History UsefulNotes / Azerbaijan

10th Jun '17 3:53:48 PM Occidensill
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The country is one of the few whose population are overwhelmingly Shia Muslim, but more than a century of Russian rule had completely secularized the population to the point that very few currently practice their faith. This makes it somewhat of an oddball when compared to its fellow Caucasian neighbors, Armenia and Georgia, and its former colonizer, Russia, whose churches have considerable influence on national politics, as has the theocratic Iran across the border.

to:

The country is one of the few whose population are overwhelmingly Shia Muslim, but more than a century of Russian rule had has completely secularized the population to the point that very few currently practice their faith. This makes it somewhat of an oddball when compared to its fellow Caucasian neighbors, Armenia and Georgia, and its former colonizer, Russia, whose churches have considerable influence on national politics, as has the theocratic Iran across the border.



Note regarding the naming of the country. Despite being in its name, only a little part of the country occupies the historical region of Azerbaijan. Instead, most of them are in present-day Iran, where ethnic Azeris still predominate and in fact are more numerous than in the Republic. What you'd call the country of Azerbaijan is actually on top of the former duchy of Shirvan, a powerful Persian vassal who held tributaries within the Caucasus during its golden days. Their existence is the reason why the Azeri language used to be the lingua franca of the Caucasus before the Russian invasion and why there exists a large diaspora of Azeris in Russia's Dagestan, Georgia, Eastern Turkey and formerly Armenia (before the 1992 war forced them out, see below). Meanwhile, this reason is also why Iranians still popularly call Azeris as "Tork" instead of the politically correct "Azari". Long story short, before the 20th century, Azeris were still considered an eastern extension of the Turks of the Ottoman Empire. When Shirvan gained independence from Russia (the latter had annexed it after a war with Qajar Iran in 19th century), they decided to name themselves after the region of the south and invented the Azeri appellation to gain a new identity of their own. Iran has several reasons to object this, but mostly because it implies that Azeri Turks are always a distinct nation, rather than a subdued vassal (though a very powerful one; the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Khamenei current Supreme Leader of Iran]] is half-Azeri, FYI).

Azerbaijan's foreign relations, and in fact much of its national self-identity, are dominated by the result of the 1992-1994 Nagorno-Karabakh War which has left the province of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas occupied by Armenian troops and local militia and its considerable Azeri minority forced to flee, while the Armenian minority in the rest of the country was forced to flee to avoid pogroms. The Azeri refugees were then settled into refugee camps where even to this day they live in horrible conditions and poverty. Before the end of the war things got increasingly ugly, with massacres on both sides [[note]] Azeris will be quick to point to the Khojali Massacre in which the Armenian army gunned down somewhere around 300 Azeri villagers (who to be fair were given a warning to evacuate 24 hours before and even had an escape corridor provided for them, but were not allowed to use it by the Azeri authorities), though the Azeri side is equally guilty for needlessly massacring Armenians in Baku and Sumgait early in the war. Best to say it dissolved into GreyAndGreyMorality[[/note]]. The war itself ended in a ceasefire, not that you'd be able to tell or anything, though - skirmishes along the border are all too common. Since the ceasefire Nagorno-Karabakh, or the Republic of UsefulNotes/NagornoKarabakh (or Artsakh) as it calls itself (both names are used interchangeably), has declared independence and has its own democratic government in place (seen by several human rights groups as the least corrupt in the whole region, in fact; Freedom House classifies it as having better civil and political rights than both its neighbours), though every country is too afraid to recognize its independence, including Armenia itself, for fear of starting another war. Armenia and Azerbaijan have been in talks meant to pursue a peaceful solution to the conflict, though neither side wants to budge or concede anything, so the talks so far have been fruitless. Azerbaijan wants the conflict settled based on the concept of territorial integrity, while the Armenians want it settled based on the right of self-determination. Whenever it finally ''is'' settled, it's more than likely going to be in a way that leaves neither side completely satisfied.

to:

Note regarding the naming of the country. Despite being in its name, only a little small part of the country occupies the historical region of Azerbaijan. Instead, most of them are in present-day Iran, where ethnic Azeris still predominate and in fact are more numerous than in the Republic. What you'd call the The current country of Azerbaijan is actually largely on top of the former duchy of Shirvan, a powerful Persian vassal who held tributaries within the Caucasus during its golden days. Their existence is the reason why the Azeri language used to be the lingua franca of the Caucasus before the Russian invasion and why there exists a large diaspora of Azeris in Russia's Dagestan, Georgia, Eastern Turkey and formerly Armenia (before the 1992 war forced them out, see below). Meanwhile, this reason is also why Iranians still popularly call Azeris as "Tork" instead of the politically correct "Azari". Long story short, before the 20th century, Azeris were still considered an eastern extension of the Turks of the Ottoman Empire. When Shirvan gained independence from Russia (the latter had annexed it after a war with Qajar Iran in 19th century), they decided to name themselves after the region of the south and invented the Azeri appellation to gain a new identity of their own. Iran has several reasons to object to this, but mostly because it implies that Azeri Turks are always a distinct nation, rather than a subdued vassal (though a very powerful and numerous one; the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Khamenei current Supreme Leader of Iran]] is half-Azeri, FYI).

half-Azeri).

