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Safavids – Ottoman wars and Azerbaijan

Ottoman Turkey restored his attempts to conquer Azerbaijan in the presence of Sultan Suleiman I (1520-1566). Turkey, which confronted with strict resistance in Danube Europe, had to conclude peace with Habsbourgs Austria about the division of Hungary on June 22, 1533.
So, Sultan Suleiman united his hands for the Eastern expansion.

After the Ottoman – Azerbaijan war and Chaldiran battle of 1514, there was not concluded any peace treaty between these sides; the Ottoman Empire attempted to utilize from the Sunnite mood of the governers of Kurdistan and Arabic Irag and achieved some success.

There were existed deep reasons of rivalry and enmity between two states. Ottoman Sultan did his best to conquer arguable territories, where Kurdistan and Arabic Irag was included. Arabic Irag possessed great significance for the transite international trade of Asia and Europe. On the animated ways of trade exchange, there was arisen major city of Arabic Irag-Baghdad, which was one of the biggest cities of the Middle East. Goods were directed from India to Basra through Persian Gulf or to Baghdad through Southern Iran; and from Baghdad they were directed to Mediterranian Sea or Minor Asia for further moving to Europe through Aleppo.

In the summer of 1534, Sultan Suleiman I directed great army, commanded by great vezir Ibrahim Pasha to Azerbaijan. At that time, Shah Tahmasib was in Khorasan, where he tried to prevent the next invasion of uzbek khans. That is why, Ottoman troops moved in the direction of Azerbaijan capital without any resistance and occupied Tabriz on July 13, 1534; then they occupied probably all Southern regions of Azerbaijan. Later, Sultan Suleiman personally commanded the campaign with his major forces and on September 27, he arrived in Tabriz. The population of Tabriz began the resistance against the invaders, who realized robbery and exploited city-dwellers. Shah Tahmasib, who learnt about his enemy’s invasion immediately came from Khorasan to Azerbaijan. But kizilbashes, who possessed small forces, avoided from the confrontations with the major forces of Ottoman army.

When Suleiman reached to Sultaniyye, their began heavy froze and snow-fall. Ottoman army suffered from the cold and shortage of provisions. Simultaneously, the resistance of kizilbashes, which pursuied the retreated army of enemy, made them leave Azerbaijan. Suleiman arrived in Baghdad that was left by kizilbash governor with great difficulty. Sultan possed the winter of 1534-35s in Baghdad. There was organized the governance by Ottoman sample in Baghdad: there was applied timar system of land ownership, Ottoman feudals obtained timars and ziyamets here. Since that time, Arabic Irag was included to the territories of Ottoman Empire. Kizilbashes’attempts to return Arabic Irag were unsuccessful.

At the beginning of the summer of 1535, Sultan Suleiman left Baghdad and made campaign to Azerbaijan for the second time. By the order of Shah Tahmasib, the settlers of South Azerbaijan were evacuated. Irregative canals and kargizes were destroyed, bread and fields were scorched, other part of grain were given to the cattle as food. After these measures Shah went to Sultaniyye. In the summer Tabriz was occupied by Suleiman I for the second time. The attempt of the Ottoman troop to move on the East ended with failure. Major detachments of the enemy were destroyed near the city of Sultaniyye. The absence of provisions and plague aggravated the situation of the enemy. Turkish army could not strengthen in Azerbaijan again and gradually retreated the country.

In the spring of 1548, Sultan Suleiman realized his third campaign to Azerbaijan. This campaign was carefully prepared. There was collected great army from all subordinated regions of Europe, Asia and Africa. Shah Tahmasib, who did not possess enough forces for preventing this enemy, left the capital and retreated to the East, to the river of Ahar, where began to wait for the collection of the troops.

Due to aggravate the moving of the hostile army, there were implemented devastations on the whole way till the capital. There was not kept “neither grain, nor grass” for conquerors, all of them were burnt by fire.

Sultan Suleiman entered to Tabriz with his major forces, but he could stay here only four days. These days were gloomy for the conquerors. Because of complete absence of forage in Turks, their horses, camels and mules died. There was not food and water in the city.

