The Nagorno-Karabakh War was an ethnic and territorial conflict that took place in the late 1980s to May 1994, in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in southwestern Azerbaijan, between the majority ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh backed by the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan. As the war progressed and Azerbaijan, both former Soviet Republics, entangled themselves in a protracted, undeclared war in the mountainous heights of Karabakh as Azerbaijan attempted to curb the secessionist movement in Nagorno-Karabakh; the enclave's parliament had voted in favor of uniting itself with Armenia and a referendum, boycotted by the Azerbaijani population of Nagorno-Karabakh, was held, whereby most of the voters voted in favor of independence. The demand to unify with Armenia began in a peaceful manner in 1988. Inter-ethnic clashes between the two broke out shortly after the parliament of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast in Azerbaijan voted to unify the region with Armenia on 20 February 1988.
The declaration of secession from Azerbaijan was the final result of a territorial conflict regarding the land. As Azerbaijan declared its independence from the Soviet Union and removed the powers held by the enclave's government, the Armenian majority voted to secede from Azerbaijan and in the process proclaimed the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. Full-scale fighting erupted in early 1992. International mediation by several groups including the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe failed to bring an end resolution that both sides could work with. In early 1993, Armenian forces captured regions outside the enclave itself, threatening the involvement of other countries in the region. By the end of the war in 1994, the Armenians were in full control of the enclave in addition to surrounding areas of Azerbaijan proper, most notably the Lachin Corridor, a mountain pass that links Nagorno-Karabakh with mainland Armenia. A Russian-brokered ceasefire was signed in May 1994, but regular peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group have failed to result in a peace treaty.
This has left the Nagorno-Karabakh area in a state of legal limbo, with the Republic of Artsakh remaining de facto independent but internationally unrecognized while Armenian forces control 9% of Azerbaijan's territory outside the enclave. As many as 230,000 Armenians from Azerbaijan and 800,000 Azerbaijanis from Armenia and Karabakh have been displaced as a result of the conflict; the territorial ownership of Nagorno-Karabakh today is contested between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. The current conflict has its roots in events following World War I. Shortly before the Ottoman Empire's capitulation in the war, the Russian Empire collapsed in November 1917 and fell under the control of the Bolsheviks; the three nations of the Caucasus, Armenians and Georgians under the rule of the Russian Empire, declared the formation of the Transcaucasian Federation which dissolved after only three months of existence. Fighting soon broke out between the First Republic of Armenia and the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in three specific regions: Nakhchevan and Karabakh itself.
Armenia and Azerbaijan quarreled about the putative boundaries of the three provinces. The Karabakh Armenians attempted to declare their independence but failed to make contact with the Republic of Armenia. Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, Armenian General Andranik Ozanian entered Karabakh with military success and was headed towards the region capital of Shusha in December 1918. British troops occupied the South Caucasus in 1919, the British command suggested Andranik cease his offense and allow the conflict to be solved at the Paris Peace Conference. Afterward, the British provisionally affirmed Azerbaijani statesman Khosrov bey Sultanov as the governor-general of Karabakh and ordered him to "squash any unrest in the region". Afterward followed the Shusha massacre of an estimated 20,000 Armenians. In April 1920, the Soviet 11th Army invaded the Caucasus and within two years, the Caucasian republics were formed into the Transcaucasian SFSR of the Soviet Union; the Bolsheviks thereafter created the Caucasus Bureau.
Under the supervision of the People's Commissar for Nationalities, the future Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin, the Kavburo was tasked to head up matters in the Caucasus. On 4 July 1921 the committee voted 4–3 in favor of allocating Karabakh to the newly created Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia but a day the Kavburo reversed its decision and voted to leave the region within the Azerbaijan SSR; the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast was created in 1923, leaving it with a population, 94% Armenian. The policy of the USSR aimed at provoking dissent between Armenia and Azerbaijan, making sure that they fight against each other, not against the Soviets. Thus, the Soviets strategically drew borders in a way that the population was 94% ethnically Armenian; the reversal was substantiated with the economic connections. The capital was moved from Shusha to Khankendi, renamed as Stepanakert. Armenian and Azerbaijani scholars have speculated that the decision was an application of the principle of "divide and rule" by the Soviet Union.
