How many of you knows what this Nakhchivan is? Where is it exactly, how big, how beautiful? From this post you will get to know why even we didn’t visit this autonomous republic.
The Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (in Azerbaijani: Naxçıvan Muxtar Respublikası) is a landlocked enclave of Azerbaijan. It has three borders: with Armenia, with Iran and funny 15 km with Turkey. That was our plan: to get there from Turkish side. Why? Because we didn’t apply for visa to Iran (and then we wouldn’t like to drive around), because from Armenia it is impossible to get there and because we didn’t want to pay for flight from Baku (which is very cheap for locals, but not cheap at all for foreigners).
Nakhchivan is again not an easy topic. Has a long history, dating all the way back to 1500 BC, but then two main versions of this history: Armenian and Azeri. I will even not try to describe what have happened when, not to start a fight with any of my friends from both sides. There is many variations of even the name Nakhchivan: including Nakhichevan, Naxcivan, Naxçivan, Nachidsheuan, Nakhijevan, Nakhchawan, Nakhitchevan, Nakhjavan or Nakhdjevan. That’s why we wanted to check the place out on our own. Unfortunately we got only one-entry visa to Azerbaijan which means, after leaving the main body of the country (and after visiting Georgia, Armenia, Georgia again and Turkey) we would need another visa. It’s a big pity, because now I can tell you only few interesting facts, without stories of real
people, photos and recent news.
There is not many foreigners out there. 99% of populations are Azeris. Very interesting information which I found is that Nakhchivan became the first part of Soviet Union which officially declared independence (just few weeks before Lithuania). It didn’t last long, Nakhchivan soon joined the rest of Azerbaijan, but still.
Today, Nakhchivan retains its autonomy as the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and is internationally recognized as a constituent part of Azerbaijan governed by its own elected parliament. But it doesn’t mean that those to parliaments are always at the same side. In the late 1990s Nakhchivan’s parliament recognized the sovereignty of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and calling upon Azerbaijan to do so. While sympathetic to the TRNC, Azerbaijan has not followed it because doing so would prompt the Republic of Cyprus to recognize the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
Nakhchivan is important for Azerbaijan not only because of tradition and cultural heritage. Heydar Aliyev, the former president of Azerbaijan and father of the current one, was born there. I’m really curious if there is even more billboards with his face in Nakhchivan City than in Baku? Anybody knows?
Our first book is out!
We have published our first book (for now just in Polish:) about our Central America Trip.
See, read and order here »