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  Seljuq Empire

Seljuq Empire at its greatest extent in 1092, upon the death of Malik Shah I


A map showing the Great Seljuk Empire at its height, upon the death of Malik Shah I in 1092.

  • The capital of the Great Seljuk Empire is shown at Ishfahan (Persia/Iran).
    The borders of present-day countries are shown in gray.
    The lighter colour in the top right represents Karakhanids.
  • "In 1089, Malik Shah returned to the charge, occupied Bukhara, captured Sarakand, and imprisoned the Karakhanid Ahmed . . . whom he later reinstated as client-ruler. From that time forward, the Karakhanids who reigned in Bukhara and Samarkand did so as lieutenants of the Seljuk sultans. Transoxiana was now no more than a dependency of the Seljuk Empire." (Grousset p. 147.)
  • Other areas such as the Danishmends are not shown separately.
  • The locations of the Battle of Manzikert (1071) and the Battle of Dandanaqan (1040) are also shown.


Seljuk Empire

Seljuk Empire (1037-1194) (W)

The Seljuk Empire or Great Seljuq Empire was a medieval Turko-Persian Sunni Muslim empire, originating from the Qiniq [Kınık] branch of Oghuz Turks. The Seljuk Empire controlled a vast area stretching from the Hindu Kush to western Anatolia and the Levant, and from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf. The Seljuk empire was founded by Tughril Beg (1016-1063) in 1037. From their homelands near the Aral Sea, the Seljuks advanced first into Khorasan and then into mainland Persia, before eventually conquering eastern Anatolia. Here the Seljuks won the battle of Manzikert in 1071 and conquered most of Anatolia from the Byzantine Empire, which became one of the reasons for the first crusade (1095-1099). From c. 1150-1250, the Seljuk empire declined, and was around 1260 invaded by the Mongols. The Mongols divided Anatolia into emirates. Eventually one of these, the Ottoman, would conquer the rest.

Seljuk gave his name to both the Seljuk empire and the Seljuk dynasty. The Seljuks united the fractured political landscape of the eastern Islamic world and played a key role in the first and second crusades. Highly Persianized in culture and language, the Seljuks also played an important role in the development of the Turko-Persian tradition, even exporting Persian culture to Anatolia. The settlement of Turkic tribes in the northwestern peripheral parts of the empire, for the strategic military purpose of fending off invasions from neighboring states, led to the progressive Turkicization of those areas.

Founder of the dynasty

The apical ancestor of the Seljuqs was their beg, Seljuk, who was reputed to have served in the Khazar army, under whom, circa 950, they migrated to Khwarezm, near the city of Jend, where they converted to Islam.

Seljuk Beg (W)

Seljuk Beig (romanized Seldjuk, Seldjuq, Seljuq; modern Turkish: Selçuk; died c. 1038) was an Oghuz Turkic warlord, eponymous founder of the Seljuk dynasty.

Seljuk was the son of a certain Toqaq surnamed Temür Yalığ (meaning "of the iron bow") and either the chief or an eminent member of the Oghuz Kınık tribe.

In 985, the Seljuq clan split off from the bulk of the Tokuz-Oghuz, a confederacy of nine clans long settled between the Aral and Caspian Seas. They set up camp on the right bank of the lower Syr Darya (Jaxartes), in the direction of Jend, near Kzyl Orda in present-day south-central Kazakhstan. There, in 985, Seljuk converted to Islam.

The names of his four sons — Mikâîl (Michael), Isrâîl (Israel), Mûsâ (Moses), and Yûnus (Jonah) — suggest previous acquaintance with either Khazar Judaism or Nestorian Christianity. According to some sources, Seljuk began his career as an officer in the Khazar army.

