis have obtained some form of higher education, most notably in scientific and technical subjects.WEB, Azerbaijan: A Country Study, Education, Health, and Welfare, Country Studies,weblink 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.WEB, Human Development Report 2009, United Nations Development Program 2009,weblink PDF, 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.WEB, Education in Azerbaijan, The Challenges of Transition, Azerbaijan International,weblink 12 March 2016, 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 compulsory.

Culture

{{see also|UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in Azerbaijan}}{{multiple image
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}}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.WEB, Waters, Zena, What exactly is Novruz Bayram, Azerbaijan Today,weblink 22 March 2009, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110514214646weblink">weblink 14 May 2011, dmy-all, 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 Tat. In 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

File:Üzeyir Hacıbəyov6.gif|thumb|left|upright|Uzeyir Hajibeyov merged traditional Azerbaijani musicAzerbaijani musicMusic of Azerbaijan builds on folk traditions that reach back nearly a thousand years.David C. King. Azerbaijan, Marshall Cavendish, 2006, p. 94 For centuries Azerbaijani music has evolved under the badge of monody, producing rhythmically diverse melodies.Энциклопедический музыкальный словарь, 2-е изд., Москва, 1966 (Encyclopedical Music Dictionary (1966), 2nd ed., Moscow) 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.WEB, The Azerbaijan musical instruments, Atlas.musigi-dunya.az,weblink 27 May 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070826153640weblink">weblink 26 August 2007, yes, According to The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, "in terms of ethnicity, culture and religion the Azerbaijani are musically much closer to Iran than Turkey."ENCYCLOPEDIA, During, Jean, Azerbaijan, The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2001, Macmillan, 978-0-333-23111-1, File:Azerbaijani mugam trio in XVI century miniature of Nizami Ganjavi's Khosrow and Shirin.JPG|thumb|The Azerbaijani Mugam, a UNESCO Masterpiece of Intangible Heritage of Humanity 16th-century miniature of Nizami Ganjavi's Khosrow and ShirinKhosrow and ShirinMugham, meykhana and ashiq art are among the many musical traditions of Azerbaijan. 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 of jazz.WEB, Duncan, Ishhad, The Baku Jazz Festival: Reviving a Tradition in Azerbaijan, EurasiaNet,weblink 27 April 2005,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20050508164545weblink">weblink 8 May 2005, no, UNESCO proclaimed the Azerbaijani mugham tradition a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on 7 November 2003. 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."ashik, shaman" – European University Institute, Florence, Italy (retrieved 10 August 2006). Ashiqs' songs are semi-improvised around common bases. Azerbaijan's ashiq art was included in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO on 30 September 2009.WEB, Azerbaijan's ashug art included into UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Today.Az,weblink 1 October 2009,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20091002213552weblink">weblink 2 October 2009, no, 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 arose with the international popularity of performers like Alim Qasimov, Rashid Behbudov, Vagif Mustafazadeh, Muslim Magomayev, Shovkat Alakbarova and Rubaba Muradova.NEWS, Hutcheon, David, Alim Qasimov: the living legend you've never heard of, The Times, 19 September 2008,weblink 19 September 2008, London, 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.NEWS, Augstein, Frank, Azerbaijan duo upset favorites, Ireland, for first-time win at 2011 Eurovision Song Contest, Associated Press, Daily Journal,weblink 14 May 2011, {{dead link|date=November 2017 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} Ell and Nikki won the first place at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 with the song "Running Scared", entitling Azerbaijan to host the contest in 2012, in Baku.NEWS, Azerbaijan wins the Eurovision Song Contest, BBC News, 14 May 2011,weblink 14 May 2011,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110514035914weblink">weblink 14 May 2011, no, NEWS, Lusher, Adam, Azerbaijan wins Eurovision Song Contest,weblink The Telegraph, 15 May 2011, London, 15 May 2011, They have qualified for every Grand Final up until the 2018 edition of the contest, entering with X My Heart by singer AiselThere 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.

