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Sahkulu Rebellion

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Erdem Cıpa (PhD Student in Harvard University) (21.12.2001)


From the reign of Bayezid II onwards the persecution of Anatolian kızıl-bash,(1) varying in degree and intensity, seems to run like a red thread through the history of the Ottoman Empire until well into the seventeenth century. Helped by the efforts of public propaganda by the Porte emphasizing the threat to Islam embodied in the very existence as well as in the undertakings of Safawid shahs and legitimized by fatwas of Sunni Ottoman religious authorities, the persecution of the kızıl-bash often appears to have amounted to well-planned massacres in which thousands were executed. Imperial fermans to provincial administrators ordering the execution of everybody with the “stain” of having kızıl-bash tendencies and of actually being kızıl-bash were common phenomena by the time of Süleyman the Magnificent.(2)

Perhaps the biggest one of those mass executions, however, seems to have happened under Selim I before the campaign that culminated in the Battle of Çaldıran in 1514. In numerous historical accounts dealing with that period of Ottoman history the execution is seen and narrated as part of the “preparations” for the campaign against Shah Isma‘il. According to Ottoman chroniclers, Selim I’s order to his clerks to record the names of all kızıl-bash sympathizers “between seven and seventy years of age” into defters was followed by the execution of the kızıl-bash by sword.(3) Despite the lack of unanimity between chroniclers as to how many kızıl-bash were actually executed, there seems to be no doubt that the number of the persecuted ones was around forty thousand.(4)

Why was the imprisonment and/or execution of so many kızıl-bash in Anatolia ordered? The answer, according to Ottoman chroniclers, is that Selim I wanted to avoid any possibility of resistance and revolt on his way to, and while engaged in, the war with Shah Isma‘il. He did not want to be stabbed in the back. When one considers the fact that almost the whole period of his princehood was colored by social turbulence related partly to the influence of the Safawids in Anatolia, is not surprising to see him obsessed with putting an end to the “kızıl-bash problem”. Selim I, in short, knew the extent of the Safawid influence in Anatolia, and the Şahkulu Rebellion in 1511 was a strong reference point concerning the extent of the danger the kızıl-bash sympathizers of Shah Isma‘il constituted for the Ottoman social order.

That strong reference point constitutes the focus of this essay. The analysis of and the arguments concerning the Şahkulu Rebellion will be based on both primary and secondary sources. Based primarily though not exclusively on secondary sources, the first section will deal with the historical context of the rebellion and focus on a) the domestic political situation; b) those aspects of Ottoman economy and society that may have given rise to socioeconomic and sociopolitical tension between the Ottoman state and the nomadic population; c) the basis, form and extent of Safawid influence; d) some aspects of the first persecution of the kızıl-bash under Bayezid II. Comparing and contrasting the accounts of Ottoman chroniclers, fermans, fatwas, reports from provincial administrators to the Sublime Porte, the second section will try to provide a relatively continuous narrative of the flow of events between the outbreak of the revolt in Kızılkaya (April 9, 1511) and the final clash between the Ottoman forces and Şahkulu’s followers near Sivas (July 2, 1511).

Historical context of the rebellion

a) Domestic political situation

When one considers the timing of Şahkulu’s revolt, one cannot but notice that the rebels took advantage of the relative political vacuum brought about by the quarrel over the succession to the throne between Bayezid II’s sons. The time interval between March 1511, when Prince Korkud left his city of Antalya for Manisa and April 1512, when Selim I ascended to the throne, can be considered the peak of this period of internal political struggle. Ottoman chronicles mention the struggle between princes and the idleness of provincial administrators as partly responsible for providing the opportunity for Şahkulu’s rebellion. The lack of concerted action on the part of governors, the relative inefficiency of communication and/or organization in cases of emergency, and the incapacity of governors and commanders, moreover, was seen as a factor that made it possible for the rebels to increase their strength and to continue pillaging and plundering the cities as well as the countryside on their way.

Before moving on to the discussion of the significance of the political relations and/or tensions in building up the conditions leading to Şahkulu’s revolt one should note that the relationship between the rebellion and the princes’ struggle over the throne proved to be a reciprocal one. The rebellion might well have been, at least partly, the result of the chaos that existed during the internal political struggles between Ahmed, Korkud and Selim; it was, however, also one of the factors that turned the conditions in Selim I’s favor and paved the way for his accession to the Ottoman throne.(5)

b) Tension between the Ottoman state and the Turcomans

As significant the domestic political struggles between Ottoman princes may be for the timing of Şahkulu’s rebellion, issues related to development of the Ottoman state as a centralist/centralizing political entity seem to have constituted the more important set of domestic factors that led to the brewing of rebellion. Pointing at the fact that “the all-absorbing tasks to be accomplished on the European territory delayed the spread of the Ottoman power in Anatolia, where the Turkman principalities tolerated by the loose organization of the old Seljuk state or born of its disruption under the impact of the Mongol invasion … still continued their traditional and tribal existence”, Vladimir Minorsky seems to be right in arguing that “the expansion of the Ottomans in their old homeland did not at all resemble a reunion of brotherly elements”.(6) Despite the close relationship between the political-social-ideological and religious dimensions of the tension between the Ottomans state and the insurgents under Şahkulu, Minorsky’s argument that “religious dissidence” was the cloak in which “the opposition was inclined to drape itself” is a little too simplistic to accept.(7) Keeping in mind the necessity of regarding political, socioeconomic, ideological and religious dimensions of the tension as interrelated ones, it is time to briefly focus on what Ottoman government and centralization meant for Turcoman tribes settled in Asia Minor.

Given the scope and the limits of this essay, I will try to give the gist of the arguments put forward by Rudi Paul Lindner and Irene Beldiceanu-Steinherr in order to provide a basic understanding of the relationship between the Ottoman state and the nomadic population under its rule. Lindner’s fundamental argument is that “the purpose, as well as the effect, of [Ottoman] regulations was to settle nomads, either to sedentarize them or to circumscribe their migrations within a predictable, ‘settled’ routine”.(8) Regarding the “movement” and the “independence” of Turcoman nomads as a “political potential and military threat”,(9) the Ottomans, according to Lindner, put pressure on nomadic economy and society in a number of different ways. By imposing fines on nomads for changing their (route to) summer and/or winter pastures Ottoman government tried to force them “to use specific routes whose convenience lay in the government’s improved ability to locate the nomads”.(10) Secondly, by imposing a sheep tax which “was an annual, regular impost, which did not take into account the nomads’ ability to pay”,(11) and by shifting the date of the assessment of the tax from late summer/early autumn to April in order to count the sheep when the herd was at its greatest size,(12) the Ottoman government tried to ensure maximum tax revenue while disregarding the very issue of the minimum size necessary for a herd to reproduce itself.(13) In addition to these regulations that might have had a direct bearing on nomadic economy, there was a third administrative practice that aimed to change the structure of the tribe, namely “the census registration of units below the tribal level”, a practice that would undermine the authority and usefulness of the tribal chiefs.(14)

