Azerbaijan

country in the Caucasus in Eastern Europe

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

Republic of Azerbaijan
Azərbaycan Respublikası  (Azerbaijani)
National emblem of Azerbaijan
National emblem
Anthem: 
Location of Azerbaijan (green) with territory controlled by the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh shown in light green.[a]
Location of Azerbaijan (green) with territory controlled by the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh shown in light green.[a]
Location of Azerbaijan
Capital
and largest city
Baku
40°23′43″N 49°52′56″E / 40.39528°N 49.88222°E / 40.39528; 49.88222
Official languagesAzerbaijani[1]
Minority languagesSee full list
Ethnic groups
(2009[2])
Religion
Demonym(s)
GovernmentUnitary semi-presidential republic[4]
• President
Ilham Aliyev
Mehriban Aliyeva
Ali Asadov
Sahiba Gafarova
LegislatureNational Assembly
Formation
28 May 1918
28 April 1920
• Independence from Soviet Union
  • 30 August 1991 (declared)
  • 18 October 1991 (independence)
  • 25 December 1991 (completed)
21 December 1991
2 March 1992
• Constitution adopted
12 November 1995
Area
• Total
86,600 km2 (33,400 sq mi) (112th)
• Water (%)
1.6
Population
• April 2021 estimate
10,130,100[5] (90th)
• Density
115/km2 (297.8/sq mi) (99th)
GDP (PPP)2019 estimate
• Total
$189.050 billion[6]
• Per capita
$18,793[6]
GDP (nominal)2019 estimate
• Total
$45.284 billion[6]
• Per capita
$4,498[6]
Gini (2008)Negative increase 33.7[7]
medium
HDI (2019)Increase 0.756[8]
high · 88th
CurrencyManat (₼) (AZN)
Time zoneUTC+4 (AZT)
Date formatdd.mm.yyyy (CE)
Driving sideright
Calling code+994
ISO 3166 codeAZ
Internet TLD.az

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

Azerbaijan's land is both in Asia and Europe. This means it is a Eurasian country. Because Azerbaijan is close to Europe and its history is related to Europe, Azerbaijan is a member of a number of European groups, including the Council of Europe since 2001. Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries. They have membership in 38 international organizations.[9] On May 9, 2006 Azerbaijan was elected to membership in the newly made Human Rights Council by the United Nations General Assembly.[10]

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

HistoryEdit

Azerbaijan was historically part of Iran and the name of Azerbaijan comes from Atropates.[11][12] He was a Persian[13][14][15] satrap under the Achaemenid Empire.

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

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

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

BiodiversityEdit

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.[16] The national animal of Azerbaijan is the Karabakh horse. It is a mountain-steppe racing and riding horse native to Azerbaijan. It is one of the oldest breeds, with ancestry dating to the ancient world. However today the horse is an endangered species.[17]

Azerbaijan's flora is more than 4,500 species of higher plants. Due the unique climate in Azerbaijan, the flora is much richer in the number of species than the flora of the other countries of the South Caucasus.[18] About 67 percent of the species growing in the whole Caucasus can be in Azerbaijan.

EducationEdit

Many Azerbaijanis have some form of higher education, most notably in scientific and technical subjects.[19] According to Soviet data, 100 percent of males and females (ages nine to forty-nine) were literate (able to read) in 1970.[19] In 2009, the literacy rate in Azerbaijan was 99.5 percent.[20]

CultureEdit

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

Music and folk dancesEdit

Music of Azerbaijan builds on folk traditions that goes back nearly a thousand years.[21] Among national musical instruments there are 14 string instruments, eight percussion instruments and six wind instruments.[22]

Mugham, meykhana and Ashiq are some of the many musical traditions of Azerbaijan. Mugham is music with poetry and instrumental interludes. When performing Mugham, the singers have to bring their emotions into singing and music. Mugham singer Alim Qasimov is one of the five best singers of all time.[23] Meykhana is a song with no music. It is usually done by several people. They make up the words about a particular subject. Ashiq joins poetry, storytelling, dance and vocal and instrumental music. It is as a symbol of Azerbaijani culture.

Azerbaijan was at the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 2008. They hosted the contest in 2012, in Baku.[24][25]

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

ArchitectureEdit

Azerbaijani architecture typically joins East and West.[26] Many ancient treasures such as the Maiden Tower and Palace of the Shirvanshahs in the Walled City of Baku survive in modern Azerbaijan. Plans have been shown for the building of the Azerbaijan Tower. It will reportedly replace the Burj Khalifa as the tallest building in the world. The planned height is 1,050 metres (3,440 ft).[27]

MoviesEdit

The movie industry in Azerbaijan dates back to 1898. In fact, Azerbaijan was among the first countries involved in making movies.[28] In 1991, after Azerbaijan gained its freedom from the Soviet Union, the first Baku International Film Festival East-West was held in Baku.

