Turkish Empires Rise in Anatolia

Explain the significance of Turks' conversion to Islam and trace the rise and fall of the Seljuk Empire.

History of the Turks

The name Turks was first used by the Chinese people during the 6th era. They classified themselves as a descended of the Oghuz Turks (were a group of people living in tribes, Oghuz means ‘arrow’ or ‘tribe’) who migrated to Anatolia in the 1100s. The Turks through time have been establishing in several states on the continent of Asia, Europe and Africa. These people brought with themselves they culture and belief as they migrated to others part of the world in which affected and interacted with other cultures.


Malik Shah I

Malik Shah, whose full name was Jalāl al-Dawlah Malik-shāh, was one of the greatest Seljuk sultans, who lived from 1055 to 1092. Malik displayed great interest in literature, arts and science. He patronized intellectuals and artists such as the poet Omar Khayyah. His reign is memoraable for its splendid mosques and for reform of the calendar, also done by Omar.
Malik was also portrayor of great cruelty, when he punished his brother Takash by blinding him when he revolted against him.

Unfortunately, Malik Shah was the last strong Seljuk leaders that ruled the empire, so after his death the empire fell into instability and the brother and the four sons of Malik Shah quarrelled between them over the control of the territory and eventually, the empire seperated into smaller, warring states. This disunity and conflict between them eventually led to what is known as the First Crusade.


Persian Influence on Turks

As we discussed in class, Persian culture had a great influence in everything that had to do with the Turks. The Turks showed admiration for Persian customs. The first Seljuks who arrived in Southwest asia were unfamiliar with Islam traditions, traditions which they had already adopted. This made them look towards their Persian subjects for both relgious and cultural guidance.

The Turks adopted Persian way of culture and language and adopted features of their daily lives. They encouraged Persian writers such as the Islamic poet Jalaudin Rumi, who wrote about the desire to achieve a personal experience of God. Seljuk Shahs also supported Persian artists and architects. The Turks also had cultural and political preference for the Persians, which caused the (almost) complete disappearance of the Arabic language from Persia. However, it was sill kept alive by the religious scholars who studied the Qur'an (which was written in Arabic).

Their extreme fondness payed off, since as a result of their policies, the Seljuks won great support from the Persians.

The Seljuks Face the Mongols

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In the early 1200s, they grew into unified force under the ruler Genghis Khan and swiftly conquered China.

The Mongol armies eventually turned to the west and leveled any cities that dared to resit them. They slaughtered whole populations. In 1258, Genghis's grandson Hulagu led his troops to the outskirtsof Baghdad, which by this time was surrounded by a defensive wall.

When Hulagu finally took Baghdad, he burned down the caliph's palace and had tens of thousands of people killed. With untold brutality, Genhis Khan and his succesors shaped the biggest land empire in history.
The warrior Mongols, however, knew little about administering their territory. As a result, their vast empire crumbled in just few generations. And out of the tubble of the Mongol Empire rose another group of Turks- the Ottomans.

As powerful as the Abbasids were, their power soon declined due to the constant struggles to maintain control of their empire. Spain broke away from them as their empire gradually weakened, as soon as they moved their capital to Baghdad Morocco, Tunisia, some parts of Persia, and Egypt.


Map of the Abbasid Empire at its greatest extent

Finally in 945, Persian armies put an end to the declining Abbasid empire and overran the caliph, however he still continued to be a religious leader of Islam, he gave up all political power to the new Persian ruler. Although is was not long before they too were brought to an end by an even more powerful goup in the region.

this new group was the Turks, before they used to be the slaves of the Persians. they would buy the Turkish children to raise them as slaves, train as soldiers, and employ as bodyguards. but then in the tenth century the Turks began to convert to Islam and migrate to the weakened Abbasid Empire, one of these migrating groups were know as the Seljuks. they gradually grew in population and strength, they then attacked and captured Bghdad from th Persian in 1055.

the Seljuk rulers were quite kind with their conquered Persian Subjects, Toghril Beg, the founder of the Seljuk Dynasty, chose the Persian city of Isfahan as the capital of his kingdom. him choosing their city made the Persian subjects feel respected and so they were then loyal supporters to the Seljuks. the Seljuks also named the Persians government officials. for example, Nizam al-Mulk was a Persian who served as the vizier to one of the most famous of Seljuk sultans, Malik Shah.


The Seljuk

The Seljuk where a Turkish tribe from Central Asia. They entered Persia and then started their powerful state. Turks allied with Greeks in Anatolia against the Latins, and Greeks with Turks against the Mongols. Seljuk Rum survived in the late 13th century as a vassal state of the Mongols.


picture of Nizam al-Mulk

Rise and Fall of the Seljuk Empire

The victory of the battle Dandanaqan against the Gaznawids marked the beginning of the Seljuk Empire.Alp Arslan, were not content with controlling only their piece of the disintegrating Arab empire, the considered them self heirs of the land. After conquering towns like Kazven, Isfahan, Ray (modern Tahran) and Hamadan; and areas like Azerbaijan, the Seljuk decided to go for Asia Minor. After Alp Arslan's assasination in 1072, Maliq Shah became the new Seljuk leader. The Seljuk Empire now stretched from the shores of Mediterrenean up to the Central Asian mountains to the East. Armenians. Georgians, Abbasids, Qarakhanids and Gaznawids now were vassal of the Seljuk lords. After Maliq Shah's death in 1091, the Seljuk Empire enter a period of decline and collapse. Seljuk princes in Persia began struggling for the control of the empire, while families Syria, Asia Minor and Kerman began to become independent. The Iraqi Seljuks tried to re-create the Seljuk Empire after it's collapse, but mostly due to weak sultans and rebellious successors, they got weakened and broke into many small kingdoms. The presence of so many Muslim states in east and central Anatolia explain the abundance of Seljuk architecture in modern Turkey.

The First Crusade

Several crusades occured throughout history, in which all of them had the objective to capture the Holy Land of Jerusalem, and this was the first of the many crusades that occured. The first crusade occured in the year 1095 A.D., and they aimed to re-capture Jerusalem from the Muslims, and was very influential and important to the Medieval England.

One of the main reason for the occurence of the First Crusade was the harshness of the Muslims towards the Christians who wanted to visit Jerusalem. Muslim soldiers made life difficult for those Christians, and their trip to Jerusalem was usually dangerous as the Muslims didn't provide much safety during their journey. Later, the Pope Urban II, along with the aid of the Byzantine emperor Alexius I of Constantinople, called for a war against the Muslims so that Jerusalem was regained for the Christian faith. Many people vhttp://cdaworldhistory.wikidot.com/turkish-empires-rise-in-anatoliaolunteered to assist in this battle to capture Jerusalem, which was later known as a Holy War.

The Seljuks and the Crusaders

Around 1095 the Pope Urban II ordered the First Crusade. He called on Christians to drive the Turks out of Anatolia and regain power of Jerusalem from the Muslim rule. Few years laters armies from Western Europe soon invaded Constantinople and soon followed to Palestine, masacring Jewish and Muslims inhabitatns. about 120 years later the Muslims regained some streangth and regained power of Jerusalem. Saladin muslim leader and his enemy King Richard I signed a truce that granted the power to the muslims and permited westerns to visit the Christian Holy Places. Over time popes continued to call in for crusades but each one started to loose significant strength gaps. .

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