HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
According to topschoolsintheusa, Azerbaijan is a country of the Eastern Caucasus overlooking the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan (7,669,000 residents, According to a 1998 UN estimate, on a territory of 86,600 km ²) participates in the cultural characteristics (Turkish-Tatar linguistic lineage, Muslim religion, demographic vivacity) typical of that former Soviet Central Asia that begins on opposite shore of the largest lake on Earth. Formerly a republic of the Soviet Union, which became independent after secessionist pressures manifested during the 1980s, it entered the CIS.
Of the. there is an autonomous province and an autonomous republic, which represent two geopolitical anomalies in a certain sense ‘crossed’. The first, Nagorno-Karabah, an enclave inhabited mainly by ethnic Armenians (about 200,000 residents), Unilaterally proclaimed its independence in 1992 with the help of Armenia (see below: History). resumed also territorially connected with it through a ‘corridor’ manned by Armenian troops, despite the military reaction of the to. and the diplomatic one of Turkey. The second, the Nahičevan, is an exclave which, although populated by Azeri (a little more than 300,000 units), is separated from the rest of the Azerbaijan as it is surrounded by its territory ‘1992 proclaimed its own ephemeral independence. The Armenian minorities, on the whole, represent about 5 % of the population; as many are the Russians.
Baku (Baki), one of the great world centers for the oil economy, terminus of one of the first oil pipelines built in the world (and others are planned for the year 2000), is the capital of the state and the main city: it has over 1, 7 million residents in its extensive urban-industrial agglomeration (oil, petrochemical, chemical, mechanical plants), rich in greenery but also heavily polluted. Other cities include Gandža (Gäncä) and Sumgait (Sumqayit), a fishing port on the Caspian Sea and a large center of transformation activities (steel, metallurgical and food plants), both with populations between 250,000 and 300,000 residents. The other cities are much more modest.
The economy relies on solid agriculture, favored by the availability of water resources. In fact, the Kura River and its tributaries provide that water (coming from the snow and ice of the Caucasus) that the dry climate denies (the reliefs that rise to the West block the way to the humid winds of the Black Sea). Therefore along the rivers, at the expense of the steppe and the desert, vast irrigated oases cultivated with subtropical plants that need a lot of water, such as cotton and rice, develop. In the south-eastern extremity of the country, which is altimetrically depressed, climatically warm and rainier, reclaimed and irrigated, tea, citrus fruits and tung (an oil plant of Chinese origin) are also grown. Tobacco and vineyards also thrive in dry areas (including Nahičevan), and Azerbaijan is one of the few Asian wine producing countries. Notably widespread are the breeding of cattle and sheep, and sericulture.
In the mining and industrial fields, the Azerbaijan it occupies, as is well known, an important place in the world history of oil. The extraction continues today to an extent that is anything but negligible and in any case increasing, especially on the continental shelf of the Caspian, off the Apšeron peninsula (also with the intervention of Western capital and technologies); it is flanked by the production of natural gas and new prospecting in the hydrocarbon field seem to promise a renewed development of the sector for the beginning of the third millennium. Also of interest is the extraction of an aluminum ore, alunite (Alunitdag, in western Azerbaijan), and of iron ore (Daškesan). A notable chemical industry joins the hydrocarbon extractive one, while agricultural and livestock activities, in addition to a good oriental-type artisan tradition, the cotton, silk and wool industries are connected.
At the beginning of the 2000s, the political life of the to. continued to be dominated by H. Aliev, former secretary of the Azerbaijani Communist Party, who came to power after a coup in June 1993 and repeatedly elected President of the Republic starting from the plebiscite votes in October of the same year. Through an authoritarian and personalistic management, Aliev maintained absolute control of the state apparatus and exercised a constant repression of the opposition forces, also weakened by the deep internal divisions and the undisputed successes of the president on the economic and international level. In fact, Aliev, continuing the policy of opening up to foreign capital (for the exploitation of oil fields) and defending the secular state (despite the emergence of Islamic fundamentalist movements), guaranteed the country the relaunch of productive activity and the ‘support of Western powers, increasing the role of the to. in the regional context.there. he joined the Council of Europe. After the victory of the ruling party, the Party of the new Azerbaijan, in the legislative elections of November 2000, whose legitimacy was severely contested by the opposition, Aliev, now old and sick, prepared the succession of his son Ilham as head of the state: a few days after having appointed him prime minister (August 2002) a constitutional referendum sanctioned the principle of the transfer of powers to the latter in the event that the president resigned or was unable to continue his mandate. The definitive transition took place in Oct. 2003, following the victory of I. Aliev in the presidential elections, which took place in a climate of violence and intimidation. The protests of the opposition, which denounced fraud and violations of civil liberties, were severely repressed by the police. The new president, while declaring himself willing to open a phase of national dialogue and reconciliation, actually continued the authoritarian policy of his predecessor, effectively undermining civil rights and freedom of information, and the ruling party so easily returned to impose itself. in the legislative elections held in November 2005,also considered undemocratic by international observers. In foreign policy, the equilibrium line drawn in previous years was continued, aimed at maintaining good relations both with Russia and with Europe and the United States, and at maximizing the revenues for the exploitation of oil fields through agreements with neighboring countries. This guaranteed the country a phase of strong economic growth and a slow adjustment of state finances. The question of Nagorno-Karabah, an Armenian enclave in Azerbaijani territory, which had been an element of instability throughout the 1990s, remained unresolved at the beginning of the 2000s, and in the course of 2003 and 2005 there were still armed clashes at the confine.