In her case-study of the Atçeken tribe, Irene Beldiceanu-Steinherr argues that Ottoman regulations did not necessarily aim the sedentarization of the nomadic population by intentionally ruining the base of the nomadic economy by imposition of certain taxes and fines at certain times. By pointing at the increase in the size of the herds owned by the aforementioned tribe, moreover, she indicates that the Ottoman regulations were not necessarily devastating.(15) She also emphasizes the positive effects of the role the Ottoman state played (not only as guarantor of tribal property and rights but also as arbiter in disputes) and of the tax exemptions enjoyed by a number of tribes.(16) Her argument concerning the absence of direct intervention of the tribal structure in general, however, is followed by an example to the opposite effect, namely that of Mehmed II who, by transforming the tribal chiefs settled in the lands of Karaman principality into tımarlıs, disregarded the tribal structure and “laid the first stone which would form the foundation of the Anatolian revolts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries”.(17)

In my opinion, it is necessary to consider Lindner’s and Beldiceanu-Steinherr’s arguments as complementary rather than contradicting ones. Allowing for different impositions on different tribes in different regions, one gets the impression that the nature and timing of the regulations imposed by the Ottoman government on nomadic economy and society may have played a significant role as what one may call a push factor that resulted in loosening the ties between the Ottoman state and at least part of its tribal-nomadic subjects. Considering the very fact that the Safawids accepted and, at least in the time period this essay focuses on, did not intend to touch the tribal structure of Turcoman tribes under their rule, direct and/or indirect intervention by the Ottoman state into tribal social structure -either by the registration (tahrir) of units below the tribal level or by transforming hereditary tribal chiefs into tımarlıs- may be regarded as another, perhaps a more significant, push factor of sociopolitical nature.(18)

c) The Safawid influence in Asia Minor

Having dealt with the push factors, it is time to move on to the pull factors that brought the Turcomans and the Safawids closer. One of the primary factors that led to Şahkulu’s revolt seems to be related to the longstanding rivalry between Ottomans and Safawids over the dominance of Asia Minor and the incorporation of the Turcoman tribes that were settled in the territories separating their states.(19) Needless to say, the connection between Safawid shaykhs in Iran and Ottoman subjects in Anatolia was not a phenomenon chronologically limited to the beginning of the sixteenth century.

According to Walther Hinz, significant relations between Safawids and Ottomans as well as Ottoman subjects date as far back as the beginning of the fifteenth century when the Safawid leader Alaü’d-din Ali convinced Tamerlane to give their freedom to Ottoman soldiers he had captured in the Battle of Ankara in 1402, an event which marked the beginning of the influence of Safawid shaykhs in Anatolia.(20) The connection between the Safawid shaykhs and Ottoman subjects in Asia Minor became stronger when Shaykh Junaid managed to establish a large clientele among the Turcoman tribes.

At this point a parenthetical note on the organization and propaganda activities of the Safawid order is necessary. According to R. M. Savory, from the middle of the 15th century onwards the extensive organization through which the Safawid leadership was kept in close touch with its kızıl-bash murids in eastern Anatolia “was controlled through the office of khalifat al-khulafa‘i, who was necessarily a kızıl-bash and usually a Turcoman [who] appointed representatives termed khalifa in the region in which the Safawid da‘wa was active, and the khalifas in their turn had subordinates termed pira”.(21) After the establishment of the Safawid state, the implicit obedience owed by the kızıl-bash, as the murids of the Safawid shaykhs, to their leader, the murshid-i kamil (supreme spiritual director), acquired a significant political meaning in addition to the religious one. After 1501 Safawid shahs were no longer only their followers’ murshid-i kamil but also their king (padishah).

Especially from Shah Isma‘il’s reign onwards seems to have made the best of the hierarchical organizational infrastructure of their religious order for their political purposes. No doubt, being well aware of the anti-Ottoman sentiments primarily due to the deteriorating economic conditions as well as to the increase in the degree of corruption in the provincial administration,(22) and of the significant degree of religious heterodoxy,(23) he seems to have tried and managed to appear as an hegemony alternative to the Ottoman one by intensifying missionary activity of the khalifas who brought to Asia Minor his “message”. What did this “message” entail; in what form(s) did it reach the kızıl-bash living in Ottoman lands?

A section from Habib-us-Siyar of Khwandamir, namely the account of what Dede Mohammad, “a darwish of pure life, and a disciple of Hasan Khalifa Tikeli”, saw on his journey to Tabriz is worth focusing on because, it not only gives us information about the nature and extent of the connection between the Safawids in Iran and the kızıl-bash in western Anatolia, but also because of its significance as evidence of what Şahkulu and his followers may have “dreamt” about.(24) First, there is the image of Isma‘il, as the long-awaited and long-expected mahdi, one of the most important aspects of the religious beliefs of the kızıl-bash. Then, there are the “plains covered with verdure and roses and tulips” as far as the eye could reach, the “palace, whose cupola out-rivalled the sun and moon”, and “golden thrones” arranged side by side, clearly allusions to nomadic life and prosperity promised by Safawid rule.(25) And finally, and perhaps most importantly for the purposes of this essay, there are the images of Lord of the Age’s (26) approval of the “scarlet cap”,(27) the replacement of the “Kurdish belt-dagger” worn by Isma‘il with the mahdi’s own sword,(28) and the handing of Isma‘il’s dagger to Dede Mohammad,(29) which can be interpreted as “a call to arms”.(30)

The message, of course, was not always as indirect and implicit as in the case of the account of Dede Mohammad. The khalifas were known to spread kızıl-bash beliefs by oral (31) as well as by written means.(32) The most important form the message assumed, however, seems to be the poems Shah Isma‘il wrote under the pen-name Khata’i.(33) Isma‘il’s decision to write his poems almost exclusively in Turkish was probably the result of the necessity to be intelligible to the audience he had in mind, namely his followers, the kızıl-bash Turcomans.(34) As such, his choice can be considered as a political one. So is the tone of some of his poems that call their audience to arms and promise victory.(35) As the most prominent figure in the what one may call the chain of command in Asia Minor and in the Balkans, it is not surprising to see Şahkulu to be the first one to answer that call when the opportunity arose.(36)

d) The persecution begins

The danger the kızıl-bash implied became all the more manifest immediately after Isma‘il’s rise to power as the Safawid Shah. Whether Bayezid II was aware of the fact that Hasan Halife, Şahkulu’s father, had “once waited on Sultan Junaid, and twice on Haidar”,(37) the Safawid leader and Shah Isma‘il’s father, and was sent back to his homeland of Teke as an emissary with the duty of spreading Safawid Shi‘ism, we do not know. According to Selahattin Tansel, Bayezid II “probably did not know that Hasan Halife and his son Şahkulu had connections” with the Safawids.(38) He seems to base his argument on the evidence that Bayezid II granted Hasan Halife an annual pension of six to seven thousand akçes as alms (sadaka) in return of the latter’s prayers.(39) Considering the fact that the sympathy of the population in Teke region for the Safawids had been no secret to the Porte, this annual pension may also have been an effort on the part of Bayezid II to gain the support of Hasan Halife and his followers or at least to give the impression of the continuation of the “traditional friendly relations between his dynasty and the Ardabil order”.(40) Whichever may have been the case the very incident of the first kızıl-bash persecution should be regarded as explicit proof of the way Bayezid II began to regard the Tekelü Turcomans, namely as real rather than potential enemies.

