Talk:Safavid dynasty/Archive 1

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This page apparently has been named 'Safavids' which is not a good spelling for the correct pronunciation. I guess the best spell for the word would be 'Safavies'('Safavi' as for single). I have changed the spells in this page and the page for 'Isfahan'; but we need to change the page’s name as well or somehow mirror the information from 'Safavid' page to 'Safavi' page. This is very important because nobody with proper history knowledge would look for 'Safavid'!! ; Especially the Persian users. I ask from the experienced guys please do this and make it right.

P.S. I come from Isfahan, Iran and I'm currently living in England

Well, I don't really know anything about the subject, but the Macmillan Encyclopaedia calls them "Safavids", and there are over three thousands hits on Google for "Safavids" (compared to twelve for "Safavies"). The spelling may not be very close to the pronounciation, but it does seem to be the most commonly used. Perhaps you could add a note indicating the pronounciation: so the article could begin "Safavids (pronounced safavies)" or whatever). --Camembert

(the below from my user page)

Hello Camembert

This is about the 'Safavid': Seeing everything back to what it was so quickly was much unexpected. As about 'Safavies' I made it from 'Safavi' according to English language. The count for 'Safavi' in Google is 8230 and for 'Safavid' is 10800. I appreciate what you are saying but you have to understand that there is no pronunciation of ’d’ in the word. I guess the mistake comes from the foreign writers which have not been familiar with Farsi. Anyway as we all trying to develop the encyclopedia it's better to teach people the proper spell and pronunciation of the word. As I said before there is no need to delete 'Safavid' we can have that in the 'safavi' page as an alternative spell so people can get to the page with both spells but they learn the right one.

If you want to discuss this matter please leave your note on Safavid or this page. Thank you

Thanks for your explanation. I appreciate what you're saying about the "d" making it look like the word is pronounced differently to how it is, but it really does seem like this is how the word is usually spelt. For instance - as you say, there are 8230 Google hits for "Safavi", but many of these are in personal names: if one searches instead for "Safavi dynasty" there are only 117 hits, whereas "Safavid dynasty" returns 2110 hits. Google isn't always a reliable indicator what is "right", of course, but that's quite a big difference. According to our policy at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names), we should name articles by the most common name used in an English-language context, which in this case seems to be "Safavid". We should, however, add a note to the article pointing out how the name should be pronounced (I think you're in a better position to do that than I, since you actually know how to pronounce it!). I'll also make a redirect from safavi so that any searches for that spelling will get to the right page. --Camembert

Thank you Camembert


Just one question, did anyone consider "Safavieh" Dynasty...It has 506,000 hits on google.Think Elizabeth, Elizabethan.--Gyve Safavi


The pronounciation issue is explained in Wikipedia Article Safavi

Historical inaccuracies

I changed some points in the article. Because what was mentioned is in my opinion contradictory to the historical facts. The word Turkic when applied to a people means they are of Turkic (=Mongoloid) stock, while the Safavid soldiers where people of mosly Iranian stock who were linguistically Turkified. That's why the designation Turkic-speaking is more correct for them. Qizilbash is a Turkic word used in Azerbaijani and Uzbek etc. and not in (Istanbuli)Turkish. The (Istanbuli)Turkish for that word is Kizil-bas. Turkic means "related to the family of language spoken by the Turks" and does not mean (Istanbuli) Turkish at all.

It is a well-established fact that the standard and official language of the Safavid government was Persian. There is not even one single official document of the Safavid times found to be written in any other language than Persian. I have been studying the documents of that period and I know what I am talking about. Azerbaijani was not official at all. It was only used by the Safavid kings to talk to some of the military officiers who might have not learned Persian yet. But all the official correspondences were done merely in Persian.

Azarbaijan is the area to the south of the Aras River and is not divided by Turkey and Iran or others. It is in its entirety a part of Iran as always. If you want to refer to Aran, the newly forme republic to the north of Aras, it is a new forgery to call that area "Azerbaijan" too. The historical reference here is about the real Azarbaijan not the new fake one. --Mani1 11:13, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)

DISPUTE: Persian ethnicity of SAFAVIDS is scientifically established! POV not pertinent.

POV and citing of hearsay are not helpful.

  • Safi Al-Din Ardebili (of Ardebil) was originally of Kurdish, hence Indo-European extraction, as opposed to Mongol/Turkic stock and as occasionally claimed by individuals unfamiliar with the historical background.
  • The population of Azerbaijan comprised a large number of ethnical Iranians, who did however share the same language, Azeri, with their Turkic compatriots.
  • Ismail Safavi cannot have been a "great grandson" of Sheikh Safi Al-Din, as he came to power 170 years after his forebear's death.
  • Neither Tabriz, nor Qazvin bear witness to Safavid architecture, as this distinct style developed during the reign of Safavid kings with residence in Isfahan, which harbors the most eminent Safavid examples.
  • The Aq Qoyunlou, and Qaraqoyunlou tribes, as well as the Dynasties of the same name were of Turkic nature and their names in their native Turkic idiom are phonetically pronounced differently from the Ottoman Turk "Istanbuli" tradition. Hence the Istanbuli "K" needs to be replaced by the proper transliteration for the Turkic "Q".
  • Before a user (e.g. "Tabib") sets off on a REVERT WAR, I suggested objective perusal of amply abundant sources on the subject matter, on which much light has been shed by numerous scientifically trained historians, and which have gained universal acceptance.--Pantherarosa 13:08, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)


To all parties concerned with the factual accuracy of the article,
To avoid edit war on this article, please settle the dispute in talk page before making substantial changes, and then remove {{disputed}} tag. --Pouya 13:37, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Just to add something: The best source on the Safavids is Iran Under the Safavids by Roger Savory, Harvard University. This is the only major work on the Safavid dynasty. In it the author shows that the Safavids were of Iranic and non-Turkic extraction who were later turkicized. A good proof of this is also the Taati poems left by Shaykh Safi-ad-din Ardabili according to two sources. These poems are in the Safwat as-Safa. There is no works of Turkish from him. Also the Shaykh Safi-ad-din was of a Sunnite Shafi'ite extraction whereas all Sunni Turks are of Hanafite extraction. Finally I did not find the refrence mentioned by Tabib on "ganj-turk" or "pir-turk" in the published Safwat as-Safa. If such statements did exist, there would indeed be no dispute in the scholarly world about the Safavid origins. So in reality Shaykh Safi-Ad-Din was a Sunnite Shafi'ite of Iranic extraction, but two centuries after him, the Safavid family became turcophones. This is also mentioned in the book by Roger Savory.

Turkic origins of the Safavids and Pantherarosa's nationalist propaganda

I regret that I am being dragged into this kind of dispute. I did my best to avoid conflict by initially trying to incorporate some of Pantherarosa's remarks. However, I cannot accept such flagrant lies and propaganda.

1. Pantherarosa writes,

Safi Al-Din Ardebili (of Ardebil) was originally of Kurdish, hence Indo-European extraction, as opposed to Mongol/Turkic stock and as occasionally claimed by individuals unfamiliar with the historical background.
  • Safi-Al-Din (also referred to as Safi-ad-Din was originally from Ardebil, a city in South Azerbaijan, which is part of northwestern Iran inhabited by Turkic ethnic group that is today called the Azeris. It is also a well established fact that in the time of Sheikh Safi in XIII c. Ardebil was a Turkic(Azeri)-populated city. There is absolutely no historical reference of Sheikh Safi-ad-Din's "Kurdish" or "Persian" ethnicity.
Moreover, if Pantherarosa is so "familiar" with history, he should know that "Turkic" equals "Mongoloid" as much as "Persian" correspond to "Tuaregs" in Sagara. The word Turkic has no distinct racial connotation, since Turkic tribes have been historically dispersed throughout a vast geographical field from Europe to Asia and therefore, they have both Mongoloid and Europeoid racial characteristics. Turks of Iran (Azeris), like their kins in Azerbaijan and in Turkey belong to the Europeoid race (btw, more so than Indo European Persians). Therefore, the remarks about racial characteristics of the Azeris in Iran is not quite appropriate here.

2. Pantherarosa writes,

The population of Azerbaijan comprised a large number of ethnical Iranians, who did however share the same language, Azeri, with their Turkic compatriots.
  • This is a classical sample of present-day Persian propaganda. It has a drop of truth in it, since certainly, living for centuries side by side, Turkic Azeris and Persians have experienced intermarriages etc. BUT, this statement aims far beyond that. It's purpose is to deny the historical existence of active Turkic element in the Iranian history and culture. Same propaganda is being waged today with regard to Iranian Azeris, whom Persian propaganda claims to be "Turkified Persians".

3. Pantherarosa writes,

Neither Tabriz, nor Qazvin bear witness to Safavid architecture, as this distinct style developed during the reign of Safavid kings with residence in Isfahan, which harbors the most eminent Safavid examples.
  • In earlier edition, only Isfahan was mentioned as capital of the Safavid state. However, there were three consecutive capitals of the Safavid state. First, in 1501-1548 the capital was Tabriz, another historical Azeri-populated city in South Azerbaijan. Then, constant wars with the Ottomans, made shah Tahmasp I to move the capital into the inner parts (Tabriz was too close to the border with Ottoman Empire and was captured several times during wars) to Kazvin, another predominantly Azeri populated town in South Azerbaijan, northwestern Iran. Later, Shah Abbas I moved the capital even further to the inner parts of the empire to Isfahan, a Persian city in central Iran.
Now, guess why Pantherarosa intentionally distinguishes Isfahan and omits and downplays the importance of Tabriz and Kazvin???

4. Pantherarosa writes,

The Aq Qoyunlou, and Qaraqoyunlou tribes, as well as the Dynasties of the same name were of Turkic nature and their names in their native Turkic idiom are phonetically pronounced differently from the Ottoman Turk "Istanbuli" tradition. Hence the Istanbuli "K" needs to be replaced by the proper transliteration for the Turkic "Q".
This is really a worthless talk. Whether "K" or "Q" doesn't really matter, because, at those times (XIV-XV cc.) there was no distinctions of present-day nature between Turks in Azerbaijan and Turks in Turkey, who both consider these states part of their history. And certainly, there was no "Istanbuli" Turkish at those times. In Azerbaijan (and in Azeri Turkish), the word is written as "Qara Qoyunlu", "Ağ Qoyunlu" in what you call "Istanbuli" Turkish, the word is "Kara ("Ak") Koyunlu. Considering the English pronuciation and grammar rules, I purposefully retained "K", which is also most commonly used.

In summary, I want to reiterate, Safavids were ofd Turkic origin. The official and palace language of the state, especially in the early period (during Shah Ismail I and Tahmasb I) was a Turkish dialect that is today being called Azeri(Azerbaijani) language. This is a well-established historical fact. Many European travellers who visited Safavids in medieval period testified that Safavid kings spoke Turkic language. Persian language was also widely used as an official language but Persian language, along with the Arab language was sort of lingua franca in the medieval Muslim Orient and was widely used in official level and as a language of literature and science. This is largely a case in all the countries throughout the region independently of their ethnic origin and native language, even in the Ottoman Empire. And I hope, nobody would seriously claim that Ottoman Empire was not a Turkic state either...--Tabib 14:56, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia readers deserve pertinent and well researched Information. Not POV!

  • No sense in mixing the centuries and cultures. You state the correctness of Turkic "Q", so why reiterate "K" ?? Stick to correct spelling in the given context.
  • Safi Al-Din Ardebili was of course "from Ardebil" as already clearly mentioned BEFORE!
  • Tabriz was also mentioned by editors, before, as the place where Ismail Safavi proclaimed himself SHAH! Read attentively. Qazvin and Tabriz are nevertheless NOT conspicuous with SAFAVID architecture.
  • "Pantherarosa" happens to be a descendant of Safi Al-Din through his Iranian mother (but has a European father). Sees no sense in playing Iranians against Turks or vice versa (assertions to this end are childish nonsense!). He knows his Pedigree; except for Uzun Hassan Aq Qoyunlou's daughter, no notable Turkic blood blessed the family. He certainly has not invented history, or the proven fact that Safi Al-Din was of Kurdish/Iranian extraction.
  • The ORIGIN of the Safavid Family is documented in the "Safwat as-Safa", a chronology preserved to this day, written on orders of the early Safaviyeh Sufi Masters, before the dynasty's founding, narrating the family's descent. It starts with Sheikh Safi Al-Din's tenth century descendant Firuzshah "Zarrinkulah" (Golden Cap), who was dabbed al-Kurdi as-Sangani, having been of Kurdish extraction and having hailed from Sangan (near Merv) in Greater Khorasan. It is said that (according to TOGAN "Origine") he had been part of the conquest of Azerbaijan, together with the Kurdish prince Mamlan bin Wahsudan of the Rawwadid Dynasty, in the 1020s AD and been granted Ardebil as a fiefdom. His descendant, Sheikh Safi's father, Amin-ad-din Gibra'il was a wealthy farmer and his mother was the daughter of Gamal Baruqis Dowlati of the village Baruq near Adebil. The forefathers of Safi Al-Din, as well as his siblings and descendants are documented in many chronicles, that have been preserved until today. There is ample evidence as to their ethnicity. They are universally regarded as Kurds/Iranians, except for a few contenders, who theorize that the Safavids may have had Arab or Turkic forbears, without accepted evidence, though.
  • The Article stated clearly that a Turkic idiom (Azeri) was the court language at the early Safavid court.
  • The adjective "Longlasting" with regards to the dynasty and the Sufi order, introduced by user "Tabib", in the Article, were vague, to say the least, and not very helpful.--Pantherarosa 01:27, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Turkic belonging of the Safavids: further evidence. Pantherarosa’s biased POV exposed

I do not want to waste my time to prove what is already obvious. I protest against continuous reverts and flagrant pan-Persian propagandan waged by Pantherarosa. Below, I give further evidence to Turkic belonging of the Safavids.

