Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic
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The Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic ( az, Naxçıvan Muxtar Respublikası, ), is a landlocked
exclave An enclave is a territory (or a small territory apart of a larger one) that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state or entity. Enclaves may also exist within territorial waters. ''Enclave'' is sometimes used improperly to deno ...
of the
Republic of Azerbaijan
Republic of Azerbaijan
. The region covers Official portal of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic
Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic
with a population of 459,600 bordered by
Armenia Armenia (), , group=pron officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.The UNbr>classification of world regions places Armenia in Western Asia; the CIA World Factbook , , and '' ...

Armenia
to the east and north,
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...

Iran
to the southwest, and
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a East Thrace, small portion on th ...

Turkey
to the west. The republic, especially the capital city of Nakhchivan, has a long history dating back to about 1500 BCE. ''Nakhijevan'' was one the cantons of the historical Armenian province of Vaspurakan in the Kingdom of Armenia. Historically though, the
Persians The Persians are an Iranian peoples, Iranian ethnic group who comprise over half of the population of Iran. They share a Culture of Iran, common cultural system and are native speakers of the Persian language as well as of Iranian languages, t ...
,
Armenians Armenians ( hy, հայեր, ''Romanization of Armenian, hayer'' ) are an ethnic group native to the Armenian highlands of Western Asia. Armenians constitute the main population of Armenia and the ''de facto'' independent Republic of Artsakh ...
,
Mongols The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , , ; ; russian: Монголы) are an East Asian people, East Asian ethnic group indigenous peoples, native to Mongolia, Inner Mongolia in China and the Buryatia, Buryatia Republic of the Russia, Russ ...

Mongols
, and Turks all competed for the region. The area that is now Nakhchivan became part of in the 16th century. In 1828, after the last Russo-Persian War and the
Treaty of Turkmenchay The Treaty of Turkmenchay ( fa, عهدنامه ترکمنچای; russian: Туркманчайский договор) was an agreement between Qajar Iran and the Russian Empire, which concluded the Russo-Persian War (1826–28). It was second o ...
, the
Nakhchivan Khanate The Nakhichevan Khanate ( fa, خانات نخجوان, translit=Khānāt-e Nakhchevān; Azerbaijani:ناخچیوان خانلیغی,Naxçıvan xanlığı; hy, Նախիջեւանի խանութիւն, translit=Naxijewani xanowt'iwn) was a khanat ...
passed from Iranian into
Imperial Russian The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling across large parts of Eurasia. It succeeded the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad, which ended th ...
possession. After the 1917
February Revolution The February Revolution ( rus, Февра́льская револю́ция, r=Fevral'skaya revolyutsiya, p=fʲɪvˈralʲskəjə rʲɪvɐˈlʲutsɨjə), known in Soviet historiography as the February Bourgeois Democratic Revolution and somet ...
, Nakhchivan and its surrounding region were under the authority of the Special Transcaucasian Committee of the Russian Provisional Government and subsequently of the short-lived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic. When the TDFR was dissolved in May 1918, Nakhchivan,
Nagorno-Karabakh Nagorno-Karabakh ( ) is a landlocked country, landlocked region in the Transcaucasia, South Caucasus, within the mountainous range of Karabakh, lying between Lower Karabakh and Syunik Province, Syunik, and covering the southeastern range o ...
, Syunik, and Qazakh were heavily contested between the newly formed and short-lived states of the
First Republic of Armenia The First Republic of Armenia, officially known at the time of its existence as the Republic of Armenia ( hy, Հայաստանի Հանրապետութիւն), was the first modern Armenian state since the loss of Armenian statehood in the Middl ...

First Republic of Armenia
and the
Azerbaijan Democratic Republic The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic), or simply as Azerbaijan in Paris Peace Conference, 1919–1920,''Bulletin d'Information de l'Azerbaidjan'', No. I, September 1, 1919, pp. 6–7''125 H.C.Debs.'', 58., February 24, 1920, p. 1467. Caucasian Az ...
(ADR). In June 1918, the region came under occupation. Under the terms of the Armistice of Mudros, the Ottomans agreed to pull their troops out of the Transcaucasus to make way for British occupation at the close of the First World War. In July 1920, the
Bolsheviks The Bolsheviks (russian: Большевики́, from большинство́ ''bol'shinstvó'', 'majority'),; derived from ''bol'shinstvó'' (большинство́), "majority", literally meaning "one of the majority". also known in English ...
occupied the region. In November of that year, Bolshevik Russia and
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (, ; az, Azərbaycan ), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, , also sometimes officially called the Azerbaijan Republic is a transcontinental country, transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Wester ...
both promised that Nakhchivan, alongside neighboring
Nagorno-Karabakh Nagorno-Karabakh ( ) is a landlocked country, landlocked region in the Transcaucasia, South Caucasus, within the mountainous range of Karabakh, lying between Lower Karabakh and Syunik Province, Syunik, and covering the southeastern range o ...
and Zangezur, was an "integral part" of
Armenia Armenia (), , group=pron officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.The UNbr>classification of world regions places Armenia in Western Asia; the CIA World Factbook , , and '' ...

Armenia
.De Waal. ''Black Garden'', p. 129. However, on March 16, 1921, in accordance with the results of a referendum, the Bolshevik government declared the Nakhchivan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, which went on to become an autonomous republic ''within'' the
Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic Azerbaijan ( az, Азәрбајҹан, Azərbaycan, italics=no), officially the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (Azerbaijan SSR; az, Азәрбајҹан Совет Сосиалист Республикасы, Azərbaycan Sovet Sosialist R ...
in 1924. In January 1990, Nakhchivan declared independence from the USSR to protest against the suppression of the national movement in Azerbaijan and became the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic within the newly independent Republic of Azerbaijan a year later. Though a culturally mixed Armenian region as late as a century ago, and Ray Taras. ''New States, New Politics: Building Post-Soviet Nations'', p. 484. Armenia: A Country Study: The New Nationalism
The Library of Congress
Dr Andrew Andersen, Ph

/ref>Croissant. ''Armenia–Azerbaijan Conflict'', p. 16. Nakhchivan is homogeneously today besides its small remainder of
Russians , native_name_lang = ru , image = , caption = , population = , popplace = 118 million Russians in the Russian Federation (2002 ''Winkler Prins'' estimate) , region1 = , pop1 ...

Russians
. The Autonomous Republic is an autonomous area of Azerbaijan, governed by its own elected legislature. The administrative capital city is Nakhchivan. As declared by the constitution of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, the state symbols and anthem are the same as those of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Both the name of the autonomous republic and its capital city are ultimately derived from Armenian.''Noah's Ark: Its Final Berth''
by Bill Crouse


Etymology

Variations of the name Nakhchivan include Nakhichevan, Naxcivan, Naxçivan, Nachidsheuan, Nakhijevan, Nuhișvân, Nakhchawan, Nakhitchevan,Elisabeth Bauer, ''Armenia: Past and Present'', p.99 (ISBN B0006EXQ9C). Nakhjavan, and Nakhdjevan. Nakhchivan is mentioned in
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy (; grc-gre, wikt:Πτολεμαῖος, Πτολεμαῖος, ; la, Claudius Ptolemaeus; AD) was a mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer, and music theorist, who wrote about a dozen scientific Treatise, treatis ...
's ''Geography'' and by other classical writers as "Naxuana"."Nakhichevan"
in the ''Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary'', St. Petersburg, Russia: 1890–1907.
The older form of the name is ''Naxčawan'' (). According to philologist Heinrich Hübschmann, the name was originally borne by the namesake city (modern Nakhchivan) and later given to the region. Hübschmann believed the name to be composed of ''Naxič'' or ''Naxuč'' (probably a personal name) and ''awan'', an Armenian word (ultimately of Iranian origin) meaning "place, town". In the Armenian tradition, the name of the region and its namesake city is connected with the biblical narrative of
Noah's Ark Noah's Ark ( he, תיבת נח; Biblical Hebrew: ''Tevat Noaḥ'')The word "ark" in modern English comes from Old English ''aerca'', meaning a chest or box. (See Cresswell 2010, p.22) The Hebrew word for the vessel, ''teva'', occurs twice in t ...
and interpreted as meaning "place of the first descent" or "first resting place" (as if deriving from and ) due to it being regarded as the site where
Noah Noah ''Nukh''; am, ኖህ, ''Noḥ''; ar, نُوح '; grc, Νῶε ''Nôe'' () is the tenth and last of the pre-Flood patriarchs in the traditions of Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions are a group of religions centered aroun ...

Noah
descended and settled after the landing of the Ark on nearby
Mount Ararat Mount Ararat or , ''Ararat''; or is a snow-capped and dormant compound volcano in the extreme east of Turkey. It consists of two major volcanic cones: Greater Ararat and Little Ararat. Greater Ararat is the highest peak in Turkey and the ...

Mount Ararat
. It was probably under the influence of this tradition that the name changed in Armenian from the older ''Naxčawan'' to ''Naxijewan''. Although this is a folk etymology,
William Whiston William Whiston (9 December 166722 August 1752) was an English theologian, historian, Natural philosophy, natural philosopher, and mathematician, a leading figure in the popularisation of the ideas of Isaac Newton. He is now probably best known ...
believed Nakhchivan/Nakhijevan to be the ''Apobatērion'' ("place of descent") mentioned by the first-century Jewish historian in connection with Noah's Ark, which would make the tradition connecting the name with biblical Noah very old, predating Armenia's conversion to Christianity in the early fourth century.''Noah's Ark: Its Final Berth''
by Bill Crouse


History


Early history

The oldest material culture artifacts found in the region date back to the
Neolithic Age The Neolithic period, or New Stone Age, is an Old World archaeological period and the final division of the Stone Age. It saw the Neolithic Revolution, a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several parts ...
. On the other hand, Azerbaijani archaeologists have found that the history of Nakhchivan dates back to the Stone Age (
Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek: παλαιός ''wikt:παλαιός, palaios'', "old" and λίθος ''wikt:λίθος, lithos'', "stone"), is a period in human prehistory that is distinguished by ...
). As a result of archaeological diggings, archaeologists discovered a great number of Stone-Age materials in different regions of Nakhchivan. These materials were useful to study the Paleolithic age in Azerbaijan. Pollen analysis conducted in Gazma Cave (Sharur District) suggests that humans in the Middle Palaeolithic () lived not only in the mountain forests but also in the dry woodlands found in Nakhchivan. Several archaeological sites dating from the Neolithic have also been found in Nakhchivan, including the ancient town of Ovchular Tepesi, which also includes some of the oldest salt mines in the world. The region was part of the states of
Urartu Urartu (; Akkadian language, Assyrian: ',Eberhard Schrader, ''The Cuneiform inscriptions and the Old Testament'' (1885), p. 65. Babylonian language, Babylonian: ''Urashtu'', he, אֲרָרָט ''Ararat'') is a geographical region and Iron Age ...