Bayezid II’s probably did not need a qalandar’s attempt at his life in 1492 to begin to have suspicions about the activities of dervishes.(41) The political aspirations of the Safawid kızıl-bash were known to the Porte as early as Murad II’s reign when Shaykh Junaid (42) found fertile ground during his stay in Syria to engage in propaganda among Turcomans in central and southeastern Anatolia,(43) “especially in Antakya, Kilis, Antep, Maraş and the Amik plane” and instigated small-scale revolts. (44) It is not surprising, therefore, that “when Isma‘il appeared in Arzinjan, the Ottoman government feared an attack on the province of Rum” the Ottomans “made extensive military preparations which were not abandoned until Isma‘il had turned his attentions to the regions further to the east”. (45) The measure the Ottoman government decided to apply vis a vis the possibility of a military attack on the province of Rum and the reality of a continuous flow of Anatolian Turcoman tribes (46) into Shah Isma‘il’s armies to serve as mercenaries turned out to be the first persecution of the kızıl-bash in Asia Minor in 1502. (47)

The tension between the Ottoman state and part of its nomadic Turcoman population must have been aggravated by the Porte’s order to provincial amirs on the eastern frontier to prevent the kızıl-bash from crossing the Persian border in order to prevent not only the massive emigration of able-bodied subjects that was helping the reinforcement of a political rival but also of wealth in the form of nezr, a form of tax the Anatolian kızıl-bash were sending to the Safawids. In fact, by closing the borders, the Ottoman government was not only limiting the geographical but also the socioeconomic mobility they might well have expected to achieve through joining the ranks of the Safawids.(48) Ibn Kemal’s remarks concerning the reason behind the tendency of the members of the Turcoman tribe of Teke to “go to the shah” may serve to explain why this very measure caused significant discontent among the Tekelü: “Yerlerinde ra’iyet idiler, onda vardılar devlete irdiler”. (49)

Rebellion: the flow of events

Having provided a brief summary of those aspects of the Ottoman-Safawid relationship that may be considered as the source of the discontent of the Turcomans in Anatolia, it is now time to move on to the revolt itself. Şahkulu, also known as Baba Tekelü, Şeytankulu and Karabıyıkoğlu, was the son of a certain kızıl-bash called Hasan Halife from Kızılkaya in Teke. (50) Together with his father Şahkulu is said to have been living and/or engaging in worship in a cave near Kızılkaya.(51)

The issue of the timing of Şahkulu’s revolt and the significance of domestic political disorder in providing the opportunity for a rebellion has been briefly pointed out above. At a point when the quarrels between princes had already caused agitation among the population of Teke, (52) the spark for the revolt seems to have come with Prince Korkud’s decision to secretly leave the city of Antalya for Manisa in March 1511 in order to be closer to the capital, an action as a result of which rumors about the death of the sultan became widespread among the population in Teke. (53) Our sources are not unanimous as to the number of followers Şahkulu was able to gather at the very beginning of his rebellion and the figures mentioned by chroniclers range from two-thousand and twenty-thousand (54) composed of “scoundrels” (eşirra), “Turks/Turcomans” (etrak), “robbers” (harami/hırsuz), “rabble” (evbaş) and “kızıl-bash” from “towns and villages, mountains and plains and nomadic encampments (oba)” (55) from around Teke. (56)

Whatever the size of the rebel group under the leadership of Şahkulu, there is no doubt that, after having organized themselves and having required provisions and ammunition, (57) they constituted a formidable force strong enough not only to spread terror in the cities and on the countryside (58) but also to defeat the forces of Prince Korkud immediately after the outbreak of the revolt.(59) Following that victory they also defeated the forces of Hasan Bey, the subaşı of Antalya, in Kapılıkaya, forcing the subaşı to retreat to Antalya and making the city their first important urban target.

Şahkulu’s forces, the size of which was by then increased by part of Hasan Bey’s soldiers who went over to the rebels’ side when their bey was defeated, (60) attacked Antalya, pillaged and plundered the city’s market and killed its kadı.(61) It seems that it was after this first important victory when Şahkulu began to consider himself strong enough to publicly declare his claim to be the “khalifa of Shah Isma‘il bin Haidar who rose from obscurity and made himself powerful”(62) or the mahdi. (63)

Before moving on to the development of the events after the attack on Antalya, it is necessary to point out the significant aspects of the devastation the rebel forces of Şahkulu is said to have caused. The killing of soldiers and commanders of Ottoman forces as well as that of the kadı of Antalya has already been mentioned. So has been the killings, pillage and plunder in towns and villages. What has not been mentioned, however, is the fact that Şahkulu’s forces are also accused of burning not only the places of worship (mescid) and convents (zaviye) in towns and villages on their way but also the books they found, including the Quran.(64) There is no doubt that by emphasizing the issue of desecration of holy places and books Ottoman chroniclers tried to present Şahkulu and his followers as enemies of Islam, especially when one considers the fact that references to desecration and blasphemy were part of the set of accusations used by the Ottomans for legitimizing Selim I’s campaign against Shah Ismail and the aforementioned “preparations” he made for that expedition.(65)

Coming back to the flow of events, one should single out Şehzade Osman’s report to the Porte for the information it provides about the route followed by rebel forces.(66) Following the chronicles exclusively, one would think that the rebels moved from Antalya directly to Kütahya, the capital city of the Province of Anatolia. That would partly imply that the rebels were ready for their march to Kütahya immediately after their large-scale attack on Antalya. In my opinion, however, a careful reading of Prince Osman’s report gives the impression that it was not the case. The almost circular route of Antalya-Elmalı-Gölhisar-Burdur-Isparta-Eğirdir taken by the rebels seems like a detour at first sight. When one looks at the actions of the rebels en route, however, it becomes obvious that by making that “detour” Şahkulu was actually collecting money, provisions, horses and ammunition and was trying to increase the size of his following before the full-blown attack on Kütahya. (67)

