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Nakhchivan- Capital of Islamic Culture 2018

At a meeting ministers of culture of the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Nakhchivan City of Azerbaijan was selected a capital of Islamic Culture for 2018. This city is the capital of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic which is the autonomous state within the Republic of Azerbaijan. The population of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is about 450 thousand and territory 5502,75 square kilometres. The autonomous state has its own Constitution, Supreme Majlis (Parliament), Cabinet of Ministers and Supreme Court. Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic has 45 deputies. According to the Constitution, the Chairman of Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is the Superme Official Person of Autonomous Republic. Nakhchivan with its 4500-5000 year history is the cradle of eastern civilization and one of the trade, craftsmanship, scientific and cultural centers of the world. As the industrial, scientific and cultural center the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is situated on the junction of an important railway and automobile transport lines. There is also a modern International Airport in Nakhchivan.
Historical background

Nakhchivan is one of the most ancient cities in the world. The historian of the Medieval centuries Stephanie Ozbeliany gave information about the foundation of Nakhchivan city in 1539 B.C. The systematized written sources, the archaeological materials discovered during archeological diggings in the area of Nakhchivan, the famous Gamigaya over rock petrography and other monuments in the territory once again reveal that the age of Nakhchivan is around 5 thousand years. Nakhchivan was one of the most important parts of the Great Silk Road, one of the main caravan roads joining the commercial centers of Near East with the countries of the South Caucasus, Middle East and Far East passed through the territory of Nakhchivan.
Nakhchivan was the capital of the Atabaylar state (1136-1225) which was founded by Shamsaddin Eldaniz in the territory of Azerbaijan. Nakhchivan, as one of the economic, political and cultural centers of Azerbaijan, earned a world-wide fame during the Atabaylar-Eldanizlar period. In XVI century Nakhchivan was one of the leading cities of the Azerbaijan Safavid state. In XVI-XVII centuries during the Ottoman-Safavid wars Nakhchivan was several times destroyed and plundered and in 1605 the area of Nakhchivan was annexed to the Ottoman Empire. During Russia-Iran war in 1826-1828 Nakhchivan was occupied by the Russian troops (27 June, 1827) and according to the Turkmanchay treaty (1828) it was annexed to Russia. After annexation Nakhchivan became the center of the Nakhchivan province (1828-40) and then the Nakhchivan county. After declaring the independence of Azerbaijan on May 28, 1918 agressor country Armenia began to pursue a policy to annex Nakhchivan and tortured the peaceful Azerbaijani population in Azerbaijan. The Nakhchivan people played a great role in keeping Nakhchivan under the control of Azerbaijan
The Declaration about the establishment of the Soviet Power in Baku on April 28, 1920 and in Nakhchivan on July 28 and establishment of the Azerbaijan SSR, annexation of Zangazur by Armenia, separation of Nakhchivan from Azerbaijan brought the issue of autonomy of Nakhchivan in agenda. After proclaiming the Soviet Power establishment in Armenia on November 29, 1920, Armenia SSR made new attempts to annex Nakhchivan. Turkey had a great role in getting the status of the autonomy of Nakhchivan within Azerbaijan.The Moscow treaty signed on March 16, 1921 and the Gars treaty signed on October 13, 1921 had a great significance in solving the fortune of Nakhchivan. As a result the Autonomous Region of Nakhchivan became Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic on February 9, 1924.
Today, the territory of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic surrounded by aggressor country Armenia from three sides, is under the blockade. Despite the hard conditions of blockade, there is a great development in the republic. From the beginning of the 90s of XX century , at the result of Armenian occupation of Azerbaijan lands, Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic was completely isolated from the surrounding world. Slump observed in the economy of the autonomous republic living in a blockade conditions for more than 20 years was replaced by progress at the result of systematic measures-like programme implemented. Currently the autonomous republic takes one of the first places among the regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan according to the level of economic growth. About 400 types of products are produced in the Autonomous Republic as a result of rise of the number of new production fields and extension of processing areas.Development of entrepreneurship activity, at the same time means the elimination of unemployment problem. 3010 work places have been created in 2016, 2941 out of which (97,7%) are permanent work places. During only in 2016 the legal and physical entities were granted the loans over 25 million USA dollars by the banks and credit organizations that function in the Autonomous Republic to stimulate entrepreneurship activity. And the taken measures, in their turns, caused the private sector to have special weight of 87,3 percent in GDP. In 2016 foreign trade turnover amounts to $463, 245 000, of which exports are $419, 121 000, and imports are $44, 124 000. The tendency of exceeding import by export was kept in 2016, a positive saldo constituted $374, 997 000
Nakhchivan is famous for its archaeological landmarks and Islamic architectural works, such as old schools, historical mosques, historical palaces, mausoleums, handicrafts and folklore, museums and sites of memory. At the same time there are also a lot of modern types of architecture. The most part of the territory of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is surrounded by the Zangazur and Daralayaz mountain chains of the Lesser Caucasus. The average height is 1450 m. above sea level . The highest peak is the Gapichig (3904 m). 1/3 of the territory is composed of the Araz river plains.There are more than 200 mineral water springs. 400 big and small rivers are in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic the length of which is 1,8 thousand km. The type of the climate in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is mainly dry and continental. The flora is very rich. There are 2782 kinds of higher plants and a rather rich animal world. The city of Nakhchivan is located in the plain of Nakhchivan on the bank of the Nakhchivanchai river. Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is distinguished with the abundance of healing climate, healing mineral waters and herbal plants.The climate is continental. The average temperature is – 3,8 0C in January, +26,9 0C in July and annual precipitation is 236 mm. The tourism is established on existing local infrastructure, cultural heritage, historical and natural monuments relevant to the relief and climatic conditions, not being in need of raw material resources and without doing any harm to environment. From this point of view Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, an inseparable part of Azerbaijan, has a very rich tourism potential.Today people tend to relax in the mountains, in the ecologically fresh areas, in the country-houses. There are great opportunities to promote these types of tourism as – ecotourism, rural tourism, healing tourism and pilgrimage tourism in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. There are 1162 historical-cultural monuments in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. 58 monuments are of world , 455 monuments are of country and 649 monuments are of local significance. Nakhichevan is famous for its places of religious worship. The most important from them is Ashabi-Kahf sanctuary, which was mentioned in “Al-Kahf” surah of the holy Qur’an. There are all facilities available for pilgrims’ visiting the “Ashabi-Kahf Worship” religious-cultural monument complex. Each year ten thousands of people make a pilgrimage to this place. Tomb of prophet Noah is also in the territory of Kohna-gala (“Old fortress”) in the southern part of Nakhchivan. Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic can be called the land of museums. There are 23 museums, 1 Nakhchivan State Art Gallery of museum type institution. In general the total number of main fund exhibits constitutes 107776. Totally, there are 235 libraries – Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Library, Children’s Library of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, the Electron Library of Nakhchivan State University, 8 centralized library systems and 224 branch libraries within them in the cities and regions of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Nakhchivan State Musical Drama Theatre, Nakhchivan State Puppet Theatre, Nakhchivan State Children’s Theatre, Nakhchivan city, Sharur, Ordubad, Babek and Shahbuz Region Folk Theatres carry out acvtivities in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. 7 out of 11 climatic zones in the world exist in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, its rich fauna and flora and the geographical position are the factors affecting Nakhchivan kitchen. Together with the meals belonging to Azerbaijan, Nakhchivan cuisine had specific meals, as well. The richness and amazing taste of Nakhchivan cuisine influence the kitchen of neighboring nations. Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic with rich natural resources is also famous for its natural treatment objects. The people from different places of the world visiting these treatment objects recover very soon. Bronchial asthmas (inflectiousl-allergic and atopicalforms), chronic bronchitis, , chorinic bronchitis allergic with ashmatic component, allergic rhino sinusoid pathologies, pre asthma diseases are treated in Duzdagh (Salt Mountain) Physiotherapy Center of Nakhchivan. Daridagh arsenic thermal water of Nakhchivan is of therapeutic importance of healing skin-veneral diseases. Itching, impetigo, and piodermia can be examples for these kinds of diseases. The digestive system diseases (chronic gastritis, chronic hepathoe cholecystitis ), gall-stone diseases, chronic enterocolitis , chronic gastrohelcosis, chronic pancreatitis diseases are treated with the help of healing Badamly water in another center of Nakhchivan in Badamly Phisiotherapy Hospital.
As is known, building and developing relations with the Islamic world have been among the key priorities of Azerbaijan`s foreign policy in the years of independence. Being a crucial and integral part of the Muslim world, Azerbaijan is renowned as one of the important places where the Islamic cultural legacy was established and preserved. Azerbaijan initiated the establishment of new organizations that contribute to the strengthening of Islamic solidarity, including OIC Youth Forum, OIC Labor Center and the Journalist Association of OIC Member States. The year of 2017 was declared Islamic Solidarity year in Azerbaijan by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and 4th Islamic Solidarity Games with the participation by athletes from 54 Muslim countries were held in Baku successfully.
As one of important cultural, historical and political centers of Azerbaijan, Nakhchivan plays significant role in all fields in the country. At the same time, Nakhchivan is a part of cultural connection of Azerbaijan with Islamic World. We are confident as a capital of Islamic Culture 2018 Nakhchivan will also contribute to the strengthening of Islamic Solidarity incoming year 2018 as well.

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