Azerbaijan's foreign relations, and in fact much of its national self-identity, are dominated by the result of the 1992-1994 Nagorno-Karabakh War which has left the province of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas occupied by Armenian troops and local militia and its considerable Azeri minority forced to flee, out, while the Armenian minority in the rest of the country was forced to flee Azerbaijan also fled to avoid pogroms. The Azeri refugees were then settled into refugee camps where even to this day they live in horrible conditions and poverty. Before the end of the war things got increasingly ugly, with massacres on both sides [[note]] Azeris will be quick to point to the Khojali Massacre in which the Armenian army gunned down somewhere around 300 Azeri villagers (who to be fair were given a warning to evacuate 24 hours before and even had an escape corridor provided for them, but were not allowed to use it by the Azeri authorities), though the Azeri side is equally guilty for needlessly massacring Armenians in Baku and Sumgait early in the war. Best to say it dissolved into GreyAndGreyMorality[[/note]]. The war itself ended in a ceasefire, not that you'd be able to tell or anything, though - skirmishes along the border are all too common. Since the ceasefire Nagorno-Karabakh, or the Republic of UsefulNotes/NagornoKarabakh (or Artsakh) as it calls itself (both names are used interchangeably), has declared independence and has its own democratic government in place (seen by several human rights groups as the least corrupt in the whole region, in fact; Freedom House classifies it as having better civil and political rights than both its neighbours), though every country is too afraid to recognize its independence, including Armenia itself, for fear of starting another war. Armenia and Azerbaijan have been in talks meant to pursue a peaceful solution to the conflict, though neither side wants to budge or concede anything, so the talks so far have been fruitless. Azerbaijan wants the conflict settled based on the concept of territorial integrity, while the Armenians want it settled based on the right of self-determination. Whenever it finally ''is'' settled, it's more than likely going to be in a way that leaves neither side completely satisfied.
2nd May '17 10:44:51 PM AntonF
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http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/aj-map.gif

Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan''), officially known as the Republic of Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan Respublikası''), like neighbouring Armenia, is one of the clutch of former Soviet republics in the Caucasus region, where Russia and Turkey meet. "Where Russia and Turkey meet" applies well to the country, as it has long been under Russian rule, but speaks a language which is very close to Turkish. This can be seen in names like Aliyev ("Ali"-"ev", a typical Middle Eastern name with a Russian suffix). The country is one of the few whose population are overwhelmingly Shia Muslim, but the state, like Turkey, is strictly secular, even bordering on atheist, on par with the Scandinavian countries (Azerbaijan is the most irreligious country with a Muslim-majority population; the Islamic identification being a mere formality in most cases). This stands in contrast with its neighbors, UsefulNotes/{{Armenia}} and [[UsefulNotes/GeorgiaEurope Georgia]], which are quite religious (and Christian), and UsefulNotes/{{Iran}}, which is borderline fanatic (it is ruled by a theocracy, after all). Since independence, it has been ruled by a dynasty of the Aliyevs, consisting of Heydar, its first president, and his son, Ilham, who have been ruling since 2003 and maintaining power through what most foreign observers like Freedom House would objectively call 'rigged' elections.

The region was called Caucasian Albania during antiquity (actually, it's just Albania, but that would confuse everyone with that [[UsefulNotes/{{Albania}} little country]] in the Balkans) and was populated by Caucasian ethnic groups ([[IThoughtItMeant as in, people who came from the Caucasus Mountains, not an alternative term for white people]]). They were assimilated by the Iranians who spoke a language termed as Old Azeri, who in turn were assimilated by the arriving Turkic groups who came in the 1200s. The people adopted Islam early in the religion's founding, and during the 1500s, mass converted to the Shia branch following the precedent set by the Safavids. When Qajar Iran lost the battles with Tsarist Russia in the 1800s, the homeland of the Azeris was divided between the two empires, the north becoming the modern country, while the south remaining in Iran's hands. Azeri national identity has emerged in the 18th century as local rulers obtained autonomy from Iranian shahs and solidified in the 19th century under Russian rule and in the 20th century under independent Azerbaijani Democratic Republic and later Soviet Azerbaijan.