Under Mikâîl's sons Tuğrul and Çağrı, the Seljuqs migrated into Khurasan. Ghaznavid attempts to stop Seljuqs raiding the local Muslim populace led to the Battle of Dandanaqan on 23 May 1040. Victorious Seljuqs became masters of Khurasan, expanding their power into Transoxiana and across Iran. By 1055, Tuğrul had expanded his control all the way to Baghdad, setting himself up as the champion of the Abbasid caliph, who honored him with the title sultan. Earlier rulers may have used this title but the Seljuqs seem to have been the first to inscribe it on their coins.

Expansion of the empire

The Seljuqs were allied with the Persian Samanid shahs against the Qarakhanids. The Samanid fell to the Qarakhanids in Transoxania (992–999), however, whereafter the Ghaznavids arose. The Seljuqs became involved in this power struggle in the region before establishing their own independent base.



📹 Rise of Seljuk Turks / Kenneth Harl (VİDEO)

Rise of Seljuk Turks / Kenneth Harl (LINK)

The Seljuk Empire was a medieval Turko-Persian Sunni Muslim empire, originating from the Qiniq branch of Oghuz Turks. The Seljuk Empire controlled a vast area stretching from the Hindu Kush to western Anatolia and the Levant, and from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf. From their homelands near the Aral Sea, the Seljuks advanced first into Khorasan and then into mainland Persia before eventually conquering eastern Anatolia.


📹 The Battle of Manzikert / K.W.Harl (VİDEO)

The Battle of Manzikert / K.W.Harl (LINK)

The Battle of Manzikert was fought between the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Empire on August 26, 1071 near Manzikert, theme of Iberia . The decisive defeat of the Byzantine army and the capture of the Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes played an important role in undermining Byzantine authority in Anatolia and Armenia, and allowed for the gradual Turkification of Anatolia. Many of the Turks, who had been, during the 11th century, travelling westward, saw the victory at Manzikert as an entrance to Asia Minor.


📹 Battle of Manzikert 1071 / Byzantine-Seljuq Wars (VİDEO)

Battle of Manzikert 1071 / Byzantine-Seljuq Wars (LINK)

The Battle of Manzikert (Malazgirt, Manavazkert) of 1071 was fought between the Byzantine Empire and the new nomadic conquerors from Central Asia - the Seljuk Sultanate. This battle was decisive in changing the ethnic and the religious outlook of Anatolia, and probably was the reason Crusades from Western Europe began.


Anadolu Selçuklu Sultanlığı

Anadolu Selçuklu Sultanlığı
Sultanate of Rum (Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate)

Sultanate of Rum (Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate)

Sultanate of Rum (Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate) (W)

Rûm (also transliterated as Roum or Rhum (in Koine Greek Ῥωμαῖοι, Rhomaioi, meaning “Romans”; in Arabic الرُّومُ ar-Rūm; in Persian and Ottoman Turkish روم Rûm; in Turkish: Rum), is a generic term used at different times in the Muslim world to refer to:


The name derives from Ῥωμαῖοι, Rhomaioi: “Romans.” It refers to the Byzantine Empire, which was then simply known as the “Roman Empire” and had not yet acquired the designation "Byzantine", an academic term applied only after its dissolution. The city of Romeitself is known in modern Arabic as Rūmā روما (in Classical Arabic Rūmiyah رومية). The Arabic term Rûm is found in the pre-Islamic Namara inscription and later in the Quran. In the Sassanian period (pre-Islamic Persia) the word Hrōmāy-īg (Middle Persian) meant "Roman" or "Byzantine", which was derived from Rhomaioi.


Selçuk Türkleri

Selçuk Türkleri

Türkik halkların Orta Asya'dan Batıya doğru göçleri yaklaşık 400 yıl sürdü. Oğuz Türkleri arasındaki bir boy olan Selçuklular Sunni İslama döndükten sonra 11'inci yüzyılda Horasan'a yerleştiler ve 1040'ta Gaznelileri yenerek Horasan'a egemen oldular. Daha sonra İran'a ilerlediler ve 1055'te Abbasi Halifesinin onayı ile Bağdad'ı ele geçirdiler. Suriye'nin bütünü ele geçirildikten sonra Doğu Roma İmparatorluğu ile komşu oldular. 1071'de Alp Arslan komutasında bir Selçuklu ordusu Malazgirt'te Doğu Roma kuvvetlerini yendi. Türk göçmenler Anadolu'ya yerleşmeyi sürdürürken Selçukluların ana kuvveti Suriye'de Fatimileri yendi.





