The Kizilbash were at once key players in and the foremost victims of the Ottoman-Safavid conflict that defined the early modern Middle East. Today referred to as Alevis, they constitute the second largest faith community in modern Turkey, with smaller pockets of related groups in the Balkans. Yet several aspects of their history remain little understood or explored. This first comprehensive socio-political history of the Kizilbash/Alevi communities uses a recently surfaced corpus of sources generated within their milieu. It offers fresh answers to many questions concerning their origins and evolution from a revolutionary movement to an inward-looking religious order.
About the Author
Ayfer Karakaya-Stump is Associate Professor of History at The College of William and Mary. She has published articles in Turcica, International Journal of Turkish Studies and British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, and has published a monograph in Turkish with Bilgi University Press (2015).
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Note on Transliteration
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1. The Iraq Connection: Abu'l-Wafa' Taj al-'Arifin and the Wafa'i Order
Chapter 2. The Forgotten Forefathers: Wafa'i Dervishes in Medieval Anatolia
Chapter 3. Haci Bektas and His Contested Legacy: The Abdals of Rum, the Bektashi Order, and the (Proto-)Kizilbash Communities
Chapter 4. A Transregional Kizilbash Network: The Iraqi Shrine Cities and Their Kizilbash Visitors
Chapter 5. Mysticism and Imperial Politics: The Safavids and the Making of the Kizilbash Milieu
Chapter 6. From Persecution to Confessionalization: The Consolidation of Kizilbash/Alevi Identity in Ottoman Anatolia