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http://static.[[quoteright:328:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/aj-map.gif

gif]]

Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan''), officially known as the Republic of Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan Respublikası''), like neighbouring Armenia, is one of the clutch of former Soviet republics in the Caucasus region, where Russia and Turkey meet. "Where Russia and Turkey meet" applies well to the country, as it has long been under Russian rule, but speaks a language which is very close to Turkish. This can be seen in names like Aliyev ("Ali"-"ev", a typical Middle Eastern name with a Russian suffix). The country is one of the few whose population are overwhelmingly Shia Muslim, but the state, like Turkey, is strictly secular, even bordering on atheist, on par with the Scandinavian countries (Azerbaijan is the most irreligious country with a Muslim-majority population; the Islamic identification being a mere formality in most cases). This stands in contrast with its neighbors, UsefulNotes/{{Armenia}} and [[UsefulNotes/GeorgiaEurope Georgia]], which are quite religious (and Christian), and UsefulNotes/{{Iran}}, which is borderline fanatic (it is ruled by a theocracy, after all). Since independence, it has been ruled by a dynasty of the Aliyevs, consisting of Heydar, its first president, and his son, Ilham, who have been ruling since 2003 and maintaining power through what most foreign observers like Freedom House would objectively call 'rigged' elections.

The region was called country is one of the few whose population are overwhelmingly Shia Muslim, but more than a century of Russian rule had completely secularized the population to the point that very few currently practice their faith. This makes it somewhat of an oddball when compared to its fellow Caucasian Albania during antiquity (actually, it's just Albania, but neighbors, Armenia and Georgia, and its former colonizer, Russia, whose churches have considerable influence on national politics, as has the theocratic Iran across the border.

The titular ethnic group of the country, the Azerbaijanis, despite being linguistically Turkic, are an example of what ethnologists call "Turko-Persian"; their culture is highly Persianized, and their people identify themselves more as part of the Iranian world than with Central Asia, where the Turks originally came from. Compare the [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1d/Azerigirl.jpg/200px-Azerigirl.jpg national dress of Azeris]] with [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/85/Ancient_Persian_Clothing_Parthian_Era_200_BC.jpg the Parthians]] as contrasted with [[http://aboutkazakhstan.com/images/kazakhstan-people-national-clothes-9.jpg the Kazakhs]]. This is supported by genetic and historical evidences, which showed
that would confuse everyone with that [[UsefulNotes/{{Albania}} little country]] there was no large-scale immigration in the Balkans) and was populated by Caucasian historical period, suggesting that local Iranians adopted the language of the Turkic conquerors while retaining their base culture. Meanwhile, the former Iranians in turn were assimilated ethnic groups ([[IThoughtItMeant as in, Caucasians (i.e. [[IThoughtItMeant people who came from the Caucasus Mountains, not an alternative term for white people]]). They were assimilated by people]]) related to the Georgians, the Chechens, the Lezgians, etc.

Note regarding the naming of the country. Despite being in its name, only a little part of the country occupies the historical region of Azerbaijan. Instead, most of them are in present-day Iran, where ethnic Azeris still predominate and in fact are more numerous than in the Republic. What you'd call the country of Azerbaijan is actually on top of the former duchy of Shirvan, a powerful Persian vassal who held tributaries within the Caucasus during its golden days. Their existence is the reason why the Azeri language used to be the lingua franca of the Caucasus before the Russian invasion and why there exists a large diaspora of Azeris in Russia's Dagestan, Georgia, Eastern Turkey and formerly Armenia (before the 1992 war forced them out, see below). Meanwhile, this reason is also why
Iranians who spoke a language termed still popularly call Azeris as Old Azeri, who in turn "Tork" instead of the politically correct "Azari". Long story short, before the 20th century, Azeris were assimilated by still considered an eastern extension of the arriving Turkic groups who came in Turks of the 1200s. The people adopted Islam early in the religion's founding, and during the 1500s, mass converted to the Shia branch following the precedent set by the Safavids. Ottoman Empire. When Shirvan gained independence from Russia (the latter had annexed it after a war with Qajar Iran lost in 19th century), they decided to name themselves after the battles with Tsarist Russia in the 1800s, the homeland region of the Azeris was divided between the two empires, the north becoming the modern country, while the south remaining in Iran's hands. and invented the Azeri national appellation to gain a new identity of their own. Iran has emerged in several reasons to object this, but mostly because it implies that Azeri Turks are always a distinct nation, rather than a subdued vassal (though a very powerful one; the 18th century as local rulers obtained autonomy from Iranian shahs and solidified in the 19th century under Russian rule and in the 20th century under independent Azerbaijani Democratic Republic and later Soviet Azerbaijan.
[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Khamenei current Supreme Leader of Iran]] is half-Azeri, FYI).



Azerbaijan's relations with Iran have become rather unstable as of late because Azerbaijan has shown itself to be pro-U.S. and pro-Israel (and both countries see Azerbaijan as a potential springboard for attacking Iran should the need arise), and Azerbaijan is angry at Iran for having good relations with Armenia, causing more problems for Nakhchivan (luckily, it just ''barely'' borders with Turkey at one little corner, so it has one friend in the region that actually borders it). This comes despite the fact that northern Iran is home to more Azeris than Azerbaijan itself, not to mention that Armenia also has good relations with the US and Israel.