A question, however, remains: How was it possible for Şahkulu to continue his revolt successfully despite the relatively long time he and his followers spent in a limited area? Why took it so long for Ottoman forces to come up with an army strong enough to crush the rebellion? Was it because of the formidable military force Şahkulu had been able to gather under his leadership, or because of the weakness and/or inefficiency of the Ottoman side? The answer to those questions seems to be a multidimensional one. In addition to the aforementioned factors such as the size of Şahkulu’s forces and the constant struggle between princes, Ottoman chroniclers also mention the idleness of provincial administrators as partly responsible for providing the opportunity for Şahkulu’s rebellion.(68) The lack of commonly organized action on the part of governors, (69) the relative inefficiency of communication,(70) hand in hand with the incapacity of Ottoman officials in the provinces,(71) no doubt, was seen as a factor that gave the rebels the time and the opportunity to increase their strength and to continue pillaging and plundering the cities as well as the countryside on their way. In Tacü’t-Tevarih, Hoca Saadettin Efendi points out certain aspects Bayezid II’s rule as responsible for the conditions that prevailed during the later years of his reign and sees the sultan’s choice of delegating the executive power to his vizirs and his resulting lack of awareness of the happenings in his realm responsible for the lack of control of the provinces by the center. He also mentions the declining prosperity of tımar-holders and indicates this factor’s significance in pushing the tımar-holders to unlawful activity, blurring the line between government officials and bandits.(72) Ishak Çelebi’s arguments in his Selimname considering the destitute condition of those local sipahis who had lost their tımars and felt compelled to renounce their allegiance to the Ottomans and to join the rebellious elements under Şahkulu indicates that Saadettin Efendi was not the only one aware of these problems in the tımar-system.(73)

In addition to these factors one should also take into account the fact that Ottoman forces were far from being religiously homogeneous and monolithic military entities.(74) The reason why part of the forces of Hasan Bey, subaşı of Antalya, joined the rebels after they were defeated by Şahkulu may be obscure, but the existence of kızıl-bash sympathizers within the ranks Ottoman forces (e.g. from Karaman) seems to have been a known fact.(75)

Back to the events as they are narrated by chronicles. Following the attacks on (and the collection of provisions, horses and arms from) Elmalı, Gölhisar, Burdur, Isparta, Eğirdir, Şahkulu finally met the Ottoman forces under the orders of a certain Nokta, one of the commanders of Karagöz Paşa, the beylerbeyi of the province of Anadolu, and defeated them.(76) Following the devastation of the towns of Sandıklı and Altıntaş, Şahkulu laid siege to the city of Kütahya and the main clash between Karagöz Paşa’s soldiers and Şahkulu’s rebel army took place two days after that.(77) Ottoman forces could not make the best out of the initial advantage they seemed to have and, when Karagöz Paşa’s soldiers were too busy plundering Şahkulu’s military encampment, the rebel forces made their return, defeated the Ottoman army, impaled the Paşa, (78) and burned the city.(79)

According to some Ottoman chroniclers one military success after the other made Şahkulu’s forces so confident that they considered to go as far as Bursa and attack the city. (80) Whether they gave up that plan due to the information they received that Bayezid II was alive and well (81) or to some news they may have received about an approaching Ottoman army, we do not know. What we know, however, is that the next army Şahkulu engaged in battle was that of Korkud on the plain of Alaşehir in the province of Aydın.(82) Once again Şahkulu proved to be militarily superior and was able to defeat Korkud’s army, forcing Korkud to retreat to Manisa.(83)

It was probably before marching off to Alaşehir to meet Şahkulu’s forces that Korkud wrote the letter explaining the situation to the Sultan.(84) Bayezid II’s response to the late news is reported to have been an angry one.(85) Following the strict orders of the Sultan, grand vizir Ali Paşa marched into Anatolia, met with Prince Ahmed near Kütahya, spend “a few days” to plan the measures to be taken in order to defeat the rebel army and than followed Şahkulu’s forces to Kızılkaya, the original lands of rebellion.(86) Ottoman chroniclers often criticize Ali Paşa and Prince Ahmed for being concerned about their own political aims and future instead of focusing on the task at hand, namely the suppression of the rebellion.(87) They also accuse them of negligence and inaction the combination of which gave Şahkulu’s forces the opportunity to escape from the mountainous area where they were besieged by Ottoman forces that were far more numerous than the rebels.(88) Probably also using their knowledge of the terrain Şahkulu and his men managed to break through the siege, moved in the direction of Karaman, defeated the Ottoman forces commanded by Haydar Paşa and Cündi Kemal Bey, and continued their movement in the direction of Kayseri and Sivas. (89)

The final clash between the forces of Ali Paşa and Şahkulu took place somewhere between Kayseri and Sivas (90) three months after the outbreak of the rebellion. After the defeat of Haydar Paşa by Şahkulu’s forces, Ali Paşa’s impatience seems to have reached such a level that he decided to attack the rebel forces without waiting for the arrival of auxiliary forces and despite the warnings of his officers who were rightly concerned because of the tiredness of the soldiers. (91) Considerable number of soldiers from both sides were killed during the skirmish; Ali Paşa lost his life. (92) Contradictory bits of information provided by our sources makes it difficult to answer in a decisive manner the question of whether Şahkulu, too, lost his life or not. (93) The absence of any information about Şahkulu’s whereabouts after his final clash with Ali Paşa, however, seems to suggest that he shared the same fate as the Ottoman grand vizir. (94) Regardless of what happened to the leaders, there is no question about the very fact that what was left of the rebel forces managed to cross the Ottoman border and reached Tabriz, the seat of Shah Isma‘il.(95)


When Şahkulu’s followers left Sivas for Tabriz they left behind a partly ruined area and fifty thousand dead. (96) This was neither the first nor the last time Anatolia was experiencing a devastating large-scale rebellion. The high frequency of social movements and/or rebellions in the corelands of the Ottoman realm, no doubt, indicates the existence of certain factors that make the region vulnerable for revolt. Asia Minor’s geographical position, to begin with, at the intersection of routes of migration, invasion and trade must be one of the reasons behind the diversity of its population not only in ethnic and religious but also in socioeconomic terms. Political claims by various political entities simultaneously challenging each other as well as competing for the support of the people living in Anatolia can be considered another reason for the constant existence of political tension. The reason why that endemic tension may have peaked into an epidemic of revolts and rebellions from the sixteenth century onwards, however, seems to be relatively easier to put our fingers on.

As I tried to argue in this essay, socioeconomic problems related to changes in the political strategies and fiscal policies of the Ottoman state, hand in hand with the tension created by the effects of the state’s regulation of nomadic economy and society, seems to have paved the way for explicit forms of conflict. At a time when the political vacuum became relatively manifest due to the struggle for throne of Bayezid II’s sons and when corruption of the provincial administration was well on its way, the systematic and efficient missionary activities of the Safawids through their khulafa transmitting Shah Isma‘il’s “message” among most of the tribal nomadic Turcomans became all the more effective in instigating social movements, especially after the first kızıl-bash persecution undertaken by the Ottoman state under Bayezid II.