Literature

File:Khurshidbanu Natavan.jpg|thumb|upright=0.8|Painting of Khurshidbanu Natavan, one of the most distinguished Azerbaijani poets. She was also the daughter of the last ruler of the Karabakh KhanateKarabakh KhanateAmong the medieval authors born within the territorial limits of modern Azerbaijani Republic was Persian poet and philosopher Nizami, called Ganjavi after his place of birth, Ganja, who was the author of the Khamseh ("The Quintuplet"), composed of five romantic poems, including "The Treasure of Mysteries," "Khosrow and Shīrīn," and "Leyli and Mejnūn."Azerbaijan. Cultural life. Encyclopædia Britannica.The earliest known figure in Azerbaijani literature was Izzeddin Hasanoglu, who composed a divan consisting of Persian and Turkic ghazals.BOOK, An Oriental Biographical Dictionary, Beale, Thomas William, Keene Henry George, 1894, W.H.Allen, 311,weblink A.Caferoglu, "Adhari(azeri)", in Encyclopedia of Islam, (new edition), Vol. 1, (Leiden, 1986) 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.BOOK, Aesopian Literary Dimensions of Azerbaijani Literature of the Soviet Period, 1920–1990, Tyrrell, Maliheh S., 2001, Lexington Books, 978-0-7391-0169-8, 12,weblink The end of the 14th century was also the period of starting literary activity of Imadaddin Nesimi,BOOK, Průšek, Jaroslav, Dictionary of Oriental Literatures, 1974, Basic Books, 138, one of the greatest TurkicBOOK, Baldick, Julian, Mystical Islam: An Introduction to Sufism, 2000, I.B. Tauris, 978-1-86064-631-7, 103, BOOK, Burrill, Kathleen R.F., The Quatrains of Nesimi Fourteenth-Century Turkic Hurufi, 1972, Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, 978-90-279-2328-8, BOOK, Lambton, Ann K. S., Holt, Peter Malcolm, Lewis, Bernard, The Cambridge History of Islam, 1970, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-29138-5, 689, Hurufi mystical poets of the late 14th and early 15th centuriesENCYCLOPEDIA
,weblink
, Seyid Imadeddin Nesimi
, 1 September 2008
, 2008
, Encyclopædia Britannica
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080118133336weblink">weblink
, 18 January 2008
, no
, and one of the most prominent early divan masters in Turkic literary history, who also composed poetry in PersianWEB,weblink Nesīmī, Seyyid ʿImād al-Dīn, 1 September 2008, Babinger, Franz, 2008, Encyclopaedia of Islam, Brill Online, 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).The Book of Dede Korkut consists of two manuscripts copied in the 16th century,Michael E. Meeker, "The Dede Korkut Ethic", International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Aug. 1992), 395–417. excerpt: The 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 time, the 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. was not written earlier than the 15th century.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."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" 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 () poetic genre of bards. During the same period, under the pen-name of Khatāī ( for sinner) Shah Ismail I wrote about 1400 verses in Azerbaijani,JOURNAL, Minorsky, Vladimir, 1942, The Poetry of Shah Ismail, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 10, 4, 1053, 10.1017/S0041977X00090182, which were later published as his Divan. A unique literary style known as qoshma ( 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 well 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 Turks, Turkmens and Uzbeks, Azerbaijanis also celebrate the Epic of Koroglu (from for blind man's son), a legendary folk hero.BOOK, Tantra and Popular Religion in Tibet, Samuel, Geoffrey, Gregor, Hamish, Stutchbury, Elisabeth, 1994, International Academy of Indian Culture and Aditya Prakashan, 978-81-85689-68-5, 60,weblink Several documented versions of Koroglu epic remain at the Institute for Manuscripts of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan.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 in Russia.

