By Peter Tase
According to early history, the current territory of Nakhchivan is the ancient land of Azerbaijan, it is considered to be one of the ancient civilization places and a cultural center of great importance in the world. The local settlers and people of Azerbaijan established an old and rich culture in Nakhchivan which continues to be present until today. The national history, development of scientific discoveries and the ancient cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani people has taken shape in Nakhchivan.
The word “Nakhchivan” has its origins, based on the historical sources, from the word “Nagshijahan” which means the “decoration of the world”, “adornment of the world”. But according to the wide spread legend and story among the local people the word “Nakhchivan” has a deep relation with the prophet Noah, namely, with the “world storm” that is “Nuhchuvan” –the place of Noah’s supporters, the land of Noah. It must be noted that the grave of Prophet Noah is in Nakhchivan. Even the word Nakhchivan is explained “Nachuanna/Nakhchvan” which means the land of “miracle and splendid waters” or the place of “healing mineral waters”. Today, according to the new Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and also accomplished by a referendum held in 1995, the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan is an autonomous region within the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Nakhchivan, with a population of over 460 thousand people has its own Constitution, Supreme Majlis, Cabinet of Ministers and Supreme Court. The Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic consists of 45 deputies (representatives). According to the Constitution the Chairman of the Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan is the Supreme leader of the Autonomous Republic. The Supreme Majlis leader, Mr. Talibov Vasif Usif oglu, issues decrees and orders as they are described by the constitution of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and national constitution. The laws of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic are signed by the Chairman of Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.
The national symbols of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic are the national flag, emblem of the Azerbaijan Republic, the national anthem of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The ruling system in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is the same as in the Republic of Azerbaijan. The city and district administrations of the autonomous republic are headed by the executive power. The heads of the executive power is appointed by the President of the Azerbaijan Republic upon the recommendation of the Chairman of Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.
During the decade of 1995 – 2005, around one hundred modern elementary and high schools were built in the cities and villages of the Autonomous Republic, new education buildings were constructed at the Nakhchivan State University, Nakhchivan Teachers’ Institute and Nakhchivan Private University, as well as new buildings were inaugurated for the Nakhchivan Branch of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences. Additionally six scientific research institutes began their operations. At the same time, cultural and educational establishments, sport centers and administrative buildings were built in the whole region of Nakhchivan.
Under the leadership of Nakhchivan’s leader Mr. Vasif Talibov there have been significant advancements towards the political, public and cultural processes which contribute in the wellbeing and economy of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and Azerbaijani nation. Normal relations have been established and several agreements have been signed with the neighboring foreign countries including the Republic of Turkey and the Islamic Republic of Iran. These relations have further strengthened the economic and trade ties in the region as well as have promoted a further advancement of the development of science, education and culture in Nakhchivan and throughout Azerbaijan.
Many historical-architectural monuments of Nakhchivan, including the Momine Khatun Sepulchers, Garabaghlar Vault Complex, Yusif Kusеyr oghlu Vault, the Khan’s House, Buzkhana, Imamzadeh Sanctuary Complex, Alinjechay Khanegah Complex, Ismayilkhan Bath-House, and other historic buildings have been overhauled and restored properly. The home-museums of J.Nakhchivanski, H.Javid, M.S.Ordubadi, J.Mammadguluzadeh and Y.Mammadaliyev have been reconstructed. Bahruz Kangarli’s name has been perpetuated and his home-museum was built during this administration. The 150th jubilee of the distinguished poet, professor and philosopher M. T. Sidgi was celebrated, his plays were published and various conferences were held in his honor. A monumental sepulcher has been erected in memory of H.
Under the leadership of Mr. Talibov, in July 2006 was held the International symposium “Nakhchivan in the international sources”. This event played an important role in the study of Nakhchivan’s history from the based on the research conducted by scholars and international academicians. This was the best response to the lawless territorial claims of Armenian chauvinists in regards to Nakhchivan. In June, 2006, was held another scientific symposium organized by the Supreme Assembly of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, the Azerbaijan National academy of Sciences, A.A.Bakichanov Institute of History, and the Nakhchivan Branch of the Academy as well as the Nakhchivan State University. Over 50 academic papers were given at the symposium which was attended by Turkish and Iranian scientists as well. Additionally on September 14-16, 2000 was held the international symposium under the topic of “Natural Resources of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and ways for a more effective Use”.
Another initiative of Mr. Vasif Talibov, which fosters the study of the local history is the special decree destined to the study of the Gamigaya complex of historic-ethnographic monuments, signed in April 26, 2001. These activities ensure again that Nakhchivan has been an integral part of Azerbaijan since prehistoric times and belongs to the Azerbaijani people. Thanks to this decree, archeological and ethnographic expeditions are arranged every year in the Gamigaya complex.