Due to the pretensions of Armenian falsifiers which wants our lands, the name “Karabakh” began to be used since XVIII century, and as if there was not such name in earlier sources. There is also pretension that Muslim-Turk governance in this territory appeared at the time of Karabakh khanate.
Though it is strange, most of our experts who try to answer their lies, form their thesis on not refuted facts about the history of khanate, and are satisfied telling only some sentences about Karabakh Beylerbeylik (a form of small administration and control, similar to a khanate, but much like a vassal but not vassal state) which was before khanate. This is natural as there was not special research about Karabakh Beylerbeylik and its history until today in Azerbaijan. I mean, even if they touched to the problem, they did it in the frame of general conception.
To be exact, the XVI-XVII century also the first part of XVIII century period of Karabakh history, mean, the earlier period of Karabakh khanate was not researched enough in our national history and there is a need to serious researches in this field. This period is significant with Karabakh beylerbeylik inside Azerbaijan state in Sefevits governance period (1501-1736). Due to Georgian sources and German historian K.M.Rohrborn which support those sources, Karabakh beylerbeylik was established in 1554 and Shahverdi Sultan Ziyadoglu was the first beylerbek of Karabakh. Before, to be exact in XV century Karabakh territory was under the governance of Karakoyunlu and Agkoyunlu dynasties in Azerbaijan. At that time, Qaramanlis and Qacars were strengthening in Karabakh. Among Qizilbash tribes which joined around Sheykh Heyder there were Karabakh Qacars.
At the end of XV century, in the last years of Agkoyunlu dynasty, contradictions in Azerbaijan sharpened more and more.
İn 1500 the unit state was smashed to pieces among different Agkoyunlu amirs. The South Azerbaijan, Karabakh, Nakhcivan and Diyarbekir were under the rule of Sultan Elvend, Arabian Irak, Persia and Kirman was under the rule of Sultan Murad. In the beginning of XVI century, after Safavi governance was formed in Azerbaijan, Karabakh beylerbeylik with the center Ganja was established in Karabakh territory.
Want to inform that, first Safavi shahs formed beylerbeyliks in provinces under their rules and gave those beylerbeyliks under the rule of different Turk qizilbash tribes. The rule of Karabakh beylerbeylik was given to Ziyadoglular branch of Qacar family. That generation governed in that territory from 50th year’s odd XVI century until Nadir shah Efshad took the throne.
As Nadir (1736-1747) was not strong enough to rule the state of Sefevi dynasty, called congress in Mugan in 1736 about the fortune of the state and held elections due to the old Turkish traditions and was selected shah in that congress. In congress, the leading families of Karabakh Cavanshir, Kebirli, Otuz iki, Iyirmi dord and so on were against the candidature of Nadir. That lead shah Nadir Qulu khan to make big changes, also to abolish beylerbeylik administrative division which inherited from Sefevis.
In Azerbaijan as a rule, every new dynasty in the government were obliged to change administrative territorial division of country in order to weaken the representatives of dynasties before them in territories. So, the division was changed some time beginning from feudal emirates to beylerbeyliks (1538-1747), khanates (1747-1828). After Elkhanis came to the government in Azerbaijan became wider and Eastern Anadoly, Arabian Irak and Acem Irak also joined to its territory.
This situation went on the period of Karakoyunlu and Agkoyunlu dynasties. During the governance of Agkoyunlu, to be exact, in 1477 the Eastern Georgia also joined to Agkoyunlu state. In 1503 after the governance of Agkoyunlu ended, all Azerbaijan territories went under the rule of Sefevits. Azerbaijan territory was from Amu-Derya River to Ferat River, from Derbend to Persian Gulf. During Sefevits period Azerbaijan divided into many beylerbeyliks from the point of administrative division, also it was devided into Shirvan, Karabakh (Genje), Chukurseed (Irevan) and Tabriz beylerbeyliks. You can get information about them in some historical sources. One of such sources is “Tarix-I Alemara-yi Shah Ismayil” which was written by unknown author.
The author of this piece tells about the events of 1508, and then adds that Shah Ismayil appreciated qizilbash emirates high that had special selflessness in fights for establishment Sefevits governance and he appointed their children to high positions: “he gave beylerbeyliks of Karabakh and that boundary to Rustem bey- the son of Qara Piri”.
We know from “Tarix-I Alemara-yi Shah Ismayil” that, Karabakh beylerbeylik which was established in that period belonged to the generation of Qara Piri bey Qacar in the beginning. In 1554 it was given to another branch of Qacars, Ziyadoglular generation. They ruled Karabakh beylerbeyliks until the Sefevits dispersed and Nadir shah came to the throne.
One of the important sources with the information about the geographical position, administrative division and economical situation of Karabakh beylerbeyliks is “Tezkiratul-muluk” which was written by Mirze Semia in 1725. Due to that peace, Karabakh beylerbeylik with the center Genje involved a large territory. Beylerbeylik consisted of 9 region: Zeyem, Berde, Agstafa, Cavanshir, Bergushad, Qara-Agac, ( it was situated in Kaxeti province of Georgia), Lori and Pembek, Arazbar country and Beyazidli province, Simavi and Terkur country.
Due to the “Tezkiratul-muluk”, Karbakh Beylerbeylik included Azerbaijanis’ Gencebasar and Karabakh regions, also Pembek mountain chains and northern territories of it, Goyce province, a large part of Zengezur, also Borchali province, Kaxeti province itself. Tbilisi also was under Karabakh beylerbeylik.
