|Official Name||Azerbaijani Republic( Azerbaijchan Respublikasy)||Capital||Baku||Population||8,105,000||Area||86,600 sq km or 33,436 sq mi||Currency||Manat (US$ 1=4,648)||Religion||Islam||Literacy||100%||Languages||Azeri, Turkish, Russian||Major Cities||Gandja, Sumgait||Climate||Dry and sub-tropical|
A former Soviet republic, Azerbaijan, gained independence from the Soviet rule in the year 1991. However, independence soon saw a series of economic and political upheavals, but the country, which is also the oldest exporter of oil, after the introduction of new economic programs soon found itself on the recovery path.
Location of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is bordered on the north by Russia, on the east by the Caspian Sea, on the south by Iran, on the west by Armenia, and on the northwest by Georgia. Azerbaijan is the easternmost country of Transcaucasia (the southern portion of the region of Caucasia), and occupies the southern part of the land connecting the Black and Caspian seas.
Physical Map of Azerbaijan
The main stretch of the Caucasus Mountains, known as the Greater Caucasus, forms part of Azerbaijan's northern border with Russia and contains the country's highest peak, Mount Bazarduzu (4,466 m/14,652 ft). Lower elevations are found along the Caspian coast and in the river basins of the country's two main waterways, the Kura and Aras (Araks or Arax) rivers. These rivers, which form continuous lowland through central Azerbaijan, both originate in the mountains of northeastern Turkey.
Flag of Azerbaijan
The flag of Azerbaijan constitutes three equal horizontal bands - blue at the top, red in the middle and green at the bottom. The middle red band has a crescent and eight-pointed star in white.
Climate of Azerbaijan
The climate of Azerbaijan is dry and subtropical in the lowlands, with relatively mild winters and long hot summers. Summers are typically dry, with most precipitation falling during the winter months. During winters, temperatures are colder in the mountains, and snowfall is heavy at elevations of more than 3,000 m (10,000 ft).
Flora And Fauna of Azerbaijan
The flora of Azerbaijan is made up of trees like beech, oak, and pine with most tree cover on the mountain slopes and in the southeastern Lankaran Lowland. As far as fauna is concerned, the subalpine forests support a number of mammal species, including bear, deer, lynx, and wild boar. Leopards, though rare, also inhabit the forests. Reptiles, such as lizards and poisonous snakes, thrive in the arid and semiarid lowlands, which constitute the majority of the country's territory. Gazelles, jackals, and hyenas populate the lowlands as well. The Caspian Sea coast provides a mild winter home to populations of pelicans, herons, flamingos, swans, and other migratory birds.
Azerbaijan is more populated than the other Transcaucasian states. Most of the people, however, stay in villages. The most densely populated area is the Abseron Peninsula in the east, where Azerbaijan's major cities are located.
Arts and Crafts
Azerbaijan has heavy influence of Persian and Turkish culture and has contributed several notable literary and scientific works during the medieval period. During the Soviet era in Azerbaijan, artists used their skills to express Azerbaijani nationalism. Music has always been important in an Azerbaijani life and the ancient Azerbaijani musical tradition is still kept alive by musicians known as ashugs, who improvise songs while playing a stringed instrument called a kobuz.
Economy of Azerbaijan
As Soviet Union collapsed and Azerbaijan gained independence, the country had to go through severe economic turmoil. To add to the woes, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict produced around one million refugees. The living conditions of people deteriorated as inflation rose at jet speed. However, the economy began to recover in 1995, with the introduction of new economic programs. All state-owned enterprises were converted to public sectors. In 2001, the GDP touched $5.6 billion. Considering its extensive petroleum reserves, most of the foreign investments are now focused almost exclusively in the petroleum industry.