Urartu
and later
Media Media may refer to: Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement for advertising ** Broadcast media, communications delivered over mass el ...
.Нахичеванская Автономная Советская Социалистическая Республика
Great Soviet Encyclopedia The ''Great Soviet Encyclopedia'' (GSE; ) is one of the largest Russian-language encyclopedias, published in the Soviet Union from 1926 to 1990. After 2002, the encyclopedia's data was partially included into the later ''Bolshaya rossiyskaya en ...
It became part of the
Satrapy of Armenia The Satrapy of Armenia (Old Persian language, Old Persian: 𐎠𐎼𐎷𐎡𐎴 or 𐎠𐎼𐎷𐎡𐎴𐎹 ), a region controlled by the Orontid dynasty (570–201 BC), was one of the satrapies of the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC th ...
under
Achaemenid Persia The Achaemenid Empire or Achaemenian Empire (; peo, wikt:𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, , ), also called the First Persian Empire, was an History of Iran#Classical antiquity, ancient Iranian empire founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC. Bas ...
c. 521 BC. After the death of
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc, wikt:Ἀλέξανδρος, Ἀλέξανδρος, Alexandros; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the Ancient Greece, ancient Greek kingdom of Maced ...
in 323 BC several generals of the Macedonian army, including
Neoptolemus In Greek mythology, Neoptolemus (; ), also called Pyrrhus (; ), was the son of the warrior Achilles and the princess Deidamia (mythology) , Deidamia, and the brother of Oneiros#Son of Achilles , Oneiros. He became the mythical progenitor of the ...
, attempted but failed to take control of the region, and it was ruled by the native Armenian dynasty of
Orontids The Orontid dynasty, also known as the Eruandids or Eruandunis, ruled the Satrapy of Armenia until 330 BC and the Kingdom of Armenia from 321 BC to 200 BC. The Orontids ruled first as client kings or satrap A satrap () was a governor of the ...
until
Armenia Armenia (), , group=pron officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.The UNbr>classification of world regions places Armenia in Western Asia; the CIA World Factbook , , and '' ...

Armenia
was conquered by
Antiochus III the Great Antiochus III the Great (; grc-gre, Ἀντίoχoς Μέγας ; c. 2413 July 187 BC) was a Greek Hellenistic period, Hellenistic List of Seleucid rulers, king and the 6th ruler of the Seleucid Empire, reigning from 222 to 187 BC. He ruled over t ...
(ruled 222–187 BC). In 189 BC, Nakhchivan became part of the new Kingdom of Armenia established by
Artaxias I Artaxias I (from gr, Άρταξίας; in hy, Արտաշէս, translit=Artašēs) was the founder of the Artaxiad dynasty of Armenia Armenia (), , group=pron officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country in the Armen ...
.Ayvazyan, Argam. ''The Historical Monuments Of Nakhichevan'', pp. 10–12. Within the kingdom, the region of present-day Nakhchivan was part of the
Ayrarat Ayrarat () was the central province of the kingdom of Armenia (antiquity), ancient kingdom Armenia, located in the plain of the upper Aras (river), Aras River. Most of the historical capitals of Armenia were located in this province, including Arm ...
, Vaspurakan and Syunik provinces. According to the early medieval Armenian historian
Movses Khorenatsi Movses Khorenatsi (ca. 410–490s AD; hy, wikt:Մովսէս, Մովսէս wikt:խորենացի, Խորենացի, , also written as ''Movses Xorenac‘i'' and Moses of Khoren, Moses of Chorene, and Moses Chorenensis in Latin sources) was a promi ...
, from the third to second centuries, the region belonged to the Muratsyan ''
nakharar ''Nakharar'' ( hy, wikt:նախարար#Old Armenian, նախարար ''naxarar'', from Parthian language, Parthian ''naxvadār'' "holder of the primacy""նախարար" in H. Ačaṙean (1926–35), ''Hayerēn Armatakan Baṙaran'' (Yerevan: Yereva ...
'' family but after disputes with central power, King Artavazd I massacred the family and seized the lands and formally attached it to the kingdom. The area's status as a major trade center allowed it to prosper; as a result, many foreign powers coveted it. According to the Armenian historian
Faustus of Byzantium Faustus of Byzantium (also Faustus the Byzantine, hy, Փաւստոս Բուզանդ, translit=P'awstos Buzand) was an Armenians, Armenian historian of the 5th century. Faustus' ''History of the Armenians'' (also known as ''Buzandaran Patmut‘iwnk ...
(5th century), when the Sassanid Persians invaded Armenia, Sassanid King
Shapur II Shapur II ( pal, 𐭱𐭧𐭯𐭥𐭧𐭥𐭩 ; New Persian: , ''Šāpur'', 309 – 379), also known as Shapur the Great, was the tenth Sasanian Empire, Sasanian King of Kings (Shahanshah) of Iran. The List of longest-reigning monarchs, longest ...
(310–380) removed 2,000 Armenian and 16,000 Jewish families in 360–370. In 428, the Armenian Arshakuni monarchy was abolished and Nakhchivan was annexed by Sassanid Persia. In 623, possession of the region passed to the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
but was soon left to its own rule.
Sebeos Sebeos () was a 7th-century Armenian bishop A bishop is an ordained clergy member who is entrusted with a position of Episcopal polity, authority and oversight in a religious institution. In Christianity, bishops are normally responsible for ...
referred to the area as Tachkastan. Nakhchivan is said by his pupil, Koriun Vardapet, to be the place where the Armenian scholar and theologian
Mesrop Mashtots Mesrob or Mesrop ( hy, Մեսրոպ) is an Armenian people, Armenian given name. Mesrob / Mesrop may refer to: *Mesrop Mashtots, also Saint Mesrop, Armenian monk, theologian and linguist. Inventor of the Armenian alphabet **Mesrop Mashtots Institut ...
finished the creation of the
Armenian Alphabet The Armenian alphabet ( hy, Հայոց գրեր, ' or , ') is an alphabetic writing system used to write Armenian language, Armenian. It was developed around 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots, an Armenian linguist and wikt:ecclesiastical, ecclesiast ...
and opened the first Armenian schools. It happened in the province of Gokhtan, which corresponds to Nakhchivan's modern Ordubad district. From 640 on, the
Arabs The Arabs (singular: Arab; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, DIN 31635: , , plural ar, عَرَب, DIN 31635: , Arabic pronunciation: ), also known as the Arab people, are an ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping o ...
invaded Nakhchivan and undertook many campaigns in the area, crushing all resistance and attacking Armenian nobles who remained in contact with the Byzantines or who refused to pay tribute. In 705, after suppressing an Armenian revolt, Arab viceroy
Muhammad ibn Marwan Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Muḥammad ibn Marwān ibn al-Ḥakam () (died 719/720) was an Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of t ...
decided to eliminate the Armenian nobility.
David Marshall Lang David Marshall Lang (6 May 1924 – 20 March 1991), was a Professor of Caucasus, Caucasian Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He was one of the most productive United Kingdom, British scholars who specialized in ...
, ''Armenia: Cradle of Civilization'', p. 178 .
In Nakhchivan, several hundred Armenian nobles were locked up in churches and burnt, while others were crucified. The violence caused many Armenian princes to flee to the neighboring
Kingdom of Georgia The Kingdom of Georgia ( ka, საქართველოს სამეფო, tr), also known as the Georgian Empire, was a medieval Eurasian monarchy that was founded in circa 1008 Anno Domini, AD. It reached Georgian Golden Age, its Golde ...
or the Byzantine Empire. Meanwhile, Nakhchivan itself became part of the autonomous Principality of Armenia under Arab control.Mark Whittow. ''The Making of Byzantium, 600–1025''. Berkeley:
University of California The University of California (UC) is a public university, public Land-grant university, land-grant research university, research university system in the U.S. state of California. The system is composed of the campuses at University of Califor ...
Press, 1996, p. 210.
In the eighth century, Nakhchivan was one of the scenes of an uprising against the Arabs led by Persian revolutionary
Babak Khorramdin , native_name_lang = , birth_date = 795 or 798 , birth_place = Ardabil Ardabil (, fa, اردبیل, Ardabīl or ''Ardebīl'') is a city in northwestern Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also ...
of the Iranian Khorram-Dinān ("those of the joyous religion" in Persian). Nakhchivan was finally released from Arab rule in the tenth century by Bagratuni King Smbat I and handed over to the princes of Syunik. This region also was taken by Sajids in 895 and between 909 and 929, Sallarid between 942 and 971 and Shaddadid between 971 and 1045. About 1055, the
Seljuk Turks The Seljuk dynasty, or Seljukids ( ; fa, سلجوقیان ''Saljuqian'', alternatively spelled as Seljuqs or Saljuqs), also known as Seljuk Turks, Seljuk Turkomans "The defeat in August 1071 of the Byzantine emperor Romanos Diogenes by the Turk ...
took over the region. In the 12th century, the city of Nakhchivan became the capital of the state of
Atabegs of Azerbaijan Atabeg, Atabek, or Atabey is a hereditary title of nobility Nobility is a social class found in many societies that have an aristocracy (class), aristocracy. It is normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty. Nobility has ofte ...
, also known as Ildegizid state, which included most of
Iranian Azerbaijan Azerbaijan or Azarbaijan ( fa, آذربایجان, ''Āzarbāijān'' ; az-Arab, آذربایجان, ''Āzerbāyjān'' ), also known as Iranian Azerbaijan, is a historical region in northwestern Iran that borders Iraq, Turkey, the Nakhchivan ...
and a significant part of the South Caucasus. The magnificent 12th-century mausoleum of Momine Khatun, the wife of Ildegizid ruler, Great
Atabeg Atabeg, Atabek, or Atabey is a hereditary title of nobility of Turkic language, Turkic origin, indicating a governor of a nation or province who was subordinate to a monarch and charged with raising the crown prince. The first instance of the tit ...
Jahan Pehlevan, is the main attraction of modern Nakhchivan. At its heyday, the Ildegizid authority in Nakhchivan and some other areas of South Caucasus was contested by Georgia. The Armeno-Georgian princely house of Zacharids frequently raided the region when the Atabeg state was in decline in the early years of the 13th century. It was then plundered by invading Mongols in 1220 and Khwarezmians in 1225 and became part of
Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest contiguous land empire in human history, history. Originating in present-day Mongolia in East Asia, the Mongol Empire at its height stretched from the S ...
in 1236 when the Caucasus was invaded by
Chormaqan Chormaqan (also Chormagan or Chormaqan Noyan) (; Khalkha Mongolian: ; died c. 1241) was one of the most famous generals of the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan and Ögedei Khan. He was also a member of the kheshig, keshik. Career A member of the ...
. In the 13th century during the reign of the Mongol horde ruler Güyük Khan Christians were allowed to build churches in the strongly Muslim town of Nakhchivan, however the conversion to Islam of Gazan khan brought about a reversal of this favor. The 14th century saw the rise of Armenian Catholicism in Nakhchivan, though by the 15th century the territory became part of the states of
Kara Koyunlu The Qara Qoyunlu or Kara Koyunlu ( az, Qaraqoyunlular , fa, قره قویونلو), also known as the Black Sheep Turkomans, were a culturally Persianate society, Persianate, Muslims, Muslim Turkoman (ethnonym), Turkoman "Kara Koyunlu, also ...
and Ak Koyunlu.


