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Thread: Nature of Seljuk/Seljuq turk sultanates and migrations2591 days old

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    Default Nature of Seljuk/Seljuq turk sultanates and migrations

    Did the Sultanates of Kerman,Hamadan encourage migration of Turks from Central Asia to Iran in a big way?
    Or were they just a minority in the country(something like European colonies)? How much did these rulers blend in?
    I understand Turks were greatly influenced by Persian culture, but were these turks in big numbers?
    And are Azeris the product of these Turkish Sultanates?

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    Azeri Turks are a result of Oghuz migrations into Azerbaijan over course of centuries, there is a reason why Azerbaijan became Turkic and Iran itself not although Iran (Persian areas of it) was center of Seljuqid rule. It has to be mentioned that Oghuz settlements from Central Asia was not something that took place overnight, but a process over few centuries, which continued with and after Seljuqs. If you look at today, Oghuz are dominantly centered at west of Caspian Sea, while east of Caspian Sea are dominated by Kypchaks and Uzbeks.

    During Seljuq rule, Azerbaijan was considered as a frontier province against "infidel" Georgians and Byzantines, and all of Oghuz were basically sent to Azerbaijan by Seljuq Sultans, as they were "disturbing" the agricultural areas of Seljuq Empire, which happens to be the modern-day Persian areas of Iran.

    As for your other question, no, Seljuqid rulers didn't encourage Oghuz migrations. They were also assimilated into Persian culture, in most cases had already forgot their Oghuz roots and considered themselves as Muslim only. In a cultural sense, there was hardly anything Turkic about Seljuqs and Seljuqid rulers. Basically, there was no cultural assimilation policy of Turkic rulers in Iran, totally oppposite of this, they were assimilated themselves.

    Here is some examples of what I mean:

    Grousset, Rene, The Empire of the Steppes, (Rutgers University Press, 1991), 161,164; "..renewed the Seljuk attempt to found a great Turko-Persian empire in eastern Iran..", "It is to be noted that the Seljuks, those Turkomans who became sultans of Persia, did not Turkify Persia-no doubt because they did not wish to do so. On the contrary, it was they who voluntarily became Persians and who, in the manner of the great old Sassanid kings, strove to protect the Iranian populations from the plundering of Ghuzz bands and save Iranian culture from the Turkoman menace."

    "Not only did the inhabitants of Khurasan not succumb to the language of the nomadic invaders, but they imposed their own tongue on them."

    "M.A. Amir-Moezzi, "Shahrbanu": "... here one might bear in mind that Turco-Persian dynasties such as the Ghaznavids, Saljuqs and Ilkhanids were rapidly to adopt the Persian language and have their origins traced back to the ancient kings of Persia rather than to Turkish heroes"

    Nishapuri, Zahir al-Din Nishapuri (2001), "The History of the Seljuq Turks from the Jami’ al-Tawarikh: An Ilkhanid Adaptation of the Saljuq-Nama of Zahir al-Din Nishapuri," Partial tr. K.A. Luther, ed. C.E. Bosworth, Richmond, UK. K.A. Luther: "... the Turks were illiteratre and uncultivated when they arrived in Khurasan and had to depend on Iranian scribes, poets, jurists and theologians to man the institution of the Empire"(pg 9)


    ---------- Post Merged at 20:08 ----------

    Also, just to mention, Azerbaijan itself had a Atabegdom during the time-frame you are talking about. Atabegs of Kirman and Fars, and Seljuqs of Hamadan came to existence after Great Seljuq Empire was weakened, Atabegs of Azerbaijan was also founded during the same time-frame.

    Atabegs of Azerbaijan was in fact the most strongest out of all, other Atabegdoms, and including the Seljuq Sultan at Hamadan (after 1661) were vassals to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani Atabeg Qızıl Arslan even proclaimed himself as the new Sultan in 1191 after deposing Toghrul III at Hamadan.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eldiguz..._Azerbaijan%29
    Last edited by Azeroglu; 2012-09-18 at 21:34.

