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Tuesday, 21 November 2006
Ancient Turkmenistan - New Centre of World Civilization
Topic: Turkmen History

The excavations in Margiana will make reconsider views on the remote past of humankind and fully reveal a real picture of the remote past of the remarkable Turkmen land located in the centre of Asia, on the crossroads of the ancient caravan routes and modern transcontinental communication lines. The participants of the International Scientific Conference “Ancient Margiana – a New Centre of the World Civilisation” held in the Mary Velayat and that completed its work have come to such conclusion.

The third, last, day of the conference was dedicated to the scientific discussion of the role and place of the outstanding archaeological monument of the Bronze Age, Ancient Margiana in the history of the world civilisation. Bright impressions of the scientists received after their visit to the excavations and of the report of the Archaeology Professor V.I. Sarianidi as well as his comments on the video film dedicated to the sensational archaeological finds of the Margianian expedition attached especially emotional character to the discussion. Telling in detail about those finds each of which is a unique one, V.I. Sarianidi especially stressed the results of the archaeological investigations made during recent three years. Those finds, including a cylindrical seal with a cuneiform Sumerian inscription, leave no doubts that in the late third millennium - first half of the second millennium B.C. the country of Margush was not an isolated oasis but it was in the centre of international relations and had a highly developed civilisation. According to the scientists, the Turkmen land still keeps many secrets about which we do not guess. That is why each new find does not only answer the questions but also put new ones thus stipulating further investigation.

Highly appreciating the work of the Margianian expedition and the investigation of Professor V.I. Sarianidi, the scientists expressed their unanimous opinion that the present meeting which gathered leading world historians and archaeologists in the hospitable Turkmen land will make it possible to stir up their joint investigation whose aim is to reconstruct the gaps in the ancient history one of whose secrets is a legendary country of Margush. But at present, according to Professor of the Cambridge University Colin Refrew, Ancient Margiana can be undoubtedly put among the ancient world civilisations. This point of view of the famous scientist was listened to with a storm of applause of the participants and guests of the conference.

A starting point of the speeches, a thesis that numerous monumental palaces and temples of the country of Margush including the rich royal necropolis and the ancient articles of art, can testify to the existence of the centre of ancient science and culture absolutely unknown for science.

Stressing the necessity of further detailed investigation of the historical heritage of Margiana having many common features with the early known civilisations, with India and Mesopotamia in particular, the scientists expressed their belief of presence of written sources, search of which is the question of time.

According to the conference participants, everything they saw there made many of them change their point of view and hypothesis. “I completely changed my point of view. We saw not only high culture but new civilisation. There is no greater monument of the Bronze Age than Margiana”, said in her speech Academician Yelena Kuzmina.

“We saw unique samples of art and if we gather all the exhibits kept in the world museums, they will not make up we saw in Gonur. This is an achievement not only of the Turkmen people but of entire humankind as well.” These words were almost in all the speeches of the conference participants who approved the idea of holding an exhibition “Art of the Country of Margush” in a famous museum complex in Paris, Louvers. It was especially stressed that the entire world should see that unique exhibiting.

Summing up the three-day work all those present unanimously stressed that the present forum became a starting point for uniting the efforts in the process of restoration of the true history of humankind. They also stressed that further investigations of the civilisation of Margush promised to bring new sensational discoveries which would help to properly appreciate the place of Ancient Turkmenistan in the system of the first civilisations of our planet.

Expressing their deep gratitude to the government of Turkmenistan and personally to President Saparmurat Niyazov for the opportunity to visit the ancient Turkmen land and to see the great monument to the human genius with their own eyes the participants of the conference expressed their wish to continue and strengthen close scientific co-operation.

An official dinner was organised for the participants of the International Scientific Conference “Ancient Margiana – a New Centre of World Civilisation” on behalf of the head of the Turkmen state.

On the same day the participants of the forum came back to the Turkmen capital where a rich cultural programme was organised for them.

18 November 2006, State Information Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH)

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 5:21 PM
Monday, 19 June 2006
Professor V. I. Sarianidi: ?The First World Religion ? Zoroastrianism Emerged in Turkmenistan?
Topic: Turkmen History

The spring season of archeological excavations in Gonur-depe (the Karakum Etrap, the Mary Velayat) completed some weeks ago. For over 30 years the Margiana archeological expedition headed by a scientist, Laureate of the Magtymguly International Prize, Doctor of History, Professor Viktor Sarianidi has been conducting the archeological excavations in Turkmenistan. Viktor Sarianidi told about the archeological finds discovered this season.

