Qajars (tribe)

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The Qajars (also spelled Kadjars, Kajars, Kadzhars, Cadzhars, Cadjars and so on) are a Turkic Oghuz tribe who lived variously, with other tribes, in the area that is now Armenia, Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran. With the advent of the Safavid era, they had split into several factions.[1] These included the Ziyādoghlu (Ziādlu), associated with the area of Ganja and Yerevan, as well as the Qoyunlu (Qāvānlu), and Davālu (Devehlu) the latter two associated with the northern areas of contemporary Iran.[1] The Qajars were one of the original Turkoman Qizilbash tribes that had supplied power to the Safavids since its earliest days. Numerous members of the Qajar tribe held prominent ranks in the Safavid state. In 1794, a Qajar chieftain, Agha Mohammed, member of the Qoyunlu branch of the Qajars, founded the Qajar dynasty which replaced the Zand dynasty in Iran. In the 1980s the Qajar population exceeded 15,000 people, most of whom lived in Iran. According to Olson et al., the Qajars are nowadays considered as a branch of the Azerbaijanis.[2]

A branch, attested only as ‘Kadzhar’ (i.e. ‘Qajar’ via Cyrillic transcription), lived in Russian Armenia in the 19th century and likely earlier. In 1873 they numbered 5,000.

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  1. ^ a b Atkin 1980, p. 9.
  2. ^ Olson, James Stuart; Pappas, Lee Brigance and Pappas, Nicholas Charles. (1994) An Ethnohistorical dictionary of the Russian and Soviet empires page 333

    KAJAR. The Kajars are considered a subgroup of the Azerbaijanis*. Historically, they have been a Turkic* Tribe who lived in Armenia. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when the Safavids tried to conquer the region, the Kajars settled in the Karabakh Khanate of western Azerbaijan. Agha Mohammed, a Kajar leader, overturned the Zend dynasty in Iran and established Kajar control in the area. This arrangement lasted until Reza Shah came to power in Iran in 1925. The Kajar population today exceeds 35,000 people, the vast majority of whom live in Iran.


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