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Updated:Monday 13th October 2014

Mahabad Definition

Mahabad: city located in northwestern Iran.Mahabad formerly known as Saujbulagh is a city in and the capital of Mahabad County, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. The population is a predominantly Kurdish city in Iranian Kurdistan in northwestern Iran. The city lies south of Lake Urmia in a narrow valley 1,300 meters above sea level.Mahabad is the centre of a rich agricultural region, but the city itself is little developed by Iranian standards. Mahabad is connected by road with Tabriz 300 km north, Piranshahr 85 km west, Urmia 150 km north and Irbil in Iraq. The city is also home of the Islamic Azad University of Mahabad. The city of Mahabad was the center of Kurdish pro-Soviet Marxist movements in 1943.Mahabad may mean the city of moon while Mehabad may refer to place of the nobles.Mahabad may have been the centre of the Mannaeans, who flourished in the early 1st millennium BC. During the Safavid dynasty, the region of Mukrian experienced political turmoil. In 1609-1610, during the battle of DimDim, the Mukrian tribes of the region supported "Amir Khan Lepzerin" (Golden Hand Khan), the Kurdish ruler of Bradost. Local traditions hold that there was an older Mahabad in what is today known as plain of Shahr-e-viran (ruined city), in neighborhood of modern Mahabad but was destroyed by the invading armies in medieval era.Mahabad remained a small town in Deryaz, until it was named the capital of the Mukrian Khanate under the Safavid dynasty. The Kurdish prince, Budaq Sultan, ordered the construction of many noteworthy buildings in Mahabad. The Mukri rule lasted until the Qajar dynasty dissolved the khanate in the middle of 19th century.During World War II occupation of Iran, USSR tried to separate Kurdistan from Iran. After the end of the war, the Red Army refused to leave Iran. Mahabad was briefly the center of autonomous Mahabad, declared independent on January 1, 1946 under the Soviet puppet Qazi Mohammad. After an ultimatum by the United States, the Soviets agreed to leave Iran in which sovereignty would be restored to the Tehran. Backed by public support, the Iranian army swiftly entered the area, and arrested Qazi Muhammad who was executed after a brief trial.The Kurdish quest for autonomy partially intrigued by foreign mediation trying to destabilize Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria has been a sensitive issue endangering national sovereignty. Sporadic clashes with armed groups, and cross border smuggling in a hardly policed mountainous area have resulted in violations of human rights. (Wikipedia) - Mahabad For other uses, see Mahabad (disambiguation). Mahabad مهاباد kurdish Mahābād Country Province County Bakhsh Government  • Parliament Population (2006)  • Total  • Estimate (2012) Time zone  • Summer (DST) Area code(s) Website
Coordinates: 36°45′47″N 45°43′20″E / 36.76306°N 45.72222°E / 36.76306; 45.72222Coordinates: 36°45′47″N 45°43′20″E / 36.76306°N 45.72222°E / 36.76306; 45.72222
West Azerbaijan
Osman Ahmadi
IRST (UTC+3:30)
IRDT (UTC+4:30)
0444 - 0442

Mahabad (Persian: مهاباد‎; Kurdish: مەھاباد; also Romanizedas Mahābād and Mehābād Azerbaijani: ﺳﻮﻳﻮﻕ ﺑﻮﻻﻕ ,Soyuq bulaq ; formerly known as Sāūjbulākh or Sawcheblakh) is a city in and the capital of Mahabad County, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 133,324, in 31,000 families.

The city''s population is predominantly Kurdish, with the city lying south of Lake Urmia in a narrow valley 1,300 metres above sea level in Iranian Kurdistan, a part of northwestern Iran.

  • 1 Etymology
  • 2 History
    • 2.1 Modern Kurdish State in Mahabad
  • 3 References
  • 4 External links


The town was founded in the Safavid period, and its first name was Savoujbolagh. Savoujbolagh is a Turkic word meaning cold spring. Later, in the Qajarid period, the town was called Savoujbolagh Mokri, meaning Savoujbolagh of the Mukri tribe, due to the residence of the Mukri tribe in the town. This was the name of the town until 1936, when the town was named Mahabad by Rashid Yasemi from the Academy of Persian Language and Literature.


Mahabad is situated in a region that was the center of the Mannaeans, who flourished in 10th to 7th centuries BC. Mannaeans "after suffering several defeats at the hands of both Scythians and Assyrians, the remnants of the Mannaean populace were absorbed by an Iranian people known as the Matieni and the area became known as Matiene. It was then annexed by the Medes in about 609 BC.

In the medieval period, the Kurdish dynasty of Hasanwâyhids (959-1015) was ruling the region. After destruction under the Mongols, Ilkhanate, and Timurid dynasty, the region was controlled by Kara Koyunlu (1375–1468) and Aq Qoyunlu (1378–1501)(both Oghuz Turkic tribes). As Muhamed Amin Zaki in his book, A Short History of the Kurds and Kurdistan, during regional conflicts between Kara Koyunlu and Aq Qoyunlu, the Mukri kurds gained power in the fertile valleys of south of Lake Urmia.

Murki kurds participated in several wars between Safavid dynasty and Ottoman Empire, and gained more predominance. In 17th century AD, Mahabad became the seat of Mukri principality (known as Murkriyān in Kurdish and Morkriyān in Farsi). Many believe Budaq Sultan Murki, who built Mahabad''s Jameh Mosque is the founder of the current city.

Modern Kurdish State in Mahabad Main article: Republic of Mahabad

Mahabad was briefly the capital of the short-lived Republic of Mahabad, which was declared independent on January 1, 1946 under the leadership of Kurdish nationalist Qazi Muhammad.

The republic received strong support from the Soviet Union, which occupied Iran during the same era and included the Kurdish towns of Bukan, Piranshahr, Sardasht and Oshnavieh.

After an agreement brokered by the United States, the Soviets agreed to leave Iran in which sovereignty would be restored to the Shah in 1947. The Shah ordered an invasion of the Republic of Mahabad shortly afterwards under which the leaders of the republic including Qazi Muhammad were arrested and executed. Qazi Muhammad was hanged on 31 March 1947.

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