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Tuesday, 12 July 2005
Indo-Turkmenistan Relations and the Formation of Cultural Heritage of Turkmenistan in Middle Ages
Topic: Turkmen History
R.L.Hangloo (India)

In Indo-Central Asian relations the Turkomen have played very important and historical role that constitutes the most significant aspect of cultural heritage of both these countries in Middle Ages.

Although contacts between India and Central Asia go back to antiquity but it was with the onset of 13th century when Delhi Sultanate was established in India that new processes were set in motion to nourish a vibrant relationship between India and Turkmenistan despite the immensity of distances. There is hardly any area of Indian civilization which did not register the Turkoman influence. In establishing the Sultanates of Delhi, Bengal, Kashmir and Deccan the Turkomen played a significant role in politics, administration, military, judiciary, architecture, art forms, literature, poetry and in'various other institutions like Sufism. Even though the Turkoman established large Sultanates in various regions but they were deeply rooted in to the Turkmenian culture. They always patronised streams of people from their territory to assist them in maiming their affairs. Be it Turkish-Chahalgam in Delhi, Shahmirs in Kashmir, or the Qutb Shah is in Deccan, their contributions in varied fields is very much living even to this day. Similarly the Great Turkomen Bairam Beg Khan who laid the foundation of the mightily Mughal Empire in India and the contribution of his son Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Kanan occupies an impol1ant place in the cultural heritage of both these countries. Hafiz Shirazi once said, . It bespeaks of the cultural synthesis that took place between the two countries at the popular level as well.

The contacts between Indians and Turkomen in various fields of material culture and art and architecture at popular level facilitated by various Sultans and also been a source of great historical progress in formation of the cultural heritage of Turkmenistcan in medieval times. For example Sultan Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah who was from the Qara Qoyunlu tribe of Turkoman founded the City of Hyderabad in Deccan and was also a great poet and the author of rich collection of nearly 50000 couplets comprising ghazals, rwzm, masnavis, qasidas, ruboies and fytas. He is the founder of urdu language in Deccan which he did by blending Persian and Hindi.

There is plentiful of evidence to illustrate various elements which played an important role in formation of cultural heritage of Turkmenistan and its historical progress in Middle ages. All these details are focused very authentically in this paper by the author.

From presentation at the International Conference
"Cultural Heritage of Turkmenistan".
October, 2000. Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 1:48 PM
U.S. Company Wins a Bid to Construct a Sturgeon Breeding and Caviar-Producing Facility in Turkmenistan
Topic: Economy & business
Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov approved a decision made by a tender commission on the results of an international tender on designing and constructing a sturgeon breeding and caviar-producing facility in Kiyanly settlement of Balkan region.

As the Ashgabat correspondent of reports, the “sturgeon” tender was announced in January 2004. According to the tender terms, it called not only for construction of this facility in Balkan region but also for construction (purchase) of a multi-purpose small fishing-boat with special equipment for transportation of fishermen, whitebait and conducting research expeditions in the Caspian Sea as well as construction of various mini work-shops.

The head of state signed a resolution approving the decision of the tender commission of the State Fishery Committee of Turkmenistan on declaring the US Florida Sturgeon Engineering company the winner of the international tender.

The State Fishery Committee of Turkmenistan is authorized to sign a 16.9m-dollar investment contract with the US Florida Sturgeon Engineering company on the design and construction of a complex, the first facility of such kind in Turkmenistan, with the annual capacity to produce three tons of caviar, 100 tons of sturgeon fish as well as 5 mln sturgeon fry, including financing of the project by the U.S. side. The project is due to start as of September 2005 and finish by December 2006.

Internet newspaper Turkmenistan.Ru

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 12:33 PM
Updated: Thursday, 14 July 2005 10:00 AM
Monday, 11 July 2005
Ashgabat hosts seminar on combating human trafficking
Topic: Foreign Relations
08 July, 2005. An educational seminar called “Combating Human Trafficking and Trading” opened in the Turkmen capital. Some 40 officers of the State Border Service and State Service on Registering Foreigners are attending the seminar which was organized by the Partnership for Peace training centre of the Turkish armed forces, jointly with the State Border Service of Turkmenistan.

In the course of the five-day seminar, Turkish specialists will deliver lectures on such issues as combating terrorism, arms smuggling, dugs, human trafficking and etc. Besides, the seminar participants will share practical experience with each other. In fact, the Turkmen side presented comprehensive information on the steps being undertaken by Turkmenistan in the field of combating terrorism and smuggling as well as on crime preventive measures in this field.

As the Ashgabat correspondent of reports, all the participants will be provided with appropriate certificates of the established international standard in the end of the seminar. It is planned that such seminars will be regularly held in Turkmenistan, no less than once a year.

