(Turkic, “Black Sheep”; from the black sheep on their banner), a group of nomadic Oghuz Turk tribes led by the Baharlu tribe, which originally settled south of Lake Van; it is also the name of the state they created. While supporting the Ottoman Turks and the Jelairids, the tribes of the Kara-Koyunlu fought against Timur (Tamerlane) and his ally, the Ak-Koyunlu. After the death of Timur in 1405, Kara Yusuf, the leader of the Kara-Koyunlu, helped the Jelairids defeat Timur’s son, Miranshah; later, however, Kara Yusuf routed the Jelairids, took possession of Azerbaijan, Iraq, and Armenia, and founded the Kara-Koyunlu state (1410). The rulers of this state, Kara Yusuf (1410–20) and Iskandar (1420–36), waged war against the Timurids and the shahs of Shirvan. In 1435, the Timurid sultan Shahrukh and the Shah of Shirvan crushed the army of Iskandar. Jahanshah, who was raised to the throne in 1436, was forced to recognize his vassalage to the Timurids, but in 1447, after Shahrukh’s death, he declared his independence. Between 1453 and 1457, the Kara-Koyunlu conquered western Iran. In 1467, Jahanshah’s army was routed by Uzun Hasan of the Ak-Koyunlu (ruled from 1453 to 1478). In 1468 the territory of the Kara-Koyunlu state was made part of the Ak-Koyunlu state.
I. P. PETRUSHEVSKII