“A militant Islamic Sufi order, the Safavids, appeared among Turkish speaking people of west of the Caspian Sea, at Ardabil. The Safavid order survived the invasion of Timur to that part of the Iran in the late 13th century. By 1500 the Safavids had adopted the Shi'a branch of Islam and were eager to advance Shi'ism by military means. Safavid males used to wear red headgear...”
Turkish language was spoken at Shah Esma'il's court, but having adopted Persian as official language and much of Persian culture the Safavids were mistakenly thought by outsiders to be Persian, but they were truly Iranian with a unifying spirit. To help organize the state the Safavids used Persian bureaucrats with a tradition in administration and tax collecting, and they tried to create a religious unity. Shah Esma'il described himself as a descendant, on their father's side, of the Prophet Mohammad and claimed to have royal Sassanian blood as well. Shi'ism became the state religion, Esma'il ignored the Sunni branch of Islam and tried to force people to become Shi'a, which was a difficult task with a variety of tribes and less than complete authority…”
“The Safavid state provided both the territorial and societal foundations of modern Iran. Founded by Shah Ismail, this Turkic-speaking dynasty claimed descent from a Shiite Sufi order.”
Safavid – a Persian dynasty, originally part of a Turkic nomadic group that ruled from 1500 to 1722 and established the Shiite branch of Islam as the state religion
“During the 15th century several competing families and tribes, mostly of Turkic origins, ruled over various parts of Iran. Notable among them were the Safavids, who headed a militant Sufi order founded in the northwest by Shaikh Safi of Ardabil in the early 14th century. His descendant, Ismail I, conquered first Tabriz and then the rest of Iran. In 1501 he proclaimed himself shah (king), a title commonly used by Iranian rulers in pre-Islamic times…”
The Safavids were actually of Turkomen origin and established themselves first at Tabriz… At first religion was much more important than any ethnic identity, and Esmâ'il created a powerful Shi'ite identity for his dynasty and state. This became a unifying and militant force in Irân, especial vis à vis Orthdox Turkey, right down to the present. Abbas I, however, moved the capital to Es.fahân, and the state began to take on more of a Persian than a Turkish character. In retrospect, what the Safavids did was to succeed in establishing a new Persian national monarchy…”

Searching the internet, I came across an interesting political article by [Masoud Kazemzadeh ], PhD, US scholar of Iranian origin, who criticizes past and present Iranian pan-Persian ethnic policies and advocates so-called pan-Iranian approach comprising all the ethnicities of Iran. Below is the excerpts on Safavids published in US-based [Iranian National Front] web-site:

“…Was Iran a country with territorial integrity under Safavids? Yes. Were Safavids Persian? No. Safavids were Azerbaijanis. They did choose Shia Islam and with the force of the sword killed and forced hitherto Sunni Iranians to convert to Shia Islam. Was it necessary to kill and/or convert Iranians to Shia in order to create a "nation-state," or was there a pluralistic and non- violent way?
The fact of the matter is that our Azerbaijanis defended Iran and Iran's territorial integrity from Russians and Ottomans under the Safavids. Iranians from other ethnic groups lived peacefully in one country…”

As to Pantherarosa's alleged "Safavid" origin, I dont comment on that but, anyway, this statement doesn't present him as a neutral objective party either.

As to petty "K" vs. "Q" (Ak Koyunlu-Ağ Qoyunlu) issue, I have searched Google and found 2,750 and 1,370 results for Ak Koyunlu and Kara Koyunlu respectively, and only 664 and 680 results for Aq Qoyunlu and Qara Qoyunlu. Therefore, my choice of splling was correct. Refer to Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Use common names of persons and things

--Tabib 11:37, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Citing of sources void of scientific nature is below Wikipedia Standards. Let reason prevail!

  • While I could not imagine a single reason why one should oppose ones own descent - why belie it? My mentioning the family background only went to demonstrate why I should actually bother to bicker over this issue at all.
  • Teymur invaded Iran in 1383 and not as Cited by user "Tabib's" source in "the thirteenth" century.
  • What is the PROBLEM of user "Tabib" with things PERSIAN? Why try to bend history in the Turkish direction?? Nothing what so ever is wrong with anything Turkish, one would assert, so why find something wrong with things established as BLATANTLY Persian????
  • As if two entirely insignificant "editorlings" were prone to alter the course of history, in RETROSPECT!?
  • What on earth has beset one to adamantly demand Turkification, without historical evidence or the training to arrive at such, scientifically?
  • Everybody familiar with the subject would roll with laughter over the ridiculous attempts at painting something white BLACK -should I say "Ak" to "Kara"?- (or vice versa), just because he is beridden with base nationalistic sentiments and aggressive as a result? That cannot be what Wikipedia is about. Having already come to terms with most of Pantherarosa's citings, of historical findings (thanks for the considerations up to this point and the inclusion in user "Tabib's" attempted "improvement" of the article), he ought to try to back-question his knowledge base fairly, and return to the path of reason.
  • For starters, why doesn't user "Tabib" try to cite a single building in Tabriz or Qazwin (I have seen both), in contrast to Ardebil (where I have been often due to the ties to the sanctuary, which of course shows Safavid influence) that he does not cite, however, that should boast any aspect of what is referred to as Safavid Architecture. --Pantherarosa 15:41, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Final blow to the ill-concealed propaganda and cheating

I can't stop marvelling at how user Pantherarosa deliberately denies all the evidences that contradict his biased POV, and at the same time, contrives to do that without actually citing his own sources, which would testify that the Safavids were of "Kurdish" or "Persian" (in a sence of ethnicity and not geography) origin.

Pantherarosa writes,

While I could not imagine a single reason why one should oppose ones own descent - why belie it? My mentioning the family background only went to demonstrate why I should actually bother to bicker over this issue at all.

This is your *claim* and it has no relation to the subject matter of the present discussion. But you know what, I do NOT believe you...

Pantherarosa writes,

Teymur invaded Iran in 1383 and not as Cited by user "Tabib's" source in "the thirteenth" century.

Teymur? We are talking about Safavids! Of course, everyone familiar with history knows that Timur invaded Iran in early 1380s. I checked the sources I cited in my earlier message (namely [Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Edition], [Encarta Dictionary ], [Encarta Encyclopedia], [Friesian School website ] and Iranian (!) author Shapur Ghazemi's article from [Iran Chamber website] and found no reference to your "thirteenth century comment". Instead, here's what Ghazemi's article writes,

"Towards the end of 14th century, Timur (Tamerlane) claimed to be descent from Genghis Khan's family. The disturbed conditions in Mongol Transoxania gave him in the town of Kish the chance to build up a kingdom in Central Asia. He entered Iran in 1380..."

In short, don't distract the discussion from the major point, i.e. Turkic belonging of the Safavids. The sources I have brought (Columbia Encyclopedia, Encarta etc.) are rather respected and trustworthy. I twice cited even Iranian authors, who themselves recognize that Safavids were Turkic-speking (!).

I want to stress that User Pantherarosa in his "reply" did not even attempt to comment on these sources. Seemingly, his personal POV is more credible than the sources I named. We go on...

Pantherarosa writes,

What is the PROBLEM of user "Tabib" with things PERSIAN? Why try to bend history in the Turkish direction?? Nothing what so ever is wrong with anything Turkish, one would assert, so why find something wrong with things established as BLATANTLY Persian????[...]What on earth has beset one to adamantly demand Turkification, without historical evidence or the training to arrive at such, scientifically?[...]

It appears that it is user "Pantherarosa" who has a problem with portraying history as it is. The real question is: Why deny the Turkic roots of the Safavids if Safavid kings spoke Turkic, if Shah Ismail I himself entered the history not only as the founder of the Safavid State, but also as the author of wonderful poems written in (Azeri-)Turkic?!! Why allege that user Tabib has a "problem" with Persians, whereas himself allowing for a number of insulting remarks as to the race (see earlier message on Turkic "Mongoloid" remarks by Pantherarosa), and ethnic belonging of present-day Turkic Azeris of Iran (whom the current Persian nationalist propaganda brands "Turkified Persians")?

As to Ak Koyunlu & Kara Koyunlu vs. Aq Qoyunlu & Qara Qoyunlu, I have already substantially answered this question and have no desire to further discuss it. Google gives twice (Kara Koyunlu) and trice (Ak Koyunlu) as much results for my variants of spelling. So I can't add more than what I've already said. Refer to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names). Btw, this issue has no direct relation to Safavids either, so, I urge Pantherarosa not to distract the discussion from the major issue.

Pantherarosa writes,

[...]why doesn't user "Tabib" try to cite a single building in Tabriz or Qazwin (I have seen both), in contrast to Ardebil (where I have been often due to the ties to the sanctuary, which of course shows Safavid influence) that he does not cite, however, that should boast any aspect of what is referred to as Safavid Architecture.

Pantherarosa means to say that I intentionally avoided answering this point (despite his repeated failure to answer my arguments). I will stay on this last point in detail.

The sentence in question is as following:

Fine arts, poetry and sciences flourished under Safavid patronage and to this day the cities which were Safavid capital Isfahan bear witness to the era's magnificent architecture.

Initially, I added Tabriz and Kazvin before Isfahan, in order to show the consecutive change in the state's capital cities and state more explicitly that Isfahan was not the only capital of the Safavid state. I want to stress, that previous version gave the impression that Isfahan was the only capital of the Safavids, it mentioned Tabriz as capital at one place, but it was really an episodic mentioning, Kazvin was not mentioned at all.

Initially the capitals were the Azerbaijanian cities of Tabriz and afterwards Kazvin. But due to Safavid-Ottoman wars the Safavid kings had to gradually move the capital to the inner parts of the empire, first from Tabriz to Kazvin and then to Persian city of Isfahan. This is a very important historical detail, which facilitated to the gradual transformation of the Safavid state from originally Turkic-dominated to predominantly Persian-dominated state. Unfortunately, this detail didn't suit Pantherarosa's nationalist agenda and he deleted this part, along with the Turkic origins of the Safavids.

Isfahan, being the third and last capital of the Safavids bears the most prominent samples of Safavid architecture indeed. This is certainly not to say that Tabriz and Kazvin do not have Safavid architecture. For example, Sadeqiyeh mosque in Tabriz completed in 1657 during Shah Abbas II is one example. But certainly, Isfahan as the last and most long-standing capital of the Safavids has more Safavid-period building than earlier two capitals, which moreover, were occasionally captured and razed by the Ottoman troops during Safavi-Ottoman wars.

Considering all the stated above, I have reverted Pantherarosa's biased editions omitting Turkic origins of the Safavids and also, I have made the following edition to the aforementioned part on Isfahan and Safavid architecture.

"Fine arts, poetry and sciences flourished under Safavid patronage. Shah Ismail I himself wrote poems in Turkic (present-day Azeri), as well as Persian and Arabic languages. In this period, literature, architecture and handicrafts such as tilemaking, pottery and textiles developed and great advances were made in bookbinding, decoration and calligraphy. XVI c. Tabriz evolved as the center of carpetmaking and miniature painting of the period. Isfahan, being the third and last capital of the Safavids bears the most prominent samples of the Safavid architecture."

If Pantherarosa has some objections on the substance, I call him to argue directly on the subject matter, and not distract the discussion with various unrelated comments.

Hearsay, copying of Web sources and beliefs of zealous "Editors" do not help.

All recent contentions were in response to user TABIB and therefore admissible as relaying to this discussion.