Internet newspaper Turkmenistan.Ru

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 12:13 PM
Updated: Monday, 11 July 2005 12:15 PM
Friday, 8 July 2005
The Ottoman State to 1481: the Age of Expansion
Topic: Turkmen History
The first period of Ottoman history was characterized by almost continuous territorial expansion, during which Ottoman dominion spread out from a small northwestern Anatolian principality to cover most of southeastern Europe and Anatolia. The political, economic, and social institutions of the classical Islamic empires were amalgamated with those inherited from Byzantium and the great Turkish empires of Central Asia and were reestablished in new forms that were to characterize the area into modern times.

Origins and expansion of the Ottoman state, c. 1300-1402

In their initial stages of expansion, the Ottomans were leaders of the Turkish warriors for the faith of Islam, known as ghazis, who fought against the shrinking Christian Byzantine state. The ancestors of Osman I, the founder of the dynasty, were members of the Kay tribe who had entered Anatolia along with a mass of Turkmen Oguz nomads. These nomads, fleeing from the Mongols of Genghis Khan, overwhelmed Byzantium after the Battle of Manzikert (1071) and occupied eastern and central Anatolia during the 12th century. The ghazis fought against the Byzantines and then the Mongols, who invaded Anatolia following the establishment of the Il-Khanid (Ilhanid) empire in Iran and Mesopotamia in the last half of the 13th century. With the disintegration of Seljuq power and its replacement by Mongol suzerainty, enforced by direct military occupation of much of eastern Anatolia, independent Turkmen principalities--one of which was led by Osman--emerged in the remainder of Anatolia.

Following the Mongol defeat of the Seljuq army in 1293, Osman emerged as prince (bey) of the border principality that took over Byzantine Bithynia in northwestern Anatolia around Bursa, commanding the ghazis against the Byzantines in that area. Hemmed in on the east by the more powerful Turkmen principality of Germiyan, Osman and his immediate successors concentrated their attacks on Byzantine territories bordering the Bosporus and the Sea of Marmara to the west. The Ottomans, left as the major Muslim rivals of Byzantium, attracted masses of nomads and urban unemployed who were roaming through the Middle East searching for means to gain their livelihoods and seeking to fulfill their religious desire to expand the territory of Islam. The Ottomans were able to take advantage of the decay of the Byzantine frontier defense system and the rise of economic, religious, and social discontent in the Byzantine Empire and, beginning under Osman and continuing under his successors Orhan (Orkhan, ruled 1324-60) and Murad I (1360-89), took over Byzantine territories, first in western Anatolia and then in southeastern Europe. It was only under Bayezid I (1389-1402) that the wealth and power gained by this initial expansion were used to assimilate the Anatolian Turkish principalities to the east.

By 1300 Osman ruled an area in Anatolia stretching from Eskisehir (Dorylaeum) to the plains of Iznik (Nicaea), having defeated several organized Byzantine efforts to curb his expansion. Byzantine attempts to secure Il-Khanid support against the Ottomans from the east were unsuccessful, and the Byzantine emperor's use of mercenary troops from western Europe caused more damage to his own territory than to that of the Turks. The Ottomans lacked effective siege equipment, however, and were unable to take the major cities of Bithynia. Nor could they move against their increasingly powerful Turkmen neighbours Aydn and Karas, which had taken over Byzantine territory in southwestern Anatolia. Orhan's capture of Bursa in 1324 (some sources date this event to 1326) provided the first means for developing the administrative, economic, and military power necessary to make the principality into a real state and to create an army. Orhan began the military policy, expanded by his successors, of employing Christian mercenary troops, thus lessening his dependence on the nomads.

Orhan soon was able to capture the remaining Byzantine towns in northwestern Anatolia: Iznik (1331), Izmit (1337), and Iskandar (1338). He then moved against his major Turkmen neighbours to the south. Taking advantage of internal conflicts, Orhan annexed Karas in 1345 and gained control of the area between the Gulf of Edremit and Kapdag (Cyzicus), reaching the Sea of Marmara. He thus put himself in a position to end the lucrative monopoly enjoyed by the city of Aydn, that of providing mercenary troops to competing Byzantine factions in Thrace and at Constantinople. The expansion also enabled the Ottomans to replace Aydn as the principal ally of the Byzantine emperor John VI Cantacuzenus. The consequent entry of Ottoman troops into Europe gave them a direct opportunity to see the possibilities for conquest offered by Byzantine decadence. The collapse of Aydn following the death of its ruler, Umur Bey, left the Ottomans alone as the leaders of the ghazis against the Byzantines. Orhan helped Cantacuzenus take the throne of Byzantium from John V Palaeologus and as a reward secured the right to ravage Thrace and to marry the emperor's daughter Theodora. Ottoman raiding parties began to move regularly through Gallipoli into Thrace. Huge quantities of captured booty strengthened Ottoman power and attracted thousands from the uprooted Turkmen masses of Anatolia into Ottoman service. Starting in 1354, Orhan's son Suleyman transformed Gallipoli, a peninsula on the European side of the Dardanelles, into a permanent base for expansion into Europe and refused to leave, despite the protests of Cantacuzenus and others. From Gallipoli his bands moved up the Maritsa River into southeastern Europe, raiding as far as Adrianople. Cantacuzenus soon fell from power, at least partially because of his cooperation with the Turks, and Europe began to be aware of the extent of the Turkish danger.

