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Armenia
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Armenia

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The Republic of Armenia is a landlocked country in southern Transcaucasia, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, with Turkey to the west and Georgia to the north, and sharing borders with Azerbaijan in the east, and Iran and the Naxcivan exclave of Azerbaijan in the south.

Hayastani Hanrapetut'yun
Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto:  
Official language Armenian
Capital Yerevan
Capital's coordinates 40° 16' N, 44° 34' E
Largest City Yerevan
President Robert Kocharian
Prime minister Andranik Markaryan
Area
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 138th
29'800 kmē
4.7%
Population
 - Total (2003 est)
 - Density
Ranked 128th
3'326'448
112/kmē
Independence
 
From Soviet Union
September 23, 1991
Currency Dram (AMD)
Time zone UTC +4 (DST +5)
National anthem Mer Hayrenik (Our Fatherland)
Internet TLD .am
Calling Code +374

Table of contents
1 History
2 Politics
3 Provinces
4 Geography
5 Economy
6 Demographics
7 Culture
8 Miscellaneous topics
9 External links and references

History

Main article: History of Armenia

Armenia was a rich empire and had a rich culture before 1454, at one period controlling all the land between the Black and Caspian Seas. In 301, Armenia was the first state to formally adopt Christianity as its official state religion, twelve years before Rome. It also changed between various dynasties. But after Parthian, Roman, Mongol, Arab, Egyptian, and Persian occupation, Armenia weakened. In 1454, Ottoman Turkey and Safavid Persia divided Armenia among themselves. Armenians were not allowed free rights and were treated almost as slaves. From 1895 to 1923, the Turkish imperial, military, and republican government massacred over a million Armenians because of their religion and because of their fear that Armenia would help the advacing Russian army, especially during World War I.

In 1828, Persian Armenia was incorporated into Russian Empire and the USSR in 1920, after a short lived independent state. Armenian leaders remain preoccupied by the long conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated enclave of the Soviet Azerbaijan. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the enclave in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also a significant portion of Azerbaijan proper.

The economies of both sides have been hurt by their inability to make substantial progress toward a peaceful resolution, and the Turkish economic blockade of Armenia.

Also of note is the Armenian Genocide, which began April 24, 1915. Precise figures are disputed, but Armenian sources report some 1.5 million Armenians were killed or died in the genocide and mass deportations.

Politics

Main article: Politics of Armenia

The Government of Armenia's stated aim is to build a Western-style parliamentary democracy as the basis of its form of government. However, international observers have questioned the inherent fairness of Armenia's parliamentary and presidential elections and constitutional referenda since 1995, citing polling deficiencies, lack of cooperation by the electoral commission, and poor maintenance of electoral lists and polling places.

The unicameral parliament (also called the National Assembly) is dominated by a coalition, called "Unity" (Miasnutyun), between the center-right, conservative Republican Party of Armenia and the center-left, socialist People's Party. A new party, the liberal Republic Party, is headed by ex-Prime Minister Aram Sargsian and has become the primary voice of the opposition.

Armenians voted overwhelmingly for independence in a September 1991 referendum. Levon Ter-Petrosian was president until January 1998, when public demonstrations against his policies on Nagorno-Karabakh forced his resignation. In 1999, the assassination of Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsian, parliament Speaker Karen Demirchian, and six other officials led to a period of political instability. President Robert Kocharian was successful in riding out the unrest, however. President Kocharian is a non-partisan (like many of the rulers of Soviet republics) and rules along with the ruling coalition. But Kocharian shows authoritarian tendencies such as restricting the opposition party's activities, free speech, and freedom of the press. There have been numerous protests for Kocharian to leave office, but he does not budge.

Provinces

Main article: Provinces of Armenia

Armenia is divided into 11 provinces (marzer, singular - marz):

  1. Aragatsotn
  2. Ararat
  3. Armavir
  4. Geghark'unik'
  5. Kotayk'
  6. Lorri
  7. Shirak
  8. Syunik'
  9. Tavush
  10. Vayots' Dzor
  11. Yerevan

Geography

Main article:
Geography of Armenia

Armenia is a landlocked country located in south-west Asia, east of Turkey. The terrain is mostly mountainous, with fast flowing rivers and few forests. The climate is highland continental: hot summers and cold winters. The land rises to 4,095 m at Mount Aragats, and no point is below 400m above sea-level. Pollution from toxic chemicals such as DDT is not helping the already poor soil quality in many parts of the county. A Turkish energy blockade, the result of the conflict with Azerbaijan, has led to deforestation.

Economy

Main article: Economy of Armenia

Demographics

Main article: Demographics of Armenia

Armenia is a primarily Eastern Orthodox Christian country. Armenia is considered the first nation to adopt Christianity, tracing its church's roots back to the 3rd and 4th centuries. The country formally adopted the Christian faith in 301 A.D. Over 90% of Armenians belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church, a form of Eastern Orthodoxy, which is a very ritualistic, conservative church, comparable to the Russian and Greek Orthodox churches. Armenia also has a population of evangelical Protestants and Catholics. The Yezidi Kurds, who live in the western part of the country, practice Zoroastranism or Shamanism. Any ethnic Azeris living in the country practice Islam, but many were deported back to Azerbaijan after the Karabagh War.

Culture

Main article: Culture of Armenia

Miscellaneous topics

External links and references


[ Edit {}] Countries in Southwest Asia
Afghanistan | Armenia | Azerbaijan | Bahrain | Cyprus | Egypt¹ | Gaza Strip | Georgia | Iran | Iraq | Israel | Jordan | Kuwait | Lebanon | Oman | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Syria | Turkey² | United Arab Emirates | West Bank | Yemen