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Afshar (tribe)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tamgha of Afshar according Mahmud al-Kashgari, which represents Bonelli's eagle according Abu al-Ghazi Bahadur
Regions with significant populations
Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan
Afshar, Azerbaijani, Persian and Turkish
Related ethnic groups
Oghuz Turks

The Afshar, also spelled Awshar (Turkish: Afşar or Avşar, Middle Turkic: اَفْشارْ), is one of the Oghuz tribes.[1] These originally nomadic Oghuz tribes moved from Central Asia and initially settled in what is now Iranian Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan Republic, Eastern Turkey. Later some of them were relocated by the Safavids to Khurasan, Kerman and Mazandaran.[2] Today, they are variously grouped as a branch of the Azerbaijanis[3][4] and Turkmens[5][6] or Turkomans.[7] Afshars in Iran remain a largely nomadic group,[8] with tribes in central Anatolia, northern Iran, and Azerbaijan.[9] They were the source of the Afsharid, Karamanid dynasties,[10] Baku Khanate, Zanjan Khanate and Urmia Khanate.

According to Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, Afshar, the eponymous founder of the tribe, was a son of Yildiz Khan, the third son of Oghuz Khan. Afshar means "obedient".[11]

Nader Shah, who became the monarch of Iran in 1736, was from the Qereklu tribe (Persian: قرخلو‎) of Afshars.[12][13]

Afshar tribes

List of Afshar tribes are: Alplū, Arašlū, Bekešlū, Gündüzlü, Imirlü, Köse Aḥmedlū, Köselü, Pāpāglū, Qāsemlū, Qereḵlū, Karalu, Karamanlu, Salmanlu, Sindelli, Tur Ali Hacılu, Receplü, Balabanlu, Karabudaklı and Qirqlū.[14]

Afshars in Turkey

Afshars in Turkey mostly live in Sarız, Tomarza and Pınarbaşı districts of Kayseri province, as well as in several villages in Adana, Kahramanmaraş and Gaziantep provinces.[15] Most of Afshars in Turkey are descendants of those who migrated from Iran after the fall of Nader Shah. This is hinted in one of poems by Dadaloğlu, famous Afshar bard during the resistance against forced settlement policy in Ottoman Empire:

"Kabaktepe asıl köyüm,
Nadir Şah'tan gelir soyum."

(Kabaktepe is my home village,
Down from Nader Shah comes my lineage.)

Avşar elleri
"Kalktı göç eyledi, Avşar elleri,
Ağır ağır giden eller, bizimdir.
Arap atlar yakın eder, ırağı,
Yüce dağdan aşan yollar, bizimdir."

(Afshar folks stood up and moved,
This slowly going folk is ours,
Arab horses made :the distances shorter,
Roads passing the grand mountain are ours.)

"Belimizde kılıcımız kirmâni,
Taşı deler mızrağımın temreni,
Hakkımızda devlet etmiş fermanı,
Ferman padişahın, dağlar bizimdir."

(Swords in our scabbards are kirmâni,
Head of our spears can pierce the stones,
The state has given firman about us,
If decree belongs to the Sultan, the mountains belong to us.)

While Afshars had remained nomadic and retained their Oghuz lifestyle, forced settlements caused them to adopt a settled lifestyle. A resistance against Ottomans under spiritual leadership of the bard Dadaloğlu and local Afshar lord Kozanoğlu was proven futile.[16][17]

List of dynasties with Afshar origin

Notable people from the Afshar tribe

See also


  1. ^ Oberling, P. "AFŠĀR". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 9 July 2009. AFŠĀR, one of the twenty-four original Ḡuz Turkic tribes
  2. ^ Iran's Diverse Peoples: A Reference Sourcebook, ed. Massoume Price, (ABC-CLIO, 2005), pp. 75, 89.
  3. ^ Richard V. Weekes. Muslim peoples: a world ethnographic survey. AZERI. — Greenwood Press, 1978 — p. 56 — ISBN 9780837198804
  4. ^ "Азербайджанцы / Большая советская энциклопедия". Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  5. ^ From multilingual empire to contested modern state, Touraj Atabaki, Iran in the 21st Century: Politics, Economics & Conflict, ed. Homa Katouzian, Hossein Shahidi, (Routledge, 2008), 41.
  6. ^ James J. Reid, Crisis of the Ottoman Empire: Prelude to Collapse 1839-1878, (Franz Steiner Verlag, 2000), 209.
  7. ^ The Afghan Interlude and the Zand and Afshar Dynasties (1722-95), Kamran Scot Aghaie, The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History, ed. Touraj Daryaee, (Oxford University Press, 2012), 308.
  8. ^ Encyclopedia of The Modern Middle East and North Africa, (Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2004) P. 1112
  9. ^
  10. ^ Claude Cahen, Pre-Ottoman Turkey: a general survey of the material and spiritual culture and history c. 1071-1330, trans. J. Jones-Williams (New York: Taplinger, 1968), 281-2.
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ Tribal resurgence and the Decline of the bureaucracy in the eighteenth century, A.K.S. Lambton, Studies in Eighteenth Century Islamic History, ed. Thomas Naff; Roger Owen, (Southern Illinois University Press, 1977), 108-109.  – via Questia (subscription required)
  13. ^ The Struggle for Persia, 1709-1785, Cambridge Illustrated Atlas, Warfare: Renaissance to Revolution, 1492-1792, ed. Jeremy Black, (Cambridge University Press, 1996), 142.
  14. ^ [Theodor Houtsma, “Ghuzenstämme,” WZKM 2, 1888, p. 225.]
  15. ^ Özdemir, Ahmet Z., Avşarlar ve Dadaloğlu, ISBN 9789756083406
  16. ^ Özdemir, Ahmet Z., Avşarlar ve Dadaloğlu, ISBN 9789756083406
  17. ^ [2]


  • AFŠĀR, P.Oberling, Encyclopædia Iranica, (9 July 2009);"AFŠĀR, one of the twenty-four original Ḡuz Turkic tribes".[3]
This page was last edited on 3 December 2019, at 12:16
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