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The Karluks
Karluks
(also Qarluqs, Qarluks, Karluqs, Old Turkic: , Qarluq,[1] Persian: خَلُّخ (Khallokh), Arabic قارلوق "Qarluq") were a prominent nomadic Turkic tribal confederacy residing in the regions of Kara- Irtysh
Irtysh
(Black Irtysh) and the Tarbagatai Mountains west of the Altay Mountains
Altay Mountains
in Central Asia. They were also known as the Gelolu (simplified Chinese: 葛逻禄; traditional Chinese: 葛邏祿; pinyin: Géluólù, customary phonetic: Gelu, Khololo, Khorlo or Harluut). They were closely related to the Uyghurs. Karluks
Karluks
gave their name to the distinct Karluk group of the Turkic languages, which also includes the Uyghur, Uzbek, and Ili Turki languages. Karluks
Karluks
were known as a coherent ethnic group with autonomous status within the Göktürk kaganate and the independent states of the Karluk Yabgu, Karakhanids, and Qarlughids
Qarlughids
before being absorbed in the Chagatai Khanate
Chagatai Khanate
of the Mongol
Mongol
empire.[citation needed]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History

2.1 Early history

2.1.1 Culture 2.1.2 Social organization

2.2 Kirghiz period 2.3 Karakhanid period 2.4 Khitan period 2.5 Mongol
Mongol
era 2.6 Modern period

3 See also 4 Notes and references

Etymology[edit] The most ancient reference to the etymology of the Karluk name is recorded in the Chinese dynastic history Old Book of Tang, which names Karluks
Karluks
as "Ko-lo-lu" and traces the name to the word "Karlik" (Turkic "snow piles"). "Kar" means "snow", as in the name of the Kar Sea. N. Aristov noted the river Kerlyk, a tributary of the Charysh River, proposing that the tribal name originated from the toponym with a Turkic meaning of "wild millet".[2] The reverse is equally possible; the toponyms were named after an ethnonym of the native people. Another version cites the homonym of the Karluk valley in Altai. The derivation of Karluk from Kara (Turkic "Great", "Northern", "black"[citation needed]) is considered to be philologically impossible, and incompatible with the well-documented Arabic form of the ethnonym "Halluh".[citation needed] History[edit] See also: Timeline of the Karluks Early history[edit]

Asia in 600, showing the location of the Karluk tribes.

