Qara Yusuf


Qara Yusuf

Abu Nasr Qara Yusuf Nuyan ibn Muhammad was the ruler of the Kara Koyunlu or Black Sheep Turkomans from c.1388 to 1420, although his reign was interrupted by the Timurid invasion (1400-05).

The Jalayirid vassalage broken

At the beginning of Qara Yusuf’s reign, although the Kara Koyunlu were supposedly vassals of the Jalayirid dynasty in Baghdad and Tabriz, in fact both the Jalayirids and the Kara Koyunlu were threatened by the Timurids to the east. In 1396 Timur appointed his son Miran Shah as Timurid viceroy of Azerbaijan. By collaborating on equal terms with the Jalayirid Sultan Ahmad against the Timurids, Qara Yusuf effectively secured the independence of the Kara Koyunlu.

The Timurid Invasion

The Timurids began another campaign in 1400 and defeated both the Kara Koyunlu and the Jalayirids. Qara Yusuf and Sultan Ahmad Jelair both fled and took refuge with the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I. In 1402 they returned together with an army. However, once they had retaken control of Baghdad they quarrelled, and Qara Yusuf expelled Ahmad from the city. Ahmad took refuge with the Mamelukes, but they imprisoned him out of fear of Timur. In 1403 the Timurids drove Qara Yusuf out of Baghdad again. He too sought asylum with the Mamelukes, and was imprisoned by them along with Ahmad. Together in prison, the two leaders renewed their friendship, making an agreement that Ahmad should keep Baghdad while Qara Yusuf would have Azerbaijan. When Timur died in 1405 the Mamelukes released them both.

Qara Yusuf, having returned from exile in Egypt, went back to Azerbaijan, defeated the Timurid Abu Bakr near Nakhichevan, and reoccupied Tabriz (1406). Abu Bakr and his father Miranshah tried to recapture Azerbaijan, but on April 20, 1408, Qara Yusuf inflicted a decisive defeat on them in which Miranshah was killed. This battle, one of the most important in the history of the Orient, nullified the results of Tamerlane's conquests in the West René Grousset. "The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia", translated by N. Wallford. Rutgers University Press, 1970, ISBN 0813513049, p. 458] .

After Timurids

Having firmly established as a ruler of Azerbaijan with Tabriz as his capital, Qara Yusuf fell foul of his former ally Ahmad Jelair, sultan of Baghdad . Ahmad tried to seize Azerbaijan, but was defeated near Tabriz on August 30, 1410, and assassinated the next day passing Iraq Arabi into hands of Qara Yusuf. Within few months, Qara Yusuf ruled Turkoman Kingdom of Qara Qoyunlu extending from the Georgian frontier to Basra, with Tabriz and Baghdad as its capitals. After the death of Qara Yusuf in December 1419, Shah Rukh tried to take Azerbaijan from Qara Yusuf's son Iskander. Despite defeating Iskander, twice in 1421 and 1429, only the third expedition of Shah Rukh in 1434 succeeded, when he entrusted the government to Iskander's own brother, Jahan Shah .

The conquest of Baghdad

The agreement between Ahmad and Qara Yusuf did not last. Wanting to regain Azerbaijan, Ahmad attacked the Kara Koyunlu, and briefly occupied Tabriz. However in August 1410 Qara Yusuf defeated him, and captured and executed him and his son Ala al-Daula. Ahmad’s nephew Sultan Valad briefly succeeded him but in 1412 Qara Yusuf captured Baghdad, and installed a Kara Koyunlu line of rulers there, effectively ending the rule of the Jalayirid dynasty.

Qara Yusuf died in 1420 and was succeeded by his son Qara Iskander.

References

ee also

* Rulers of Kara Koyunlu


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