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Turko–Iranian War (1821–1823)


The final war between the Qajar Persians and the Ottoman Turks.

This conflict began in 1821 when the Persian governor of Erzerum gave protection to tribes fleeing Azerbaijan. Actually, the conflict was instigated by Russia, which was anxious to weaken the Ottoman position in the Greek Revolution. The Russians induced Abbas Mirza, son of Fath Ali Shah Qajar, to invade Ottoman Turkey. He did, occupying Kurdistan and all the districts adjacent to Azerbaijan. As a counter move, the Ottoman viceroy of Baghdad invaded Persia but was defeated and chased back to Baghdad. In retaliation, Fath Ali Shah Qajar's oldest son, Mohammad Ali Mirza, laid siege to that city; his illness, and later death, lifted the siege, and the action shifted to the north. In the battle of Erzurum (1821) Abbas Mirza's army of 30,000 men defeated an Ottoman army of over 50,000. An epidemic of cholera precluded further action in the south, and the two powers ended hostilities with the Treaty of Erzurum on 28 July 1823. This treaty involved no change in territorial borders, but it did guarantee Persia access to the holy places in Iraq and Arabia; Ottoman suppression of Kurdish raids on Persian territory; release of the possessions of Persian merchants in Turkey; and an exchange of ambassadors.


Sykes, Percy Molesworth. A History of Persia (1915). London: Routledge and K. Paul, 1969.

daniel e. spector

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