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Anatolian Beyliks or Turkmen Beyliks (Turkish: Anadolu Beylikleri, Ottoman Turkish: Tevâif-i mülûk) were small Turkishmarker emirates or Muslim principalities governed by Beys, which were founded across Anatoliamarker at the end of the 11th century in a first period, and more extensively during the decline of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm during the second half of the 13th century.

The word "Beylik" denotes the territory under the jurisdiction of a Bey, roughly translated "Lord". Aside from its Anatolian context, the term is also used with reference to the 16th century Ottoman governmental institutions in the largely autonomous regencies along the coastline of present-day Tunisiamarker and Algeriamarker.


Following the 1071 Seljuk victory over the Byzantine Empire at the Battle of Manzikertmarker and the subsequent conquest of Anatoliamarker, Oghuz clans began settling in present-day Turkeymarker. The Seljuk Sultanate's central power established in Konyamarker employed these clans especially in border areas, in order to ensure safety against the Byzantines, under Beys called uç beyi or uj begi ( is a Turkish term for a border territory; cf. marches) (Thus uç beyi is similar to margrave in Europe). These clans, led by beys, would receive military and financial aid from the Seljuks in return for their services, and acted as if owing full allegiance to their sovereignty.

However, with the Mongol invasions from the east, the Seljuk power deteriorated and instead Ilkhanate commanders in Anatolia gained strength and authority, which encouraged the beys to declare sovereignty openly. Following the fall of the centralized power in Konya, many Beys joined forces with the atabegs (former Seljuk leaders) and other religious Muslim leaders and warriors from Persia and Turkistan fleeing the Mongols, invading the Byzantine empire where they established emirates. To maintain control of their new territory, these reestablished emirs employed Ghazi warriors from Persia and Turkistan who also fled the Mongols. The ghazis fought under the inspiration of either a mullah or a general, trying to assert Islamic power, their assaults of the reestablished emirs upon the Byzantine Empire reaching even further expanded the power sphere of the beyliks.When the Byzantine empire weakened, their cities in Asia Minormarker could resist the assaults of the beyliks less and less, and eventually many Turks settled in western parts of Anatoliamarker. As a result, many more beyliks were founded in these newly conquered western regions who entered into power struggles with the Byzantines, the Genoese, the Knights Templar as well as between each other.
Beyliks and other states around Anatolia, c.

By 1300, Turks had reached the Aegeanmarker coastline, held momentarily a century before. In the beginning, the most powerful states were the Karamanoğlu (or the Karamanid) and the Germiyan in the central area. The Beylik of Osmanoğlu Dynasty who were later to found the Ottoman Empire was situated to the northwest, around Söğütmarker, and was a small and at that stage, insignificant power. Along the Aegean coast, from north to south, stretched Karesi, Saruhan, Aydınoğlu, Menteşe and Teke principalities. The Candaroğlu (also called İsfendiyaroğlu) controlled the Black Seamarker region round Kastamonumarker and Sinopmarker.

Under its eponymous founder, Osman I, the Beylik of Osmanoğlu expanded at Byzantine expense south and west of the Sea of Marmaramarker in the first decades of the 14th century. With their annexation of the neighboring Beylik of Karesi and their advance into Roumelia as of 1354, they soon became strong enough to emerge as the main rivals of Karamanoğlu, who at that time were thought to be the strongest. Towards the end of the 14th century, the Ottomans advanced further into Anatolia by acquiring towns, either by buying them off or through marriage alliances. Meanwhile the Karamanoğlu assaulted the Ottomans many times with the help of other beyliks, Mamluks, Ak Koyunlu ("White Sheep") Turkmens, Byzantines, Pontics and Hungarians, failing and losing power every time. By the close of the century, the early Ottoman leaders had conquered large parts of land from Karamanoğlu and other less prominent beyliks. These had a short respite when their territories were restored to them after the Ottoman defeat suffered against Tamerlane in 1402 in the Battle of Ankara.

But the Ottoman state quickly collected itself under Mehmed I and his son Murad II re-incorporated most of these beyliks into Ottoman territory in a space of around 25 years. The final blow for the Karamanoğlu was struck by Mehmed II who conquered their lands and re-assured a homogeneous rule in Anatolia. The further steps towards a single rule by the Ottomans were taken by Selim I who conquered Ramazanoğlu and Dulkadir territories in 1515 during his campaign against the Mamluks, and his son Süleyman the Magnificent who more or less completely united the present territories of Turkey (and much more) in his 1534 campaign.

Many of the former Anatolian beyliks became the basis for administrative subdivisions in the Ottoman Empire.

List of the Anatolian beyliks

In the list below, a distinction should be made between the beyliks that were founded immediately after the Battle of Manzikertmarker in 1071, mostly situated towards the Eastern Anatolia, and who were vassals (or sometimes at war) to the centralized power of Seljuk Sultanate or Rum based in Konyamarker, and between those beyliks that emerged as a result of the weakening of this central state under the Mongol blow with the Battle of Köse Dağ in 1243 which had the indirect consequence of extending the Turkish aire in Western Anatolia toward the end of the 13th century.