Azerbaijanis were against foreign invadors.

Kizilbash troops also disturbed the conquerors. In day and at night they encircled the enemy, made unexpected attacks, killed and captivated separate Ottoman groups, which were far from the major forces. They frightenened their enemy so that, “Ottoman soldiers could not leave their camps even for seeking the food”. Increasing resistance of Azerbaijan population, attacks of kizilbash troops and unbearable condition with provisions made conquerors leave the country again. So,  the third campaign of Turkish Sultan to Azerbaijan ended unsuccessfully.

One of the prominent events of this war was the crashing defeat of the enemy, made by kizilbash troop under the leadership of Shah Tahmasib’s son – Ismail Mirza near the fortress of Kars. Turks called him “Deli Ismail” (“Brave Ismail”) for his courage.

In 1552, kizilbashes transited from defence to active offensive activities. The excute for the beginning of such activity was related with the attack of Iskandar pasha – the Ottoman governor of Erzurum – to kizilbash possessions in the regions of Khoy and Chukhur-Saad. Shah directed the troops, commanded by his son, Ismail Mirza against him. So, not far from, the fortress of Erzurum Ottoman troops were defeated and destroyed by kizilbashes; great commanders of Sultan were captivated.

In the spring of 1554, Sultan Suleiman I made his fourth and last campaign to Azerbaijan and occupied Nakhichevan. Shah went to Bazarchay. Kizilbash detachments, which obligated their traditional tactics, did not enter into big battles with enemy, realized unexpected attacks on the way of the moving of Turks, captivated and killed the soldiers of the enemy. Soon, Sultan, who felt necessity of provisions and furage, left Nakhichevan and retreated to Minor Asia. Pursuing the retreated enemy, cavalry of kizilbash detachments entered to the lands, which were controlled by the Ottoman Empire. During one of the battles, big detachment of Ottoman troops was destroyed and its commander, the closest man of Sultan – Sinan bey was captivated.

Sultan Suleiman, who was sure that his attempts to conquer Azerbaijan were unsuccessful, decided to conclude peace treaty. By his order, great vezir Muhammed pasha appealed to kizilbash Shah with the request about the liberation of Sinan bey. Along with Sinan bey Safavids court sent to the Ottoman Empire his envoy, Shahgulu bey Kadjar, which was instructed to cease the war. Due to continue the negotiations, the closest man of the Safavids Shah, Farrukhzad bey, who was one of the “Karadagh sufies” and over took the Sultan in Amasia (on the way of Istanbul) to the court of Sultan. Here, on May 29, 1555, was concluded peace treaty between the Ottoman Empire and Safavids; according to its arrangment, Safavids preserved whole Azerbaijan, as well as Eastern Georgia and the lands of Chukur-Saad. But, Western Georgia, big part of Eastern Anatolia and Arabic Irag went to the Ottoman Empire. The district of Kars was not given to anybody, it was ratified as neutral region and frontier territory between these states.

Aproximately, after Amasia treaty, Shah Tahmasib moved his capital from Tabriz to Kazvin, where he passed last two decades of his life.

After the death of Shah Tahmasib (1524-1576), there began cruel struggle for the throne between two court clans, which supported Shah’s sons – Heydar and Ismail. Separation of court aristocracy began long before this event. Major pillar of Heydar was the tribe of Ustaclu.

Supporting Heydar’s pretends to the throne, the Ustaclu tribe did its best to preserve the leading position in the state administrative. Most of kizilbash tribes and their aristocracy united against this – They were the tribes of Rumlu, Afshar, Turkman, Shamlu, Kadjar, Zulkadar, Bayat, Varsak, which supported the pretends of Ismail, in order to dismiss Ustaclu feudals from the posts that they occupied and captured their land possessions.

