Kalbajar District (Azerbaijani: Kəlbəcər rayonu) is one of the 66 districts of Azerbaijan. It is located in the west of the country and belongs to the Kalbajar-Lachin Economic Region. The district borders the districts of Lachin, Khojaly, Agdam, Tartar, Goranboy, Goygol, Dashkasan, as well as the Gegharkunik and Vayots Dzor provinces of Armenia. Its capital and largest city is Kalbajar. As of 2020, the district had a nominal population of 94,100.
Map of Azerbaijan showing Kalbajar District
|Established||8 August 1930|
|• Total||3,050 km2 (1,180 sq mi)|
|• Density||31/km2 (80/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+4 (AZT)|
In Turkic Kalbajar means "Castle on the mouth of the river". The city of Kalbajar was renamed to Karvachar (Armenian: Քարվաճառ) after its control, which corresponds to the ancient district of Vaykunik, one of 12 cantons of Artsakh (historical Nagorno-Karabakh). It was also known as Upper-Khachen or Tsar (after its chief town) and was ruled by one of the branches of the House of Khachen, who held it until the Russian conquest of the Karabakh region in the early 19th century. In 1992 Azerbaijani government abolished Mardakert district of NKAO, and its western part was included in Kelbajar district.
As a result of the First Nagorno-Karabakh War, the area was occupied by Armenian forces on April 3, 1993. The district was declared a part of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh, although it continued to be recognized by United Nations as a territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Azeri population of Kalbajar were displaced and lived as internally displaced persons in other regions of Azerbaijan. The district was made into the Shahumyan Province, one of the eight regions of NKR. The region remained the least populated of the NKR regions with a total population of 2,800. The town of Kalbajar was home to 500 Armenian residents.
Return to AzerbaijanEdit
Under the terms of the agreement that ended the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War, most of the district (i.e. Kelbajar district within its Soviet time borders) returned to Azerbaijani control. The eastern part of the district, which was part of Martakert Province, remained under the control of the Republic of Artsakh. Initially, the western part was to be returned to Azerbaijani control by 15 November 2020, but this deadline was subsequently extended to 25 November 2020. In the early hours of November 25, Azerbaijani forces entered the region; it was the second region to be returned to Azerbaijan per the ceasefire agreement.
The district has close to 750 Armenian cultural monuments, which include monasteries, churches, chapels, fortresses, khachkars and inscriptions. The most well-known is the monasteries of Dadivank and Gandzasar.
As of 1979 the region had a population of 40,516:
The population grew to 43,713 by 1989.
- Azerbaijanis 83.2% (55,082)
- Armenians 14.8% (9,794)
- Lezgins 0,1% (9)
- Kurds 1.9% (1,248)
- Russians 0.1% (23)
- Other 0.1%(45)
During Armenian controlEdit
According to 2005 Artsakh census, 2,560 Armenians were living in the western part of the Shahumyan Province, which roughly corresponded to the Soviet Kalbajar District. The number gew to 2,800 by 2006.
By 2015, the number of Armenians who had moved to the district had grown to 3,090.
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