The first Chinese reference to the Karluks
Karluks
(644) labels them with a Manichaean attribute: Lion Karluks
Karluks
("Shi-Gelolu", "shi" stands for Sogdian "lion"). The "lion" (Turkish: arslan) Karluks
Karluks
persisted up to the time of the Mongols.[3] In the Early Middle Age, organized as the Uch- Karluks
Karluks
(Three Karluks) union, composed of Karluks, Chigils, and Yagma tribes, they were members of the Göktürk Kaganate. After the split of the Kaganate around 600 into the Western and Eastern Kaganates, the Uch-Karluks remained in the Western Turkic Kaganate
Western Turkic Kaganate
under a non-autonomous home rule, as the members of the five Tele (see: Tiele) tribes that did not receive autonomy: the Karluk, Yagma, Kipchak, Basmyl and Chuban.[citation needed] In 630, the Aru-Kagan (Chinese Helu) of the Eastern Turkic Kaganate was captured by the Chinese. His heir apparent, the "lesser Khan" Khubo, escaped to Altai with a major part of the people and 30,000 soldiers. He conquered the Karluks
Karluks
in the west, the Kyrgyz in the north, and took the title Ichju Chebi Khan. The Karluks
Karluks
allied with the Tiele and their leaders the Uyghurs
Uyghurs
against the Turkic Kaganate, and participated in enthroning the victorious head of the Uyghur (Toquz Oghuz). After that, a smaller part of the Karluks
Karluks
joined the Uyghurs
Uyghurs
and settled in the Bogdo-Ola mountains in Mongolia, the larger part settled in the area between Altai and the eastern Tien Shan.[4] In 650, at the time of their submission to the Chinese, the Karluks had three tribes: Meulo, Chjisy (Popou), and Tashili. On paper, the Karluk divisions received Chinese names as Chinese provinces, and their leaders received Chinese state titles. Later, the Karluks
Karluks
spread from the valley of the river Kerlyk along the Irtysh
Irtysh
River in the western part of the Altay to beyond the Black Irtysh, Tarbagatai, and towards the Tien Shan.[5] By the year 665 The Karluk union was led by a former Uch-Karluk bey with the title Kül-Erkin, now titled "Yabgu" (prince), who had a powerful army. The Karluk vanguard left the Altay region and at the beginning of the 8th century reached the banks of the Amu Darya.[6] Famed for their woven carpets in the pre-Muslim era, they were considered a vassal state by the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
after the final conquest of the Transoxania
Transoxania
regions by the Chinese in 739. The Karluk rose in rebellion against the Göktürk, then the dominant tribal confederation in the region, in about 745, and established a new tribal confederation with the Uygur and Basmyl tribes.[7] They remained in the Chinese sphere of influence and an active participant in fighting the Muslim expansion into the area, up until their split from the Tang in 751. Chinese intervention in the affairs of Western Turkestan
Turkestan
ceased after their defeat at the Battle of Talas
Battle of Talas
in 751 by the Arab general Ziyad ibn Salih. The Arabs dislodged the Karluks
Karluks
from Fergana. In 766, after they overran the Turgesh
Turgesh
in Zhetysu, the Karluk tribes formed a Khanate under the rule of a Yabgu, occupied Suyab
Suyab
and transferred their capital there. By that time the bulk of the tribe had left the Altai, and the supremacy in Zhetysu
Zhetysu
passed to the Karluks. Their ruler with the title Yabgu is often mentioned in the Orkhon inscriptions.[6] In Pahlavi texts one of the Karluk rulers of Tocharistan
Tocharistan
was called Yabbu-Hakan (Yabgu-Kagan).[8] The fall of the Western Turkic Kaganate
Western Turkic Kaganate
left Zhetysu
Zhetysu
in the possession of Turkic peoples, independent of either Arabs or Chinese.[6] In 822 the Uyghurs
Uyghurs
sent four Karluks
Karluks
as tribute to Tang dynasty China.[9] Culture[edit] The Karluks
Karluks
were hunters, nomadic herdsmen, and agriculturists. They settled in the countryside and in the cities, which were centered on trading posts along the caravan roads. The Karluks
Karluks
inherited a vast multi-ethnic region, whose diverse population was not much different from its rulers. Zhetysu
Zhetysu
was populated by the Turgesh, who were divided into two tribes, the Tukhshi and the Azes mentioned in the Orkhon inscriptions, the remnants of the Oghuz Turks
Oghuz Turks
whose main body had moved to the west, becoming the Shato Turks
Shato Turks
(i.e. "Steppe Turks"), and interspersed with the Sogdian colonies. The southern part of Zhetysu
Zhetysu
