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Turkmen Ruling Dynasties in Asia Minor, Middle East and Iran

Artuqid Dynasty

Turkmen dynasty that ruled the province of Diyarbakr in northern Iraq (now in southeastern Turkey) through two branches: at Hisn Kayfa and Amid (1098-1232) and at Mardin and Mayyafariqin (1104-1408).

Artuq ibn Ekseb, founder of the dynasty, was rewarded for his services to the Seljuq sultan with the grant of Palestine in 1086. Forced out of Palestine by the Fatimids of Egypt, Artuq's descendant Mu'in ad-Din Sцkmen returned to Diyarbakr, where he took Hisn Kayfa (1102), Mardin, and several other northern districts. His brother Najm ad-Din Ilghazi, meanwhile, returned to Seljuq service and was made governor of Iraq by the Seljuq sultan Muhammad. Sent to Diyarbakr in about 1107, Ilghazi displaced one of Sцkmen's sons at Mardin (1108); he then made it the capital of his line, leaving Hisn Kayfa to his brother's descendants.The Artuqids' relations with the Seljuqs thenceforth steadily worsened. Ilghazi organized a Turkmen coalition against the Seljuq governor of Mosul and was able to win control of all Diyarbakr by 1118. The next year he defeated European crusaders who were threatening Aleppo. From 1113 the Artuqids also expanded into the northeast, along the eastern Euphrates.The rise of the Zangids in Mosul and later in Aleppo during the reigns of Da'ud (c. 1109-44) and his successor, Kara Arslan (1144-67), ended Artuqid expansion. The Artuqids were instead drawn into wars against the crusaders and the Byzantines by the Zangid Nureddin and, at his death in 1174, found themselves Zangid vassals. Their position in Diyarbakr weakened further as Saladin, ruler of Egypt, gradually began to reconquer Nureddin's old kingdom, and by 1186 the Artuqids had submitted to Saladin.The Artuqids survived in Diyarbakr for two more centuries as vassals of the Seljuqs of Rum and the Khwarezm-Shahs. In 1232 the Artuqid line in Hisn Kayfa was destroyed by the Seljuqs; but the Mardin branch continued under the Mongols until 1408, when it was finally displaced by the Turkmen federation of the Kara Koyunlu.The artistic traditions of the Artuqid age had a strong Seljuq flavour. Contact with the West occasionally brought some Byzantine elements into the iconography. Several examples of Artuqid metalwork have survived, and Artuqid textiles include delicate silks and heavier brocades. Little Artuqid architecture has survived. From recent excavations and historical descriptions, however, it is known that the palace at Diyarbakr was splendid.

Aydn Dynasty

Turkmen dynasty (c. 1308-1425) that ruled in the Aydn-Izmir region in western Anatolia.

Situated in a prosperous coastal region, the Aydn principality was active in the Mediterranean trade. As a frontier state between the declining Byzantine Empire and the growing Ottoman state, it had a monopoly in providing mercenary troops to rival Byzantine factions, and it also offered leadership to the ghazis (Muslim warriors) in their excursions into Byzantine lands.Mehmed Bey (reigned c. 1308-34) founded the dynasty in territories he conquered in the Aegean region, including Birgi, Ayasoluk (modern Selзuk, Turkey), Tyre, and Izmir. His son and successor, Umur Bey (Umur I; reigned 1334-48), organized a fleet and led expeditions to the Aegean islands, the Balkans, and the Black Sea coasts, intervening in dynastic quarrels and assisting John VI Cantacuzenus in the neighbouring Byzantine Empire.A crusade was organized against him under Pope Clement VI; it included Venice, Genoa, and the king of Cyprus. Umur Bey lost his fleet and the fortress of Izmir to the crusaders in 1344, and he was killed in battle against them in 1348. His death marked the decline of the principality.Under Umur's successors, a treaty signed Aug. 18, 1348, gave the Latin crusader states commercial advantages over Aydn; the principality lost its political significance as a frontier state to the Ottomans and was annexed by the Ottoman sultan Bayezid I in 1390. Its independence was restored by the Central Asian conqueror Timur (Tamerlane) in 1402. Cunayd, the last prince of Aydn (reigned 1405-25), after continual interference in Ottoman dynastic struggles, was captured and executed by Sultan Murad II, who then permanently annexed the principality.

Candar Dynasty

also called ISFENDIYAR, Turkmen dynasty (c. 1290-1461) that ruled in the Kastamonu-Sinop region of northern Anatolia (now in Turkey).