The people of Azerbaijan, as noted above, are Turkic culturally and linguistically, but technically, you can tell that they're Turkicized Iranians just by virtue of their mostly Caucasoid appearance (the original Turks, believe it or not, are actually more East Asian/Mongoloid in appearance. Those features are still inherited by the majority of Central Asian and Siberian Turks, like the [[UsefulNotes/{{Kazakhstan}} Kazakhs]] or the [[UsefulNotes/{{Kyrgyzstan}} Kyrgyzs]]). Their language is very similar to Turkish (so close that it's often considered a dialect), contributing even more to Azerbaijan's close relationship with Turkey. There's also minorities of Iranians and Caucasians who settle in the southeastern and northern portions of the country, respectively. Azerbaijan has been good in maintaining its share of Jews (which are not a whole lot) compared to the other post-Soviet states; there's approximately 10,000 Mountain Jews (so-called because their homeland is in the Caucasus Mountains) left. The country's good relation with Israel definitely helps.

to:

Azerbaijan's relations with Iran have become rather unstable as of late because Azerbaijan has shown itself to be pro-U.S. and pro-Israel (and both countries see Azerbaijan as a potential springboard for attacking Iran should the need arise), and Azerbaijan is angry at Iran for having good relations with Armenia, causing more problems for Nakhchivan (luckily, it just ''barely'' borders with Turkey at one little corner, so it has one friend in the region that actually borders it). This comes despite the fact that northern Iran is home to more Azeris than Azerbaijan itself, not to mention that Armenia also has good relations with the US and Israel.

The people of Azerbaijan, as noted above, are Turkic culturally and linguistically, but technically, you can tell that they're Turkicized Iranians just by virtue of their mostly Caucasoid appearance (the original Turks, believe it or not, are actually more East Asian/Mongoloid in appearance. Those features are still inherited by the majority of Central Asian and Siberian Turks, like the [[UsefulNotes/{{Kazakhstan}} Kazakhs]] or the [[UsefulNotes/{{Kyrgyzstan}} Kyrgyzs]]). Their language is very similar to Turkish (so close that it's often considered a dialect), contributing even more to Azerbaijan's close relationship with Turkey. There's also minorities of Iranians and Caucasians who settle in the southeastern and northern portions of the country, respectively. Azerbaijan has been good in maintaining its share of Jews (which are not a whole lot) compared to the other post-Soviet states; there's approximately 10,000 Mountain Jews (so-called because their homeland is in the Caucasus Mountains) left. The country's good relation with Israel definitely helps.
Israel.
8th Mar '17 10:58:02 PM Occidensill
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Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan''), officially known as the Republic of Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan Respublikası''), like neighbouring Armenia, is one of the clutch of former Soviet republics in the Caucasus region, where Russia and Turkey meet. "Where Russia and Turkey meet" applies well to the country, as it has long been under Russian rule, but speaks a language which is very close to Turkish. This can be seen in names like Aliyev ("Ali"-"ev", a typical Middle Eastern name with a Russian suffix). The country is one of the few whose population are overwhelmingly Shia Muslim, but the state, like Turkey, is strictly secular, even bordering on atheist, on par with the Scandinavian countries (Azerbaijan is the most irreligious country with a Muslim-majority population; the Islamic identification being a mere formality in most cases). This stands in contrast with its neighbors, UsefulNotes/{{Armenia}} and [[UsefulNotes/GeorgiaEurope Georgia]], which are quite religious, and UsefulNotes/{{Iran}}, which is borderline fanatic (it is ruled by a theocracy, after all). Since independence, it has been ruled by a dynasty of the Aliyevs, consisting of Heydar, its first president, and his son, Ilham, who have been ruling since 2003 and maintaning power through what most foreign observers like Freedom House would objectively call 'rigged' elections.

to:

Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan''), officially known as the Republic of Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan Respublikası''), like neighbouring Armenia, is one of the clutch of former Soviet republics in the Caucasus region, where Russia and Turkey meet. "Where Russia and Turkey meet" applies well to the country, as it has long been under Russian rule, but speaks a language which is very close to Turkish. This can be seen in names like Aliyev ("Ali"-"ev", a typical Middle Eastern name with a Russian suffix). The country is one of the few whose population are overwhelmingly Shia Muslim, but the state, like Turkey, is strictly secular, even bordering on atheist, on par with the Scandinavian countries (Azerbaijan is the most irreligious country with a Muslim-majority population; the Islamic identification being a mere formality in most cases). This stands in contrast with its neighbors, UsefulNotes/{{Armenia}} and [[UsefulNotes/GeorgiaEurope Georgia]], which are quite religious, religious (and Christian), and UsefulNotes/{{Iran}}, which is borderline fanatic (it is ruled by a theocracy, after all). Since independence, it has been ruled by a dynasty of the Aliyevs, consisting of Heydar, its first president, and his son, Ilham, who have been ruling since 2003 and maintaning maintaining power through what most foreign observers like Freedom House would objectively call 'rigged' elections.
26th Dec '16 8:13:00 PM Chytus
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Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan''), officially known as the Republic of Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan Respublikası''), like neighbouring Armenia, is one of the clutch of former Soviet republics in the Caucasus region, where Russia and Turkey meet. "Where Russia and Turkey meet" applies well to the country, as it has long been under Russian rule, but speaks a language which is very close to Turkish. This can be seen in names like Aliyev ("Ali"-"ev", a typical Middle Eastern name with a Russian suffix). The country is one of the few whose population are overwhelmingly Shia Muslim, but the state, like Turkey, is strictly secular, even bordering on atheist, on par with the Scandinavian countries (Azerbaijan is the most irreligious country with a Muslim-majority population; the Islamic identification being a mere formality in most cases). This stands in contrast with its neighbors, UsefulNotes/{{Armenia}} and [[UsefulNotes/GeorgiaEurope Georgia]], which are quite religious, and UsefulNotes/{{Iran}}, which is borderline fanatic (it is ruled by a theocracy, after all)). Since independence, it has been ruled by a dynasty of the Aliyevs, consisting of Heydar, its first president, and his son, Ilham, who have been ruling since 2003 and maintaning power through what most foreign observers like Freedom House would objectively call 'rigged' elections.

