Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about the autonomous region; for the city see Nakhichevan (city)
The main city is Nakhichevan, home to the Nakhichevan State University
Climate and Resources
The region is extremely arid and primarily a mountainous country with large salt deposits. With irrigation, agriculture produces cotton, tobacco, grain, and market garden produce, and in the drier areas sheep farming is significant. Minerals are extracted, including salt, molybdenum, and lead, while industries include cotton ginning/cleaning, silk spinning, fruit canning, meat packing, and tobacco products.
Armenian tradition claims Noah as the founder of Nakhichevan. Laid waste by the Persians in the 4th century, Nakhichevan sank into comparative insignificance, but by the 10th century had largely recovered. Its geographic position caused it to suffer frequently during the wars between the Persians, Armenians and Turks, and it finally passed into Russian possession in 1828. When the Transcaucasus was incorporated into the USSR in 1920-21, the borders between the republics of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia were not determined immediately. Drawing the borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and settling the question of the status of the regions of Nagorno-Karabakh and Nakhichevan caused most of the delay. The political struggle for Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan took the Soviet leadership some years to settle. Initially, the situation favored Armenia, as Azerbaijan in December 1920 (under strong Soviet pressure) issued a statement that the regions of Nagorno-Karabakh, Zangezur and Nakhichevan were all to be ceded to Armenia. Josef Stalin made the decision public on December 2, Azerbaijan though later rescinded the statement. Four months later, the situation swung back towards Azerbaijan. On March 16, 1921, a treaty between Turkey and the Soviet Union determined that both Nagorno-Karabakh and Nakhichevan were to be under Azerbaijani administration (Zangezur however was left within Armenia, eventually becoming the Armenian provinces of Syunik' and Vayots' Dzor). This changing of the boundaries ended up making Nakhichevan an exclave. In 1924, Nakhichevan obtained the status of an Autonomous Republic as a concession on the part of Stalin to the newly founded Turkish Republic under Kemal Atatürk, whom at the time was seen as a potential ally. Nakhichevan unilaterally declared independence in 1990 from the USSR, but later became part of the newly independent Republic of Azerbaijan. There was some factional fighting within Nakhichevan during the Armenian-Azerbaijani war over Nagorno-Karabakh, but Nakhichevan remained firmly under Azerbaijani control. It now exists - and is internationally recognised - as a part of Azerbaijan, though with a high amount of autonomy over its internal affairs with its own elected parliament and President.
- Armenian governing coalition partner ARF still claims that Nakhichevan belongs to Armenia and that since a lot of the current territorial disputes could be traced back to arbitrary decisions from Moscow, that those decisions should be rescinded.
- Nakhichevan's parliament in the late 1990's passed a resolution calling upon Azerbaijan to recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Azerbaijan to date has not done so. TRNC itself views this as formal recognition from Nakhichevan.
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