This can be seen, for example, by the odd placement of the Nakhichevan exclave, separated by Armenia but is a part of Azerbaijan. Ot
Ağdam is a ghost town in the southwest part of Azerbaijan and the formal capital of its Agdam District, today controlled by the de facto Republic of Artsakh, but de jure internationally recognized territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Founded in the early 19th century, it grew during the Soviet period and had 28,000 inhabitants by 1989. Armenian forces captured Agdam in July 1993 during the Nagorno-Karabakh War; the heavy fighting forced the entire population to flee eastwards. Upon seizing the city, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic forces destroyed much of the town to discourage Azerbaijanis from returning. More damage occurred in the following decades when locals looted the abandoned town for building materials, it is almost ruined and uninhabited. According to the United Nations Security Council's resolution #853 that'Demands the immediate cessation of all hostilities, calls on withdrawal of Armenian troops from Agdam and other occupied areas of the Azerbaijani Republic and reaffirms UN Resolution 822'.
In November 2010 it was renamed by the NKR government to Akna. It is administratively part of the town of Askeran, located some 10 km away; the city's name is of Azerbaijani origin and means "white house", where ağ means "white" and dam is "house" or "attic", thus referring to a "bright sun-lit, white house", given by Panah Ali Khan of the Karabakh Khanate. Another possibility is that it was derived from ancient Turkic glossary meaning "small fortress". In the distant past, Turkic speaking tribes built small fortresses for their safety. Agdam was founded in the 18th century and granted city status in 1828, it is 26 km from Stepanakert. Before the Nagorno-Karabakh War, butter and brandy, machine factories and a railway station functioned there. Agdam was the scene of fierce fighting during the Nagorno-Karabakh War. According to journalist Robert Parsons, Azerbaijani forces used Agdam as a base for attacks on Karabakh, launching BM-21 Grad missiles and bombing raids from there against civilians. During the Battle of Aghdam, Armenian forces violated the rules of war by hostage-taking, indiscriminate fire, the forcible displacement of civilians.
As the city fell its entire population fled eastward. The Armed Forces of Armenia still use the city as a buffer zone, meaning that Ağdam remains empty and decaying, off-limits for sightseeing; the ruined city once had a population of 40,000 people, but today it is an entirely uninhabited ghost town. All the houses are ruined, some by shells fired in the war, others due to looting for building materials. According to Azeri sources one of the buildings to be stripped of materials is the Agdam Mosque, converted into a barn for cattle and pigs, its derelict condition, including a missing roof, drew criticism from Azerbaijani and Turkish communities, who wrote a letter in 2010 to Pope Benedict XVI asking him to warn Armenians about the situation. But according to Armenians the mosques in Karabakh are perceived as an Iranian cultural heritage not Azerbaijani heritage and the mosque has never been used so, it is closed nowadays. According to Artsakh republic authorities the roof of the mosque was restored.
Mugham music, a tradition in the Karabakh region, is an important part of Agdam's musical heritage. Despite the invasion, the town is represented by a professional association football team competing in the top-flight of Azerbaijani football – Qarabağ FK playing in the Azerbaijan Premier League; the Imarat Stadium, Agdam's only stadium, was destroyed by bombardments from Armenian military forces during the Nagorno-Karabakh War. Some of the city's many prestigious former residents include military commanders Allahverdi Bagirov and Asif Maharammov, footballers Ramiz Mammadov, Mushfig Huseynov and Vüqar Nadirov, mugham singers Gadir Rustamov, Mansum Ibrahimov and Sakhavat Mammadov, actor Jeyhun Mirzayev, scientist Zakir Mammadov and singer Roya. Bread Museum Tea House Nagorno-Karabakh War Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh Nakhchivan Ganja, Azerbaijan Sumqayit Azerbaijan Aghdam: This is no Hiroshima Fleeing from Aghdam. Refugee poem World Gazetteer: Azerbaijan– World-Gazetteer.com Pictures of the deserted town: "Abandoned War-Torn City of Agdam, Azerbaijan" Pictures of the deserted town: "Aghdam" "Clashes Intensify Between Armenia and Azerbaijan Over Disputed Land".