The dynasty took its name from Semseddin Yaman Candar, who served in the army of the Seljuq sultan Mas'ud II (reigned 1283-98) and was awarded the Eflani region, west of Kastamonu, in return for his services. Candar's son Sьleyman captured Kastamonu and Sinop and in 1314 accepted the suzerainty of the Il-Khans (western branch of the Mongols), until the breakdown of Il-Khanid power at the death of its ruler, Abu Sa'id, in 1335.About 1380, as a result of dynastic struggles, the principality was divided into two branches: Kastamonu and Sinop. The Kastamonu branch, which had accepted Ottoman suzerainty, was annexed by Sultan Bayezid I in 1391, while the Sinop branch remained under Candar rule. In 1402 the entire territory was restored to Candar by Timur (Tamerlane), the Central Asian conqueror of the Ottomans. Dynastic rivalries again caused a division of the principality in 1417, with one branch falling once more under Ottoman influence. In 1461 the entire principality was annexed by the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II. Later members of the Candar dynasty served as governors of Ottoman provinces in Asia and in the Balkans.Renowned for their patronage of men of letters, the Candar dynasty contributed to the development of Turkish as a literary language.

Danishmend dynasty

also spelled Danismend, also called DANISHMENDID, Turkmen dynasty that ruled in the Sivas-Kayseri-Malatya-Kastamonu region of central and northeastern Anatolia from about 1071 to 1178.

Danishmend (Danismend), founder of the dynasty, first appeared in Anatolia as a gazi (warrior for the faith of Islam) during a period of confusion that followed the death of the Seljuq sultan Sulayman ibn Qutalmпsh in 1086. In 1102 Danishmend took Malatya, but when he died in 1104, the city was captured by the Seljuq sultan Qпlпj Arslan. Danishmend's son and successor, Gazi, intervened in dynastic struggles among the sons of Qпlпj Arslan and helped Mas'ud seize power in 1116. Gazi then captured Malatya, Ankara, Kayseri, and Kastamonu from Mas'ud's rivals (1127). Finally in 1133 Gazi recaptured Kastamonu from the Byzantine emperor John II Comnenus, who had taken it the previous year. The caliph al-Mustarshid and Sanjar, the Seljuq sultan of Iraq-Iran, rewarded Gazi for his victories over the Christians by granting him the title of malik (king). Gazi died, however, in 1134, and his son Mehmed (Muhammad) took the title instead.When Mehmed died (1142), the Danishmend territory was divided among his two brothers--Yagibasan (Yaghibasan) in Sivas and 'Ayn ad-Dawlah in Malatya-Elbistan--and his son Dhu an-Nun in Kayseri. After Yagibasan's death (1164), the Seljuq sultan Qпlпj Arslan II intervened repeatedly in the affairs of the Sivas and Kayseri branches and finally invaded Danishmend territory; but he was stopped by Dhu an-Nun's father-in-law, Nureddin of Mosul. Nureddin died in 1174, however, and Qпlпj was able to take Sivas, the Yesil Irmak (Iris) valley, Tokat, and Amasya (1175), and Dhu an-Nun was slain. The Malatya branch came under Seljuq control in 1178, thus marking the end of the Danishmend dynasty.Danishmend, the first ruler, is the hero of an oral epic tradition, the Danishmendname, which first appeared in written form about 1245.

Dulkadir Dynasty

Turkmen dynasty (1337-1522) that ruled in the Elbistan-Maras-Malatya region of eastern Anatolia.

Its lands were the focus of rivalry between the Ottoman Empire and the Mamluks of Syria.The dynasty was founded by Karaca, the chief of the Bozok Turkmen, who was recognized as na'ib (deputy) by the Mamluk sultan in 1337 but who, with his sons, later was defeated and killed in a revolt against the sultan. In 1399 the Ottoman sultan Bayezid I, challenging Mamluk influence, installed Dulkadir Mehmed as ruler. He tried to maintain peaceful relations with both powers.After 1450 Ottoman-Mamluk rivalry intensified, resulting in dynastic struggles and frequent changes in Dulkadir leadership. When Ali, the last Dulkadir prince, was overthrown by his grand vizier in 1522, the principality was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire, the Dulkadir family was accorded vassal status, and its members were appointed to high offices.

Esref Dynasty

also spelled ASHRAF, Turkmen dynasty (c. 1290-c. 1326) that ruled in Beysehir, west of Konya in central Anatolia.

The dynasty traced its origins to a Turkmen tribe that was settled by the Seljuqs of Anatolia on the western frontier. The family's founder, Esref oglu Sayfeddin Sьleyman I, was a Seljuq emir who played an important role in Seljuq dynastic struggles during the reign (1283-98) of the Seljuq sultan Mas'ud II. Sьleyman was appointed regent to the sons of the deposed Seljuq sultan, Ghiyath ad-Din Kay-Khusraw, by Mas'ud's opponents in 1285, but he submitted to Mas'ud when the sultan consolidated his power. Later Sьleyman I assisted Mas'ud against the latter's brother Siyawush.Sьleyman's son Mehmed captured Aksehir and Bolvadin and in 1314 accepted Il-Khanid (western Mongol) suzerainty. He was succeeded by his son Sьleyman II, whose reign coincided with an attempt by Demirtas, the Il-Khanid governor of Anatolia, to assert his authority over the independent Turkmen rulers in Anatolia. About 1326 Demirtas marched to Beysehir and killed Sьleyman II, putting an end to the Esref principality. Later its territories were divided between the Karaman and Hamid principalities.

