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Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev was born on 10 May 1923 in Nakhchyvan City of Azerbaijan. In 1939, after graduating from the Nakhchyvan Pedagogical School he studied at the Architecture Department of the Azerbaijan Industry Institute (present Azerbaijan State Oil Academy). The incipient war impeded to complete his education.

From 1941, Heydar Aliyev headed the department at the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs of the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Nakhchyvan and in 1944 was sent to work at the state security bodies. Heydar Aliyev, working since that time in the security bodies, from 1964 held the post of deputy chairman, and from 1967 chairman of the Committee of State Security under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and he was conferred the rank of lieutenant general. These years, he received special higher education in Leningrad (present St Petersburg), and in 1957 he graduated from the History Department of the Azerbaijan State University.

Being elected at the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan in July 1969 as the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev became the head of the republic. In December 1982, Heydar Aliyev was elected a member of Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Soviet Union, and appointed to the post of the First Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the USSR, and became one of the leaders of the USSR. During twenty years, Heydar Aliyev was the Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and for five years was Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

In October 1987, Heydar Aliyev, as a sign of protest against the policy pursued by Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and personally the Secretary General Michael Gorbachev, resigned from his post.

In bound with the tragedy committed on 20 January 1990 in Baku by the soviet troops appearing in the next day at the Azerbaijan Representation in Moscow with a statement Heydar Aliyev demanded to punish the organizers and executors of the crime committed against the people of Azerbaijan. As a sign of protest against the hypocritical policy of leadership of the USSR, in connection with the critical conflict accrued in Daghlig Garabagh, in July 1991 he left the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

By return in July 1990 to Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev lived in Baku, then in Nakhchyvan, and in the same year was elected a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan. In 1991-1993, he held the post of Chairman of the Supreme Assembly of the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchyvan, Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In 1992, at the constituent congress of the New Azerbaijan Party in Nakhchyvan, Heydar Aliyev was elected Chairman of the Party.

In May-June 1993, when, as a result of extreme tension of the governmental crisis, the country was at the verge of civil war and loss of independence, the people of Azerbaijan demanded to bring to power Heydar Aliyev. The then leaders of Azerbaijan were obliged to officially invite Heydar Aliyev to Baku. On 15 June 1993, Heydar Aliyev was elected Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan, and on 24 July - on resolution of the Milli Mejlis, he commenced to fulfill powers of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

On October 3, 1993, as a result of nationwide voting, Heydar Aliyev was elected President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. On October 11, 1998, having garnered at the elections, passed in high activeness of the population, 76,1 percent of the votes, he was re-elected President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Heydar Aliyev, giving his consent to be nominated as a candidate at the 15 October 2003 presidential elections, relinquished to run at the elections in connection with health problems.

On December 12 national leader of the Azerbaijani people, President Heydar Aliyev passed away in Cleveland Hospital in the United States of America.

Heydar Aliyev was awarded a number of state orders and medals, international awards, elected honorable doctor of universities in many countries.

Heydar Aliyev was awarded the Lenin Order four times, Order of Red Star, numerous medals, also orders and medals of foreign countries, received rank of the Hero of the Socialistic Labor twice.

On 27 March 1997 the head of the state of Azerbaijan was awarded in Kiev the "Yaroslav Mudry" Order, the supreme order of Ukraine.

On 13 April 1999 President Heydar Aliyev was awarded the "Peace Premium of Ataturk" Order, the high order of Turkey.

On 20 January 1999 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev was awarded the rank of the Honorable Professor of Moscow State University.

On 3 April 2003 President Heydar Aliyev was elected professor and full member of the Academy of Safety, Defense and Legal Norms Problems of the Russian Federation, awarded the premium of Y.V.Andropov.

On 10 May 2003 decree was signed on awarding Heydar Aliyev the Order of Saint Apostle Andrey Pervozvanny, the supreme order of Russia.

1. Map

General Information

2. State Symbols

2.1. Flag

General Information

The Flag contains three horizontal stripes of equal width. The upper stripe is of blue color, the middle one is red and the lower is green. The blue color is the color of Turkish (Azerbaijani) ethnos, red color symbolizes the adherence to freedom, democracy and human rights, and the green is the color of Islam. There is a white crescent and eight-pointed star in the middle of the red stripe. The star is the reflection of the eight different branches of the Turkic people. The ratio of the height of the flag to its length is 1 to 2.