Two specific cases involve entities that lasted during the reign of one man: Chaka Bey's Beylik centered in İzmirmarker and parallel to the first Turkish spread in western Anatolia in late 11th century, and the Beylik of Kadi Burhan al-Din, vizier of the Eretna who replaced the ruling dynasty and reigned as centered in Kayseri between 1381-1398. The Beylik of Alaiyemarker, centered in Alanyamarker, were vassals either to Karamanoğlu, or to other neighboring powers for the most part of their existence. Many of the other Beyliks also owed allegiance or were tributary to outside powers during parts of their existence.

Founded after the Battle of Malazgirt:

Beylik's name Capital city Duration of rule
Chaka of Smyrna İzmirmarker 1081 - 1098
Ahlatshahs (also called Sökmenli) Ahlatmarker 1085 - 1207
Artuklu Three branches in Hasankeyfmarker, Mardinmarker and Harputmarker Different durations for each branch (Totally finished in 1409)
Danishmend Sivasmarker 1071 - 1178
Dilmaçoğlu Bitlismarker 1085 - 1398
İnaloğlu Diyarbekirmarker 1095-1183
Mengücek Erzincanmarker, later Divriğimarker 1072 - 1277
Saltuklu Erzurummarker 1072-1202

Founded after the Battle of Köse Dağ:

Beylik's name Capital city Duration of rule
Alaiyemarker Alanyamarker 1293-1471 as vassals to Karamanoğlu
Aydınoğlu Birgi, later Ayasluğmarker (Selçukmarker) 1300-1425
Candaroğlu (also called İsfendiyaroğlu) Eflanimarker, later Kastamonumarker, last Sinop 1291-1461
Çobanoğlu Kastamonumarker (preceding the Candaroğlu) 1211-1309
Dulkadir Maraşmarker 1348-1507
Eretna Sivasmarker, later Kayserimarker 1335-1390
Erzincanmarker Erzincanmarker 1352-1410
Eşrefoğlu Beyşehirmarker 11285-1326
Germiyan Kütahyamarker 1300-1429
Hamidoğlu Eğirdirmarker 1300-1391
Kadi Burhan al-Din Sivasmarker (replacing the Eretna) 1381-1398
Karamanoğlu Larendemarker (Karamanmarker) 13th century - 1487
Karesi/Karası Balıkesir, later Bergamamarker and Çanakkalemarker 1296-1357
Beylik of Lâdik (also called İnançoğlu, dependent to Sahipataoğlu and Germiyan) Denizlimarker 1262-1391
Menteşe Milasmarker 1261-1424
Osmanoğlu (later the Ottoman Empire) Söğütmarker, later Bursamarker, Dimetoka, Edirnemarker and Istanbulmarker 1299-1922
Pervâneoğlu Sinop 13th century
Ramazanoğlu Adanamarker 1352-1608
Sâhipataoğlu Afyonkarahisarmarker 1275-1341
Saruhan Manisa 1300-1410
Beylik of Teke (issued from the Hamidoğlu) Antalyamarker, later Korkutelimarker 1321-1423

List of the non-Turkic (and non-Muslim) Anatolian states


In spite of their limited sources and the political climate of their era, art during the Anatolian beyliks flourished, probably building the basis for Ottoman art. Although the artistic style of the Anatolian beyliks can be considered as representatives of a transition period between Seljuks and Ottomans, new trends were also acquired. Especially wandering traditional crafts artists and architects helped spread these new trends and localized styles to several beyliks across Anatolia, which resulted in innovative and original works particularly in architecture. Wood and stone carving, clay tiles and other similar decorative arts of the Seljuks were still used, however with the influence of the pursuit for new spaces and its reflections in other arts as well.

Some representative examples of the Anatolian beyliks' architecture are İlyas Mosque at Balatmarker (Milet) (1404), İsabey Mosque at Selçukmarker (1375), Ulucami Mosque at Birgi (1312) built by the Aydın beylik. The above mosques, although being successors of Seljuk architecture, differ greatly in the increase of decorations in the interior and exterior spaces and the different placement of the courtyards and minarets. Karaman beylik also left noteworthy architectural works, such as Ulucami Mosque in Ermenekmarker (1302), Hatuniye Madrassa in Karaman (1382), Akmedrese Madrassa in Niğdemarker (1409), all of which respect a new style that considers and incorporates the exterior surroundings also. One of the first examples of the Anatolian beylik architecture hinting at the forming of the Ottoman architecture that aims at uniting the interior space beneath one big dome and forming a monumental architectural structure is Ulucami Mosque in Manisamarker (1374) built by the Saruhan beylik. Also worth noting is the increase in constructions of madrassas that points at the beyliks' attaching greater importance to sciences.

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