Simko, Ismail Agha

(1887-1930)
   Ismail Agha Simko was considered by many a notorious Iranian Kurdish adventurer and tribal chief par excellence. For some others, however, he was a nascent Kurdish nationalist who established an autonomous Kurdish government in the area south and west of Lake Urumiya in northwestern Iran for much of the period from 1918 to 1922. To do so, he created a strong army that for several years proved superior to government troops and on numerous occasions actually defeated them. For a short period Simko even formed a cross-border alliance with Sheikh Taha of Nehri in Turkish Kurdistan and was in contact with other Kurdish nationalist leaders in Iraq and Turkey.
   Simko exploited the instability of the frontier region at the end of World War I to build his power. At one time or another, he took aid from Russia and the Soviet Union, Turkey, Great Britain, and Iran. In March 1918, Simko also treacherously killed his guest, the Assyrian leader Mar Shimun. (The Assyrians had fled from their mountainous home in Hakkari in Turkey and settled in the region claimed by Simko.) By February 1920, however, Iranian government forces temporarily defeated him, chased him into exile, but then gave him clemency. Soon Simko was building an even greater force. He was at the height of his power in 1921 and even published a newspaper in Sawdj-Bulak (Mahabad).
   Many Kurds feared and disliked Simko, however, and on 9 August 1922 he was dealt a sharp defeat by the Iranian government, from which he never really recovered. He spent his remaining years trying to regain his former position, moving from Iraq to Turkey while mending fences with Sheikh Taha of Nehri and Sheikh Mahmud Barzinji. In the spring of 1925 Simko returned to Iran and replaced Amr Khan, his rival, as the chief of the Abdui Shikak tribe. Soon he was again in open rebellion. When half of his troops defected to Amr Khan, however, Reza Khan's modern government troops easily defeated him. In 1930, the government tricked him into returning to Iran and killed him in an ambush, a fate also suffered in 1924 by his brother Jafar Agha and subsequent Kurdish Iranian leaders such as Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou in 1989.
   Simko's main strength and weakness was the Kurdish tribal system. While he was in ascendance, the tribes gave him a great deal of support, which, however, quickly melted away as soon as he was defeated. In retrospect, Simko had neither clear nationalist goals nor any political party organizational base to support him. He remained at heart a tribal leader who had little but disdain for urban livers and sedentary nontribal peasants. In the end, Simko was defeated by the modernizing government of Reza Shah Pahlavi, which successfully sought to break tribal power and centralize the state. Nevertheless, after Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou and Qazi Muhammad, Simko was probably the best-known Iranian Kurdish leader during the 20th century. All three, however, ended up being killed by the Iranian government.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Simko Shikak — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Simko caption= date= 1919 to 1922 place=Kurdistan result= Iranian Victory combatant1=Iran combatant2=Simko s state in northwestern Kurdistan commander1=General Amir Ershad Reza Shah commander2=SimkoSeyyed Taha… …   Wikipedia

  • Mar Shimun XXI Benyamin — (Syriac: ܡܪܝ ܒܢܝܡܝܢ ܫܡܥܘܢ ܥܣܪܝܢ ܘܩܕܡܝܐ) was a Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East. He was born in 1887 in the village of Qochanis in the Hakkari Province, Ottoman Empire (modern day southeastern Turkey). He was consecrated a… …   Wikipedia

  • Shimun XXII Paulos — Mar Shimun XXII. Paulus (1885 in Qudshanis May 9 1920 in Baquba) was a Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East. After the murder of the Catholicos Patriarch Mar Shimun XXI Benyamin, along with 150 of his followers by Simko (Ismail …   Wikipedia

  • Schikak — Die Schikak auch Schekak, Schakkak oder Schikakan ist einer der größten kurdischen Stämme in der iranischen Provinz West Aserbaidschan und der angrenzenden Gebiete in der Osttürkei. Dieser Stamm lebt um die Stadt Maku und von dort südlich bis… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chronology — 401 BCE Kardouchoi harass retreating Greeks, as recorded by Xenophon in his Anabasis. Mid 7th century CE Kurds are Islamicized. 1169 Saladin (most famous Kurd) establishes Ayyubid dynasty in Egypt and Syria. 1187 Saladin defeats Crusaders at the… …   Historical Dictionary of the Kurds

  • Iranian Kurdistan — (Kurdish: کوردستانی ئران Kurdistanî Iran ) [ [http://www.amude.net/Hevpeyvin Kurdi deep.php?newsLanguage=Kurdi newsId=866 www.amude.com ] ] or Kurdistana Rojhilat (Eastern Kurdistan) [ [http://www.demanu.com.tr/arsiv/06 03 2006 143sy/niv 06… …   Wikipedia

  • Shimun XXI Benyamin — Mar Benyamin XXIII Shimun His Holiness Mar Shimun XXI Benyamin on or before 1913 Church Assyrian Church …   Wikipedia

  • Salmas — Salamas redirects here. For the Romanian commune called Salamás in Hungarian, see Sărmaş. Salmas سلماس   city   …   Wikipedia

  • HISTORICAL BACKGROUND — The origin of the Kurds is uncertain, although some scholars believe them to be the descendants of various Indo European tribes, which settled in the area as long as 4,000 years ago. The Kurds themselves claim to be the descendants of the Medes… …   Historical Dictionary of the Kurds

  • Iran —    As one of the four main states (Turkey, Iraq, and Syria are the other three) in which historical Kurdistan lies, Iran and its predecessor the Persian Empire have always played a most prominent role in Kurdish affairs. Much of the competition… …   Historical Dictionary of the Kurds

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.