2.2 Emblem

General Information

The star, also seen in the flag, has the same meaning, namely, the eight different branches of the Turkic people. This eight-pointed star framed by gold, is superimposed on three circles: the inner one is green, the middle one is red, and the outer one is blue. These colors match the flag colors. Between each star point, on the blue circle, there are also smaller gold-framed eight-pointed stars. Inside the main central star, there is a fire. The fire recalls the country's other name: Land of fire. This fire symbolizes also freedom. The shield stands on a golden ear of corn.

2.3. National Anthem

General Information

Music by Uzeir Hadjibeyov
Words by Ahmad Javad

Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan!
You are the country of heroes!
We will die so that you might be alive!
We will shed our blood to defend you!
Long live your three-colored banner!
Thousands of people sacrificed their lives
You have become the field of battles.
Every soldier fighting for you has become a hero.
We pray for your prosperity,
We sacrifice our lives to you.
Our sincere love to you
Comes from the bottom of our hearts.
To defend your honor,
To hoist your flag,
All the young people are ready.
Glorious motherland,
Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan!

3. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev

General Information

Ilham Aliyev


Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev was born in December 24, 1961 in the city of Baku.
From 1967 till 1977 he studied in elementary and secondary schools in the city of Baku.
After graduating from secondary school in 1977, he entered Moscow State University of International Relations (MSUIR).
Upon graduation in 1982, he entered a post-graduate course at MSUIR.
After graduating from the University in 1985, he received a Master's degree in History and International Relations.
From 1985 till 1990, he was a teacher at MSUIR.
From 1991 to 1994, he was engaged in private commercial activity in Moscow and Istanbul.
In May 1994, he became first vice-president of State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR).
From 1995 until the present time, he has been a member of the parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
From 1997 he has been president of National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, a post that he continues to hold.
In December 1999 he was elected to the post of Deputy Chairman, then in 2001 - First Deputy Chairman, of the "Yeni Azerbaijan" party. (Governing political party of the Republic).
In January 2003 he was elected vice-president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Bureau member.
In accordance with Milli Majlis decree dated August 4, 2003, he was appointed to the post of Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Elected as President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on October 15, 2003.
Elected as President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on October 15, 2008 for second term.
He is fluent in Azerbaijani, Russian, English and French.
He has a son and two daughters.

4. General Information

4.1 Location: The Republic of Azerbaijan lies in the borderlands of Asia and Europe. It is situated in the southeastern part of the Southern Caucasus and shares borders in the north with the Russian Federation, in the south with the Islamic Republic of Iran, in the west with Turkey, Georgia and Armenia, and in the east its neighbors across the Caspian Sea are Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

4.2 Country Name: Azərbaycan Respublikası (Republic of Azerbaijan)

4.3 Capital: Bakı (in USSR Baku) with a population of 1 811 000

4.4 State Language: Azerbaijani

4.5 Religion: Religion is separated from the State and all religions are equal before the law

4.6 Monetary Unit: Manat (1 US $ = 0.80 manat as at December, 2009)

4.7 Population: The population is 9 000 000 people (January, 2010)

5. National Holidays

January 1 - New Year
March 8 - Women's Day
March 20-21 - Novruz bayramı (Celebration of Spring)
May 9 - Day of Victory over Fascism
May 28 - Republic Day
June 15 - National Salvation Day
June 26 - Armed Forces Day
October 18 - National Independence Day
November 12 - Constitution Day
November 17 - National Revival Day
December 31 - Day of Solidarity of Azerbaijanis throughout the World

Qurban bayramı (Thanksgiving-Offering Day) and Ramazan bayramı (End of Fasting) - The dates of celebration of these religious holidays are changed every year in accordance with the lunar calendar.

5.1. Memorable Days
January 20 - Day of Shehids' (Martyrs) Remembrance
February 26 - Day of Khodjali Remembrance
March 31 - Genocide of Azerbaijanis'

6. Territory

6.1 Area: 86,600 km 2

6.2 Length of Land Boundaries: 2,646 km

6.3 Borders with Neighboring Countries: Armenia - 1007 km, Georgia - 480 km, Iran - 756 km, Russia - 390 km, Turkey - 13 km.