At the result of bloddy events, taken place on May 14, 1576, in the Shah’s court in Kazvin, prince Heydar was killed by the supporters of Ismail. They liberated Ismail from the dungeon in the fortress of Kahkaha (where he lived for 20 years by the order of his father) and put him to the throne. Ustaclu tribe became the object of pursuit, lots of members, which participated in the events of 14th of May, behalf on Heydar, were executed by the order of Shah Ismail II (1576-1578).

Ismail II tried to strengthen the authority by the vehicle of mass repressions during the little period of his regin. There were many versions about the death of this blood-thirsty tyran, but more real one was that he died at the result of conspirancy of kizilbash nobility, which dissatisfied with his activity, mass repressions of not only previous enemies, but also those, who brought him to the throne.

Muhammed Khudabende’s coming to the throne (1579-1587) caused to the divison of state among the emirs of kizilbash tribes, which governed the districts as they wanted. State Treasury, which had 900 thousand tumans in, were devastated in a year. Shah and his men could not do anything in order to prevent the unwilfulness of kizilbash nobility, did their best to incline them by the shore of land and money priveleges. The precious stones, which entered to the Treasury in the presence of Shah Ismail I and Tahmasib I disappeared too.

At the result of internal weakness, circumstances became strained. The Ottoman Sultan, Murad III (1574-1595) made preparations to a new war with Safvids. He inspired Kurdish tribes, which settled in frontiers. So, at the result of the attack of Khosrov pasha – the governor of Van – to Khoy the treaty of 1555, was broken. Simultaneously, by the intension of the Sultan, there was risen new uprising in Shirvan under  the leadership of Abubekr, Burhan’s son against Safavids. The group of Shirvan feudals directed to Istanbul and under the excute of single belief, i.e. sunnite trend asked Sultan for help in order to liberate them “from the exploitation and tyranny of kizilbashes”. Turkish Sultan directed his 100 thousandth army under the leadership of Mustafa Lele pasha through Georgia. He demanded from his vassal – the khan of Crimea, Muhammed Geray II (1577-1584) to participate in the war against kizilbashes.   The governors of Daghestan (Kumik, Kaytaq, Tabasaran, Avarian uimiy) received Sultan’s order about military support in the conquest of Shirvan.

The governor of Chukhur-Saad, Muhammed khan Tokhmag Ustaclu tried to prevent the moving of Ottoman army in Georgia and called the governors of Karabakh, Imamkulu khan Kadjar and Tabriz, Amir khan Turkman for help. But Amir khan Turkman did not reply to this calling and “wanted that, none of noble people in the Ustaclu tribe would be able to survive” “because of the hostile” that existed between the tribes of Ustaclu and Turkman. At the result of it, kizilbash detachment was destroyed in the battle, taken place in the Childir plain, on August 3 of 1578 and the way to Georgia and Shirvan was opened. There was not unity among Georgian tsars at that time and they were in arguing.

Iskender bey Munshi characterized the importance of the unification of Azerbaijan and Georgian forces against the Ottoman invasion in such words: “If there was unity among the kizilbash emirs and one of them subordinated to another, if all troops of Shirvan and Azerbaijan united, they would be able to constitute 50 thousand men, the tsars of Georgia would also joined to them and then the invasion of Lele pasha would not be easy. But because of the strife and fight among the tribes, there was lost not only the country, but also prominent leaders of kizilbashes died, Azerbaijan troops were destroyed, and a line of properties and equipment were presented to the robbers”.

After the victory in Childir, the army of Mustafa Lele pasha occupied Ahalsikh and entered to Cakhetia. On August 24, Turks occupied the abandoned Tiflis. The Ottoman army crossed the river of Kanik (Alazan), passing through Shiraks step and entered to Shirvan. Kizilbash beylerbey of Shirvan, Aras khan Rumlu left Shirvan and retreated to the South shore of the Kur. Yanechars occupied Sheki, Aresh, Shamakha, Gabala, Baku, Shabran, Mahmudabad and Salyan without any difficulty. The settlers of Shirvan, where worked the agents of Sultan, revolted against kizilbashes in different regions. So, at the result of the revolt of city-devellers the kizilbash governor of Derbend, Chiraq khan was slaughtered by the rebels, namely in the eve of the entrance of Ottoman detachments to the city.

