January 19, 2022

The Republic of Azerbaijan (Azer. Azerbaijan) is a landlocked state in the Caucasus on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Neighboring countries are Georgia in the northwest, Armenia in the west, Russia in the north and Iran in the south. The Autonomous Republic of Nakhichevan, part of Azerbaijan, is located separately from the rest of the country, surrounded by Iran, Turkey and Armenia. In the center of Azerbaijan lies the controversial Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has declared independence. The Republic of Azerbaijan has been a member of the Council of Europe since 2001. Most of the country's nearly 10 million inhabitants are Shia Muslims and ethnic Azeris. The state is officially democratic, but Human Rights Watch and Freedom House, for example, consider it authoritarian. The freedom of all elections in the country has been criticized.


There are two theories about the origin of the name Azerbaijan. According to one theory, the name comes from the name of Atropates, a Persian prince who lived during the reign of Alexander the Great. According to another, the name is derived from the Persian fire word azer, which may have referred to the Zarathustrian fire temples in the area. Historically, the name Azerbaijan has been used more often from the northern part of the current Azerbaijani population of Iran than from the actual territory of present-day Azerbaijan. Before the 20th century, Azeris were often referred to by outsiders as "Caucasian Tatars," "Turks," or simply "Muslims."


Azerbaijan covers an area of ​​86,600 square kilometers, which corresponds to a quarter of Finland's area. Almost half of the area is mountainous. The hills on the southeast coast of the country have a subtropical climate where tea, lemons and oranges are grown there. The widest plains are located in the central part of the country. There are eight major rivers flowing from the Caucasus. The Kura-Arasin Alanko is named after the Kurajoki and its largest tributary, the Aras. The Mingəçevir Reservoir (Mingechaur Reservoir) is the largest inland water area in the country and provides hydropower and irrigation water. About 365 species of birds from flamingos and eagles to bee-eaters have been observed there. Rare mammals include the honeysuckle gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa) and the Caucasian mountain goat. The country is home to a total of 97 species of mammals, 67 species of reptiles and amphibians, 97 species of fish and more than 15,000 species of invertebrates. Rare species of plants and animals live there. Širvan National Park (Şirvan M. P.) The Širvan lowland has a breeding ground for humpback whales and waterfowl. Ağgöl National Park (Ağgöl M. P.) protects the wintering and resting places of migratory birds. In total, Azerbaijan has eight national parks, 11 nature parks and many other nature reserves.


Early history

Azerbaijan combines the traditions of the ancient Seljuk Turks and the ancient Persian civilization. It was also the center of Zarathustralism in ancient times. Little is known about the country before the Arab conquest in 642, after which it was part of the Islamic Caliphate. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the country was invaded by the Mongols. It was later ruled by local Shirvanian Shahs and the Persian Safavid dynasty.

Power of Russia and the Soviet Union

On the routes between Europe and Central Asia and on the shores of the Caspian Sea, the Ottomans, Russia and Persia fought for centuries. Finally, Persia and Russia divided Azerbaijan in 1828 under the Turkmenchay Treaty. The territory of present-day Azerbaijan remains

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