Recently, while reading about the ex-Soviet nation of Azerbaijan, I came across something called the “conflict of Daqliq Qarabaq.” I did a web search, but all I found were Azerbaijani and Armenian news sites referencing it.
So, what is this conflict?
Try looking up Nagorno-Karabakh (or Nagorno-Karabach).
Azerbaijan is east of Armenia. In the 1920s, the Soviets carved a chunk off the Southwest section of Armenia and placed it under Azerbaijan’s control. Since the area is ethnically Armenian, just before the Soviet breakup, Armenia petitioned to have it returned to Armenia–a petition protested by Azerbaijan and denied by the Soviets.
Since the two countries (re)gained their independence from the U.S.S.R., they have been wrangling over what to do with the region, with each side making claims on it and a faction in the region pressing for indepence. (There are also two (three?) other locations where Armenia or Azerbaijan completely surround a few hectares of the other’s country, but Nagorno-Karabakh (which I’m pretty sure is the same as Daqliq Qarabaq), is an immense region, making up almost 25% of the land area of Armenia or more than 10% or Azerbaijan.)
CIA World Factbook 2002 - Armenia
CIA World Factbook 2002 - Azerbaijan
What tomndebb said, with one addition: “wrangling” is a rather weak description of what’s been going on over there. For much of the past 12 years, it’s been all-out war between Armenia and Azerbaijan; at some points, 1 in 7 Azerbaijanis was an internally displaced person.
I did a research paper on thie conflict in grad school, and just for kicks, called up the Armenian Embassy in D.C. for their spin on things. After going around in circles, whcih involved (among other things) sending a letter to one of the political officers from grad school so that he would believe I was who I said I was and not some Azeri intelligence agent, I was treated to an absolutely hilarious phone interview.
The official Armenian spin? Basically “you Americans misunderstand everything. This isn’t a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan; it’s just the freedom struggle of the Armenians of Karabakh to rid themselves of the Azeri yoke. Of course, we support them fully from a moral and spiritual standpoint, but in no other way.” This was after the couple hundred thousand Armenians in Karabakh suddenly started kicking the butts of the Azeris (the population of Azerbaijan is about 7 million).
If you want to be bored to tears, or if you enjoy conspiracy theories, say the word and I’ll try to dig up the paper and e-mail it to you.
You don’t have your e-mail listed, so yes, I’d enjoy seeing the paper. Sounds interesting. My e-mail is listed here (obviously, heh). Thanks.
**Daoloth, ** check your e-mail…I’ve sent you a little light bedtime reading.