Folk art

(File:Azerbaijan tradition.jpg|thumb|right|upright=0.7|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 Azerbaijan nation, 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 different times.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.WEB,weblink The traditional art of Azerbaijani carpet weaving in the Republic of Azerbaijan, Unesco.org, 4 January 2011,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101205005739weblink">weblink 5 December 2010, no, WEB,weblink Azerbaijani carpet entered UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Azerbaijan Press Agency, 4 January 2011, File:Lahic folk art.png|thumb|left|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.WEB,weblink Ancient Heritage of the BTC – SCP Pipeline Corridor, Smithsonian, 21 April 2014,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140423041508weblink">weblink 23 April 2014, yes, 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.WEB, Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura, UNESCO,weblink

Cuisine

File:Dushbara Azerbaijani cuisine.jpg|thumb|right|upright=0.7|DushbaraDushbaraThe 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.WEB, Akhmedov, IA, ru:Азербайджанская кухня, Издательство "Ишыг",weblink ru, Azerbaijanis often use traditional armudu (pear-shaped) glass as they have very strong tea culture.WEB,weblink Chaihana: culture in action, Aze.info, 14 December 2012,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130105070850weblink">weblink 5 January 2013, yes, dmy-all, BOOK,weblink The Azerbaijani Turks: power and identity under Russian rule. Audrey L. Altstadt, Hoover Institution Press, 978-0-8179-9182-1, 1992, 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 flavor).

Architecture

File:Momine Hatoon Mausoleum.jpg|thumb|left|Momine Khatun Mausoleum in Nakhchivan built in the 12th century]]Azerbaijani architecture typically combines elements of East and West.WEB, Khanlou, Pirouz, Baku's Architecture A Fusion of East and West, Azerbaijan International,weblink 12 March 2016, Azerbaijiani architecture has heavy influences from Persian architecture. Many ancient architectural treasures such as the Maiden Tower and Palace of the Shirvanshahs in the Walled City of Baku survive in modern Azerbaijan. Entries submitted on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list include the Ateshgah of Baku, Momine Khatun Mausoleum, Hirkan National Park, Binegadi National Park, Lökbatan Mud Volcano, Baku Stage Mountain, Caspian Shore Defensive Constructions, Shusha National Reserve, Ordubad National Reserve and the Palace of Shaki Khans.WEB, Azerbaijan Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, UNESCO,weblink WEB, World Heritage Sites in Azerbaijan, World Heritage Site,weblink Among other architectural treasures are Quadrangular Castle in Mardakan, 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 decor.WEB, Over 70 underground stations to be built in Baku,weblink News.Az, 18 February 2011, 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 Crystal Hall, Baku White City and SOCAR Tower have transformed the country's skyline and promotes its contemporary identity.WEB, 1 February 2012 Jon Walton,weblink $100 Billion Khazar Islands Taking Shape, Construction Digital, 1 February 2012, 25 March 2013, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120713004934weblink">weblink 13 July 2012, NEWS, Glass, Nick, Flame Towers light up Baku's historic skyline,weblink CNN, 14 April 2013, Nick Glass,

Visual art

File:Sheki dvoretc rospisi az.jpg|thumb|upright=1.8|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.Наскальные рисунки Гямигая. irs-az.com. Norwegian ethnographer and adventurer Thor Heyerdahl was convinced that people from the area went to Scandinavia in about 100 AD, took their boat building skills with them, and transmuted them into the Viking boats in Northern Europe.WEB, Ornaments Coming from Gobustan,weblink Diva International, WEB, Gobustan Rock Art,weblink www.worldheritagesite.org, 11 October 2013, 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.WEB, Azerbaijani Artists,weblink www.arthistoryarchive.com, 11 October 2013, Azerbaijani painting enjoyed preeminence in 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.WEB, Steps of Time & Art is not only ugly,weblink universes-in-universe.org, 11 October 2013, File:Nizami Xosrov & Shirin.JPG|Unknown Azerbaijani painterR. Efendi-Azerbaijani fine art, Baku, 1998, p.75 (1479) - Khosrow looks bathering Shirin (Azerbaijani miniature from Nizami Ganjavi's Khosrow and Shirin, Nizami Museum of Azerbaijani Literature)File:Shaki khan palace interier.jpg|Usta Gambar Karabakhi - Tree of Life(Palace of Shaki Khans)File:Portrait of sitting woman by Irevani.jpg|Mirza Gadim Iravani - Portrait of sitting woman(National Art Museum of Azerbaijan)File:Dağ mənzərəsi – Bəhruz Kəngərli.jpg|Bahruz Kangarli - Landscape with mountains(National Art Museum of Azerbaijan)File:Ruins of Reichstag.jpg|Azim Azimzade - Ruins of Reichstag(National Art Museum of Azerbaijan)

