Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan) is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. It is bounded by Caspian Sea to the east, Russia's Daghestan region to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia and Turkey to the southwest, and Iran to the south. Azerbaijan is a home to various ethnicities, majority of which are Azerbaijani, a Turkic ethnic group which numbers close to 9 million in the independent Republic of Azerbaijan.
During Median and Persian rule, many Caucasian Albanians adopted Zoroastrianism and then switched to Christianity prior to coming of Muslim Arabs and more importantly Muslim Turks. The Turkic tribes are believed to have arrived as small bands of ghazis whose conquests led to the Turkification of the population as largely native Caucasian and Iranian tribes adopted the Turkic language of the Oghuz and converted to Islam over a period of several hundred years.
Following the Russo-Persian Wars of 1813 and 1828, the Qajar Empire was forced to cede all its Caucasian territories to the Russian Empire and the treaties of Gulistan in 1813 and Turkmenchay in 1828 finalized the borders between Czarist Russia and Qajar Iran. The area to the North of the river Aras, among which the territory of the contemporary republic of Azerbaijan were Iranian territory until they were occupied by Russia in the course of the 19th century. Under the Treaty of Turkmenchay, Qajar Iran recognized Russian sovereignty over the Erivan Khanate, the Nakhchivan Khanate and the remainder of the Lankaran Khanate, comprising the last parts of the soil of the modern-day Azerbaijanj Republic that were still in Iranian hands.
After more than 80 years of being under the Russian Empire in the Caucasus, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was established in 1918. The state was invaded by Soviet forces in 1920 and remained under Soviet rule until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, after which the modern-day Republic got founded.
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