The Ottomans worked to impose the "end of history" on the Kurds
The Kurdish rebellions against the Turks were started by Ibn Jumblatt and ended by Bedr Khan Pasha
There were many dramatic chapters in the long Kurdish struggle against the Turkish oppression, as the Turks dealt with the Natives in many of the areas they occupied with blood, while the Kurds were taken by the Ottomans and they were stripped of their lands and rights; the Ottomans wanted to obliterate their history and identity, to make the Kurdish people without a history in order to build a new history over that of the Kurds, starting with the entry of the Ottoman colonialism into the Kurdish regions, in accordance with the theory of the “end of history.”
The Kurdish issue took on a direct political turn after the Battle of Chaldiran in (1514 AD), when the Ottomans and the Safavids shared the Kurdish lands without any regard for the sacrifices made by the Kurds in order to consolidate the Ottoman Empire. This new reality created a backlash among the Kurds, which was manifested in their dependence on their own tools, away from relying on the political or humanitarian gesture from the Ottomans, who were using the Kurds as firewood in their expansionist wars, and also in imposing internal security to subjugate the rest of the ethnic communities.
The Kurdish resistance to the Turkish invasion is considered one of the obvious facts under the barbarism that identified how the Turks dealt with the Kurds and the rest of the areas they entered; as Narrations tell dramatic chapters of the bloody events in which the Ottoman Empire was involved.
Muhammed Amin Zaki says in his book “Summary of the history of the Kurds and Kurdistan from the earliest historical times so far”: “In 1037 AD, the hordes of the invaders (the vanguards of the Seljuks) reached the gates of Maragha, and they plundered the city, killed the people and carried on the killing, then they raided the Kurdish Hadbaniya clan, killing a great deal of them… A group of invaders had arrived in Armenia in their raid and inflicted great massacres and total destruction there.”
Although the Kurds after the battle of Chaldiran were able to obtain their autonomy away from Astana with the survival of some simple manifestations of Ottoman sovereignty, including coining money, praying for the sultan and joining the Ottoman armies if they were asked to do so, but they refused to fight their wars; therefore, The Ottoman sultans decided to take revenge, through military strikes, claimed tens of thousands of Kurds. All this just a small part of the dark history of Ottoman rule.
The Kurds refused to fight for the Ottomans, so the Ottomans took revenge on them by deterring and striking them militarily.
In the early years of the seventeenth century, specifically in (1607 AD), the revolution of Ali bin Jumblatt broke out in the city of Aleppo, against the backdrop of the assassination of the Ottoman Grand Vizier of his brother, Prince Hassan, after which the revolutionaries marched to Tripoli of the Levant and other regions, and managed for a short period of time to rule the country independently. Then Ibn Jumblatt concluded a treaty with Archduke Ferdinand, King of the Tuscany government.
As the Ottoman Sultan rise to this challenge, he assigned the famous Grand Vizier Kuyucu Murad Pasha to put down Ibn Jumblatt’s revolt; the two groups met in the Urj plain on October 24, 1607 AD, and bloody battles were fought that wiped out half of Ibn Jumblatt’s army, which forced him to retreat and withdraw. As a result of this defeat, Ibn Jumblatt went to Astana, where Sultan Ahmet I pardoned him and appointed him to Beylerbeylik for the Eyalet of Tameshwar. However, this pardon was not welcomed by the Grand Vizier, Murad Pasha, the butcher, who sent someone to kill him in the Belgrade fortress while he was on his way to work.
In (1806 AD), a great revolution broke out in the Sulaymaniyah region led by the Kurdish leader Abd al-Rahman Pasha al-Babani, during which the Kurds were able to achieve important tactical accomplishments, but they were not sufficient to achieve the supreme political goal of independence from the Ottomans. Regarding this revolution, we find the journalist and writer Ahmed Taj al-Din in his book ” Kurdish history of the people and the cause of the homeland ” says: “… the clashes continued for two years, during which the Kurds managed to achieve great triumphs, but the revolution ended with the death of its leader in one of the battles, and there was no one to lead after him; therefore, the revolution was extinguished in the bud and in early years.”
