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For other uses, see Azerbaijan (disambiguation).

The Republic of Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan or Азәрбајҹан, Russian: Азербайджа́н, Azerbaidzhan) is a country in the Caucasus on the Caspian Sea that shares borders with Russia in the north, Georgia, Armenia, in the west and Iran in the south. The Naxçivan exclave borders on Armenia, Iran, and Turkey.

Azərbaycan Respublikası
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto:  
Official language Azerbaijani
Capital Baku
Capital's coordinates 40° 22' N, 49° 53' E
President Ilham Aliyev
Prime Minister Artur Rasizade
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 111th
86,600 km˛
 - Total (2003 E)
 - Density
Ranked 89th
(From Soviet Union)
30 August 1991
Currency Manat (AZM)
Time zone UTC +4 (DST +5)
National anthem National Anthem of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Internet TLD .AZ
Calling Code 994

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


The name Azerbaijan is slight Turkification of Azarbaijan. Azarbaijan in turn is Arabicized version of the original Persian name Azarpayagan due to the fact that the sounds [p] and [g] do not exist in the Arabic language and names with those sounds are usually Arabicized. Azarpaygan is made up of azar+payag+an (azar=fire; payag=base; an=suffix of location).

It is also claimed that the name comes from Atropates ("fire protector" in Old Persian/Middle Persian) who was the provincial satrap at the time of Alexander the Great. The region was known as "Media Atropatene" at the time.


Main article: History of Azerbaijan

Historically, what is today known as the Republic of Azerbaijan used to be part of Iran (then Persia). Iran lost much territory to Russia in the first half of the 18th century in the Caucasus, including all of what is now Republic of Azerbaijan. It is important to note however, that the lost Iranian territories were not just one single Iranian province, rather, they were multiple smaller provinces, most notably Arran (also known as Caucasus Albania), Shervan and Nakhjavan. The Iranian province of Azarbaijan has always been to the south of the Aras river, as recorded in all the major encyclopedias of the world before 1918. It was only after the end of World War I that the land known as Republic of Azerbaijan today, was for the first time in history named Azerbaijan.

It has been an independent republic since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Despite a cease-fire, in place since 1994, Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh enclave (largely Armenian populated). Azerbaijan has lost 14% of its territory and must support some 750,000 refugees as a result of the conflict. Corruption is ubiquitous and the promise of wealth from Azerbaijan's undeveloped petroleum resources remains largely unfulfilled.


Main article: Politics of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is a presidential republic. The head of state and head of government are separate from the country’s law making body. The people elect the president for a five-year term of office. The president appoints all cabinet level government administrators. A fifty member national assembly makes the country's laws. The people of Azerbaijan elect the National Assembly. All Azerbaijanis eighteen years old or older may vote.

Critics of the government of Azerbaijan consider it to be a Kleptocracy.

Administrative divisions

Main article: Administrative divisions of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is divided into:

Abseron Rayonu, Agcabadi Rayonu, Agdam Rayonu, Agdas Rayonu, Agstafa Rayonu, Agsu Rayonu, Ali Bayramli Sahari*, Astara Rayonu, Baki Sahari*, Balakan Rayonu, Barda Rayonu, Beylaqan Rayonu, Bilasuvar Rayonu, Cabrayil Rayonu, Calilabad Rayonu, Daskasan Rayonu, Davaci Rayonu, Fuzuli Rayonu, Gadabay Rayonu, Ganca Sahari*, Goranboy Rayonu, Goycay Rayonu, Haciqabul Rayonu, Imisli Rayonu, Ismayilli Rayonu, Kalbacar Rayonu, Kurdamir Rayonu, Lacin Rayonu, Lankaran Rayonu, Lankaran Sahari*, Lerik Rayonu, Masalli Rayonu, Mingacevir Sahari*, Naftalan Sahari*, Naxcivan Muxtar Respublikasi**, Neftcala Rayonu, Oguz Rayonu, Qabala Rayonu, Qax Rayonu, Qazax Rayonu, Qobustan Rayonu, Quba Rayonu, Qubadli Rayonu, Qusar Rayonu, Saatli Rayonu, Sabirabad Rayonu, Saki Rayonu, Saki Sahari*, Salyan Rayonu, Samaxi Rayonu, Samkir Rayonu, Samux Rayonu, Siyazan Rayonu, Sumqayit Sahari*, Susa Rayonu, Susa Sahari*, Tartar Rayonu, Tovuz Rayonu, Ucar Rayonu, Xacmaz Rayonu, Xankandi Sahari*, Xanlar Rayonu, Xizi Rayonu, Xocali Rayonu, Xocavand Rayonu, Yardimli Rayonu, Yevlax Rayonu, Yevlax Sahari*, Zangilan Rayonu, Zaqatala Rayonu, Zardab Rayonu.


Main article: Geography of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan has a temperate climate. Temperatures vary by season. In the southeast lowland, temperatures average forty degrees in the winter and eighty degrees in the summer. In the northern and western mountain ranges, temperatures average fifty-five degrees in the summer and twenty degrees in the winter.


Main article: Economy of Azerbaijan

The economy is largely based on industry. Industries include machine building, oil and other mining, petroleum refining, textile production, and chemical processing. Agriculture accounts for one third of Azerbaijan’s economy. Most of the nation’s farms are irrigated. In the lowlands, farmers grow such crops as cotton, fruit, grain, tea, tobacco, and many types of vegetables. Silkworms are raised for production of natural silk for the clothing industry. Azerbaijan’s herders raise cattle, sheep and goats near the mountain ranges. Seafood and fish are caught in the nearby Caspian Sea.


Main article: Demographics of Azerbaijan

About eighty nine percent of Azerbaijan’s population is ethnic Azerbaijani. The rest of the population is Russian, Armenian or other ethnicities of the area. Most Azerbaijanis are Muslim. Other religions or philosophical beliefs that are followed by many in the country are the Armenian Christian Orthodox Church, the Russian Christian Orthodox Church and Secular Humanism.


Main article: Culture of Azerbaijan

See also: Music of Azerbaijan

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