Kurdish Studies

ISSN: 2051-4883 | e-ISSN: 2051-4891
Email: editor@kurdishstudies.net

Kurdish Power Holders in Seventeenth-Century Bidlīs: A Brief Introduction

Mustafa Dehqan
Vural Genç
Keywords: Bidlīs, early modern history, Ottoman Empire, Safavids, Kurdish emirates.


This article reconsiders the political organisation of Bidlīs, a leading Kurdish emirate of the Ottoman Empire, during the seventeenth-century, mainly on the basis of Ottoman archival documents. It scrutinises the conventional depiction of Bidlīs as lacking any effective central authority and shows that the Ottoman Kurdish officials in fact exercised significant power. However, there were recurrent conflicts, both between the emir of Bidlīs and the tribal chiefs in the emirate, and also between the emirate and the central power in Istanbul. These tensions were situated within the context of Ottoman-Safavid frontier conflicts, and endemic local warfare, which generated new resources that upset the existing balance of power.

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