to:

Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan''), officially known as the Republic of Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan Respublikası''), like neighbouring Armenia, is one of the clutch of former Soviet republics in the Caucasus region, where Russia and Turkey meet. "Where Russia and Turkey meet" applies well to the country, as it has long been under Russian rule, but speaks a language which is very close to Turkish. This can be seen in names like Aliyev ("Ali"-"ev", a typical Middle Eastern name with a Russian suffix). The country is one of the few whose population are overwhelmingly Shia Muslim, but the state, like Turkey, is strictly secular, even bordering on atheist, on par with the Scandinavian countries (Azerbaijan is the most irreligious country with a Muslim-majority population; the Islamic identification being a mere formality in most cases). This stands in contrast with its neighbors, UsefulNotes/{{Armenia}} and [[UsefulNotes/GeorgiaEurope Georgia]], which are quite religious, and UsefulNotes/{{Iran}}, which is borderline fanatic (it is ruled by a theocracy, after all)).all). Since independence, it has been ruled by a dynasty of the Aliyevs, consisting of Heydar, its first president, and his son, Ilham, who have been ruling since 2003 and maintaning power through what most foreign observers like Freedom House would objectively call 'rigged' elections.



Azerbaijan's foreign relations, and in fact much of it's national self-identity, are dominated by the result of the 1992-1994 Nagorno-Karabakh War which has left the province of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas occupied by Armenian troops and local militia and its considerable Azeri minority forced to flee, while the Armenian minority in the rest of the country was forced to flee to avoid pogroms. The Azeri refugees were then settled into refugee camps where even to this day they live in horrible conditions and poverty. Before the end of the war things got increasingly ugly, with massacres on both sides [[note]] Azeris will be quick to point to the Khojali Massacre in which the Armenian army gunned down somewhere around 300 Azeri villagers (who to be fair were given a warning to evacuate 24 hours before and even had an escape corridor provided for them, but were not allowed to use it by the Azeri authorities), though the Azeri side is equally guilty for needlessly massacring Armenians in Baku and Sumgait early in the war. Best to say it dissolved into GreyAndGreyMorality[[/note]]. The war itself ended in a ceasefire, not that you'd be able to tell or anything, though - skirmishes along the border are all too common. Since the ceasefire Nagorno-Karabakh, or the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (or Artsakh) as it calls itself (both names are used interchangeably), has declared independence and has its own democratic government in place (seen by several human rights groups as the least corrupt in the whole region, in fact; Freedom House classifies it as having better civil and political rights than both its neighbours), though every country is too afraid to recognize its independence, including Armenia itself, for fear of starting another war. Armenia and Azerbaijan have been in talks meant to pursue a peaceful solution to the conflict, though neither side wants to budge or concede anything, so the talks so far have been fruitless. Azerbaijan wants the conflict settled based on the concept of territorial integrity, while the Armenians want it settled based on the right of self-determination. Whenever it finally ''is'' settled, it's more than likely going to be in a way that leaves neither side completely satisfied.

to:

