Azerbaijan Facts

Azerbaijan Facts and History


Azerbaijan is located south of the border between Europe and the Middle East, between the Caspian Sea in the east and the Caucasus in the west. The land has no access to a sea.

The former “Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic” became an independent state in 1991.

The southern part of the historical national territory is now in Iran. Azerbaijan includes the Nakhichevan exclave, which is included by Armenia, Iran and Turkey. The area around Nagorno-Karabakh, which is located in the heartland and is predominantly populated by Armenians, was occupied by Armenia in 1993, but unfortunately the conflict has not yet been resolved. The Azerbaijani oil fields on the Abşeron Peninsula are among the oldest industrial production sites. The so-called “Greek fire” was won here in the early Middle Ages. In addition, the region was a popular place of pilgrimage for Zoroastrian fire worshipers during the Persian rule, who built their temple complexes mainly in areas with high natural gas emissions.

Name of the country Republic of Azerbaijan
Form of government republic
Independence on October 18, 1991 by the Soviet Union
Geographical location Middle Ea
National anthem Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan
Population approx. 9.2 million (Credit: Countryaah: Azerbaijan Population)
Ethnicities Azerbaijanis (approx. 90%), Daghestani, Russians and Armenians
Religions approx. 90% Muslims (65% Sunnis and 35% Shiites)and approx. 1.5% Christians
Languages approx. 90% Azerbaijani as well as Russian and Armenian
Capital Baku
Surface 86,600 km²
Highest mountain Bazar-Dyuzi with an altitude of 4,480 m
Longest river Kura with a length of 1,507 km
Largest lake Mingäçevir SuAnbari/Sarisu with an area of 67 km²
Currency Manat
Difference to CET + 3h
International phone code 00994
Mains voltage, frequency 220 volts, 50 hertz
License Plate AZ
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .az

Azerbaijan: history

Until around the year 1000

A 40,000-year-old human mandible found in the Azig cave (Rayon Fizuli on the Caspian Sea) as well as the numerous Neolithic rock carvings, burial mounds and dwellings in Kobustan, whose age is estimated at around 10,000 years, are evidence of early human settlement in Azerbaijani territory. In the 4th century BC BC tribes of the nomadic Albani founded a state that was also mentioned in ancient writings, including Plutarch. In 65 BC This Albania fell to the Roman Empire.

According to Abbreviationfinder website, in the 4th century, Armenia was the starting point for the Christianization of the region, which was then conquered by the Persian Sassanids. Turkish ethnic groups began to settle in the area at the latest in the 2nd century, according to the early Hunnic tribe of the Az. In 643 the Arabs took the country and then Islamized it.

From the year 1000 to the 19th century

In the 11th century the Turkish Seljuks extended their rule to the territory of today’s Azerbaijan, but some provinces were temporarily occupied by the Georgian Kingdom. This was followed by the conquest of the country by the Mongols under Genghis Khan in the 13th century and under Timur Lenk at the end of the 14th century. From the beginning of the 16th century, the Persian Safavid dynasty ruled Shirvan and the state that emerged in the 15th century Karabakh. At the end of the 16th century, the area was briefly conquered by the Ottoman Empire.

In 1723, during the First Russo-Persian War, Tsar Peter the Great was able to temporarily take some parts of Azerbaijan. The Ottomans also occupied Naxçıvan. After the assassination of the Shah Nadir in 1747, Azerbaijan split into numerous khanates.

As a result of the Russo-Persian War between 1804 and 1814, the khanates north of the Aras, with the exception of Naxçıvan and İrəvan, came under Russian rule. The latter came after the Russo-Persian War of 1826/28. The border established between Azerbaijan and Iran at that time is still in force today.

The development of the country’s oil reserves began around 1870.

In the 20th century

After the collapse of the Russian Empire, the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan was founded on May 28, 1918, the first republic in the Islamic Orient, which only existed for two years. On April 28, 1920, the Red Army marched into the country and the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan was formed. In 1922 it was united with Georgia and Armenia to form the Transcaucasian Federal Soviet Republic, in 1936 Azerbaijan became an independent Soviet republic of the USSR. In the course of Stalinist politics, the country’s language and culture were pushed back.

In 1988 the Armenians, who represented the majority of the population in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, demanded the transfer of this area to the Armenian republic. In the same year and in 1990 anti-Armenian pogroms took place in various cities. In 1989 the Azerbaijani government declared the country’s autonomy, which resulted in the invasion of Soviet troops. On August 30, 1991, Azerbaijan gained sovereignty and became a co-founder of the CIS.

In 1992 the armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh began. In the presidential elections of 1993, the former secret service agent and Communist Party leader Heydär Äliyev prevailed. Several coup attempts were made, and conditions in the country could not be stabilized, not least because of the unsolved conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

In the present

In 2002 İlham Äliyev succeeded his father in the presidency. Although he also prevailed in the 2003 elections, the opposition and international observers (including those from the OSCE) raised allegations of electoral fraud. Opposition politician Qabil Hüseynli describes the country as “semi-feudal, ruled by clans and the mafia”.

In December 2005, a pipeline built with massive help from the USA went into operation, which runs from Baku on the Caspian Sea via the Georgian capital Tbilisi to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. Like the transit country Georgia, the Azerbaijani government hoped that this would give it the opportunity to further break away from the Russian sphere of influence. The corporations of the western countries and especially the USA, on the other hand, which provided the estimated cost of the construction of around 2.5 billion euros, are striving to reduce their dependence on Arab oil. Critics doubt that the almost 1,800 km long, expensive tube running through several mountain ranges can bring the desired profit, as it is questionable whether Azerbaijan has sufficient oil reserves to fully utilize the projected operating time of 40 years. However, there is an offer from the northeastern neighboring state of Kazakhstan to export the oil it has produced via the new pipeline. For Azerbaijan there was initially an annual economic growth of up to ten percent, but this did not change the fact that around 65 percent of the country’s population still live below the poverty line.

Azerbaijan Facts