Iranian rule

In the 16th century, control of Nakhchivan passed to the
Safavid dynasty The Safavid dynasty (; fa, دودمان صفوی, Dudmâne Safavi, ) was one of Iran's most significant ruling dynasties reigning from Safavid Iran, 1501 to 1736. Their rule is often considered the beginning of History of Iran, modern Iranian ...
. Until the demise of the Safavids, it remained as an administrative jurisdiction of the Erivan Province (also known as Chokhur-e Sa'd). Because of its geographic position, it frequently suffered during the wars between the Safavids and the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
, from the 16th to 18th centuries. Turkish historian İbrahim Peçevi described the passing of the Ottoman army from the Ararat plain to Nakhchivan: In 1604,
Shah Abbas I Abbas I ( fa, ; 27 January 157119 January 1629), commonly known as Abbas the Great (), was the 5th Safavid dynasty, Safavid Shah (king) of Safavid Iran, Iran, and is generally considered one of the greatest rulers of Iranian history and the Safavi ...
of Iran, concerned that the skilled peoples of Nakhchivan, its natural resources, and the surrounding areas could get in danger due to its relatively close proximity to the Ottoman-Persian frontline, decided to institute a
scorched earth A scorched-earth policy is a military strategy that aims to destroy anything that might be useful to the enemy. Any assets that could be used by the enemy may be targeted, which usually includes obvious weapons, military vehicles, transport v ...
policy. He forced the entire hundreds of thousands of local population—Muslims, Jews, and Armenians alike—to leave their homes and move to the provinces south of the
Aras River , az, Araz, fa, ارس, tr, Aras The Aras (also known as the Araks, Arax, Araxes, or Araz) is a river in the Caucasus. It rises in eastern Turkey and flows along the borders between Turkey and Armenia, between Turkey and the Nakhchivan e ...
.Lang. ''Armenia: Cradle of Civilization'', pp. 210–1. Many of the Armenian deportees were settled in the neighborhood of
Isfahan Isfahan ( fa, اصفهان, Esfahân ), from its Achaemenid empire, ancient designation ''Aspadana'' and, later, ''Spahan'' in Sassanian Empire, middle Persian, rendered in English as ''Ispahan'', is a major city in the Greater Isfahan Regio ...
that was named
New Julfa New Julfa ( fa, نو جلفا – ''Now Jolfā'', – ''Jolfâ-ye Now''; hy, Նոր Ջուղա – ''Nor Jugha'') is the Armenians, Armenian quarter of Isfahan (city), Isfahan, Iran, located along the south bank of the Zayande River. Establish ...
since most of the residents were from the original Julfa. The Turkic Kangerli tribe was later permitted to move back under
Shah Abbas II Abbas II (; born Soltan Mohammad Mirza; 30 August 1632 – 26 October 1666) was the seventh Shah of Safavid Iran, ruling from 1642 to 1666. As the eldest son of Safi of Persia, Safi and his Circassians, Circassian wife, Anna Khanum, he inherited ...
(1642–1666) to repopulate the frontier region of his realm. In the 17th century, Nakhchivan was the scene of a peasant movement led by Köroğlu against foreign invaders and "native exploiters". In 1747, the
Nakhchivan Khanate The Nakhichevan Khanate ( fa, خانات نخجوان, translit=Khānāt-e Nakhchevān; Azerbaijani:ناخچیوان خانلیغی,Naxçıvan xanlığı; hy, Նախիջեւանի խանութիւն, translit=Naxijewani xanowt'iwn) was a khanat ...
emerged in the region after the death of
Nader Shah Nader Shah Afshar ( fa, نادر شاه افشار; also known as ''Nader Qoli Beyg'' or ''Tahmāsp Qoli Khan'' ) (August 1688 – 19 June 1747) was the founder of the Afsharid dynasty of Iran and one of the most powerful rulers in History o ...
Afshar.


Passing to Imperial Russian rule

After the last Russo-Persian War and the
Treaty of Turkmenchay The Treaty of Turkmenchay ( fa, عهدنامه ترکمنچای; russian: Туркманчайский договор) was an agreement between Qajar Iran and the Russian Empire, which concluded the Russo-Persian War (1826–28). It was second o ...
, the Nakhchivan Khanate passed into Russian possession in 1828 due to Iran's forced ceding as a result of the outcome of the war and treaty. With the onset of Russian rule, the
Tsar Tsar ( or ), also spelled ''czar'', ''tzar'', or ''csar'', is a title used by East Slavs, East and South Slavs, South Slavic monarchs. The term is derived from the Latin word ''Caesar (title), caesar'', which was intended to mean "emperor" i ...
ist authorities encouraged resettlement of Armenians to Nakhchivan and other areas of the
Caucasus The Caucasus () or Caucasia (), is a region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, mainly comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. The Caucasus Mountains, including the Greater Caucasus range ...
from the
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Arm ...
and
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
s. Special clauses of the Turkmenchay and
Adrianople Edirne (, ), formerly known as Adrianople or Hadrianopolis (Greek language, Greek: Άδριανούπολις), is a city in Turkey, in the northwestern part of the Edirne Province, province of Edirne in Eastern Thrace. Situated from the Greek ...
treaties allowed for this.
Alexandr Griboyedov Alexander Sergeyevich Griboyedov (russian: Александр Сергеевич Грибоедов, ''Aleksandr Sergeevich Griboedov'' or ''Sergeevich Griboyedov''; 15 January 179511 February 1829), formerly romanization of Russian, romanized as ...
, the Russian envoy to
Persia Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
, stated that by the time Nakhchivan came under Russian rule, there had been 290 native Armenians families in the province excluding the city of Nakhchivan, the number of Muslim families was 1,632, and the number of the Armenian immigrant families was 943. The same numbers in the city of Nakhchivan were 114, 392, and 285 respectively. With such a dramatic influx of Armenian immigrants, Griboyedov noted friction arising between the Armenian and Muslim populations. He requested Russian army commander Count
Ivan Paskevich Count Ivan Fyodorovich Paskevich-Erevansky, Serene Prince of Warsaw (russian: Ива́н Фёдорович Паске́вич-Эриванский, светлейший князь Варшавский, tr. ; – ) was an Imperial Russian ...
to give orders on resettlement of some of the arriving people further to the region of Daralayaz to quiet the tensions. The Nakhchivan Khanate was dissolved in 1828 the same year it came into Russian possession, and its territory was merged with the territory of the
Erivan khanate The Erivan Khanate ( fa, خانات ایروان, translit=Xānāt-e Iravān; hy, Երեւանի խանութիւն, translit=Yerevani xanut'iwn; az, ایروان خانلیغی, translit=İrəvan xanlığı), also known as Chokhur-e Sa'd, was ...
and the area became the
Nakhichevan uezd The Nakhichevan uezd was a county ('' uezd'') of the Erivan Governorate of the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 ...
of the new
Armenian oblast The Armenian Oblast was a province ('' oblast'') of the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling across l ...
, which later became the
Erivan Governorate The Erivan Governorate was a province ('' guberniya'') of the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling acros ...
in 1849. According to official statistics of the Russian Empire, by the turn of the 20th century Tatars (later known as
Azerbaijanis Azerbaijanis (; az, Azərbaycanlılar, ), Azeris ( az, Azərilər, ), or Azerbaijani Turks ( az, Azərbaycan Türkləri, ) are a Turkic peoples, Turkic people living mainly in Azerbaijan (Iran), northwestern Iran and the Azerbaijan, Republi ...
) made up roughly 57% of the ''uezd'''s population, while Armenians constituted roughly 42%. At the same time in the western half of the Sharur-Daralayaz uezd, the territory of which would form the northern part of modern-day Nakhchivan (Sharur District), Tatars constituted 70.5% of the population, while Armenians made up 27.5%. During the
Russian Revolution of 1905 The Russian Revolution of 1905,. also known as the First Russian Revolution,. occurred on 22 January 1905, and was a wave of mass political and social unrest that spread through vast areas of the Russian Empire. The mass unrest was directed again ...
, conflict erupted between the Armenians and the Tatars, culminating in the Armenian-Tatar massacres which saw violence in Nakhchivan in May of that year.Michael P. Croissant. ''The Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict: Causes and Implications'', p. 9.


War and revolution

In the final year of
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
, Nakhchivan was the scene of more bloodshed between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, who both laid claim to the area. By 1914, the Armenian population had decreased slightly to 40% while the Azeri population increased to roughly 60%. After the
February Revolution The February Revolution ( rus, Февра́льская револю́ция, r=Fevral'skaya revolyutsiya, p=fʲɪvˈralʲskəjə rʲɪvɐˈlʲutsɨjə), known in Soviet historiography as the February Bourgeois Democratic Revolution and somet ...
, the region was under the authority of the Special Transcaucasian Committee of the Russian Provisional Government and subsequently of the short-lived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic. When the TDFR was dissolved in May 1918, Nakhchivan,
Nagorno-Karabakh Nagorno-Karabakh ( ) is a landlocked country, landlocked region in the Transcaucasia, South Caucasus, within the mountainous range of Karabakh, lying between Lower Karabakh and Syunik Province, Syunik, and covering the southeastern range o ...
, Zangezur (today the Armenian province of Syunik), and Qazakh were heavily contested between the newly formed and short-lived states of the
Democratic Republic of Armenia The First Republic of Armenia, officially known at the time of its existence as the Republic of Armenia ( hy, Հայաստանի Հանրապետութիւն), was the first modern Armenian state since the loss of Armenian statehood in the Middle ...
(DRA) and the
Azerbaijan Democratic Republic The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic), or simply as Azerbaijan in Paris Peace Conference, 1919–1920,''Bulletin d'Information de l'Azerbaidjan'', No. I, September 1, 1919, pp. 6–7''125 H.C.Debs.'', 58., February 24, 1920, p. 1467. Caucasian Az ...
(ADR). In June 1918, the region came under Ottoman occupation. The Ottomans proceeded to massacre 10,000 Armenians and razed 45 of their villages. Under the terms of the Armistice of Mudros, the Ottomans agreed to pull their troops out of the Transcaucasus to make way for the forthcoming British military presence.Croissant. ''Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict'', p. 15. Under British occupation, Sir Oliver Wardrop, British Chief Commissioner in the South Caucasus, made a border proposal to solve the conflict. According to Wardrop, Armenian claims against Azerbaijan should not go beyond the administrative borders of the former Erivan Governorate (which under prior Imperial Russian rule encompassed Nakhchivan), while Azerbaijan was to be limited to the governorates of
Baku Baku (, ; az, Bakı ) is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea is the world's largest inland body of water, often described as the List of lakes by area, world's largest ...
and
Elizavetpol Ganja (; az, Gəncə ) is Azerbaijan's third largest city, with a population of around 335,600.Azərbaycan Respublikası. — 2. Azərbaycan Respublikasının iqtisadi və inzibati rayonları. — 2.4. Azərbaycan Respublikasının iqtisadi və ...
. This proposal was rejected by both Armenians (who did not wish to give up their claims to Qazakh, Zangezur and Karabakh) and Azeris (who found it unacceptable to give up their claims to Nakhchivan). As disputes between both countries continued, it soon became apparent that the fragile peace under British occupation would not last.Dr. Andrew Andersen, Ph
Atlas of Conflicts: Armenia: Nation Building and Territorial Disputes: 1918–1920
/ref> In December 1918, with the support of Azerbaijan's Musavat Party, Jafargulu Khan Nakhchivanski declared the
Republic of Aras The Republic of Aras ( az, Araz Respublikası; also known as the Republic of Araks or the Araxi Republic) was a short-lived and unrecognized state in the South Caucasus, roughly corresponding with the territory that is now the Nakhchivan Autonomous ...
in the Nakhchivan uyezd of the former Erivan Governorate assigned to Armenia by Wardrop. The Armenian government did not recognize the new state and sent its troops into the region to take control of it. The conflict soon erupted into the violent Aras War. British journalist C. E. Bechhofer Roberts described the situation in April 1920: By mid-June 1919, however, Armenia succeeded in establishing control over Nakhchivan and the whole territory of the self-proclaimed republic. The fall of the Aras republic triggered an invasion by the regular Azerbaijani army and by the end of July, the Armenian administration was ousted from Nakhchivan. Again, more violence erupted leaving some ten thousand Armenians dead and forty-five Armenian villages destroyed. Meanwhile, feeling the situation to be hopeless and unable to maintain any control over the area, the British decided to withdraw from the region in mid-1919.Croissant. ''Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict'', p. 16. Still, fighting between Armenians and Azeris continued and after a series of skirmishes that took place throughout the Nakhchivan district, a cease-fire agreement was concluded. However, the cease-fire lasted only briefly, and by early March 1920, more fighting broke out, primarily in Karabakh between Karabakh Armenians and Azerbaijan's regular army. This triggered conflicts in other areas with mixed populations, including Nakhchivan. Following the adoption of the name of "
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (, ; az, Azərbaycan ), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, , also sometimes officially called the Azerbaijan Republic is a transcontinental country, transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Wester ...
" by the newly established Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, a naming dispute arose with
Qajar Iran Qajar Iran (), also referred to as Qajar Persia, the Qajar Empire, '. Sublime State of Persia, officially the Sublime State of Iran ( fa, دولت علیّه ایران ') and also known then as the Guarded Domains of Iran ( fa, ممالک م ...
, with the latter protesting this decision. In tandem with this naming controversy however, the young Azerbaijan Republic also faced a threat from the nascent Soviets in Moscow and the Armenians. In order to escape the possibility of a Soviet invasion and an even greater immminent threat of an Armenian invasion, Muslim Nakhchivan proprosed annexing to Iran. The then pro-British government in Tehran led by Vossug ed Dowleh made endeavours amongst Baku's leadership to join Iran. In order to promote this idea, Vosugh ed Dowleh dispatched two separate Iranian delegations; one to Baku and one to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The delegation at Baku, at the behest of Zia ol Din Tabatabaee, held intensive negotations with the leadership of the Musavat party during the increasing chaos and instability in the city. During the closing stages, an accord was reached between them; however, before the idea was presented to Vossug ed Dowleh in Tehran, the Communists took over Baku and terminated the Musavat-Ottoman rule. The Iranian delegation at Paris, which was headed by foreign minister
Firouz Nosrat-ed-Dowleh III Prince Firouz Nosrat-ed-Dowleh III, GCMG (1889–1937) was the eldest son of Prince Abdol-Hossein Mirza Farmanfarma, Abdol-Hossein Farmanfarma and Princess Ezzat-ed-Dowleh Qajar. He was born in 1889 and died in April 1937. He was the grandson of h ...
, reached a unity negotiation with the delegation from Baku and signed a confederation agreement. In the end, these efforts proved to be of no avail, with the Soviets taking over the entirety of Transcaucasia.


