- (Shakak)The Shikak are a tribal confederation that became powerful in the second half of the 19th century on both sides of the Ottoman and Persian borders in the mountainous regions west and northwest of Lake Urumiya. They are Sunni Muslim and speak Kurmanji. They obtained a reputation for attacking both the Kurdish and Christian rayat (peasants) and refusing to pay taxes. In some sources, they are confused with the Shakaki (a Turkish-speaking Alevi tribe of Kurdish origin), who live to the east and northeast of Tabriz and early in the 20th century provided four regiments for the Qajar shah's army. On the other hand, the relationship between the Shikak and Shakaki also seems to be more than a mere similarity of names.The Shikak opposed Sheikh Ubeydullah of Nehri when he invaded Persia in 1880. In 1896, the Shikak ambushed some 800 Armenian revolutionaries retreating from Van in the Ottoman Empire, while two years later they were chasing Armenians on behalf of the Persians. Shikak tribesmen captured Sheikh Abdul Salam II of Bar-zan, the elder brother of Mulla Mustafa Barzani, and handed him over to the Ottomans for execution in 1914 when the Sheikh tried to flee after being charged with conspiring with the Russians.Ismail Agha Simko, the famous Iranian Kurdish rebel of the 1920s, was the leader of the Abdui section of the Shikak. During the days of the Mahabad Republic of Kurdistan, the Shikak played a cautiously opportunistic role and quickly deserted the cause. They acted similarly in 1979 when central authority was temporarily absent following the Islamic revolution. Likewise, the Tudeh (Iranian Communist Party) office in Urumiya in northwestern Iran was able only temporarily to enroll thousands of Shikaks in 1945.
Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. Michael M. Gunter.
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