Safavid silk productions in hand of a Circassian

Yusuf Āghā (fl. 17th century – d. 1632) was a Safavid gholam and courtier of Circassian origin, who yielded great influence and power during the reign of king Abbas I (r. 1588–1629).

As Yusuf was an eunuch, he was given the title of Āghā, which was common amongst eunuchs who served at the court.He enjoyed great prestige in the harem of king Abbas I. Apart from being the "master of the hunt" (mīr shekār-bāshi) which he was appointed as in 1629, he was also the master of the gholams of the royal harem, as well as the representative of the interests of the Armenian community of Isfahan,and was in fact the most powerful person in the Safavid harem until the reign of king Safi I (r. 1629–1642), when he and his family were purged. As Yusuf Agha was the supervisor of the Armenian community in the capital, he has been linked to the great rise of the Armenians in the Safavid bureaucratic and mercantile organ. His position made him the center point of the Safavid silk production and cultivation, as not only was he the representative of the merchants who traded it, but his own relative, Qazaq Khan Cherkes, was the governor of Shirvan at the time, while one of his intimates, Manuchihr Khan administered Gaskar in Gilan – chief production centers of Safavid silk. Being the "master of the hunt", he acted as the liaison (or, contact) between the court and the Armenians,Circassians, and Georgians of the capital, and presented their grievances and requests to the king. As the Armenians had grown to a powerful and rich faction within the empire by that time, they were willing to fund those causes lavishly which they deemed as important. Yusuf Agha himself was one of those who highly benefited from this, as when he was executed in 1632 under Safi's reign, the exorbitant sum of 450,000 tomans was found in his possession, maybe the richest man of Empire of his time.