Aq Qoyunlu

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Aq Qoyunlu

آق قویونلو
1378–1501
Map Aq Qoyunlu 1478-en.png
The Aq Qoyunlu confederation at its greatest extent
Capital
Common languages
Religion
Sunni Islam [2]
GovernmentMonarchy
Ruler  
 1378–1435
Kara Yuluk Osman
 1501–1501
Murad ibn Ya'qub
Historical era Medieval
 Established
1378
 Disestablished
1501
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Kara Koyunlu
Safavid dynasty Safavid Flag.svg

The Aq Qoyunlu or Ak Koyunlu, also called the White Sheep Turkomans (Persian : آق‌ قویونلوĀq Quyūnlū; Azerbaijani : Ağqoyunlular/آغ‌قویونلولار; Turkish : Ak Koyunlu), was a Persianate [3] [4] Sunni [2] Oghuz Turkic tribal confederation that ruled parts of present-day Eastern Turkey from 1378 to 1501, and in their last decades also ruled Armenia, Azerbaijan, most part of Iran, and Iraq. [5]

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script, which itself evolved from the Aramaic alphabet.

Azerbaijani language Turkic language

Azerbaijani or Azeri, also sometimes referred to as Azeri Turkic or Azeri Turkish, is a term referring to two Turkic lects that are spoken primarily by the Azerbaijanis, who live mainly in Transcaucasia and Iran. North Azerbaijani and South Azerbaijani have significant differences in phonology, lexicon, morphology, syntax, and loanwords. ISO 639-3 groups the two lects as a "macrolanguage".

Turkish language Turkic language (possibly Altaic)

Turkish, also referred to as Istanbul Turkish, is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 10–15 million native speakers in Southeast Europe and 60–65 million native speakers in Western Asia. Outside Turkey, significant smaller groups of speakers exist in Germany, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, Greece, the Caucasus, and other parts of Europe and Central Asia. Cyprus has requested that the European Union add Turkish as an official EU language, even though Turkey is not a member state.

Contents

History

According to chronicles from the Byzantine Empire, the Aq Qoyunlu are first attested in the district of Bayburt south of the Pontic mountains from at least the 1340s, [6] and most of their leaders, including the dynasty's founder, Qara Osman, [7] married Byzantine princesses. [8]

Byzantine Empire Roman Empire during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire and Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe. Both the terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical exonyms; its citizens continued to refer to their empire simply as the Roman Empire, or Romania (Ῥωμανία), and to themselves as "Romans".

Bayburt Province Province of Turkey in Northeast Anatolia

Bayburt Province is a province of Turkey. Located in the Northeast Anatolia region of the country, the capital city is Bayburt, and with a population of 74,412 is the least-populous province in Turkey.

Dynasty sequence of rulers considered members of the same family

A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family, usually in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes also appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "house", "family" and "clan", among others. The longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC.

The Aq Qoyunlu Turkomans first acquired land in 1402, when Timur granted them all of Diyar Bakr in present-day Turkey. For a long time, the Aq Qoyunlu were unable to expand their territory, as the rival Kara Koyunlu or "Black Sheep Turkomans" kept them at bay. However, this changed with the rule of Uzun Hasan, who defeated the Black Sheep Turkoman leader Jahān Shāh in 1467.

Timur Turco-Mongol ruler

Timur, historically known as Amir Timur and Tamerlane, was a Turco-Mongol conqueror. As the founder of the Timurid Empire in Persia and Central Asia, he became the first ruler in the Timurid dynasty. According to John Joseph Saunders, Timur was "the product of an islamized and iranized society", and not steppe nomadic.

Diyar Bakr

Diyār Bakr is the medieval Arabic name of the northernmost of the three provinces of the Jazira, the other two being Diyar Mudar and Diyar Rabi'a. According to al-Baladhuri, all three provinces were named after the main Arab tribes that were settled there by Mu'awiyah in the course of the Muslim conquests of the 7th century. The Diyar Bakr was settled by the Rabi'a subgroup of the Banu Bakr, and hence the two provinces are sometimes referred to collectively as "Diyar Rabi'a". In later Turkish usage, "Diyar Bakr" referred to the western portion of the former province, around Amid.

