Sumgayit City of Azerbaijan

Novruz Celebration in Sumgayit

Novruz Celebration in Sumgayit

Sumgait city was given a city status on November 22, 1949. The initial settlement at the present territory of the city belongs to the IX century. There are historical monuments in Sumgait city which are protected by the state and concerns that period.

Sumgait city is situated on northern shore of the Apsheron peninsula and 25 km far from the capital city of the Baku. The area of Sumgait is 108 km2. Sumgait city, Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev and Jorat districts are included to the territory of the city. Sumgait city has relations with other regions and cities of the country and also it has of republican importance of automobile and railroads with foreign countries. Airways connections are realized through the airport of Baku city Bina.

There are natural reserves in the territory of Sumgait city for production of building materials (brick, light fillers). [Read more…]

A River Runs Through It – The Istanbul Flood Disaster of 9/9/09

While in Turkey , I usually drive from Kozyatagi on the Anatolian side to Esenyurt on the European side, a distance of close to 60 kms., crossing the famous Bosphorous.  Kozyatagi, a district of Kadikoy, is a well developed section of Istanbul and Esenyurt is a huge town in the making not too far from the Ataturk Airport and the area that was the scene of a disasterous flood on Wednesday 9/9/09, a day that most thought would be peaceful. I use either the Trans European Motorway (TEM), the Highway E-5 that goes through Istanbul or the shore drive along the Sea of Marmara.  During the past 15 years, I witnessed the incredible and never ending construction of new apartments all along all three venues and in fact all over Turkey (1). Many of the high rise apartments are built by Toplu Konut Idaresi (TOKI), Mass Housing Administration, including the several developments in Halkali where the September 9, 2009 disaster struck. I suppose TOKI provides affordable apartments to thousands but with little consideration of real site improvements near the apartments or building sport facilities or parks near these mega structures where thousands live. The photograph in the attachments shows the Halkali TOKI apartments that have been mentioned in the media in relation to the flood.

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When the opportunity came to travel to Uzbekistan to look at the Energy market, I took it without hesitation. I thought I could also go to Kazakistan and Turkmenistan before heading back to Turkey. Since getting a business visa would take time with many formalities, I contacted Elma Tour in Istanbul at the recommendation of the Uzbekistan Embassy in Ankara and obtained a tourist visa in Istanbul within a week, although at a cost almost three times had I obtained in New York. I also made my hotel reservations through the Elma Tour Agent which works with the Uzbek tour, since I was going to a country for the first time which, I though, would still be functioning under the old Soviet system. My trip proved this to be the case.


Uzbekistan, one of five Central Asian countries, proclaimed its independence from the Soviet Union of Socialist Republics on August 31, 1991, less than 7 years ago. It is in the mist of political and economic change and has selected Turkey as a model in many aspects. In fact, Turkey was the first country to recognise Uzbekistan and travelling as a Turk proved its privileges, as I witnessed first hand. As of this writing, the Turkish Prime Minister is on an official visit to Uzbekistan, where he and a large delegation of Ministers, Parliamentarians and Businessmen have been warmly welcomed, followed by a trip to Krygystan.
Uzbekistan used to be a part of greater Turkistan before its break-up by the Soviet Union in the 1920’s. During the Russian rule, the area used to be referred to as Middle Asia plus Kazakhstan. The other countries are Turkmenistan, Kyrgystan, Tajikstan. East Turkistan, which is under the Chinese control and referred to as Xinjiang was also a part of the old Turkistan. Most doubt the unification of all these Central Asian countries as a single country, Turkistan, even though there are efforts along that line. If the European Union becomes the United States of Europe, there is no reason why a United States of Central Asia can not established and even include Azerbaican and may be Turkey so Turks don’t need to worry about being left out of the European Union. [Read more…]