  • Ak" to "Kara" or vice versa...... referred to painting "White" things "Black" (any further comprehension Problems to discern?)
  • What is so insulting about MONGOLOID. This Term simply expresses "akin to Mongols", or did you fear I meant the DOWN SYNDROME, which is characterized by an eye-shape which has been erroneously termed "mongoloid" at the time, by scholars, and which many refer to as "Mongolism"?
  • Tabriz architectural citing is accepted, but the city surely cannot be cited as exemplary for the style. In Qazvin none can be found, characterized by the distinct style referred to as SAFAVID
  • The belief in other people's family ties is totally inconsequential, and no one cares (or do they?)
  • People speaking a Language other than the one of their own creed does not render them of the ethnicity of that language. I suppose you are not "British", while communicating in this language, maybe even writing poetry.....
  • zealously "googled" web sites are not necessarily acceptable historical sources. Representative longstanding scientific sources on the subject are:
    • Prof. Dr. Monika Gronke: "Derwische im Vorhof der Macht" ISBN 3-515-05758-7 pages 241-63(most comprehensive source available), etc.
    • Zeki Velidi TOGAN: "Mogollar devrinde Anadolu'nun iktisadi vaziyeti (1931) Turk hukuk ve Iktisat tarihi mecmuasi pages 1-42, "Origine" page 346/53
    • Roger Savory: "Iran under the Safavids" Cambridge 1980 (and many more)
    • Vladimir MINORSKY: The poetry of Shah Ismail I" BSOAS (1939-42)
    • Iskandar Munsi (d. 1633-34): diverse historical text translated from Persian by Roger Savory
    • Husain bin Abdal Zahidi (d. 1689): "Silsilat an-nasab-i safawiya" Berlin 1924 (Publications Iranshahr 6)
    • Hans Robert ROEMER: "Die Safaviden" Saeculum 4 (1953) and many more.
    • "Safwat-as-Safa" chronical sources, scientifically analyzed by a number of historians in the field. etc., etc.

No matter what: The Safavids were of Indo European/Iranian/Kurdish ethnicity, a fact that will surely not be altered by ignorami of any creed or calling Pantherarosa 16:45, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Stubborn Denial

Outstanding! So many titles of the books and NO single mention of "Kurdish Persian" origin of the Safavids!

I want to stress that up untill now, Pantherarosa did not comment on the sources I cited, including world-wide known online resources and even Iranian authors themselves.

Pantherarosa points that "People speaking a Language other than the one of their own creed does not render them of the ethnicity of that language". It is an axiom and this axiom is also the key to understanding why Safavids used Persian language so widely (even more so than Turkic Azeri language) in official correspondence and culture. Any more or less familiar with history of the Middle and Near East person would tell you that Persian language was a language of poetry, science and largely, official correspondence, a sort of lingua franca, as I noted in my previous messages. Persian language was used not only in Safavid court but even in Ottoman court and official correspondence and Indian (Moghol) court. I suppose nobody would argue that Ottomans and Moghols were Persian.

But, Safavids were native Turkic speakers, and not native Persian-speakers precisely because, they continued to use and to promote Turkic language in official correspondence, poetry and science despite the fact that Turkic did not enjoy the same high status as Persian did.

As to Pantherarosa's remarks as to the race, yes, I do consider them insulting because they falsely, and perhaps intentionally, equalled Turkic with Mongoloid ("Turkish/Mongoliod stock").

I wonder, if there is ANY point of further discussing with Pantherarosa, when he constantly sets forth claims and contrives not to bring any single argument supporting his own view. It seems to me that and there is no single Wikipedian who would interfere to stop this crazy revert war and I am completely left alone to waste my time with this pointless discusion.

I have nothing to add to the discussion, sinnce I've already brought enough facts to which Pantherarosa came up with no single concrete responce.

No sense in refuting Science. Blatant ignorance on the subject is no solution. Must revert!

User "Tabib" is apparently not capable of dealing with SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE.

  • When offered a multitude of works by internationally renowned CAPACITIES in the field, with exact page references and further description of the books (found in the libraries of most every relevant university faculty), for perusal with regards to SAFAVID's DESCENT - it is downright silly and void of maturity to brush that away, without dealing with the literature!
  • It is noted with interest though, that user "Tabib" has ventured to copy pictures on websites of established Safi Al-Din descendants, such as one titled "SAFAVIDS" at http://homepage.mac.com/zahedi/Zahedi_History/PhotoAlbum64.html. The copyright reference to "medieval times" is not correct however, as the more recent PHOTO of the original "rendering" is protected and not the piece of art, user "Tabib" asserts: "Shah Ismail I / Medieval European rendering/ This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years". Depicted is Shah Ismail II (the second), by the way.
  • Sorry to hear User "Tabib" has a problem with Mongols too, feeling insulted by their mentioning.
  • I am sure User "Tabib" would strongly, if not aggressively object, if he were called "erudite"; some might argue he would have good reason to.

--Pantherarosa 18:32, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

To those confused and concerned about ethnicities

First of all, to those arguing about origins. It's the language that establishes the uniqueness of ethnicity. I.e. the Persians, Turks look alike Italians, Greeks, Lebanese, etc., but what makes them unique is language. So, please, don't try to measure the head to determine so called "Iranian origin" or "Mongoloid" origin. To put it correctly "Mongoloid" is a definition of human type with specific physiological features, as opposed to "Europeoid" (not "Iranoid", as there is no such meaning). Turk, just like Persian, Italian, etc. is a definition of unique language groups or ethnicities.

It's interesting that Shah Ismail's origin was recorded in encyclopedias and books for years if not decades, and still our Persian neighbors choose to argue and rewrite history in their own way. Isn't it enough my friends? After all, what difference does it make if Ismail Safavi was Turk, Azeri, Persian, Kurd, or whoever? The man built an empire, converted everyone to Shia and was a deep religious believer in his ideology. Are you going to change his language or maybe the poems he wrote in Turkic, or maybe the letters he wrote in Turkic to Ottoman Sultan Selim. The person chose his ethnic belonging by speaking certain language as his own tongue.

To confirm his Turkic origin for yourselves, read Bernard Lewis (Prof. Princeton University) book named "The Middle East". It's only 10 bucks on Amazon, for those wishing to read their own history from authoritative Western source, and wishing to stop allegation that end up in no use.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0684832801/qid=1107418027/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/103-4662082-1031868?v=glance&s=books

And what difference does it make if it's "Istambuli" or Anatolian Turkish to put it correctly or Azeri Turkish, it's just dialects. Is there a difference between Persian spoken in Khorasan and Shiraz, just because some words are not used in other dialect? Come on. This is not serious, and you're only wasting your time. Don't think about changing/faking past, think about working for better future.

Just an Azeri TURK

On Account of your comment, above, you sound more like an AZERI JERK!

What business do you have, deleting other people's comments? Tabib's views were far more balanced and void of the nonsense that ehnicity is based on language! Americans of Turkish descent (e.g.), speaking hardly any Turkish, are still considered ETHNICAL TURKS, I would presume. Cut the ....... and behave human!

Someone please revert! Do'nt know how myself, yet --Deli-Eshek 10:32, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Let us make a mutual effort to remain pertinent, on this forum.

User "Deli-Eshek" (?!) we are not trading emotions on Wikipedia, or are we? Ethnicity is surely not chosen by anyone , but destined before birth. Any sentiments with regards to one's ethnicity are at everybody's fancy, will however not change the creed, which one was borne into, one would reckon. --Pantherarosa 15:41, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Safi and Safavis were Turks - Part I

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time." Abraham Lincoln, (attributed) 16th president of US (1809 - 1865)

When I was informed about the discusions in this respectable forum about the origins of Sheykh Safi-al-Din and his descendant Shah Ismail Safavi I, I remembered the above-mentioned words of Abraham Lincoln. Indeed there has been agenda of the certain circles in IRI and previous during Shah regime to falsify the history and in this aspect, the historical personalities whom ethnic minority (shal we say powerless majority) in this country, namely Azerbaijani Turks, have built their vision on. By "designating" Babek (Anti-Arab rebel of 9th century), poet Nizami Gandjavi and now Shah Ismayil Safavi I, as Talish, Farsi, or Kurd, the politicians in Shah Persia and IRI, have not just tried to kill the devotion and interest of the Turkic people in this country to their ancestors, but also have ignored and closed their eyes on the major historical data about the Turkic origins of these historical figures in the world libraries. Below I will provide major and credible sources of the wolrd-known scholars and encyclopedias which have indentified Shah Ismayil and his ancestors being Turk (Turkman, Turkish and etc). My postings will be in as many parts and as many sources that can extinguish the great imagination of the opposite thinkers.


1) "The establishment of the Gajar capital in Tehran at the end of the eighteenth century was merely the last manifestation of what may well be a permanent tendency in the life of Iran. There are manifold reason of this phenomenon. Moreover, the Turkish and Mongol origins of the earliest dynasties certainly played a major part in causing the capitals to be situated in the north, and especially along the main invasion route following Alburz into Azarbaijan. The princes of these basically nomadic states were anxious both to be near their tribes and to avoid the excessive heat of the climate farther to the south. This helps to explain the evolution of Tabriz, which, despite all the vicissitudes, was the capital successively of the Mongols, the Qara Qoyunlu, the Aq Qoyunlu, and finally the Safavids, all of whom stemmed originally from the Turkmen tribes of the north-west from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries. Tabriz was abandoned only for short periods, and always for other cities in the same region: Maragheh, whose, fertile pasture land had attracted Hulagu, Ardabil, the cradle of the Safavids; and Sultaniyeh."

The Cambridge History of Iran (in eight Volumes). Volume 1. The Land of Iran. Edited by W.B.Fisher, Cambridge at the University Press, 1968. Page 434.


2) "Who was Ismail, who made such an impact on the Persia of his time and whose influence was still felt centuries later?…We have already met his father, Shaikh Haidar, and his grandfather Junaid as notable enterprising characters in Turkmen history, politically ambitious representatives of the Safaviyya, a widespread sufi order centered on Ardabil in the south-western coastal region of the Caspian Sea….

In this respect Shaikh Safi was a typical religious leader, a representative of Folk Islam far removed from the official theology, whose spokesmen viewed his career with grave suspicion. But in no other regard: for even his origins as a member of a respected family which had lived in Ardabil for generations, are by no means typical of the religious leaders of the time, who normally came from the lower classes."

The Cambridge History of Iran. Volume 6. The Timurid and Safavid Periods. Edited by Peter Jackson and late Laurence Lockhart. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1986. Page 190-191

Posted by Ulvi Ismayil --Ulvi I. 09:34, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Safi and Safavids were Turks, Part II

The following sources also claim Shaikh Safi and Safavids as etnically Turkic, sometimes mixed with Arabs and Creeks of course for known reasons. Both Shaikh Safi and Shah Ismail Safavi I, claimed to be from the Prophet Muhammed's family (i.e. Seyyid) and grandmother of Ismayil was of course a Greek Princess of Trabzon.

Thus sources 3 and 4.

3) "Safavid Period

Early in the fourteenth century Rashid al-Din, the Il-Khanid Vazir, wrote a letter to Shaykh Is’haq Safi al-Din in which he expressed great respect for this revered head of a Sufi order at Ardabil to the North of Tabriz.

Safi al-Din claimed to be a descendant, twenty generations emoved, of the Imam Musa Kazem, and hence, still farther back, of ‘Ali, son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad. After his death in 1334 at age eighty-five, his descendants became the traditional heads of this Safaviyya order. Sadr al-Din, his son and successor, was visited by Timur who freed a body Turkish prisoners at his request: settled in the region these Turkish families became the power base of the Safi family. A grandson of the founder Junayd, married a sister of Uzun Hasan, and his son, Haydar, married Marta, daughter of the Greek ruler of Trebizond. Marta gave birth to three sons, one of them Isma’il. These details of genealogy are given to suggest the complex ethnic origins of the dynasty. Originally Arab, it underwent Turkish and Greek infusions. Throughout the fourteenth century the family spoke and wrote Turkish. …Menaced by the Ottoman Turks who were of the Sunni sect, he (Isma’il) took the bold step of proclaiming that the Shi’a sect was the faith of his state. By so doing he employed religious unification in an attempt to achieve political unification. His decision was warmly supported by the seven strong Turkish tribes of Azerbaijan called Qizil Bash, or “Red Heads,” after the color of their turbans."

Wilber, Donald N. By, Iran. Past and Present. Ninth edition. From Monarchy to Islamic Republic. Princeton University Press, Princeton New Jersey 1981. Page 60.