was occupied by the Yagma people (a branch of the Toquz Oghuz, the later Uyghur) who also held Kashgar. In the north and west lived the Kankalis. A separate significant division of the Karluks
Karluks
were the Chigils, a tribe that had detached from the Karluk. They resided around Issyk Kul.[6] The diverse population adhered to a spectrum of religious beliefs. The Karluks
Karluks
and the majority of the Turkic population professed Tengrianism, considered as shamanism and heathen by the Christians
Christians
and Muslims. Chigils were Christians
Christians
of the Nestorian denomination. The majority of the Toquz Oghuz, with their khan, were Manicheans, but there were also Christians, Buddhists, and Muslims
Muslims
among them. The peaceful penetration of Muslim culture through commercial relations played a far more important role in their conversion than Muslim arms. The merchants were followed by missionaries of various creeds, including Nestorian Christians. Many Turkestan
Turkestan
towns had Christian churches. The Turks held sacred the Qastek pass mountains, believing to be an abode of the deity. Each creed carried its script, resulting in a variety of used scripts, including Türkic runiform, Sogdian, Syriac, and later the Uygur.[6] The Karluks
Karluks
had adopted and developed the Turkic literary language of Khoresm, established in Bukhara
Bukhara
and Samarkand, which after Mongol
Mongol
conquest became known as the Chagatai language.[citation needed] Of all Turkic peoples, the Karluk were most open to the influence of Muslim culture. Yaqubi reported the conversion of the Karluk-yabgu to Islam
Islam
under Caliph Mahdi (775–785), and by the 10th century, several towns to the east of Talas had mosques. Muslim culture had affected the general way of life of the Karluks.[10] During the next three centuries, the Karluk Yabgu state occupied a key position on the choice international trade route, fighting off mostly Turkic competitors to retain their prime position. Their biggest adversaries were Kangars in the north-west and Toquz Oghuz in the south-east, with a period of Samanid raids to Zhetysu
Zhetysu
in 840–894. But even in the heyday of the Karluk Yabgu state, parts of its domains were in the hands of the Toquz Oghuz, and later under Kyrgyz and Khitan control, increasing the ethnical, religious, and political diversity.[11] Social organization[edit] The state of Karluk Yabgu was an association of semi-independent districts and cities, each equipped with its own militia. The biggest was the capital Suyab, which could turn out 20,000 warriors, and among other districts, the town of Beglilig (known as "Samakna" before Karluk rule [12]) had 10,000 warriors, Panjikat could turn out 8,000 warriors, Barskhan
Barskhan
6,000 warriors, and Yar 3,000 warriors. The titles of the petty rulers were Qutegin of the Karluk Laban clan in Karminkat, Taksin in Jil, Tabin- Barskhan
Barskhan
in Barskhan, Turkic Yindl-Tegin and Sogdian Badan-Sangu in Beglilig. The prince of Suyab, situated north of the Chu river in the Turgesh
Turgesh
land, was a brother of one of the Göktürk khans, but bore the Persian title Yalan-shah, i.e. "King of Heroes". Muslim authors describe in detail the trade route from Western Asia to China across Zhetysu, mentioning many cities. Some bore double names, both Turkic and Sogdian. They wrote about the capital cities of Balasagun, Suyab, and Kayalik, in which William of Rubruck
William of Rubruck
saw three Buddhist temples in the Muslim town for the first time. The geographers also mentioned Taraz
Taraz
(Talas, Auliya-ata), Navakat (now Karabulak[clarification needed]), Atbash (now Koshoy-Kurgan ruins), Issyk-kul, Barskhan, Panjikat, Akhsikat, Beglilig, Almalik, Jul, Yar, Ton, Panchul, and others.[13] Kirghiz period[edit] Prior to the Kirghiz-Uyghur war of 829–840, the Kirghiz lived in the upper basin of the Yenisei River. Linguistically their language, together with the Altai language, belongs to a separate Kirghiz group of the Turkic language family. At that time they had an estimated population of 250,000 and an army of 50,000. Kirghiz victory in the war brought them to the Karluk door. They captured Tuva, Altai, a part of Dzungaria, and reached Kashgar. Allied with the Karluks
Karluks
against the Uygurs, in the 840s the Kirghiz started the occupation of that part of Zhetysu
Zhetysu
which is their present home. Karluk independence ended around 840. They fell from dominating the tribal association to a subordinate position. The Kirghiz remained a power in Zhetysu
Zhetysu
until their destruction by the Kara-Khitans in 1124, when most of them evacuated from their center in Tuva
