An ethnic Kurd, he was born in Cizre (now in Turkey). He became the Mir of the Emirate of Botan in 1835 and again in 1847. He began to lose his power due to the centralist policies of the Ottoman Empire, which culminated in the Tanzimat Edict of 1839 and its application the following year. Following the Battle of Nizip in 1839, in which Bedir Khan took part for the Ottoman side, he emerged as the dominant Kurdish ruler in central Kurdistan. He raised taxes, minted his own coins and organized the justice system.
Bedir Khan Beg was repeatedly responsible for massacres of the Yazidis. For example, in 1844 in the Tur Abdin mountains. In 1832, thousands of Yazidis were killed in the Shekhan area by Bedir Khan Beg in cooperation with the Kurdish Soran prince Mohammed Pasha Rawanduz. Bedir Khan Beg's goal was to force the Yazidis to convert to Islam.
After allying himself with Khan Mahmoud of Müküs and Nurallah Bey of Hakkari in 1840, Bedir Khan was encouraged to enter in conflict with the local Assyrian population, and he perpetrated massacres amongst them in 1843 and 1846. In 1842, the Ottomans attempted to divide Bedir Khan's territories by switching the administrative jurisdiction of Cizre from Diyarbekir to Mosul.
Pressure from the European Powers to stop the massacres of Christians led to Ottoman forces invading his territories in 1846-7, with Omer Pasha's 12,000 strong Ottoman force defeating the Kurdish army in the field near Zeitun, Czîra botan . Bedir Khan was deported to Crete in 1850.