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Bedir Khan Beg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bedir Khan Beg
Miner Kilbourne Kellogg - Costume of Beder Khan Bey - 1991.56.173 - Smithsonian American Art Museum.jpg
SuccessorIzz ad-Din Shir Beg
FatherAbdullah Beg

Bedir Khan Beg (Kurmanji: Bedirxan Beg, Turkish: Bedirhan Bey; 1803–1869) was the last Kurdish[1][2] Mîr and mütesellim of the Emirate of Botan.[3]

Hereditary head of the house of Rozhaki whose seat was the ancient Bitlis castle and descended from Sharafkhan Bidlisi, Bedir Khan was born in Cizre (now in Turkey). He became the Mir of the Emirate of Botan in 1821 and ruled until 1847.[3] The Bedir Khans also claim they descend from Abd Al Aziz, the son of Khalid Ibn al Walid.[4]

Early life

He was born to Abdullah Bey, and became the ruler of Botan after his cousin Seyfeddin, (who succeeded Abdullah Bey after his death) wasn't able to calm down the region and his brother Said Bey was too religious and left the leadership to Bedir Khan.[5] During his first term as Mir, he soon established a regional control strong enough, that allowed him to deny his support to the Ottoman Sultan during the Russo-Turkish War between 1828 and 1829.[6] He managed to develop the war-torn districts under his control and within years, the population in the area in his control grew significantly.[7] His success was such, that European diplomats from the region reported to their governments about Bedir Khans ability to provide his followers with a good economic standard and security, comparing with other neighboring regions.[7] Bedir Khan was proud of the security he brought to the region, that under his leadership, banditry had disappeared and caravans were able to cross his territory in safety.[8] Bedir Khan Beg was repeatedly responsible for massacres of the Yazidis. In 1832, thousands of Yazidis were killed in the Shekhan area by Bedir Khan Beg in cooperation with the Kurdish Soran prince Muhammad Pasha of Rawanduz.[9] But he was not always on good terms with Muhammad Pahsa, in 1834, his army had to defend the Emirate from him.[6] In 1836, the Ottomans attacked and defeated him, and Bedir Khan renewed his vow of allegiance to the Sultan[6] He began to lose his power due to the centralist policies of the Ottoman Empire, which culminated in the Tanzimat Edict of 1839 and its application the following year. Following the Battle of Nizip in 1839, in which Bedir Khan took part for the Ottoman side,[10] he emerged as the dominant Kurdish ruler in central Kurdistan.[11] He raised taxes, minted his own coins and organized the justice system.[12] The security in Bohtan gave him such popularity among its habitants, that many families from neighboring districts settled in the Emirate of Bohtan.[8] This led to a dispute with the Vali of Mosul, who in 1842 wanted to integrate the district of Cizre into the province of Mosul, an aim, to which the population of Cizre did not agree to.[8] As it was known that he had planned the modernization of his troops by creating cross-tribal militias constituted by soldiers of several tribes and that the friday sermons were shouted in his name, the central Ottoman Government decided to end the emerging independence movement of Bedir Khan.[13]

Triple alliance

Following the Battle of Nizip, Bedir Khan allied himself with Han Mahmoud of Müküs and Nurallah Bey of Hakkari in 1840 to a triple alliance.[12] As the Ottomans decided to detach Cizre from Diyarbakir and have it joined to the Mosul Eyalet, Bedr Khan opposed the decision and would not submit to the authority of the Vali of Mosul.[14] In the meantime, Han Mahmoud of Müküs unsuccessfully attempted to conquer the area around Bitlis.[15] The triple alliance entered in conflict with the local Assyrian population, and perpetrated massacres amongst them in 1843 and 1846.[12] The conflict arose, as Nestorians in the area between Urmia, Mosul and Hakkari, decided to refuse their accorded tribute to the Emir of Hakkari in 1841.[16] After Nurullah Bey unsuccessfully attempted to subdue the Nestorians led by Shimun XVII Abraham, he called for the assistance by Bedir Khan Beg.[16] In 1843, Bedir Khan broke their resistance and Mar Shimun took refuge in Mosul.[17] And also in 1844 in the Tur Abdin mountains, Yazidis were again raided by Bedir Khan Beg.[18] Bedir Khan Beg's goal was to force the Yazidis to convert to Islam.[19]

