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Afshars, also called Avshar are a branch of the Turkic Oghuz groups. These originally nomadic Oghuz tribes moved from Central Asia and finally most of them settled in Azerbaijan. Most of Afshars are followers of Shia Islam.
The Afshar tribes of Iran are two distinct Turkic ethnic groups. The larger group is concentrated in the north of the country, and the smaller in the south. The dialect of the Afshar language spoken by the Afshar of the north is closely related to the Azerbaijani language, while the dialect spoken by the southern Afshar is more closely related to the Qashqai language. Many famous Iranian figures are of Afshar origin, and commonly share the "Afshar" surname.
The Afshars in Iran still remain a largely nomadic group.
Anatolian Afshars (Avshar) shared the same history with other Oghuz tribes until entering the Anatolia. Until the 10th century, they are believed to have lived along the banks of the Syr Darya (Seyhun) river and on the northern steppes of the river. Beginning from the 9th century, they started migrating towards west. Avshars are believed to have entered Anatolia after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. They settled in various places in Anatolia. During the Mongol invasion in the following period, some Avshar tribes migrated to Syria and later formed what was called Halep (Aleppo) Turkmens, which eventually migrated back to Anatolia and settled there.
Nader Shah Afshar is one of famous people of this tribe. He was king of Iran from 1736 to 1747.
- Afshar language
- Avshar Turkmen
- Afsharid dynasty
- Javanshir Qizilbash
- Javanshir clan
- Iranian Turks
- Oberling, P. "AFŠĀR". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 9 July 2009. "AFŠĀR, one of the twenty-four original Ḡuz Turkic tribes"
- Claude Cahen, Pre-Ottoman Turkey: a general survey of the material and spiritual culture and history c. 1071-1330, trans. J. Jones-Williams (New York: Taplinger, 1968), 281-2.
- Encyclopedia of The Modern Middle East and North Africa, (Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2004) P. 1112