Kara Koyunlu

The Kara Koyunlu or Qara Qoyunlu, also called the Black Sheep Turkomans, were a Muslim Oghuz Turkic monarchy that ruled over the territory comprising present-day Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, northwestern Iran, eastern Turkey, and northeastern Iraq from about 1374 to 1468.

After the defeat of a Timurid leader, Abu Sa'id, Uzun Hasan was able to take Baghdad along with territories around the Persian Gulf. He expanded into Iran as far east as Khorasan. However, around this time, the Ottoman Empire sought to expand eastwards, a serious threat that forced the Aq Qoyunlu into an alliance with the Karamanids of central Anatolia.

Baghdad Capital of Iraq

Baghdad is the capital of Iraq. The population of Baghdad, as of 2016, is approximately 8,765,000, making it the largest city in Iraq, the second largest city in the Arab world, and the second largest city in Western Asia.

Persian Gulf An arm of the Indian Ocean in western Asia

The Persian Gulf, is a mediterranean sea in Western Asia. The body of water is an extension of the Indian Ocean through the Strait of Hormuz and lies between Iran to the northeast and the Arabian Peninsula to the southwest. The Shatt al-Arab river delta forms the northwest shoreline.

Iran Country in Western Asia

Iran, also called Persia and officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. The country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center.

As early as 1464, Uzun Hasan had requested military aid from one of the Ottoman Empire's strongest enemies, Venice. Despite Venetian promises, this aid never arrived and, as a result, Uzun Hassan was defeated by the Ottomans at the Battle of Otlukbeli in 1473, [9] though this did not destroy the Aq Qoyunlu.

Republic of Venice former state in in Northeastern Italy (697–1797)

The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic, traditionally known as La Serenissima was a sovereign state and maritime republic in northeastern Italy, which existed for over a millennium between the 7th century and the 18th century from 697 AD until 1797 AD. It was based in the lagoon communities of the historically prosperous city of Venice, and was a leading European economic and trading power during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

The Battle of Otlukbeli or Otluk Beli was a battle between Ak Koyunlu and the Ottoman Empire that was fought on August 11, 1473.

When Uzun Hasan died early in 1478, he was succeeded by his son Khalil Mirza, but the latter was defeated by a confederation under his younger brother Ya'qub at the Battle of Khoy in July. [10]

Ya'qub, who reigned from 1478 to 1490, sustained the dynasty for a while longer. However, during the first four years of his reign there were seven pretenders to the throne who had to be put down. [11] Following Ya'qub's death, civil war again erupted, the Aq Qoyunlus destroyed themselves from within, and they ceased to be a threat to their neighbors.

Historical Hasankeyf in Aq Qoyunlu territory. Hasankeyf.JPG
Historical Hasankeyf in Aq Qoyunlu territory.

The early Safavids, who were followers of the Safaviyya religious order, began to undermine the allegiance of the Aq Qoyunlu. The Safavids and the Aq Qoyunlu met in battle in the city of Nakhchivan in 1501 and the Safavid leader Ismail I forced the Aq Qoyunlu to withdraw. [12]

In his retreat from the Safavids, the Aq Qoyunlu leader Alwand destroyed an autonomous state of the Aq Qoyunlu in Mardin. The last Aq Qoyunlu leader, Murad, brother of Alwand, was also defeated by the same Safavid leader. Though Murād briefly established himself in Baghdad in 1501, he soon withdrew back to Diyar Bakr, signaling the end of the Aq Qoyunlu rule.