FoodEdit

The traditional food is famous for many vegetables and greens used seasonally in the dishes. Fresh herbs, including mint, cilantro (coriander), dill, basil, parsley, tarragon, leeks, chives, thyme, marjoram, green onion, and watercress, are very popular. They are often served with main dishes on the table. National dishes show the variety of the landscape. They are based on fish from the Caspian Sea, local meat (mainly mutton and beef), and the many seasonal vegetables and greens. Saffron-rice plov is the flagship food in Azerbaijan and black tea is the national beverage.[29]

LiteratureEdit

The earliest known person in Azerbaijani literature was Hasanoghlu or Pur Hasan Asfaraini. He made a divan of Persian and Turkic ghazals.[30][31] Classical literature in Azerbaijani was formed in 14th century. Among the poets of this period were Gazi Burhanaddin and Haqiqi. The famed Book of Dede Korkut has two manuscripts copied in the 16th century.[32] It is a collection of 12 stories showing the oral tradition of Oghuz nomads.[33]

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

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

SportsEdit

Sport in Azerbaijan is very old. Even now, both traditional and modern sports are still practiced. Freestyle wrestling has been traditionally said to be Azerbaijan's national sport. The most popular sports in Azerbaijan are football and chess. The national football team does not do well in international competitions. On March 19, 2010, Azerbaijan won the bid to host the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.[34]

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

Backgammon plays a major role in Azerbaijani culture.[35] This game is very popular in Azerbaijan and is widely played by the local public.[36]

DemographicsEdit

Ethnic composition (2009)[37]
Azerbaijani 91.60%
Lezgin 2.02%
Armenian 1.35%
Russian 1.34%
Talysh 1.26%
Other nations 2.43%

Out of 9,165,000 people (July 2011), nearly 52% were urban. The remaining 48% were rural.[38] 51% of the people were female.[38]

About 3 million Azerbaijanis, many of them guest workers, live in Russia.[39]

The biggest reason for death in 2005 was from respiratory diseases.[40]

DivisionsEdit

Azerbaijan is divided into 10 economic regions; 66 rayons and 77 cities. 11 cities are under the direct authority of the republic.[41] Azerbaijan includes the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.[42] The President of Azerbaijan picks the governors of these units. The government of Nakhchivan is elected and approved by the parliament of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.

"
Absheron
Aran
Daghlig Shirvan
Ganja-Gazakh
Guba-Khachmaz
Kalbajar-Lachin
Lankaran
Nakhchivan
Shaki-Zaqatala
Yukhari Garabakh
 
Map of the administrative divisions of Azerbaijan. Note that the divisions of the Nakhchivan are listed separately.

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

EconomyEdit

 
Azerbaijan is divided into 10 economic regions.

The economy of Azerbaijan is based on industry, agriculture, and on services including tourism. The energy sector based on the large reserves of crude oil and natural gas, is the main source of economic growth in Azerbaijan today, though half of the Azerbaijani people earn their income directly or indirectly through services and a third earn their income through agriculture.[43] The energy boom has led to massive foreign direct investment and the growth rate of the Azerbaijani economy is one of the world's highest.[44]

After gaining independence in 1991 with the end of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan made the long and difficult change from a command economy to a market economy. The government has largely completed privatization of agricultural lands and small, medium and large state-owned companies. Azerbaijan is continuing making economic reforms, and old economic ties and structures have been slowly replaced. With independence, Azerbaijan became a member of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Islamic Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank. Azerbaijan's currency is the Azerbaijani manat (AZN) which is divided into 100 qəpik. It became the national currency in 1992 and replaced the old Soviet ruble. The Central Bank of Azerbaijan was created in 1992. The Central Bank serves as Azerbaijan's central bank, and is responsible for printing and distributing the national currency, the Azerbaijani manat, and to control all commercial banks.[45]

Related pagesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. The region is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

