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The first of these Turkic dynasties established was the Seljuk Empire, who entered the area now known as Azerbaijan by 1067.The pre-Turkic population that lived on the territory of modern Azerbaijan spoke several Indo-European and Caucasian languages, among them Armenian Locally, the possessions of the subsequent Seljuk Empire were ruled by Eldiguzids, technically vassals of the Seljuk sultans, but sometimes de facto rulers themselves.Following Timur's death, two independent and rival states emerged: Kara Koyunlu and Aq Qoyunlu.The Shirvanshahs returned, maintaining a high degree of autonomy as local rulers and vassals from 861, for numerous centuries to come.Under the Seljuks, local poets such as Nizami Ganjavi and Khaqani gave rise to a blossoming of Persian literature on the territory of present-day Azerbaijan.
In the course of the next century, the Safavids converted the formerly Sunni population to Shia Islam, The Safavids allowed the Shirvanshahs to remain in power, under Safavid suzerainty, until 1538, when Safavid king Tahmasp I (r.
In the Avesta, Frawardin Yasht ("Hymn to the Guardian Angels"), there is a mention of âterepâtahe ashaonô fravashîm ýazamaide, which literally translates from Avestan as "we worship the fravashi of the holy Atropatene." The Greek name was mentioned by Diodorus Siculus and Strabo.
Over the span of millennia the name evolved to Āturpātākān (Middle Persian) then to Ādharbādhagān, Ādharbāyagān, Āzarbāydjān (New Persian) and present-day Azerbaijan.
A member of the United Nations since 1992 after its independence, Azerbaijan was elected to membership in the newly established Human Rights Council by the United Nations General Assembly on . The Constitution of Azerbaijan does not declare an official religion and all major political forces in the country are secularist.
However, the majority of the population are of a Shiite Muslim background.