Successful in making the best of the anti-Ottoman sentiments among the nomadic population resulting from factors mentioned in the main body of this essay and organizing his followers as a tightly-knit community by assuming religious as well as political leadership, and also by playing competing factions in the Ottoman political scene against each other, by April 1511 Şahkulu seems to have emerged as a significant threat. Upon realizing the severeness of the military, political and ideological aspects of the danger embodied in Şahkulu’s rebellion during the early stages of the revolt, it is not surprising to see the Ottoman ruling elite to refer to the leader of the rebels as Şeytankulu, alluding to and emphasizing the religious dimension of the social movement probably largely due to the need for legitimizing the state’s actions against the kızıl-bash population in Anatolia that aimed at creating a religiously homogeneous community of subjects loyal to the Ottoman state only.



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(1) In his Encyclopaedia of Islam article on “Kızıl-bash” R. M. Savory gives both the “general “ and the “specific” definitions of the term. “In general”, Savory notes, the term “is used loosely to denote a variety of extremist Shi‘i sects, which flourished in Anatolia and Kurdistan from the late 7th/13th century onwards, including such groups as the Alevis … Strictly speaking”, however, “the term kızıl-bash should be applied only to those Turcoman tribes inhabiting eastern Anatolia, northern Syria and the Armenian highlands which were converted by the Safawid da‘wa and became the disciples of the Safawid shaykhs at Ardabil”. The sense in which the term will be used throughout the essay is close to, yet not exactly the same as, its “specific” definition, due to the very fact that the Ottoman state and Ottoman chronicles do not seem to differentiate between different forms of Shi‘i Islam but use the same term for people mostly but not exclusively of nomadic/Turcoman origin with known or suspected sympathies for or connections with Safawid Shi‘ism, implying both political and religious allegiance.

(2) For Süleyman’s ferman concerning the execution of the kızıl-bash before the campaign of Nahçıvan see Öz, Baki. Alevilik ile İlgili Osmanlı Belgeleri, p. 26.

(3) Defterdar Ebu’l-Fadl Mehmed Efendi. Selimşahname, quoted in Öz, Osmanlı Belgeleri, p. 256.

(4) According to Ebu’l-Fadl Mehmed Efendi “more than forty thousand were killed by sword”, whereas according to Hoca Sadettin Efendi’s Tacü’t-Tevarih that number included those who were put to prison. Müneccimbaşı Ahmed Dede states that “Selim Han ordered the execution of all” of those with their names in the defters but doesn’t mention the number actually executed. Öz, Osmanlı Belgeleri, pp. 256-7.

(5) Hand in hand with changing power balances between political factions in the Palace, that Korkud was unable to govern his own domain and that Ahmed, instead of pursuing the rebels, returned to Amasya and allowed the looting of the countryside by the kızıl-bash, can be seen as being among the important factors behind yeniçeris support of Selim I.

(6) Minorsky, Vladimir. “Shaykh Bali Efendi on the Safavids”. In Bulletin of The School Of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. XX, pp. 437-8.

(7) Ibid., p. 438.

(8) Lindner, Rudi Paul. “Ottoman Regulations and Nomad Custom”. In Nomads and Ottomans in Medieval Anatolia, p. 51.

(9) Ibid., p. 55.

(10) Ibid., p. 63.

(11) Ibid., p. 59.

(12) If Lindner is right in his arguments, the very fact that the date of the assessment of the sheep tax was gradually pulled towards the lambing season under subsequent reigns of Mehmed II and Bayezid II might have gradually increased the pressure on the nomadic economy, and in time reached the level of danger to the subsistence of the Turcoman nomad towards the end of the latter’s reign.

(13) Lindner, “Ottoman Regulations and Nomad Custom”, p. 58.

(14) Lindner, “Conclusion”, p. 111.

(15) Beldiceanu-Steinherr, Irene. “A Propos des Tribus Atçeken”. In Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 30/2, p. 159.

(16) Ibid., p. 160.

(17) Ibid., p. 161.

(18) Until the end of the sixteenth century the Turcoman tribes constituted the military base of the Safawid state and were organized according to their tribal affiliations under the oymak organization. Rumlu, Ustacalu, Tekelü, Varsak and Afşar tribes, among other relatively small tribal-nomadic groups, preserved their tribal existence under the Safawids. On the nature of the oymak organization see Dickson, Martin. Shah Tahmasb and the Uzbeks: The Duel for Khurasan with Ubayd Khan 930-46/1524-40; On the Turcoman contribution to the foundation of the Safawid state see Sümer, Faruk. Safevi Devletinin Kuruluş ve Gelişmesinde Anadolu Türklerinin Rolü, pp. 43-56.

(19) Given the limits of this essay, the presentation of certain aspects of the aforementioned rivalry and the nature as well as the extent of the influence exerted by the Safawids on the Turcoman population of Anatolia will be undertaken in summary fashion and will be based almost exclusively on secondary sources. The reader is reminded that only those factors building up the tensions between the Turcoman population under Safawid influence and the Ottoman state and might have led to Şahkulu’s revolt will be pointed out. I am fully aware of the weakness of this kind of presentation due to the very fact that it may give the impression of a unilinear and inevitable historical process. Given the scope and limits of this essay, however, I hope that this approach would be regarded as acceptable.

(20)Hinz, Walther. Irans Aufstieg zum Nationalstaat im fünfzehnten Jahrhundert, p. 9.

(21)Savory, R. M. “Kızıl-bash”, p. 244.

(22)See Ali bin Abdülkerim Halife’s report to Selim I concerning the state of affairs in the Ottoman realm, mentioned and discussed in Tansel, Selahattin. Yavuz Sultan Selim, pp. 21-30.

(23) For “heterodox” religious elements and movements in Ottoman society see Ocak, A. Yaşar. Osmanlı Toplumunda Zındıklar ve Mülhidler.

(24)Khwandamir. Habib-us-Siyat, quoted in Ross, E. Denison. The Early Years of Shah Isma‘il, pp. 80-3.

(25)Ibid., pp. 81-2.

(26)The Twelfth Imam, the mahdi.

(27)Tac-ı Haydari, the twelve-tiered head-dress made of red cloth worn by kızıl-bash, and the literal origin of their name.

(28)Ibid., pp. 82-3.

(29) Ibid., p. 83.

(30)Lindner, “Conclusion”, p. 109.

(31)Eröz, Mehmet. Türkiye’de Alevilik-Bektaşilik, p. 95.

(32)Ibid.; Kütükoğlu, Bekir. Osmanlı-İran Siyasi Münasebetleri, p. 12: “Halifelerin yalnız nüzur ve sadaka toplamak, şifahi telkinler yapmakla kalmayıp Kızılbaş aka’idini muhtevi kitaplar getirip dağıttıkları da istidlal edilebilmektedir”.

(33) It is beyond the scope of this essay to deal with the details of the religious beliefs of the kızıl-bash. The following section, therefore, will focus on those aspects of Shah Isma‘il’s diwan that bear direct significance for the kızıl-bash revolts in Anatolia.