4) "The Safavids

As we have seen, the Turkish tribes accepted Islam with great zeal and fanaticism and were loyal to its institutions. Perhaps because the discipline, devotion, and obedience to the leader practiced in the Sufi orders were similar to the life in the tribes, the Turks were attracted to these orders. Gradually the coming of the tribesmen added an economic and military dimensions to the life of the orders. In addition to the spiritual leader, there were “lay” brothers who took care of the economic needs of the order. There were also warriors who protected the community and fought for the advancement of Islam. There were quite a number of these orders in Asia Minor and Azarbayjan (4). As the Ilkhan kings became Shi’i, a number of the Turkish tribes did the same and there came into being Sufi orders, which were Shi’i….

One of these orders, which had a large following among the Turkish tribes, was called Safi or Safavi, in honor of the first leader Sheykh Safi who died in 1334….

It was apparent that the Safavi dynasty founded by Esma’il was not just another principality established by the adventurous ambition of a warrior. From the very beginning the dynasty was established on two foundations. One of these was Shi’ism and the other Persian, and Esma’il was concentrated more on the first than the second. His hatred of the Sunnis knew no bounds and his persecution of the Sunnis was ruthless. The alternative for the majority of the Persians, who were Sunnis at the time, was either conversion to Shi’ism or death.

The Ottomans, who had had extraordinary success in Europe and had sealed the fate of the Byzantine empire by the capture of Constantinople, were eager to go eastward and occupy the raditional lands of Islam. Indeed, Bayezid II (1481-1512) was in touch with the Uzbek chief Sheybak Khan in an attempt to nip Esma’il’s ambitions in the bud. Eventually the Ottomans did conquer Arabia, the Ferile Crescent, and the North Africa, and the would have extended their empire to the Central Asia had it not been for the Safavids. In his letter to Esma’il, Bayezid gave him “fatherly” advice and asked him to refrain from shedding Sunni blood and asked him to refrain from shedding Sunni blood and desecrating Sunni graves and cautioned him to be wary of the Persians because they “are a people who will not obey a king who is not one of them”(6). This reference to the fact that Esma’il was not a Persian when he was claiming that he was a descendant of the Sasanian kings, must have cut him to the quick. When Esma’il defeated and captured Uzbek leader, he had his skin filled with straw and sent it to Bayezid."

Armajani, Yahya. IRAN, The Modern Nations in Historical Perspectives. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood, Cliffs, New Jersey. 1972 Page: 91-92

(4) The founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman, was a ghazi warrior in one of these orders.

(6) Nasrollah Falsafi, Chand Maqale-ye Tarikhi, (A new Historical Essays_ (Tehran: Univesity of Tehran Press, 1962), p. 6.


Posted by Ulvi Ismayil and to be continued. --Ulvi I. 09:35, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Responce to Nariman's letter

Hello Nariman,

Thank you for your posting. I will respond to all your questions in these days, but we have to finish with Safavids first. I would aslo request you to post your messages separately in the future and not over my messages, to avoid the confusion.

Thanks,

Ulvi


Hello Ulvi.
Personally, I don't care about such disputes, but I would like to think that I am on the side of scholarship. I do not have expertise on history, but in Persian literature I have some. I can assure you Nizami was most definitely not Turkish in any shape or form. I have studied Nizami extensively. He does not have a single work in Turkish and in numerous places in his works he speaks about the Turks in "not so pleasant terms". Also, in many places he refers to his family members and background. He uses the name "Iran" with utmost emotion and reverence and in one of his works he even calls Iran the heart of the universe (yes, the very name "Iran" not some other name implying Persia). All the stories he uses in his books are Iranian stories or are directly related to Iran's history and culture. How could you say he was not Iranian? Just because his hometown in today's world is in Republic of Azerbaijan (which itself is a borrowed name and its historical name was not Azerbaijan, but used to be Iranian territory or Arran), doesn't mean he was Turkish or even Turkish speaking. My personal opinion is that great people like Nizami, first belong to humanity, but beyond that, they really belong to whoever can understand them. When you say Nizami Ganjavi do you realize the Ganjavi part means from the city of Ganja, which is a Persian name? Have you studied any of his works?
Your claim regarding Babak (and not "Babek", that is Turkish curruption of "Babak", like "Azar vs. Azer"), with all due respect, is equally erroneous. At the time of Babak, there were no Turkish speaking people in that whole area. The Turkish tribes gradually settled in Azarbaijan and Arran (north of the Aras river) at a time much later than the time of Babak. Babak's group were anti-Arab (or actually againt Arab Khalif domination of Iranian lands and people) and they had all Iranian names (such as Babak). Before Babak the leader was Javidan. Babak's wife was Golandam. What kind of Turks were they that they all had Iranian names, their movement had Iranian names, there towns and provinces and mountains and rivers had Iranian names? How you can claim Babak was a Turk is beyond me.
Regarding the Iranian origin of the Safavids, I will not say much as I am not expert on history but one Iranian scholar who is highly respected, original and never blindly accepted anything without verifying the facts, was the late Ahmad Kasravi, who himself was from Azarbaijan (Born in Tabriz). He delved into the roots and origins of the Safavids deeply and wrote a whole book about it. You may want to check his book also. One thing that is hard to miss about the Safavids is that they used pre-Islamic Iranian names on their children at a time that very few people used such names as their public names (for example, Shah Tahmasp, and many more among the princes), and they used the name "Iran" as their state name and they used "Lion, Sun and Sword" as the state emblem. To understand where "Lion, Sun and Sword" comes from, you must read the Shahnama and see it for yourself. The Safavids claimed to be descendents of the Sassanids as far as I know. If they were Turkish, they sure were a very unique Turkish clan.
Regards, Nariman.


Half-truth is WORSE than a LIE! Picture of Shah Ismail I, Safwat-as-Safa and so-called “Kurdish” origin of the Safavids

First, I call other users not get distracted from the topic. We’ll talk about Nizami Ganjevi (Azerbaijanian poet btw,) and others next time in another talkpage. There is also no need for long quotations from books, unless they are directly linked to the origin of the Safavids.

I would also call user Pantherarosa to refrain in the future from ill-concealed abusive statements (see, his last message addressed to me). Second, my protracted silence should by no means be considered as my acceptance of Pantherarosa’s fabricated statements (Pantherarosa, apparently hurried to remove label disputed from the Wikipage). Unlike that person, I take every argument of my opponent seriously and try to find out the truth as it is.

Anyway, I spent my limited free time these days finding out the truth about Safwat-as-Safa chronicles, Safavids origins as well as the picture of Shah Ismail I (the FIRST- !), all of which are principal questions.

Anyway, let’s go again point by point to expose once again Pantherarosa’s “deeds”:

1) PICTURES and Pantherarosa’s baseless accusations on my “copyright violations”

Pantherarosa writes:

It is noted with interest though, that user "Tabib" has ventured to copy pictures on websites of established Safi Al-Din descendants, such as one titled "SAFAVIDS" at [1]. The copyright reference to "medieval times" is not correct however, as the more recent PHOTO of the original "rendering" is protected and not the piece of art, user "Tabib" asserts: "Shah Ismail I / Medieval European rendering/ This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years". Depicted is Shah Ismail II (the second), by the way.

First, I want to stress that I had not only RIGHT, but also permission to use this picture of Shah Ismail the FIRST and the map of the Safavids state by the time I put it in the page. I got permission to use the map of the Safavid State ([2]) from Steve Hoge, copyright holder of the map from W. W. Norton & Company.

I also contacted Mr. Toni Zahedi the creator of the http://homepage.mac.com/zahedi/ web-site which contains the picture of Shah Ismail Safavi. Btw, Mr. Toni Zahedi is NOT the descendant of Safavids, as Pantherarosa incorrectly (or intentionally-?) notes. He is the descendant of Sheikh Zahed (XIII c.), spiritual teacher of Sheikh Safi who was of Kurdish origin. He has no direct link to the Safavid family, but Sheikh Safi married in XIII c. Sheikh Zahed’s daughter. This makes Zahedi family members the RELATIVES but in NO WAY “DESCENDANTS”, as Pantherarosa states!). Mr. Toni Zahedi, a very kind and noble man by the way, is not the actual copyright holder of this image, but I still contacted him and got the permission to use this image downloaded from his web-site. However, I want to underline that this same image can be found in a number of other web-sites as well. E.g. Iranian historian Shahbazi’s web-site ([3])

Most importantly, I learned the pre-history of this image, which was one of the reasons why I did not respond for so many days. The person portrayed in this picture is Shah Ismayil the FIRST, the founder of the Safavid State. The picture was created by an unknown Venetian author (arguably in XVI c.) and the original is kept in the Uffizi Gallery museum in Florence, Italy. Any historical catalogue of book which have this picture, describes him as Shah Ismail the FIRST!

Moreover, Shah Ismail the second was in power for very short period of time from 1576-1577 (before that he was kept in prison and also was a drug addict) and, no foreigner traveled to the Safavi court during his time. Therefore, it is impossible for any European to make his portrait. And certainly, nobody would make this portrait afterwards, given that Shah Ismail II did not leave a “prominent place” in history of Safavids (to put it mildly).

It is also quite possible that this picture in question was drawn afterwards when Shah Ismail I was not alive, on the order of some Safavid shah, who wanted to have his forefather’s picture. But in any case, this couldn’t be Shah Ismail the second, who wasn’t famous at all and who as I already said did not receive any foreign guests in his court. In any case, belonging of this picture to Shah Ismail I is a fact and needs no further disputes.

Therefore, before erasing pictures and accusing me in “copyright violations” Pantherarosa should first clarify the issue.

2) Safwat as-Safa and allegations of “Kurdish” origin of the Safavids and Pantherarosa’s half-truth

Throughout the whole discussion Pantherarosa used one single argument in favor of his claim that Safavids were allegedly of Kurdish origin. He constantly referred to Safwat-as Safa, a XIV c. chronicle written by Tevekkul ibn-Bazzaz and later in XVII c. reproduced in Silsilat-an-Nasab-i-Safaviyyeh, written by Sheikh Husein ibn Sheikh Abdal Zahedi (a descendant of the Kurdish Sheikh Zahed of XIII c., the spiritual teacher of Sheikh Safi). (Btw, Pantherarosa, falsely writes that “Silsilat” was written on orders of the early Safaviyyeh Sufi Masters, before the dynasty's founding”, whereas it was written much later when Safavid State was already in place)

In one of the versions of “Safwat-as-Safa” (XIV c.) Firuz-shah mentioned in the family tree of the Safavids is really named as “Al-Kurdi-al-Sadjani(Sagani) Piruz-shah Zerrin Kulah”, which is later reproduced in “Silsilat-an-Nasab-i-Safaviyyeh” (XVII c.). However, and this is of utmost importance, in that very same chronicles, Sheikh Safi is numerously referred as “Turkish/Turkic saint” (“Pir-i-turk”) and “Turkic young man/Young Turk” (“Genj-i-turk”)!

The Turkic belonging of Sheikh Safi was later documented in XVI c. chronicle “Djahan array-I shah Ismail Safavi” – one of the major sources on Safavids written during Shah Ismail I.

I consider the fact that Pantherarosa’ having access to these resources concealed them and told only the half-truth as an attempt to fabricate history and promote his pan-Persian nationalist agenda.

Moreover, Safwat-as-Safa written in XIV c. and rewritten several times afterwards, is a hagiographic chronicle containing lots of historical inaccuracies. It underwent several modifications as a result of the Safavid dynasty’s deliberate actions to promote their ancestry from the Arab line of Imam Ali, cousin of Prophet Muhammad. These inaccuracies are widely documented by Western, Azerbaijanian and Persian historians, including those referred by Pantherarosa himself.

In short, speaking of "The Safavids", traced all the way to the EPONYM, Safi ad-Din, it would seem legitimate to attribute the ethnic link to HIM. All the historical sources recognize Sheikh Safi and his descendants were Turks. The whole history of the Safavid State shows that this was an Iranian state headed by a Turkic-speaking dynasty. Even if we assume that a XI c. ancestor of the Safavids was not of Turkic origin, this doesn’t mean that Safavids themselves were not Turks by the time of Sheikh Safi and certainly, by the time of the Safavids coming into power in Iran. Safavids were Turkic-speaking and this historical fact should be spelled out in the relevant Wikipedia article(s)!