“The people in Turkmenistan and other countries know the words from Ruhnama, “Two and a half thousand years ago Zarathushtra from Margush appeared in the world. Reining his sorrel camel he exclaimed, “People, worship Fire, its sources will lead you along the right path, illuminate each nook in your souls!” For all these years we have been uncovering the tangible evidence proving that there, in the old delta of the Murghab River, the oldest religion in the world – Zoroastrianism. The spring archelogical season ended in uncovering a monumental temple building near the central palace in Gonur-depe. The building is linked with the process of cooking a ritual drink of importance among ancient Zoroastrians which is mentioned Avesta as Haoma, the Indiain Rigveda – Soma. The cult of the potion parised for energizing or intoxicating qualities was widely practiced in the Indo-Aryan world.

In the previous years of excavations the shrine Togoluk-21 –excavated first among those identified with the process of cooking and the rituals praising the sacred potion was completely uncovered in the old delta of the Murghab River. However, the shrine Togolok-21 is dated to the mid-second millennium BC, and it has not been known so far whether the shrines of such kind existed earlier, i.e. at the late 3rd– early 2nd millennia BC? Now, we have found the answer to the question of great scientific significance which has been rousing our curiosity over many years!

Thus, the large-scale archeological excavations of the detached archeological monument uncovered to the south of the Gonur palace resulted in discovering a monumental building remarkable for the strict geometrical forms and brilliant architectural design. The central part of the shrine which has the walls sometimes 1.5 metres thick and strictly oriented to the sides of horizon is of particular interest. The rooms have the complementary angles. The principles of planning some architectural blocks indicate the specific purposes of using the temple complex. E.g., three single-type corridor-like rooms directly correspond to the architectural design of monumental constructions in the ancient Orient.

The canonical combination of the rectangular and square rooms connected by the common passageways observed in the layout of the shrine. The separate rooms with the cult two-chamber furnace are of particular interest among the complicated suite of rooms which are empty for the most part. The furnaces were constructed simultaneously with the walls. The furnaces are parted inside in two chambers. One of the chambers are much burnt and was used as a fire-chamber, the adjacent chamber was used as an oven in which the meat of sacrificial animals was kept before it was treated. Such construction of cult furnaces solved a problem of cooking sacrificial food. The Indo-Aryans considered Fire to be ‘pure’ element which should not contact anything impure and sinful, including meat. The curtain walls inside the cult furnaces should prevent fire from contamination by meat of sacrificial animals.

Excavations uncovered the isolated but very characteristic premises in which carefully made ceramic pot-stands were found. The inner walls of the vessels preserved the traces of coating that had prevented liquid from leaking. The similar pot-stands were discovered in other temple in Gonur which we call ‘temenos’ that meant ‘a scared place’ in ancient times. According to paleobotanists, the plants used for making Soma/Haoma were soaked in the vessels.

Another cult construction used for the similar purposes was excavated in the southeastern part of Gonur, near the royal necropolis. The fact that the temple is located outside the enclosing wall of the palace-temple ensemble can indicate its early construction, circa the late 3rd millennium BC. A rectangular yard with a furnace in the bay of the eastern wall is built in the centre of the small construction. Surrounded with the rooms from every side it vividly demonstrates the planning principle – ‘enclosed yard’ well known in the Eastern religious architecture. The most striking thing is a number of the vessels coated inside with gypsum and dug into the ground testifying that local people prepared Soma/Haoma too. Another evidence of performing the special rituals related to the Haoma cult in the building is the fragmentary finds including ceramic vessels with the images of a man stuck on the outer side and a frog primarily stuck on the inner side or the bottom of a vessel.

We had excavated the vessels of such kind before. An extant sample was uncovered in Togoluk-1. The sculptural elements of the cult vessels serve as the illustrations to myths and legends popular among the people of Margush. The vessels filled with liquid symbolize Water and Earth inhabited with various animals, birds and people.

The figurines found this spring absolutely identify those known before. We have no doubts on their similarity to the vessels of such kind. It is accepted, the Soma/Haoma cult trace back to the period of the Indo-European unity. Discovery of two shrines in Gonur North dated back to the 3rd-2nd millennia BC clearly attest to that the rituals related to the Soma/Haoma cult were quite popular among the indigenous tribes among which the oldest religion – Zoroastrianism emerged.