In (1812 AD) another revolution also broke out in Sulaymaniyah, this time under the leadership of Ahmed Pasha al-Babani and was able to achieve extraordinary results, which prompted the revolutionaries to attempt marching towards Baghdad to seize it, a goal that was almost achieved, had it not been for the death of the leader of the revolution, to end up like the one before.
About 8 years later, in (1820 AD), the Kurds revolted fiercely in the Zaza region to extend to the rest of the Kurdish regions and lasted for a few months before it came to nothing; due to the lack of supplies and armament, which prompted the revolutionaries to barricade themselves in the mountains before the Turks managed to besiege them and exterminated them till every last one of them; thus, the Zaza revolution shall be part of the list of crimes committed by the Ottomans against the Natives. After a decade, the Kurds revolted in the Sinjar region in (1830 AD), and it faced the same fate, given the same introductions that preceded the spark of the revolution.
In analyzing of one of the most important Kurdish revolutions that was relatively distinguished from the other revolutions by the presence of a revolutionary leader, as well as the self-presence, represented in the awareness of the liberation tasks; therefore, based on the foregoing, that the leaders of the Kurdish clans and heads of tribes adopted – compelled to – the revolutionary choice of liberation; being one of the legitimate violent approaches to achieving the Kurds’ national dream of independence, through controlling the Kurdish areas. It seems that the absence of a central organization that represents the liberation vanguard, and a true leader who possesses monitoring and control means, in military sense, between tribes and clans, all of this contributed to the failure of these attempts; in the end, the level of aspirations from independence to autonomy decreased.
In (1812 AD), in the age of eighteen years old, Prince Bedr Khan Pasha assumed the rule of the island of Bhutan. Despite his young age, he was a brilliant, resolute and strategic leader. He defined his main political goals and summarized them in two main points: confronting the intrigues of the Topkapı Palace and working on the unity of the Kurdish tribes and clans under one banner. To achieve these goals, Bedr Khan Pasha analyzed the previous revolutions and identified the causes of the defeats of the Kurds against the Ottoman invaders, to identify the most important direct and indirect causes of these war setbacks.
Historian Ballh Shyrkwh summarizes these reasons in his book ” Kurdish issue past the Kurds and their present ” in two main points: lack of unity of Kurdish forces in the revolutions around the ultimate goal of unity, lack of weapons and ammunition factories and dependence on foreign support.
The successive losses of the Kurds before the Ottomans for their dispersion and the lack of weapons and ammunition.
Marching from the command center in Bhutan, which was practically independent of the Ottoman Empire, Bedr Khan headed out to unify the Kurdish tribes under one banner, which he succeeded in resoundingly, as most of the Kurdish symbols joined under his banner, including Mustafa Bey, Darwish Bey and Mahmoud Bey, in addition to the leader of Hakkari Noor Allah Bey and the leader of Khaizan Khaled Bey and Sharif Bey, one of the leaders of the Moshe Brigade and others. Bedr Khan also worked to achieve military self-sufficiency in ammunition and equipment by establishing an ammunition and rifle factory in the city of “Al-Jazirah”.
Despite the spectacular successes achieved by the Kurds against the Ottomans, some tactical errors and failure to consider the regional aspects, in addition to internal betrayals and intrigues of the Topkapı Palace, were all factors that precipitated the failure of the Kurds’ dream of establishing an independent homeland , as the injunctive measures that Bedr Khan led against the Christian Nestorians who refused to pay taxes were a strategic mistake exploited by the Ottoman Sultan to get the green light from the Europeans to put down the Kurdish revolution once and for all, to perpetuate their political problem and their existential cause forever.
- Muhammed Amin Zaki, Summary of the history of the Kurds and Kurdistan from the earliest historical times so far, translated by: Muhammed Ali Awni, 2nd Edition (Baghdad: The General House of Cultural Affairs, 2005).
- Ahmed Taj El-Din, Kurdish history of the people and the cause of the homeland, (Cairo: Cultural House for Publishing, 2001).
- Ballh Shyrkwh, Kurdish issue past the Kurds and their present, (Cairo: El-Saada Press, 1930).