Sovietization

In July 1920, the 11th Soviet Red Army invaded and occupied the region and on July 28, declared the
Nakhchivan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic The Nakhichevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, abbreviated as Nakhichevan ASSR was an autonomous republic An autonomous republic is a type of administrative division similar to a province or Federated state, state. A significant number ...
with "close ties" to the
Azerbaijan SSR Azerbaijan ( az, Азәрбајҹан, Azərbaycan, italics=no), officially the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (Azerbaijan SSR; az, Азәрбајҹан Совет Сосиалист Республикасы, Azərbaycan Sovet Sosialist R ...
. In November, on the verge of taking over Armenia, the Bolsheviks, to attract public support, promised they would allot Nakhchivan to Armenia, along with Karabakh and Zangezur. This was fulfilled when
Nariman Narimanov Nariman Karbalayi Najaf oghlu Narimanov ( az, Nəriman Kərbəlayi Nəcəf oğlu Nərimanov, russian: Нарима́н Кербелаи Наджа́ф оглы Нарима́нов; – 19 March 1925) was an Azerbaijanis, Azerbaijani Bolsheviks, ...
, leader of Bolshevik Azerbaijan issued a declaration celebrating the "victory of Soviet power in Armenia", proclaimed that both Nakhchivan and Zangezur should be awarded to the Armenian people as a sign of the Azerbaijani people's support for Armenia's fight against the former DRA government:
Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known as Vladimir Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of t ...
, while welcoming this act of "great Soviet fraternity" where "boundaries had no meaning among the family of Soviet peoples", did not agree with the motion and instead called for the people of Nakhchivan to be consulted in a referendum. According to the formal figures of this referendum, held at the beginning of 1921, 90% of Nakhchivan's population wanted to be included in the Azerbaijan SSR "with the rights of an autonomous republic".Tim Potier. ''Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia: A Legal Appraisal'', p. 4. The decision to make Nakhchivan a part of modern-day Azerbaijan was cemented on March 16, 1921, in the Treaty of Moscow between
Soviet Russia The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Russian SFSR or RSFSR ( rus, Российская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика, Rossíyskaya Sovétskaya Federatívnaya Soci ...
and the newly founded Republic of Turkey.Ian Bremmer and Ray Taras. ''New States, New Politics: Building Post-Soviet Nations'', p. 444. The agreement between Soviet Russia and Turkey also called for attachment of the former Sharur-Daralagezsky Uyezd (which had a solid Azeri majority) to Nakhchivan, thus allowing Turkey to share a border with the Azerbaijan SSR. This deal was reaffirmed on October 13, in the
Treaty of Kars The Treaty of Kars ( tr, Kars Antlaşması, rus, Карсский договор, Karskii dogovor, ka, ყარსის ხელშეკრულება, hy, Կարսի պայմանագիր, az, Qars müqaviləsi) was a treaty that est ...
. Article V of the treaty stated the following: So, on February 9, 1924, the Soviet Union officially established the Nakhchivan ASSR. Its constitution was adopted on April 18, 1926.


Nakhchivan in the Soviet Union

As a constituent part of the Soviet Union, tensions lessened over the ethnic composition of Nakhchivan or any territorial claims regarding it. Instead, it became an important point of industrial production with particular emphasis on the mining of minerals such as salt. Under Soviet rule, it was once a major junction on the Moscow-
Tehran Tehran (; fa, تهران ) is the largest city in Tehran Province and the Capital city, capital of Iran. With a population of around 9 million in the city and around 16 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is th ...
railway lineDe Waal. ''Black Garden'', p. 271. as well as the
Baku Baku (, ; az, Bakı ) is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea is the world's largest inland body of water, often described as the List of lakes by area, world's largest ...
-
Yerevan Yerevan ( , , hy, Երևան , sometimes spelled Erevan) is the capital and largest city of Armenia Armenia (), , group=pron officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.The ...
railway. It also served as an important strategic area during the
Cold War The Cold War is a term commonly used to refer to a period of Geopolitics, geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc. The term ''Cold war (term), co ...
, sharing borders with both Turkey (a
NATO member state NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental military alliance between 30 ...
) and Iran (a close ally of the West until the
Iranian Revolution The Iranian Revolution ( fa, انقلاب ایران, Enqelâb-e Irân, ), also known as the Islamic Revolution ( fa, انقلاب اسلامی, Enqelâb-e Eslâmī), was a series of events that culminated in the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynas ...
of 1979). Facilities improved during Soviet times. Education and public health especially began to see some major changes. In 1913, Nakhchivan only had two hospitals with a total of 20 beds. The region was plagued by widespread diseases including
trachoma Trachoma is an infectious disease caused by bacterium ''Chlamydia trachomatis''. The infection causes a Granulation tissue, roughening of the conjunctiva, inner surface of the eyelids. This roughening can lead to pain in the eyes, breakdown of ...
and
typhus Typhus, also known as typhus fever, is a group of infectious diseases that include epidemic typhus, scrub typhus, and murine typhus. Common symptoms include fever, headache, and a rash. Typically these begin one to two weeks after exposure. ...
.
Malaria Malaria is a Mosquito-borne disease, mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. Malaria causes Signs and symptoms, symptoms that typically include fever, fatigue (medical), tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. In se ...
, which mostly came from the adjoining Aras River, brought serious harm to the region. At any one time, between 70% and 85% of Nakhchivan's population was infected with malaria, and in the region of Norashen (present-day Sharur) almost 100% were struck with the disease. This situation improved dramatically under Soviet rule. Malaria was sharply reduced and trachoma, typhus, and relapsing fever were eliminated. During the Soviet era, Nakhchivan saw a great demographic shift. In 1926, 15% of the region's population was Armenian, but by 1979, this number had shrunk to 1.4%. Azeris made up 85% in 1926, but 96% in 1979 (leaving the small remainder mixed or other). Three factors were involved: the emigration of Armenians to the
Armenian SSR The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic,; russian: Армянская Советская Социалистическая Республика, translit=Armyanskaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika) also commonly referred to as Soviet A ...
, the immigration of Azeris from Armenia, and the birth rate of Azeris being higher than that of Armenians. Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh noted similar though slower demographic trends and feared an eventual "de-Armenianization" of the area. When tensions between Armenians and Azeris were reignited in the late-1980s by the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is an ethnic conflict, ethnic and Territorial dispute, territorial conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, inhabited mostly by ethnic Armenians, and Armenian-occupied te ...
, Azerbaijan's
Popular Front A popular front is "any coalition of working-class and middle-class parties", including Liberalism, liberal and Social democracy, social democratic ones, "united for the defense of democratic forms" against "a presumed Fascist assault". More ...
managed to pressure the Azerbaijan SSR to instigate a partial railway and air blockade against Armenia, while another reason for the disruption of rail service to Armenia were attacks of Armenian forces on the trains entering the Armenian territory from Azerbaijan, which resulted in railroad personnel refusing to enter Armenia. This effectively crippled Armenia's economy, as 85% of the cargo and goods arrived through rail traffic. In response, Armenia closed the railway to Nakhchivan, thereby strangling the exclave's only link to the rest of the Soviet Union. December 1989 saw unrest in Nakhchivan as its Azeri inhabitants moved to physically dismantle the Soviet border with Iran to flee the area and meet their ethnic Azeri cousins in northern Iran. This action was angrily denounced by the Soviet leadership and the Soviet media accused the Azeris of "embracing
Islamic fundamentalism Islamic fundamentalism has been defined as a puritanical, Islamic revival, revivalist, and reform movement of Muslims who aim to return to the Islamic holy books, founding scriptures of Islam. Islamic fundamentalists are of the view that Muslim ...
".De Waal, ''Black Garden'', p. 88-89.


Declaring independence

On Saturday, January 20, 1990, the
Supreme Soviet The Supreme Soviet (russian: Верховный Совет, Verkhovny Sovet, Supreme Council) was the common name for the legislative bodies (parliaments) of the Soviet socialist republics (SSR) in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) ...
of the Nakhchivan ASSR issued a declaration stating the intention for Nakhchivan to
secede Secession is the withdrawal of a group from a larger entity, especially a polity, political entity, but also from any organization, union or military alliance. Some of the most famous and significant secessions have been: the former republics of ...
from the USSR to protest the Soviet Union's actions during
Black January Black January ( az, Qara Yanvar), also known as Black Saturday or the January Massacre, was a violent crackdown on the civilian population of Baku on 19–20 January 1990, as part of a state of emergency during the dissolution of the Soviet Unio ...
. Iranian Press Agency,
IRNA The Islamic Republic News Agency ( fa, خبرگزاری جمهوری اسلامی, ''Xebergâzari-ye Jimhuri-ye Eslâmi-ye''), or IRNA, is the official news agency of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Founded on 13 November 1934 as Pars News Agency ...
, reported that upon its independence, Nakhchivan asked Turkey, Iran, and the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be ...
to come to its aid. It was the first part of the Soviet Union to declare independence, preceding
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no ), is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. It is one of three Baltic states and lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. Lithuania ...
's declaration by only a few weeks. Subsequently, Nakhchivan was independent from Moscow and Baku but was then brought under control by the clan of
Heydar Aliyev Heydar Alirza oghlu Aliyev ( az, Һејдәр Әлирза оғлу Әлијев, italic=no, Heydər Əlirza oğlu Əliyev, ; , ; 10 May 1923 – 12 December 2003) was a Soviet and Azerbaijanis, Azerbaijani politician who served as the third pre ...
.


