Depicting the other : Qizilbash image in the 16th century Ottoman historiography
Kireçci, M. Akif
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This study examines the early roots of the Ottoman perception of Qizilbash, both the Safavids, rising as a new power in Iran at the turn of the 16th century, and their Turcoman collaborators in Anatolia. The previous literature showing the image of the Qizilbash in the eyes of Ottoman dynasty employed mostly archival sources, such as fatwa collections and mühimme registers. In contrast, by focusing on the historiographical narrations of the years of 1509–1514, the present study looks at the literary works of 16th century chroniclers, particularly Selimnâme literature, and their role in building the Ottoman religio-political discourse on the Qizilbash with an attempt at showing their propagandist (or Selimist) nature. The present study argues that this discourse helped the dynasty to justify the act of war against them. After giving a brief background of the early Ottoman history with an emphasis on the shifting position of nomadic-tribal Turcomans, the study probes how a chosen sample of Ottoman histories from the 16th century depicted the Qizilbash image and iv how they identified the “self” through depiction of the “other.” This thesis argues that religio-political discourses created in the 16th century led the Ottoman state to espouse a more Sunni-minded imperial ideology, and to identify the social and religious status of the Qizilbash.