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The origin of the word "Azerbaijan"


There are different opinions about the origins of the word Azerbaijan.


  • According to Mehmet Emin Resulzâde, the word Azerbaijan comes from the name of “Satrap Atropet” who declared independency against the empire established by the Macedonian Alexander. It is used as “Aterapata” in Persian and “Azerbaijan” in Arabic.


  • According to Ahmet Caferoğlu it is a combination of “Atar” [fire] and “Patar” [country].

  • According to common view, it comes from “azer” which means fire in Persian.  They think it is the country of fire as the biggest fire of Zarathustra temples was lit in Azerbaijan.


  • Middle age historians state the word comes from the name of “Azerbaz” who lived in the Sasani period and claimed to be a prophet of Noah’s descent.


  • One of the important historians of the 19th century, Abbasgulu Aga Bakıhanov stated the word comes from the name of Babek, the famous folk hero.


  • Dr. Cemaleddin Fegihi stated it is a combination of “azer” [winter] and “bâd” [wind] and the suffix “nan” and it means “where the winter wind blows.


  • Kaşgarlı Mahmud described it in Divan-u Lügati't TÜRK as “Azerbad” [where the fire is lit].


  • In the Soviet period, the origins of the name Azerbaijan were searched for and different opinions emerged.  According to E. Demircizade, it comes from “Aturpat” [A: allah; TUR: fire; PAT: head] [head fire god] and the suffix “kan” [place/country].


  • According to R. Gurban, it is a combination of “Az” [as] tribe name and “er” [person] and “bay” [rich] and the suffixes “c” and “an”“Az+er+bay+c+an” [Rich country of Azers].


  • According to Şamil Cemşidov, it is a combination of “Oder” [OD: fire; ER-: İ.F. derivational affix] word [lighting, eternal stone] and “patekan” [PATE: place, location; KAN: Far. plural suffix] into “od+er+pate+kan” [lighting fire land] and then into Azerbaijan.




Do you know the following facts?

  • The theory of Elesker-zade, son of an Azerbaijani scientist Lüfi Rehim, called as the "Fuzzy Logic" has been firstly used in Tokyo Subway, and currently being used in many fields from mobile phones of world-leading brands (SONY, HİTACHİ, MİTSUBİSHİ) to domestic appliances, automobiles to lifts, cameras, washing machines, rice cookers, lifts and cooling systems in nuclear reactors and at the same time in NATO and NASA. There are also works in Turkey about this technology flourishing throughout the world. By the way, the greatest incentive is currently performed by Istanbul Technical University. The incentive is led by BUMAT, name Fuzzy Logic and Technology Club. Executives of this club also include Prof.Dr. Zekai Şen and Assistant Prof. Dr.Filiz Karaosmanoğlu.


  • The highest number of immigrant (refugee) people (over 1 million) are in Azerbaijan who were subjected to mandatory immigration from their country of origin throughout the world as a result of occupation of Armenia.


  • Having declared its independence in 1918, People's Republic of Azerbaijan is the first democratic republic in the East and the first Muslim country which gave the right to elect and be elected for women is Azerbaijan, earlier than the USA and Switzerland. Women obtained the right to elect and be elected in 1918.


  • "Leyla and Mecnun" put on the stage by the famous composer of Azerbaijan Üzeyir Hacıbeyov (1885 - 1948) passed into history as the first opera composed in eastern countries.


  • The first country which recognized the Ankara government in the world is Azerbaijan.


  • Azerbaijan army has currently the title of strongest army in Caucasus.


  • Petroleum Stones - This is the first petroleum platform established in the world. The important trailers of the film named "The World is Not Enough" as one of the famous adventure films of James Bond was also shot here. Petroleum Stones is city type village and dependent to KKhazar district of Baku.


  • The first special Miniature Books Museum and the first Carpet Museum of the world are located in Azerbaijan.


  • Nakhchivan copper existing in Araz  coast is one of the oldest pits of the world.


  • Culture journal redacted by Nağı bey named "Azerbaijan" was published in Istanbul during the early 20th century.


  • Between 1912-1913 in the Balkan-Turkey war, Azerbaijan’s oil rich Hacı Zeynalabdin Tağıyev provided financial aid to Turks.


  • The mother of Leonardo da Vinci was born in old Azerbaijan. Leonardo da Vinci is a famous European renaissance artist, architect, scientist and sculpt. One of the works of Leonardo was transferred in 2002 with the help of the documents found in the city he was born and raised in. This shows that the mother of Leonardo was brought to Italy as a slave from the Middle East. There are assumptions that she was purchased as a poor village woman by Russia or Caucasia and left as a slave. Canadian Louis Buff Parry in his book titled “Antique Misteries of the East - Leonardo da Vinci and his mother” stated Leonardo and his mother Caterina were from old Azerbaijan. The name she was given in Italy, "Caterina" was the name of all slaves from the Middle East. The author also emphasizes Leonardo looked for the relatives of his mother in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.


