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Kai Parker
Kai Parker

Alparslan Selçuklu: The Hero of the Turkish-Islamic Civilization

Alparslan Selçuklu: The Sultan Who Opened the Gates of Anatolia to the Turks


Alparslan Selçuklu was one of the most influential and successful rulers of the medieval Islamic world. He was the second sultan of the Seljuk Empire, a Turkic dynasty that emerged from Central Asia and dominated a vast region from Iran to Anatolia. He is best known for his decisive victory over the Byzantine army at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, which paved the way for the Turkish settlement and Islamization of Anatolia. He was also a visionary leader who reformed the Seljuk administration, justice, and religion, and fostered a golden age of culture, science, and art.

alparslan selçuklu


In this article, we will explore the life, achievements, and legacy of Alparslan Selçuklu, the sultan who opened the gates of Anatolia to the Turks.

Alparslan Selçuklu's Early Life and Rise to Power

His birth and family background

Alparslan Selçuklu was born in 1029 as Muhammad bin Dawud Chaghri. He was the son of Chaghri Beg, a Turkic warlord who was the co-founder of the Seljuk Empire along with his brother Tughril Beg. He was also a great-grandson of Seljuk, the eponymous ancestor of the dynasty. He belonged to the Oghuz branch of the Turkic people, who were nomadic tribes that migrated from Central Asia to Persia and Anatolia.

His education and military training

Alparslan Selçuklu received a comprehensive education in Islamic sciences, Persian literature, history, and law. He also learned Arabic, Turkish, Persian, and other languages. He was trained in martial arts, archery, horseback riding, and warfare. He showed great courage, intelligence, and charisma from an early age. He accompanied his father and uncle in their military campaigns against their enemies, such as the Fatimids, the Ghaznavids, and the Byzantines.

His succession to the throne of the Seljuk Empire

When his father Chaghri Beg died in 1060, Alparslan Selçuklu inherited his domains in Khorasan, Transoxiana, and Khwarezm. He became a powerful vassal of his uncle Tughril Beg, who was the first sultan of the Seljuk Empire. He supported Tughril Beg in his wars against the Fatimids in Syria and Egypt. He also fought against his cousin Kutalmish, who rebelled against Tughril Beg and claimed the throne. When Tughril Beg died childless in 1063, Alparslan Selçuklu was chosen as his successor by the Seljuk nobles. He became the second sultan of the Seljuk Empire at the age of 34.

Alparslan Selçuklu's Conquests and Reforms

His campaigns against the Fatimids, the Ghaznavids, and the Kar His campaigns against the Fatimids, the Ghaznavids, and the Karakhanids

As the sultan of the Seljuk Empire, Alparslan Selçuklu faced many enemies and challenges from different directions. He had to deal with the Fatimids, a rival Shia caliphate that controlled Egypt, Syria, and Palestine. He also had to contend with the Ghaznavids, a Turkic dynasty that ruled over Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of Iran and India. He also had to face the Karakhanids, another Turkic dynasty that ruled over Central Asia and Transoxiana.

Alparslan: Büyük Selçuklu dizisi

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Seljuk Empire history

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Seljuk Empire culture

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Seljuk Empire facts

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Barış Arduç dizileri ve filmleri

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Barış Arduç instagram hesabı

Barış Arduç röportajları ve haberleri

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Barış Arduç saç ve sakal modeli

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Alparslan Selçuklu launched several campaigns against these foes, aiming to secure his borders, expand his domains, and spread Sunni Islam. He defeated the Fatimids in several battles, such as the Battle of Ramla in 1068 and the Battle of Shaizar in 1070. He also captured Jerusalem from them in 1071, but later returned it to them as part of a peace treaty. He fought against the Ghaznavids in Khorasan and Khwarezm, and annexed their territories to his empire. He also subdued the Karakhanids and made them his vassals. He established his authority and prestige over the Muslim world as the defender of the faith and the champion of jihad.