Tuva
back to the Minusinsk Depression,[11] leaving the Karluks
Karluks
to predominate again in Zhetysu. The position of the Karluk state, based on the rich Zhetysu
Zhetysu
cities, remained strong, despite the failures in wars in the beginning of the 9th century. Yabgu was enriched by profitable trade in slaves on the Syr-Darya slave markets, selling guards for the Abbasid Caliphs, and control over the transit road to China in the sector from Taraz
Taraz
to Issyk Kul. The Karluk position in Fergana, despite Arab attempts to expel them, became stronger.[14] The fall of the last Kagan with its capital in Ötüken, which dominated for three centuries, created a completely new geopolitical situation in all Central Asia. For the first time in three hundred years, the powerful center of authority that created opportunities for expansion or even existence of any state in Turkestan
Turkestan
had finally disappeared. Henceforth, the Turkic tribes recognized only the high status of the clan that inherited the Kagan title, but never again his unifying authority. Several Muslim historians state that after the loss by the Uygurs of their power (840), the supreme authority among the Turkic tribes passed to the Karluk leaders. Connection with the Ashina clan, the ruling clan of the Turkic Kaganate, allowed the Karluk dynasty to dress their authority with legitimate attire, and, abandoning the old title Yabgu, to take on the new title of Kagan.[15] Karakhanid period[edit] Main article: Kara-Khanid Khanate Towards 940 the "heathen” Yagma from the southern border seized the Chu valley and the Karluk capital Balasagun. The Yagma ruler bore the title Bogra-khan (Camel Khan), very common among Karakhanids. The Yagma quickly proceeded to take control of all Karluk lands. In the 10th and 12th centuries, the lands on both sides of the principal chain of the Tian Shan
Tian Shan
were united under the rule of the Karakhanid Ilek-khans (Khans of the Land) or simply Karakhanids
Karakhanids
(Great Khans). The Karakhanid state was divided into fiefs which soon became independent.[16] The Kara-Khanid Khanate
Kara-Khanid Khanate
was founded in the 9th century from a confederation of Karluks, Chigils, Yagmas, and other tribes.[17] Later in the 10th century a Karakhanid Sultan Satuq Bughra Khan
Sultan Satuq Bughra Khan
converted to Islam. His son Musa made Islam
Islam
a state religion in 960. The empire occupied modern northern Iran
Iran
and parts of Central Asia. This region remained under Karakhanid, and for varying periods it remained an independent vassal of Seljuk and Kara-Khitan. The Karakhanid khanate ended when the last ruler of its western Khanate was killed by the Khwarezmids in 1212. Both the Kara-Khitans and the Khwarezmids were later destroyed by the Mongol
Mongol
invasion. The name Khāqāniyya was given to the Qarluks who inhabited Kāshghar and Bālāsāghūn, the inhabitants were not Uighur however their language has been retroactively labelled as Uighur by scholars.[18] Khitan period[edit] Main article: Kara-Khitan Khanate At the beginning of the 10th century, a tribe related to the Mongols, the Khitans with an admixture of Mongols, founded a vast empire, stretching from the Pacific
Pacific
to Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal
and the Tian Shan, displacing the Turkic population. The Khitan language has been classified as para-Mongolic: distantly related to the Mongolic languages of the Mongols.[19] Reportedly, the first Gurkhan was a Manichaean. Owing to its long sway over China, the ruling dynasty, which the Twenty-Four Histories call the Liao dynasty
Liao dynasty
(916-1125), was strongly influenced by Chinese culture. In 1125, a Tungusic people, the Jurchen, allied with the Southern Song, ending the domination of the Khitan. The Khitan exiles, headed by Yelü Dashi, a member of the Khitan royal family, migrated to the West.[20] The Khitan settled in the Tarbagatai Mountains east of Zhetysu, and their number grew to 40,000 tents. Around 1130 the local Karakhanid ruler of Balasagun
Balasagun
asked for their aid against the hostile Kankalis and Karluks. The Khitan occupied Balasaghun, expelled the weak Karakhanid ruler, and founded their own state, which stretched from the Yenisei to Taraz. They then conquered Kankali and subdued Xinjiang. In 1137 near Khujand
Khujand
they defeated the Transoxanian Karakhanid ruler Mahmud Khan, who then appealed to their suzerain the Seljuks for help. The Kara-Khitans, who were also invited by the Khwarazmians (then also a vassal of the Seljuks) to conquer the lands of the Seljuks as well as in response to an appeal to intervene by the Karluks