Below, I attach excerpts from several Western scholars specializing in medieval Muslim Orient whom I contacted for an expert opinion:


…I would point you to the works of Savory and Mazzaoui with which you are, undoubtedly, familiar. In the final analysis, the ethnicity of Ismail I's distant ancestor really does not matter. His ancestors were ethnically diverse in any event. Modern questions of national identity did not hold the same importance that they seem to have today. Ismail lived, worked, thought and wrote in a Turkish-speaking milieu that was also connected to a Persian (i.e. Farsi) cultural world. That is what is significant.
Peter B. Golden
Professor of History
Rutgers University, Newark, NJ [4]
…In premodern times it is often not very useful to speak of ethnicity, since we cannot know what an author means exactly when he calls a person or a cmmunity 'Turkish', 'Kurdish' or 'Persian'. The Safavids were a mixed lot Shaykh Isma`il's ancestors married women of different origins, religions and languages. I seem to remember that in his early youth Isma`il spent time in Gilan among Tat or perhaps Kurdish-speaking people, and there may have been Kurdish women among his ancestors. But the important thing, I believe, is that the language he used as a poet and as a leader was Turkish. Most of the Qizilbash tribes who followed him were also Turkish-speaking, with a smaller number of Kurdish speakers among them.
Prof.Dr. Martin van Bruinessen (specializing on Kurds btw)
Department of Oriental Languages and Cultures, Utrecht University
Utrecht, Netherlands [5]
…It has always been my understanding that the Safavids were of Turkic origin and that Shah Ismail wrote his adolescent poetry in in Turkish.
Prof. Palmira Brummett
University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN [6]

--Tabib 08:13, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Final Contribution to this Discussion: no sense in bickering with a lot of hearsay peddlers

Users Ulvi and Tabib obviously wish to adhere to hearsay and insubstantial QUOTATIONS, which they do not scholarly analyze.

  • The Safwat as-Safa was to a great extent ORAL tradition and evolved long BEFORE the Safavids came to power. Only references to it were documented in writing. The hagiography "Silsilat al-Nasab al-Safaviyah" certainly drew from it, in the 17th century.
  • It is clear to everybody with faintest historic perception, that ethnicities have always happily blended through intermarriage. Shah Ismail I certainly serves as a multi-ethnical example! He was Iranian, Turkic, Greek, among others. However the historic label was on account of the EPONYM, whom analytic scholars have recognized as "of Kurdish Origin".
  • The quoted Nasrollah FALSAFI was the most eminent historian in the field, in modern Iran. He, as many others maintained Tabib's quotation: "Speaking of "The Safavids", traced all the way to the EPONYM, Safi ad-Din, it would seem legitimate to attribute the ethnic link to HIM" Falsafi was adamant that Safi Al-Din Ardebili ( born and raised in the rich village of KALHURAN, close to Ardebil) was of Kurdish origin, his 10-11th century ancestor, Firoozshah Zarrinkolah (Goldencap) being accepted as the determining ethnical reference.
  • As to Tabib's assertion of inaccuracy: Falsafi, whom I have met in Iran, in 1976, referred to your quoted friend "Toni Zahedi"'s family as descendant form BOTH, Sheikh Zahed, as well as Sheikh Safi, through Safi's daughter (from an earlier marriage) married to Sheikh Zahed's younger son, Shams Al-Din Muhammad (The eldest, Sheikh Gamal Al-Din Ali, was disappointed by his father, who preferred Sheikh Safi Al-Din to him, as heir to the spiritual ZAHEDIEYEH sufi heritage). On the quoted web page "Safavids" one miniature also alludes to this fact! The Zahedis are well respected in Iran and their descent from both Sheikhs is widely known.
  • The image, depicting "Shah Ismail" is an IDEALIZED rendering and cannot be regarded as reminiscent of Ismail I Safavi, whom you find on several murals and other renderings (one shows him killing the Uzbek leader Sheybani) looking distinctly different.
  • Nariman makes some very helpful observations above. In the Interest of the public, drawing from the Wikipedia database, one should seek well researched analyses instead of peddling hearsay and amateur like interpretations, leaving the public as confused as the one-sided "Turkish Zealots" above !!!

It is now up to Wikipedia Admin staff to avert another instance of disinformation, for which Wikipedia seems to be increasingly growing notorious, due to the activities of "overzealous amateurs".--Pantherarosa 10:42, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)


End of discussion: Senseless denial of the facts and sources. Request for arbitration as a last resort

I hereby notify that I see no further point in arguing with a man who stubbornly refuses to accept the facts, and labels the authoritative Western, and even Iranian sources as “hearsay” and arguments of “Turkish zealots”. I want to re-state the sources mentioned throughout the discussion that testify that Safavids were Turkic-speaking once again:

Medieval chronicles: Safwat-as-Safa (XIV c.), “Djahan array-i shah Ismail Safavi” (XVI c.), Silsilat-an-Nasab-i-Safaviyyah (XVIIIc.) (list far from being complete!)

Western sources: Cambridge History of Iran (in eight volumes). Vol 1. & 6., books by Donald Wilbert, Bernard Lewis, Yahya Armajani and many others, including expert opinions of Western scholars (see my previous message).

Iranian authors: Shapour Ghazemi, Masoud Kazemzade, indirectly Nasrullah Falsafi,(see his quote of sultan Bayazid's letter to shah Ismail). Btw, Falsafi, described by Pantherarosa as "the most eminent historian in the field", tried in vain to prove that Safavids were not Turkic and even not Kurdish, but PERSIAN (!)

Authoritative Internet sources: Columbia Encyclopedia, Encarta, Friesian School web-site etc.

In short, if Cambridge History of Iran is a product of “Turkish zealots” and “hearsay”, then I do see how we can move forward with the discussion. Therefore, I see no other way but to resort to arbitration.

Other minor details: Zahedis and Safavids: Mr Toni Zahedi, who as I said is a very kind and noble man is not “descendant” but relative to the Safavid house through (as I already said) intermarriage back in XIII c. This relation is through Sheikh Safi’s daughter who married Sheikh Zahed’s son. (As I said, Sheikh Safi himself was married to Sheikh Zahe’d daughter). Zahedi family has no lineage to Safavids from father’s side. This is why I state that Zahedi’s are not descendants of Safavids (in Iran and in most parts of the world, lineage is followed from father’s side and not from mother’s side. So simple.)

Shah Ismail I picture: whether “idealized” (possibility of which I already explained in my earlier message) or not, seemingly, Pantherarosa doesn’t try to claim any more that this is Shah Ismail the second and not the First. That’s already positive. We don’t know how most of the historical figures looked like, but that doesn’t mean we cannot use historical pictures to visualize them.

--Tabib 12:58, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Judging from the voting at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration, it is unlikely this matter will be accepted for arbitration at this time. Please try to follow the Wikipedia:Neutral point of view policy and include both versions of your disputed positions in the article with suitable references. Fred Bauder 15:37, Feb 8, 2005 (UTC)
Just to note, the Friesian school is not an authoritative source - it is some dude's website, as far as I can gather. It's a useful resource, but should not be trusted where it disagrees with other sources (much like Wikipedia). john k 00:26, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Safi and Safavids were Turks. Part III

I just added the page numbers to the Part II for everyone's convinience and highlighet the major points of the sources brought by myself.

In this part we will witness that not only the British, American and Iranian National scholars identified Shaikh Safi and Safavis as Turkic (Turkmen and Turkish), but so did the French. Here what prominent French Scholar Furon Raymond says:

5) "Chapitre IX I. – Les Séfévides. Les rois turkménes régnaient sur l’Azerbaidjan. A Ardébil, vivait une famille pieuse, prétendant descendre d’Ali. C’était la famille des Séfévides, du nom de son chef Séfi ed’Din. Sa reputation était si grande qu’elle finit par inquiéter les rois turkménes qui la persécutèrent."

Source: Furon, Ramond. L’Iran. Perse et Afghanistan. Payot, Paris, 1951. Page 100.

Translation: "Safavids. The Turkmen kings that ruled over Azerbaijan. In Ardebil there lived a family that claimed to descend from Ali. This was the family of Safavids, whose name came from its chief Sefi ed’Din. The reputation of this family grew so much that it ended up bothering (other – U.I. ?) Turkmen rulers and they started to persecute this family.“"

Another participant in these discussions, I think Nariman asked a question: “The Safavids claimed to be the descendants of Sassanids as far as I know. If they were Turkish, they sure were unique Turkish clan.”

Indeed this sounds exactly similiar to this:

6)

"As Johannes Cuspinianus relates, he proposed greatly in his policy, both in Europe and in Asia, through not without a rival on the side of Persia, for here Uzun Hasan was now king, who has already been mentioned as a descendant of Hasan Beg, one of the early Turkish Amirs of Asia Minor. He ever opposed Sultan Muhammad valiantly, being the chief enemy whom the latter had now to compass among the many potentates who were his neighbors. This Uzun Hasan was indeed as much a Turk, by blood, as the Sultan himself, but he prided himself greatly in being of true Persian nationality, and not an Asiatic Turk (as was the Ottoman Sultan)…”

…When Isma’il found himself thus master of Tabriz he elected to proclaim himself the Grand Sophi of Persia; and he took as his title to be styled Isma’il Shaykh Ardebili Qizil Bash Ithna-ashariy (10) and what these names signified was as who should say, “Great Ismai’il, Restorer of the cotton or woolen Cap or Turban of Twelve colours””

(10) Page 110. In the text given as Ysmael Syach Arduelino Cuseluas Nazarij” The words, a mixture of Arabic and Persian, taken literally mean: “Isma’il, Shaykh of Ardebil, him of the Red Bonnet of Twelve (points)” "

Source: Don Juan of Persia. A Shi’ah Catholic 1560-1604. Translated and Edited with an Introduction by G. Le Strange. George Routledge & Sons, LTD Broadway House, Carter Lane, London. 1926. Page 97, 110.

Note: Don Juan was Uruch Beg (Oruj Bey), from Bayat tribe of Turkmens, who was one of the four secretaries of an Ambassador sent by Shah Abbas Safavi I to Europe in 1599. Uruch Beg later remained in Europe and converted to Roman Catholicism.


Thus this and other explanations clearly show what kind of “Turk” did Uzun Hasan and later his grandson Isma’il may have identified themselves. Second paragraph shows that, in opposite of what Iranian historians claim, Isma’il on his inaguration have never titled himself as the founder of the Sassanid State.

The next message will be about what Minorsky said about the origins of Safavids and critics by Azerbaijani Safavi scholar Oqtay Efendiyev about the biased interpretation of “Saffat as-Safa” by Iranian authors.

Posted by Ulvi Ismayil and to be continued --Ulvi I. 09:36, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Instead of making fools of us TURKS, how about some sensible ARGUMENTS ???

Ulvi, why can't you follow Tabib's basic example and bring valid argumentation? Your point (5): The fact that some french writer is stating that Safavids proclaimed themselves descendants from the Prophet (through the latter's daughter and her husband Ali) proves nothing and is far fetched, as the Safavid founder Safi Al-Din was Sunni and would have N E V E R claimed such a heretical thing. Silly argumentation in face of so many better proofs, in this context. It was people, trying to lend more legitimacy to their leader, who made such contemporary claims.

(6): Every sensible reader knows that Uzun Hassan was Turkoman!! What is this "Part III" thing supposed to prove, with regards to Safavid's origin? Qizil Bash means RED HEAD, why state nonsense related to 'woolen' or 'cotton' 'cap', or 'turban' ?! btw, the Qizil Bash head gear consisted of a RED felt cap around which a WHITE turban was wrapped. The cap had 12 edges, representative of the 12 shiite Imams (Saints), the Ithnashereen. Ithnasher is Arabic for 12.

The 'Don Juan of Persia' quote is silly in itself as no one would claim himself 'of the red bonnet' (little red riding hood?). There is also nothing at all Arabic or Persian about that quoted (pseudo Italian) gibberish! Any Donkey should know better. Either Ulvi or the editors of such bibliographic text goofed it.

