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Battle of Çıldır

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Title: Battle of Çıldır  
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Subject: List of battles 1301–1800, Index of Turkey-related articles, Ottoman–Safavid War (1578–90)
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Battle of Çıldır

Battle of Çıldır
Part of Ottoman–Safavid War (1578–1590)
Date August 9, 1578
Location Çıldır, near Kars
Result Decisive Ottoman victory[1]
Ottoman Empire Safavid Persia
Kingdom of Kartli
Commanders and leaders
Lala Mustafa Pasha
Özdemiroğlu Osman Pasha
Mohammad Tokmak Khan Ostajlou
Disputed 25,000 Persians
7,000 Georgians

The Battle of Çıldır was fought in 1578 during the Ottoman–Safavid War (1578–1590) .


The peace between the Ottoman Empire and Persian (Safavid ) Empire after the treaty of Amasya continued from 1555 to 1578. When Murat III of the Ottoman Empire ascended to throne in 1574, Tahmasp I of Persia sent presents to Murat III. But before the Persian delegation left İstanbul, the Ottoman capital, Tahmasp died (1576). The new shah was Ismail II who changed the peaceful policy towards Ottomans and began hostalities in the border area. Meanwhile the governor of Luristan, a part of Persia took refuge in Ottoman lands, an event which further created tension between the two empires. İsmail II soon died and during the interregnum following his death, Ottoman Porte decided to declare war.[2] The war continued during the reign of Mohammed Khodabanda in Persia.


After an initial combat in so called Cambaz Çukuru, the main battle was around a small fort named Çıldır in North east Anatolia. The commander of the Ottoman army was Lala Mustafa Pasha and the commander of the Persian army was Tokmak Khan who had represented Persia in İstanbul after Murat III’s accession. He also had a Georgian army under his command. (Georgian Kingdom was the vassal of Persian empire and there was a family bond by marriage between the royal families of Persians and Georgians.) Tokmak Khan tried to encircle the Ottoman army and he was about to succeed when Özdemiroğlu Osman Pasha of Ottoman side intervened and defeated Tokmak Khan.[3]


Although Persians tried to attack Ottoman supply units after the battle, they were forced to retreat and when a bridge was wrecked during this retreat they further lost troops. These defeats left Caucasus to Ottoman conquest. Lala Mustafa Pasha soon conquered Tiflis, the Georgian capital.[4] The next step was the conquest of Derbent (present Republic of Dagestan in Russia). By this conquest Ottomans were able to reach the Caspian Sea.

See also

  • Lala Mustafa Pasha's Caucasian campaign
  • Battle of Torches
  • Treaty of Istanbul (1590)


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