The New York Times. January 31, 2015
Armenian-controlled territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh
The Armenian-controlled territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh are areas formally part of Azerbaijan and situated outside the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast, which are since the end of the Nagorno Karabakh War controlled by the military forces of the de facto Republic of Artsakh supported by Armenia. These areas have been referred to as: Seven occupied territories of Azerbaijan surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh Liberated areas of Nagorno-Karabakh Based on the administrative and territorial division of Azerbaijan, Armenian forces control the territory of the following districts of Azerbaijan: Kalbajar -, Lachin -, Qubadli -, Jabrayil -, Zangilan -, Agdam -, Fuzuli - The total land area is 7,634 km2; the outer perimeter of these territories is a line of direct contact between the military forces of the Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan. At the outset of the Karabakh conflict, the majority-Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast / Republic of Artsakh was surrounded by regions with Azerbaijani and Kurdish majorities and had no land border with Armenia.
During the Nagorno-Karabakh war Azerbaijan had subjected Artsakh to a total blockade, which resulted in famine. As reported by the Human Rights Watch,By the winter of 1991-92, as a result of Azerbaijan's three-year economic and transport blockade, Artsakh was without fuel…, running water, functioning sanitation facilities, communication facilities and most consumer goods. In 1992, the United States Congress added Section 907 to the Freedom Support Act of 1992, which banned direct US government support to the government of Azerbaijan; the bill namely stated: United States assistance under this or any other Act may not be provided to the Government of Azerbaijan until the President determines that the Government of Azerbaijan is taking demonstrable steps to cease all blockades and other offensive uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. On 24 October 2001 the Senate adopted an amendment that would provide the President with the ability to waive Section 907, he has done so since then.
18 May 1992, Armenian forces took Lachin, opening the Lachin corridor for land communications between NKR and Armenia. However, the corridor was under constant threat from Azerbaijani forces who tried to cut it. A strong offensive by Armenian forces occurred in 1993, resulting in the securing of further territory to act as a "security zone". 27 March 1993, Armenian forces launched an offensive in Kelbajar and by 5 April had captured the area of Kalbajar Rayon, creating a strong link between Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia and removing from the Lachin corridor the threat of attack from the north. 23 July 1993, after 40 days of fighting known in Armenia as the "suppression of enemy firing points", Agdam was taken. Followed attack in the south: 22 August 1993 Fizuli was taken. 25 August 1993 - Jebrail was taken. 31 August 1993 - Kubatly was taken. 1 November 1993 - Zangelan was taken. During this phase of the war, Azerbaijan would not agree to sign a ceasefire until after these territories passed under the Armenian control and there was a danger that Armenians would advance further to take territories of vital importance for Azerbaijan.
As described by Russian mediator Vladimir Kazimirov, Azerbaijan for too long a time was counting on military solution of the problem… those who for more than a year ignored the UN Resolutions that called for the ceasefire… were supposed to realise their direct responsibility for the consequences – for the loss of more regions and the increasing the number of refugees and IDPs. Since Armenians have been in control of most of the territory of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast, with Azerbaijan controlling parts of east Martuni and east Martakert. In addition, since that time, Armenians have controlled all of the territory between the former NKAO to Iran, as well as all of the territory between the former NKAO and Armenia, some areas to the east surrounding Aghdam. Nagorno-Karabakh claims but does not control the region known until 1992 as Shahumian, which although being majority-Armenian before 1992, was not part of the NKAO. Shahumian's Armenian population was driven out during the war, the Armenian and Azeri forces have been separated on the northern front by the Murovdag mountain chain since.