Orhan's son Murad I was the first Ottoman emperor to use Gallipoli for permanent conquests in Europe. Constantinople itself was bypassed, despite the weakness and disorganization of its defenders, because its thick walls and well-placed defenses remained too strong for the nomadic Ottoman army, which continued to lack siege equipment. Murad's initial conquests extended northward into Thrace, culminating with the capture in 1361 of Adrianople, the second city of the Byzantine Empire. Renamed Edirne, the city became the new Ottoman capital, providing the Ottomans with a centre for the administrative and military control of Thrace. As the main fortress between Constantinople and the Danube, it controlled the principal invasion road through the Balkan Mountains, assured Ottoman retention of their European conquests, and facilitated further expansion to the north. Murad then moved through the Maritsa River valley and captured Philippopolis (Filibe; modern Plovdiv) in 1363. Control of the main sources of Constantinople's grain and tax revenues enabled him to force the Byzantine emperor to accept Ottoman suzerainty. The death of the Serbian emperor Stefan Dusan in 1355 left his successors too divided and weak to defeat the Ottomans, despite an alliance with Louis I of Hungary and Tsar Shishman of Bulgaria in the first European crusade against the Ottomans. The Byzantine emperor John V tried to mobilize European assistance by uniting the churches of Constantinople and Rome, but this effort only further divided Byzantium without assuring any concrete help from the West. Murad was thus able in 1371 to rout the allies at Chernomen on the Maritsa, increasing his own confidence and demoralizing his smaller enemies, who rapidly accepted his suzerainty without further resistance.

Murad next incorporated into the rapidly expanding empire many European vassals. He retained local native rulers, who in return accepted his suzerainty, paid annual tributes, and provided contingents for his army when required. This policy enabled the Ottomans generally to avoid local resistance by assuring rulers and subjects that their lives, properties, traditions, and positions would be preserved if they peacefully accepted Ottoman rule. It also enabled the Ottomans to govern the newly conquered areas without building up a vast administrative system of their own or maintaining substantial occupation garrisons.

Moving rapidly to consolidate his empire south of the Danube, Murad captured Macedonia (1371), central Bulgaria (including Monastir [1382], Sofia [1385], and Nis [1386]), and Serbia, all culminating in the climactic defeat of the Balkan allies at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389. South of the Danube only Walachia, Bosnia, Albania, Greece, and the Serbian fort of Belgrade remained outside Ottoman rule, and to the north Hungary alone was in a position to resist further Muslim advances.

Murad was killed during the Battle of Kosovo. His son and successor, Bayezid I (1389-1402), was unable to take advantage of his father's victory to achieve further European conquest; in fact, he was compelled to restore the defeated vassals and return to Anatolia. This return was precipitated by the rising threat of the Turkmen principality of Karaman, created on the ruins of the Seljuq empire of Anatolia with its capital at Konya. Bayezid's predecessors had avoided forceful annexation of Turkmen territory in order to concentrate on Europe. They had, however, expanded peacefully through marriage alliances and the purchase of territories. The acquisition of territory in central Anatolia from the emirates of Hamid and Germiyan had brought the Ottomans into direct contact with Karaman for the first time. Murad had been compelled to take some military action to prevent it from occupying his newly acquired Anatolian territories but then had turned back to Europe, leaving the unsolved problem to his successor son.