Cinema

File:Film of Azerbaijan 1916.jpg|thumb|left|Scene from the Azerbaijani film In the Kingdom of Oil and MillionsIn the Kingdom of Oil and MillionsThe film industry in Azerbaijan dates back to 1898. In fact, Azerbaijan was among the first countries involved in cinematography.NEWS,weblink Cinema in Azerbaijan: Pre-Soviet Era, Autumn 1997, "Azerbaijan International", 12 March 2016, 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.Celebrating 100 Years in Film, not 80 by Aydin Kazimzade. Azerbaijan International, Autumn 1997 In 1919, during the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, a documentary The Celebration of the Anniversary of Azerbaijani Independence was filmed on the first anniversary of Azerbaijan's independence from Russia, 27 May, and premiered in June 1919 at several theatres in Baku.WEB, Azerbaijani cinema in 1920–1935: Silent films, OCAZ.eu,weblink 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

There are three state-owned television channels: AzTV, Idman TV and Medeniyyet TV. One public channel and 6 private channels: Ä°ctimai Television, ANS TV, Space TV, Lider TV, Azad Azerbaijan TV, Xazar TV and Region TV.

Human rights in Azerbaijan

File:Rashadat Akhundov.jpg|thumb|Rashadat Akhundov, the co-founder of Nida Civic MovementNida Civic MovementThe 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 (May–November 2014). Spurious legal charges and impunity in violence against journalists have remained the norm.Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, The Protection of media freedom in Europe {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160702011459weblink |date=2 July 2016 }}.Background report prepared by Mr William Horsley, special representative for media freedom of the Association of European Journalists All foreign broadcasts are banned in the country.Freedom House, Azerbaijan 2015 Press Freedom reportAccording to the 2013 Freedom House Freedom of the Press report, Azerbaijan's press freedom status is "not free," and Azerbaijan ranks 177th out of 196 countries.WEB, Freedom of the Press 2013,weblink Freedom House, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America are banned in Azerbaijan.WEB, Threat to retransmission of BBC, Voice of America and Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe,weblink Reporters Without Borders, During the last few years,{{when|date=December 2017}} three journalists were killed and several prosecuted in trials described as unfair by international human rights organizations. Azerbaijan had the biggest number of journalists imprisoned in Europe and 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.WEB, Ognianova, Nina, Baku 2015: Press freedom, Azerbaijan, and the European Games,weblink Committee to Protect Journalists, 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'.WEB, Nozadze, Natalia, Azerbaijan closes its doors,weblink News, Amnesty International, 15 June 2016, Amnesty's 2015/16 annual reportWEB, Amnesty, International, Annual report on Azerbaijan,weblink Amnesty International, 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 ill-treatment persisted.'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 disguised route.NEWS,weblink UK at centre of secret $3bn Azerbaijani money laundering and lobbying scheme, Harding, Luke, Barr, Caelainn, Nagapetyants, Dina, 4 September 2017, The Guardian, 26 December 2017,