These and many other points of interest to archeologists, experts in religion, Indo-European linguistics and other specific disciplines will be discussed at the International Scientific Conference “Margiana – a New Centre of World Civilization”. The conference will be held in Ashgabat and Mary this autumn and will be a scientific event of international importance. The leading specialists in ancient history from many countries will give their views on our archeological research in the country of Margush and I am convinced that by the concerted efforts we will find the answers to a number of yet undiscovered mysteries.

State News Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH)

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 11:09 AM
Tuesday, 2 August 2005
Khwarezmid Empire
Topic: Turkmen History
The Khwarezmid Empire (also known as the Khwarezmian Empire) was a Muslim state formed by Oghuz Turks in the 11th century in Khwarezmia that lasted until the Mongol invasion in 1220.

The date of the founding of the empire is uncertain. Khwarezm was a province of the Ghaznavid Empire from 992 to 1041. In 1077 the governorship of the province, which now belonged to the Seljuk Turks, fell into the hands of Anu? Tigin ?ar?ai. In 1141, the Seljuk sultan Ahmed Sanjar was defeated by the Kara Khitay (Kara-Khitan Khanate) and Anu? Tigin's grandson Ala ad-Din Aziz was forced to submit as a vassal of the Kara Khitay.

Sultan Ahmed Sanjar was killed in 1156 and when the Seljuk state fell into chaos, the Khwarezms expanded their territories south. In 1194, the last sultan of Great Seljuk, To?r?l III, was defeated and killed by the Khwarezm ruler Ala ad-Din Tekish who also freed himself of the Kara Khitay. In 1200, Tekish died and was succeeded by his son, Ala ad-Din Muhammad, who by 1205 had conquered all of Great Seljuk and declared himself shah. In 1212 he defeated the Gur-Khan Kutluk and conquered the lands of the Kara Khitay, now ruling a territory from the Jaxartes almost all the way to Baghdad, and from the Indus River to the Caspian Sea.

In 1218 Chinggis Khan sent some emissaries to the shah who executed the Mongol diplomats in defiance of the emerging great power, and Genghis retaliated with a force of 200 000 men. In February 1220 the Mongolian army crossed the Jaxartes. The Mongols stormed Bukhara and Samarkand, the latter the Khwarezmian capital. The shah fled and died some weeks later on an island in the Caspian Sea.

In Great Captains Unveiled of 1927, B.H. Liddell Hart gave details of the Mongol campaign against Khwarezm which underscored his own philosophy of "the indirect approach," and highlighted many of the tactics used by Genghis which were to be subsequently included in the German blitzkrieg form of war, inspired in part by Liddell Hart's writings.

The son of Ala ad-Din Muhammad, Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu, became the new sultan (he rejected the title shah) but he had to flee to India. The Mongols run up with him before he got there, however, and he was defeated at the Battle of Indus. He and his closest followers then fled to Armenia where they attacked the Seljuk Sultanate of R?m. He had a brief victory and captured the town Ahlat, but was later defeated by sultan Kay Qubadh I at the Battle of Yassi Chemen in 1230. He was murdered in 1231 by an assassin.

Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu's followers remained loyal to him even after his death and raided the Seljuk lands of Jazira and Syria for the next several years, calling themselves the Khwarezmiyyas. Ayyubid sultan Salih Ayyub later hired them as mercenaries against his uncle Salih Ismail and they actually captured Jerusalem in 1244, triggering the Seventh Crusade.

The Khwarezmiyyas served in Egypt as Mameluks before they were finally beaten by Mansur Ibrahim some years later.

Ghaznavid Governors of Khwarezm
Abu Ali Mamun I 992-997
Abu al-Hasan Ali 997-1009
Abu al-Abbas Mamun II 1009-1017
Muhammad 1017
Altun Yash 1017-1032
Harun 1032-1034
Ismail Khandan 1034-1041

Khwarezmian Dynasty
Anu? Tigin ?ar?ai 1077-1097
Qutb ad-Din Muhammad I 1097-1127
Ala ad-Din Aziz 1127-1156
Il-Arslan 1156-1172
Sultan Shah 1172-1193
Ala ad-Din Tekish 1172-1200
Ala ad-Din Muhammad II 1200-1220
Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu 1220-1231

Source: www.answers.com

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 4:35 PM
Updated: Tuesday, 2 August 2005 4:37 PM
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
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 www.allaboutturkey.com

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 1:56 PM
Updated: Tuesday, 12 July 2005 1:43 PM

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