Pressure from the European Powers to stop the massacres of Christians led to Ottoman forces invading his territories in 1846–7, with Omer Pasha's 12,000 strong Ottoman force, which was supported by Yezidi tribesmen seeking revenge,[20][21][22] defeating the Kurdish army in the field near Zeitun, Cizre.[23] At the beginning of the conflict he was able to beat the Ottomans, but as an important commander of his troops, defected to the Ottomans, he was forced to flee to Evruh castle, where he endured an eight months long siege.[24] Bedir Khan had to surrender to the Ottomans at Evreh Castle[25] in Eruh, Siirt on the 4 July 1847.[26] The same day also Han Mahmud was defeated in Tatvan.[25] From Evreh castle he and his family were put in chains and taken to Kumçati in the Şırnak province. After 40 days in detention,[25] Bedir Khan and his family were transferred to Constantinople.[27]

Exile in Crete

After Bedi Khans hopes, that he would be allowed to settle in Constantinople, were not fulfilled, he and his entourage were sent to Heraklion, Crete, which at the time was governed by the Ottoman Empire.[28] In 1853 he requested twice to be allowed to return to Istanbul, but his demands were turned down.[29] In 1855 he purchased a farm just outside of Heraklion, which he named “Kabıl Hora“.[30] As in 1856 a strong earthquake occurred in Crete, he faced financial calamities due to the destructions of his possessions. His salary which he still received from the Ottoman Empire, was of only 7000 Kuruş.[30] After Bedir Khan managed to solve the quarrels between the Christians and Muslims on the island, the situation became better.[31] In September 1857, Sultan Abdulmecid changed his approach towards Bedir Khan, doubling his salary, and granting 43 of his followers to return to Kurdistan. Nevertheless, Bedir Khan decided to stay in Crete.[30]

Return and death

In 1863, Sultan Abdul Aziz, the successor of Abdulmecid, allowed Bedir Khan and his family to settle in Istanbul, where they bought a mansion in the Fatih quarter.[32] Several of his descendants were admitted into the bureaucracy of the Ottoman Empire.[33] In June 1868, Bedir Khan decided to settle in present-day Syria. He traveled by ship to Beirut and from there he moved to Damascus.[32] Bedir Khan Beg died a year after he settled in Damascus.[34] His funeral was held at the cemetery of Rukneddin, Damascus.[32]


Bedir Khan Beg was married several times, according to his son Mehmed, he had sixteen wives.[35] Emin Ali Bedir Khan is one of his son's and Celadet Bedir Khan, Süreyya Bedir Khan and Kamuran Alî Bedirxan are his grandchildren. He was the father of twenty-one children.[36]