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    Seljuk Migration

    From c850 the Seljuq Turks began to infiltrate the Islamic, Abbasid Caliphate, not in an organised military mass, but as captured slaves or adventurers serving as soldiers. Eventually, some Turkish officers rose to high rank, commanded Arab armies, governed Islamic provinces, and even ruled as independent princes. They were primarily Muslim as a result of their early contacts around the fringes of the new Islamic world. The Seljuks were named after a tribal chief and their original homeland was beyond the Oxus River near the Aral Sea. The Seljuks clearly developed both an effective fighting force and a capable administration. Seljuk administrators came via their close contacts with Persian court life in Khorasan and Transoxania.
    By 1030, the Kara-Khanid Turks had made 17 massive raids into the Indus valley and the Punjab. Like the Arabs the Indians were decentralised in a maze of petty states and tribes and thus were exposed and vulnerable . While their cousins were conquering India, the Seljuqs rose to power in the west. In c950 several Turkic tribes began to migrate west and converted to Islam. The Seljuqs rose to empire in 1040 at the Battle of Dandankan where they defeated their cousins the Kara-Khanids.
    The Seljuqs moved west into Iraq and Syria and allied themselves with the Fatimid Muslims at Baghdad in 1055. With their capture of Baghdad in 1060, Sunni Islam dominated Shi'ism. The Seljuqs returned the Abbasid Caliph to nominal power in Baghdad, but only as a puppet to try to unify all Islam under one political leader. The new sultan, of course was the Seljuq emir, Tughril Beg, in his rule as King of the East and West. (Secular and religious power was split between the Turk and the Arab leaders.)Gradually the Seljuqs spread into Iraq, Persia and parts of Anatolia (now Turkey). The Seljuqs made alliances with merchants and landowners, became prosperous, and formed a new type of Muslim state. The bureaucracy which held them together included both Persians and Arabs; and Arabic was used as a common language. The Seljuqs imposed a common law and developed trade in the Mediterranean, Black Sea, Indian Ocean and the over land to Asia and Indonesia. This successful Turkish expansion set the stage for an eventual clash with the Byzantine Empire.

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    Those are good replies!! It's quite different from other migrations.
    However they seemed to have imposed their language and culture on anatolians it seems. Or were they different turks?

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    "including the Seljuq Sultan at Hamadan (after 1161)"

    I mean after 1161.

    After death of Sultan Muhammad, Shemseddin Eldeniz (Atabeg of Azerbaijan) who was already a very powerful figure installed his own step-son Arslan Shah as the new Seljuq Sultan at Hamadan. During this time the Seljuq Sultanate of Hamadan was effectively under rule of Azerbaijan, Qizil Arslan (son of Shamsaddin Eldeniz) himself was commander-in-chief of all of Seljuq armies. When Shemseddin Eldeniz died in 1174 after a succesfull campaign against Georgians, Arslan Shah tried to break away from rule of Azerbaijan, he was however killed on orders of Atabeg Jahan Pahlivan (son of Shemseddin), and in turn 8 years old son of Arslan-Shah, Toghrul the third was installed as the new Sultan. And in 1188 Toghrul started to revolt against Qizil Arslan, and he was supported by several other Amirs, including Qutlugh Inandj and Amir Amiran, whom were sons of Muhammad Pahlivan and claimed that they had more rights to rule the Atabegdom of Azerbaijan than Qizil Arslan did. The war was however won by Qizil Arslan, at first he tought about installing an another Seljuq elite into the crown, however the Abbasid Caliph told him to be the Sultan himself (you needed permission from Caliph in order to claim yourself as a Sultan), and he did, became the new Sultan of all of Seljuq lands, but not Seljuq Sultan as being a Seljuq was first of all being of Seljuq blood line.

    I have studied quite a bit on Seljuq subject, and also Atabegs of Azerbaijan which is related, in both cases the impression I got was that they considered themselves as fighters of Islam and nothing else.
    Last edited by Azeroglu; 2012-09-20 at 18:36.

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