عنوان مقاله [English]
The political-military power of different tribes in Iran during the ninth century AH was obvious, especially after the demise of Timur (807AH). In fact, the presence of tribes in the unions and their attempts to survive the battles was the prominent political insight of Iran in the ninth century. Afshar tribe was one of these tribes, entering these unions during the Aq Qoyunlu power-seeking attempts in the ninth century. Due to their high military power, this tribe had a prominent role both after the foundation of the Safavid dynasty and also after the kings' power-seeking attempts after the Shah Ismail until Shah Abbas I. Using their military power, Afshar tribe affected the politics and military relationships. Afshar's people, spread over different areas such as Kohgiluyh, Urmia (Mostofi, 1984, 556), Khorasan (Astarabadi, 1989, 27), and Kerman (Vaziri, 1985, 1505) based on their tribal nature. Because of serving the Safavid dynasty, Afshar tribe became the ruler in some areas, had some governmental jobs, and used their military service to help the Safavid to fight against Uzbeks, Ottoman, and suppress the civil war. This demonstrates Afshar's important role in Safavid dynasty.
This study aims to study the role of Afshar tribe in forming and establishing the Safavid dynasty independently, using historical research method and using primary sources to collect data.
Kashghari has first mentioned Afshar tribe who migrated from Turkestan to Iran (Astarabadi, 1989, 26). This tribe used to live and reign some areas of Iran at the beginning of the Safavid kingdom and throughout their kingdom. These areas include, but are not limited to Kohgiluyeh, Kerman, Hezar Jarib, Khorasan, and Farah (Valeh Esfahani, 1993, 411).
Afshars played a key role during the kingdom of the first Safavid king in two parts: founding the Safavid governments (fighting Aq Qoyunlu, the rulers of Şirvan, and then Ottoman and Uzbek governments; and defeating these rivals) and political and governmental positions (ruling states and areas they used to live like Kohgiluye (Mirzasamiaa, 1989, 186) and Kerman (Kermani, 2005, 26).
As the Afshar tribe had a significant role in development and sustainability of the Safavid dynasty in the fifty-year kingdom of Shah Tahmasp (930 – 984 AH), they managed to achieve a better situation in this era, and in addition to achieving Biglarbeygi position during the first Safavid king, they achieved Ghoorchibashgari and Amirshekarbashi (Romelo, 1978, 328/12; Turkman, 1971, 110/1).
Afshar tribe had an important role in suppressing the rebellions which threatened the Safavid's sovereignty. They also controlled the borders and territorial integrity. An example here is suppressing Khan Ahmad Gilani (Valeh Esfahani, 1993, 353-4), Suppressing Hasan Sultan Rishehri (Hosseini Fasaei, 1988, 395/1).
Mahmood Khan Afshar, who was the Biglarbeygi of Kohgiluyeh, accompanied Shah Tahmasp in the fight against Sultan Suleiman, who was the Ottoman king (Shah Tahmasp, 1913, 53-55). Khosro Sultan Koroghli, the leader of Afshars in Khorasan, reinforced the position of the Safavid in that area after the demise of Ubayd Allah Khan Uzbek in 946AH (Turkman, 1971, 93/1).
The kingdom of Shah Abbas the Great should be considered as the climax of power and emergence of Afshar tribe in political-organizational structure of the Safavid dynasty. Afshar tribe has had a great role in Shah Abbas's getting into power (Falsafi, 1968, 128/1 and 121). Vali Khan as Kerman's ruler who was Ghoorchi Bashi (Turkman, 1971, 402/2), Baktash Khan as Yazd's ruler, and Yusef Khan as Abarghoo's ruler can be mentioned as Afshar's rulers who had some roles and positions in this era (Monajjem Yazdi, 1987, 72 and 82).
Afshars had an important role in protecting the borders and fighting against exterior enemies. As an example, at the beginning of Shah Abbas's sovereignty, Afshar's kings in Kerman, led by Mostafa Khan Afshar, managed to defeat Uzbek forces from Khorasan (Turkman, 1971, 456/2). Urmia's Afshar, led by Ghasem Sultan, took charge of protecting the western borders (ibid., 1085/2 – 925)..
Afshar tribe showed a significant military performance since the dawn of the Safavid dynasty. Piri Beyg, Parvanchi Afshar, and Dane Beyg were among the rulers who helped Ismaeil to be the king. When facing the attack from the enemies, Afshar rulers had a pivotal role. Therefore, the military nature of Afshar tribe was in line with one aspect of Safavid government, that is reliance on the military power of its allied forces. In the 11th century AH, like the tenth century, the military power of the tribe was used to reinforce and consolidate the Safavid dynasty. Since Shah Abbas the Great's time, rulers such as Yusef Khan and Vali Khan became the Ghoorchibashi, an elite position in the Safavid government. Appointing the heads of Afshar tribe to different positions continued at the time of Shah Abbas the Great. For instance, Yaghoob Beyg who was Afshar's Yuzbashi, became Khan. Anyway, it should be considered that at the end of the Safavid dynasty, the mutual relationship between Afshar and Safavid dynasty faded as all Ghezelbash's tribes. One important factor in the decline of the Safavid dynasty in 1135 AH was the lack of relationship between Ghezelbash's tribes and the Safavid dynasty.