Treaty of Zuhab

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Treaty of Zuhab
The 1639 Peace Treaty of Zuhab was made between the Safavid Empire and the Ottoman Empire.

The Treaty of Zuhab (Persian: عهدنامه زهاب, Ahadnāmah Zuhab), also called Treaty of Qasr-e Shirin (Turkish: Kasr-ı Şirin Antlaşması), was an accord signed between the Safavid Empire and the Ottoman Empire on May 17, 1639.[1] The accord ended the Ottoman-Safavid War of 1623–1639 and was the last conflict in almost 150 years of intermittent wars between the two states over territorial disputes. It can roughly be seen as a confirmation of the previous Peace of Amasya from 1555.[2][3]

The treaty confirmed the dividing of territories in West Asia priorly held by the Safavids, such as the permanent parting of the Caucasus between the two powers, in which East Armenia, eastern Georgia, Dagestan, and Shirvan stayed under the control of the Safavid Empire, while western Georgia and most of Western Armenia came fully under Ottoman rule. It also included all of Mesopotamia (including Baghdad) being irreversibly ceded to the Ottomans,[4] as well as Safavid-controlled eastern Samtskhe (Meskheti), making Samtskhe in its entirety an Ottoman possession.[5][6] With the Treaty of Zuhab, Eastern Armenia remained for more than eight decades under Safavid Rule, who separated it into two administrative regions: Erivan Province and Karabakh Province.[7]

Nevertheless, border disputes between Persia and the Ottoman Empire did not end. Between 1555 and 1918, Persia and the Ottomans signed no less than 18 treaties that would re-address their disputed borders. The exact demarcation according to this treaty would permanently begin during the 19th century, essentially laying out the rough outline for the frontier between modern day Iran and the states of Turkey and Iraq, which was the Ottoman-Persian border until 1918, when the Ottoman Empire lost its territories in the Middle East following their defeat in World War I. Nevertheless, according to Professor Ernest Tucker, the treaty can be seen as the "culmination" of a process of normalisation between the two that had commenced with the Peace of Amasya.[8] As opposed to any other Ottoman-Safavid treaty, Zuhab proved to be more "resilient" and became a "point of departure" for almost all further agreements on a diplomatic level between the two neighbors.[9]


  1. ^ Somel, Selçuk Akşin, Historical Dictionary of the Ottoman Empire, (Scarecrow Press Inc., 2003), 306.
  2. ^ Redgate, A. E. (2000). The Armenians. Oxford Malden, MA: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-22037-4.
  3. ^ Meri, Josef W.; Bacharach, Jere L. (2006). Medieval Islamic Civilization: L-Z, index. Taylor & Francis. p. 581. ISBN 978-0415966924.
  4. ^ Matthee 2012, p. 182.
  5. ^ Floor 2001, p. 85.
  6. ^ Floor 2008, p. 140.
  7. ^ Hovannisian, R. G. (1997). Armenian People from Ancient to Modern Times. Palgrave. p. 81-82. ISBN 1-4039-6422-X.
  8. ^ Floor & Herzig 2015, p. 86.
  9. ^ Floor & Herzig 2015, p. 81.


  • Floor, Willem (2001). Safavid Government Institutions. Costa Mesa, California: Mazda Publishers. ISBN 978-1568591353.
  • Floor, Willem M. (2008). Titles and Emoluments in Safavid Iran: A Third Manual of Safavid Administration, by Mirza Naqi Nasiri. Washington, DC: Mage Publishers. ISBN 978-1933823232.
  • Floor, Willem; Herzig, Edmund, eds. (2015). Iran and the World in the Safavid Age. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1780769905.
  • Matthee, Rudi (2012). Persia in Crisis: Safavid Decline and the Fall of Isfahan. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1845117450.
  • Somel, Selçuk Akşin, Historical Dictionary of the Ottoman Empire, Scarecrow Press Inc., 2003.

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