Azerbaijan's foreign relations, and in fact much of it's its national self-identity, are dominated by the result of the 1992-1994 Nagorno-Karabakh War which has left the province of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas occupied by Armenian troops and local militia and its considerable Azeri minority forced to flee, while the Armenian minority in the rest of the country was forced to flee to avoid pogroms. The Azeri refugees were then settled into refugee camps where even to this day they live in horrible conditions and poverty. Before the end of the war things got increasingly ugly, with massacres on both sides [[note]] Azeris will be quick to point to the Khojali Massacre in which the Armenian army gunned down somewhere around 300 Azeri villagers (who to be fair were given a warning to evacuate 24 hours before and even had an escape corridor provided for them, but were not allowed to use it by the Azeri authorities), though the Azeri side is equally guilty for needlessly massacring Armenians in Baku and Sumgait early in the war. Best to say it dissolved into GreyAndGreyMorality[[/note]]. The war itself ended in a ceasefire, not that you'd be able to tell or anything, though - skirmishes along the border are all too common. Since the ceasefire Nagorno-Karabakh, or the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh UsefulNotes/NagornoKarabakh (or Artsakh) as it calls itself (both names are used interchangeably), has declared independence and has its own democratic government in place (seen by several human rights groups as the least corrupt in the whole region, in fact; Freedom House classifies it as having better civil and political rights than both its neighbours), though every country is too afraid to recognize its independence, including Armenia itself, for fear of starting another war. Armenia and Azerbaijan have been in talks meant to pursue a peaceful solution to the conflict, though neither side wants to budge or concede anything, so the talks so far have been fruitless. Azerbaijan wants the conflict settled based on the concept of territorial integrity, while the Armenians want it settled based on the right of self-determination. Whenever it finally ''is'' settled, it's more than likely going to be in a way that leaves neither side completely satisfied.



The name of the country is sometimes considered an {{Inherently Funny Word|s}} in English-speaking media, largely because it has the letters Z and J in it. It is often referenced when a 'random obscure country name' is needed in media. It has largely inherited this role from Czechoslovakia, which ceased to exist in 1993. The country's name comes from Atropates, a Persian who set up his own kingdom in the area after UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat's invasion ([[YanksWithTanks US Army]] officer training often involves planning invasions of fictional countries in the Caucasus that have the same borders as real ones, Azerbaijan is "Atropia" for presumably this reason).

In more recent news, Azerbaijan won the EurovisionSongContest in 2011 and hosted the 2012 contest in Baku. While it went well, within a few days the European Parliament threatened sanctions if the human rights situation in the country wasn't brought up to standard, thanks to the new-found attention the country was getting. But other than that, the country's strategic position to the West, as well as its oil, has largely made it immune to criticism, even after [[http://freedomhouse.org/article/aliyevs-rigged-election-azerbaijan-lacks-credibility the results of the 2013 presidential elections]] were leaked onto the internet ''before'' anyone ever cast a vote.

to:

The name of the country is sometimes considered an {{Inherently Funny Word|s}} in English-speaking media, largely because it has the letters Z and J in it. It is often referenced when a 'random obscure country name' is needed in media. It has largely inherited this role from Czechoslovakia, which ceased to exist in 1993. The country's name comes from Atropates, a Persian who set up his own kingdom in the area after UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat's invasion ([[YanksWithTanks ([[UsefulNotes/YanksWithTanks US Army]] officer training often involves planning invasions of fictional countries in the Caucasus that have the same borders as real ones, Azerbaijan is "Atropia" for presumably this reason).

In more recent news, Azerbaijan won the EurovisionSongContest Series/EurovisionSongContest in 2011 and hosted the 2012 contest in Baku. While it went well, within a few days the European Parliament threatened sanctions if the human rights situation in the country wasn't brought up to standard, thanks to the new-found attention the country was getting. But other than that, the country's strategic position to the West, as well as its oil, has largely made it immune to criticism, even after [[http://freedomhouse.org/article/aliyevs-rigged-election-azerbaijan-lacks-credibility the results of the 2013 presidential elections]] were leaked onto the internet ''before'' anyone ever cast a vote.



* Recordings of Azeri bagpipes were included on the Voyager Golden Records, currently (October 2010) 13 and 16 light-hours thataway.

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* Recordings of Azeri bagpipes were included on the Voyager Golden Records, currently (October 2010) 13 and 16 light-hours thataway.that away.
19th Sep '16 6:20:00 AM lakingsif
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Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan''), officially known as the Republic of Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan Respublikası''), like neighbouring Armenia, is one of the clutch of former Soviet republics in the Caucasus region, where Russia and Turkey meet. "Where Russia and Turkey meet" applies well to the country, as it has long been under Russian rule, but speaks a language which is very close to Turkish. This can be seen in names like Aliyev ("Ali"-"ev", a typical Middle Eastern name with a Russian suffix). The country is one of the few whose population are overwhelmingly Shia Muslim, but the state, like Turkey, is strictly secular, even bordering on atheist, on par with the Scandinavian countries (Azerbaijan is the most irreligious country with a Muslim-majority population; the Islamic identification being a mere formality in most cases). This stands in contrast with its neighbors, UsefulNotes/{{Armenia}} and UsefulNotes/{{Georgia}}, which are quite religious, and UsefulNotes/{{Iran}}, which is borderline fanatic (it is ruled by a theocracy, after all)). Since independence, it has been ruled by a dynasty of the Aliyevs, consisting of Heydar, its first president, and his son, Ilham, who have been ruling since 2003 and maintaning power through what most foreign observers like Freedom House would objectively call 'rigged' elections.

to:

Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan''), officially known as the Republic of Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan Respublikası''), like neighbouring Armenia, is one of the clutch of former Soviet republics in the Caucasus region, where Russia and Turkey meet. "Where Russia and Turkey meet" applies well to the country, as it has long been under Russian rule, but speaks a language which is very close to Turkish. This can be seen in names like Aliyev ("Ali"-"ev", a typical Middle Eastern name with a Russian suffix). The country is one of the few whose population are overwhelmingly Shia Muslim, but the state, like Turkey, is strictly secular, even bordering on atheist, on par with the Scandinavian countries (Azerbaijan is the most irreligious country with a Muslim-majority population; the Islamic identification being a mere formality in most cases). This stands in contrast with its neighbors, UsefulNotes/{{Armenia}} and UsefulNotes/{{Georgia}}, [[UsefulNotes/GeorgiaEurope Georgia]], which are quite religious, and UsefulNotes/{{Iran}}, which is borderline fanatic (it is ruled by a theocracy, after all)). Since independence, it has been ruled by a dynasty of the Aliyevs, consisting of Heydar, its first president, and his son, Ilham, who have been ruling since 2003 and maintaning power through what most foreign observers like Freedom House would objectively call 'rigged' elections.
9th Mar '16 4:04:43 PM Doug86
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The name of the country is sometimes considered an {{Inherently Funny Word|s}} in English-speaking media, largely because it has the letters Z and J in it. It is often referenced when a 'random obscure country name' is needed in media. It has largely inherited this role from Czechoslovakia, which ceased to exist in 1993. The country's name comes from Atropates, a Persian who set up his own kingdom in the area after AlexanderTheGreat's invasion ([[YanksWithTanks US Army]] officer training often involves planning invasions of fictional countries in the Caucasus that have the same borders as real ones, Azerbaijan is "Atropia" for presumably this reason).

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The name of the country is sometimes considered an {{Inherently Funny Word|s}} in English-speaking media, largely because it has the letters Z and J in it. It is often referenced when a 'random obscure country name' is needed in media. It has largely inherited this role from Czechoslovakia, which ceased to exist in 1993. The country's name comes from Atropates, a Persian who set up his own kingdom in the area after AlexanderTheGreat's UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat's invasion ([[YanksWithTanks US Army]] officer training often involves planning invasions of fictional countries in the Caucasus that have the same borders as real ones, Azerbaijan is "Atropia" for presumably this reason).
27th Dec '15 10:43:44 PM Dimas28
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The people of Azerbaijan, as noted above, are Turkic in origin and are very close, both ethnically and linguistically, to the Turkish people of Turkey. There's also minorities of Iranians and Caucasians who settle in the southeastern and northern portions of the country, respectively. Azerbaijan has been good in maintaining its share of Jews (which are not a whole lot) compared to the other post-Soviet states; there's approximately 10,000 Mountain Jews (so-called because their homeland is in the Caucasus Mountains) left. The country's good relation with Israel definitely helps.

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The people of Azerbaijan, as noted above, are Turkic in origin and are very close, both ethnically culturally and linguistically, to but technically, you can tell that they're Turkicized Iranians just by virtue of their mostly Caucasoid appearance (the original Turks, believe it or not, are actually more East Asian/Mongoloid in appearance. Those features are still inherited by the majority of Central Asian and Siberian Turks, like the [[UsefulNotes/{{Kazakhstan}} Kazakhs]] or the [[UsefulNotes/{{Kyrgyzstan}} Kyrgyzs]]). Their language is very similar to Turkish people of (so close that it's often considered a dialect), contributing even more to Azerbaijan's close relationship with Turkey. There's also minorities of Iranians and Caucasians who settle in the southeastern and northern portions of the country, respectively. Azerbaijan has been good in maintaining its share of Jews (which are not a whole lot) compared to the other post-Soviet states; there's approximately 10,000 Mountain Jews (so-called because their homeland is in the Caucasus Mountains) left. The country's good relation with Israel definitely helps.
24th Dec '15 3:10:47 AM Dimas28
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Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan''), officially known as the Republic of Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan Respublikası''), like neighbouring Armenia, is one of the clutch of former Soviet republics in the Caucasus region, where Russia and Turkey meet. "Where Russia and Turkey meet" applies well to the country, as it has long been under Russian rule, but speaks a language which is very close to Turkish. This can be seen in names like Aliyev ("Ali"-"ev", a typical Middle Eastern name with a Russian suffix). The country is one of the few whose population are overwhelmingly Shia Muslim, but the state, like Turkey, is strictly secular, though it has been ruled by the authoritarian president Ilham Aliyev since 2003 after the death of his father Haydar, who has maintained power through what most foreign observers like Freedom House would objectively call 'rigged' elections.

to:

Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan''), officially known as the Republic of Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan Respublikası''), like neighbouring Armenia, is one of the clutch of former Soviet republics in the Caucasus region, where Russia and Turkey meet. "Where Russia and Turkey meet" applies well to the country, as it has long been under Russian rule, but speaks a language which is very close to Turkish. This can be seen in names like Aliyev ("Ali"-"ev", a typical Middle Eastern name with a Russian suffix). The country is one of the few whose population are overwhelmingly Shia Muslim, but the state, like Turkey, is strictly secular, though even bordering on atheist, on par with the Scandinavian countries (Azerbaijan is the most irreligious country with a Muslim-majority population; the Islamic identification being a mere formality in most cases). This stands in contrast with its neighbors, UsefulNotes/{{Armenia}} and UsefulNotes/{{Georgia}}, which are quite religious, and UsefulNotes/{{Iran}}, which is borderline fanatic (it is ruled by a theocracy, after all)). Since independence, it has been ruled by a dynasty of the authoritarian president Ilham Aliyev Aliyevs, consisting of Heydar, its first president, and his son, Ilham, who have been ruling since 2003 after the death of his father Haydar, who has maintained and maintaning power through what most foreign observers like Freedom House would objectively call 'rigged' elections.
22nd Dec '15 7:11:43 AM Dimas28
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Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan''), officially known as the Republic of Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan Respublikası''), like neighbouring Armenia, is one of the clutch of former Soviet republics in the Caucasus region, where Russia and Turkey meet. "Where Russia and Turkey meet" applies well to the country, as it has long been under Russian rule, but speaks a language which is very close to Turkish. This can be seen in names like Aliyev ("Ali"-"ev", a typical Middle Eastern name with a Russian suffix). The country is mostly Shia Muslim, but the state, like Turkey, is strictly secular, though it has been ruled by the authoritarian president Ilham Aliyev since 2003 after the death of his father Haydar, who has maintained power through what most foreign observers like Freedom House would objectively call 'rigged' elections. The people of Azerbaijan themselves are a mixture of Turkish, Caucasian Albanian and Iranian, and their nomadic ancestors came into the region from Central Asia along with the Turks in the 1200's; before the founding of Azerbaijan in 1918 the Azeris were commonly referred to as Caucasian Tatars. The area has been conquered by several different empires over the course of the last several thousands of years. Azeri national identity has emerged in the 18th century as local rulers obtained autonomy from Iranian shahs and solidified in the 19th century under Russian rule and in the 20th century under independent Azerbaijani Democratic Republic and later Soviet Azerbaijan.

to:

Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan''), officially known as the Republic of Azerbaijan ('''Azerbaijani:''' ''Azərbaycan Respublikası''), like neighbouring Armenia, is one of the clutch of former Soviet republics in the Caucasus region, where Russia and Turkey meet. "Where Russia and Turkey meet" applies well to the country, as it has long been under Russian rule, but speaks a language which is very close to Turkish. This can be seen in names like Aliyev ("Ali"-"ev", a typical Middle Eastern name with a Russian suffix). The country is mostly one of the few whose population are overwhelmingly Shia Muslim, but the state, like Turkey, is strictly secular, though it has been ruled by the authoritarian president Ilham Aliyev since 2003 after the death of his father Haydar, who has maintained power through what most foreign observers like Freedom House would objectively call 'rigged' elections. elections.

The region was called Caucasian Albania during antiquity (actually, it's just Albania, but that would confuse everyone with that [[UsefulNotes/{{Albania}} little country]] in the Balkans) and was populated by Caucasian ethnic groups ([[IThoughtItMeant as in, people who came from the Caucasus Mountains, not an alternative term for white people]]). They were assimilated by the Iranians who spoke a language termed as Old Azeri, who in turn were assimilated by the arriving Turkic groups who came in the 1200s.
The people of Azerbaijan themselves are a mixture of Turkish, Caucasian Albanian and Iranian, and their nomadic ancestors came into the region from Central Asia along with the Turks adopted Islam early in the 1200's; before religion's founding, and during the founding 1500s, mass converted to the Shia branch following the precedent set by the Safavids. When Qajar Iran lost the battles with Tsarist Russia in the 1800s, the homeland of Azerbaijan in 1918 the Azeris were commonly referred to as Caucasian Tatars. The area has been conquered by several different empires over was divided between the course of two empires, the last several thousands of years.north becoming the modern country, while the south remaining in Iran's hands. Azeri national identity has emerged in the 18th century as local rulers obtained autonomy from Iranian shahs and solidified in the 19th century under Russian rule and in the 20th century under independent Azerbaijani Democratic Republic and later Soviet Azerbaijan.


Added DiffLines:

The people of Azerbaijan, as noted above, are Turkic in origin and are very close, both ethnically and linguistically, to the Turkish people of Turkey. There's also minorities of Iranians and Caucasians who settle in the southeastern and northern portions of the country, respectively. Azerbaijan has been good in maintaining its share of Jews (which are not a whole lot) compared to the other post-Soviet states; there's approximately 10,000 Mountain Jews (so-called because their homeland is in the Caucasus Mountains) left. The country's good relation with Israel definitely helps.
24th Nov '15 1:57:26 AM amateur55
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