Since 1994, Armenia and Azerbaijan have held talks on the future of the security belt territories. The Republic of Artsakh has not been involved in these negotiations because Azerbaijan does not recognize the existence of such parties to the conflict; the Armenian side has offered to act in accordance with the "land for status" formula, Azerbaijan, on a formula of "land for peace". Facilitators have offered, in particular, another "land for status" option; the involved parties have failed to reach any agreement. From the standpoint of the Republic of Artsakh, the security belt is territory of Azerbaijan temporarily controlled by the Artsakh Defense Army until the receipt of security guarantees for the Republic of Artsakh and the establi
Administrative divisions of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is administratively divided into the following subdivisions: 59 districts, 11 cities, 1 autonomous republic, which itself contains: 7 districts 1 cityThe rayons are further divided into municipalities. Additionally, Azerbaijan is subdivided into 9 regions; this is not an administrative division. Each region contains a number of districts; the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic forms the 10th economic region. The territory of Nagorno-Karabakh presently forms part of Azerbaijani rayons Khojavend, Khojaly, the east portion of Kalbajar and the west portion of Tartar. In Soviet times the region was known as Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast. Since the territory of the autonomous oblast has been administratively split between the aforementioned rayons; as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh War, most of its territory is now under the control of ethnic Armenian forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. The self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic controls a large part of southwestern Azerbaijan outside Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Azerbaijani rayons or in the NKR are noted in the list. The NKR has its own system of administrative division; the list below is for the main part of Azerbaijan, excluding the rayons of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. The seven districts and one municipality of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic are listed below. ISO 3166-2:AZ
Republic of Artsakh
The Republic of Artsakh, or Artsakh known by its second official name, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, is a de facto independent country in the South Caucasus, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. The region is populated by Armenians and the primary spoken language is Armenian. Artsakh controls most of the territory of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast and some of the surrounding area, giving it a border with Armenia to the west and Iran to the south, its capital is Stepanakert. The predominantly Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh was claimed by both the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and the First Republic of Armenia when both countries became independent in 1918 after the fall of the Russian Empire, a brief war over Nagorno-Karabakh broke out in 1920; the dispute was shelved after the Soviet Union established control over the area and created the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast within the Azerbaijan SSR in 1923. During the fall of the Soviet Union, the region re-emerged as a source of dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
In 1991, a referendum held in the NKAO and the neighbouring Shahumian region resulted in a declaration of independence based on its right of self-determination. Large-scale ethnic conflict led to the 1991 -- 1994 Nagorno-Karabakh War. Artsakh is a presidential democracy with a unicameral legislature; some have said that its reliance on Armenia means that, in many ways, it functions de facto as part of Armenia. The country is mountainous, averaging 1,097 metres above sea level; the population is predominantly Christian, most being affiliated with the Armenian Apostolic Church. Several historical monasteries are popular with tourists from the Armenian diaspora, as most travel can take place only between Armenia and Artsakh. According to Armenian and Western specialists, inscriptions dating to the Urartian period mention the region under a variety of names: "Ardakh", "Urdekhe", "Atakhuni". In speaking about Armenia in his Geography, the classical historian Strabo refers to an Armenian region which he calls "Orchistene", which again is believed to be a Greek version of the old name of Artsakh.
According to another hypothesis put forth by David M. Lang, the ancient name of Artsakh derives from the name of King Artaxias I of Armenia, founder of the Artaxiad Dynasty and the kingdom of Greater Armenia. Folk etymology holds that the name is derived from "Ar" and "tsakh"; the earliest record of the region covered by modern-day Artsakh is from Urartian inscriptions referring to the region as Urtekhini. It is unclear if the region was ruled by Urartu, but it was in close proximity to other Urartian domains, it may have been inhabited by Caspian tribes and/or by Scythians. After decades of raids by the Cimmerians and the Medes, Urartu collapsed with the rise of the Median Empire, shortly after, the geopolitical region ruled as Urartu re-emerged as Armenia. By the 5th century BC, Artsakh was part of Armenia under the Orontid Dynasty, it would continue to be part of the Kingdom of Armenia under the Artaxiad Dynasty, under which Armenia became one of the largest realms in Western Asia. At its greatest extent, the Great King of Armenia, Tigranes II, built several cities named after himself in regions he considered important, one of, the city he built in Artsakh.
