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, city (1989 pop. 56,223), N Azerbaijan, on the southern slopes of the Caucasus. It is a silk and manufacturing center in a district that grows fruit and rice.
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a historical region in northern Azerbaijan, north of the Kura River. From the third to fifth centuries, Sheki was a region of Caucasian Albania. In 654 it was captured by the Arabs. In the ninth century its rulers attempted to extend their influence to Aran.
Sheki is first mentioned in historical sources as an independent state in the late 14th century; its ruler was Sidi Ahmed Orlat, who belonged to the turkized Mongol tribe of the Orlats. In 1402 troops from Sheki took part in Tamerlane’s campaign against the Turkish sultan Bayazid. Under the Kara Keshish Ogly dynasty, which ruled from 1444 to 1551, Sheki was a flourishing agricultural country, and it produced beautiful silk, which was its principal export commodity. After the rise of the Safavid state, Sheki at times recognized the authority of the Safavids, but it retained a considerable degree of autonomy.
In 1551 Sheki’s forces were defeated by the Iranian shah Tah-masp, and Sheki lost its independence. In the mid-18th century, however, the Sheki Khanate arose on the territory.
SOURCESAbdul-Latif Effendi. Istoriia shekinskikh khanov. Preparation of text and translation from Turkic by A. Dadashev. (Materialy po istorii Azerbaidzhana, fasc. I.) Baku, 1926.
Hadji-Said-Abdul-Hamid. Rodoslovnaia shekinskikh khanov i ikh potomkov. (Preparation of text and translation from Turkic by A. Subkhanverdikhanov.) Baku, 1930.
REFERENCEKrymskii, A. E. “Stranitsy iz istorii Severnogo ili Kavkazskogo Azerbaidzhana (Klassicheskoi Albanii): Sheki.” In Pamiati akad. N. Ia. Marra. Moscow-Leningrad, 1938. Pages 369–84.
(until 1968, Nukha), a city under republic jurisdiction and the administrative center of Sheki Raion, Azerbaijan SSR. Located in the southern foothills of the Greater Caucasus, 77 km north of the Evlakh railroad junction. Population, 44,000 (1974).
Sheki has a silk production association, a garment factory, a tobacco fermentation plant, a brickyard, a meat-packing plant, and a combine of the food-processing industry. Educational institutions include textile and agricultural technicums and pedagogical, medical, and music schools. A people’s amateur theater and a museum of local lore are located in the city. A house-museum is devoted to the Azerbaijani writer and educator M. F. Akhundov, who was born in Sheki. The Palace of the Khans of Sheki is also open as a museum.