Azerbaijan: From Baku, with love!
Baku, Azerbaijan – Since 1872, the area in and around Baku has been dominated by the oil industry, as evident by the countless oil pumps and drilling rigs that crowd the landscape.
It’s the most polluted place on Earth. It was the hub of Soviet industry and petrochemical research, and has the health problems to prove it – cancer rates are 50% higher than average here, and birth defects are commonplace.
Baku has a subtropical semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification: BSk) with hot and dry summers, cold and occasionally wet winters, and strong winds all year long.
However, unlike many other cities with this climate, Baku does not see extremely hot summers. This is largely because of its northerly latitude and the fact that it is located on a peninsula on the shore of the Caspian Sea.
Baku and the Absheron Peninsula on which it is situated, is the most arid part of Azerbaijan (precipitation here is around or less than 200 mm (8 in) a year).
During Soviet times, Baku with its long hours of sunshine and dry healthy climate, was a vacation destination where citizens could enjoy beaches or relax in now-dilapidated spa complexes overlooking the Caspian Sea.
The city’s past as a Soviet industrial center has left it as one of the most polluted cities in the world.
The vegetation of the islands in the Baku Archipelago has been quite damaged by the pollution caused by the oil wells in the same bay, so that most islands are almost devoid of vegetation.
Formerly this archipelago provided an ideal ecosystem for the Caspian seal.
- Iran withdraws ambassador from Baku in row over Eurovision Song Contest (guardian.co.uk)
- Iran Recalls Envoy to Azerbaijan Amid Dispute (blogs.voanews.com)
- Eurovision-host Azerbaijan criticised for human rights abuses (itv.com)
- Iran: “Azerbaijan Insults Islam With Eurovision” (eurovisiontimes.wordpress.com)
- Iran recalls envoy to Azerbaijan ahead of Eurovision (vancouverdesi.com)
- Eurovision 2012: Pro-democracy campaigners arrested in Baku as song contest begins (emileczka.wordpress.com)
- Iran recalls envoy to Azerbaijan (nation.com.pk)
- After Protests, Iran Recalls Ambassador From Azerbaijan (nytimes.com)
- Tehran Recalls Baku Envoy ‘For Consultations’ (rferl.org)