Sports

File:Mamedyarov, Shamkir 2016.JPG|thumb|upright=0.8|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.WEB, Azərbaycanda nə qədər futbolçu var?,weblink news.milli.az, 27 January 2014, Azerbaijani, WEB, Football in Azerbaijan,weblink www.fifa.com, FIFA, 27 January 2014, 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.WEB, ru:"Нефтчи" стал первым азербайджанским футбольным клубом, вышедшим в групповой этап еврокубков – ФОТО,weblink 1news.az, 30 August 2012, Russian, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120901042323weblink">weblink 1 September 2012, WEB, ru:ЦСКА вылетел из еврокубков,weblink UEFA, 30 August 2012, Russian, In 2014, Qarabağ became the second Azerbaijani club advancing to the group stage of 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.WEB,weblink Liverpool and Sporting make it as Qarabağ create history, 23 August 2017, UEFA.com, 24 August 2017, Futsal is another popular sport in Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijan national futsal team reached fourth place in the 2010 UEFA Futsal Championship, while domestic club Araz Naxçivan clinched bronze medals at the 2009–10 UEFA Futsal Cup and 2013–14 UEFA Futsal Cup.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101223085129weblink">weblink yes, 23 December 2010, Araz clinch third place on penalties, UEFA, 25 April 2010, 25 April 2010, 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 world'.WEB,weblink Azerbaijan: Official Atlético sponsor, Club Atlético de Madrid, 25 April 2015, Backgammon also plays a major role in Azerbaijani culture.WEB, ru:История нард, 1-Kalyan,weblink 27 May 2007, ru, The game is very popular in Azerbaijan and is widely played among the local public.Нарды – игра, требующая сноровки и удачи {{ru icon}} There are also different variations of backgammon developed and analyzed by Azerbaijani experts.WEB, ru:История Нард, Nards,weblink ru, File:The opening ceremony of the first European games 7.jpg|thumb|left|Baku National Stadium was used for the first European GamesEuropean GamesAzerbaijan 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.PRESS RELEASE, More than just Mammadova: Azerbaijan's ladies cause World Championship upset,weblink www.fivb.org, 8 May 2014, Over the last years, clubs like Rabita Baku and Azerrail Baku achieved great success at European cups.NEWS, Vakıfbank women achieve historic success, winning intercontinental volleyball trophy,weblink www.hurriyetdailynews.com, 8 May 2014, Azerbaijani volleyball players include likes of Valeriya Korotenko, Oksana Parkhomenko, Inessa Korkmaz, Natalya Mammadova and Alla Hasanova.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 and Rustam Orujov in judo, Rafael Aghayev in karate, Magomedrasul Majidov and Aghasi Mammadov in boxing, Nizami Pashayev in Olympic weightlifting, Azad Asgarov in pankration, Eduard Mammadov in kickboxing, and K-1 fighter Zabit Samedov.Azerbaijan has a Formula One race-track, made in June 2012,WEB,weblink Baku, RacingCircuits.info, 28 October 2018, and the country hosted its first Formula One Grand Prix on 19 June 2016NEWS, F1 Will Race in Azerbaijan in 2016 Says Ecclestone,weblink www.forbes.com, 25 July 2014, Christian, Sylt, and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Other annual sporting events held in the country are the Baku Cup tennis tournament and the 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, and 2016 World Chess Olympiad.WEB, Azerbaijan is a country known for its love of sport and sportsmanship,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130926191539weblink">weblink yes, 26 September 2013, www.baku2015.com, 27 January 2014, On 8 December 2012, Baku was selected to host the 2015 European Games, the first to be held in the competition's history.NEWS, Baku 2015 heralds new era in European sports movement,weblink The Washington Times, 27 January 2014, Baku is also set to host the fourth Islamic Solidarity Games in 2017.{{clear}}

See also

{{Wikipedia books|Azerbaijan}} {{clear}}

Notes

References

{{Reflist|30em}}

Further reading

  • Olukbasi, Suha. Azerbaijan: A Political History. I.B. Tauris (2011). Focus on post-Soviet era.
  • de Waal, Thomas. Black Garden. NYU (2003). {{ISBN|0-8147-1945-7}}
  • Goltz, Thomas. Azerbaijan Diary : A Rogue Reporter's Adventures in an Oil-Rich, War-Torn, Post-Soviet Republic. M E Sharpe (1998). {{ISBN|0-7656-0244-X}}

External links

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