History Of The Turks

Contrary to what is generally believed, the Turks are in no way related to the Arabs. this misconception arose from the fact that they borrowed their religion and writing from the Arabs, while for centuries the dominated the Arab countries. This resulted in certain customs and practies of Arab-Moslem origin, but, while these have had a far from negligible influence, the can in no way be taken as indicating an assimilation of the Turks by the Arabs.
The Turks are neither Indo-Europeans, nor Semites, but are related to the peoples of eastern Upper Asia: the Toungoos, the Mongols, and the Manchus. However, the were differentiated from them by their successive migrations to the west, and their contacts with the peoples of Middle and Near East and of the Mediterranean finally lead to their being considered as more western than they were in fact.
The actual origin of the Turks is obscure: Chinese sources mention the appearance in Upper Asia, from the 2nd millennium on, of nomadic groups who may be considered as the acestors of Turks. Alittle before of Christian era appeared the Hiung-Nu people, whose history extends to the 5th century A.D. They were found first in north-east China, then in the region of the Orkhon (Upper Asia). In the 1st century A.D., they split into the eastern Hiung-Nu, who founded the western Hiung-Nu, who gradually advanced westwards and reached western Europe in the middle of the 5th century: these are the people who became known as the Huns.
In Central Asia, Turkish tribes succeeded in imposing their rule. these include the Tu-Kiu (from which the Turks got their name), who were in contact the Byzantines in the 6th century, and later on the Uigurs, who in the 9th century established a brlliant civilization in Upper Asia and Turkestan. In the State they formed, four different religions were practised: Buddhism, Manicheeism, Nestorianism, and Shamanism. The last of these -consisting in worship of forces of nature- was long the religion of the Turks. The turkish language has remained pure; in writen Turkish, the Uigurs replaced the runic characters used by the Tu-Kiu(Orkhon inscriptions, 8th century) by the Syriac characters introduced by the Nestorian and Manicheean monks and modified under the name of Sogdian characters.
Once installed in Turkestan, the turks came into contact with the Iranians, who were instrumental in the Turkish penetration of Middle East and in the conversion of the turks to ıslam. From the 10th century on, the Iranian Smanids incorporated az increasingly large number of Turkish slaves in their army. These Turkish slaves became converted to Islam, and acquired so much importance that one of them, Alp Tekin, independentley founded the Ghaznevid State in Afghanistan, which stretched from eastern Iran to western India. At the beginning of the 11th centurh, the Ghaznevid Mas’ud was defeated by Turkih newcomers, the Seljuks, to whom he had to cede the territory of Khorassan (eastern Iran) in 1035.