Governance

The leaders of Aq Qoyunlu were from the Begundur or Bayandur clan of the Oghuz Turks [13] and were considered descendants of the semi-mythical founding father of the Oghuz, Oghuz Khan. [14] The Bayandurs behaved like statesmen rather than warlords and gained the support of the merchant and feudal classes of Transcaucasia (present day Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia). [14]

With the conquest of Iran, not only did the Aq Qoyunlu center of power shift eastward, but Iranian influences were soon brought to bear on their method of government and their culture. [15] In the Iranian provinces Uzun Hassan maintained the preexisting administrative system along with its officials, whose families had in some cases served under different dynasties for several generations. [16] There were only four top civil posts, all held by Iranians, in Uzun Hassan's time: those of the vizier, who headed the great council (divan); the mostawfi al-mamalek, who was in charge of the financial administration; the mohrdar, who affixed the state seal; and the marakur "stable master", who looked after the royal court. [15]

In letters from the Ottoman Sultans, when addressing the kings of Aq Qoyunlu, such titles as Arabic : ملك الملوك الأيرانية "King of Iranian Kings", Arabic : سلطان السلاطين الإيرانية "Sultan of Iranian Sultans", Persian : شاهنشاه ایران خدیو عجمShāhanshāh-e Irān Khadiv-e Ajam "Shahanshah of Iran and Ruler of Persia", Jamshid shawkat va Fereydun rāyat va Dārā derāyat "Powerful like Jamshid, flag of Fereydun and wise like Darius" have been used. [17] Uzun Hassan also held the title Padishah-i Irān "Padishah of Iran", [18] which was re-adopted again in the Safavid times through his distaff grandson Ismail I, founder of the Safavid Empire.

Aq Qoyunlu Ahmed Bey

Aq Qoyunlu Castle in Diyâr-ı Bekir. Diyarbakirwalls2.jpg
Aq Qoyunlu Castle in Diyâr-ı Bekir.

Amidst the struggle for power between Uzun Hasan's grandsons Baysungur (son of Yaqub) and Rustam (son of Maqsud), their cousin Ahmed Bey appeared on the stage. Ahmed Bey was the son of Uzun Hasan's eldest son Uğurlu Muhammad, who, in 1475, escaped to the Ottoman Empire, where the sultan, Mehmed the Conqueror, received Uğurlu Muhammad with kindness and gave him his daughter in marriage, of whom Ahmed Bey was born. [19]

According to Hasan Rumlu's Ahsan al-tavarikh, in 1496-7, Hasan Ali Tarkhani went to the Ottoman Empire to tell Sultan Bayezid II that Azerbaijan and Persian Iraq were defenceless and suggested that Ahmed Bey, heir to that kingdom, should be sent there with Ottoman troops. Beyazid agreed to this idea, and by May 1497 Ahmad Bey faced Rustam near Araxes and defeated him. [19]

See also

Notes

  1. ... and dedicated it to the Aqqoyunlu Sultan Yaʿqub (r. 1478–90), who himself wrote poetry in Azeri Turkish. [1]

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Turkmen incursions into Georgia

After the devastating invasions by Timur and subsequent enfeeblement of the Kingdom of Georgia, it soon faced a new threat. Timur's death in 1405 marked the beginning of the end of his Empire, unified only by fear and blood of the subjected peoples. Turkomans, particularly the Kara Koyunlu clan, were among the first to rebel against Shah Rukh who ruled most of the Persia and Mawerannahr. Qara Yusuf, ruler of the Kara Koyunlu, defeated Shah Rukh, captured Baghdad, and repulsed Timurids from western Persia. After they established themselves as the new leading power in the middle east. They took advantage of the temporary weakness of Georgians and launched attacks against them, apparently in which, George VII of Georgia was killed. Constantine I of Georgia, fearing further encroachment, allied himself with the Shirvanshah Ibrahim I to counter Turkoman advance and engaged them in the Battle of Chalagan, in which he was defeated and taken captive. In captivity Constantine behaved very proudly, which infuriated Qara Yusuf to such an extent, that he ordered his, his half-brother David's and 300 Georgian nobles' execution.

Battle of Qarabagh

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Battle of Chapakchur

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Alam-Aray-i Amini is a book on the history of Aq Qoyunlu dynasty and the rise of Safavids. Dedicated to Abul Fath Mirza Baysonqor, the book is written by Fazl b. Ruzbihan Khunji in Persian language between 892 and 897 AH. The book is translated by Vladimir Minorsky into English. Minorsky highly praised the author for his neutrality. The book is one of the few primary sources on the history of Aq Qoyunlu dynasty and in particular, it contains valuable information about the reigns of Sultan Ya'qub, Sultan Khalil and Uzun Hasan.

