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Bajalan


The Bajalan tribe, also called Bajilan, Bajwan, Bazhalan, Bajarwan and Bajlan, are a Kurdishtribe in Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan) and Iran (Iranian Kurdistan), however they also have sub-groups in Turkey and Armenia. Many of the Bajalan people in Armenia moved to Turkey.

Their ethnonym means "home of the falcons". The tribe originates from Abdal Bey, an Ottoman commander in the Ottoman–Safavid War (1623–39).

The seat of the Bajalan Pashas was Zohab which they founded according to James Silk Buckingham. SARPUL-I ZOHAB ("bridgehead of Zohab"), a place on the way to Zagros on the great Baghdad-Kirmanshah road, taking its name from the stone bridge of two arches over the river Alwand.Austen Henry Layard observes the river Holwan issues at Ser-puli-Zohab from a deep gorge through lofty precipices. The Bajalan Pass was noted by foreign travelers for its monasteries, bridges, castles and aqueducts. The Bajalan Pashas were also guardians of the Anobanini rock relief.

The Bajalans under the command of their leader Abdal Bey participated on the side of the Ottomans in the Ottoman–Safavid War (1623–39), his forces numbered some 4000, they fought successfully against the Persians and helped Sultan Murad IV conquer Baghdad in 1638.

Murad IV In recognition of services rendered to the Ottoman Empire in the capture of Baghdad rewarded Abdal Bey and his descendants with title of Pasha (of one tail) and hereditary rights to the newly established Zohab Pashalik under the Treaty of Zuhab of 1639. Under the terms that the Sultan ceded Zohab to Abdal Bey on the condition that he raise 2,000 horsemen when required, and pay a yearly tribute of 300,000 piastres to the State. However, in reality as an Ottoman vassal, they were lightly taxed and furnished a body of 1,200 horsemen to the crown. David McDowall described the Bajalans as formidable fighters and George Bournoutian stated that their sheer looks brought on terror to the enemy in their chain mail.Sir Henry Rawlinson, 1st Baronet notes the Kalhur tribe were ousted from Zohab by Sultan Murad IV who gave their lands to the Bajalan tribe. The accompanying imperial decree expelled the Kalhur tribe who had previously dominated the Zohab province as punishment for fighting on the side of the Persians. The Government of the Pashlik continued to be hereditary in his family till its conquest and abolishment by the Persians. Abdal Bey settled in Zohab and created a new town with his followers in 1639. The installment of the Bajalan by Murad IV in the area was also intended as a bulwark against the Persians because Baghdad itself could be threatened from Zohab.


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Wikipedia

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