On the return journey from Shirvan to Erzurum, Mustafa Lele pasha encountered with the united Azerbaijan-Georgian troops, commanded by the beylerbeyi of Karabakh, Imamkulu bey Kadjar and Kartly tsar, Simin in Tiflis. There were slaughtered about 20 thousand Ottoman soldiers, captured trophies in the battles.

Despite of the hope of Shirvan feudals, who supported Abubekr, namely one of the generals of Mustafa Lele pasha Ozdemir oghlu Osman pasha, who chose Derbend for his residence, was appointed the Ottoman governor of Shirvan. Due to the strengthening of Ottoman authority in Shirvan, it was divided into two districts – Shamakha and Derbend, each of them accordingly consisted of 16 and 8 sancags.

Abubekr Mirza was ordered to aid to Osman pasha in the strengthening of Sultan’s authority in Shirvan. Simultaneously, Sultan, who planned to strengthen in North-Western pre Caspian districts, failed the hopes of Shirvan feudals about the restoration of their self-governance.

Aras khan Rumlu crossed the Kur after that Lele pasha returned to Istanbul and attempted to withdraw Osman pasha from Shamakha.

But in this case, the troops of Crimea khan came to aid to the besieged enemy of Aras khan from the North. In the inequal battle, kizilbash detachment was destruct and Aras khan was killed.

At that time, major forces of Shah, which commanded by his son, Hamza Mirza moved from Kazvin to Karabakh in order to withdraw the enemy from Shirvan.

So, in November of 1578, the troops under the command of Hamza khan Ustaclu, the son of Abdulla khan encountred with the troops of Crimea khan, Adil Geray, who came to help to Osman Pasha on the shore of Aghsu river, in the location of Mollahasan. In the bloody battle, which continued the whole day, the troops of Crimea Tatars were destroyed and Adil Geray was captivated. Kizilbashes continued their invasion, occupied Shamakha and reached to Shabran. Although the whole Shirvan was liberated from the Ottoman Empire and their allies, their defensive base-Derbend was under the control of the enemy.

This was the last big success of kizilbashes in this fight with Ottomans. Feudal strife and struggle in the court, which occurred among emirs of kizilbash tribes and Iran elements of bourecracy intensified in Azerbaijan. The wife of Muhammed Khudabanda,  Kheyrannisa Beyim, who was from Mazandaran by origin, began to attract Persians to the high posts by the vehicle of prime-vezir, Salman Djabere and attained to dismiss and weaken the role of Azerbaijan emirs in state affairs. This activity was encountered by the disagreement of leading kizilbash emirs, who made conspiracy to put end to the self- governance of Kheyrannisa Beyim and her assistant, Djaberi. Emirs, who dismissed Djaberi, demanded from the Shah to dismiss his wife from the interference to state affairs; but as they saw that Shah did not do anything, emirs themselves entered to the palace and strangled her.

In the summer of 1579, Crimea khan, Muhammed Geray moved from Bahchesarai with 100 thousandth troops and approached to the frontiers of Shirvan through North Caucasus. Along with Osman pasha, Crimea Tatars attacked Shamakha, Baku; they crossed the Kur and attacked Ganja, Karabakh, Barda, Mughan and reached to Gizilaghac.

But when Crimea khan learnt about coming of kizilbash troops to Shirvan, he quickly went to the North. During this destructive campaign, tatars captivated many settlers of Azerbaijan and hoped to sell them in slave bazaars of Kafa and other cities of Crimea.

So, kizilbash troops, which came to Shirvan did not find tatars here. Then, Amir Turkman moved to the North against the Shirvan rebels, led by Abubekr Mirza, who strengthened in Khachmaz. But this campaign did not bring success to kizilbashes and caused to the hostility among kizilbash tribes. Emirs of Shamlu and Ustaclu tribes rose against Amirkhan with their union and accused namely him because of the failure of the campaign. Fortunately, this disagreement did not resulted with bloody confrontation inside of the troop.

