by Mehran Baharlı
The Qashqa'i, according to some sources, originated among the Khalaj, a Turkic people who originated in eastern Turkistan and one of the twenty-two tribes of the western Oghuz which left the area in the eleventh century. At the end of the fourteenth century, the great Mongol ruler, Timur, moved some Khalaj from Asia Minor to central and eastern Persia. Shortly afterwards, a group of Khalaj broke away from the major tribe and fled to Fars in south-western Persia where they were given the name 'Qashqa'i' meaning 'Fugitives' or 'those who fled'. There are several theories as to the origins of the Qashqa'i but whichever one is correct, one thing is certain and that is that the Qashqa'i are not of Persian stock but are more likely to have originated in Central Asia or eastern Turkistan.