Tabib, you tend to bring a good string of arguments, but sometimes contradict these in the same sentence. This goes for the Kurdish Firooz Zerrinkulah story and the assertion, that at the same time the Safawids were Turks. This does not hold. You should maintain that the Safavids may very well have been Persian, or more precisely Kurdish, until they mixed with Turks (Sheikh Junaid Safavi) and adopted the Language and culture of the Turks. Junaid's son Haydar was naturally very much turkified and his son, Isma'il I Safavi, in turn obviously considered himself a Turkoman, as he spoke Turkic, wrote innocent poems in that language and introduced it as the official court language. He was an ESTABLISHED TURK!!! So, everybody: Why waste our time with claiming the Safavids having had Turkish background, while the first Safavid king was fully turkified by the time they grabbed supreme power. Be they what they may prior to the dynasty coming to power, not a single argument above proves actual Turkish origin but every one proves a Turkish end result! --Deli-Eshek 00:28, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Outside view

Not to interrupt the little ethnic love-in here, but I thought I'd just say that my understanding was that the Safavids were of Turkish origin, although their background was so obscure that nobody was completely sure of it. Certainly it is more important to note that by the time they enter the clear light of history they were largely Turkish in language and culture. I am unfond of all these competing nationalisms - the question of whether people were ethnically pure Turks or Persians or whatever is simply absurd - Turks and Persians and whatever are, essentially, linguistic groups. Furthermore, trying to appropriate modern ideas of ethnicity and the nation into a discussion of the 14th century is inappropriate. But whatever, I generally support the arguments which Tabib and others have been making, and Pantherarosa's reasoning, in particular, seems intensely specious. john k 16:53, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

+ + + + This discourse is going from bad to worse. While 3 guys bang their heads against one another's, a fourth bangs his head against the wall!? Pray tell us how you arrived at your judgement. L.I. Gerasimova --LIGerasimova 00:18, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Which particular judgments? That they were of Turkish origin is what I learned in the undergrad class in Middle Eastern history that I took. That trying to appropriate modern ideas of ethnicity and the nation into a discussion of the 14th century is inappropriate is a general rule derived from my readings on issues of nations and nationalism, of which I've done a fair bit. That I think Tabib is probably right is due to the fact that he is citing fairly authoritative sources, while his opponents are not. john k 00:24, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
+ + + + Why opponents, I can see *one* only: Panthararosa. He or she is citing vastly the same "authoritative sources" as Tabib, further up. So what do you want to imply ??? I can see however that Pantherarosa brings forth pertinently phrased arguments, while ALL others are concerned with TURKISH ethnic causes and pride or POV, despite actually accepting part of Pantherarosa's citings to the contrary.--LIGerasimova 00:57, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Sigh...Tabib cites sources like the Cambridge History of Iran and Encarta, not obscure internet sources. john k 07:58, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Everybody concerned ought to make a sincere effort to put an END to this deadlock!

For the sake of intelligence, if not dignity, this discussion should end with grace. While everybody agrees that Ismail i Safavi had actually attained a Turkish culture, both by birth and by learning, it has been established and stated by all parties, who contributed to the article, that his forefathers were indeed Kurds (Firooz/Pirooz Zerrin Kulah). it would be wise therefor to make this dual perception the foundation of the statement, with respect of the SAFAVID's very nature.

At this moment the discussion looks as tainted with heavy Turkish bias, which is in no ones interest, especially not in the interest of our sincere Turkish cause! It makes us look like people who are pushing their own agendas. Aloof of learning and heritage. The worst possible impression created, when actually trying to make a valid point. Please gents, give yourselves a push.--Deli-Eshek 08:07, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I don't think people have accepted that "his forefathers were indeed Kurds". The academics cited by Tabib above seem to say that Isma'il was of mixed Kurdish/Turkish ancestry. john k 18:31, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I would advise the person (sounds very much like "Pantherarosa") who wrote the comment above to behave openly and sign his posting. I thank john for his third party opinion confirming that Safavids were Turkic-speaking. I have one single reservation, Ismail was not of "mixed Kurdish/Turkish ancestry. Allegation of Kurdish origin are controversial, whereas Turkic nature of Safavids is an established fact. There were intermarriages between Turkic Safavids and Persian and Kurdish families, but this doesn't make Safavids Kurds or ethnic Persians. --Tabib 07:18, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Why don't you guys leave your "Turkish cause" where it belongs?!!!

This is Wikipedia, an international platform, which is neither concerned with petty ethnical causes, nor adolescent POV. We want knowledge here and not a heap of unreflected quotations and personal interpretations. Who cares about your personal problems on this platform? If you have something to bolster your contributions with, in a pertinent fashion, quote your bibliographical sources with precision and hold the quotations against a contester's, saving the Wikipedia reader from your own sentimentalism. This is going too far. L. I. GERASIMOVA --LIGerasimova 23:24, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

One single note, do not vandalize the page. --Tabib 07:19, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
? One would reckon it is some of your postings, dominated by your apparent (personal) TURKISH problems, that constitute vandalism, in this context. --LIGerasimova 08:47, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

high time for NPOV

This is a mess! Safavids do not seem to have felt all that Turkic/Turkoman after all. They rallied under the LION AND SUN coat of arms (un-Tukic, but very Persian) and even used indigenous Persian names such as Tahmasp. Why lable them Kurdish?? The Kurdish people are widely considered Persian/Iranian! NPOV measures overdue. Seems Wikipedia is descending to a below zero level of personal vendettas and happy POV posting, here.

Some going through of relevant reference material

It strikes me that Britannica is notably reluctant to go into the Safavids' ethnicity in any way. In the Safavid Dynasty article, they call them an Iranian dynasty, and simply note that Ismail attracted Turkmen support. The Isma'il I article says nothing about his ethnic background. The article on Safi od-Din is equally obscure and unclear.

Columbia says nothing about their ethnic origins, but notes that they were Turkic-speaking. Encarta notes them as the most prominent of a group of "mostly Turkish" dynasties in Northwestern Iran. It seems to me that Safi al-Din's ethnicity is up in the air. I would suggest that we avoid mention of ethnicity so far as possible, and simply note that by the time of Ismail, they were speaking a Turkic language. john k 08:50, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Could it be that we are dealing with a sort of "Turkish Editor Mafia" on this page?

I discovered that Tabib seems to try to pull a fast one on us all: He apparently attempts to rigg this discusson with the help of some "buddies", one of them a certain "Parviz". Everybody, please check Tabib's "contributions" list. He tried to corrupt the editor Deli-Eshek (another "Turkish Cause" poster, above) and asked him to get in touch by email! He may also be using the editor aka "Ulvi I." as a sock-puppet, as could be suspected from his message to Deli-Eshek on the latter's Personal Page. Foul game should not be tolerated here. I have a big big questionmark as to possible "Turkish" motives on the SAFAVIDS article in general. A real shame! --LIGerasimova 09:29, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Please, calm down and then read through the discussion, all the arguments and counter-arguments once again. Also, do me a favour and do not post messages with groundless personal attacks on my talkpage. And.. there is no "Turkish conspiracy" or "mafia" here... --Tabib 09:58, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

ILGerasimova and John Kenney Are bringing Light into this FOG finally!

It is heartening to see people concerning themselves with reason, on this page. I shall be following users LIGerasimova's and John's postings, as they seem to promise a final solution --Pantherarosa 13:47, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I have serious reservations about ILGerasimova, who btw, tried unsuccessfully dispute with John regarding Safavids Turkic origins. But I accept John Kenney as a neutral party and apprecaite his contribution to the discussion.--Tabib 13:43, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

This article is in want of accuracy as well as adequate diction and style

Despite of repeated attempts, the content lacks depth, especially with respect to plausible proof of Turkish origin of Safi Al-Din, which seems to have been the main obstacle for arriving at a universally acceptable consensus. Erratic, and apparently unreflected kludge of bibliographic patches does not measure up to appropriate standard. The diction is rife with patriotic undertones, which applies also to the peripheral talk and communication between the "editors". Not particularly an example for objectivity. The style is rudimentary and requires revision.

I urge the user 84.154.121.148. who is probably also the author of the unsigned posting above claiming Safavids were Persian to read through the sources, arguments and counterarguments brought throughout the discussion once again. If the user 84.154.121.148 notices some errors in grammar or "diction" he/she is welcome to correct them. But the discussion has proved that Safavids were a Turkic speaking dynasty. Third party opinion by John Kenney on this issue is also clear. If someone else wants to further dispute this conclusion, he/she is welcome to appeal to formal arbitration. I myself will do the same, if further attempts aimed at Persianization of the Safavids will be carried out. --Tabib 08:20, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Lack of intellectual capacity not concealed by immature perspective and spiteful patriotism

Do some fervently patriotic, youthful spirits really believe they can rewrite history amongst themselves? Who are John and Tabib? It is poor judgment to presume the question posed can be settled among two kids and some Pantherarosa or Deli-Eshek (Nomen est Omen?) characters, by bickering and cackling over them. Picking up bits and pieces here and copying "generalist" encyclopedias (without claim to in-depth information) there and throwing around shallow argumentation on basis of that, cannot be regarded as presentation of valid analytical results. This is nursery school level! So far no proof has been established to the contrary of the perception that the Safavid ancestors, prior to Sultan Jonayd, were Persian. Any Safavid family tree starts off with Firouz(-shah) Zarrinkolah (nisbed "Al- Kordi Al-Sangani), this in itself does not lend any credibility at all to "Turkification" attempts! As the origin of the family has been at dispute, any Engelbert Kaempfer, Adam Olearius or brethren Sherly recitations are out of context, having been uttered some 500 years LATER!!!

If someone claims to be more “mature”, he should also be more deferential to other’s and not label them “immature kids”, and make abusive hints at others’ nicknames (esp. Deli-Eshek, less so Pantherarosa). I repeat, the discussion is over. Both sides presented their arguments to the best of their knowledge. The whole discussion demonstrated that Safavids were Turkic speaking Iranian dynasty and were/are considered as such both in medieval times, as well as in contemporary historiography. The discussion also makes it clear who and why tries to “rewrite” the history. I consider further similar postings with groundless accusations as an attempt to provoke new conflicts, further complicate the discussion and make it even harder for any possible future third parties and possibly, future arbiters to read through and understand the thread.--Tabib 13:10, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Some thoughts

Hello all,

What exactly is being fought about at this point? The question of what ethnicity Safi al-Din was appears to be a) largely unanswerable; and b) largely irrelevant. Some indication of the dispute should be at Safi al-Din. Here it isn't particularly necessary, since this article should be largely about Ismail and after, when the Safavids were actually significant.

That said, the article itself isn't particularly good. Instead of arguing about what language some 14th century mystic spoke, why doesn't everybody try to work on improving the article? john k 16:32, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

            • while this ARTICLE has never been very good, it was significantly better before ZEALOTS started to meddle with it, content and style-wise! In the general interest, some sensible individual should go back to the previous version and rewrite it, including the useful additons in the present version. I shall definitely not waste my time on that, with "specialists" in my back, prone to make a mess of every effort. It would indeed appear ridiculous, if an objective projection of this topic should EXCLUDE the significant beginnings of the SAFAVIDS, with respect to Firoozshah Zerrinkulah! This is historical tradition, and its negation the pivot of the dispute above (for the ones who have lost orientation in the ensued mess). Your friendly neighborhood character Pantherarosa.--Pantherarosa 19:04, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

You see, Pantherarosa, this is where we differ - in my view, any issues relating to Firoozshah Zerrinkulah are, in fact, insignificant. The history of the Safavids before Ismail is of only rather minor significance, itself. The article is bad because there isn't very much on the history of the dynasty when it was actually ruling Persia. Your version, which includes lots more irrelevant details about the ethnic background of Safi al-Din, doesn't make that any better. I will admit to you that I have no idea what the ethnic background of Safi al-Din is. This page has convinced me that there is a lot of dispute about this. This dispute seems significant enough to me that it should be discussed in an NPOV fashion in the Safi al-Din page. However, despite his status as the eponym of the dynasty, Safi al-Din himself should not be especially prominent in this article, and an arcane nationalist dispute about his ethnic background should certainly not play a role in this article, which should focus on explaining why the Safavids were important, which has little to do with whether Safi al-Din was a Turkoman or a Kurd (or an Arab!) john k 20:34, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Now this is turnig grotesque.

How much longer is this dispute going to fester? Somebody should restore to sensible version--Deli-Eshek 20:52, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

What are you even talking about? john k 22:23, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Go look at the article and the crap yet another lunatic has added!--Deli-Eshek 01:08, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Oh yes, grotesque indeed. Sorry about that - I looked very superficially. john k 02:01, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

It is DISGUSTING and MEAN to vandalise the page in such a malicious manner intentionally adding "Turk" before every name and virtually every nown. I am fully convinced that this is a deed of some Persian brainwashed nationalist, who tries to discredit the whole discussion and provoke new conflicts. I feel DEEPLY INSULTED. I demand user 84.154.114.240 be banned from Wikipedia and if possible, his REAL identity be clarified. --Tabib 07:17, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
On a different matter (or may be not?) I also want to drag the attention of all those concerned to the continuous attacks on me by user LIGerasimova who continuously spams my talkpage and virtually terrorizes me with senseless and abusive personal attacks. Wikipedia community should respond and stop this! --Tabib 07:31, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Users Tabib and LIGerasimova, keep personal problems out of here!! Please!

User 84.154.63.43 (aka 84.154.114.240, aka 84.154.109.26), Don't try to distract the people from your personal deeds. You will be held responsible for your recent malicious vandalism of the Safavid page insulting the Turkic ethnicity of certain editors. And behave openly by signing the posts. Furthermore, if you have something to say, refer to my talkpage and not here. --Tabib 12:39, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

User Tabib, keep personal problems out of here!! Please!