At the result of hostilities, devastations and robbery, realized by Ottoman and Tatarian troops, there were spread starvation and epidemics of plague in Azerbaijan in the years of 1578-1579. The contemporary of the events, Iskender bey Munshi mentioned that “several locations, which had been populated before, became the settlement of animals”. Even during this difficult circumstances for the nation and state, tribal emirs did not stop their strife – there began struggle between the emirs of Turkman and Shamlu tribes in Tabriz in 1580. Split in hostile groups occurred among the aristocracy of Shamlu as well. In 1581, rebelling emirs of Shamlu declared Abbas I the Shah in Herat and that caused to the separation of Khorasan from Kizilbash state in fact.

Troops of Crimea tatars made plundering raids to Azerbaijan for two times: in the spring of 1580 and 1581 the army of tatars,commanded by the brothers of Crimea khan – Qazi Geray and Sefi Geray invaded to Shirvan. In both times, Crimea tatars made devastations and robbery, following to the traditions of nomadic nobility and returned to Crimea through Derbend. During the last raid, the kizilbash detachment, commanded by Peyker khan Kadjar met Crimea tatars between Shabran and Shamakha. In the cruel battle kizilbashes defeated Turkish detachments and Shirvan rebels. Qazi Geray was captivated by kizilbashes. But these achievements did not change the military circumstances in Shirvan behalf on Azerbaijan. Osman pasha had been in Derbend yet and after the leaving of Shirvan by kizilbash troops because of the absence of provisions, he gradually occupied this land.

So, Crimea troops aided the Ottoman troops in their strengthening in Shirvan. Regularly, the Ottoman Sultan sent military detachments, equipment and money to Osman pasha in Derbend through Crimea and Northern Caucasus. Simultaneously, not all governors of Daghestan agreed with the shape of Ottoman supremacy here. So, Shamkhal (title of local governor) Tarku and Abubekr Mirza appealed to kizilbash governor of Karabakh, Imamkulu khan Kadjar with the suggestion to fight against Osman pasha together. In one of the battles, near the river of Samur in 1583, Abubekr Mirza even fought against Osman pasha, on the side of kizilbashes. This fact proved that, Shirvan settlers lost their belief about self-governance, which was promised by Ottoman Empire and was ready to pass under the protection of Safavids again.

In 1582, Sultan Murad III replaced Sinan pasha, who began negotiations with kizilbashes, with Farhad pasha and put him to the chief of Eastern campaign. It was done by the instigation of Osman pasha – the governor of Shirvan, who promised to Sultan that he would annex Azerbaijan and western regions of Iran to the empire without difficulty.

In the summer of 1583, Farhad pasha moved from Kars and occupied Chukhur-Saad. He constructed fortress in Iravan, put the Ottoman garrison there and returned. Safavids beylerbey of Chukhur- Saad, Muhammed khan Tokhmaq had to retreat to Nakhichevan, as he did not get military aid from the state. Iskender bey Munshi accused those emirs, who preferred the interest of their tribes, defence of their own properties, but not the general state interests, at the result of which they lost such “suitable and rich region” as Chukhur-Saad.

Instead of the mobilization of all forces and organization of defence in order to prevent farther invasion of the enemy to the country, kizilbash nobility was engaged on strifes. Consecuently, the leader of Turkman tribe, Amir khan was arrested and executed in the fortress of Kahkaha, at the result of which, the tribes of Turkman and Tekeli rose against the central authority. These events entirely weakened Azerbaijan state of Safavids in foreign resistance and facilitated farther moving of Ottoman troops. Turkish Sultan, who knew about the difficult circumstances of Safavids state, called Osman pasha Ozdemir oghlu back from Derbend and put him to the chief of Eastern campaign. In the summer of 1585, Osman pasha moved to Azerbaijan with 200 thousandth army in the direction of Chaldiran – Khoy – Marand – Sufian – Tabriz.