Karluks
who were involved in a conflict with the Karakhanids, then advanced to Samarkand. In 1141, the Seljuks under Ahmad Sanjar also arrived in Samarkand
Samarkand
with his army, but was defeated by the Kara-Khitans in the Battle of Qatwan, after which the Kara-Khitans became dominant in Transoxania.[21] The western Khitan state became known under its Turkic name, the Kara-Khitan Khanate
Kara-Khitan Khanate
and their ruler bore the Turkic title Gurkhan "Khan’s son-in law".[22] The original Uch-Karluk confederation became split between the Karakhanid state in the west and the Karakhitay state in the east, lasting until the Mongol
Mongol
invasion. Both in the west and east, Karluk principalities retained their autonomous status and indigenous rulers, though in Karakhitay the Karluk khan, like the ruler of Samarkand, was forced to accept the presence of a permanent representative of the Gurkhan.[23] The Gurkhans administered limited territories, populated in 1170 by 84,500 families under direct rule. The Gurkhan's headquarters was called Khosun-ordu (lit. "Strong Ordu"), or Khoto ("House"). The Karluk capital was Kayalik. The Karakhanids
Karakhanids
continued to rule over Transoxania
Transoxania
and western Xinjiang. The Kara-khitans did not interfere with the religion of the people, but Islam
Islam
became less dominant as the other religions took advantage of the new freedom to increase the number of their adherents. The Nestorian Patriarch Elias III (1176–1190) founded a religious metropole in Kashgar. The Karakhitay metropolitan bore the title Metropolitan of Kashghar and Navakat, showing that the see of Kashghar also controlled the southern part of Zhetysu. The oldest Nestorian tombs in the Tokmak and Pishpek cemeteries go back to the epoch of Karakhitay domination. Ata-Malik Juvayni however stressed the oppression of Muslims
Muslims
by Kuchlug, a son of the last Nayman
Nayman
khan who was ousted (towards 1204) by Mongolia
Mongolia
by Genghis Khan. The Nayman
Nayman
Nestorian Christian Küchlük usurped the throne of the Kara-Khitans. In 1211, a Mongol
Mongol
detachment under the command of Khubilai Noyon, one of Genghis Khan's generals, appeared in the northern part of Zhetysu. Arslan-khan Karluk killed the Karakhitay governor of Kayalik and proclaimed his loyalty to Genghis Khan. The Zhetysu, together with Eastern Turkestan, voluntarily surrendered to the Mongols.[24] Kuchlug
Kuchlug
was killed by the invading Mongols in 1218.[25] Mongol
Mongol
era[edit] In the 1211 a Mongol
Mongol
detachment under command of Khubilai noyon, one of Genghis Khan's generals, appeared in the northern part of Zhetysu. Arslan Khan Karluk, probably the son of Arslan khan and brother of Mamdu khan, killed the Khitan governor of Kayalik and proclaimed his loyalty to Genghis Khan.[26] The Collection of Annals records that Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
removed his title from Karluk Arslan Khan: "Let your name be Sartaktai", i.e. Sart, said the sovereign.[3] After the absorption of the Kara-Khanid Khanate
Kara-Khanid Khanate
by the Chagatai Khanate, the ethnonym Karluk became rarely used. The Karluk language was the primary basis for the later lingua-franca of the Chagatai Khanate and Central Asia
Central Asia
under the Timurid dynasty. It is therefore designated by linguists and historians as the Chagatai language, but its contemporaries, such as Timur
Timur
and Babur, simply called it Turki. Modern period[edit] In the 20th century, the geopolitical Great Game
Great Game
among great powers demanded the creation of modern nationalities among Central Asian Turks. The ethnonym "Karluk" was not revived. Instead, Uzbek and Uyghur became the two major divisions among speakers of modern variants of the Chagatai language. Under these two modern nationalities, there are subgroups like the Uyghur Dolan, Aynur and several regional populations of Uzbeks. Some of the Uzbeks
Uzbeks
share more similarities with Kipchak groups like the Karakalpak and Kazakhs, or with the Iranian Tajiks, than with fellow Uzbeks
Uzbeks
who speak a descendant of the Karluk language.[citation needed] [ Karluks
Karluks
are living in different countries outside central Asia as well, i.e. Karluks
Karluks
of Kashmir, and Karluk Turks of Hazara Haripur (Mankerai, Nartopa, Pharhari, Bayan Ahmed Ali Khan, Sarai Nehmat Khan, Shingri and lower Tanawal area, Abbottabad and Mansehra districts of Pakistan. See also[edit]