6.4 Administrative Division

6.4.1 Autonomous Republic

Naxçıvan Muxtar Respublikası (Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic)
The Republic of Azerbaijan consists 65 regions, 69 cities, 13 urban regions, 130 settlements of urban type and 4354 rural settlements.

6.4.2 Regions

Absheron, Agdjabedi, Agdam, Agdash, Agstafa, Agsu, Astara, Balakan, Beylagan, Barda, Bilasuvar, Djebrayil, Djalilabad, Dashkasan, Deveshi, Fizuli, Gedebey, Goranboy, Gokchay, Hadcigabul, Khachmaz, Goygol, Khizi, Khodjali, Khodjavand, Imishly, Ismailly, Kelbedjer, Kurdemir, Kakh, Kazakh, Kabele, Kobustan, Kuba, Kubadly, Kusar, Lachin, Lerik, Lenkeran, Masally, Neftchala, Oguz, Saatly, Sabirabad, Salyan, Samukh, Siyezen, Shamakha, Sheki, Shemkir, Shusha, Terter, Tovuz, Udjar, Yardimly, Yevlakh, Zakatala, Zengilan, Zerdab.

6.4.3. Major Cities

Baku, Shirvan, Gandja, Khankendi, Lenkeran, Mingechevir, Naftalan, Sumqait, Sheki, Shusha, Yevlakh

7. Government

7.1. Form of Government: Azerbaijanian state is democratic, legal, secular, unitary republic. State power is based on the principle of division of powers: Milli Majlis (Parliament) exercises legislative power; executive power belongs to the President; and law courts exercise Judicial power.

7.2. Legislative Power: Milli Majlis - one chamber body comprising 125 deputies, elected by direct elections for a 5 year term.

7.3. Executive Power:
7.3.1. Head of State:
The President of Azerbaijan Republic is the Head of Azerbaijanian state. The President is elected for a 5-year term by way of general, direct and equal elections, with free, personal and secret ballot. Executive power in Azerbaijan Republic belongs to the President.

7.3.2. Head of Government: The President by consent of Milli Majlis appoints Prime minister. For implementation of executive power, the President establishes Cabinet of Ministers. Cabinet of Ministers is subordinate to the President and reports to him.

7.4. Judicial Power: Judicial power in Azerbaijan is implemented by law courts. Judicial power is implemented through the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, ordinary and other specialized law courts.

7.5 Constitution
Following a referendum on November 12, 1995, the new Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan was adopted and entered into force on December 5, 1995. The country's basic law was developed in line with the fundamental principles and norms of international law.
Continuing the centuries' long traditions of statehood, and taking as a basis the principles expressed in the Constitutional Act "On the State Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan", desiring to provide prosperity and welfare for the whole society and each individual, wishing to establish freedom and security, understanding the responsibility before the past, present and future generations, using the right of its sovereignty the Constitution declares solemnly its following intentions:

Protect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
Provide a democratic system within the framework of the Constitution;
Achieve the establishment of a civil society;
Build a secular state based on the rule of law as an expression of the will of the nation;
Provide worthy living standards for everybody in conformity with just economic and social order;
Remain faithful to universal human values, to live in friendship, peace and freedom with all the nations of the world and cooperate with them for this purpose.

As stipulated by article 1 of the Constitution, "In the Republic of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani people shall be the sole source of State power".
Under article 2 of the Constitution, the people of Azerbaijan shall exercise their sovereign right directly through nationwide voting (referendums) and through representatives elected based on universal, equal and direct suffrage by free, secret and personal ballot.
Article 7 of the Constitution stipulates that Azerbaijani State shall be a democratic, constitutional, secular and unitary republic. In Azerbaijan, the power of the State shall be restricted in domestic matters only by the country's law and, in foreign affairs, only by the provisions arising from international treaties to which the Republic of Azerbaijan is a party. State power in the Republic of Azerbaijan shall be based on the principle of the division of powers among legislative, executive and judicial branches of power. Pursuant to the Constitution, the legislature, executive and Judiciary shall interact with one another and be independent within their various jurisdictions.
Following Article 12 of the Constitution, the primary goal of the State is to ensure human rights and freedoms.

8. Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorniy Karabakh conflict


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