Selçuk Beig

Selçuk Beig

  • Seljuk Beig (سلجوق بیگSaljūq; also romanized Seldjuk, Seldjuq, Seljuq; modern Turkish: Selçuk (died circa 1038) was an Oghuz Turkic warlord, eponymous founder of the Seljuk dynasty.
  • in 985, Seljuk converted to Islam.
  • The names of his four sons — Mikâîl (Michael), Isrâîl (Israel), Mûsâ (Moses), and Yûnus (Jonah) — suggest previous acquaintance with either Khazar Judaism or Nestorian Christianity. According to some sources, Seljuk began his career as an officer in the Khazar army.


Alp Arslan

Alp Arslan

  • Alp Arslan (1029-1073) 4 September 1063 — 15 December 1072.
  • Full Name: Diya ad-Dunya wa ad-Din Adud ad-Dawlah Abu Shuja Muhammad Alp Arslan ibn Dawud
  • the second Sultan of the Seljuk Empire and great-grandson of Seljuk, the eponymous founder of the dynasty.



Migration and renewal (1041–1405)

Migration and renewal (1041-1405) (B)

During this period, migrating peoples once again played a major role, perhaps greater than that of the Arabs during the 7th and 8th centuries. No other civilization in premodern history experienced so much in-migration, especially of alien and disruptive peoples, or showed a greater ability to assimilate as well as to learn from outsiders. Nowhere has the capacity of a culture to redefine and incorporate the strange and the foreign been more evident. In this period, which ends with the death in 1405 of Timur (Tamerlane), the last great tribal conqueror, the tense yet creative relationship between sedentary and migratory peoples emerged as one of the great themes of Islamicate history, played out as it was in the centre of the great arid zone of Eurasia. Because this period can be seen as the history of peoples as well as of regions, and because the mobility of those peoples brought them to more than one cultural region, this period should be treated group by group rather than region by region.

Türkler göç etmelerine karşın "göçmen/nomadic" ya da "çoman/pastoral" değildirler ve akrabalık bağları ile tanımlanan "kabile/tribe" karakterini de taşımazlar.


As a general term, “migrating” peoples is preferable because it does not imply aimlessness, as “nomadic” does; or herding, as “pastoralist” does; or kin-related, as “tribal” does. “Migrating” focuses simply on movement from one home to another. Although the Franks, as the Crusaders are called in Muslim sources, differed from other migrating peoples, most of whom were pastoralists related by kinship, they too were migrating warriors organized to invade and occupy peoples to whom they were hostile and alien. Though not literally tribal, they appeared to behave like a tribe with a distinctive way of life and a solidarity based on common values, language, and objectives. Viewing them as alien immigrants comparable to, say, the Mongols helps to explain their reception: how they came to be assimilated into the local culture and drawn into the intra-Muslim factional competition and fighting that was under way in Syria when they arrived.

Yerleşik olmayan, tersine akışkan olan karakterleri Oğuz Türklerinin (Türkmenler) yerel kültürlere assimile olmalarını kolaylaştırdı.



Turks / Seljuq Turks

Turks / Seljuq Turks (B)

For almost 400 years a succession of Turkic peoples entered eastern Islamdom from Central Asia. These nearly continuous migrations can be divided into three phases: Seljuqs (1055-92), Mongols (1256-1411), and neo-Mongols (1369–1405). Their long-term impact, more constructive than destructive on balance, can still be felt through the lingering heritage of the great Muslim empires they inspired. The addition of tribally organized warrior Turks to the already widely used Turkic slave soldiery gave a single ethnic group an extensive role in widening the gap between rulers and ruled.