Nakhchivan in the post-Soviet era

Heydar Aliyev Heydar Alirza oghlu Aliyev ( az, Һејдәр Әлирза оғлу Әлијев, italic=no, Heydər Əlirza oğlu Əliyev, ; , ; 10 May 1923 – 12 December 2003) was a Soviet and Azerbaijanis, Azerbaijani politician who served as the third pre ...
, the future president of Azerbaijan, returned to his birthplace of Nakhchivan in 1990, after being ousted from his position in the
Politburo A politburo () or political bureau is the executive committee for communist party, communist parties. It is present in most former and existing communist states. Names The term "politburo" in English comes from the Russian language, Russian ''Pol ...
by
Mikhail Gorbachev Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (2 March 1931 – 30 August 2022) was a Soviet politician who served as the 8th and final leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 to dissolution of the Soviet Union, the country's dissolution in 1991. He served a ...
in 1987. Soon after returning to Nakhchivan, Aliyev was elected to the Supreme Soviet by an overwhelming majority. Aliyev subsequently resigned from the
CPSU The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU),; abbreviated in Russian as or also known by #Name, various other names during its history, was the founding and ruling party of the Soviet Union. The CPSU was the One-party state, sole governing ...
and after the failed August 1991 coup against Gorbachev, he called for complete independence for Azerbaijan and denounced Ayaz Mütallibov for supporting the coup. In late 1991, Aliyev consolidated his power base as chairman of the Nakhchivan Supreme Soviet and asserted Nakhchivan's near-total independence from
Baku Baku (, ; az, Bakı ) is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea is the world's largest inland body of water, often described as the List of lakes by area, world's largest ...
.Azerbaijan: A Country Study: Aliyev and the Presidential Election of October 1993
The Library of Congress
Nakhchivan became a scene of conflict during the
First Nagorno-Karabakh War The First Nagorno-Karabakh War, referred to in Armenia as the Artsakh Liberation War ( hy, Արցախյան ազատամարտ, Artsakhyan azatamart) was an ethnic and territorial conflict that took place from February 1988 to May 1994, in ...
. On May 4, 1992, Armenian forces shelled the
raion A raion (also spelt rayon) is a type of administrative unit of several post-Soviet states The post-Soviet states, also known as the former Soviet Union (FSU), the former Soviet Republics and in Russia as the near abroad (russian: links=no, ...
of Sadarak.Russia Plans Leaner, More Open Military
The Washington Post. May 23, 1992
Background Paper on the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict
Council of Europe.
The Armenians claimed that the attack was in response to cross-border shelling of Armenian villages by Azeri forces from Nakhchivan.The Toronto Star
May 20, 1992
David Zadoyan, a 42-year-old Armenian physicist and mayor of the region, said that the Armenians lost patience after months of firing by the Azeris. "If they were sitting on our hilltops and harassing us with gunfire, what do you think our response should be?" he asked.Armenian Siege of Azeri Town Threatens Turkey, Russia, Iran
The Baltimore Sun. June 3, 1992
The government of Nakhchivan denied these charges and instead asserted that the Armenian assault was unprovoked and specifically targeted the site of a bridge between Turkey and Nakhchivan. "The Armenians do not react to diplomatic pressure," Nakhchivan foreign minister Rza Ibadov told the ITAR-Tass news agency, "It's vital to speak to them in a language they understand." Speaking to the agency from the Turkish capital
Ankara Ankara ( , ; ), historically known as Ancyra and Angora, is the list of national capitals, capital of Turkey. Located in the Central Anatolia Region, central part of Anatolia, the city has a population of 5.1 million in its urban center ...
, Ibadov said that Armenia's aim in the region was to seize control of Nakhchivan.Reuters News Agency
, wire carried by the Globe and Mail (Canada) on May 20, 1992. pg. A.10
According to Human Rights Watch, hostilities broke out after three people were killed when Armenian forces began shelling the region.Overview of Areas of Armed Conflict in the former Soviet Union
Human Rights Watch Human Rights Watch (HRW) is an international non-governmental organization, headquartered in New York City, that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. The group pressures governments, policy makers, companies, and individual human ri ...
, Helsinki Report
The heaviest fighting took place on May 18, when the Armenians captured Nakhchivan's exclave of Karki, a tiny territory through which Armenia's main north–south highway passes. The exclave presently remains under Armenian control.Azerbaijan: Seven Years Of Conflict In Nagorno-Karabakh
Human Rights Watch Human Rights Watch (HRW) is an international non-governmental organization, headquartered in New York City, that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. The group pressures governments, policy makers, companies, and individual human ri ...
, Helsinki Report
After the fall of
Shusha Shusha ( az, Şuşa, ) or Shushi ( hy, Շուշի) is a city in Azerbaijan, in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Situated at an altitude of 1,400–1,800 metres (4,600–5,900 ft) in the Karabakh mountains, the city was a mountain reso ...
, the Mütallibov government of Azerbaijan accused Armenia of moving to take the whole of Nakhchivan (a claim that was denied by Armenian government officials). However, Heydar Aliyev declared a unilateral ceasefire on May 23 and sought to conclude a separate peace with Armenia. Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossian expressed his willingness to sign a cooperation treaty with Nakhchivan to end the fighting and subsequently a cease-fire was agreed upon. The conflict in the area caused a harsh reaction from Turkey. Turkish Prime Minister Tansu Çiller announced that any Armenian advance on the main territory of Nakhchivan would result in a declaration of war against Armenia. Russian military leaders declared that "third party intervention into the dispute could trigger a Third World War". Thousands of Turkish troops were sent to the border between Turkey and Armenia in early September. Russian military forces in Armenia countered their movements by increasing troop levels along the Armenian-Turkish frontier and bolstering defenses in a tense period where war between the two seemed inevitable.Turkey Orders Armenians to Leave Azerbaijan, Moves Troops to the Border
The Salt Lake Tribune. September 4, 1993. pg. A1.
The tension reached its peak, when Turkish heavy artillery shelled the Nakhchivan side of the Nakhchivan-Armenian border, from the Turkish border for two hours. Iran also reacted to Armenia's attacks by conducting military maneuvers along its border with Nakhchivan in a move widely interpreted as a warning to Armenia.
The Library of Congress
However, Armenia did not launch any further attacks on Nakhchivan and the presence of Russia's military warded off any possibility that Turkey might play a military role in the conflict. After a period of political instability, the Parliament of Azerbaijan turned to Heydar Aliyev and invited him to return from exile in Nakhchivan to lead the country in 1993.


Recent times

Today, Nakhchivan retains its autonomy as the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and is internationally recognized as a constituent part of Azerbaijan governed by its own elected legislative assembly.Richard Plunkett and Tom Masters. ''Lonely Planet: Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan'', p. 243. A new constitution for Nakhchivan was approved in a referendum on November 12, 1995. The constitution was adopted by the republic's assembly on April 28, 1998, and has been in force since January 8, 1999. However, the republic remains isolated, not only from the rest of Azerbaijan, but practically from the entire
South Caucasus The South Caucasus, also known as Transcaucasia or the Transcaucasus, is a geographical region on the border of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, straddling the southern Caucasus Mountains. The South Caucasus roughly corresponds to modern ...
region.
Vasif Talibov Vasif Talibov ( az, Vasif Yusif oğlu Talıbov; born 14 January 1960) is the former chairman of the Supreme Assembly (Nakhchivan), Supreme Assembly of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, a deputy of the National Assembly (Azerbaijan), Milli Majli ...
, who is related by marriage to Azerbaijan's ruling family, the Aliyevs, serves as the current parliamentary chairman of the republic. He is known for his authoritarian and largely corrupt rule of the region. Most residents prefer to watch Turkish television as opposed to Nakhchivan television, which one Azerbaijani journalist criticised as "a propaganda vehicle for Talibov and the Aliyevs." Economic hardships and energy shortages plague the area. There have been many cases of
migrant workers A migrant worker is a person who Human migration, migrates within a home country or outside it to pursue work. Migrant workers usually do not have the intention to stay permanently in the country or region in which they work. Migrant worker ...
seeking jobs in neighboring Turkey. "Emigration rates to Turkey," one analyst said, "are so high that most of the residents of the Besler district in
Istanbul Istanbul ( , ; tr, İstanbul ), formerly known as Constantinople ( grc-gre, Κωνσταντινούπολις; la, Constantinopolis), is the List of largest cities and towns in Turkey, largest city in Turkey, serving as the country's economic, ...
are Nakhchivanis." In 2007, an agreement was struck with Iran to obtain more gas exports, and a new bridge on the Aras River between the two countries was inaugurated in October 2007; the Azerbaijani president, Ilham Aliyev and the first vice-president of Iran, Parviz Davoodi also attended the opening ceremony. In 2008, the National Bank of Azerbaijan minted a pair of gold and silver
commemorative coin Commemorative coins are coins issued to commemorate some particular event or issue with a distinct design with reference to the occasion on which they were issued. Many coins of this category serve as collectors items only, although some countries ...
s for the 85th anniversary of the creation of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. As part of the ceasefire agreement which ended the
2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war The Second Nagorno-Karabakh War was an armed conflict in 2020 that took place in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenian-occupied territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, the surrounding territories. It was a major escalation of ...
, Armenia, in the context of all economic and transport connections in the region to be unblocked, agreed "to guarantee the security of transport connections between the western regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic in order to arrange unobstructed movement of persons, vehicles and cargo in both directions". As part of the agreement, these transport communications are to be patrolled by
Border Service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation The Border Service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (PS FSB Rossii) (russian: Пограничная служба Федеральной службы безопасности Российской Федерации ( ...
.


Administrative divisions

Nakhchivan is subdivided into eight
administrative divisions Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for geographical areas into which a particular, ind ...
. Seven of these are ''
raion A raion (also spelt rayon) is a type of administrative unit of several post-Soviet states The post-Soviet states, also known as the former Soviet Union (FSU), the former Soviet Republics and in Russia as the near abroad (russian: links=no, ...
s''. The capital city (şəhər) of Nakhchivan City is treated separately.


Demographics

As of January 1, 2018, Nakhchivan's population was estimated to be 452,831. Most of the population are
Azerbaijanis Azerbaijanis (; az, Azərbaycanlılar, ), Azeris ( az, Azərilər, ), or Azerbaijani Turks ( az, Azərbaycan Türkləri, ) are a Turkic peoples, Turkic people living mainly in Azerbaijan (Iran), northwestern Iran and the Azerbaijan, Republi ...
, who constituted 99% of the population in 1999, while ethnic
Russians , native_name_lang = ru , image = , caption = , population = , popplace = 118 million Russians in the Russian Federation (2002 ''Winkler Prins'' estimate) , region1 = , pop1 ...

