Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Chaldiran (1514)

and that's the way it was

Today is the anniversary of a battle that had far-reaching implications for the Middle East, but that gets relatively little recognition if you’re not a specialist in either Ottoman or Safavid history. I happen to know a bit about both (though I wouldn’t call myself a specialist in, well, anything, come to think of it), so if you’ll indulge me I’d like to tell you a little about the Battle of Chaldiran, which took place on August 23, 1514.

We have to start our story in 1501 (hey, where are you going?), when control of Iran passed from the Turkic tribal confederation known as the Aqquyunlu (“White Sheep”) to the Safavids, who were a Sufi order-turned dynasty of “Turkicized Persian” (i.e., ethnically Iranic but culturally and linguistically Turkic) origins who came to power on the back of a zealously devoted band of Turkic warriors known as the Qizilbash (“red heads”)…

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Author: DWD

writer, blogger, lover, fighter

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