Due to our topic, “Ruzname” by Heyder Chelebi is also very interesting. In this source the name of Serdar bey Qacar who was governor of Genje and Berde provinces, among the names of qizilbash emirates who were killed in Chaldiran fight. Want to inform that, Serdar bey Qacar also was the representative of generation who ruled Karabakh. The most important information about Ziyadoglu Qacar is lightened in “Xulaset es-siyar” peace of Mahammed Mesum who was vizier of Karabakh beylerbek Murtuzaqulu khan Qacar during the period of II Shah Abbas. Mahammed Mesum lightened the history of Ziyadoglu Qacar generation from 40th years of XVI century until 60th of XVII century in his peace. Due to him, Karabakh beylerbek Shahverdi Sultan died in 1568. He had three sons. One of them Khalil khan was the head of Qacar family and beylerbek of Astrabad while his father was alive: “Now parts of Qacars who live in Astrabad are representatives of his generation”.
After the death of Shahverdi Sultan his two sons- Ibrahim khan and Yusif Khalifa were Karabakh beylerbek until 1576. II Shah Ismayil considered Karabakh Qacars also Ziyadoglu generation his personal enemies. Because, as a result of suggestions of Shahverdi Sultan, Ismayil Mirze was punished by his father and lives prisoner life in Qehqehe castle 20 years by the order of his father Shah Tehmasib.
During the period of Mahemmed Xudabende, to be exact in 1580, after Peyker Sultan was appointed Shirvan beylerbek, some part of Qacars moved to Shirvan and arranged there. Due to the sources we know that during the period of Sevefi-Ottoman war (1578-1590) Karabakh beylerbek Imamqulu khan was active in fight for Azerbaijan with Karabakh army, but was obliged to move to south shores of Araz in 1588.
During the war, Ottomans won systematically and with Istanbul peace contract in 1590 the next period of bloody wars of two Turkish states resulted. Due to the peace contract, besides Talish province all North Azerbaijan, Western Azerbaijan, also some part of South Azerbaijan went under Ottoman rules. Due to the texts written by Faruk Sumer, when Karabakh went under the rule of Ottomans, some part of Qacars did not want to be under the rule of Ottoman government and moved to the south of Araz: “As a result of great military leadership Imamqulu khan Qacar fought against the Ottoman army more than ten years. After his death in 1587 in Genje, Mehemmed khan Ziyadoglu appointed Karabakh beylerbeylik”.
Sheref khan Bitlisi noted that, in 1st September of 1588, Ferhad Pasha invaded Genje, Then Mehemmed khan Ziyadoglu moved with his family consist of 40-50 thousand home to the shore of Araz. Due to the information given by Mehemmed Mesum, Karabakh beylerbeylik was ruled by Ziyadoglu Qacar by inheritance. The grand child of Shahverdi Sultan, the son of Astrabad Khalil khan, Mahemmed khan, Ziyadoglu generation was made to moved from not only Shirvan but also from Karabakh by Ottoman army. So, Qacars left Karabakh and inhabited in Erdebil territory.
F. Krzioglu writes that, Ziyadoglu Qacars could not reconcile with the occupation of Karabakh by Ottoman army: “ Mehemmed khan Qacar marched to Karabakh in 1589 and surrounded Genje city. When Tebriz guard Cefer Pasha learned about this, he sent his messenger to I Shah Abbas and told that they cannot allow this event while there are peace negotiations. And this message resulted. Sefevi khan III Sultan Murad took into account the beginning of peace negotiations called Mehemmed shah Qacar from surround of Genje”.
By the way, the most important information about Karabakh population and its ethnic compound is given in “Genje-Karabakh review book” which was organized by Imamzade Mehmed who was financial officer of Ottomans in 1593. In that document 8 subdivisions of Qacars who did not leave Karabakh and stayed under the rule of Ottomans during the Ottoman invasion in 1588-1606: 1. Qaraca-Sevgulen in Berde province. 2. Qaytaq- in Sir Province Berde and Xacin sancaq in Calaberd province. 3. Qolsuzlu- in Sir province of Berde. 4. Agcaqoyunlu- in Xacin’s Calaberd province. 5. Gengeldilu- in the same territory. 6. Eylenlu- in the same territory, around Berde and Genje. 7. Sham Bayazi (Bayati) in the same territory. 8. Yiva- Qacar in Qaraagaac and Genje provinces. The 31 subdivisions of Hacilu (Hacilar) generation in Qaraagac territory of Genje province are named in document too: 1. Elisharlu, 2. Bukavullu, 3. Canilu, 4. Ciraculu, , 5. Davulu, 6. Davudlu, 7. Demirchiler, 8. Ton-Eli, 9. Emir-Alyanlu, 10. Emir-Hesənlu, 11. Qazilu, 12. Hindmallu, 13. Khalifali, 14. İsabeyli, 15. İsmail-Qazılu, 16. Qedim-İsmaillu, 17. Kağan-Erlu, 18. Qara-Sofılu, 19. Keremeddinlu, 20. Qoruqçılu, 21. Qoyunlu-Mahmad, 22. Qul-Mahmudlu, 23. Kureler, 24. Mirxanilu, 25. Sarsarlu, 26. Sazağanlu, 27. Semelu, 28. Semelu-yi Artuc, 29. Sokelu, 30. Oxunmur, 31. Torelu
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