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The Nochiya Region, which is different from Nochiya (a sub-district located in the Nochiya Region), is the area which consists of five districts and many sub-districts. The Nochiya Region lies in three different countries: western Iran, northeastern Iraq and southeast Turkey. The districts that make up parts of the Nochiya Region are Shamizdin, north eastern half of the Shaqlawa District, Soran District, Mergasur District and the western part of Urmia District.
Nochiya itself was actually the central sub-district; to the north of it in Turkey were the Khumara and Dairaneh Clans. To the east, in Persia were the Targawar, Bagzadeh and Margawar sub-districts. To the south, in what is now mostly Iraq, were the Gargan, Bradost, Sherwan and Rawandiz Districts. The sub-district of Nochiya is a historical area that lies in the heart of Shamizdin (modern day Şemdinli).
The Semdinli district to which Nochiya (Rustaqa) belongs, was named after the great Sheikh Shams Al Din Abbasi who was the religious chief, around ~1100, of the kurdish Bagzadeh Tribe in Targawar (Urmia, Iran), Kurdish abbasi tribes in Hakkari, Khumaru, Badinan as well as Kilise north av Alepo. Targawar, Dasht and Margawar before the border were set in 1514 were actually part of Shamizdin. Prior to that, it was known as Bet Bgash with its capital village being Biyyeh, in the Sherwan district of Barzan, Iraq.
Semdinli (pronounced Shemdinli) has previously been known by various historical names including; Nairi, Neeri, Bet Bghash, Shapadt, Rustaqa, Shamsaldin, Shamizdin, Shamdinan, Shamzdinan and more recently as Shamzenan. Today, it is one of four districts in the modern Hakkari province, the other three being; Yukoskova (Gawar), Cukurca (Chal) and Hakkari (Julamerk) the provincial capital.
The sub-district of Nochiya is a mountainess area with possibly the most spectacular natural beauty in all of southern Turkey, it lies very close to the Iraq-Iran borders and at the time contained some 40 Assyrian and Kurdish villages. The sub-district of Nochiya (Rustaqa) was the geographical and tribal heartland of the Nochiya Region which included only five Assyrian villages: the Metropolitan's capital village of Mar Ishu and the villages of Baikareh, Sararu, Baidaiweh and Badtemu.
The area was properly termed Nav-Chiya, a Bahdini Kurdish phrase meaning "In - The Mountain", however it was commonly shortened to Nocha by the local Kurds. The Assyrians syriacfied Nocha to Nochiya, so actually the Assyrian version Nochiya was derived from the nickname Nocha and not from Navchiya as some have presumed. Today it is known as Daĝ Içinde, the Turkish translation and it is historically important for three reasons:
Firstly, it was the capital of the Nairi Tribal Confederation that was defeated by the Assyrian King Tiglathpileser I in 1,100 BC and consequently absorbed into the Assyrian Empire. Incidentally, the Nairi are officially world’s oldest known tribe and are thought to be the ancestors of modern Armenians, so the village of Nehri in Central Nochiya might well have been the old capital of the ancient Armenians.
Secondly, it was the home of an important Kurdish family known as the Sheikh Obaidulla family who were descendants of the prophet Muhammad that lead the first Kurdistani National Revolution in 1880 against the Persians. The family also initiated an Islamic sect known as 'Naqshbandi', a form of religion that was later adopted by the Sheikhs of Barzan in the mid 1800s.
Today, the area has declined in importance and is probably best known for the Kurdish PKK resistance movement and its fine tobacco plants.
The sub-district of Nochiya (Rustaqa) was the geographical and tribal heartland of the Nochiyaye, it included only five Assyrian villages: the Metropolitan's capital village of Mar Ishu and the villages of Sararu, Baikareh, Baidaiweh and Badtemu.
Nochiya itself was actually the central sub-district. To the north of it in Turkey were the Khumara and Dairaneh Clans. To the east, in Persia (modern-day Iran) were the Targawar, Bagzadeh and Margawar Clans. To the south, in what is now mostly Iraq were the Gargan, Bradost, Sherwan and Rawandiz Clans.
Kurdish tribes of Nochiya
The Nehri were the most powerful Kurdish tribe, between 1870-1918, in the area, lead by the Sheikh Obaidulla family based in the village of Nehri, (which incidentally, means rivers in Assyrian) and was the old capital of the ancient Nairi Tribe 1,100 BC. Together with the Assyrian Nochiya Tribe they fought for independence in 1880 against the Persians - this was the first sign of military and political collaboration between the Kurds and the Assyrians of Nochiya, an alliance that has lasted to this day.
However, the Nehri Tribe were overcome by the Ottomans in 1918 and fled for safety in northern Iraq were they settled in two main districts of Batas and Sedakan alongside their old Assyrian neighbours from Nochiya. A small number remained in Turkey but have been unable to retain their powerful position.
Also worth mentioning are the other Kurdish tribes, whom the Nochiyaye shared their vast territory with, clockwise from Nochiya: The Nehri (central), The Khumara (north), who are relatives to Bagzadeh and were most powerful kurdish tribes from 15:th century until 1870, The Zarza (south-east), The Bradost (south), The Gardi (south-west), The Barzan (south-west), The Herki Banaji (west) and The Oramar (north-west).
Maybe, because the Matran family haven’t had a huge presence in the Arbil province since their expulsion from the area by the Iraqi Government in 1961, certain smaller tribes have misidentified themselves with their neighbouring Kurdish Tribes.
The Bradost Clan are not part of the Kurdish Bradosti Tribe, if they were they would have remained with their Kurdish Chief in Lolan, instead of fleeing north to Urmia via Nochiya to join their temporal and religious leaders the Matran Family in 1915 at the outset of the Great War.
In fact, the Kurdish Bradosti Tribe are relative newcomers, they only arrived in the area around the mid 18th century from the Bradost area in Iran. The Assyrian Clan were there before even the area was named "Bradost".
That is not fact! The Bradosti Kurdish tribe is a branch of Hasanwayhid,(959-1015), which was a Kurdish principality centered at Dinawar (northeast of present-day Kermanshah). The principality ruled western Iran and upper Mesopotamia, see “E. J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936” M. Th. Houtsma û E. van Donzel. This tribe has been in Urmia and the regions around it, like Soma, Margawar, Targawar, Bradost, Dashtabêl and Dol for many centuries. They lost their land and territory after the war of their leader Amir Khan of the Dimdim castle with the Shah Abass I of Persian Safavid dynasty in the years of 1609-1610.
Maps and References
- United Nation's Maps of Iraq