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Mahabad 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 Kurdish, with the city lying south of Lake Urmia in a narrow valley 1,300 metres above sea level.EtymologyThe 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.HistoryMahabad 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.
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