YES, AZERBAIJAN BELONGS.
The Eurovision song contest was held in Azerbaijan. Some have wondered if that country should be viewed as in Europe. Tectonic arguments have been raised: the Caucasus is a plate boundary, Azerbaijan to the other side, relative to Russia.
However the main boundary with the Arabian plate is more than 1,000 kilometers to the south, in the Arabico-Persian gulf… in between, there are a lot of fragmentary miniplates (and another two or three major mountain ranges). So, if one excludes Azerbaijan tectonically, so should one exclude Italy, or Spain, by the same logical token.
So forget tectonics.
Is Azerbaijan in Europe?
What is Europe? Is it the Indo-European civilizational petri dish? Yes, it is.
Is Armenia in Europe?
Well, Armenia was the first state which adopted Christianity as its state religion. For most of antiquity, Armenia was a gigantic state occupying vast swathes of present day Turkey and Azerbaijan (which did not exist yet). Armenia was long allied, or part, of the Roman empire. Ultimately, it was victimized by the invading Turks. Armenia has a territorial conflict with Azerbaijan.
Is Georgia in Europe?
It is a Christian state. It was for thousands of years in the Greco-Roman world. It was a rampart against Islam. A Georgian army helped the Mongols seize and destroy Baghdad, capital of the Islamist Caliphate (OK, there was also a Frankish army in attendance, and because it was a major butchery, and cultural devastation, one tends to overlook these not so neglectable details of history…)
Is Phoenicia in Europe?
That’s where our alphabet comes from.
Is Sumer in Europe?
That’s where the effort of making an alphabet, in association with Egypt, came from. And also the bi-cameral, representative democracy system we use. And Alexander conquered the area, and descendant regimes forever did, except when overruled by Rome.
Is Turkey in Europe?
Well, where the Turks originated, far to the North-East, that’s where the Indo-European languages originated.
Is Egypt in Europe?
Well, much Greek mathematics is actually Egyptian mathematics. For more than a millennia, a full millennia before Greek civilization rose, Crete and Egypt maintained a symbiosis. Crete originated the thalassocracy principle, with democracy and gender equality.
Are Hungary, Finland, and the Basque in Europe?
They don’t speak an Indo-European language.
Is Iran in Europe?
Well, water in French is “eau” (pronounced “o”). In Iranian, it is “ob”.
The Azerbaijani language is a Turkic language, part of the Altaic family. These languages originated in the exact center of Eurasia, and are spoken there, and in a huge part of extreme north and east Siberia. Some could say, ha ha ha, here is the proof that Turkey does not belong to Europe. However, most of the present Turkish population descended from old, obviously European, Greek and Armenian, not to say Kurdish, ancestry: the Turkish army was at most 300,000 when it invaded the region, a millennium ago.
Moreover, that Turkish army thrived from scavenging elements of the old Greco-Romano-European civilization. It is European engineers and troops which conquered Turkey for the Turks. Constantinople’s walls crumbled under the world’s biggest guns, made by Hungarian engineers, for the Sultan.
Is Islam something European?
Well, Islam is an obvious modification of Judeo-Christianism, which all too many view as central to European culture. The Franks themselves viewed Islam as a form of Christianism (the Franks called the Muslims Sarasins; Sarah-sins = sons of Sarah… As described in the bible).
The Franks preferred to call themselves “Europeans”, in the non Christian sense… Islam blossomed throughout two thirds of the Greco-Roman empire, and most of the population took centuries to convert. During that time, the Golden Age of Islam, Islam got Europeanized (Caliphs were in the systematic habit of marrying Greco-Roman princesses).
Is Iraq in Europe?
Well, it’s not just that Roman emperors spent quite a bit of time there, more than four centuries after Alexander’s (mostly) Macedonian army conquered the whole area. Genetic studies have shown than both the vegetable and grains found in Italy, and also the people came from the Fertile Crscent, and more specifically the area of modern Iraq.
Where does Europe stop?
Well, Marseilles was a Greek colony, from Phocaea, back in what the Romans called “Asia” (now Anatolia). Marseilles founded an empire, which lasted more than six centuries. Caesar put an end to it (because it had supported his rival). Still the Greek influence perdured, all the way through the 1789 revolution, to this day. The USA, Russia, and Australia are European colonies. So is all of South America.
Europe is an idea. The idea that cultural diversity is wealth. Even imperial Rome had understood that one, and used it to become a universal state (universal is “catholic” in Greek). That idea originated probably in the Cretan and Egyptian symbiosis, and blossomed under the great age of Greece, a millennium later.
Athens’ historical mistake, in the times of the Delian League, was to not respect more carefully the fundamental idea of Europe. An idea to munch nowadays, when the Greeks are treated like dogs, while bankers are treated like lords.