Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series

Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series

Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series

Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk Episode 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series

Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk Episode 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series

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Muhammad Tapar 1105–18

Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series By encouraging Mahmud’s rivals such as his brothers Mas‘ud91 and Tughrıl. Watch Episode 19

Dubays sought to strengthen his own position. Meanwhile, Caliph al- Mustarshid, too, although on the surface remaining loyal to Mahmud, started to try to extend his own authority, provoking Mahmud in 520/1126 to besiege Baghdad and sack the caliphal palace. Watch Episode 18

Nonetheless, Mahmud was able to rely on some amirs, like Zangi, whose support enabled him to counter al- Mustarshid and Dubays to some degree. The vizier Anushirwan b. Khalid left in his memoirs (as quoted by Isfahani) a detailed description of the failings of the Seljuk state in Mahmud’s reign. Many of these are attributed to the machinations of the vizier Abu ’l- Qasim al- Darguzini, the rival of both Isfahani’s uncle ‘Aziz al-Din and Anushirwan himself for office, and thus need to be treated with some circumspection.

We are told, for instance, that a Seljuk assault on the Ismaili stronghold of Alamut was also thwarted through the evil offices of Darguzini, who is accused of being an Ismaili sympathizer. The province of Fars, until this date ‘in an excellent state . . . sending revenue consistently’, is said to have been ruined by Darguzini conspiring against its governor. The chiefs of the Shabankara and Mazandaran were also alienated by Darguzini’s behavior and left the court for their castles and started to rebel, while even the sultan’s slaves became increasingly unwilling to obey orders.

Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk 20 English Subtitle It's Free | Turkey TV Series
Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series

Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk Episode 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series. Unfortunately, we have few independent sources to balance out this testimony. Still, it seems clear enough that finances lay at the root of these problems. One cause was the actions of Sanjar, who was able to use his position as Great Seljuk Sultan to award iq†ā‘s in the Sultanate of Iraq. Watch Episode 17

This may have been part of a deliberate strategy to weaken Mahmud, as Sanjar was clearly keen to assert authority in the west. His near-disaster at Sawa in 512/1118 discouraged him from intervening directly through military means, but his position as Mahmud’s overlord and al- sul†ān al- a‘Õam allowed him to exert an indirect political authority there, which was manifested through appointments and granting iq†ā‘s. Furthermore, Mahmud had to pay the price of buying the cooperation of amirs like Zangi in iq†ā‘ – Zangi received first the position of shiªna of Iraq (516/1122–521/1127), and then the governorate of Mosul, which became his permanent base.

With the growing shortage of available lands as a result of these two factors, the sultan’s personal estates had to be alienated to iq†ā‘ as a means of paying his amirs. As Isfahani puts it, after enumerating the territories lost to the sultan which comprised most of Iran and Iraq. Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk Episode 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series

over each of these an amir had seized power, and what was left to the sultan was all distributed as iq†ā‘. No revenue was raised from it and its income diminished. When the sultan had no personal land left (khā‚‚), he had no more tax collectors (‘ummāl). The dīwān ceased to function . . . Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series

The incessant competition for iq†ā‘ among the military elite was such that, as one of these amirs himself commented in some frustration, ‘every day Mosul gets a new amir’.99 With the collapse in revenue, the bureaucrats seem to have turned on each other: the reign of Mahmud saw the growth of ferocious factionalism, the effects of which were still being felt in bitter rivalries in the closing years of the twelfth century.

Darguzini blamed the vizier Shams al- Mulk for destroying the glory of the sultanate – and, indeed, the latter was executed after a disastrous campaign into Shirwan – while Isfahani, predictably, credits his own uncle ‘Aziz al-Din with reviving the kingdom during a brief period as mustawfī, having declined the vizierate, and savagely denounces Darguzini.100 This instability is also suggested by the rapid turnover in viziers in the 1120s (below, pp. 101, 203–4).

Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk Episode 20 English Subtitle It's Free | Turkey TV Series
Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk Episode 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series


Mahmud’s increasingly precarious position only fuelled Sanjar’s western ambitions. In the final years of Mahmud’s reign, his uncle began to interfere ever more openly, marching on Rayy in 522/1128, and appointing Darguzini as vizier for his own daughter, Mahmud’s wife.101 Unable to win an outright victory militarily, Sanjar sought to use his prerogatives as Mahmud’s suzerain to establish his own patronage networks in the west. Mahmud’s brother, the malik Mas‘ud, now resided at Sanjar’s court, and his departure westwards in 524/1130 sparked rumors that he was going to fight Mahmud.

Atabegs and Maliks Seljuk princes were known as maliks, and at a young age, they were assigned a province as iq†ā‘ of which they were to be the nominal governor. In theory, the prince would be educated in the arts of fighting and governance he would need if he became ruler, a system which was also found in early Ottoman times. His education would be undertaken by an official known as an atabeg, a title which is not attested before the Seljuk times although it may have antecedents in earlier Turkic empires, and it has been argued that a comparable term is found in the Orkhon inscriptions.103

Typically, the atabeg would be an amir, although the first individual attested to have held the office was the ubiquitous Nizam al-Mulk.104 Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series

Atabegs could acquire an immense degree of power, for possession of the person of a Seljuk prince allowed control over a potential claimant to the sultanate. Many atabegs remained in place when their malik became sultan, and there were no clear-cut rules in the medieval Islamic world about when a ruler had reached the age of majority.105

Berkyaruq had been brought up by the atabeg Gümüshtegin, and when the former became sultan Gümüshtegin’s ‘orders were carried and his authority was so exten- sive it was as if he was his coregent’ [ka’annahu fī ’l- mulk shārikuhu].106 Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series

Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk Episode 20 English Subtitle It's Free | Turkey TV Series
Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk Episode 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series

Amirs might also set themselves up as rulers in their own right, legitimis- ing themselves through the title of atabeg even when there was no malik to guard. In Damascus, for instance, the atabeg Tughtegin had been appointed as regent for the infant Tutush b. Duqaq in 496/1103; for some reason, he instead declared another prince, Ertash b. Tutush b. Alp Arslan, malik of Damascus. When Tutush b. Duqaq died in 298/1105, and Ertash fled, fear- ing for his life, Tughtegin was able to establish his own hereditary dynasty in Damascus, the Burids, which was recognized by Muhammad Tapar.107

The term could also be used purely as an honorific. Sa‘d al-Dawla Yürünqüsh is known by Bundari and Ibn al-Athir to have been shiªna of Baghdad from 518/1124 to 520/1126 and governor of Isfahan in about 536/1141. In between these two posts, numismatic evidence attests that he was governor of Nihawand from 521/1127 till at least 530/1135, and he minted his own coins, mentioning his own name alongside that of the senior sultan, Sanjar, and the junior, Mahmud.108 He consistently describes himself on these coins as ‘atabeg’, even though there is no evidence he ever had charge of a Seljuk prince.

The Succession Struggle and the Reign of Mas‘ud Mahmud died aged twenty-seven in 525/1131, and his death was immediately followed by chaos as competing parties sought to install their favored candidates on the throne of the Sultanate of Iraq. Mas‘ud and Mahmud’s own son Da’ud had their backers (Qaraja, the governor of Fars, and Aqsonqur Ahmadili, governor of Azerbaijan, respectively), but eventually Tughrıl II b. Muhammad, who was supported by Sanjar, emerged victoriously.

Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk Episode 20 English Subtitle It's Free | Turkey TV Series
Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk Episode 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series

Sanjar marched west as far as Hamadhan in 526/1131–2 to defeat Mas‘ud and his brother Saljuqshah. However, as soon as Sanjar left for Transoxiana to quell a rebellion by the Qarakhanid Ahmad Khan, his pro- tégé Tughrıl was challenged for the sultanate, first by Da’ud b. Mahmud, and then by Mas‘ud.109

Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series By encouraging Mahmud’s rivals such as his brothers Mas‘ud91 and Tughrıl. Tughrıl never came to Baghdad to be formally recognized as sultan.110 On the contrary, in 527/1132–3, al- Mustarshid invested Mas‘ud as sultan and appointed Anushirwan b. Khalid as his vizier.111

While the caliph sought to use his appointee to influence Mas‘ud, he faced the powerful opposition of various Turkish elites: first, Mas‘ud’s atabeg Aqsonqur Ahmadili, then, after the latter’s death, his successor, Yürünqüsh al-B azdar. The Turkish amirs, however, did not form a unified front, and Mas‘ud’s wife Zubayda Khatun (Berkyaruq’s daughter) also exerted a great influence on him, supported by the atabeg of Azerbaijan, Qarasonqur.112

Thus, the jostling for power between rival Turkish and caliphal elites that was to characterize Mas‘ud’s reign was evident right from the start. Despite his earlier acknowledgment by the caliph, the beginning of Mas‘ud’s reign is conventionally dated to 529/1134, when on Tughrıl’s death he marched to Hamadhan to assert his right to the throne. Early on, he faced challenges from his nephew Da’ud, who was allied to Caliph al-Mustarshid and then the latter’s successor al- Rashid. These were not finally defeated until 532/1138 (see further Chapter 3).113

Isfahan paid a heavy price for Mas‘ud’s victory, and the surrounding region was devastated by the constant campaigning, on top of bad harvests. ‘Imad al-Din al-Isfahani, who witnessed these events in his youth, recalls how people were already fleeing the city and dying of hunger just as alien armies were billeted on them.114

Nonetheless, the destruction may have been relatively localized. The fighting was a reflection of the importance of holding Isfahan for the credibility of any claimant to the sultanate.

Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk 20 English Subtitle It's Free | Turkey TV Series
Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series


In 533/1139, seeking a way out of the perennial crisis in the sultan’s finances, Kamal al-Din Muhammad al-Khazin was appointed vizier. He seems to have initially had some success: Hearts relaxed and affairs were arranged properly. The vizier saw to it that monies were brought to the sultan’s treasury along with taxes that he spared no efforts [in collecting]. He revived the customs of the kingdom which had gone into decline and arranged for the public interest ordinances which had fallen into oblivion. He started to break the oppressors and to restore those who had been downtrodden.115

Naturally, this was not a popular program with the ‘oppressors’ – by whom the amirs are meant. According to Isfahani, Kamal al-Din plotted with the sultan to break the power of the great amirs, starting with Qarasonqur.

The latter, however, got wind of the plot and advanced on the sultan at Hamadhan with an army of 10,000 strong, plus two Seljuk princes he had managed to gain control of, Saljuqshah and Da’ud. He sent a letter stating the amirs’ position in unambiguous terms: We do not trust the vizier Kamal, nor shall we endure what he is planning. Either kill or he hands him over to us, in which case we shall be obedient; but if you protect him, we will protect ourselves.116

This type of amiral ‘obedience’ was non-negotiable. Mas‘ud had already fallen out with two of the other main amiral power- brokers, Boz- aba of Fars and Zangi of Mosul, and had no choice but to acquiesce immediately to Qarasonqur’s demands. The presence of princes Saljuqshah and Da’ud with the enemy host was a sufficient reminder that Qarasonqur hardly lacked alternative candidates for the sultanate should he choose. Qarasonqur now appointed his own vizier, ‘Izz al- Mulk al-Burujirdi, as the sultan’s vizier, aiming to use him to control Mas‘ud. Henceforth, the appointment of viziers reflected less Mas‘ud’s choice than the preference of whichever amir was in the ascendant at a given moment.117

Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk 20 English Subtitle It's Free | Turkey TV Series
Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series

Sensing where the balance of power lay, some bureaucrats actively sought out alliances with amirs to forward their own interests.118

Just as under Mahmud, this amiral ascendancy had a financial as well as a political price in iq†ā‘. As Ibn al-Athir put it: ‘Affairs became difficult for Sultan Mas‘ud and amirs demanded land without him having a choice [in the matter]. No land was left for him except the name of the sultanate, nothing else.’119

The amirs proved sufficiently entrenched that even their deaths did not profit the sultan. When Qarasonqur died in 535/1140–1, he was able to choose his own successor, another amir, Chavli Jandar, to whom he bequeathed ‘all the lands of Qarasonqur in Arran and Azerbaijan, and appointed him over those fortresses, towns, and cities [that he had possessed].’120

‘Imad al-Din Zangi died in 541/1146, followed shortly by Chavli Jandar and Boz- aba of Fars, the latter falling in the course of a rebellion that aimed to install as sultan one of Mahmud’s sons, Malikshah or Muhammad.121 Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series By encouraging Mahmud’s rivals such as his brothers Mas‘ud91 and Tughrıl.

Zangi’s son Nur al- Din succeeded him in Mosul and northern Syria, and Azerbaijan and Arran were seized by Mas‘ud’s ªājib ‘Abd al-Rahman Toghanyürek (whose name is sometimes distorted to read Tughayrak in the sources). The latter now became the major power in the state, imposing his own vizier, Abu ’l- Fath b. Darust, on the sultan.122

In essence, the political dynamics of the Iranian world for the next half-century fell into place (see Map 2.1): Azerbaijan was the key to controlling the sultanate based in the Jibal; the Zangid lands in Mosul and northern Syria enjoyed a de facto independence, as did Fars, first under Boz- aba’s wife, then under his nephew Sonqur and his descendants, who became known as the Salghurid line of atabegs.123

The sultan’s sole option was the traditional strategy of trying to manipulate the amirs’ rivalries to his own advantage. Trapped by Toghanyürek and Ibn Darust, Mas‘ud courted the favors of the Türkmen amir Khassbeg b. Palang- eri. Khassbeg was induced to murder Toghanyürek, and another over powerful amir, Abbas, who in defiance of both Mas‘ud and Sanjar had established himself in de facto independence in Rayy, refusing to remit Map 2.1 The Seljuk Empire on the eve of the battle of Qatwan, 1141.


Key Ismaili territories: 1 Alamut, 2 Quhistan; 3 Jabal Ansariyya. Turkish states subject to the Sultanate of Iraq: A Saltuqids of Erzurum, B Artuqids, C Ahmadili Atabegs of Maragha, D Ildegüzids revenue to the sultan, while seeking legitimacy by waging a bloody war on Ismailis in his province, such that, in Isfahani’s words ‘he built a minaret of their heads in Rayy from which the muezzins proclaimed the call to prayer’.124

The murders did the sultan little good either. His other amirs, especially a group from Azerbaijan led by Shams al-Din Ildegüz, feared they would be next. As ever, a convenient Seljuk, malik Muhammad b. Mahmud, the same prince whom Boz-a ba had supported and whom Mas‘ud had appointed as his successor and governor of Khuzistan after the failure of that revolt,125

could be used as their figleaf for rebelling in 543/1147. Meanwhile, the second group of amirs coalesced around Malikshah. Mas‘ud was summoned to Rayy by Sanjar, who attempted to resolve the crisis. Although Ibn al- Athir relates that Sanjar demanded Khassbeg’s exile, Isfahani portrays the senior sultan as wholly ineffectual, readily giving in to Mas‘ud’s entreaties for Khassbeg.126 It is perhaps too easy to see only the flaws in these late Seljuk rulers.

Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series

Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk Episode 20 English Subtitle It’s Free | Turkey TV Series

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