His expansion of the Seljuk territory and influence in Anatolia, Syria, and Iraq

One of the most remarkable achievements of Alparslan Selçuklu was his conquest of Anatolia from the Byzantine Empire. Anatolia was a rich and fertile land that had been under Byzantine rule for centuries. It was also home to many Christian Armenians, Greeks, and Georgians. Alparslan Selçuklu saw Anatolia as a strategic prize that would open the way for further expansion into Europe and Africa.

In 1071, he led a large army across the Euphrates river and marched towards Armenia. He encountered a huge Byzantine army led by Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes at the plain of Manzikert. The two armies clashed in a fierce battle that lasted for several hours. Alparslan Selçuklu managed to outsmart and outflank his enemy, and captured Romanos IV as a prisoner. The Battle of Manzikert was a decisive victory for Alparslan Selçuklu and a catastrophic defeat for the Byzantines. It marked the end of Byzantine dominance in Anatolia and the beginning of Turkish settlement and Islamization of the region.

After Manzikert, Alparslan Selçuklu continued his campaigns in Anatolia, Syria, and Iraq. He captured many cities and fortresses from the Byzantines, such as Antioch, Aleppo, Edessa, Mosul, and Baghdad. He also faced resistance from some local rulers, such as Philaretos Brachamios in Cilicia and Artuk Bey in Diyarbakir. He granted lands and titles to his loyal commanders and vassals, such as Suleiman ibn Qutulmish in Iznik, Artuq ibn Ekseb in Mardin, Mengujek Ghazi in Erzincan, and Danishmend Gazi in Sivas. He also encouraged migration and colonization of Turks from Central Asia to Anatolia. He thus laid the foundations for the future Turkish states in Anatolia, such as the Sultanate of Rum , the Danishmendids , the Artuqids , and the Mengujekids .

His administrative, judicial, and religious reforms in the Seljuk Empire

Besides being a great conqueror and warrior, Alparslan Selçuklu was also a wise and just ruler who reformed the Seljuk Empire in various aspects. He relied on his trusted vizier Nizam al-Mulk , who was a brilliant statesman, scholar, and jurist. Together, they implemented many policies and measures to improve the administration, justice, and religion of the empire.

They established a centralized bureaucracy that supervised the affairs of the provinces and collected taxes. They appointed governors (wali), judges (qadi), military commanders (amir), and inspectors (mushrif) to maintain order and security. They also created a special corps of elite soldiers (ghulam) who were loyal to the sultan and served as his personal guard.

They reformed the judicial system by applying the principles of Sharia law and Hanafi jurisprudence. They appointed qualified judges who were well-versed in Islamic law and ethics. They also established courts (mahkama) where cases were heard and verdicts were issued. They ensured that justice was fair and impartial for all subjects regardless of their status or creed.

They reformed the religious system by promoting the Sunni doctrine and the Ashari theology. They appointed pious scholars and preachers who taught the basics of Islam and refuted the heretical sects, such as the Shia, the Ismailis, and the Qarmatians. They also founded madrasas (Islamic schools) where students learned various disciplines, such as Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, Kalam, Logic, and Philosophy. They also supported the Sufi orders (tariqa) who practiced mysticism and asceticism.

They patronized the arts and sciences by attracting talented poets, writers, historians, astronomers, mathematicians, physicians, and architects. They commissioned many works of literature, such as the Shahnameh (The Book of Kings) by Firdawsi , the Qabusnama (The Book of Qabus) by Kaykavus , and the Siyasatnama (The Book of Government) by Nizam al-Mulk . They also sponsored many projects of architecture, such as the Alp Arslan Mosque in Merv , the Nizamiyya Madrasa in Baghdad , and the Tomb of Alp Arslan in Nishapur .

Alparslan Selçuklu's Legacy and Cultural Impact

His death and burial place

Alparslan Selçuklu died in 1072 at the age of 43. He was assassinated by a captured Byzantine soldier named Yusuf al-Basir , who stabbed him with a poisoned dagger while he was inspecting his troops. He was buried in Nishapur , a city in northeastern Iran that was his capital and residence. His tomb is still standing today and is visited by many pilgrims and tourists.

His descendants and successors

Alparslan Selçuklu left behind a large and prosp


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