ReferencesEdit

  1. "The Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan" (PDF). President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Official Website of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Retrieved 31 August 2020. I. The official language of the Republic of Azerbaijan is Azerbaijani Language. The Republic of Azerbaijan guarantees the development of Azerbaijani Language.
  2. The State Statistical Committee of the Azerbaijan Republic, The ethnic composition of the population according to the 2009 census. azstat.org
  3. "Central Intelligence Agency". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 13 February 2020. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  4. LaPorte, Jody (2016). "Semi-presidentialism in Azerbaijan". In Elgie, Robert; Moestrup, Sophia (eds.). Semi-Presidentialism in the Caucasus and Central Asia. London: Palgrave Macmillan (published 15 May 2016). pp. 91–117. doi:10.1057/978-1-137-38781-3_4. ISBN 978-1-137-38780-6. LCCN 2016939393. OCLC 6039791976. LaPorte examines the dynamics of semi-presidentialism in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan's regime is a curious hybrid, in which semi-presidential institutions operate in the larger context of authoritarianism. The author compares formal Constitutional provisions with the practice of politics in the country, suggesting that formal and informal sources of authority come together to enhance the effective powers of the presidency. In addition to the considerable formal powers laid out in the Constitution, Azerbaijan's president also benefits from the support of the ruling party and informal family and patronage networks. LaPorte concludes by discussing the theoretical implications of this symbiosis between formal and informal institutions in Azerbaijan's semi-presidential regime.
  5. "Azərbaycan əhalisinin sayı artıb - RƏSMİ". oxu.az. 19 May 2021. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". imf.org. International Monetary Fund. April 2019. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  7. "Gini Index coefficient". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  8. Human Development Report 2020 The Next Frontier: Human Development and the Anthropocene (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 15 December 2020. pp. 343–346. ISBN 978-92-1-126442-5. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  9. "Azerbaijan: Membership of international groupings/organisations". British Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Retrieved May 26, 2007.
  10. "Elections & Appointments – Human Rights Council". United Nations. Retrieved January 3, 2009.
  11. Houtsma, M. Th (1993). First Encyclopaedia of Islam 1913–1936 (reprint ed.). BRILL. ISBN 9004097961.
  12. Schippmann, Klaus (1989). Azerbaijan: Pre-Islamic History. Encyclopædia Iranica. pp. 221–224. ISBN 0933273959.
  13. Minahan, James (1998). Miniature Empires: A Historical Dictionary of the Newly Independent States. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 20. ISBN 0313306109.
  14. Chamoux, François (2003). Hellenistic Civilization. John Wiley and Sons. p. 26. ISBN 0631222413.
  15. Bosworth A.B., Baynham E.J. (2002). Alexander the Great in Fact and Fiction. Oxford University Press. p. 92. ISBN 0199252750.
  16. "Azerbaijan: Biodiversity". Central Asia and Caucasus Institute. Retrieved 2007-05-26.
  17. "The Karabakh Horse". Karabakh Foundation. Archived from the original on 2010-10-13.
  18. "Azerbaijan – Flora". Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Azerbaijan: A Country Study, Education, Health, and Welfare". Country Studies.
  20. "Human Development Report 2009" (PDF). United Nations Development Program 2009.
  21. David C. King. Azerbaijan, Marshall Cavendish, 2006, p. 94
  22. "The Azerbaijan musical instruments". Atlas.musigi-dunya.az. Archived from the original on 2007-08-26. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
  23. Hutcheon, David (September 19, 2008). "Alim Qasimov: the living legend you've never heard of". The Times. London. Retrieved September 19, 2008.
  24. "Azerbaijan wins the Eurovision Song Contest". BBC. May 14, 2011. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  25. Lusher, Adam (May 15, 2011). "Azerbaijan wins Eurovision Song Contest". London: Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  26. Khanlou, Pirouz. "Baku's Architecture A Fusion of East and West". Azerbaijan International.
  27. "$100 Billion Khazar Islands Taking Shape". Archived from the original on 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  28. "Cinema in Azerbaijan: Pre-Soviet Era". Azerbaijan International. Autumn 1997.
  29. Akhmedov, IA. "Азербайджанская кухня". Издательство "Ишыг".(in Russian)
  30. Beale, Thomas William; Keene Henry George (1894). "Pur Hasan Asfaraini". An Oriental Biographical Dictionary. W.H.Allen. p. 311.
  31. A.Caferoglu, "Adhari(azeri)",in Encyclopedia of Islam, (new edition), Vol. 1, (Leiden, 1986)
  32. Michael E. Meeker, “The Dede Korkut Ethic”, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Aug., 1992), 395–417.
  33. İlker Evrım Bınbaş,Encyclopædia Iranica, "Oguz Khan Narratives" Encyclopædia Iranica | Articles, accessed October, 2010. "The Ketāb-e Dede Qorqut, which is a collection of twelve stories reflecting the oral traditions of the Turkmens in the 15th-century eastern Anatolia, is also called Oḡuz-nāma"
  34. FIFA (March 19, 2010). "FIFA Executive Committee approves special funding for Chile and Haiti". Press release. Archived from the original on March 22, 2010. https://web.archive.org/web/20100322203509/https://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/federation/bodies/media/newsid=1183198.html. Retrieved March 20, 2010. 
  35. "История нард". 1-Kalyan. Retrieved 2007-05-27. (in Russian)
  36. Нарды – игра, требующая сноровки и удачи (in Russian)
  37. "The State Statistical Committee of the Azerbaijan Republic, The ethnic composition of the people according to the 2009 census". Archived from the original on 2013-11-10. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  38. 38.0 38.1 "Population". Azerbaijan Gender Information Center. Archived from the original on 2007-05-10. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
  39. Sohbetqizi, Naila. "Azerbaijan Acts to Limit the Discrimination Against Azeris in Russia". EurasiaNet. Archived from the original on September 10, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2002.
  40. "Population morbidity by main diseases groups". The Ministry of Health. Retrieved May 27, 2007.
  41. "The State Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Administrative and territorial units of Azerbaijan Republic". Azstat.org. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
  42. "Azerbaijan". World Factbook. CIA. 2009. Archived from the original on June 10, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2009.
  43. "CIA World Factbook - Azerbaijan". Archived from the original on 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
  44. Country Studies - Azerbaijan Library of Congress
  45. "Azerbaijan – General Information". Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Archived from the original on 5 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-22.

Other websitesEdit

General informationEdit

Major government resourcesEdit

Major news mediaEdit

TourismEdit