Afshar Beylik was a Turkoman beylik (principality) in Eastern Anatolia in the early 16th century. (Afşar and Avşar are alternative names) It was founded by the Afshar tribe which was an Oghuz Turkic tribe with Shia Muslim faith. The Afshar Beylik was the last of the Anatolian beyliks to be incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1534 during the Ottoman campaign.

Emergence edit

In 1473 Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire defeated Uzun Hasan of the Turkoman Akkoyunlu Empire which was controlling the Eastern Anatolia (as well as territories in Iraq, Iran and Azerbaijan) This defeat was a severe blow to Akkoyunlu prestige and they lost their control on the north territories of the empire (which is roughly the north part of the Eastern Anatolia.) During the chaos, Sevindik Bey of the Afshar tribe emerged as the new sovereign of the area in 1480s.

The beylik edit

At the peak of its power the beylik controlled the area between Alagyaz (now in Armenia) in the east and Kop Dağı (a mountain to the west of Erzurum, Turkey) in the west. When the Akkoyunlu dynasty was replaced by the Safavids (who were themselves close relatives of the Akkoyunlu) Sevindik Bey formed a loose alliance with Ismail I of the Safavids. Ismail I wanted to unite all the Turkoman tribes under the Safavid banner and he held a speech in Erzincan in order to rally all the Turkomans into his military and this is what started the formation of the Kizilbash military confederation. Sevindik Bey formed an alliance with Ismail I although he did not join any of his military campaigns including his conquest of Tabriz. However, during the campaign of Ottoman sultan Selim I against the Safavids in 1514, he was careful not to provoke the Ottomans. In return, the Ottomans didn't annex any part of Afshar territory. Nevertheless, Sevindik, being a Shia Muslim, renewed his Safavid alliance after the death of Selim I and he supported the Safavids during their campaigns against the Sunni Ottoman Empire.[1]

End of the beylik edit

The Ottomans decided to conquer and end the beylik. In 1534, during the 6th campaign of Suleiman the Magnificent against the Safavids, his close general and the Grand Vizier Ibrahim Pasha annexed the Afshar territory to the Ottoman realm. In Erzurum a beylerbeylik (province) was established and a member of Dulkadir house was appointed as the beylerbey.

References edit

  1. ^ "Afshar page" (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2012-04-05.