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The Kara Koyunlu
Kara Koyunlu
or Qara Qoyunlu, also called the Black Sheep Turkomans (Persian: قره قویونلو‎), were a Muslim Oghuz Turkic tribal federation that ruled over the territory comprising present-day Azerbaijan, Armenia
Armenia
(1406), northwestern Iran, eastern Turkey, and northeastern Iraq
Iraq
from about 1375 to 1468.[2][3]

Contents

1 History 2 Religion 3 Jahān Shāh 4 Kara Koyunlu
Kara Koyunlu
rule

4.1 Armenia

5 Mausoleum of Turkmen emirs 6 Gallery 7 See also 8 Notes

8.1 Works cited

9 Further reading

History[edit] The Kara Koyunlu
Kara Koyunlu
Turkomans at one point established their capital in Herat
Herat
in eastern Iran.[4] They were vassals of the Jalairid Sultanate in Baghdad
Baghdad
and Tabriz
Tabriz
from about 1375, when the leader of their leading tribe ruled over Mosul. However, they rebelled against the Jalairids, and secured their independence from the dynasty with the conquest of Tabriz
Tabriz
by Qara Yusuf. In 1400, Timur
Timur
defeated the Kara Koyunlu, and Qara Yusuf fled to Egypt, seeking refuge with the Mamluk Sultanate. He gathered an army and by 1406 had taken back Tabriz. In 1410, the Kara Koyunlu
Kara Koyunlu
captured Baghdad. The installation of a subsidiary Kara Koyunlu
Kara Koyunlu
line there hastened the downfall of the Jalairids they had once served. Despite internal fighting among Qara Yusuf's descendants after his death in 1420, and the increasing threat of the Timurid dynasty, the Kara Koyunlu
Kara Koyunlu
maintained a strong grip over the areas they controlled. Religion[edit] According to R. Quiring-Zoche in the, Encyclopedia Iranica:

The argument that there was a clear-cut contrast between the Sunnism of the Āq Qoyunlū and the Shiʿism of the Qara Qoyunlū and the Ṣafawīya rests mainly on later Safavid sources and must be considered doubtful.[5]

C.E. Bosworth in, The New Islamic Dynasties, states:

As to the religious affiliations of the Qara Qoyunlu, although some of the later member of the family had Shi'i-type names and there were occasional Shi'i coin legends, there seems no strong evidence for definite Shi'i sympathies among many Turkmen elements of the time.[6]

Jahān Shāh[edit] Jahan Shah
Jahan Shah
made peace with the Timurid Shahrukh Mirza; however, this soon fell apart. When Shahrukh Mirza
Shahrukh Mirza
died in 1447, the Kara Koyunlu Turkomans annexed portions of Iraq
Iraq
and the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
as well as Timurid-controlled western Iran. Though much territory was gained during his rule, Jahān Shāh's reign was troubled by his rebellious sons and the almost autonomous rulers of Baghdad, whom he expelled in 1464. In 1466, Jahan Shah
Jahan Shah
attempted to take Diyarbakır
Diyarbakır
from the Aq Qoyunlu
Aq Qoyunlu
("White Sheep Turkomans"), however, this was a catastrophic failure resulting in Jahān Shāh's death and the collapse of the Kara Koyunlu
Kara Koyunlu
Turkomans' control in the Middle East. By 1468, at their height under Uzun Hasan
Uzun Hasan
(1452–1478), Aq Qoyunlu
Aq Qoyunlu
defeated the Qara Qoyunlu
Qara Qoyunlu
and conquered Iraq, Azerbaijan, and western Iran.[7] Kara Koyunlu
Kara Koyunlu
rule[edit] Armenia[edit] Armenia
Armenia
fell under the control of the Kara Koyunlu
Kara Koyunlu
in 1410. The principal Armenian sources available in this period come from the historian Tovma Metsopetsi and several colophons to contemporary manuscripts.[8] According to Tovma, although the Kara Koyunlu
Kara Koyunlu
levied heavy taxes against the Armenians, the early years of their rule were relatively peaceful and some reconstruction of towns took place. This peaceful period was, however, shattered with the rise of Qara Iskander, who reportedly made Armenia
Armenia
a "desert" and subjected it to "devastation and plunder, to slaughter, and captivity".[9] Iskander's wars with and eventual defeat by the Timurids invited further destruction in Armenia, as many Armenians
Armenians
were taken captive and sold into slavery and the land was subjected to outright pillaging, forcing many of them to leave the region.[10] Iskander did attempt to reconcile with the Armenians
Armenians
by appointing an Armenian from a noble family, Rustum, as one of his advisers. When the Timurids launched their final incursion into the region, they convinced Jihanshah, Iskander's brother, to turn on his brother. Jihanshah pursued a policy of persecution against the Armenians
Armenians
in Syunik and colophons to Armenian manuscripts record the sacking of the Tatev monastery
Tatev monastery
by his forces.[10] But he, too, sought a rapprochement with the Armenians, allotting land to feudal lords, rebuilding churches, and approving the relocation of the seat of the Armenian Apostolic Church's Catholicos to Etchmiadzin Cathedral
Etchmiadzin Cathedral
in 1441. For all this, Jihanshah continued to attack Armenian towns and take Armenian captives as the country saw further devastation in the final years of Jihanshah's failed struggles with the Aq Qoyunlu.[11] Mausoleum of Turkmen emirs[edit] One of the most prominent monuments built by the Kara Koyunlu
Kara Koyunlu
dynasty remains today in the vicinity of the Armenian capital, the Mausoleum of Kara Koyunlu
Kara Koyunlu
emirs. Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
and Armenia
Armenia
both contribute to the restoration and preservation of this medieval piece of architecture. Gallery[edit]

