13 Facts About Aq Qoyunlu


Aq Qoyunlu was a Persianate Sunni Turkoman tribal confederation founded in the Diyarbakir region by Qara Yuluk Uthman Beg that ruled parts of present-day eastern Turkey from 1378 to 1503, and in their last decades ruled Armenia, Azerbaijan, most of Iran, Iraq, and Oman where the ruler of Hormuz recognised Aq Qoyunlu suzerainty.

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Since the end of the 14th century, Aq Qoyunlu waged constant wars with another tribal confederation of the Oghuz tribes, the Qara Qoyunlu.

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Aq Qoyunlu made the tamga of the Bayandur tribe the symbol of his state.

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Aq Qoyunlu Sultans claimed descent from Bayindir Khan, which was a grandson of Oghuz Khan, the legendary ancestor of Oghuz Turks.

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Aq Qoyunlu married one of his daughters to his nephew Haydar, the new head of the Safavid sect in Ardabil.

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The Safavids and the Aq Qoyunlu met in battle in the city of Nakhchivan in 1501 and the Safavid leader Ismail I forced the Aq Qoyunlu to withdraw.

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Aq Qoyunlu made several unsuccessful attempts to return before he was killed in 1493.

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Leaders of Aq Qoyunlu were from the Begundur or Bayandur clan of the Oghuz Turks and were considered descendants of the semi-mythical founding father of the Oghuz, Oghuz Khagan.

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Uzun Hasan's conquest of most of mainland Iran shifted the seat of power to the east, where the Aq Qoyunlu adopted Iranian customs for administration and culture.

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The four top civil posts of the Aq Qoyunlu were all occupied by Iranians, which under Uzun Hasan included; the vizier, who led the great council; the mostawfi al-mamalek, high-ranking financial accountants; the mohrdar, who affixed the state seal; and the marakur "stable master", who supervised the royal court.

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Aq Qoyunlu realm was notable for being inhabited by many prominent figures, such as the poets Ali Qushji, Baba Fighani Shirazi (died 1519), Ahli Shirazi (died 1535), the poet, scholar and Sufi Jami (died 1492) and the philosopher and theologian, Jalal al-Din Davani (died 1503).

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Aq Qoyunlu administration encompassed of two sections; the military caste, which mostly consisted of Turkomans, but had Iranian tribesmen in it.

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The ethnic background of Aq-Aq Qoyunlu troops were quite heterogeneous as it consisted of 'sarvars' of Azerbaijan, people of Persia and Iraq, Iranzamin askers, dilavers of Kurdistan, Turkmen mekhtars and others.

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