  • Azerbaijan is the world’s oldest oil exporter. The first oil drilling was made in Absheron in 1847. The world’s finest oil is extracted in Azerbaijan which is the first country to sell Khazar oil to the West.


  • The first modern oil well in the world was drilled in Bibi-Heybet near Baku in 1847. Then the oil companies reached enormous amounts of oil production and the city got richer. In that period, one of the persons who established oil companies in Baku was the founder of the Nobel prize, inventor and scientist Alfred Nobel and brothers. In 1873, the oldest brother, Robert Nobel who would sell the oil from USA to Finland came to Baku in person and made studies in the Absheron peninsula. In 1875, oil activities of Robert, Ludwig and Alfred Nobel started in Azerbaijan. The first petroleum tank was built by the Nobel brothers. The ship built in 1877 was named "Zoroaster". In 1879, Nobel brothers established their own company as the "Nobel Brothers Oil Company". At some point, they produced half of the oil in Baku. Ludwig Nobel died in France in 1888. A French newspaper mistaken Alfred Nobel with the inventor of dynamite and said “The death dealer dies”. Alfred Nobel got very upset with being called the “death dealer" and established a foundation and bequathed to give Nobel prizes after his death. 12 percent of the revenue of the Foundation comes from Azerbaijan oils of the Nobel Foundation today


  • The currency of Azerbaijan, Manat is the 5th most valuable currency in the world.


  • Azerbaijan was the fastest developing country with 35 percent in 2006 and was the most reformist country in 2009 according to the World Bank statistics.


  • The highest quality of caviar in the world is obtained from Azerbaijan coastlines of the Khazar Sea. 80 percent of the world caviar production is provided here.


  • Azerbaijan has the highest rate of literacy among Turkic Republics.


  • Azerbaijan has 9 out of 11 climates in the world.


  • Azerbaijan is called the “Country of Fire” in the world and Baku is the "City of Winds"

  • The deepest point of the Khazar Sea is in Azerbaijan with 1025 meters.


  • The first university of Azerbaijan, Baku State University was established on 15 November 1919 in the period of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.


  • Among the post Soviet republics, Azerbaijan was the first country to win Eurovision.

  • Old archeological and paleontological materials were found about the lives of first humans 1.7 - 1.8 millions of years ago are found in Azerbaijan.


  • In 1968, historian academic Memmedeli Hüseynov found the fossils of the mandible of first humans in Azix cave in Fuzuli.


  • Üzeyir Bey Hacıbeyli laid the foundations of the operet in the East with the "Karı Koca" (Wife and Husband) operet he composed the liberetto and the score in 1909.


  • On 7 October 1901, the first Muslim secular girls’ school was established with the initiative and financial support of Hacı Zeynelabidin Tağıyev in Baku.


  • The first ballet in the Muslim East: Maiden's Tower Ballet.


  • Score and liberetto of the ballet of three plays, a prologue and an epilogue belong to Azeri composer Efrasiyab Bedelbeyli. Efrasiyab Bedelbeyli is the composer of the first ballet in Azerbaijan. He created the first Azerbaijan ballet with the Maiden's Tower when he was 33.

  • The first subway construction in the East:

  • The first subway transport train of the East was put to service in Baku in 1967. Trains started normal service on November 25th.


  • According to the legend, the Maiden’s Tower was in the sea in the past. When the surroundings were filled, the Tower remained distant from the sea.


  • Note: This monument was built by Mesud, son of Architect Davud.


  • Caucasus incorporated company was established as the first and biggest textile company to produce fiber products in Caucasia in 1897 by H. Z. Tağıyev.


  • Germans laid the foundations of Tovuz and Göygöl cities of Azerbaijan. They were previously called Traubenfeld and Yelenendorf.


  • Independency of the People’s Republic of Azerbaijan was official acknowledged by the Ottoman Empire on 4 June 1918.




History of Azerbaijan Turks;


  • Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (1921-1991)


  • Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (1918-1920)


  • Russian rule (1813-1918)


  • Azerbaijan dynasties (1747-1813)

  • Safevis (1501-1736)


  • Akkoyunlus (1468-1501)


  • Karakoyunlus (1410-1468)


  • Timurlu rule (1380-1408)


  • Celairis (1357-1380)


  • İlhanlıs (1256-1357)


  • Eldenizlis (1136-1230)


  • Seljuk rule(1054-1136)


  • Revvadis (983-1054)


  • Salaris (941-983)


  • Sacis (879-941)


  • Arab rule (705-879)


  • Sabirs (638-705)

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