Şahkulu[lower-alpha 1] also known as Shah-Qoli Baba, Shahqoli Baba, or Karabıyıkoğlu (died July 2, 1511), was the leader of the pro-Shia and pro-Safavid uprising in Anatolia – the Şahkulu Rebellion – directed against the Ottoman Empire in 1511. He was viewed as a Messiah and Prophet by his followers. His death in battle signified the end of the uprising. He is buried in Amasya.
Şahkulu was a member of the Turkmen Tekkelu tribe. Being inspired by Safavid missionaries, the Turkmens living on Ottoman soil, "as far west as Konya", were mobilized in a "fervent messianic movement", led by Şahkulu. Şahkulu and his followers tried to "replicate" the same type of revolt led by Ismail I several years earlier, "perhaps in anticipation of a union with the Safavids". Şahkulu was killed in 1511, and the pro-Safavid movement was "halted temporarily". But the anxiety of the Ottomans, in relation to "losing much of their Asian possessions was not eased". Nor did the hatred of the Ottomans for Ismail I cease to exist, even though Ismail apologized for the atrocities caused by the Turkmens and "disowned" Şahkulu. As the possibility existed of a "mass Turkmen exodus into the Safavid realm", Bayezid II sought to establish good relations with Ismail, "at least on the surface, and welcomed Ismail's gestures to establish good neighborly relations". In letters sent to Ismail, Bayezid II addressed Ismail as "heir to the kingdom of Kaykhosrow – the legendary great king of the Shahnameh – and to Dara (Darius) of the ancient Persian Empire". Abbas Amanat adds: "He further advised Ismail to behave royally, preserve his precious and strategically vital kingdom with justice and equanimity, end forced conversions, and leave in peace with his neighbors".
Bayezid II had faced a revolt from his own son Selim (who succeeded as Selim I), in the final years of his rule. Unlike his father, Selim, then still a prince, disliked his father's appeasement policies vis-a-vis the Safavids. When Selim I thus ascended the throne in 1512, things changed drastically. Tensions rose, which eventually led to the Battle of Chaldiran in 1514.
In popular culture
A fictionalized version of Şahkulu appears in the 2011 video game Assassin's Creed: Revelations, where he is called Shahkulu and serves as an antagonist.
- Gibb 1954, p. 128.
- Amanat 2017, p. 52.
- Matthee 1999, p. 19.
- Jafarian 2012, p. 65.
- Finkel, Caroline (July 19, 2012). Osman's Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire 1300–1923. Hachette UK. p. 21. ISBN 9781848547858. https://books.google.es/books?id=hslOx5bvOzkC&printsec=frontcover.
- Converse, Cris (February 6, 2016). "Sequence 7 - Underworld". Assassin’s Creed Revelations Game Guide. Booksmango. p. 29. ISBN 9781633235007. https://books.google.es/books?id=YSqHCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA28.
- Delgado, Jesús (February 16, 2014). "Assassin's Creed Arena, el nuevo juego de tablero de AC" (in es). https://www.hobbyconsolas.com/noticias/assassins-creed-arena-nuevo-juego-tablero-ac-63665.
- Makuch, Eddie (February 14, 2014). "Now there's an Assassin's Creed board game". https://www.gamespot.com/articles/now-there-s-an-assassin-s-creed-board-game/1100-6417751/.
- Amanat, Abbas (2017). Iran: A Modern History. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0300231465.
- Bowden, Oliver (2011). Assassin's Creed: Revelations. Penguin UK. pp. 52. ISBN 9780141966724. https://books.google.es/books?id=W6FQ4_wJSFEC&printsec=frontcover.
- Gibb, H.A.R., ed (1954). The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Brill Archive. ISBN 978-9004060562.
- Jafarian, Rasool (2012). "The Political Relations of Shah Esma'il I with the Mamluk Government (1501–16/907–22)". Iran and the World in the Safavid Age. I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1780769905.
- Matthee, Rudolph P. (1999). The Politics of Trade in Safavid Iran: Silk for Silver, 1600–1730. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-521-64131-9. https://books.google.nl/books?id=5U0yECMV--wC&dq=qazaq+khan+cherkes&hl=nl&source=gbs_navlinks_s.
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