(34) Considering the fact that Selim I wrote poems in an highly polished Persian whereas Isma‘il wrote in Turcoman Turkish, Minorsky argues that “as a poet, Selim appeals to the inner circle of his inmates. Isma‘il has in view a much larger auditory of his supporters”. In Minorsky, Vladimir. “The Poetry of Shah Isma‘il I”. In Bulletin of The School Of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. X/4, p. 1007a.

(35)For the English translation of some of Isma‘il’s poems see Minorsky, Vladimir. “The Poetry of Shah Isma‘il I”, pp. 1042a-52a.

(36)The document quoted in Öz, Osmanlı Belgeleri, p. 127, can be considered as clear proof of Şahkulu’s centrality in the hierarchy of Safawid khulafa.

(37)Khwandamir. Habib-us-Siyat, quoted in Ross, Shah Isma‘il, p. 80.

(38)Tansel, II. Bayezit, p. 248.

(39) Anonim, p. 132: “Sultan Bayezid’ın ana her yıl altı yidi bin akçe sadakası vardı”.

(40) Roemer, “The Safavid Period”, p. 216.

(41)Uzunçarşılı, İsmail Hakkı. Osmanlı Tarihi, II. Cilt, p. 202.

(42) When Junaid sent one of his followers to Murad II and asked for permission to settle in Kurtbeli, the latter, probably being well aware of the political implications of such a settlement, did not allow Junaid to settle.

(43)On Junaid’s connections with the Varsak tribes around the province of Karaman see Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Tarihi, p. 222.

(44) Tansel, II. Bayezit, p. 236.

(45) Roemer, H. R. “The Safavid Period”. In Jackson, Peter & Lockhart, Laurence (eds.). The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 6: The Timurid and Safavid Periods, p. 219.

(46) Ibn Kemal. Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, VIII. Defter, p. 233: “Türkler terk idüb diyarların/Satdılar yok bahaya darların”.

(47) Roemer, “The Safavid Period”, p. 219: “Every inhabitant who was known to have Safavid sympathies was branded on the face and deported to the west, usually to Modoni and Koroni in southern Greece”. According to Uzunçarşılı the deportation of the kızıl-bash from Isparta and Antalya to Greece was an action the Ottoman government took “following” Şahkulu’s rebellion [“Şahkulu vak’asını müteakip”]. See Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Tarihi, p. 227.

(48) Roemer, “The Safavid Period”, p. 218: “In the first ten years of his [Isma‘il’s] rule this influx grew year by year. The reason lay above all in his military successes, but also in his reputation for generosity in the distribution of booty …”.

(49) Ibn Kemal, Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, p. 233.

(50) Giese, F. (ed.). Anonim Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, p. 132; Celalzade Mustafa. Selimname, p. 120.

(51)Anonim, p. 132: “bir magara içinde olurdı”; Selimname, p. 120: “bir mağarada sakin”.

(52) Selimname, p. 120: “Etraf-u-cevanibde olan şehzadeler harekat ve inkılab itmekle, ehali-yi memleket ve vilayet ayak üzre gelüb … . Şehzadelerin harekatı ve inkılablarını işidüp, görür ki, memleket hali, haris yok, meydan-ı saltanatda kimesne görünmez, faris yok. Tabi’atında şehriyarlık tama’ları galib görinür. Tavakkuf itmeyüb, heman havalisinde vaki’ olan erbab-ı fesadla kalkub huruç eyledi”.

(53)Uluçay, Çağatay. “Yavuz Sultan Selim Nasıl Padişah Oldu?”, document quoted on p. 62: “memleket halidir, fırsat bizimdir, gelin cemi’i memleketi zapt idelüm”; Anonim, p. 132: “Etrafa ademler göndürüp ‘fursat bizümdür’ diyü haber eyledi”.

(54) Anonim, p. 132: “On bin mikdarı adem cem’ eyledi”; Hadidi, Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, p. 359: “İki binden ziyade cem’ olup er/Kütahiyye diyarına yürürler”; In The Reign of Sultan Selim I in the Light of the Selim-name Literature, p. 165, A. Uğur mentions the section in Idris-i Bitlisi’s Selimname dealing with the beginning of the revolt and states that, according to Bitlisi, “between ten and twenty thousand of the refaza-ı Isma’iliye in the Kızılkaya region of Tekeili revolted under the leadership of Şahkulu …”.

(55) Selimname, p. 121: “Şehirlerde ve kasabat-u-kurada, cibalde ve yaylaklarda ve obada ne denlü eşirra-vü etrak ve ne mikdar levend-u nuhusted ve çalak varısa kaldurub…”; Anonim, p. 132: “Ne kadar gizlü dindaşları, kızılbaşları var ise yanına geldiler. … Ve Teke ili’nden çok halk cem’ eyledi”; Hadidi, Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, p. 359: “Kızılbaş ehline ol baş olmuş/Harami rafızi evbaş olmuş//Cihanun anmadugı oldı yoldaş/Harami hırsuz oldı hep Kızılbaş”.

(56) Anonim, p. 132: “Ve Teke ili’nden çok halk cem’ eyledi”.

(57) Uluçay, “Selim”, document quoted on p. 62: “Kapulukaya’da Döşeme Derbendinde cem’ olup dört beş gün oturdular, sonra etrafa dağılup yarağa ve azığa mukayyed oldular”; Selimname, p. 121: “… müslümanlarda buldukları atları ve katırları cebrile nehb-ü-hasaret eyleyüb, cümle-i erazil atlanub, suvar-ı mecmu’-u levendat ve haşerat, mükemmel ceyş ve emir ve tacdar olub …”.

(58) Selimname, p. 121: “… cevanibde ne mikdar vilayet ve memleket var ise, cümlesini urub, mal-u-menali, esba-ü-eskali yağmaladılar. Muhalefet ve mu’anedet itmek istiyenleri, şimşir-i kin ve tiğ-i merg-ayin ile vücudlarını na-bud itdiler. Müddet-i kalilede ol diyarlara şah-u-emr olup, ‘asker-i feravanla tuğyan ve isyan itdiler. Gelüb mukabele itmek isteyenlere, kuvvet-i kahire ile ğalib ve haşmet-i bahire ile katil ve salib oldılar. Zulm-ü-udvan çırağlarına tamam iştiğal virüb, memleketi cevr-ü-sitem ile mal-a-mal itdiler”.

(59) Uluçay, “Selim”, document quoted on p. 62.

(60) Uluçay, “Selim”, document quoted on p. 65.

(61) Anonim, p. 132: “Antaliyye’nün pazarı güni pazarın yagma ve talan eyledi. Kadısını tutup dört pare idüp asakodı”.

(62)Mustafa Ali. Künhü’l-Ahbar, quoted in Tansel, II. Bayezit, p. 250.

(63) Uluçay, “Selim”, Şehzade Osman’s report to the Porte quoted on p. 66: “Varup Teke’nin tamam kaydın gördükden sonra mezkur bedbaht mehdilik davasın edüp …”.

