Clash of Histories in the South Caucasus: Redrawing the Map of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Iran
As the only former Soviet republic not to be created from an established ethnic group, ever since its formation in 1918 Azerbaijan has used strategies adapted especially from the USSR and Pan-Turkism movement to create a nationalistic ethnos/mythos at odds with the historical and geographical reality. This new study examines the motives and methodology employed by Azerbaijani historians and geographers over the past century in officially recreating the history, boundaries and even ethnicity of this historically volatile region. Particular focus is given to Azerbaijan’s campaign for the geohistorical appropriation of neighbouring Armenia and the three provinces of Iranian Azerbaijan, a selective campaign that ignores the neighbouring territories of Georgia and Russia’s North Caucasus. The evidence of the ancient and later cartographers, presented in more than 50 colour maps, along with the Graeco-Roman historians and the accounts of Islamic and European travellers confirm the international position that runs counter to Azerbaijan’s claims.