The Seljuks:
These Seljuks had come from Turkestan to Transoxiana and then to Bactriana towards the end of the 10th century. Converted to Sunnite Mohammedanism they rapidly showed themselves to Sunnite Mohammedanism they rapidly showed themselves to be conquerers and defenders of Moslem orthodoxy – and thus of the Abassid Caliphate of Baghdad against the Shiahs of Iraq and the Fatimids of Syria and Egypt. Under the loadership of Tughrill Beg, they set themselvesup as protectors of Caliph and entered Bagdad in December 1055. Tughril-Beg was made Sultan, married the daughter of the Caliph, and in effect took charge of the Abassid Caliphate. His nehew, Alp Arslan, launched expeditions to the west and occupied Armenia, northern Syria, and eastern Asia Minor, where he came up against the Byzantine. In August 1071, the Basileus Romanus Diogeneswas conqured adn made prisoner at Mantzikert (Malazgird, near Lake Van). This was  decisive defeat, since it enabled the turks to enter Asia Minor. while the main branch of Seljuks (“the Great Seljuks”) established its domination over Iran, Iraq, and the northern part of Syria, another branch konw as the Seljuks of Asia Minor, or of Rum, followed by other Turkish tribes (the Danishmends, the Saltuks, the Mengujeks, and the Artuks), penetrated into the Byzantine territories of anatolia, this being the beginning of the definitive occupation of the regions that ultimatly became Turkey itself.
After 1071, following the defeat and capture of Romanus Diogenes, anarchy reigned Constantinople; severel pretenders to the thore engaged in a struggle for power, calling on the services of Turkish mercenaries, including Sulaiman, chief of the Seljuks of Asia Minor, who finally obtained permission from Alexis Comnenus, who became Emperor in 1081, to settle in Central Anatolia and even in Nicaea, not far from Constantinople. the Danishmends had meanwhile taken over the Kayseri-Sivas-Amasya region; as for the Armenians, hitherto subjects of the Basileus, they became independent, under the leadership of Philaretes, in south-east Asia minor. Within the space of ten years, Bysantine domination in Anatolia had collapsed, and the Turks were the beneficiaries of the new situation.
But the embryonic State established by Sulaiman did not last very long for, on his death, following a defeat before Aleppo in 1085, his anatolian possesions were broken, adn his son Kilij Arslan – a minor at the time – was taken to Iraq. Returning in 1092, Kilij Arslan recovered Nicaea, but his Danishmend rivals exteded their territory at his expense. The struggle between the Seljuks and Danishmends for the domination of Anatolia lasted until 1175, interrupted only by the passage of the Crusaders, against whom they became temporary allies. Entering Asia Minor in 1096, the Crusaders took Nicaea and defaat Kilij Arslan at Dorylaeum (July 1097). The Turks wereforced out of western Asia Minor for more than two hundred years, adn the Greeks reocupied the lost territories. On their wayto Syria, the Crusaders of the Crusade temporarily took Konya and Kayseri. However, the Seljuks and the Danishmends united against the French reinforcements that arrived inAsia Minor in 1101. The Lombard and Bavaria were beaten and wiped out in turn. The Franks were refused any further passage through Anatolia, Kilij Arslan, taking advantage of a possessions. His attempt to take over part of eastern Anatolia failed, and he then founded the Seljuks Sultanate on the central plateau of Asia Minor, establishing its capital at Konya, the former Iconium.
Malik-Shah, Kilij Arslan’s successor, and his brother Mas’sud fought unsuccessfully against the Byzantines, with somewhat more succes against the Danishmend Ghazi, and most successfully of all against the second Crusade, opposing an impenetrable barrier to Conrad III and Louis VII.
Kilij-Arslan II (1155-1192), conqured at first by Manual Comnenus, declared himself the latter’s vassal and, freed from any anxieties about his western, turned against the Danishmends whom he finally subdued (1174-1175), and then against the Byzantines, whom he crushed at Myriocephalon in 1176, thus finally putting an end to their attempts at reconquest. At the end of his reign, Kilij Arslan had to cope with the armies of the Third Crusade, who had succeeeded in taking Konya – a victory that was carved up his Sultanate. The unity of the Seljuk State was reestablished only by Rukn ud-Din Slaiman (in 1204) and byKaikhosrau. After a few diffecult years, the Sultans Kaikaus of Rum to the peak of its glory; the second had a particularly brilliant reign not only from the military standpoint, but also from the standpoints of scholarship, art, and economics.
Hissuccessor Kaikhosru II had first of all to deal with a Turkoman revolt led by the dervish Baba Ishak – arevolt that was social, religious, and anti-aristocratic in nature – and then with Mongols attach in its eastern part. In addition rivalries breke out between members of the reigning family and between the sovereings and their viziers; one of the Sultanate’s unity and independence, but he wasput oto death by the Mongols in 1277. The pendence, but he was put to death by the Mongols in 1277. The end of the century witnessed the total disintegration of what remained of the Seljuks State and it finally disappeared in 1304. For some twenty years beforehand, the goverment of the Sultans had no longer had any authority, either in the east, where the Mongols were in command, or in the west, where local emirs had appeared and were increasingly seeking their independence. One of them – Osman – founded the Ottoman dynasty in the 14th century

The Beginnings of Ottoman Power

The immediate consequence of the collapse of the Seljuks State was the autonomy – and subsequent indepance – of the oudj or frontier marches to the west, nort, and south of Anatolia. These were ruled by beys or emirs who turned their estates into emirates or beyliks. These beys were very acticefrom the begining of the 14th century both against Byzantium and their coreligions and sought aggradisement at the expence of their neighbours, whether Christian or Moslem. It was not until the second half of the 14th century that one of them attained an uncontested superioriority over the others. This happened when the successors of the bey Osman succeeded in eliminating pracrically all their opponents in Asia Minor and thus made possible the creation of an Ottoman Empire.