I appeal to users John, Ulvi, Deli-Eshek, Mustafaa, Pouya and all others who tracked this discussion to take appropriate measures against user 84.154.102.141 (aka 84.154.63.43, aka 84.154.114.240, aka 84.154.109.26) for his vandalism, explicit insult to Turkic identity of certain editors contained in his vandalized pages' content and his continuous and deliberate provokations on this page. --Tabib 21:30, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

This is Just Getting Annoying

i don't claim to know anything about the safavids or otherwise... but someone just screwed up the page. some...person... edited the page so that practically every informational word was replaced with somehting about DANCE!!! >.< i'm trying to use this page for a HISTORY REPORT for the past 2 days... so this is recent... could someone PLEASE FIX THIS IMMEADIATLY?!?!

and stop screwing around with the page and just leave whatever is definitely factual in and take everything else OUT!

Article could do with stylistic improvement too, in addition to any factual shortcomings.

A real pity that this fascinating topic is buried under such a mess and on top of that presented in such poor style. As a reader seeking info on the subject, I am appalled by what I am offered here! --StuffedTurkey 20:30, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Abstracts covering the Safavids

This seems like a great list for contacting academics who study the Safavids. Maybe the concerned parties should ask these professors for their opinions, as their understanding of the issues seem to be at a more sophisticated level.--Confuzion 17:53, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC) [7]

The User Tabib version of this article is really bad (someone should entirely rewrite!)

With respect to the patchwork by User Tabib, in which he apparently hurriedly and crudely pasted together copied oline texts, sometimes badly out of context, this topic would deserve a far better rendering! However, vandalism (as constituted, e. g.,by User 84.154.62.233's sarcastic "correction") or reverts to prior versions, do not pose a solution either.--StuffedTurkey 10:21, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Unprotecting

This has been protected against vandalism for ages. I'm unprotecting. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:46, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

disputation tag

So what do we need to do to take the "disputed" tag off this page?

Seems like the dispute was all about whether the 'orginal' Safavids were 'Turkic' or 'Persian'.

Geneologically/genetically...

Starting in the 8th century there were a number of Turkic migrations from central Asia to southwestern Asia. Iranian Azerbaijian, the area south of the Aran river, had been at the crossroads of a number of these migrations and invasions. By 1500 semi-nomads were living in the plains around Ardebil and moving their livestock into the highlands for parts of the year. The Safiveyeh in Ardebil were more settled but also cosmopolitan city-dwellers. Thus they were probably intermixed with Mongols and Persians and Kurds and Armenians and Assyrians. It's really not a big deal: at least 50% of today's Europeans/Asians are probably descendants of Ghengis Khan (20,000 children, 35 generations you do the math).

Culturally...

The Safiveyeh started out as non-Shi'a Sufis. At some point in the 14th century they switched over to Shi'ism. The rest of Persia in 1500 was non-Shi'a (the main Shi'a population at the time were the Arabs of southern Mesopotamia). Despite that they were in the same cultural sphere as the Persians - Persian culture was the oldest, most revered culture in the area.

Linguistically....

Likewise, Persian was the lingua franca across the eastern Islamic world from the Tigris to the Indus, from Daghestan and Samarkand to Bahrain. Ismail's mother tongue was Turkic, sure. But anyone as intelligent and politically acute as him was fluent in Persian too (and maybe a few more languages).


In either case, if the origins of the Safavids continue to be disputed we should just make a "Origins of Safavids" page, move some of the geneological material off to there and let that page be disputed and leave this Safavid page free from disputation.

(I'll check back in a month or so to see what people's thoughts are.)

-slava May 3, 2005

Slava, I believe the Safavids page as it is today is rather neutral and factually correct. I am also thankful to you for your valuable edits and contributions. I think they were not only helpful but also have facilitated easing of tension over the page content along with contributions by several other neutral editors. I hope all these conflicts have remained in the past. After all, both Azeris and Persians/Iranians consider history of Safavids a part of their national history and this is the most important. This factor actually should bring people together and not tear them apart, because contemporary Azeris share a lot of common cultural and historical legacy with the Persians and all other Iranians.
I am removing disputed tag, and I hope other editors, including Pantherarosa, would not object to this. However, if there is even slight objection from other editors (not vandals or trolls, of course), then certainly, the tag should be kept for quite some time more.--Tabib 09:04, May 4, 2005 (UTC)

CONTENT of SAFAVIDS article remains DISPUTED!

As hearsay peddling and self-congratulatory POV pushing seems to prevail, in the face of easily comprehendible facts to the contrary, the public needs to be duly warned! SAFI EDDIN was Arian just like his Master Zahed Gilani, both staunch SUNNIS, too. Both with clearly established KURDISH roots (on top of that), a fact continuously negated by zealous amateurs, pushing piteous ethnic agendas. Turks of any breeding simply were not there yet, when Arian civilization had already thrived for some 15 centuries , prior to Seljuq invasion of the realms of the ancient PERSIAN EMPIRE. --Pantherarosa 19:58, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

One can hardly be both an Arian and a Sunni Muslim, surely? john k 15:40, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Pantherarosa, I regret that you haven't give up your POV. The overwhelming majority of the editors involved in developing of this page including User:Slava and myself have supported the page version as factually correct, I believe User:John_Kenney would also join us in this opinion. Unfortunately, you stance does not allow a consensus to be reached in this page. I can only regret about that, but what we can do. You position means that disputed tag will remain in the page for quite some time more.--Tabib 06:42, May 6, 2005 (UTC)
He's not the only one POV pushing here Tabib, passing the province of Azerbaijan, as Azerbaijan etc. could be considered as POV pushing. And after your edit in Urartu etc. I have decided to look more closly your edits. Could not help, sorry. Fadix 23:53, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

User:Fadix POV edit and groundless accusation

Editors: User:Fadix apparently provokes me to a conflict with him by his edit [8] disregarding the whole discussions we had above and by advancing groundless POV accusation directed against me. I want to warn him that such groundless accusations can be construed as a personal attack, or at least violation of the Wikipedia principles of Civility and Wikiquette, to which Fadix has already been asked to obey by me and by many other editors.

Fadix has tried in the past to discredit me, by advancing similar groundless accusations and slanders too. I am categorically against turning this talkpage to a personal discussion forum, similar to Talk:Armenian Genocide, where Fadix has been particularly zealous in his "contributions". I believe that we should keep personal discussions to userpages. However, I cannot close my eyes to such disruptive actions and accusations and therefore, I find it necessary to inform you about my past (unpleasant) history of relationships with User:Fadix.

Fadix’s first attack on me started in Talk:Nagorno-Karabakh yet in March [9]. He started to support User:Rovoam, currently, a well-known vandal who’s been punished by ArbCom for his disruptive actions and personal attacks on me. (see, ArbCom case Baku Ibne et al.: Final decision). Then I have sufficiently responded to his claims and exposed his real intentions in my posts here, and especially here and here. Later, I also occasionally noticed that he has been advancing slanders against me in Talk:Armenian Genocide in my absence [10]. So now, he obviously, decided that he can intrude into other pages that I contributed to, including Safavids, and Urartu, where my contributions have been rather NPOV and I even got a thank you message from User:Isomorphic for my edits [11] (see, diff of my edits (labeled “POV” by Fadix here [12]; and here’s Fadix real POV edit removing reference to Turkey [13]).

Whatever Fadix’s intentions, I call him to avoid such actions which may cause tension and even renewed edit and revert war. Also, before making substantial changes to the Safavids entry, let alone, with such unscientific allegation as to Safavids “Kurdish origin”, one should read through the evidences I and other editors have brought which prove that Safavids were Turkic speaking indeed and this is an indisputable historical fact.

I very much hope that Fadix will stop such actions in Safavids and Urartu, will not spread these actions to other pages and will avoid the mistakes that User:Rovoam has made in the past. --Tabib 13:24, May 9, 2005 (UTC)


I do not need to discredit you Tabib, your edit at the Khojali massacres, and claim that it is referred to as Khojali genocide, tell it much, of your credibility, or how you've been hiding in the article the official Azeri government figures. Here in Wikipedia we need good intentioned people, and not nationalist political science students that have a history of propaganda around the web, or even writing to Britannica, just because it ended up publishing a National Geographic map of historic Armenia.
I did not attack you, if people want to know what really is an attack, people can go read Nagorno Karabakh talk page, and how just after my few first posts you have slandered me and accused of having forged a quote, that I did not forge, and attacked my Armenian background by alluding that my Armenianess should discredit me. Or the way you have deleted an article link from the entry, because from the couple of names at the end of the article, it happened that one was an Armenian.
Besides, you have no problem making false charges against me, while I am sure that even Tony or those that have provided evidences for you will disagree here. I did NOT support Rovoam as a person, and never denied he has been acting immaturely, neither denied that he has attacked you. Even if I were to support him, that would not discredit me, such “guilt by association” concept might work in dictatorial regime, and here I won't give any name to not offense your national feelings, but not here in Wikipedia.
What I said, was that it is expected that as long as there are national POV pushers, there will be people like Rovoam, that will tell themselves, “why not my version, it isn't more POV than the other.” Here is where I supported Rovoam, not in his behavior, but rather because I believe that his version of edits were not more POV than yours, and many times they were less.
I am not the one going after other peoples national history and finding an Armenian, and giving hard time. I am comfortable with my identity, I don't need to forge any. Some find it necessary for their well being. I call them ultra nationalists, and don't like such people.
Oh and, before claiming POV, read what point of view means, it will spare all of use some times, because you still don't seem to make the differences between POV and NPOV.
So, Tabib has been tanked for his contribution, let see Tabib, what will happen, when veterans start editing your posts, if you would still be able to call them vandals, I am confident, that more people will get against your edits as time passes by. My deleting of Turks was well justified, in fact, I don't even believe that a Turk could have gone against the edit, but since Tabib seem to have a repeated need to include Turks/Azeris in every such historical articles, he'll accuse those that delete something that has no places as POV. The reason why I deleted Turks(and not Turkey), was because Turks don't consider Urartu as their national history... while Armenians in their history lessons get Urartu courses as if it was part of the Armenian heritage, and they even had Urartian Gods etc. The same seems to be the cases in Kurdish oral histories, more particularly, in Van region. Urartu/Ararat and then Armenia... was equaled in many and various historic writings, it might have been a mistake, if we assume the Phrygian colony theory, but still placing Turks there is misleading, and for that reason is POV. If you want to see POV, first you should check your own edits.
Coming to the the Safavids article. My edits were not POV, as I said, before accusing others of POV, you should learn what it really means, because it seems that you don't well understand it.
Azerbaijan was not a nation, it was a land in the north of Persia, a province... and can not be equaled with Azerbaijan, in fact, the term Azerbaijians, or any such uses to refer to people, is a new concept of the last century, Tartars, was the term, the Turkish speaking people that call themselves Azeris, now live in North Iran, the republic in the North, is not linked with it. Presenting Azerbaijan, without indicating it as provinces of Persia, and without indicating that it is unrelated with the actual republic of Azerbaijan, is misleading, and it takes an intention to mislead readers. Besides, where did I say that the Safavids were not Turks, actually, they weren't at the beginning, they more "became" Turks, when the majority of the followers became Turkish speaking. My reference to “Kurdish” was regarding the man who was the originator, and I have presented from what one of the specialists of Iranian history has said.
And, again, I will clarify a few things for you to understand, “scientific” or “unscientific” are bogus term to use in articles to justify edits. Wikipedia is not about presenting what is true, and deleting what is untrue. Wikipedia present claims, If I say “this specialist say that,” and present his/her argument, what I am doing is not POV, but presenting a position, and this is what Wikipedia is about.
Having said all this, I do not wish to either participate in Urartu entry or Safavit entry, edit and delete informations as you wish, I trust the intelligence of Wikipedians, and continue like this, and you'll have more people in your back.
Regards.

