Capture of Tbilisi and Gökçe war

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Capture of Tbilisi and Gökçe war
Part of Ottoman–Safavid War (1603–1618)
Date 1616
Location Tbilisi, Nakhchivan, some districts of Armenia, near Lake Sevan (Gökçe)
Result Decisive Safavid victory
Tblisi devastated
Safavid Empire  Ottoman Empire
Kakheti CoA tr.png Kingdom of Kakheti
Commanders and leaders
Shah Abbas I
Giorgi Saakadze (Mūrāv-Beg)
Ottoman Empire Sultan Ahmed I
Ottoman Empire Ahmet Pasha
Ottoman Empire Mehmet Pasha
Kakheti CoA tr.png Teimuraz I
(Tahmuras Khan)
Casualties and losses
Not reported In Capture of Tbilisi:

70,000 Ottoman warriors and Georgian people were killed.[1]
130,000[2] - 200,000[3] Georgian captives moved to Persia.

In Gökçe conflict:

4,000 Ottoman warriors were killed.

The Capture of Tbilisi and Gökçe war took place in 1616 during the Ottoman–Safavid War (1603–18). The capture of Tbilisi occurred as a conflict between the suzerain Shah Abbas I and his Georgian subjects, most notably Tahmuras Khan (Teimuraz I of Kakheti). After the complete devastation of Tblisi and the deportation of masses of Georgian captives to Iran, Abbas I confronted an Ottoman army. The battle took place near Lake Gökçe and resulted in the Ottomans being decisively defeated by the Safavids.


In 1612, Shah Abbas I was informed that Teimuraz I of Kakheti with a couple of Christian citizens assaulted the Karabakh governor and killed him. Shah Abbas decided to confront him but Teimuraz I fled to Georgia towards Ahmed I, in order to shelter from Safavid forces. This event brought an end to the Treaty of Nasuh Pasha.

Massacre and capture of Tbilisi[edit]

In 1616, Shah Abbas I dispatched his troops to Georgia. He aimed to suppress the Georgian revolt in Tbilisi, however the Safavid soldiers met heavy resistance by the citizens of Tbilisi. Enraged, Shah Abbas ordered a massacre of the public. A large number of Georgian soldiers and people were killed and as many as between 130,000 and 200,000 Georgians from Kakheti were deported to Persia.[4][5] The Persians supposedly massacred 6,000 Georgian monks and destroyed their temples.[6][7]

Conquest of Nakhchivan and Gökçe battle[edit]

This event caused Sultan Ahmed I to send an Ottoman army to confront the Safavid troops. He appointed Mehmet Pasha commander of the army. In 1616, the Ottoman army reached Aleppo. Numerous soldiers joined them from Asia Minor and parts of Iraq. Shah Abbas I's military strategies kept the Ottoman army in famine among other difficulties. Although Ottoman troops briefly captured Nakhchivan, they failed to conquer Yerevan.

After the capture of Tbilisi, Abbas I moved to engage the Ottoman army. The battle occurred near Lake Gökçe and resulted in a crushing defeat of the Ottomans. The capture of Tblisi also marked another stage in the deportations of huge amounts of Georgians and other ethnic Caucasian groups such as the Circassians and Armenians, to Persia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ History of Iranian-Georgian Relations, Savory, II, pp. 1081-83
  2. ^ Eskandar Beg, pp. 900-901, tr. Savory, II, p. 1116
  3. ^ Malekšāh Ḥosayn, p. 509
  4. ^ Stalin and the Turkish Crisis of the Cold War, 1945-1953, by Jamil Hasanli, 2011, p.167
  5. ^
  6. ^ Grand Tourist, by Ellen Boer, p.229-230, 2013
  7. ^ The Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, Issues 7-12, 1986, p.80


  • Ghafouri Ali History of the Iran's battles, from the Medes up to today 2009 ISBN 9789644237386.
  • Asadollah Matoufi 4000 years history of Iran army, Persian title: Tārīkh-i chahār hazār sālah-i artish-i Īrān 2003 ISBN 9646820034.