The principal beyliks that grew up in the western part of Anatolia were those of Karasi (region of Balikesir and the southern shore of the Sea of Marmora), of Saruhan of Aydin and of Menteshe (region of Mugla). The firstthree organized incursions into Byzantine territory; Umur, one of the beys of Aydin, was a remarkable diplomat and war leader and intervened in the internal conflicts of Byzantium, supparting John VI Cantacuzino against John V Palaeologus. Behind this first line of beyliks there were, from north to south, the beyliks of Osman (round Sogut), Sahib Ata (at Afyon Karahisar) and Hamid (Antalya-Egridir). the largest – apart from that of the Ottomans – was that ofGermiyan which was the principal emirate of west-central Anatolia. The emirate of Karasi disappeared round about 1345 when it was absorbed by the Ottomans, the others round about 1390 as a result of Ottoman conquest.
In the northern part of Asia Minor, along the Black Sea, were the beyliks of Isfendiyar, Pervane and Eretna. The first, which annexed the territory ofPervane (Sinop region) in 1322, stretched from Safranbolu. to Bafra; the last, the offspring of a Mongol province, held the regions from Samsun to Sivas; one of its rulers, Burhan ed-Din Ahmed, was a jurist and man of letters and also an excellent administrator. However, his beylik like that of Isfendiyar, was subjected by the Ottomans at the end of the 14th century.
The Ottomans themselves were the offspring of an Oguz tribe that came to Anatolia at the same time as the Seljuks or at the beginning of the 13th century. Little is konwn of their origins, which later chroniclers enhanced in order to flatter the powerful ghrul, the father of Osman family. It is probable that Ertughrul, the father Osman, was a minor military chief in the service of the Seljuk Sultan Kajkobad I, from whom he obtained as a fief the Sogut region on the Byzantine frontier, on the middle reaches of the Sakarya. His son, Osman, succeeded him round 1290. Ottoman historians have greatly stressed the influence of the religions circles surrounding him, and these were probably connected with movement of the Ghazis, a religious group aiming at the destruction of the Infidel. It was chiefly against the him to occupy the whole of central and eastern Bithynia. His sucriors who wanted to join in the struggle against the Greeks, and won him the active sympathy of the dervishes. Since he was the initiator of Turkish expansion, it is appropriate that he should have given his name to the dynasty of “Osmanli” which was corrupted into “Ottoman” by the West.
The exact date of his death is not konwn, but it was probably before 1325. In any case, his son Orkhan took over the command of the army as erly as 1317 and to him goes the credit of turning the bylik of Osman into a powerful state and especially of obtaining the first European footholds of the future Ottoman Empire. His first great exploit was the capture of Brusa (Bursa) which he made his capital and where he had his father buried. Iznik (Nicaea) fell into his hands in 1331 and Izmit (Nicomedia) in1337. He reached the shores of the Sea of Marmara and then occupied the beylik of Karasi (1345). Even more noteworthy is the fact that the Basileus John VI Cantacuzeno – after losing the support of Umur of Aydin – sought an alliance with Orkhan and gave him his daughter Theodora in marriage; in return, Orkhan sent his troops to help him against the Bulgars and Serbs. These troops were entrusted to Suleiman, the eldest son of Orkhan, who was thus the first Otooman to come into Europe (1346 and 1349). In 1353 Orkhan intervened inthe Byzantine dynastic disputes and took advantege of them to obtain possesion of Chimpe (Djimenlik). When an earthquake in 1354 destroyed the fortifications of Gallipoli, Suleiman conquered the town which – situated as it was on the European shore of the Dardanelles – constituted an excellent base for operations in Europe. The Ottomans consolidated their position by occupying a number of towns in eastern Thrace. In 1356 Suleiman died in a hunting accident; Orkhan himself died in 1359. His second son, Murad succeeded witout difficulty.
Orkhan was not only the true founder of Ottoman power but also the organizer of its administration. In this work he was helped by his brother Ala ud-Din and the chiefs of the principal families that had rallied to the Ottomans. He instituted the Divan where the cihief military and administrative officials met, created a coinage, the akche, and set up a strong regular army. Orkhan himself, on the other hand, was personlly modest, very close to his companions and the people of his tribe. Unlike his son Murad I, he called himself only bey or emir, and not sultan. But he had a strong personality, was astonishingly clearsighted, and nobody questioned his authority as ruler.

Murad I and Bayezid I 
Murad I alsowas noteworhty sovereign and one of the architects of Ottoman  expansion in eastern Europe. Thereatened at his accession by the Karamandis of the Ankara region, he drove back his enemies and crushed them so thoroughly that he colud turn his attention to Europe without fear. Between 1360 and 1362 he conquered the whole of Thrace, including the town of Adrianople (Edirne) which he made his capital in 1365, occupied southern Bulgaria, and in 1363 defeated a coalition consisting of the King of Hungray, the rules of Bosnia, Serbia and Wallachia, and Pope Urban V. The master of extensive territories in the Balkans, he recruited soldiers there as well as children who were brought up as Turks and enrolled in the corps of Janissaries or trained as pages for his palace or as administrative officials. For more than tenty years he advanced systematically in Balkans: Serres, Drama, Kavala, Nish, Sofia, and Salonika fell successively into his power. During a decisive battle against the Serbs at Kosova the was assassinated by a Serb, Milosh Kobilovich (20 June 1389). The Serbs were nevertheless defeated, while the Grand Vizier Ali Pasha, who had defeated the Bulgars, occupied the whole of Bulgaria.
In Asia Minor, Murad I had incorporated in his state a part of the territory of Germiyan, which had been brought as a dowry to his son Bayezid (1381) by th daugher of the bey of Germiyan, and the territory of Hamid. Thus, the bey of Karaman became his immediate neighbour to the east. At his death the Ottoman Empire was firmly astablished on both sides of the Sea of Marmora, stretching in Europe to the frontiers of Albania and Serbia and the confines of Constantinople; in Asia it extended over almost the whole of western Anatolia. All the conquered countries were divided into provinces or sanjaks under the authority of the beylerbeyi of Anatolia and Rumelia, who were themselves under that of the grand vizier, a post first created under Murad I. The first grand vizier was Hayr ud-Din Djendereli, whose son was also a grand vizier. By its conquests the Ottoman state had grown rich in men adn resources; the first monumental Ottoman buildings were being erected, marking the transition between the Seljuk buildings and the great Ottoman period of the 15th and 16th centuries.