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Azerbaijan (UK: /ˌæzəbˈɑːn, -ˈʒɑːn/ (About this soundlisten), US: /ˌɑːzərbˈɑːn, ˌæz-/; Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan [ɑːzæɾbɑjˈd͡ʒɑn]), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Respublikası [ɑːzæɾbɑjˈd͡ʒɑn ɾespublikɑˈsɯ]), is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhchivan is bounded by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, and has an 11 km (6.8 mi) long border with Turkey in the northwest.

The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918 and became the first secular democratic Muslim-majority state. In 1920 the country was incorporated into the Soviet Union as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. The modern Republic of Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence on 30 August 1991, shortly before the dissolution of the USSR in the same year. In September 1991, the Armenian majority of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region seceded to form the Republic of Artsakh. The region and seven adjacent districts outside it became de facto independent with the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994. These regions are internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan pending a solution to the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh through negotiations facilitated by the OSCE.

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Oil Rocks estacades.jpg

Neft Daşları is an industrial settlement in Baku, Azerbaijan. The settlement forms part of the municipality of Çilov-Neft Daşları in the Khazar raion. It lies 100 km (62 mi) away from the Azerbaijani capital Baku, and 55 km (34 mi) from the nearest shore in the Caspian Sea. A full town on the sea, it was the first oil platform in Azerbaijan, and the first operating offshore oil platform in the world, incorporating numerous drilling platforms. It is featured in Guinness World Records as the world's first offshore oil platform.

The settlement began with a single path out over the water and grew into a system of paths and platforms built on the back of ships sunk to serve as the Neft Daşları's foundation. The most distinctive feature of Neft Daşları is that it is actually a functional city with a population of about 2,000 and over 300 km (190 mi) of streets built on piles of dirt and landfill.


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The Oil Rocks, a full town on the Caspian Sea was created in 1947 and was the pearl of Soviet and Azeri ambition in the 1950s.
Credit: Interfase

The Oil Rocks, a full town on the Caspian Sea was created in 1947 and was the pearl of Soviet and Azeri ambition in the 1950s.

Selected article

The Gobustan National Park (Azerbaijani: Qobustan Milli Parkı) is a national historical landmark of Azerbaijan. It is located west of the settlement of Gobustan, about 40 miles (64 km) southwest of the centre of Baku on the west bank of the Caspian Sea. With thousands of ancient carvings, relics, mud volcanoes and gas-stones, the park is a major archaeological site.

In 2007 Gobustan was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered to be of "outstanding universal value" for the quality and density of its rock art engravings, for the substantial evidence the collection of rock art images presents for hunting, fauna, flora and lifestyles in pre-historic times and for the cultural continuity between prehistoric and medieval times that the site reflects.

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Chingiz Mustafayev (Azerbaijani: Çingiz Fuad oğlu Mustafayev); 1960 - 1992) was one of the most noted independent Azerbaijani journalists, granted the state order of the National Hero of Azerbaijan posthumously. Although the corpus of his journalistic work spans slightly over a year, with no formal journalistic training, Chingiz created a video anthology of the early stages of Nagorno-Karabakh War, documented from the front lines ultimately at a cost of his own life.

He was the man behind the TV camera, who filmed the scene of Khojaly Massacre in 1992. To make the footage Chingiz had to travel on an army helicopter, and despite coming under fire he managed to film the evidence of the Khojaly Genocide showing hundreds of dead bodies strewn across snow-covered fields. The pictures are accompanied by the sound of Chingiz’ – no stranger to the sight of corpses – sobbing uncontrollably as he filmed. His film was the irrefutable evidence that there had been a full-scale massacre, with the perpetration of which Human Rights Watch and Russian Memorial society blamed the Armenian forces.

In the course of eight months, Chingiz shot 18 documentaries about the war in Karabakh, leaving behind a substantial historical archive. Chingiz was known for his patriotic work and was considered to have risked everything to expose the truth.

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