Anatolian Turkish Beyliks

Anatolian Turkish Beyliks

Anatolian Beyliks or Turkmen Beyliks (Turkish: "Anadolu Beylikleri", Ottoman Turkish: "Tevâif-i mülûk") were small Turkish emirates or Muslim principalities governed by Beys, which were founded across Anatolia 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 Tunisia and Algeria [ [ (limited preview)] cite book | title = Histoire économique et sociale de l'Empire ottoman et de la Turquie (1326-1960) ISBN 9068317997 |author= Mohamed Hedi Cherif - Daniel Panzac |publisher=Peeters Publishers| year= 1995|language=French ] .


Following the 1071 Seljuk victory over the Byzantine Empire at the Battle of Manzikert and the subsequent conquest of Anatolia, Oghuz clans began settling in present-day Turkey. The Seljuk Sultanate's central power established in Konya employed these clans especially in border areas, in order to ensure safety against the Byzantines, under Beys called uç beyi or "uj begi" ("uç" is a Turkish term for a border territory, compare marches). 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 Minor could resist the assaults of the beyliks less and less, and eventually many Turks settled in western parts of Anatolia. 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. By 1300, Turks had reached back to the Aegean 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 Söğüt, 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 Sea region round Kastamonu and Sinop. [ [ (limited preview)] cite book | title = European and Islamic Trade in the Early Ottoman State: The Merchants of Genoa and Turkey ISBN 0521642213 |author= Kate Fleet |publisher=Cambridge University Press| year= 1999 ]

Under its eponymous founder, Osman I, the Beylik of Osmanoğlu expanded at Byzantine expense south and west of the Sea of Marmara 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 Manzikert 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 Konya, 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 İzmir 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 Alaiye, centered in Alanya, 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:

Founded after the Battle of Köse Dağ:

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

* Three Anatolian regions remained Christian until their defeat and Ottoman conquest:
** Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia with Tarsus and Sis (now Kozan) as patriarchal seats, until 1375,
** Empire of Trebizond, initially (1204) a breakaway Byzantine territory, in Trebizond (now Trabzon) on the south eastern Black Sea coastline,
** Philadelphia (now Alaşehir) held by Christian knights until the Ottoman conquest in 1390.


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 Balat (Milet) (1404), "İsabey Mosque" at Selçuk (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 Ermenek (1302), "Hatuniye Madrassa" in Karaman (1382), "Akmedrese Madrassa" in Niğde (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 Manisa (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.

ee also

*Islamic architecture


* [ (limited preview)]
* Westermann "Großer Atlas zur Weltgeschichte" [in German]

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