(64) Ibid.: “Ve şehri dahi yer yer od’a koyub mescidleri ve zaviyeleri bile yakmışdır. Ve haşa buldukları Kelam-Ullah’ı ve kitapları od’a vurub tabanlayub mahvederler imiş”.

(65) Looking down upon and belittling the Holy Quran as well as holy books of other religions; cursing the four halifes as well as Ayşe, the wife of the Prophet; regarding their leader as God are among the accusations put forward in the fetva by Nurettin Hamza Efendi, Selim I’s müfti. These accusations, as one could clearly see, are also among the ones mentioned by Celalzade in his Selimname. For Hamza Efendi’s fetva see Öz, Osmanlı Belgeleri, pp. 103-104; for Celalzade’s remarks concerning Selim I’s “preparations” for the Persian expedition see Selimname, pp. 208-10.

(66)Since Ottoman chronicles focus on significant steps in the development of the revolt such as important battles between Ottoman and rebel forces and attacks on major cities, one should fill in the blanks by using sources other than chronicles for a detailed and relatively continuous narrative of the flow of events during Şahkulu’s rebellion.

(67) Uluçay, “Selim”, Prince Osman’s report to the Porte quoted on pp. 66-7.

(68) Hadidi, Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, p. 359: “Yatur beylerbegi farig yerinde/Sipahi cümle begler yerlerinde”.

(69) Anonim, p. 132: “Sancak beyleri biribiriyile uzlaşamayup mukavemet idemediler. Andan kızılbaş kuvvetlenüp ili güni yıkup çok fesadlar eylediler”.

(70) Hadidi, Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, p. 360: “Sipaha, beglere irmedi ferman/Çeri cem’ itmege olmadı imkan … Haber-dar olmamışdı şehin-şah/Karagöz Paşa olmayınca agah”; Anonim, p. 132: “Ol aralıkda Sultan Korkud Sultan Bayezid’e ahvali i’lam eyledi. Sultan Bayezid dahi vezirleri Ali Paşa’ya ve Hersek oglına hışm eyleyüp ‘çün bunlar huruc itdi, niçün bana bildürmedünüz’ diyü itab eyledi”.

(71) Selimname, p. 122: “Memleket ser-a-ser herc-ü-merc olub, ‘akibetü’l-emr hücumları ol şehr-i meşhura olıcak, anda beglerbegi olan Karagöz Paşa dahi vücudı kameti libas-ı idrakten ‘arı, ma’rif-ü-fazayilden ‘ari ve beri’ memleket-aralığa liyakat ve istihkak, fazl-ü-kemal ile olduğundan bi-haber olmışdı. Zikr olunan tağilerin kendü üzerine hücumuna istima’ idübü mehma-emken ol cevanibde olan sipah-ü-‘askerden bir mikdar adem cem’ idüb, kemal-i gururundan ‘aduyı sebük sallayub, düşmanı zayıf ve hor gördi. Kendü tevabi’-ı hezimet me’asirinden Nokta dimekle ma’ruf bir uğraşa irsal eyledi. Ol herif nokta-i cim-i cehl idi. Uğraş karubarını sehl sanub, ‘usata mukabil oldu”.

(72) Hoca Saadettin Efendi. Tacü’t-Tevarih, quoted in Öz, Osmanlı Belgeleri, p. 238.

(73)Ishak Çelebi. Selimname, referred to in Uğur, Selim-name Literature, p. 165.

(74)Even Selim I’s armies included elements of kızıl-bash origin or with known kızıl-bash sympathies (especially among the ranks of the akıncı). It was that very reason why before the Battle of Çaldıran against the Safawids Selim I did not want to give those elements the time and opportunity to change sides and attacked Shah Isma‘il’s army without giving his men time to rest before the military engagement.Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Tarihi, p. 255.

(75) Tansel, II. Bayezit, pp. 254-5.

(76) Celalzade criticizes Karagöz Paşa for not taking the rebel forces seriously and of sending a small detachment under the orders of an “ignorant” commander. Selimname, p. 122: “Zikr olunan tağilerin kendü üzerine hücumuna istima’ idüb mehma-emken ol cevanibde olan sipah-ü-‘askerden bir mikdar adem cem’ idüb, kemal-i gururundan ‘aduyı sebük sallayub, düşmanı zayıf ve hor gördi. Kendü tevabi’-ı hezimet me’asirinden Nokta dimekle ma’ruf bir uğraşa irsal eyledi. Ol herif nokta-i cim-i cehl idi. Uğraş karubarını sehl sanub, ‘usata mukabil oldu”.

(77) Selimname, p. 122: “Ol diyarlarda a’lam-ı dadal baş kaldurub, Anatolının daru’l-mülki olan Kutahiye şehrine ‘azimet eylediler. Yemin-ü-yeshar vaki’ olan memalik-i islamiyye ahalisine enva-ı zulm-ü-udvanlar eylediler”; Anonim, p. 132: “Ol aralıkdan kalkup Anatolı beğlerbeğisi Karagöz Paşa’nun üzerine vardı. Karagöz Paşa ile azim ceng eyledi”; Hadidi, Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, p. 360: “Karagöz Paşa buyurdı heman-dem/Yarag üstine geldi olan adem//Sipaha, beglere irmedi ferman/Çeri cem’ itmege olmadı imkan//Kapusında olan halk ile ta’cil/Erişüp düşmene oldı mukabil”.

(78)Anonim, p. 132: “Kızılbaş sınur gibi oldı. Anlar yagmaya maşgul alup gafil düşicek girü kızılbaş ikdam idüp buları sıdılar. Karagöz Paşa kaçdı. Ardına düşdiler. Karagöz Paşa’yı tutdılar. Getürüp Kütahiyye’de kal’aya karşu merhumı kazıga urup şehid eylediler”; Hadidi, Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, p. 360: “Sipahi tağılur itmez hamiyyet/Olur pa-mal cümle mal ü ni’met//Paşa başı kesilüp sındı leşger/Deve vü at katır simile zer”.

(79)Uluçay, “Selim”, document quoted on p. 62; Hadidi, Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, p. 360: “Kütahiyye harab oldı yakıldı/Ol iller yağmalandı vü yıkıldı”.

(80) Sa’düddin. Tacü’t-Tevarih, referred to in Tansel, II. Bayezit, p. 252.

(81) Ibid.

(82) Hadidi, Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, pp. 360-1: “Kızılbaş Aydın-ili’ne akmışidi/Ne yire uğradise yıkmışidi//Varup andan Ala-şehir önine indi/Gediz suyı kenarına ki kondı//Karasi, Menteşe, Aydın beglerile/Hem anda Şah Korkud geldi bile”; Uluçay, “Selim”, document quoted on p. 70.

(83) Hadidi, Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, p. 361: “Heman Korkud’ı korkudup Kızılbaş/Dedi gendüye Korkud, Boz-tağ’ı aş//Dönüp Sultan Korkud tutdı tagı/Kırup, ol üç sancağı yagı”; Uluçay, “Selim”, document quoted on p. 70.