Karaman willingly cooperated with Serbia in inciting opposition to Ottoman rule among Murad's vassals in both Europe and Anatolia. This opposition strengthened the Balkan Union that was routed by the Ottomans at Kosovo and stimulated a general revolt in Anatolia that Bayezid was forced to meet by an open attack as soon as he was able. By 1390 Bayezid had overwhelmed and annexed all the remaining Turkmen principalities in western Anatolia. He attacked and defeated Karaman in 1391, annexed several Turkmen states in eastern Anatolia, and was preparing to complete his conquest in the area when he was forced to turn back to Europe to deal with a revolt of some of his Balkan vassals, encouraged and assisted by Hungary and Byzantium. Bayezid quickly smashed the rebels (1390-93), occupied Bulgaria and installed direct Ottoman administration for the first time, and besieged Constantinople. In response, Hungary organized a major European crusade against the Ottomans. The effort was beaten back by Bayezid at Nicopolis (Nigbolu) on the Danube in 1396. Europe was terrorized and Ottoman rule south of the Danube was assured; Bayezid's prestige in the Islamic world was so enhanced that he was given the title of sultan by the shadow 'Abbasid caliph of Cairo, despite the opposition of the caliph's Mamluk masters (the rulers of Egypt, Syria, and the holy cities of Mecca and Medina), who wanted to retain the title only for themselves.

Turning back to Anatolia to complete the conquests aborted by his move against the crusaders, Bayezid overran Karaman, the last Turkmen principality, in 1397. His advances, however, attracted the attention of Timur (Tamerlane), who had been building a powerful Tatar empire in Central Asia, Iran, Afghanistan, and Mesopotamia and whose invasion of India in 1398 had been halted by his fear of the rising Ottoman power on his western flank. Encouraged by several Turkmen princes who had fled to his court when their territories were taken by Bayezid, Timur decided to destroy Bayezid's empire before resuming his campaigns in India and thus invaded Anatolia. As Bayezid and Timur moved toward battle, the former's Turkmen vassals and Muslim followers deserted him because he had abandoned the old Ottoman ghazi tradition of advancing against the infidel. Left only with forces provided by his Christian vassals, Bayezid was decisively overwhelmed by Timur at the Battle of Ankara in 1402. Taken captive, he died within a year.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Map from

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 1:56 PM
Updated: Tuesday, 12 July 2005 1:43 PM
The Great Seljuk Turkmen State
Topic: Turkmen History
This State was founded in 1040 by Togrul and Cagry Begs after their victory in the Daodanakan War against the Gaznalys. The Seljuks are from the Kynyk tribe of Oguz.

The Seljuks underwent a very troubled period after arriving in Khorasan. When Seljuk Beg died, he was over 100 years old. In his old-age, leaving all else aside, he brought up his grandsons, Togrul and Cagry Begs. The son of Seljuk Beg, Arslan Han, settled on the Nur Plateau near Buhara, taking Togrul and Cagry Begs with himself. The sole aim of the two brothers trained by Seljuk Beg was to make Khorasan their homeland.

To attain their goal, Cagry Beg together with his brave men crossed over Khorasan to reach the Roman Land (Anatolia). The two brothers’ intention to conquer Khorasan intensified after the arrest and imprisonment of Arslan Beg by Gaznaly Mahmyt.

After crossing the Jeyhun River in 1035, they settled near Takgala. They informed Soltan Mesut of their intentions in a letter. In it they demanded that Soltan Mesut grant them for settlement the Nusay and Paraw provinces, where they would put their animals out to pasture. They stated that they could suppress the insurrections likely to happen in the corridor from the Balkan Dagi, Dehistan, and Urgenc frontiers to the banks of the Jeyhun River.

Soltan Mesut, who did not accept their offer, fought with the Seljuks near Takgala in 1038. Soon after, in 1040, there was another battle near Sarahs on the Daodanakan Plain. By way of war the Seljuks gained the things they had not been able to attain peacefully, and laid the foundations of the Great Seljuks’ State.

This victory made the fatherland their property forever. After the war, they summoned a council and declared their independence. Togrul Beg received the title of ‘Soltan’. They made the city of Rey their capital (1040-1063). Cagry Beg stayed in Merw (1040-1060). The two brothers ruled the state in unity and cooperation.

In 1063 Alp Arslan, the son of Cagry Beg, ascended to the throne. Alp Arslan was the great Soltan who unlocked the gates of Anatolia. His son Malik ?ah expanded the borders of the Seljuks and his son Soltan Sanjar promoted improvements in science and civilization.

The Great Seljuk State promoted Islam along with the Oguz culture, and in this way they enlarged their frontiers from Istanbul to China. Furthermore, being a great state, the Seljuks were honored as being the guard of the entire Islamic World. In addition, intending to dominate the world, they treated the people under their rule equally and justly and made great progress in the realms of culture and civilization. They improved the whole country, building roads, bridges, caravanserai, small mosques, madrassas (schools, universities) and hospitals.

Saparmurat Niyazov "Ruhnama"

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 11:57 AM
Updated: Friday, 8 July 2005 12:06 PM

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