KIZILBASHES (Turkish, " Red-Heads "), the nickname given by the Orthodox Turks to the Shiitic Turkish immigrants from Persia, who are found chiefly in the plains from KaraHissar along Tokat and Amasia to Angora. During the wars with Persia the Turkish sultans settled them in these districts. They are strictly speaking persianized Turks, and speak pure Persian. There are many Kizilbashes in Afghanistan. Their immigration dates only from the time of Nadir Shah (1737). They are an industrious honest folk, chiefly engaged in trade and as physicians, scribes, and so on. They form the bulk of the amir's cavalry. Their name seems to have been first used in Persia of the Shiites in allusion to their red caps.
See Ernest Chantre, Recherches anthropologiques dans I'Asie occidentals (Lyons, 1895).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)