In Search of Allegiance

Shah Tahmāsp’s Communication with Zaynal Bayg of Hakkārī

  • Mustafa Dehqan
  • Vural Genç
Keywords: Hakkārī, Kurdish, Safavid, Shah Tahmāsp, Zaynal Bayg, Ottoman


The Kurdish emirate of Hakkārī played a very important role in the interaction between the Ottoman and Safavid empires. Brought under Ottoman control, in the course of the sixteenth century Hakkārī turned into one of the principal frontier emirates, connected through frontier regions with the main centers of the Safavid state via  dharbāyjān. Despite its Ottoman position in the sixteenth century, we know precious little about Safavid efforts to gain the allegiance of Hakkārī. One of Shah Tahmāsp’s existing letters, published here for the first time, illustrates his side of the correspondence with the Hakkārī emir Zaynal Bayg, and helps to explain a few obscure points in the Safavid-Kurdish relationship.

Author Biographies

Mustafa Dehqan

Mustafa Dehqan graduated from the University of Tehran with a BA in History and an MA in Historical Linguistics. His recent works include “A Kurdish Garshuni Poem by David of Barazne” – a co-authored article with Alessandro Mengozzi – and a book Index to Sharaf-nama.

Vural Genç

Vural Gen ç received his PhD in History from İstanbul University in 2014. His work focuses specifically on Ottoman-Safavid political relations and cultural contacts in the sixteenth century. He has published two books and several articles in these fields.

How to Cite
Dehqan, M., & Genç, V. (2019). In Search of Allegiance: Shah Tahmāsp’s Communication with Zaynal Bayg of Hakkārī. Archiv orientální, 87(3), 415–420. Retrieved from
Research Article