Hazara-i-Karlugh Karlugh Turks
Karlugh Turks
of Pakistan Qarlughids Bulaqs

Notes and references[edit]

^ Ethno Cultureerral Dictionary, TÜRIK BITIG ^ N. Aristov, "Usuns and Kyryzes, or Kara-Kyryzes", Bishkek, 2001, pp. 142, 245. ^ a b Yu.Zuev, "Early Türks: sketches of history and ideology", Almaty, Dayk-Press, 2002, p. 215, ISBN 9985-4-4152-9 ^ N.Aristov, "Usuns and Kyrgyzes, or Kara-Kyrgyzes", Bishkek, 2001, pp. 246-247 ^ N.Aristov, "Usuns and Kyryzes, or Kara-Kyryzes", Bishkek, 2001, p. 246 ^ a b c d e W. Barthold, "Four Studies In History Of Central Asia", Leiden, E. J. Brill, 1962, pp.87-92 ^ Encyclopædia Britannica ^ Marquart J., "Provincial Capitals", Rome, 1931, p. 10 ^ Edward H. Schafer (1963). The golden peaches of Samarkand: a study of Tʻang exotics. University of California Press. p. 50. ISBN 0-520-05462-8. Retrieved 2011-01-09.  ^ W. Barthold, "Four Studies In History Of Central Asia", Leiden, E. J. Brill, 1962, p.91 ^ a b W. Barthold, "Four Studies In History Of Central Asia", Leiden, E. J. Brill, 1962, pp.92-102 ^ W. Barthold, "Four Studies In History Of Central Asia", Leiden, E. J. Brill, 1962, pp. 88-89 ^ Four Studies in History of Central Asia. Leiden: E. J. Brill. 1962. pp. 50, 88.  first1= missing last1= in Authors list (help) ^ S. G. Klyashtorny, T. I. Sultanov, “States And Peoples Of The Eurasian Steppe”, St. Petersburg , 2004, p.116, ISBN 5-85803-255-9 ^ S. G. Klyashtorny, T. I. Sultanov, “States And Peoples Of The Eurasian Steppe”, St. Petersburg , 2004, p.117, ISBN 5-85803-255-9 ^ W. Barthold, "Four Studies In History Of Central Asia", Leiden, E. J. Brill, 1962, pp.22, 93-102 ^ Golden, Peter. B. (1990), "The Karakhanids
Karakhanids
and Early Islam", in Sinor, Denis, The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia, Cambridge University Press, pp. 354–358, ISBN 0 521 24304 1  ^ Mehmet Fuat Köprülü; Gary Leiser; Robert Dankoff (2006). Early Mystics in Turkish Literature. Psychology Press. pp. 158–. ISBN 978-0-415-36686-1.  ^ Juha Janhunen (2006). The Mongolic Languages. Routledge. p. 393. ISBN 978-1-135-79690-7.  ^ Four Studies in History of Central Asia. Leiden: E. J. Brill. 1962. pp. 22, 99.  first1= missing last1= in Authors list (help) ^ Biran, Michal. (2005). "Chapter 3 - The Fall: between the Khwarazm Shah and the Mongols". The Empire of the Qara Khitai in Eurasian History: Between China and the Islamic World. Cambridge University Press. pp. 41–43. ISBN 0521842263.  ^ Four Studies in History of Central Asia. Leiden: E. J. Brill. 1962. pp. 28, 102.  first1= missing last1= in Authors list (help) ^ Four Studies in History of Central Asia. Leiden: E. J. Brill. 1962. p. 104.  first1= missing last1= in Authors list (help) ^ Four Studies in History of Central Asia. Leiden: E. J. Brill. 1962. pp. 103–104.  first1= missing last1= in Authors list (help) ^ Biran, Michal. (2005). "Chapter 3 - The Fall: between the Khwarazm Shah and the Mongols". The Empire of the Qara Khitai in Eurasian History: Between China and the Islamic World. Cambridge University Press. pp. 60–90. ISBN 0521842263.  ^ Four Studies in History of Central Asia. Leiden: E. J. Brill. 1962. p. 108.  first1= missing last1= in Authors list (help)

Sources

Z. V. Togan: The Origins of the Kazaks and the ôzbeks, H.B. Paksoy, IUE.it, webpage: IUE-5.

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