During the invasion of the enemy, Shah Muhammed and his son Hamza Mirza, who ruled all state affairs instead of his weak-willed father, were in Karabakh. Hamza Mirza hurried to prevent the Ottoman army, which moved to Tabriz with 20 thousandth troops. In the region of Sufian, leading troops of kizilbashes confronted with the troops of the enemy and because of the inequality of forces they had to retreat. In the military assembly, more experienced generals advised to act in the sample of Shah Tahmasib – to evacuate the settlers of Tabriz to the regions of Garadagh, put the city without bread and equipment and after the entrance of Ottoman troops to Tabriz they should blocade the roads and deprive it from provisions. Nevertheless these suggestions were not ratified. Osman pasha, who approached to Tabriz on September 20, demanded from city-dwellers to conceal voluntarily and promised not to kill the settlers. But, Ottoman artillery, which did not get answer in the next morning conquered Tabriz.

Osman pasha, who obligated to the Ottoman army’s customs and traditions, constructed cidatels in Tabriz after the conquest of the city.

There was decided to build it in the area of famous palace of “Hesht- Behisht” in Tabriz. Despite of difficult circumstances, Tabriz people continued to resist against the conquerors. According to one source, the city-dwellers “attacked to the tents of conquerors at night, killed and liquidated them, destroyed all built fortresses of Turks, which had been constructed by them for a day”. Due to break the resistance of city- dwellers in Tabriz, the conquerors implemented the regime of mass repressions in this city. In the noon the settlers did not risk to appear in the streets, they went out only at night.

After a month, Ottoman troops had to left Tabriz. Moral mood of conquerors was broken by the heroic struggle of city-dwellers, as well as by lots of invasions of kizilbash detachments to the circult of Tabriz, which was located by major forces of Ottomans.

After the decline of Tabriz, there was organized headquarters in Uzumdul and was decieded not to permit the enemy to breath in order to aid the fight of Tabriz people. The first, who realized attack to Turks, was kurchubashi Kulibey Afshar. He had already crossed the river of Tekhusfendj with his detachment and approached to Tabriz, when Osman pasha sent Cigan-oghlu Sinan pasha against him.

The detachment of kizilbashes began to attract the attendance of Cigan-oghlu troops, which besieged the major forces of Kulibey by false retreatment. Cigan-oghlu, who put his troops without artillery, was subjected to big attack of kizilbash cavalry. Turks could not resist against this attack and began to escape. In this battle, about 2000 Ottoman soldiers were killed and Cigan-oghlu was able to survive with great difficulty.

After several days, Hamza Mirza realized attack to the Ottomans.

The troops, commanded by Murad pasha – the governor of Karaman and Muhammed pasha – the governor of Diyarbekir were directed against him. The battle took place near the same river of Tekhusfendj. The end of the battle changed behalf on the kizilbashes, only after that when Hamza Mirza ordered to Shahrukh khan to participate and enter to hostile centres. Despite of the numeral majority, the forces of the enemy were destroyed and they quickly retreated. So, Ottoman troops again felt sorrow of the cruel defeat. Both Ottoman generals, Murad pasha and Muhammed pasha were captivated by kizilbashes; the last one died, at the result of wounds. According to Oruc bey Bayat, pasha of Trapezunt and other Ottoman generals were killed in this battle. Kizilbash troops pursued the enemy till the station of the major Ottoman forces in Cherendab.

Despite of their little forces, kizilbashes disturbed the enemy a lot.

Finally, the circumstance made Ottomans hurry to return to their lands. At the result of illness and death of Osman pasha, Cigan-oghlu Sinan pasha was appointed the commander of Turkish troops. When the Ottomans left Tabriz, they put 7 thousandth garrison with provisions and fires under the command of Jafar pasha in the fortress, constructed in this city. On October 29, main forces of the Ottoman army left their station in Cherendab and moved to the way back. Hamza Mirza directed against the retreated enemy and reached to his troops in Shanbi-Ghazan. The troops of enemy was striken in the battle. Hamza Mirza pursuied them till Tasudj and frequently inflicted unexpected strikes to them.

