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The Kurds in the Ottoman Hungary

Author(s): Zurab ALOIAN

Journal: Transoxiana - Journal de Estudios Orientales
ISSN 1666-7050

Issue: 9;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: Kurdish Legends and Europe | Ottoman Empire versus respublica Christiana | Hungary | Historical Sources | Literary Texts | Sheref-Khan Bitlisi | Edward Said.

Introduction. The centuries-long European theme is attested in Kurdish folklore and written sources. In this respect, the Ottoman-related Hungarian material on the Kurds may be a case study within the general European context. Sources. Sharaf-name by Sharaf Khan Bidlisi and The Hungarian Letters of Ali Pasha of Buda are respectively the chief Kurdish and Ottoman Hungarian historical sources with Miklós Zrínyi's epic poem A Threat to Sziget and Géza Gárdonyi's novel Stars over Eger being the main literary material. Kurdistan and Hungary under the Ottoman Rule. The pivotal part of the Hungarian Kingdom was under the Ottoman administration, which was composed by people of many ethnic and religious groups. On the other hand, by the time of the creation and expansion of the Ottoman statehood, there were numerous Kurdish principalities with local administration and court culture. According to the agreement signed in 1514, the twenty-three Kurdish rulers preserved various degrees of their semi-autonomous status. Thus, in the Ottoman period in Hungary, the Kurdish upper strata became incorporated into the Empire under Islamic premises. Even prior to the Ottoman occupation of the part of Hungary, we have a Kurdish tribal chief who unsuccessfully fought against the pressing Hungarian army in 1440-1442. The most direct link can be found in the village of Kurd in Tolna county. Besides, Sharaf Khan Bidlisi presents direct references to the Kurds in the Ottoman-Hungarian history. Literary References. In A Threat to Sziget we come across a certain Kurt aga who fought against György Turi. A major literary monument of the nineteenth-century Hungary - Gárdonyi's Stars over Eger - directly mentions the Kurds within the Ottoman context. Gárdonyi shows the Kurds of the sixteenth century as faithful Ottoman subjects, who nevertheless reserve the tight to revolt against the Sultan.
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