TDI: Today, 18th October 2021 marks the Independence Day of Azerbaijan- the Land of Fire.

The Land of Fire

Azerbaijan has a close relationship with fire, earning the nickname as ‘The Land of Fire’. On the one hand, this term is associated with a population of fire-worshippers who lived in this region for thousands of years prior to this era. The people used to worship fire. ‘A site where the sacred fire is preserved,’ says the old Persian name Aturpatakan. Today, the Turkic word “azer” denotes “fire.” “Azer” is made up of two parts: “az” and “er.” In Turkic languages, “az” denotes a good goal as well as a favourable outcome. As a result, the word “Azer” implies “brave man,” “brave boy,” or “firekeeper.” The name “Azerbaijan” comes from the name of an old Turkish tribe that once inhabited those lands.

On the other hand, flames often burst from the mountains and sea. Azerbaijan has enormous oil and natural gas reserves underground. Oil was extracted on Azerbaijan’s Absheron Peninsula, according to Roman records dating back 2500 years. In the 5th century, Byzantine chronicles claim to have seen ever-burning fires across the land.
In the same way that turning on a gas stove causes the gas to seep out through fissures into the air, high pressure causes the gas to seep out through fissures into the air. Gas is released as the knob is turned. When the gas ignites, the flame will burn as long as the fuel supply is maintained.

Yanar Dag-Blazing mountain
Ateshgah_- fire temple
Yanar Bulaq-a water spring, the water of the spring has interesting high Methane content which sets it to fire when ignited.

The same is true about Azerbaijan’s endless flames, which can be seen across mountains and inside fire temples. Countless amounts of subterranean gas reach the surface and ignite in some way. The flame will then continue to burn for as long as the gas supply lasts. Most natural flames were extinguished as a result of Soviet exploitation in the twentieth century.
Azerbaijani culture is infused with the historical significance of fire. The national symbol is a flame. The renowned sites of Yanar Dag, or blazing mountain, and Ateshgah Fire Temple near Baku. Travel south to Astara, near the Iranian border, to view Yanar Bulag, a spring where water ignites when fired. One thing is certain, in the twenty-first century, ‘The Land of Fire’ lives up to its moniker.

History

Azerbaijan Democratic Republic

In 1918, Azerbaijan became the first secular democratic state in the Islamic world, and the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was born. Following the collapse of the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic, the Azerbaijani National Council established the ADR in Tiflis on May 28, 1918.
The Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic (TDFR) was a short-lived Caucasus state that encompassed most of modern-day Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, as well as areas of Russia and Turkey. The state only lasted a month (22 April – 28 May 1918) until Georgia declared independence, followed by Armenia and Azerbaijan shortly after. However, this independence was only brief, lasting only 23 months.

Collapse of the USSR and Azerbaijan’s independence

From 1918 until 1920, Azerbaijan was an independent country before being annexed into the USSR. When the Soviet Union which was a breathe away from collapse, on 18th October, 1991, after the adoption of Constitutional Act, Azerbaijan achieved independence after overcoming multiple challenges. The Supreme Council of Azerbaijan declared that the Republic of Azerbaijan was regaining its autonomy and that it regarded itself as the legitimate successor to the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in its decision.
Azerbaijan held a countrywide vote on December 29, 1991, following the approval of the Constitutional Act. “Do you support the Constitutional Act on Azerbaijan’s State Independence?” more than 95% of voters took part in the poll, and the majority of them voted in support of independence.

Map showing geographical location of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is one of the main exporter of oil and gas. It exports around 700000 barrels of oil and approximately 78 cubic feet of gas daily to different countries.

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