October 2, 2023

Al-Tikriti Presents Research at William & Mary Workshop

Professor of Middle Eastern History Nabil Al-Tikriti

Professor of Middle Eastern History Nabil Al-Tikriti

Professor of Middle East History Nabil Al-Tikriti presented a paper entitled “Revisiting the Şahkulu and Nur Ali Halife Rebellions” on Sunday, May 1. For this presentation, Prof. Al-Tikriti summarized and commented on the secondary literature and extant primary source evidence covering the twin rebellions which convulsed Ottoman Anatolia in 1511-12. The workshop was a hybrid format conference hosted by The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg and attended by several dozen participants, in person and remote.

Conference proceedings should be published in the next few months.

Prof. Al-Tikriti’s paper abstract: “In March 1511, immediately following the sudden, unexpected, and unauthorized departure of Şehzade Korkud (d. 1513) from his post in Antalya for Saruhan, a rebellion broke out throughout the Teke region. Within days this rebellion spread throughout Anatolia under the charismatic leadership of Şahkulu (d. 1511). Later portrayed as an existential threat to the entire empire, this rebellion – along with a subsequent rebellion led by Nur Ali Halife (d. 1515) – has been used to justify a hardening imperial stance against those described as “Kızılbaş” in the years to follow. With this paper, I plan to delve into the relevant sources in order to revisit certain widespread perceptions connected to these twin rebellions, clarify what was said when, and explore alternative interpretations of the events that transpired. To what extent was the Şahkulu rebellion pre-planned and supported by external actors? What motivated the rebellion, and why did it spread so rapidly? Did the rebels practice cannibalism at one point? In attempting to answer such questions, I also hope to offer preliminary conclusions concerning the reliability of Ottoman narrative sources covering the rebellion.”

Prof. Al-Tikriti would like to thank the UMW College of Arts and Sciences for supporting this scholarly engagement.