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References

  1. 1 2 Javadi & Burrill 2012.
  2. 1 2 Michael M. Gunter, Historical dictionary of the Kurds (2010), p. 29
  3. Aq Qoyunlu, R. Quiring-Zoche, Encyclopædia Iranica, (December 15, 1986);"Christian sedentary inhabitants were not totally excluded from the economic, political, and social activities of the Āq Qoyunlū state and that Qara ʿOṯmān had at his command at least a rudimentary bureaucratic apparatus of the Iranian-Islamic type.."
    "With the conquest of Iran, not only did the Āq Qoyunlū center of power shift eastward, but Iranian influences were soon brought to bear on their method of government and their culture..""
  4. Kaushik Roy, Military Transition in Early Modern Asia, 1400-1750, (Bloomsbury, 2014), 38;"Post-Mongol Persia and Iraq were ruled by two tribal confederations: Akkoyunlu (White Sheep) (1378–1507) and Qaraoyunlu (Black Sheep). They were Persianate Turkoman Confederations of Anatolia (Asia Minor) and Azerbaijan."
  5. electricpulp.com. "AQ QOYUNLŪ – Encyclopaedia Iranica". www.iranicaonline.org. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  6. Sinclair, T.A. (1989). Eastern Turkey: An Architectural & Archaeological Survey, Volume I. Pindar Press. p. 111. ISBN   9780907132325.
  7. Minorsky, Vladimir (1955). "The Aq-qoyunlu and Land Reforms (Turkmenica, 11)". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 17 (3): 449. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00112376.
  8. Robert MacHenry. The New Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, 1993, ISBN   0-85229-571-5, p. 184.
  9. Eagles 2014, p. 46.
  10. Woods, John E. (1999) The Aqquyunlu: Clan, Confederation, Empire, University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, p. 128, ISBN   0-87480-565-1
  11. Woods, John E. (1999) The Aqquyunlu: Clan, Confederation, Empire, University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, p. 125, ISBN   0-87480-565-1
  12. Thomas & Chesworth 2015, p. 585.
  13. C.E. Bosworth and R. Bulliet, The New Islamic Dynasties: A Chronological and Genealogical Manual , Columbia University Press, 1996, ISBN   0-231-10714-5, p. 275.
  14. 1 2 Charles van der Leeuw. Azerbaijan: A Quest of Identity, a Short History, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN   0-312-21903-2, p. 81
  15. 1 2 Rosemarie Quiring-Zoche, "Aq Qoyunlu" Archived October 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine , Encyclopædia Iranica.
  16. Jean Aubin. "Etudes Safavides: Shah Ismail I et les notables de l'Iraq Persan", JESHO 2, 1959, pp. 37-81.
  17. Muʾayyid S̲ābitī, ʻAlī (1967). Asnad va Namahha-yi Tarikhi (Historical documents and letters from early Islamic period towards the end of Shah Ismaʻil Safavi's reign.). Iranian culture & literature. Kitābkhānah-ʾi Ṭahūrī., pp. 193, 274, 315, 330, 332, 422 and 430. See also: Abdul Hussein Navai, Asnaad o Mokatebaat Tarikhi Iran (Historical sources and letters of Iran), Tehran, Bongaah Tarjomeh and Nashr-e-Ketab, 2536, pages 578,657, 701-702 and 707
  18. H.R. Roemer, "The Safavid Period", in Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. VI, Cambridge University Press 1986, p. 339: "Further evidence of a desire to follow in the line of Turkmen rulers is Ismail's assumption of the title 'Padishah-i-Iran', previously held by Uzun Hasan."
  19. 1 2 Vladimir Minorsky. "The Aq-qoyunlu and Land Reforms (Turkmenica, 11)", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 17/3 (1955): 458.

Sources