Following wars with the Romans and Persians, Armenia was partitioned between the two empires. Artsakh was included into the neighbouring satrapy of Arran. At this time, the population of Artsakh consisted of Armenians and Armenicized aborigines, though many of the latter were still cited as distinct ethnic entities; the dialect of Armenian spoken in Artsakh was among the earliest recorded dialects of Armenian, described around this time in the 7th century AD by a contemporary named Stephanos Siunetzi. Artsakh would remain part of Arran throughout Persian rule, during the fall of Iran to the Muslims, following the Muslim conquest of Armenia. Under the Arabs, most of the South Caucasus and the Armenian Highlands, including Iberia and Arran, would be unified into an emirate called Arminiya, under which Artsakh would continue to remain as part of Arran. Despite being under Persian and Arab rule, many of the Armenian territories, including Artsakh, were governed by Armenian nobility. Arran would disappear as a geopolitical entity, its population would be assimilated by neighbouring ethnic groups with whom they shared a common culture and religion.
Many Christians from Arran would form part of the ethnic composition of the Armenians living in modern-day Artsakh. Fragmentation of Arab authority provided the opportunity for the resurgence of an Armenian state in the Armenian Highlands. One particular noble dynasty, the Bagratids, began annexing territories from other Armenian nobles, which, in the half of the 9th century gave rise to a new Armenian kingdom which included Artsakh; the new Kingdom wouldn't stay united for long, due to internal conflicts, civil wars, external pressures, Armenia would find itself fragmented between other noble Armenian houses, most notably the Mamikonian and Siunia families, the latter of which would produce a cadet branch known as the House of Khachen, named after their stronghold in Artsakh. The House of Khachen ruled the Kingdom of Artsakh in
Azerbaijan the Republic of Azerbaijan, 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, has an 11 km long border with Turkey in the northwest. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918 and became the first democratic Muslim 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. Azerbaijan is a unitary semi-presidential republic, it is one of six independent Turkic states and an active member of the Turkic Council and the TÜRKSOY community. Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries and holds membership in 38 international organizations, including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Non-Aligned Movement, the OSCE, the NATO Partnership for Peace program, it is one of the founding members of GUAM, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Azerbaijan holds observer status in the World Trade Organization. While more than 89% of the population is Shia Muslim, the Constitution of Azerbaijan does not declare an official religion and all major political forces in the country are secularist. Azerbaijan has a high level of human development that ranks on par with most Eastern European countries.
It has a high rate of economic literacy, as well as a low rate of unemployment. However, the ruling party, the New Azerbaijan Party, has been accused of authoritarianism and human rights abuses. According to a modern etymology, the term Azerbaijan derives from that of Atropates, a Persian satrap under the Achaemenid Empire, reinstated as the satrap of Media under Alexander the Great; the original etymology of this name is thought to have its roots in the once-dominant Zoroastrianism. In the Avesta's Frawardin Yasht, there is a mention of âterepâtahe ashaonô fravashîm ýazamaide, which translates from Avestan as "we worship the fravashi of the holy Atropatene." The name "Atropates" itself is the Greek transliteration of an Old Iranian Median, compounded name with the meaning "Protected by the Fire" or "The Land of the Fire". The Greek name was mentioned by Diodorus Strabo. Over the span of millennia, the name evolved to Āturpātākān to Ādharbādhagān, Ādharbāyagān, Āzarbāydjān and present-day Azerbaijan.
The name Azerbaijan was first adopted for the area of the present-day Republic of Azerbaijan by the government of Musavat in 1918, after the collapse of the Russian Empire, when the independent Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was established. Until the designation had been used to identify the adjacent region of contemporary northwestern Iran, while the area of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was referred to as Arran and Shirvan. On that basis Iran protested the newly adopted country name. During the Soviet rule, the country was spelled in English from the Russian transliteration as Azerbaydzhan; the earliest evidence of human settlement in the territory of Azerbaijan dates back to the late Stone Age and is related to the Guruchay culture of Azokh Cave. The Upper Paleolithic and late Bronze Age cultures are attested in the caves of Tağılar, Damcılı, Yataq-yeri and in the necropolises of Leylatepe and Saraytepe. Early settlements included the Scythians in the 9th century BC. Following the Scythians, Iranian Medes came to dominate the area to the south of the Aras.
The Medes forged a vast empire between 900–700 BC, integrated into the Achaemenid Empire around 550 BC. The area was conquered by the Achaemenids leading to the spread of Zoroastrianism, it became part of Alexander the Great's Empire and its successor, the Seleucid Empire. During this period, Zoroastrianism spread in the Atropatene. Caucasian Albanians, the original inhabitants of northeastern Azerbaijan, ruled that area from around the 4th century BC, established an independent kingdom; the Sasanian Empire turned Caucasian Albania into a vassal state in 252, while King Urnayr adopted Christianity as the state religion in the 4th century. Despite Sassanid rule, Albania remained an entity in the region until the 9th century, while subordinate to Sassanid Iran, retained its monarchy. Despite being one of the chief vassals of the Sasanian emperor, the Albanian king had only a semblance of authority, the Sasanian marzban held most civil and military authority. In the first half of the 7th century, Caucasian Albania, as a vassal of the Sasanians, came under nominal Muslim rule due to the Muslim conquest of Persia.
The Umayyad Caliphate repulsed both the Sasanians and Byzantines from Transcaucasia and turned Caucasian Albania into a vassal state after Christian resistance led by Kin
Refugees in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani SSR was one of the first republic of Soviet Union that faced the problem of refugees and internally displaced persons. The refugees are ethnic Azerbaijanis from Armenia and the internally displaced persons are ethnic Azerbaijanis from Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven adjacent rayons which are controlled by the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. According to the 1979 census, Azeris constituted 5.3 % of Armenia's population. Civil unrest in Nagorno-Karabakh in 1987 led to Azeris' being harassed and forced to leave Armenia. On 25 January 1988, the first wave of Azeri refugees from Armenia settled in the city of Sumgait. Another major wave occurred in November 1988 as Azeris were either expelled by the nationalists and local or state authorities or fled fearing for their lives. Violence took place as a result of ethnic conflicts. Thus, in 1988–91 the remaining Azeris were forced to flee to Azerbaijan, it is impossible to determine the exact population numbers for Azeris in Armenia at the time of the conflict's escalation, since during the 1989 census forced Azeri migration from Armenia was in progress.
UNHCR's estimate is 200,000 persons. According to Azerbaijani government at the time of the ceasefire in 1994 there were about 250,000 Azeri refugees from Armenia. According to the 1998 Citizenship Law they are all eligible for citizenship. By the end of 2001, UNHCR estimated that most of them were believed to have naturalized or be in the process of doing so. During the Nagorno-Karabakh War, territories constituting the former NKAO region of Azerbaijan and the seven adjacent rayons were occupied by the Armenian forces; as a result, people had to leave their homes. Azerbaijan now has one of the highest numbers of internally displaced persons per capita in the world; the IDPs are presented in all of the 76 administrative districts in Azerbaijan. Most of them lived in tent camps and public buildings such as schools and dormitories. Since 2001, the Government increased its efforts to solve IDPs' problems. In 2002, the construction of new settlements started, by the end of 2007, all tent camps were abolished.
The Government of Azerbaijan with the help of the international community has started drafting a Framework Plan for the Return of IDPs to the occupied regions after the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict. In 1944, Meskhetian Turks were deported en masse from Georgia to Central Asia by Joseph Stalin. One of the regions they resettled in was Uzbekistan. In 1989, interethnic violence occurred there triggering an evacuation of Meskhetian Turks from Uzbekistan; this group of refugees in Azerbaijan numbered about 50,000 people. According to the 1998 Citizenship Law, they are all eligible for citizenship. By the end of 2001, UNHCR estimated that most of them were believed to have naturalized According to State Committee of Republic of Azerbaijan for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, there were 603,251 IDPs in Azerbaijan in March 2009; the majority live around Baku, as well as in Sumgayit. Significant numbers of IDPs live along the central-southern route of Füzuli–Aghdam–Agjabedi–Barda–Mingechevir–Ganja, the northern route of Shamakhi–Ismailli–Gabala–Sheki and the southern route of Sabirabad–Saatli–Imishli–Beylagan.
Although relations between IDPs and the local population are amicable and there is a high level of tolerance among the local population, there are instances of conflicts arising due to the special status of IDPs. Internally displaced person Nagorno-Karabakh War Refugee United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees State Committee of Republic of Azerbaijan for Refugees and IDPs The impact of the global food crisis on Azerbaijan - in pictures State Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Deals of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees The U. S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre Danish Refugee Council