The Qajars (Azerbaijani: Qacarlar, Persian: ایل قاجار), also spelled Kadjars, Kajars, Kadzhars, Cadzhars, Cadjars, Ghajars and so on) are an Oghuz Turkic clan of Bayat tribe who lived variously, with other tribes, in the area that is now Armenia, Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran.
With the end of the Safavid era, they had split into several fractions. These included the Ziyādoghlu (Ziādlu), associated with the area of Ganja and Yerevan, as well as the Qoyunlu (Qāvānlu), and Davālu (Devehlu) the latter two associated with the northern areas of contemporary Iran.
The Qajars were one of the original Turkoman Qizilbash tribes that emerged and spread in Asia Minor around tenth and eleventh centuries. They later supplied power to the Safavids since this dynasty's earliest days. Numerous members of the Qajar tribe held prominent ranks in the Safavid state. In 1794, a Qajar chieftain, Agha Mohammed, member of the Qoyunlu branch of the Qajars, founded the Qajar dynasty which replaced the Zand dynasty in Iran. He launched his campaign from his power base south of the Caspian Sea, capturing its capital Isfahan in 1785. A year later, Tehran accepted Mohammed's authority.
A branch, attested only as ‘Kadzhar’ (i.e. ‘Qajar’ via Cyrillic transcription), lived in Russian Armenia in the 19th century and likely earlier. In 1873 they numbered 5,000.
- Atkin 1980, p. 9.
- Fukasawa, Katsumi; Kaplan, Benjamin J.; Beaurepaire, Pierre-Yves (2017). Religious Interactions in Europe and the Mediterranean World: Coexistence and Dialogue from the 12th to the 20th Centuries. Oxon: Taylor & Francis. p. 280. ISBN 9781138743205.
- Black, Jeremy (2012). War in the Eighteenth-Century World. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-230-37002-9.
- Olson, James Stuart; Pappas, Lee Brigance and Pappas, Nicholas Charles. (1994) An Ethnohistorical dictionary of the Russian and Soviet empires page 333
- Akiner, Shiran (1983) Islamic Peoples of the Soviet Union Kegan Paul International, London, ISBN 0-7103-0025-5
- Atkin, Muriel (1980). Russia and Iran, 1780–1828. U of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0-8166-5697-4.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Wixman, Ronald (1984) The Peoples of the USSR: An Ethnographic Handbook
- International Qajar Studies Association. Origins of the Qajars (Kadjars)
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