Seljuq Turks

The Seljuqs were a family among the Oghuz Turks, a label applied to the migratory pastoralists of the Syr Darya–Oxus basin. Their name has come to stand for the group of Oghuz families led into Ghaznavid Khorāsān after they had been converted to Sunni Islam, probably by Sufi missionaries after the beginning of the 11th century. In 1040 the Seljuqs’ defeat of the Ghaznavid sultan allowed them to proclaim themselves rulers of Khorāsān. Having expanded into western Iran as well, Toghrïl Beg, also using the title “sultan,” was able to occupy Baghdad (1055) after “petitioning” the ʿAbbāsid caliph for permission. The Seljuqs quickly took the remaining Būyid territory and began to occupy Syria, whereupon they encountered Byzantine resistance in the Armenian highlands. In 1071 a Seljuq army under Alp-Arslan defeated the Byzantines at Manzikert north of Lake Van; while the main Seljuq army replaced the Fāṭimids in Syria, large independent tribal bands occupied Anatolia, coming closer to the Byzantine capital than had any other Muslim force.

Selçuklular 1040 yılında Gaznelileri yendikten sonra Horasan'ın egemenleri oldular.Abbasi halifesinin onayı ile Bağdad'ı aldılar ve Suriye'de denetimi ele geçirdikten sonra Doğu Roma İmparatorluğu ile karşı karşıya kaldılar. Alp-Arslan Malazgirt'te Roma İmparatorluğunun güçlerini yenince Türk boyları Anadolu'ya girmeye başladılar.



Policies of Niẓām al-Mulk

Policies of Niẓām al-Mulk

The Seljuqs derived their legitimacy from investiture by the caliph, and from “helping” him reunite the ummah; yet their governing style prefigured the emergence of true alternatives to the caliphate. Some of their Iranian advisers urged them to restore centralized absolutism as it had existed in pre-Islamic times and in the period of Marwānid-ʿAbbāsid strength. The best-known proponent was Niẓām al-Mulk, chief minister to the second and third Seljuq sultans, Alp-Arslan and Malik-Shāh. Niẓām al-Mulk explained his plans in his Seyāsat-nāmeh (The Book of Government), one of the best-known manuals of Islamicate political theory and administration. He was unable, however, to persuade the Seljuq sultans to assert enough power over other tribal leaders. Eventually the Seljuq sultans, like so many rulers before them, alienated their tribal supporters and resorted to the costly alternative of a Turkic slave core, whose leading members were appointed to tutor and train young princes of the Seljuq family to compete for rule on the death of the reigning sultan. The tutors were known as atabegs; more often than not, they became the actual rulers of the domains assigned to their young charges, cooperating with urban notables (aʿyān) in day-to-day administration.

Although Niẓām al-Mulk was not immediately successful, he did contribute to long-term change. He encouraged the establishment of state-supported schools ( madrasas); those he personally patronized were called Niẓāmiyyahs. The most important Niẓāmiyyah was founded in Baghdad in 1067; there Niẓām al-Mulk gave government stipends to teachers and students whom he hoped he could subsequently not only appoint to the position of qāḍī but also recruit for the bureaucracy. Systematic and broad instruction in Jamāʿī-Sunni learning would counteract the disruptive influences of non-Sunni or anti-Sunni thought and activity, particularly the continuing agitation of Ismāʿīlī Muslims. In 1090 a group of Ismāʿīlīs established themselves in a mountain fortress at Alamūt in the mountains of Daylam. From there they began to coordinate revolts all over Seljuq domains. Nominally loyal to the Fāṭimid caliph in Cairo, the eastern Ismāʿīlīs confirmed their growing independence and radicalism by supporting a failed contender for the Fāṭimid caliphate, Nizār. For that act they were known as the Nizārī Ismāʿīlīs. They were led by Ḥasan-e Ṣabbāḥ and were dubbed by their detractors the ḥashīshiyyīn ( assassins) because they practiced political murder while they were allegedly under the influence of hashish.

