Ottoman–Safavid War (1578–90)

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Ottoman–Safavid War of 1578–1590
Part of the Ottoman–Persian Wars
Date 1578–1590
Location Mesopotamia (Iraq), Caucasus
Result Ottoman victory, Treaty of Istanbul (1590)
Safavid Flag.png Safavid Empire
Kingdom of Kartli
 Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Safavid Flag.png Mohammed Khodabanda
Shah Abbas I
Ottoman Empire Sultan Murad III
Lala Kara Mustafa Pasha
Sinan Pasha
Özdemiroğlu Osman Pasha

The Ottoman–Safavid War (1578–1590) was a war between Safavid Persia under Mohammed Khodabanda and later Abbas I, and the Ottoman Empire under Murad III. It began in 1577-1578 and ended in 1590.

The Ottomans started the war, with the objective of conquering Azerbaijan and the Caucasus.[1] The war lasted for years, but the Ottomans took Tiflis in 1578, Kars and Tabriz in 1585, and Georgia became a tributary vassal of the Ottoman Empire.[2] In 1588, the Ottoman commander Farhād Pasha advanced into Karabakh through Georgia. Many of the Turkic Kizilbash tribes, which formed the backbone of the Safavid military, submitted without any significant resistance.[3] As a result, the Ottomans effectively came to rule over Azerbaijan and the Caucasus as far as the Caspian Sea.[4]

The battles of the war included:

A peace of Istanbul was concluded on 21 March 1590, in which Iran confirmed these Ottoman conquests, as well as promising to end Shiite propaganda in Ottoman territories and persecution of Sunnis in its own lands.[4]

The advent of the Ottoman-Safavid war temporarily deflected Ottoman interest from European affairs, where the Ottoman Empire had been active with the Franco-Ottoman alliance and the support of the Dutch Revolt, in an interesting episode of mutually-supportive relations between Islam and Protestantism.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Encyclopedia of world history Peter N. Stearns, p.352
  2. ^ Islam by Gerhard Endress, p.194
  3. ^ Maeda, Hirotake (2006). "The forced migrations and reorganisation of the regional order in the Caucasus by Safavid Iran: Preconditions and developments described by Fazli Khuzani". In Ieda, Osamu; Uyama, Tomohiko. Reconstruction and interaction of Slavic Eurasia and its neighbouring worlds. Slavic Eurasian Studies, No.10. Sapporo: Slavic Research Centre, Hokkaido University. p. 243. ISBN 4938637391. 
  4. ^ a b Stearns, p.352