Country Briefs: Nestled in the Southwestern Asia and bordering the Caspian Sea is the small and beautiful nation, Azerbaijan. With a population of around 7,911,974, majority of which are Muslims, Azerbaijan covers an area of 86,600 square kilometers.
Azerbaijan figured on world?s map several thousand years ago. Civilization commenced in Azerbaijan around 3rd millennium BC. The discovery of Azykh cave, the most archaic habitations of man to be found in the world, and a number of habitations of the ancient Stone Age depict that the Azerbaijan can be traced back to the era of anthropoids. Azerbaijan presents the main traces of civilization.
Azerbaijan witnessed tribe formation in the 3rd millennium BC. The political formation had commenced around 1st millennium BC. As a result by 9th century BC Azerbaijan acquired its own State system, the Manna state with high economic and cultural level has emerged. Manna were believers in Sun, Moon and other natural deities. So they created pantheons of divinities.
The Manna was overpowered by the Media. The Media was mainly confined to the southern region of Azerbaijan and so this part is called the state of Media Atrupatan.
In the centuries that followed the Bavarian settled in the Danube and Alps. This turned Austria into a German speaking country as it is today.
The Medes were Iranian people who were led by Cyaxares and occupied parts of Caucasus region. They also conquered parts of the Caucasus region, including the southern Caucasian Albania and made it a part of their growing empire that stretched from Asia Minor to ancient Afghanistan.
The Medians did not rule for long. They were soon overpowered by the Persian king Cyrus in 6th century BC. The Persians promulgated the religion of Zoroastrianism. It is believed that the name Azerbaijan has a Persian origin.
Two centuries later the Persians were conquered by Alexander the Great. This led to the rise of Hellenistic culture throughout the former Persian Empire.
The Turkic migration in Azerbaijan that had commenced around 4th century BC continued even in 7th century. According to historians Azerbaijan has a long history of Turks. The non-Oghuz Turks were a major group in Azerbaijan in 10th and 11th century.
Gradually the Turks merged with the larger Caucasian population or remained somewhat autonomous and ruled the region till the Oghuz Turks came to power. The Oghuz Turks have made a significant contribution to language, culture and religion of Azerbaijan.
Between 639 and 643 Azerbaijan came under Muslim Arabs, governed by Caliph Omar. In 7th century a series of wars known as ?Arab-Khazar Wars? took place in which the Khazars sought to uproot the Arabs.
Babek ruled over Azerbaijan in 9th century BC. Babek?s revolt was known as Khurramid Movement. Babek was betrayed and executed by one of his generals in 835.
The 11th century Oghuz Turks were replaced by the Seljuqs, a western branch of the Oghuz who had conquered entire Iran. The Seljuqs had a vast empire that comprised of Iran, Iraq and Azerbaijan. Nozam ul-Mulk, the Seljuq Sultan encouraged many educational reforms.
In 1231 Mongols captured most of Azerbaijan. The break up of Mongol dominions in 1258 resulted in formation of the Illkhanid state in South Azerbaijan.
In 1380 Tamerlane or Amir Timur invaded Azerbaijan. So Azerbaijan temporarily came under Amir?s domain of Eurasia. Timur expired in 1405 and was replaced by his fourth son Shah Rukh.
From 12th to 15th century the Shirvanshahs were quite active in Azerbaijan. In mid-15th century, the architectural complex of the Shivranshah palace in Baku ad the Halwatiyya Sufi Khaneqa were built during the reign of these two rulers.
In May 1501, a young Safavid prince Ismail I declared himself the Shah of Azerbaijan. Ismail was quite ambitious. He expanded his territory and covered many places. But in 1514 Ismail was defeated by the Ottomans in the Battle of Chaldiran.
In 1587 Persian ruler, Shah Abbas came to power. Abbas repelled the Ottomans and recaptured Azerbaijan and Shirvan state in 1603.
In 18th century Azerbaijan was mainly occupied by the Ottomans. However after the Safavid Empire, Nadir Shah Afshar, a former slave who had risen to military leadership.
The assassination of Nadir Shah in 1747 led to disintegration of Iran and Azerbaijan. Several independent states known as khanates emerged within Azerbaijan and Shirvan.
By 1796 Azerbaijan was raided and conquered by Agha Muhammed Khan Qajar.
Around 1813, the Qajars were defeated by Russians. Qajars were forced to sign the Treaty of Gulistan. In 1828 the Treaty of Turkmenchay was signed according to which Azerbaijan was split with Qajars of Persia.
In northern Azerbaijan twp provinces were established that later constituted the bulk of modern republic Elisavetpol province in the West and the Shamakha province in the east.
The Russian Revolution in 1917 granted rights and self-rule to the local population of Azerbaijan.
In 1918, Azerbaijan was declared a secular republic. On 5th December Azerbaijan got its first parliament. British forces stepped out of Azerbaijan during 1919.
In 1945 an autonomous "Azerbaijan People's Government" was set up at Tarbiz under Jafar Pishevari, the leader of Azerbaijani Democratic Party.
After undergoing numerous upheavals, at present though Azerbaijan lacks political stability yet it has established itself as a successful nation.
- Name: In the FIPS standard, two spellings differ slightly: Mingəcevir instead of Mingəçevir, and Xızı instead of Xiz.
- Type: r = rayon; c = city. Sumqayıt is a rayon according to FIPS.
- HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
- ISO: Province codes from ISO 3166-2. For full identification in a global context, prefix "AZ-" to the code (ex: AZ-SAL represents Salyan).
- FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4, a U.S. government standard. Where this column is blank, FIPS has no listing.
- Post: Azerbaijan has adopted a new system of postal codes. They have the format AZ nnnn, where the n's represent digits, and the first two digits correspond to the rayon.