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Azerbaijan History Timeline

700s – 1800s

  • (730) Khazar commander Barjik invaded Azerbaijan through the Darial Pass, conquered Azerbaijan, Armenia and northern Iraq
  • (1828) Turkmanchay treaty between Russia and Persia divided Azerbaijan; present-day Azerbaijan became part of Russian empire, southern Azerbaijan part of Persia
  • (1848-49) World's first oil well drilled south of Baku (Azerbaijan's capital)
1900s
  • (1900) 51% of the world's oil came from Azerbaijan
  • (1918) Independent Azerbaijan Republic declared
  • (1920) Azerbaijan joined the USSR; Red Army invaded Azerbaijan, turned it into a Soviet Republic
  • (1922) Azerbaijan became founding member of Soviet Union
  • (1926) First Turkology congress convened in Baku, discussed alphabet issue; Latin alphabet chosen for all Turkic-speaking peoples by a 101-7 vote
  • (1936) Azerbaijan became a full republic of Soviet Union
  • (1967) Heydar Aliyev appointed head of Azerbaijan KGB
  • (1969) Heydar Aliyev appointed head of Azerbaijani Communist Party
  • (1982) Heydar Aliyev became full member of Soviet Politburo and first deputy chairman of USSR Council of Ministries
  • (1987) Aliyev resigned from the Soviet Politburo government
  • (1988) Nagorno-Karabakh region sought to become a part of Armenia
  • (1988) Ethnic unrest broke out between Armenians and Azerbaijanis
  • (1988) Communist party leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan dismissed after fresh outbreaks of ethnic tensions
  • (1988) Azerbaijan rejected attempt by Nagorno-Karabakh to secede and join Armenia
  • (1990) Ethnic strife between Armenians and Azeris escalated; dozens died in inter-ethnic violence between Nakhichevan exclave Iran rioters
  • (1990) Tensions eased after Soviet and Iran authorities agreed to ease restrictions
  • (1990) Dozens died in inter-ethnic violence in Baku; Soviet troops used force to end unrest, killed at least 100 people
  • (1990) Ayaz Mutallibov became Azeri Communist Party leader; communist party retained power in multiparty elections, Parliament had opposition for the first time
  • (1991) Azerbaijan declared its independence
  • (1991) Elections boycotted by opposition, Mutallibov president
  • (1991) Heydar Alliyev became leader of the Azerbaijan exclave of Nakhichevan
  • (1991) Leadership of Nagorno-Karabakh declared the region an independent republic; inter-ethnic hostilities escalated
  • (1992) Hostilities developed into full-scale war over Karabakh; 600 Azeris killed in an Armenian attack on Karabakh town of Khodzhaly
  • (1992) Armenian forces broke through Azerbaijan territory, created a corridor linking Armenia to Karabakh
  • (1992) President Ayaz Mutallibov resigned
  • (1992) Abulfaz Elchibey, leader of nationalist People's Front, became president in Azerbaijan's first contested electio
1900s continued
  • (1993) Former communist party chief Geidar Aliyev became head of Parliament
  • (1993) Adufaz Elchibey ousted from the presidency
  • (1993) Former Communist party chief Geidar Aliyev assumed presidency
  • (1993) Azerbaijan joined the commonwealth of independent states
  • (1993) Geidar Aliyev elected president of Azerbaijan with 98.9% of the official vote; main opposition Popular Front party boycotted the vote
  • (1994) Cease-fire declared between Armenia and Azerbaijan; more than 35,000 people died in six years of fighting
  • (1994) British Petroleum (BP) acquired 34% stake in the (ACG) oil project, called "contract of the century", Baku again became major oil town
  • (1995) Subway train fire in Baku killed 300 people, injured 270
  • (1995) Ayaz Mutalibov allegedly arranged a failed coup attempt
  • (1996) Separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh elected first president, Robert Kocharian
  • (1996) Lisbon summit of organization of security and cooperation in Europe chose Azerbaijan's argument for territorial integrity over Armenia's argument for self-determination in Nagorno-Karabakh
  • (1996) Elmar Huseinov founded Monitor magazine, exposed abuses of the regime of President Heydar Aliyev
  • (1997) Robert Kocharian left Karabakh, became prime minister of Armenia
  • (1997) Foreign minister Arkadiy Gukasian elected Karabakh's president
  • (1998) Heydar Aliyev returned as president
  • (1998) Death penalty abolished
  • (1999) First part of an oil pipeline across Georgia to the Black Sea opened in Azerbaijan
  • (1998) Vafa Gulkuzade, chief foreign affairs advisor stated Azberbaijan needed military protection, Turkish or American military bases welcomed

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.