Niẓām al-Mulk’s madrasa system enhanced the prestige and solidarity of the Jamāʿī-Sunni ulama without actually drawing them into the bureaucracy or combating anti-Sunni agitation, but it also undermined their autonomy. It established the connection between state-supported education and office holding, and it subordinated the spiritual power and prestige of the ulama to the indispensable physical force of the military emirs. Niẓām al-Mulk unintentionally encouraged the independence of these emirs by extending the iqṭāʿ system beyond Būyid practice; he regularly assigned land revenues to individual military officers, assuming that he could keep them under bureaucratic control. When that failed, his system increased the emirs’ independence and drained the central treasury.

The madrasa system had other unpredictable results that can be illustrated by al-Ghazālī, who was born in 1058 at Ṭūs and in 1091 was made head of the Baghdad Niẓāmiyyah. For four years, to great admiration, he taught both fiqh and kalām and delivered critiques of falsafah and Ismāʿīlī thought. According to his autobiographical work Al-Munqidh min al-ḍalāl ( The Deliverer from Error), the more he taught, the more he doubted, until his will and voice became paralyzed. In 1095 he retreated from public life, attempting to arrive at a more satisfying faith. He undertook a radically skeptical reexamination of all of the paths available to the pious Muslim, culminating in an incorporation of the active, immediate, and inspired experience of the Sufis into the Sharīʿah-ordered piety of the public cult. For his accomplishments, al-Ghazālī was viewed as a renewer ( mujaddid), a role expected by many Muslims to be filled by at least one figure at the turn of every Muslim century.

Ṭarīqah fellowships

In the 12th century Muslims began to group themselves into ṭarīqah, fellowships organized around and named for the ṭarīqah (“way” or “path”) of given masters. Al-Ghazālī may have had such a following himself. One of the first large-scale orders, the Qādirīyah, formed around the teachings of ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī of Baghdad. Though rarely monastic in the European sense, the activities of a ṭarīqah often centred around assembly halls (called khānqāh, zāwiyah, or tekke) that could serve as places of retreat or accommodate special spiritual exercises. The dhikr, for example, is a ceremony in which devotees meditated on the name of God to the accompaniment of breathing exercises, music, or movement, so as to attain a state of consciousness productive of a sense of union with God. Although shortcuts and excesses have often made Sufism vulnerable to criticism, its most serious practitioners have conceived of it as a disciplined extension of Sharīʿah-minded piety, not an escape. In fact, many Sufis have begun their path through supererogatory fulfillment of standard ritual requirements.

Thousands of ṭarīqahs sprang up over the centuries, some associated with particular occupations, locales, or classes. It is possible that by the 18th century most adult Muslim males had some connection with one or more ṭarīqahs. The structure of the ṭarīqah ensued from the charismatic authority of the master, who, though not a prophet, replicated the direct intimacy that the prophets had shared with God. This quality he passed on to his disciples through a hierarchically ordered network that could extend over thousands of miles. The ṭarīqahs thus became powerful centripetal forces among societies in which formal organizations were rare; but the role of the master became controversial because followers often made saints or intercessors of especially powerful Sufi leaders and made shrines or pilgrimage sites of their tombs or birthplaces. Long before these developments could combine to produce stable alternatives to the caliphal system, Seljuq power had begun to decline, only to be replaced for a century and a half with a plethora of small military states. When the Frankish Crusaders arrived in the Holy Land in 1099, no one could prevent them from quickly establishing themselves along the eastern Mediterranean coast.


Notlar, Veriler

Notlar, Veriler

  • OĞUZ. Some scholars tend to identify these Ghuzz with the Hiungnu, who as far back as 1200 B.C. had plundered China's western provinces; or with their successors the Hunnu, who were routed by the Chinese in the year A.D. 215, when they fled westward and overran Europe as the Huns. ... At the time of the Arab invasion, that is to say early in the 8th century, they became known as Turks. — (The Seljuks in Asia Minor, s. 25)






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