Shahsevan Bag face circa 1880
Antique shahsevan bag. very rare circa 1880.
The Shahsevan (Azerbaijani: Şahsevənlər), are a branch of the Turkic Oghuz groups, sub-ethnic group of Azerbaijani people, located primarily in Iran and on the territory of the present-day Republic of Azerbaijan. The name Shahsevanmeans "adherents of the Shah, a people who are loving Shah, devoted to the Shah". The core of this sub-ethnic group is a tribe that migrated under the leadership of Yunsur Pasha from the territory of the Ottoman Empire to the territory of the Iranian lands. After negotiations with Shah Abbas and receiving the name "Shahseven", the tribe settled in the area of the Arax, Kura and Ardabil rivers, choosing Yunsur Pasha as the founder of the new tribal dynasty. It is mentioned in historical texts that during the reign of the Safavid Shah Abbas I, the Qizilbash tribes, which previously formed the basis of the Safavid army, rebelled against the Shah. To protect the territories and his own power, the shah decided to assemble a new army, consisting of the non-military Turkic population of various regions, which included Asia Minor and the Two Rivers. This group was called the "Shahseven" - people of the Shah / loyal to the Shah / lovers of the Shah.The Shahseven managed to suppress uprisings and protect the borders of the territories from Uzbek conquerors. They were also defenders of Persia from the attacks of Turkey and Russia.