The Seljuk state was undoubtedly influenced by the Central Asian Turkic states and Islamic states in terms of its institutions. In this article we will talk about the duties and responsibilities of the ruler in the Seljuk state. These duties and responsibilities also shed light on the institutions of the other Turkic states of the period and the duties and powers of their rulers.
The establishment of the Seljuk state and the system of sovereignty
The Seljuk state was founded at the beginning of the 11th century by the Seljuk dynasty, one of the Turkmen tribes that lived in Central Asia. