Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, 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.
Azerbaijan has an ancient and historic cultural heritage, including the distinction of being the first Muslim-majority country to have operas, theater and plays. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was established in 1918, but was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920. Azerbaijan regained independence in 1991.
The name of Azerbaijan derives from that of Atropates, a Persian satrap under the Achaemenid Empire, who was later reinstated as the satrap of Media under Alexander the Great.
Three physical features dominate Azerbaijan: the Caspian Sea, whose shoreline forms a natural boundary to the east; the Greater Caucasus mountain range to the north; and the extensive flatlands at the country's center. There are also three mountain ranges, the Greater and Lesser Caucasus, and the Talysh Mountains, together covering approximately 40 percent of the country.
9 out of 11 existing climate zones are present in Azerbaijan. Both the absolute minimum temperature ( -33 °C/-27.4 °F ) and the absolute maximum temperature ( 46 °C/114.8 °F ) were observed in Julfa and Ordubad.
Around 95 percent of the population are Muslims. 85% of the Muslims are Shia Muslims and 15% Sunni Muslims, and the Republic of Azerbaijan has the Second highest Shia population percentage after Iran.
The official language is Azerbaijani, which belongs to the Turkic language family, spoken in southwestern Asia, primarily in Azerbaijan and Iranian Azerbaijan. The language is very similar to Turkish and people can easily speak to each other though would feel a strong accent of the opponent.
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