Russians
(0.15%) and a minority of
Kurds ug:كۇردلار Kurds ( ku, کورد ,Kurd, italic=yes, rtl=yes) or Kurdish people are an Iranian peoples, Iranian ethnic group native to the mountainous region of Kurdistan in Western Asia, which spans southeastern Turkey, northwestern Ir ...
(0.6%) constituted the remainder of the population. The Kurds of Nakhchivan are mainly found in the districts of Sadarak and Teyvaz. The remaining
Armenians Armenians ( hy, հայեր, ''Romanization of Armenian, hayer'' ) are an ethnic group native to the Armenian highlands of Western Asia. Armenians constitute the main population of Armenia and the ''de facto'' independent Republic of Artsakh ...
were expelled by Azerbaijani forces during the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh as part of the forceful exchange of population between Armenia and Azerbaijan. According to a 1932 Soviet estimate, 85% of the area's population was rural, while only 15% was urban. This urban percentage increased to 18% by 1939 and 27% by 1959. As of 2011, 127,200 people of Nakhchivan's total population of 435,400 live in urban areas, making the urban percentage 29.2%. Nakhchivan enjoys a high
Human Development Index The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy, Education Index, education (mean years of schooling completed and expected years of schooling upon entering the Educational system, education system), ...
; its socio-economic prowess far exceeds that of the neighbouring countries except for Turkey, as well as Azerbaijan itself. According to the report of Nakhchivan AR Committee of Statistics on June 30, 2014, for the end of 2013, some socio-economical data, including the following, are unveiled: Making use of the Human Development Index calculation method according to the new UNHD 2014 method, the above values change into these: Further, the value of the HDI becomes to : (0.7599 \cdot 0.8630 \cdot 0.7011) ^ \frac = 0.772. Were it a country, Nakhchivan would be ranked between
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federation, federal constitutional monarchy consists of States and federal territories of Malaysia, thirteen states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two r ...
( 62nd) and
Mauritius Mauritius ( ; french: Maurice, link=no ; mfe, label=Mauritian Creole, Moris ), officially the Republic of Mauritius, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about off the southeast coast of the African continent, east of Madagascar. It incl ...
(63rd) for its HDI. Also, compare it to
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...

Iran
with HDI 0.749 (75th), Turkey with 0.759 (69th), or
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (, ; az, Azərbaycan ), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, , also sometimes officially called the Azerbaijan Republic is a transcontinental country, transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Wester ...
with 0.747 (76th).


Geography

Nakhchivan is a
semi-desert A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is a dry climate sub-type. It is located on regions that receive precipitation below Evapotranspiration#Potential evapotranspiration, potential evapotranspiration, but not as low as a des ...
region that is separated from the main portion of Azerbaijan by Armenia. The Zangezur Mountains make up its border with Armenia while the
Aras River , az, Araz, fa, ارس, tr, Aras The Aras (also known as the Araks, Arax, Araxes, or Araz) is a river in the Caucasus. It rises in eastern Turkey and flows along the borders between Turkey and Armenia, between Turkey and the Nakhchivan e ...
defines its border with
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...

Iran
. The Araz reservoir located on that river supplies water for agricultural needs and the
hydroelectric dam Hydroelectricity, or hydroelectric power, is Electricity generation, electricity generated from hydropower (water power). Hydropower supplies one sixth of the world's electricity, almost 4500 TWh in 2020, which is more than all other Renewabl ...
generates power for both Azerbaijan and Iran. Nakhchivan is extremely
arid A region is arid when it severely lacks available water, to the extent of hindering or preventing the growth and morphogenesis, development of plant and animal life. Regions with arid climates tend to lack vegetation and are called Deserts and ...
and mountainous. Its highest peak is Mount Kapudzhukh and its most distinctive is İlandağ (Snake Mountain) , which is visible from Nakhchivan City. According to legend, the cleft in its summit was formed by the keel of
Noah's Ark Noah's Ark ( he, תיבת נח; Biblical Hebrew: ''Tevat Noaḥ'')The word "ark" in modern English comes from Old English ''aerca'', meaning a chest or box. (See Cresswell 2010, p.22) The Hebrew word for the vessel, ''teva'', occurs twice in t ...
as the floodwaters abated.Plunkett and Masters. ''Lonely Planet'', p. 246. Qazangödağ is another major peak.


Economy


Industry

Nakhchivan's major industries include the mining of minerals such as salt,
molybdenum Molybdenum is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Mo and atomic number 42 which is located in period 5 and group 6. The name is from New Latin, Neo-Latin ''molybdaenum'', which is based on Ancient Greek ', meaning lead, since i ...
, and lead.
Dryland farming Dryland farming and dry farming encompass specific agricultural Agriculture or farming is the practice of cultivating Plant, plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of Sedentism, sedentary human civilization, ...
, developed during the Soviet years, has allowed the region to expand into the growing of wheat (mostly cultivated on the plains of the
Aras River , az, Araz, fa, ارس, tr, Aras The Aras (also known as the Araks, Arax, Araxes, or Araz) is a river in the Caucasus. It rises in eastern Turkey and flows along the borders between Turkey and Armenia, between Turkey and the Nakhchivan e ...
),
barley Barley (''Hordeum vulgare''), a member of the grass family, is a major cereal grain grown in temperate climates globally. It was one of the first cultivated grains, particularly in Eurasia Eurasia (, ) is the largest continental area o ...
, cotton, tobacco,
orchard An orchard is an intentional plantation of trees or shrubs that is maintained for food production. Orchards comprise fruit tree, fruit- or nut (fruit), nut-producing trees which are generally grown for commercial production. Orchards are also so ...
fruits, mulberries, and grapes for producing wine. Other industries include
cotton ginning A cotton gin—meaning "cotton engine"—is a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from their seeds, enabling much greater productivity than manual cotton separation.. Reprinted by McGraw-Hill, New York and London, 1926 (); a ...
/cleaning, silk spinning, fruit canning, meatpacking, and, in the drier regions,
sheep farming Sheep farming or sheep husbandry is the raising and breeding of domestic sheep Sheep or domestic sheep (''Ovis aries'') are domesticated, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Although the term ''sheep'' can apply to other species ...
. Processing of minerals, salt,
radio engineering Broadcast engineering is the field of electrical engineering, and now to some extent computer engineering and information technology, which deals with radio and television broadcasting. Audio engineering and RF engineering are also essential par ...
, farm ginning, preserving, silk products, meat, and dairy, bottling of
mineral water Mineral water is water from a mineral spring that contains various minerals, such as salt (chemistry), salts and Sulfur, sulfur compounds. Mineral water may usually be still or Carbonated water, sparkling (carbonated/effervescent) according to t ...
s, clothing, and furniture are the principal branches of Nakhchivan's industry. The
Nakhchivan Automobile Plant Nakhchivan Automobile Plant ( az, Naxçıvan Avtomobil Zavodu), better known as NAZ, is an automobile manufacturer in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan. History Nakhchivan Automobile Factory was founded in 2006. It was put into o ...
( az, Naxçıvan Avtomobil Zavodu, abbr. NAZ), is a prominent automobile manufacturer in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. The economy suffered a severe blow in 1988 with the loss of access to both
raw material A raw material, also known as a feedstock, unprocessed material, or primary commodity, is a basic material that is used to produce goods, finished goods, energy, or intermediate materials that are feedstock for future finished products. As feed ...
s and markets, due to the
First Nagorno-Karabakh War The First Nagorno-Karabakh War, referred to in Armenia as the Artsakh Liberation War ( hy, Արցախյան ազատամարտ, Artsakhyan azatamart) was an ethnic and territorial conflict that took place from February 1988 to May 1994, in ...
. Although new markets are emerging in
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...

Iran
and Turkey, this isolation still persists to this day, impairing development. The economy of Nakhchivan is based on agriculture, mining, and
food processing Food processing is the transformation of Agriculture, agricultural products into food, or of one form of food into other forms. Food processing includes many forms of processing foods, from grinding grain to make raw flour to home cooking to co ...
, however, 75% of the republic's budget is supplied by the central government in
Baku Baku (, ; az, Bakı ) is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea is the world's largest inland body of water, often described as the List of lakes by area, world's largest ...
. The Republic is rich in minerals. Nakhchivan possesses deposits of
marble Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite Calcite is a Carbonate minerals, carbonate mineral and the most stable Polymorphism (materials science), polymorph of calcium carbonate (CaC ...
, lime, and
gypsum Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral composed of calcium sulfate Hydrate, dihydrate, with the chemical formula . It is widely mined and is used as a fertilizer and as the main constituent in many forms of plaster, blackboard or sidewalk chalk, and ...
. The deposits of the
rock salt Halite (), commonly known as rock salt, is a type of salt, the mineral (natural) form of sodium chloride (sodium, Nachlorine, Cl). Halite forms Cubic (crystal system), isometric crystals. The mineral is typically colorless or white, but may al ...
are exhausted in Nehram, Nakhchivan, and Sustin. The important
molybdenum Molybdenum is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Mo and atomic number 42 which is located in period 5 and group 6. The name is from New Latin, Neo-Latin ''molybdaenum'', which is based on Ancient Greek ', meaning lead, since i ...
mines are currently closed as a consequence of the exclave's isolation. There are a lot of
mineral spring Mineral springs are naturally occurring Spring (hydrology), springs that produces hard water, water that contains dissolved minerals. Salts, sulfur compounds, and gases are among the substances that can be dissolved in the spring water durin ...
s such as Badamli, Sirab, Nagajir, Kiziljir where water contains
arsenic Arsenic is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol As and atomic number 33. Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in combination with sulfur and metals, but also as a pure elemental crystal. Arsenic is a metalloid. It has vario ...
. About 90% of the agricultural land is now in private hands. However, agriculture has become a poorly capitalized,
backyard A backyard, or back yard (known in the United Kingdom as a back garden or just garden), is a Yard (land), yard at the back of a house, common in suburban developments in the Western world. In Australia, until the mid-20th century, the back ya ...
activity. Production has dropped sharply and large-scale commercial agriculture has declined. Over two-thirds of the land are rocky slopes and
desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to denudation. About one ...
s, therefore the area of arable lands is quite limited. The main crops – cotton and tobacco – are cultivated in the PriAraz plain, near Sharur and Nakhchivan City. Three-quarters of the grain production, especially
winter wheat Winter wheat (usually ''Triticum aestivum Common wheat (''Triticum aestivum''), also known as bread wheat, is a cultivated wheat species. About 95% of wheat produced worldwide is common wheat; it is the most widely grown of all crops and t ...
is concentrated on the irrigated lands of the Sharur plain and in the basin of the Nakhchivan river. Vine growing in Nakhchivan has an ancient tradition, in the Araz valley and foothills. Very hot summers and long warm autumns make it possible to grow such highly saccharine grapes as bayan-shiraz, tebrizi,
shiraz Shiraz (; fa, شیراز, Širâz ) is the List of largest cities of Iran, fifth-most-populous city of Iran and the capital of Fars province, Fars Province, which has been historically known as Pars (Sasanian province), Pars () and Persis. As o ...
i. Wines such as "Nakhchivan" "Shahbuz", " Abrakunis", at " Aznaburk" are of reasonable quality and very popular. Fruit production is quite important, mainly of
quince The quince (; ''Cydonia oblonga'') is the sole member of the genus ''Cydonia'' in the Malinae subtribe (which also contains apples and pears, among other fruits) of the Rosaceae family (biology), family. It is a deciduous tree that bears hard ...
, pear, peach, apricot, fig, almonds, and
pomegranate The pomegranate (''Punica granatum'') is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub in the family Lythraceae, subfamily Punicoideae, that grows between tall. The pomegranate was originally described throughout the Mediterranean Basin, Mediterranean re ...
. Cattle ranching is another traditional branch of Nakhchivan farming. Due to the dry climate, pastures in Nakhchivan are unproductive, therefore sheep breeding prevails over other livestock production. Winter pastures stretch on the PriAraz plain, on the foothills and mountainsides to the altitude of . But the summer pastures go up on the high-mountain area to an altitude of . The most widespread sheep variety is "balbas". These sheep are distinguished by their productivity and snow-white silky wool which is widely used in the manufacture of carpets. Horned and small cattle are bred everywhere, especially in the environs of Sharur and Nakhchivan. Buffaloes are also bred here. Although intentions to facilitate tourism have been declared by the government, it is still at best incipient. Until 1997 tourists needed special permission to visit, which has now been abolished, making travel easier. Facilities are very basic and heating fuel is hard to find in the winter, but the arid mountains bordering
Armenia Armenia (), , group=pron officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.The UNbr>classification of world regions places Armenia in Western Asia; the CIA World Factbook , , and '' ...

