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History[edit | edit source]
The sovereign state of Azerbaijan is a unitary semi-presidential republic. It is one of six independent Turkic states and an active member of the Turkic Council and the TÜRKSOY community. Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries and holds membership in 38 international organizations.
The Constitution of Azerbaijan does not declare an official religion and all major political forces in the country are secularist. The majority of the population are of Muslim background and more than 89% of the population is Shia. Most Azerbaijanis, however, do not actively practice any religion, with 53% stating religion has little or no importance in their lives. Alcohol and non-Islamic places are also permitted. Azerbaijan has a high level of human development which ranks on par with most Eastern European countries. It has a high rate of economic development and literacy, as well as a low rate of unemployment.
Timeline[edit | edit source]
1501 – The Safavid dynasty of Iran subdued the Shirvanshahs, and gained its possessions. In the course of the next century, the Safavids converted the formerly Sunni population to Shia Islam
1578 – 1590 Ottoman-Safavid War
1588 – 1804 Azerbaijan was under Iran rule
1804 – 1813 Russians started the Russo-Persian War. The Russians ended the war with a victory. Treaty of Gulistan-- most of what is now the Republic of Azerbaijan was ceded to the Russian Empire
1826 – 1828 Russo-Perisan War
1828 – Treaty of Turkmenchay -- southern parts of the modern-day Republic of Azerbaijan ceded to the Russian Empire
1918 – 1920 Azerbaijanis did not surrender their brief independence easily and as many as 20,000 Azerbaijani soldiers died
12 March 1922 Armenian SSR, Azerbaijan SSR, and Georgian SSR combined to become the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (TSFSF)
5 December 1936 - Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (TSFSF) dissolved. Azerbaijan SSR reestablished.
1994 – Armenians controlled up to 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory and during the war an estimated 30,000 people have been killed and more than a million people were displaced