Hamid Dynasty

Turkmen dynasty (c. 1300-1423) that ruled in southwestern Anatolia.

It was founded by Felekuddin Dьndar, whose father, Ilyas, was a frontier ruler under the Seljuqs and who named it after his grandfather; Dьndar governed the Hamid principality jointly with his brother Yunus, with two capitals, one at Egridir and one at Antalya (Attalia). Dьndar was defeated and killed (1324) by Demirtas, the Il-Khanid governor of Anatolia. Egridir was restored by Dьndar's sons in 1374 as a dependency of the Ottoman Turks.The Antalya branch was occupied by a Christian force from Cyprus (1361-73). Annexed by the Ottoman sultan Bayezid I in 1392, the principality was restored by Timur (Tamerlane) after his victory over the Ottomans at the Battle of Ankara (1402). In 1423 Osman, the last Hamid ruler, was defeated, and the principality was reincorporated into the Ottoman Empire.Situated on the north-south route from the Mediterranean port of Antalya to the Mongol empire, Hamid was a strategically and commercially important territory.

Karas Dynasty

Turkmen dynasty (c. 1300-60) that ruled in the Balkesir-Зanakkale region of western Anatolia.

Founded by Karas, a frontier ruler under Seljuq suzerainty, the principality had two branches, with their respective centres in Balkesir and Bergama (Pergamum). Of the sons of Karas, Demirhan was defeated by the Ottoman ruler Orhan, and Balkesir was annexed (c. 1345). The coastal region of Зanakkale-Troy was ruled by Karas Sьleyman. His territory was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire c. 1360.

Mentese Dynasty

Turkmen dynasty (c. 1290-1425) that ruled in the Mugla-Milas region of southwestern Anatolia.

Founded by Mentese, the dynasty's principality extended along the Aegean and the Mediterranean coasts, and its fleet engaged in trade and piracy. After repulsing a Byzantine attack in 1296, Mentese's son Mesud occupied part of the island of Rhodes in 1300. Mentese Ibrahim was compelled in 1355 to allow the Venetians to establish a trading colony at Balat (Miletus).Divided in about 1360 into two major branches, with their respective centres at Balat and Beзin (Peзin), the principality came under Ottoman rule in 1390-91. Its independence was restored by the Central Asian ruler Timur (Tamerlane) in 1402, but it was permanently annexed by the Ottomans in 1425.

Ramazan Dynasty

Turkmen dynasty (c. 1352-c. 1610) that ruled in the Зukurova (Cilicia) region of southern Anatolia.

In 1352 Ramazan, founder of the dynasty, was recognized by the Mamluk sultan of Egypt as the ruler of the Ьзok branch of Oguz Turkmen in Зukurova. After a period of attempts to overthrow Mamluk suzerainty, the dynasty's principality about 1418 came under direct Mamluk control and lost its significance.With the extension of Ottoman territories to the Taurus Mountains and after an Ottoman-Mamluk war in 1485-90, the Ramazan territory assumed strategic importance for the Ottomans. In 1514 the Ramazan ruler Mahmud was deposed by the Mamluks and sought refuge with the Ottoman sultan Selim I, who the next year defeated the Mamluks in Syria and restored the principality to Mahmud. Mahmud's successor Piri was appointed by the Ottomans; he assisted them in suppressing Turkmen revolts in central and southern Anatolia (1526) and enjoyed the favour of Sultan Sьleyman I the Magnificent. Зukurova was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire (c. 1610), and thereafter members of the Ramazan dynasty continued to serve as governors of Ottoman provinces in Asia and in the Balkans.

Saruhan Dynasty

Turkmen dynasty (c. 1300-1410) that ruled in the Manisa region of western Anatolia.

The dynasty was founded by Saruhan, a tribal chief and frontier prince in the service of the Seljuqs of Anatolia who traced his descent to the Khwarezm-Shahs of Central Asia; after its conquest of Manisa (1313), the dynasty's principality extended its territories to the Aegean Sea. Surrounded by the Turkmen principalities of Aydn, Germiyan, and Karas, Saruhan became a seafaring state with a large fleet. It was active in the Mediterranean trade and supplied leadership, together with Aydn, to the gazis (warriors for the Islamic faith) in their incursions into Byzantine coastal territories. The loss of Izmir (1344) to Western crusaders by the Aydn principality and the rise of the Ottomans as the dominant power on the Byzantine frontier closed the channels of trade and coastal raids for Saruhan. In 1390 it was annexed by the Ottoman sultan Bayezid I; but its independence was restored by the Central Asian ruler Timur (Tamerlane) in 1402. Finally, c. 1410, the last Saruhan ruler, Hzr, was killed by the Ottoman prince Mehmed Зelebi (later Sultan Mehmed I), and Saruhan was reincorporated into the Ottoman Empire.

Source: Encyclopedia Britannica

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