(84) Anonim, p. 132: “Andan kalkup Aydın iline gitdiler. Ol aralıkda Sultan Korkud Sultan Bayezid’e ahvali i’lam eyledi”.

(85) Hadidi, Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, p. 360: “Haber-dar olmamışdı şehin-şah/Karagöz Paşa olmayınca agah//Ali Paşa’ya didi kim niçün siz/Bu hadde irişe arz itmeyesiz//Her ilün begleri var hali yer yok/Harami ta bu hadde cem’ ola çok//Oturma tur yarag it üstine var/Kırup koma diyar içinde deyyar”; Anonim, p. 132: “Sultan Bayezid dahi vezirleri Ali Paşa’ya ve Hersek oglına hışm eyleyüp ‘çün bunlar huruc itdi, niçün bana bildürmedünüz’ diyü itab eyledi. Ali Paşa’ya emr idüp ‘tiz var Anatolı’ya geç bunların hakkından gel ve illa senün derün yüzerin’ diyicek ol dahı Anatolı’ya geçdi”.

(86)Anonim, p. 132: “Anatolı’ya geçdi. Sultan Ahmed’i bile koşdılar. Kapu halkından ve yeniçeriden adem koşdılar. Pes Ali Paşa Anatolı’ya geçüp Kızılkaya’ya varup karar eyledi. Sultan Ahmed dahi oglıyile Amasiyye’den kalkup gelüp Ali Paşa ile mülakat oldılar. Birkaç gün anda eglendiler”.

(87) Selimname, p. 128: “’Ali Paşa Sultan Ahmed ile hin-ı ittishalde, su’ubet-i hali müzakere ile derun-ı candan ah-u-efğan iderlerdi. İstila-yı kemal-i hayretden düşmen ahvalini feramuş idüb, heva-vü-heves tariklarında ümind ve melhuzları olan saltanat-ı faniye ahvalini söyleşmek, birbiriyle musahabet ve ihtilat idüb dertleşmek içün ziyafet esbabın görüb, ‘işe mukayyed oldılar”.

(88) Hadidi, Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, p. 361: “Kızılkaya’ya dek kaçdı Kızılbaş/Yolı derbendidi vü tağıla taş//Varup tağun dibinde kondı leşger/Ne bunlar vardı, ne anlar gelürler//İdemez cenge Sultan Ahmed ikdam/Savaş görmüş degül idi dahı ham//Dediler elli bin varidi leşger/Kızılbaş’idi ancak altı bin er//Ali Paşa dahı eyledi ihmal/Kızılbaş gördü kim bu resmedür hal”.

(89) Anonim Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, p. 132: “Kızılbaş dahi Karaman tarafına gitdiler. Karaman paşası Haydar Paşayile Cündi Kemal Beğ sancak beğiyile ceng idüp Haydar Paşa’nun ve Kemal Beg’ün başın kesüp şehid eylediler. Andan göçüp Çubuk ovasına gitdiler”; Hadidi, Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, p. 361: “Kızılbaş kim Karaman haddine uğrar/Karman tahtınun lalası Haydar//Çıkar karşular olan ademile/Yalunuz Kayseri sancağı bile//Ölüm eri bularbeş altı bin er/İki sancak bunlara neyleyiser//Kırup beglerin malın yağmalatdı/Pes andan Kayseri’den yana gitdi”.

(90)Selimname, p. 132: “Gökhanı nam mahalde ‘akibetü’l-emr irişüb ulaşdı”; Anonim, p. 132: “Andan göçüp Çubuk ovasına gitdiler. Ali Paşa’ya haber geldi. Canı başına sıçrayup ‘beni seven binsün’ ve ata binüp ılgar idüp Çubuk ovasına yitişdi”.

(91) Anonim, pp. 132-3: “Kızılbaş dahi Osmanlı geldügin bilicek develerin hisar gibi tokat idüp içinegirüp yir yir ceng idicek kapular koyup hazır oldılar. Bu tarafdan Ali Paşa katında dahi ikibin mikdarı kişi vardı. Anlar dahi ondört gün ılgar çekmiş yorgun ve atları durgun. Ali Paşa eyitdi: ‘Varalım bunların ile dutuşalum’. Yanında Kara Musa dirlerdi, ulufeciler kethüdası vardı. İş görmüş kişi idi. Eyitdi: ‘Sabreyle, ardumuzdan asker gelsin yitişsün. Bunlar hod gitmekden kaldılar, hele bariki gün sabreyle. Ramazan oglı dahi geliyürür, gelsin’ didi. ‘Ramazan oglı kimdür’ didi. Anun hod aklı başından gitmiş imiş. Hemen cenge başladı”; Hadidi, Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, p. 362: “Ali Paşa’yile irdi birez er/Döküldi kaldı yolda at ü leşger//Kızılbaş’a Ali Paşa ki irişdi/Çeri irişmedin gendü girişdi”; Selimname, p. 133: “Göz karardub, etraf’u-cevanibi cüst-u-cu itmedin ve gerüde olan ‘askerin ahvali nicedur, kim gelmişdir, kim gelmemişdir bilmedin, ‘ale’l-‘amya düşmanın üzerine düşdiler”.

(92) Anonim, p. 133: “Andan Ali Paşa at salup kızılbaş içine vardı. Üzerine yarak üşürdiler, helak itdiler”; Hadidi, Tevarih-i Al-i Osman, p. 362: “Kızılbaş’a Ali Paşa ki irişdi/Çeri irişmedin gendü girişdi//Kesildi başı, yağmalandı varı/Yakın idi Kızılbaş’ın diyarı”; Selimname, p. 135: “Üç def’a kendüsi düşmenin alayına at salub, enva’-ı celadet-ü-şehametler göstermiş. ‘Akibetü’l-emr meyane-i düşmende esir-i merg olub, karubar-u-vezareti terk eyledi”.

(93) Anonim, p. 133: “Ceng olup ol aralıkda ol kızılbaş Hasan Halife’ye ok tokundı. Helak olup tokat içinde bir figan kopdı”; Selimname, p. 137: “Ol güruh-ı mekruhun serdarları olan mezkur Şeytankulu dahi nice alduğu ma’lum olmayub…”; Hadidi remains silent on this issue.

(94)In his İslam Ansiklopedisi article on “Şah Ismail”, Tahsin Yazıcı argues that even if Şahkulu managed to survive the clash with Ali Paşa, he was probably executed by Shah Ismail because of the rebels’ attack on a caravan on their way to Tebriz.

(95) Anonim, p. 133: “Andan kızılbaş göçüp Acem sınurına girüp Tebriz’e azm itdier … Bular dahi Tebriz’e vardılar”.

(96) Tekindağ, Şehabettin. Yeni Kaynak ve Vesikaların Işığında Yavuz Sultan Selim’in İran Seferi, p. 51.

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