Safavid Karabakh

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The Province of Karabakh (Persian: ولایت قره باغ‎, romanizedVelāyat-e Qarebāq) was a velayat (province) of the Safavid Empire of Iran, centered on the geographic region of Karabakh.

Province of Karabakh

Velāyat-e Qarabagh
• Established
• End of Safavid Empire
• Disestablished
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Ak Koyunlu
Karabakh Khanate
Today part of Armenia

These provinces were headed by the shah's governors-general, who were called beglarbegs, or at other times hakems. The main urban center of the Province of Karabakh was the city of Ganja.[1]

The first Safavid governor of Karabakh (hakem) was Piri Beg Qajar, and was appointed as such in 1501.[1] Shahverdi-Sultan, from the Ziyad-oglu clan of the Qajar tribe, was appointed by Shah Tahmasp I (r. 1524-1576) in 1554.[1] The nobility of the tribe was granted pastures and land plots in Karabakh.[2] The authority of the governors of Qarabagh covered a vast territory – from the Georgian border near “Sinig Korpu” Bridge (currently “Red Bridge”) to Khudafarin Bridges on the Aras River.[3]

The Province of Karabakh was one of the largest provinces in the Safavid Empire. Its borders were Kur River to the north, Borchali to the south, also in the northern-east Goycha lake and Bargushad included to the territory of Province of Karabakh.[4][5][clarification needed]

Safavid nobilityEdit


Persian officials Saru Taqi and Daud Khan Undiladze


  • Piri Beg Qajar. He was the first governor to be appointed.
  • Shahverdi Sultan. He served as governor of Karabakh and Ganja during the reign of king Tahmasp I (r. 1524–1576).
  • Yusof Khalife ibn Shahverdi Khan Ziyadoghlu. On the order of Shah Ismail II, Paykar Khan Igirmi Durt killed his cousin Yusof Khalife, beglarbeg of Karabakh, and Yūsof's mother and brothers, expecting appointment as beglarbeg. Ismail, however, gave the position to a member of the rival Qajar clan.[6]
  • Mohammad-Qoli Khan Qajar. He served as governor (beglarbeg) of Ganja and Karabakh in 1616–1627.
  • Daud Khan Undiladze. He served as governor (beglarbeg) of Ganja and Karabakh from 1627 to 1633.
  • Mohammad-Qoli Khan Qajar. He served again as governor (beglarbeg) of Ganja and Karabakh in 1633.
  • Abbas Qoli-Khan. He served as beglarbeg of Ganja under the shah Suleiman I of Persia before 1688.
  • Constantine II of Kakheti. In 1722, he was confirmed by the shah as King of Kakheti along with the governorship of Erivan, Ganja, and Karabakh.

District governorsEdit

  • Salim Khan Shams al-Dinlu. Until 1629, he served as the governor of the Shams al-Dinlu tribal district located in the Karabakh province.
  • Ismail (son of Salim Khan Shams al-Dinlu). After 1629, he served as the governor of the Shams al-Dinlu tribal district.

Grand of the governor of KarabakhEdit

  • Saru Taqi. He was appointed as the Grand of the governor of Karabakh in his youth.



  1. ^ a b c Floor 2008, p. 258.
  2. ^ A collection of articles on the history of Azerbaijan, edition 1, Baku, 1949, p. 250
  3. ^ Mirza Adigozal-bey, Qarabagh-nameh, Baku, 1950, p. 47
  4. ^ Efendiev O. A. Azerbaydjanskoe qosudarstva Sefevidov. . ,s. 93
  5. ^ Sümer F. Safevi devletinin kuruluşu ve gelişmesinde Anadolu türklerinin rolu. Ankara, 1976, s. 37
  6. ^ Maeda, Hirotake (2006). "The forced migrations and reorganisation of the regional order in the Caucasus by Safavid Iran: Preconditions and developments described by Fazli Khuzani". In Ieda, Osamu; Uyama, Tomohiko (eds.). Reconstruction and interaction of Slavic Eurasia and its neighbouring worlds (PDF). Slavic Eurasian Studies, No.10. Sapporo: Slavic Research Centre, Hokkaido University. pp. 243–246. ISBN 4938637391.


  • Floor, Willem M. (2008). Titles and Emoluments in Safavid Iran: A Third Manual of Safavid Administration, by Mirza Naqi Nasiri. Washington, DC: Mage Publishers. ISBN 978-1933823232.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)