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Old August 3rd, 2012, 04:13 AM   #1
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Safavids - A Shia Turkic Empire


As legend has it, the infant Ismail went into hiding for several years. With his followers, he finally returned to
Tabriz Tabriz
, vowing to make Shi'i Islam the official religion of Iran. Ismail found significant support among the people of Azerbaijan, as well as some parts of the
Ottoman_Empire Ottoman_Empire
, mainly in eastern
Anatolia Anatolia
. Ismail's advent to power was due to Turkoman tribes of Anatolia and Azerbaijan, who formed the most important part of the
Qizilbash Qizilbash
movement.[17] Centuries of
Sunni_Islam Sunni_Islam
rule followed by non-Muslim
Mongol Mongol
hegemony lent fertile ground for new teachings. In the summer of 1500, about 7000
Qizilbash Qizilbash
forces, consisted of Ustaclu, Shamlu, Rumlu, Tekelu, Zhulkadir,
Afshar_tribe Afshar_tribe
,
Kajars Kajars
and Varsak tribes, responded to the invitation of Ismail in
Erzincan Erzincan
.[18] Qizilbash forces passed over the
Kura_River Kura_River
in Novermber 1500, and marched towards the
Shirvanshah Shirvanshah
's state. They defeated the forces under the Shirvanshah
Farrukh_Yassar Farrukh_Yassar
near Cabanı (present-day
Shamakhi_Rayon Shamakhi_Rayon
,
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan
), and conquered
Baku Baku
.[19] In July 1501, Ismail was enthroned as Shah of Azerbaijan,[20] choosing
Tabriz Tabriz
, Azerbaijan, as his capital. When the Safavids came to power in 1501, Shah Ismail was 14 or 15 years old; by 1510 he had conquered the whole of Iran.[21] After defeating the
Aq_Qoyunlu Aq_Qoyunlu
in 1502, he took the title of
Shah_of_Iran Shah_of_Iran
.[6]


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First and original Safavid capital was Tabriz, Azerbaijan, but after battle of Chaldiran Ottomans sacked Tabriz, and lose of Chaldiran battle also meant lose of Eastern Anatolia, so Ottomans became a door away from Safavid capital and center. Thus, the capital had to be relocated to "inner" part of the Empire, first Qazvin, and lastly Isfahan, where most of Safavid greateness remains. Although from that point the Empire become more "Perisified", they still had retained Azerbaijani characteristics, however nowhere strong as in time of Shah Ismail.


But of course the most significant aspect with Safavids was the legacy of Shiism, however, if one thing they weren't, it was being "Persian", as they are for some reason called "Persian Empire", while neither were they Persians nor did they use such a term for their Empire.

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Old August 3rd, 2012, 04:19 AM   #2
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Safavid court, military langauge, aswell as language of religious ceremonies of Safaviya order was Azeri Turkish, while Persian was the language of the administration.

Shah Ismail himself was also a poet in Azerbaijani langauge, he wrote his Azeri poems under the pen-name of "Khatai", for that reason hes known as Shah Ismail Khatai among Azeri Turks, aswell Alavi Turks of Anatolia. Hes poems are also very popular among Anatolian Alavi Turks.
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 04:36 AM   #3
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Tombs of Safavi Sheikhs, including Shah Ismail, in Ardabil, Iranian Azerbaijan.

Shah Ismail's legacy words on his tomb are written in Azeri Turkish.

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Mausoleum of Sheikh Junayd in Hazra village of Qusar rayon, Azerbaijan, father of Sheikh Haydar and grandfather of Shah Ismail. He fell here in skirmish against Shirvanshahs, his son Sheikh Haydar also died later in battle against Shirvanshahs and Ak-Qoyunlu in Derbent, although remains of Sheikh Haydar was brought back to Ardabil. The reason why Shah Ismail made his first military campaign against Shirvanshahs was exactly to avenge his father and grandfather's deaths.

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Old August 3rd, 2012, 05:24 AM   #4

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Some good reading there, Qaraqoyunlu.
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 06:23 AM   #5

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Still amazing at how Shah Ismail started conquering Iran since age 12.


I feel lazy
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 06:40 AM   #6
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He was an amazing leader, but his mistake at battle of Chaldiran was unforgivable, if he listened to his commanders about raiding Ottoman camps, Safavid army would have defeated Ottomans. Qizilbash army sadly stood not much of chance against Ottomans armed with modern fire-arms, however amazingly Qizilbash soldiers almost made it to Sultan Selim Yavuz's tent, which could have changed everything. His decision to invade Anatolia after mass Shia-Alavi revolts in Anatolia, which was the reason for this battle was also a stupid one as Safavids was not really prepared against technologically advanced Ottomans.

Shah Ismail didn't only lose the battle, but everything about himself, before that he was almost regarded as a God among Qizilbash tribes. He ceased to involve himself into politics or military matters of Safavid Empire, become alcoholic and died at relatively young age of 36.

If Safavids didn't lose Chaldiran battle, the capital would still be at Tabriz and as the result Safavid Empire would retain its Turkic characteristics, which was far more than the Persian one during Shah Ismail's reign.

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Old August 3rd, 2012, 07:53 AM   #7

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Sadly Safavids are not remebered in good way in Turkish history because of shiism and wars with Ottomans.Even many Turks think they were Iranian dynasty.Actually Safavids were among the most powerfull Turkic dynasties in that era along with Ottomans and Timurids.
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 08:01 AM   #8
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They were Shahs of Iran, but it was only a geographical term, not idenity, something not many understands probably. "Iranian" idenity is a very new one, established by Reza Shah Pahlavi after 1925.

Shah Ismail also held the "Shah of Azerbaijan" title and his general title was "Shahanshah of Azerbaijan and Iran", but this title was not used by later Shahs.
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 08:26 AM   #9
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On the topic of Safavids, is there any info (books or otherwise articles on the net) on Shah Abbas ?
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 09:44 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohammed the Persian View Post
Still amazing at how Shah Ismail started conquering Iran since age 12.


I feel lazy
...

Safavids were brilliant architects
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