Armenia
and Iran are magnificent. In terms of services, Nakhchivan offers very basic facilities and lacks heating fuel during the winter. In 2007 the Poldasht-Shah Takhti Bridge, which connects Poldasht, West Azerbaijan Province,
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...

Iran
, and Shah Takhti in Nakhchivan, was completed, allowing residents of the republic to access Azerbaijan proper via Iran without having to cross Armenian territory.


International issues


Status of Armenian cultural monuments

In November 2020, the British ''The Guardian'' wrote about Azerbaijan's campaign of comprehensive “cultural cleansing” in Nakhchivan:
Satellite imagery, extensive documentary evidence and personal accounts showed that 89 churches, 5,840 khachkars and 22,000 tombstones were destroyed between 1997 and 2006, including the medieval necropolis of Djulfa, the largest ancient Armenian cemetery in the world. The Azerbaijani response has consistently been to simply deny that Armenians had ever lived in the region."
The number of named Armenian churches known to have existed in the Nakhchivan region is over 280. As early as 1648, French traveller Alexandre de Rhodes reported seeing more than ten thousand Armenian tombstones made of marble in Julfa. The number of ecclesiastical monuments still standing in Nakhchivan in the 1980s is estimated to be between 59 and 100. The author and journalist Sylvain Besson believe them to have all been subsequently destroyed as part of a campaign by the Government of Azerbaijan to erase all traces of Armenian culture on its soil. When the 14th-century church of St. Stephanos at Abrakunis was visited in 2005, it was found to have been recently destroyed, with its site reduced to a few bricks sticking out of loose, bare earth. Similar complete destruction had happened to the 16th century St. Hakop-Hayrapet church in Shurut. The Armenian churches in Norashen, Kırna and Gah that were standing in the 1980s had also vanished. The most publicised case of mass destruction concerns gravestones at a medieval cemetery in Julfa, with photographic, video and satellite evidence supporting the charges. In April 2006 British ''The Times'' wrote about the destruction of the cemetery in the following way:
A Medieval cemetery regarded as one of the wonders of the Caucasus has been erased from the Earth in an act of cultural vandalism likened to the Taleban blowing up the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan in 2001. The Jugha cemetery was a unique collection of several thousand carved stone crosses on Azerbaijan's southern border with Iran. But after 18 years of conflict between Azerbaijan and its western neighbour, Armenia, it has been confirmed that the cemetery has vanished."
Armenians have long sounded the alarm that the Azerbaijanis intend to eliminate all evidence of Armenian presence in Nakhchivan and to this end, have been carrying out massive and irreversible destruction of Armenian cultural traces. "The irony is that this destruction has taken place not during a time of war but at a time of peace," Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian told The Times. Azerbaijan has consistently denied these accusations. For example, according to the Azerbaijani ambassador to the US, Hafiz Pashayev, the videos and photographs "show some unknown people destroying mid-size stones", and "it is not clear of what nationality those people are", and the reports are Armenian propaganda designed to divert attention from what he claimed was a "state policy (by Armenia) to destroy the historical and cultural monuments in the occupied Azeri territories". A number of international organizations have confirmed the complete destruction of the cemetery. The Institute for War and Peace Reporting reported on April 19, 2006, that "there is nothing left of the celebrated stone crosses of Jugha." According to the
International Council on Monuments and Sites The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS; french: links=no, Conseil international des monuments et des sites) is a professional association that works for the conservation and restoration of cultural property, conservation and prot ...
(Icomos), the Azerbaijan government removed 800 khachkars in 1998. Though the destruction was halted following protests from UNESCO, it resumed four years later. By January 2003 "the 1,500-year-old cemetery had completely been flattened" according to Icomos. On December 8, 2010, the
American Association for the Advancement of Science The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is an American international non-profit organization with the stated goals of promoting cooperation among scientists, defending scientific freedom, encouraging scientific responsi ...
released a report entitled "Satellite Images Show Disappearance of Armenian Artifacts in Azerbaijan". The report contained the analysis of high resolution satellite images of the Julfa cemetery, which verified the destruction of the khachkars. The
European Parliament The European Parliament (EP) is one of the Legislature, legislative bodies of the European Union and one of its seven Institutions of the European Union, institutions. Together with the Council of the European Union (known as the Council and in ...
has formally called on Azerbaijan to stop the demolition as a breach of the
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international coope ...
World Heritage Convention. According to its resolution regarding cultural monuments in the South Caucasus, the European Parliament "condemns strongly the destruction of the Julfa cemetery as well as the destruction of all sites of historical importance that has taken place on Armenian or Azerbaijani territory, and condemns any such action that seeks to destroy cultural heritage." In 2006, Azerbaijan barred a Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) mission from inspecting and examining the ancient burial site, stating that it would only accept a delegation if it also visited Armenian-occupied territory. "We think that if a comprehensive approach is taken to the problems that have been raised," said Azerbaijani foreign ministry spokesman Tahir Tagizade, "it will be possible to study Christian monuments on the territory of Azerbaijan, including in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic." A renewed attempt was planned by PACE inspectors for August 29 – September 6, 2007, led by British MP Edward O'Hara. As well as Nakhchivan, the delegation would visit Baku, Yerevan, Tbilisi, and Nagorno Karabakh. The inspectors planned to visit Nagorno Karabakh via Armenia; however, on August 28, the head of the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE released a demand that the inspectors must enter Nagorno Karabakh via Azerbaijan. On August 29, PACE Secretary-General Mateo Sorinas announced that the visit had to be cancelled because of the difficulty in accessing Nagorno Karabakh using the route required by Azerbaijan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Armenia issued a statement saying that Azerbaijan had stopped the visit "due solely to their intent to veil the demolition of Armenian monuments in Nakhijevan". In 2022, the
Cornell University Cornell University is a private statutory land-grant research university based in Ithaca, New York. It is a member of the Ivy League. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, Cornell was founded with the intention to ...
-led monitoring group Caucasus Heritage Watch released a report detailing the "complete destruction of Armenian cultural heritage" in Nakhchivan starting the 1990s. According the report, out of 110 medieval and early modern Armenian monasteries, churches and cemeteries identified from archival sources, 108 were deliberately and systematically destroyed between 1997 and 2011. In some cases, such as the Saint Thomas Monastery in Yukhari Aylis (Agulis), mosques or other civic buildings were built on the site of the destroyed buildings.


Recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

In the late 1990s the Supreme Assembly issued a non-binding declaration recognising the
sovereignty Sovereignty is the defining authority within individual consciousness, Social constructionism, social construct, or territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty i ...
of the
self-proclaimed Self-proclaimed describes a legal title that is recognized by the declaring person but not necessarily by any recognized legal authority. It can be the status of a noble title or the status of a nation. The term is used informally for anyone declari ...
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Northern Cyprus ( tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs), officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC; tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti, ''KKTC''), is a ''de facto'' state that comprises the northeastern portion of the Geography of Cyprus, isl ...
(TRNC) and calling upon Azerbaijan to do so. While sympathetic to the TRNC, Azerbaijan has not followed suit because doing so could prompt the Republic of Cyprus to recognise the self-proclaimed
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Artsakh, officially the Republic of Artsakh () or the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (),, is a list of states with limited recognition, breakaway state in the South Caucasus whose territory is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan ...
. Close relations between Nakhchivan and Turkey probably initiated this recognition.


Culture

Nakhchivan is one of the cultural centers of Azerbaijan. In 1923, a musical subgroup was organized at the State Drama Theater (renamed the Nakhchivan Music and Drama Theater in 1965). The Aras Song and Dance Ensemble (established in 1959) is another famous group. Dramatic performances staged by an amateur dance troupe were held in Nakhchivan in the late 19th century. Theatrical art also greatly contributed to Nakhchivan's culture. The creative work of
Jalil Mammadguluzadeh Jalil Huseyngulu oghlu Mammadguluzadeh ( az, Cəlil Məmmədquluzadə; 22 February 1869 – 4 January 1932), was an Azerbaijani people, Azerbaijani satirist and writer. He was the founder of Molla Nasraddin (magazine), ''Molla Nasraddin'', a ...
, Huseyn Javid, and
Huseyn Arablinski Huseyn Arablinski ( az, Hüseyn Ərəblinski), born Huseynbala Mammad oghlu Khalafov (1881, Baku Baku (, ; az, Bakı ) is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea is the ...
(the first Azerbaijani theatre director) stemmed from Nakhchivan. The region has also produced noteworthy Armenian artists, too, such as Soviet actress Hasmik Agopyan. Nakhchivan has also at times been mentioned in works of literature. World-renowned Soviet composer
Aram Khatchaturian Aram Ilyich Khachaturian (; rus, Арам Ильич Хачатурян, , ɐˈram ɨˈlʲjitɕ xətɕɪtʊˈrʲan, Ru-Aram Ilyich Khachaturian.ogg; hy, Արամ Խաչատրյան, ''Aram Xačʿatryan''; 1 May 1978) was a Soviet Union, Sovie ...
, the Armenian
Hovnatanian The Hovnatanyan family ( hy, Հովնաթանյաններ, ''Hovnat'anyanner'') was a prominent Armenians, Armenian family of painters. They include five generations from 17th to 19th centuries. Hovnatanyans are originally from the village of Şur ...
painter family, as well as the actor Yervand Manaryan, have shaped the cultural wealth of Nakchivan, too. Nizami, the Persian poet, once wrote: ::که تا جایگه یافتی نخچوان ::''Oh Nakhchivan, respect you've attained,'' ::بدین شاه شد بخت پیرت جوان ::''With this King in luck you'll remain.'' File:Qarabağlar türbə kompleksinin ümumi görünüşü.jpg, Garabaghlar Mausoleum File:Palace of Nakhchivan Khans.jpg, Palace of Nakhchivan Khans File:Ordubad cümə məscidi ümumi görünüş.jpg, Juma Mosque, Ordubad File:Mömünəxatun türbəsi 2018.jpg, Momine Khatun Mausoleum File:Nakhichevan Mausoleum.jpg, Yusif ibn Kuseyir Mausoleum File:Gülüstan türbəsi bərpadan sonra.jpg, Juma Mosque, Ordubad File:Şeyx Xorasan türbəsin.jpg, Khanegah tomb


