The Khanate of Nakhchiva, Nakhchiva, Naxcivan, is a small land-locked constitutional monarchy in the southern Transcausasian Region. To the north is Armenia while to the south is the Caliphate. The capital is Nakhchiva and the population is around 348,000.
The Head of State is Rahim Qoli III Khan.
The official language is Azeri.
The currency is the Nakhchivan Qapik (NKQ).
Trading hands between successive empires almost constantly throughout antiquity, the area now known as Nakhchiva was eventually taken by the Seljuk Turks and added to their Sultanate of Rum in around 1055. As such Byzantium regarded it as a fair target in their long Ανακατάληψη ('Reconquest') though the Mongol Ilkhanate took it first in 1236 (which henceforth meant the succeeding Caliphate regarded it as one of their provinces). Byzantium successfully defended the region from the Timurids whilst the Caliphate took the main brunt but did little to build any lasting institutions, at least initially. For nearly two centuries beginning in 1600 Nakhchica would suffer constant invasion and regularly swapped between Byzantium and the Caliphate as they sought to stamp their influence on the Transcaucasus. As the Afsharid Revolt consumed the Northern Caliphate in the 1790s and flush with a healthy bribe from Byzantine agents, the local Khans broke with rule from Baghdad.
Successive Khans soon realised the only way to maintain their independence would be to tread a careful diplomatic path. Shrugging off the influence of Tver and Vladimir which had begun infiltrating many of the newly independent Transcausasian states it actively courted peace and neutral relations with both Byzantium and the Caliphate. The Nakhchivan Neutrality Agreement was eventually signed in 1895. Additionally, although not guaranteed by treaty, it refuses to pick sides in the wars between the three Armenias, even though this has harmed its relationship with the Sultanate of Armenia to its north.
Whilst many Nakhchivans have lamented the state's isolation - 'if we were on the Mediterranean we would be the equal of Venice' is a common moan - the country is relatively prosperous with agriculture and mining of rare metals making up much of its economy. The Khanate's relative stability has made it a haven for those fleeing wars elsewhere in the region. There is a significant Armenian minority and they are often used as scapegoats by unscrupulous demagogues and the media for Nakhchiva's ills.
The biblical patriarch Noah is traditionally supposedly to be buried in Nakhchivan city and for many 19th century European nobles on the so-called 'Grand Tour' the state comprised the easternmost (and most-inaccessible) point of the route.
The Khanate is a constitutional monarchy, a rarity in the region. The franchise is limited but a single-chambered house is elected every five years. The current head of state is Rahim Qoli III Khan and the Prime Minister is Ehsan Jafagulu.