See also


  1. ^ Gunter, Michael (2014-11-15). Out of Nowhere: The Kurds of Syria in Peace and War. Hurst. ISBN 978-1-84904-532-2.
  2. ^ Klein, Janet (2011-05-31). The Margins of Empire: Kurdish Militias in the Ottoman Tribal Zone. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-7570-0.
  3. ^ a b Jongerden, Joost (2012). Jorngerden, Joost; Verheij, Jelle (eds.). Social Relations in Ottoman Diyarbekir, 1870-1915. Brill. p. 60. ISBN 9789004225183.
  4. ^ Jwaideh, Wadie (2006-06-19). Kurdish National Movement: Its Origins and Development. Syracuse University Press. p. 62. ISBN 9780815630937.
  5. ^ Gökçe, Hasan (1997). Kieser, Hans-Lukas (ed.). Kurdistan et l'Europe (in French). Chronos. pp. 77–78. ISBN 978-3-905312-32-4.
  6. ^ a b c Behrendt, Günter (1993). Nationalismus in Kurdistan: Vorgeschichte, Entstehungsbedingungen und erste Manifestationen bis 1925 (in German). Deutsches Orient-Institut. p. 166. ISBN 3-89173-029-2.
  7. ^ a b Gökçe, Hasan; Kieser, Hans-Lukas (ed.)(1997), pp.78–79
  8. ^ a b c Gökçe, Hasan; Kieser, Hans-Lukas (ed.)(1997), p.80
  9. ^ Acikyildiz, Birgul (2014-08-20). The Yezidis: The History of a Community, Culture and Religion. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 9781784532161.
  10. ^ Aydin, Suavi; Verheij, Jelle (2012). Jongerden, Joost; Verheij, Jelle (eds.). Social Relations in Ottoman Diyarbekir, 1870-1915. Brill. pp. 34–35. ISBN 9789004225183.
  11. ^ "History of the Kurds – The Kurdistan Memory Programme". Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  12. ^ a b c Aydin, Suavi; Verheij, Jelle (2012). Jongerden, Joost; Verheij, Jelle (eds.). Social Relations in Ottoman Diyarbekir, 1870-1915. Brill. p. 36. ISBN 9789004225183.
  13. ^ Ates, Sabri (2021), The End of Kurdish Autonomy: The Destruction of the Kurdish Emirates in the Ottoman Empire, Cambridge University, pp. 86–87, ISBN 978-1-108-47335-4, retrieved 2021-09-06
  14. ^ Ates, Sabri (2021), p.86
  15. ^ Ates, Sabri (2021), p.87
  16. ^ a b Gökçe, Hasan; Kieser, Hans-Lukas (ed.)(1997), p.87
  17. ^ Gökçe, Hasan; Kieser, Hans-Lukas (ed.)(1997), p.88
  18. ^ Tagay, Sefik; Ortac, Serhat. "Die Eziden und das Ezidentum – Geschichte und Gegenwart einer vom Untergang bedrohten Religion" (PDF) (in German). p. 50.
  19. ^ King, Diane E. (2013-12-31). Kurdistan on the Global Stage: Kinship, Land, and Community in Iraq. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 9780813563541.
  20. ^ Galip, Özlem Belçim (2015-04-24). Imagining Kurdistan: Identity, Culture and Society. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-0-85772-643-8.
  21. ^ VerfasserIn., McDowall, David. A modern history of the Kurds. ISBN 978-0-7556-0076-2. OCLC 1246622101.
  22. ^ admin (2017-12-07). "The bloody shadow of Bedirkhan Beg". ÊzîdîPress - English. Retrieved 2021-05-29.
  23. ^ Reid, James J. (2000). Crisis of the Ottoman Empire: Prelude to Collapse 1839-1878. Franz Steiner Verlag. ISBN 9783515076876.
  24. ^ Jwaideh, Wadie (2006), pp.73–74
  25. ^ a b c Kardam, Ahmet (June 2019). "Kamuran Ali Bedir Khan". Institut Kurde. Études Kurdes. Paris: Fondation-Institut Kurde de Paris: 31. ISSN 1626-7745.
  26. ^ Henning, Barbara (2018), p. 109
  27. ^ Henning, Barbara (2018). Narratives of the History of the Ottoman-Kurdish Bedirhani Family in Imperial and Post-Imperial Contexts: Continuities and Changes. University of Bamberg Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-3863095512.
  28. ^ Henning, Barbara (2018), pp.111–112
  29. ^ Henning, Barbara (2018), p.113
  30. ^ a b c Kardam, Ahmet (June 2019). "Kamuran Ali Bedir Khan". Institut Kurde. Études Kurdes. Paris: Fondation-Institut Kurde de Paris: 42–44. ISSN 1626-7745.
  31. ^ Özoğlu, Hasan (2004). Kurdish notables in the Ottoman Empire. State University of New York Press. p. 72.
  32. ^ a b c Kardam, Ahmet (June 2019). Kamuran Ali Bedir Khan, p.50
  33. ^ Henning, Barbara (2018), p.117
  34. ^ Henning, Barbara (2018), p.118
  35. ^ Dr. M. Malmîşanij (June 2019). Kamuran Ali Bedir Khan, p.54
  36. ^ Özoğlu, Hasan (2004), p.95

Further reading

  • Mehmet Alagöz, Old Habits Die Hard, A Reaction to the Application of Tanzimat Edict: Bedirhan Bey's Revolt, MA Thesis, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey, 2003
  • Martin van Bruinessen, Agha, shaikh, and state : the social and political structures of Kurdistan
  • Nazmi Sevgen, Doğu ve Güneydoğu Anadolu'da Türk beylikleri: Osmanlı belgeleri ile Kürt Türkleri tarihi
This page was last edited on 18 September 2021, at 20:30
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