AZERBAIJAN



Azerbaijan Republicy

Azarbaichan Respublikasy

CAPITAL : Baku

FLAG : Three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), red, and green; a crescent and eight-pointed star in white are centered in the red band.

ANTHEM : Azerbaijan National Anthem, composed by Uzeyir Hajibeyov.

MONETARY UNIT : The manat, consisting of 100 gopik, was introduced in 1992 and remains tied to the Russian ruble with widely fluctuating exchange rates. As of May 2003, 1 manat = $0.000204 (or $1 = 4,909 manat).

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is in force.

HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; International Women's Day, 8 March; Novruz Bayrom (Holiday of Spring), 22 March; Day of the Republic, 28 May; Day of Armed Forces, 9 October; Day of State Sovereignty, 18 October; Day of National Revival, 17 November; Universal Azeri Solidarity Day, 31 December.

TIME : 4 PM = noon GMT.


FLORA AND FAUNA

The country's flora and fauna is rich and varied. There are 16 nature reserves and more than 28 forest reserves and hunting farms.

ETHNIC GROUPS

In 1998 estimates, 90% of the population was Azeri; about 3.2% were Dagestani peoples; 2.5% were Russian; another 2% were Armenian; and 2.3% were of other ethnic origins. Almost all Armenians live in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region.

LANGUAGES

Azerbaijani (or Azeri) is a language related to Turkish and is also spoken in northwestern Iran. It is traditionally written in Arabic script. In 1995, an estimated 89% of the population spoke Azeri; 3% spoke Russian; 2% spoke Armenian; and 6% other. In 1939, the Soviets introduced a Cyrillic alphabet, with eight special characters.

FISHING

The Caspian Sea is Azerbaijan's principal fishing resource. Commercial fishing traditionally centered on caviar and sturgeon. The total catch was 18,797 tons in 2000, primarily Azov sea sprat.

FORESTRY

About 13% of the land area consisted of forests and woodlands in 2000. Soviet-era policies gave priority to high production and rapid growth at the expense of the environment. The State Committee for Ecology and Use of Natural Resources has recently introduced new regulations to protect forest resources. Roundwood production in 2000 totaled 14,000 cu m (494,000 cu ft).

INSURANCE

As of 1995, at least 14 insurance companies were doing business in Azerbaijan.

DEPENDENCIES

Azerbaijan has no territories or colonies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Aganbegyan, Abel. Perestrokda Revolution. New York: Harper and Row, 1990.

Altstadt, Audrey L. The Azerbaijani Turks: Power and Identity Under Russian Rule. Stanford, Calif.: Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University, 1992.

Atabaki, Touraj. Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and Autonomy in Twentieth-century Iran. New York: British Academy Press, 1993.

Azerbaijan: From Crisis to Sustained Growth. Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1993.

Edwards-Jones, Imogen. The Taming of Eagles: Exploring the New Russia. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1993.

Elliot, Mark. Azerbaijan with Georgia. Cincinnati, Ohio: Seven Hills, 2001.

Fawcett, Louise L'Estrange. Iran and the Cold War: the Azerbaijan Crisis of 1946. Cambridge, and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Country Studies. Washington, D.C.: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, 1995.

International Monetary Fund. Azerbaijan. Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund, 1992.

Leeuw, Charles van der. Azerbaijan: A Quest for Identity. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000.

Rost, Yuri. Armenian Tragedy. New York: St. Martin's, 1990.

Shoemaker, M. Wesley. Russia, Eurasian States and Eastern Europe 1993. Washington, D.C.: Stryker-Post, 1993.

Streissguth, Thomas. The Transcaucasus. San Diego, Calif.: Lucent Books, 2001.

Swietochowski, Tadeusz. Russia and Azerbaijan: A Borderland in Transition. New York: Columbia University Press, 1995.

Transcaucasia, Nationalism and Social Change: Essays in the History of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996.

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