Archaeology

The very early Kura-Araxes culture flourished in Nakhchivan before spreading to many other areas, as far as Israel. This region reveals the genesis and chronology of this
Chalcolithic The Copper Age, also called the Chalcolithic (; from grc-gre, χαλκός ''khalkós'', "copper" and  ''líthos'', "Rock (geology), stone") or (A)eneolithic (from Latin ''wikt:aeneus, aeneus'' "of copper"), is an list of archaeologi ...
and Early Bronze Age culture. Kültəpə is an important early Chalcolithic site in Nakhchivan. Another such site is Makhta Kultepe. Recent excavations at Ovcular Tepesi allow the dating of the initial stage of formation of Kura-Araxes culture to 4200–3400 BC. The Naxçivan Archaeological Project is the first-ever joint American-Azerbaijani program of surveys and excavations, that was active since 2006. In 2010–11, they have excavated the large Iron Age fortress of Oğlanqala. In Nakhchivan, there are also numerous archaeological monuments of the early Iron Age, and they shed a lot of light on the cultural, archaeological and agricultural developments of that era. There are important sites such as Ilikligaya, Irinchoy, and the Sanctuary of Iydali Piri in Kangarli region.Archaeological Treasures Of Nakhchivan
– OpEd – Eurasia Review 2016


People from Nakhchivan


Political leaders

*
Heydar Aliyev Heydar Alirza oghlu Aliyev ( az, Һејдәр Әлирза оғлу Әлијев, italic=no, Heydər Əlirza oğlu Əliyev, ; , ; 10 May 1923 – 12 December 2003) was a Soviet and Azerbaijanis, Azerbaijani politician who served as the third pre ...
, former
President of Azerbaijan The president of the Republic of Azerbaijan is the head of state of Azerbaijan. The Constitution of Azerbaijan, Constitution states that the president is the embodiment of Executive (government), executive power, commander-in-chief, "representa ...
(1993–2003). *
Abulfaz Elchibey Abulfaz Elchibey ( az, Əbülfəz Elçibəy; 24 June 1938, in Nakhichevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, Nakhchivan – 22 August 2000, in Ankara) was an Azerbaijani political figure and a former Soviet Union, Soviet dissident. His real n ...
, former President of Azerbaijan (1992–1993). * Rasul Guliyev, former speaker of the
National Assembly of Azerbaijan The National Assembly ( az, Milli Məclis), also transliterated as Milli Mejlis, is the legislative branch of government in Azerbaijan. The unicameral National Assembly has 125 deputies: previously 100 members were elected for five-year terms ...
(1993–1996) and opposition leader. *
Christapor Mikaelian Christapor Mikaelian (Armenian Language, Armenian: , Krisdapor Mikaelyan/Chrisdapor Mikaelian; 18 October 1859 – 17 March 1905), also known by his ''nom de guerre, noms de guerre'' Hellen (), Topal (), and Edward (), was one of the three founde ...
, founding member of the
Armenian Revolutionary Federation The Armenian Revolutionary Federation ( hy, Հայ Յեղափոխական Դաշնակցութիւն, ՀՅԴ (Classical Armenian orthography, classical spelling), abbr. ARF or ARF-D) also known as Dashnaktsutyun (collectively referred to as Dash ...
. * Stepan Sapah-Gulian, leader of the Armenian
Social Democrat Hunchakian Party The Social Democrat Hunchakian Party (SDHP) ( hy, Սոցիալ Դեմոկրատ Հնչակյան Կուսակցություն; ՍԴՀԿ, translit=Sots’ial Demokrat Hnch’akyan Kusakts’ut’yun), is the oldest continuously-operating Armenia ...
(19th–20th century). * Jafar Kuli Khan Nakhchivanski, the founder of the short-lived
Republic of Aras The Republic of Aras ( az, Araz Respublikası; also known as the Republic of Araks or the Araxi Republic) was a short-lived and unrecognized state in the South Caucasus, roughly corresponding with the territory that is now the Nakhchivan Autonomous ...
. * Ibrahim Abilov, first and only ambassador of
Azerbaijan SSR Azerbaijan ( az, Азәрбајҹан, Azərbaycan, italics=no), officially the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (Azerbaijan SSR; az, Азәрбајҹан Совет Сосиалист Республикасы, Azərbaycan Sovet Sosialist R ...
to Turkey. *
Garegin Nzhdeh Garegin Ter-Harutyunyan, better known by his '' nom de guerre'' Garegin Nzhdeh ( hy, Գարեգին Նժդեհ, ; 1 January 1886 – 21 December 1955), was an Armenian statesman, military commander and political thinker. As a member of the A ...
, famous Armenian revolutionary, military leader and political thinker. * Alirza Rasizade (1884–1923), educator, revolutionary, statesman, Azrevcom commissar for Nakhchivan's Sovietization. *
Vasif Talibov Vasif Talibov ( az, Vasif Yusif oğlu Talıbov; born 14 January 1960) is the former chairman of the Supreme Assembly (Nakhchivan), Supreme Assembly of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, a deputy of the National Assembly (Azerbaijan), Milli Majli ...
, is the current chairman of the Supreme Assembly of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.


Religious leaders

* Alexander Jughaetsi (Alexander I of Jugha),
Catholicos of All Armenians The Catholicos of All Armenians (plural Catholicoi) ( hy, Ամենայն Հայոց Կաթողիկոս; see #Other names), is the chief bishop and spiritual leader of Armenia's national church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, and the worldwide Armen ...
(1706–1714). * Hakob Jughaetsi (Jacob IV of Jugha), Armenian Catholicos (1655–1680). * Azaria I Jughaetsi, Armenian Catholicos of the
Holy See of Cilicia The Armenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia ( hy, Կաթողիկոսութիւն Հայոց Մեծի Տանն Կիլիկիոյ) is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church. Since 1930, the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cil ...
(1584–1601).


Military leaders

* Abdurahman Fatalibeyli, Soviet army major who defected to the German forces during World War II. * Ehsan Khan Nakhchivanski, Russian military general. * Huseyn Khan Nakhchivanski, Russian
cavalry Historically, cavalry (from the French word ''cavalerie'', itself derived from "cheval" meaning "horse") are soldiers or warriors who fight mounted on horseback. Cavalry were the most mobile of the combat arms, operating as light cavalr ...
general and the only
Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the ...
to serve as General-Adjutant of the Russian Tsar. * Ismail Khan Nakhchivanski, Russian military general. * Kelbali Khan Nakhchivanski, Russian military general. * Jamshid Khan Nakhchivanski, Soviet and Azerbaijani military general. *
Yusif Mirzayev Yusif Mirzayev ( az, Yusif Vəli oğlu Mirzəyev) (23 May 1958 – 19 February 1993) was an Azerbaijani soldier and participant of the First Nagorno-Karabakh War. He was posthumously awarded the title of the National Hero of Azerbaijan. Life Mir ...
, National Hero of Azerbaijan. * Maharram Seyidov, National Hero of Azerbaijan. *
Kerim Kerimov Lieutenant general, Lieutenant General Kerim Abbasali oghlu Kerimov ( az, Kərim Abbasəli oğlu Kərimov, russian: Керим Аббас-Алиевич Керимов; November 14, 1917March 29, 2003) was a Soviet and Russian engineer of Azerba ...
, National Hero of Azerbaijan. * Sayavush Hasanov, National Hero of Azerbaijan. * Mirasgar Seyidov, National Hero of Azerbaijan. * Ali Mammadov, National Hero of Azerbaijan. * Ibrahim Mammadov, National Hero of Azerbaijan. * Amiraslan Aliyev, National Hero of Azerbaijan.


Writers and poets

* M.S. Gulubekov, writer. * Huseyn Javid Rasizade, poet and playwright. *
Jalil Mammadguluzadeh Jalil Huseyngulu oghlu Mammadguluzadeh ( az, Cəlil Məmmədquluzadə; 22 February 1869 – 4 January 1932), was an Azerbaijani people, Azerbaijani satirist and writer. He was the founder of Molla Nasraddin (magazine), ''Molla Nasraddin'', a ...
, writer and satirist. * Ekmouladdin Nakhchivani, medieval literary figure. * Hindushah Nakhchivani, medieval literary figure. * Abdurrakhman en-Neshevi, medieval literary figure. * Mammed Said Ordubadi, writer. * Heyran Khanum, late medieval poet. * Elşen Hudiyev, contemporary poet and writer. * Mammad Araz, poet.


Scientists

* Alec (Alirza) Rasizade, an American professor of history and political science, the author of the Rasizade's algorithm. * Ruben Orbeli, Soviet archaeologist, historian and jurist, who was renowned as the founder of Soviet underwater archaeology.


Others

* Bahruz Kangarli, Azerbaijani painter. * Haji Aliyev, Wrestling, World and European champion. * Vladimir Makogonov, chess
International Master FIDE titles are awarded by the international chess Chess is a board game between two Player (game), players. It is sometimes called international chess or Western chess to distinguish it from chess variant, related games, such as xiangqi (Chi ...
and Grandmaster. * Ajami Nakhchivani, architect and founder of the Nakhchivan school of architecture. * Gaik Ovakimian, Soviet Armenian spy. * Ibrahim Safi, Turkish artist. * Natavan Gasimova, volleyball player * Rza Tahmasib, Azerbaijani film director.


Gallery

Image:Nakhichevan01.JPG, Momine Khatun Mausoleum in Nakhchivan City Image:Momine Fragment.jpg, Brickwork and faience pattern on the Momine Khatun mausoleum Image:Momine perspective wiki.jpg, Another view of the mausoleum Image:Nakhichevan02.JPG, Medieval-period ram-shaped grave monuments collected near the Momine Khatun mausoleum Image:Nakhichevan04.JPG, Ram-shaped grave monument embedded in concrete Image:Batabat Mountains.jpg, The Batabat region of Shakhbuz Image:Nakhichevan05.jpg, General view of
Ordubad Ordubad is the second largest city of Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and the capital of Ordubad District, an eponymous district. Ordubad is a medieval city of the Caucasus and in its current capacity of a town was founded in the 18th c ...
with a range of high mountains in neighboring
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...

Iran
in the distance Image:Nakhichevan06.jpg, Houses in Ordubad photographed near the east bank of Ordubad-chay (also known as the Dubendi stream) Image:Nakhichevan07.jpg, Narrow streets in Ordubad Image:Nakhichevan08.jpg, A mosque in a quarter of Ordubad Image:Jolfa-Aras2.jpg,
Aras River , az, Araz, fa, ارس, tr, Aras The Aras (also known as the Araks, Arax, Araxes, or Araz) is a river in the Caucasus. It rises in eastern Turkey and flows along the borders between Turkey and Armenia, between Turkey and the Nakhchivan e ...
on the Iranian border near Julfa Image:Nakhichevan09.jpg, Mountainous terrain of Nakhchivan Image:Julfa-khachkars.jpg, Armenian
khachkar A ''khachkar'', also known as a ''khatchkar'' or Armenian cross-stone ( hy, խաչքար, , խաչ xačʿ "cross" + քար kʿar "stone") is a carved, memorial stele bearing a cross, and often with additional motifs such as rosette (desi ...
cemetery at Julfa Image:Nakhichevan Mausoleum.jpg, Yusuf ibn Kuseir Mausoleum in Nakhchivan City


See also

* List of Chairmen of the Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic * Nakhchivan Memorial Museum * Nakhchivan culture


References

;Notes ;References


Sources

*


Further reading

*


External links


Official website of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic



Nakhchivan Guide
{{coord, 39, 20, N, 45, 30, E, region:AZ_type:adm1st, display=title Subdivisions of Azerbaijan Autonomous republics Enclaves and exclaves States and territories established in 1990 Armenia–Azerbaijan border Azerbaijan–Turkey border Azerbaijan–Iran border Mount Ararat Turkic states