Hamza Mirza, who entered to Tabriz, understood well that the Ottoman garrison in this city presented great danger and was the pillar of Ottoman Empire for its further supremacy in the country. That is why Hamza Mirza realized several unsuccessful attempts in order to capture the fortress. Kizilbashes did not possess artillery, without which they wouldn’t be able to occupy the fortress. Only gun was that which they directed from Goyarchinlik fortress to Tabriz. With the help of this gun, a part of the tower was destroyed. But Turks were able to withdraw kizilbashes from the fortress with unexpected sortie. Kizilbashes needed two mothes for the preparation of new gun, but neither previos, not the new one could work because of the bad quality. Kizilbashes lost one of their most capable military commanders – emir from Zulkadar tribe, Shahrukh khan in the battles for the fortress.

Shahrukh khan, who tried to occupy the fortress before coming of rebelling emirs of Turkman and Tekeli approached to the fortress walls with his small detachment. At that moment, the detachment of Turks suddenly went out the fortress and attacked to Shahrukh khan. His men, as well as his son were slaughtered and he was wounded and captivated by Turks. One more circumstance prevented kizilbashes to occupy the fortress and distruct hostile garrison. So, since returning to Tabriz, kizilbashes digged underground passage from the mosque of Hasan padiShah to one of the towers of the fortress by the secret order of the Shah, in order to enter to the fortress and open the gates. After several days, diggers reached to the walls of the fortress and there remained only several for the complete end of the work.

But, unfortunately for Safavids, betray and escape of kurchibashi Kulibey Afshar to the fortress to the Ottomans, clarified the plans of kizilbashes, which was very close to the realization. Kulibey informed Jafar pasha about their plan. The besieged found the end of the mine and covered it with soil. So, Hamza Mirza ordered his troops to attack to the fortress in the noon. Kizilbashes did their best to enter the fortress by the vehicle of lodders. This unsuccessful attack of kizilbashes continued several days, which took some thousands of lives.

So, not only the absence of artillery, but also the approach of revolted tribes of Turkman and Takali prevented the complete liberation and occupation of Tabriz fortress. In one occasion, kizilbashes were close to occupy the fortress but because of new Ottoman army under the command of Farhad pasha approached to Tabriz and made them leave the city and retreated.

The peace negotiations with Sultan were broken at the result of the murder of Hamza Mirza by the conspiracy (at the end of 1586).

After that the central authority was paralysed and led by anarchy. Major part of kizilbash aristocracy left the Shah Muhammed Khudabande and declared their adherence to Abbas Mirza, who was brought to the throne in Khorasan.

Turkish commanding utilized from the death of Hamza Mirza and the heavy internal circumstance of Azerbaijan Safavids state. Peace negotiations were broken. The commandant of Ottoman fortress in Tabriz, Osman Pasha went out the city and occupied many cities in the south of Azerbaijan and the regular Ottoman troops occupied Karabakh and other regions of the country.

So, in 1586-1589s, approximately whole Azerbaijan was regularly occupied by the armies of Sultan Murad III. The achievements of Turks were facilitated by the invasions of Uzbeks to Khorasan. New Safavids monarch, Shah Abbas I, who occupied the capital, Kazvin and usurped the throne of his father hurried to continue peace negotiations with Sultan and accepted cruel arrangements of the peace in order to preserve the remained possessions. According to the Istanbul treaty of 1590, Azerbaijan (excepting Karadagh with Ardebil circult and Talish region), Chukhur-Saad, Georgia, several western districts of Iran passed to the Ottoman Empire.

Including of the most part of Azerbaijan to the territory of the Ottoman Empire, which continued till the beginning of the 17th century, broke the leading role of Azerbaijan in the Safavids state. Azerbaijan was devastated and destroyed at the result of continuing wars. Robbery policy of Ottoman feudals caused to the plundering of the wealth of the country, destruction of the grounds of economic life.

About Ismayil bey Zardabli

Author of t extbook for the higher educational institutions "THE HISTORY OF AZERBAIJAN, from ancient times to the present day"