THE ABOVE OPINION IS A VERY VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION! WIKIPEDIA HAS TAKEN GREAT DAMAGE FROM POV PUSHERS AND PSEUDO-ADMINISTRATORS HELPING SUCH POV TO PREVAIL.--Tab-ib-ne 10:04, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

I am actually grateful to this banned vandal and impersonator (aka previously banned Osmanoglou/LIGerasimova/Baku_Ibne, see [14]) for his "message of support" to Fadix. It clarifies more than it says...--Tabib 05:21, May 11, 2005 (UTC)
And I am grateful to Tabib, for again playing the "guilt by association" card. Fadix 15:27, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
I respect both of you because I know you both have much to offer Wikipedia. I am confident that if you both make an honest attempt to forge a working relationship, this will be for the betterment of this article. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 11:26, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
Thanks Tony, as always helpful remarks. I can't say about Fadix knowledge of the Safavids issue, but as far as I know, Fadix has rather extensive knowledge on a range of issues involving Turkish-Armenian relationships and he certainly can be helpful to Wikipedia if he slightly shifts the accents from more confrontational to more conciliatory stance. I am prepared to spread out my hand to him, if he is prepared to do the same. --Tabib 13:15, May 12, 2005 (UTC)

Protected

Rovoam has gone beyond the pale and is reverting simply to make some kind of point [15]. Because he is virtually unblockable and rather obsessive, I have protected this article and quite a few others. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 18:12, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

Unprotected: Protected for long enough. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 17:09, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

Subsections

I think it would be good if those who are currently working on this article would add a couple of subsections/headers to the 'Rise of the Safavid state' in order to enhance readability. SouthernComfort 01:50, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Language classification

Zereshk changed the language from Turkic to Altaic. This seems to be a misapprehension. Turkic is not the same thing as Turkish. Turkic is a family of languages. Per a UCLA website:

Azerbaijani is a member of the Turkic branch of the Altaic language family. Specifically, it belongs to the Oghuz Seljuk sub-group (Akiner 1986), along with (Osmanli) Turkish and some dialects of Crimean Tatar (Campbell 1991). Other well known members of the Turkic branch include: Uzbek, Kipchak, Kyrgyz, Tatar, and Kazakh. The Turkic languages closely resemble each other and form a complex of mutually intelligible dialects. The other two branches generally presumed to make up the Altaic family are Mongolian and the Manchu Tungus languages. [16]

Let's let the linguists rule on this one. Zora 6 July 2005 11:57 (UTC)

I see youre following me around again looking for new edit wars to keep you busy :) Even your text says it is Altaic. And btw, I speak the language. Therefore I'm much more closer to the level of expertise on this matter than you are. But I wont insist on the Turkic vs Altaic thingy either. As long as we make clear that Turkic is not the same as Turkey, and that the languages (Azeri and Turkish) are different.--Zereshk 6 July 2005 14:09 (UTC)

Altaic is unnecessarily vague, and is not believed to actually exist by some linguists, according to our own article. Turkic is both more specific and completely correct. BTW, how different are Azeri and Turkish? If all of the Turkic languages can be mutually comprehensible, I would have to assume that Turkish and Azeri must be pretty similar ot each other. john k 6 July 2005 15:37 (UTC)

Azeri and Turkish are sufficiently different to be considered separate. We have 460 free satellite channels here in Tehran. A good bunch are Turkish. Native Azeris like my father have a very tough time understanding anyhting in Turkish. Turkish has both a different script and vocabulary. Azeri and Turkish may overlap alot, but they are different languages today.--Zereshk 6 July 2005 22:48 (UTC)

I would suspect that it's something like the difference between French and Italian, German and Dutch, Tongan and Samoan. The other language sounds very familiar, there's a lot of vocabulary in common, but it's just not ... immediately comprehensible. However, someone who speaks one language can pick up the other one fairly quickly (if there isn't a script barrier, which is a huge problem). Zereshk can confirm or deny. Zora 6 July 2005 23:43 (UTC)

Hmm...interesting. As a native English-speaker, I always feel like I've missed out in not having any languages that are closely related and might be comprehensible with only a slight effort (or with no effort at all). Well, there's Scots, I guess, but real Lallans is almost dead, I think. john k 6 July 2005 23:51 (UTC)

Inaccurate?

Is the factual accuracy still debated? What do we need to do before that tag can be removed? – Quadell (talk) (sleuth) 13:45, July 14, 2005 (UTC)

Since it's been over a week with no disputes, I'm removing the tag. If you feel there are still questions about the article's accuracy, feel free to put the tag back and explain the problems here. – Quadell (talk) (sleuth) 23:08, July 23, 2005 (UTC)
The tag should be added back, I already explained the situation with my long answer to Tabib here. To know further about the problem, you could dif. my past change in the article and Tabibs rv. The article does not respect historical name conventions etc., and use misleading terms to suggest things. But as I said to Tabib previously, I won't engage in editions. Fadix 17:11, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

Hello. There is a lot of back-and-forth discussion, but I guess what I need is a list of the specific things that need to change in the article so that you no longer consider it "inaccurate". Thanks, – Quadell (talk) (sleuth) 17:27, August 10, 2005 (UTC)

This is a start: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Safavids&diff=13490244&oldid=13473418 . Tabib has deleted a relevent and important mention regarding the founders ethnicity, and has deleted the mention of Azerbaijan as being a province, and being unrelated with the modern republic of Azerbaijan(the parentheses in my edit reverted by Tabib were professors Daniel L. Elton own conclusions, and those of many others.) The article as it is, mislead the reader, as if there was an Azerbaijan at that time, and doesn't respect name conventions used in history, as to call places by the name they were called in those periods, and their actual locations. A place named Azerbaijan, norther than the Arax river did not exist before 1918, according to most Western scholars. In South, it was a province. While those things seem minor, they make a differences, since without them, it is misleading. Fadix 00:29, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

Any answers? Isen't it important, the ethnicity of the founder? And this even in its own entry? Name conventions in history are there for something, Azerbaijan is a deviation of the Arabic term(Conversion to Arabic prunciation, the Persian term). History convention requires that we name a region, with the name it was called in the period we are covering it. What is called Azerbaijan in the text, is the province of Aturpatakan(in Persian). In Armenian writtings, Atrapatakan, originating from the Persian , which in its turn was a deviation of the term Atropatena. I don't know of any historical writings of the period, which the term Azerbaijan was ever used to refer to the region, and since it was an "Iranian" dinasty, I would think that the name convention would require, that we name the region the way it was called, which is the province of Aturpatakan. A Persian here would be of much help, as to the exact pronunciation. Besides, this Aturpatakan, which became Azerbaijan, because of the Arabic pronconiation, has nothing to do with the North of Arax river. For this reason, the text is entirly misleading and a product here again, of Tabibs POV pushing, as to suggest, that Azerbaijan was an entity before 1918. And I also find it funny, that when the Turkish origin is deleted by some Iranian nationalists, people are quick to revert it, but I guess it is OK that the founder of the dinasties ethnicity, even in its own entry is entrly hidden, and this, thanks to Tabibs actions. And then, one wonder why there seem to be problems in those entries with Persian nationalists reverting them backs. Either we use name conventions or not, and I thought, Wikipedia was using them. Fadix 18:55, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Writing lettres or poems in Azeri does not make one Turkish or Azerbaijani

The origin of the Safavis is mentioned in the Safavat as-Safa, a collected chronology of the Safavi origins, and it is clearly stated that the very first Safavids were Kurdish-speaking, having their origins in Khorasan (today's Afghanistan and Central-Asia). Only because they spoke Turkish, it does not mean that they were Turks. Ahmad Shah Durrani, the founder of modern Afghanistan, was a Pashtun by ethnicity, but he wrote countless poems in Persian. The Moghuls of India were Chagatai-Mongols by ethnicity, but they were Persian-speakers and great supporters of Persian literature. The last king of Afghanistan, Muhammad Zahir Shah, was a Pashtun by ethnicity and Persian by language - he does not know a word Pashto! Does that make the Pashtun kings of Afghanistan Persians? Ismail Safawi might have written letters and poems in Turkish, but that does not make him a Turk. The Safavids were living in Azerbaijan, a region inhabited by Turkic people. They had direct contact to Ottomans and other Turkic peoples in the region. Of course they were influenced by Turks and Turkish. But since their IRANIAN origin is well documented in their OWN chronologies, I see NO reason for proclaiming them "Turks" or "Azeris". May I remind everyone in here that the Seljuks were Persian-speaking?! They even invited Persian poets and schollars to their kingdom, like Rumi or Attar. Would anyone in here proclaim that the Seljuks were actually "Persians"? Of course not, because the origins of the Seljuks were well-known. The same goes to the Ghaznavis - Persian by language, but Turkic by heritage. In case of the Safavis, it's the opposite: Turkic by language (although we do not know for sure, since Persian was their official language) and Iranian by origin! Case closed! -Tajik 23:12, 23 August 2005 (UTC)


john says: Can we give this nonsense up? As to the Seljuks being Persian-speaking, I have never heard that anywhere before - Persian was a court language perhaps, but the early Seljuks certainly spoke Turkish among themselves.

  • What's your point, John? When it comes to the Safavis, you do not want to know anything about their forefathers. You stated above that "the early Safavis are not important, but only their kings, starting with Ismail". But now you change your opinion and talk about "early Seljuks"?! Even the very first Muslim Seljuks were Persian-speaking, because they were converted to Islam by the Persian Samanids. They became slaves, and later generals of the Samanids and Abasids. Another good example would be the Abbasid Khalifs. Mamun al-Rashid had a Persian mother, his mother-tongue was Persian, and he considered himself a champion of Iranism and Iranian heritage. Why don't you write in his article that he was a "Persian" instead of "Arab"?

john says: Which is, BTW, exactly the same situation as the Safavids. Every historical source I have ever seen on the Safavids says that they were of Turkish origins.

  • Which "historical sources"? Encarta? Or some other "Encylopaedia" written by Westerners some 100 years ago? There are yountless other historical sources proving the opposite: that the Safavis were originally Persians who became "Turkized" due to their contacts to Turkmen tribes of the Caucasus. Later on, they re-persianized. Their soldiers and wezirs were all Persians, and even the later Shahs were totally Persian-speaking - starting with Shah Abbas the Great. Calling them "Turks" only because they were from Ardabil is simply stupid.

john says: Whether or not their patrilineal ancestor was in some distant past a Kurd seems ultimately unprovable, given the obscurity of Safavid origins, but by the time they actually enter history, they were fully Turkicized, and their center of power, Tabriz, was a Turkish city (it had been the center of the Ilkhanate, for God's sake).

  • By the time the Seljuks entered history, they were totally Persianized. All the Seljuks were Persian-speaking, they supported Persian literature (see: Rumi and Khayyam), and some of the Seljuk Sultans even considered themselvs "Persian", like Malik Shah I. Just read history. When the Ottomans entered history, they were still a nomadic tribe of Turkmen origin. That was at a time when the Seljuk empire had already collapsed!

john says: I'm sick of all this nationalist garbage on wikipedia.

  • Then please stop supporing Turkish nationalist propaganda! All the "scientific works" you probably know were written by Europeans who had only directy contact to Turks, but not to Persians. In most cases, the Safavis are only known through their war with the Ottomans.

john says: Find a reputable non-Iranian source which says that the Safavid legend of Kurdish origin is definitively true, and then maybe it can go into the article.

  • Non-Iranian sources were named above. Here, once again for you:
    • Prof. Dr. Monika Gronke: "Derwische im Vorhof der Macht" ISBN 3-515-05758-7 pages 241-63(most comprehensive source available), etc.
    • Zeki Velidi TOGAN: "Mogollar devrinde Anadolu'nun iktisadi vaziyeti (1931) Turk hukuk ve Iktisat tarihi mecmuasi pages 1-42, "Origine" page 346/53
    • Heinz Halm: Die Schia, Darmstadt 1988. ISBN 3-534-03136-9Roger Savory: "Iran under the Safavids" Cambridge 1980
    • Vladimir MINORSKY: The poetry of Shah Ismail I" BSOAS (1939-42)
    • Iskandar Munsi (d. 1633-34): diverse historical text translated from Persian by Roger Savory
    • Hans Robert ROEMER: "Die Safaviden" Saeculum 4 (1953)
    • and of course, Safawat as-Safa, the choronology the Safavis themselvs!!!

I also add these books to it:

    • M. Ghobar, "Afghanistan In The Course of History", Vol. II, "Safawis and Afghanistan"
    • Monika Gronke: Geschichte Irans: Von der Islamisierung bis zur Gegenwart, München 2003. ISBN 3-406-48021-7

john says: BTW, how can they be both Kurdish and from Khorasan?

  • There are enough Kurds in Khorassan. And even if he was not a Kurd (which is really not sure), he was deffinitly Iranian - either Persian or Kurd.

john says: Khorasan was never a Kurdish area, so far as I am aware. john k 00:53, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

  • Then check your "reliable sources", Johnny!
Kurdish-inhabited areas of the Middle East and the Soviet Union in 1986.

-Tajik 09:24, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Shah Abbas deported Kurds to Khorasan

To make things clear for John and Tajik: There are over one million kurds living in north east iran (Khorasan) as you see in the map. However, They are not indigenous people of Khorasan, rather they are descendants of the exiled kurdish tribes who were deported by Shah Abbas from Kurdistan to Khorasan, after the Battle of Dimdim, in early 17th century. See [[17]] Heja Helweda 22:12, 15 November 2005 (UTC)


The best source on the Safavids is Iran Under the Safavids by Roger Savory. In it the author shows that the Safavids were of Iranic and non-Turkic extraction. A good proof this is also the Taati poems left by Shaykh Safi-ad-din Ardabili according to two sources. Also we must remeber that the Shaykh was of a Sunnite Shafi'ite extraction whereas virtually all Turks are of Hanafite extraction.