Erivan tower. 1838

Graveyard in Argavand, fragment in Arabic.

Graveyard in Argavand, fragment in Arabic.

See also[edit]

List of rulers of Kara Koyunlu Turkmen incursions into Georgia

Notes[edit]

^ a b Minorsky 1954, p. 283. ^ Hovanissian 2004, p. 4. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica. "Kara Koyunlu". Online Edition, 2007 ^ Patrick Clawson. Eternal Iran. Palgrave Macmillan. 2005 ISBN 1-4039-6276-6 p.23 ^ Quiring-Zoche 2009. ^ Bosworth 1996, p. 274. ^ Stearns, Peter N.; Leonard, William (2001). The Encyclopedia of World History. Houghton Muffin Books. p. 122. ISBN 0-395-65237-5.  ^ Kouymjian, Dickran (1997), " Armenia
Armenia
from the Fall of the Cilician Kingdom (1375) to the Forced Migration under Shah Abbas (1604)" in The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume II: Foreign Dominion to Statehood: The Fifteenth Century to the Twentieth Century, ed. Richard G. Hovannisian, New York: St. Martin's Press, p. 4. ISBN 1-4039-6422-X. ^ Kouymjian. "Armenia", p. 4. ^ a b Kouymjian. "Armenia", p. 5. ^ Kouymjian. "Armenia", pp. 6–7.

Works cited[edit]

Bosworth, Clifford E. (1996). The New Islamic Dynasties. Columbia University Press.  Kouymjian, Dickran (2004). " Armenia
Armenia
from the fall of the Cilician Kingdom (1375) to the forced emigration under Shah Abbas". In Hovannisian, Richard G. The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4039-6421-2.  Minorsky, V. (1954). "Jihān-Shāh Qara-Qoyunlu and His Poetry (Turkmenica, 9)". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. 16 (2): 271–97. doi:10.1017/s0041977x00105981.  Quiring-Zoche, R. (2009-10-29). AQ QOYUNLŪ. Encyclopedia Iranica. 

Further reading[edit]

Bosworth, Clifford. The New Islamic Dynasties, 1996. (in Armenian) Khachikyan, Levon. ԺԵ դարի հայերեն ձեռագրերի հիշատակարաններ, մաս 1 (Fifteenth Century Armenian Colophons, Part 1). Yerevan, 1955. Morby, John. The Oxford Dynasties of the World, 2002. Sanjian, Avedis K. Colophons of Armenian manuscripts, 1301-1480: A Source for Middle Eastern History, Selected, Translated, and Annotated by Avedis K. Sanjian. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1969.

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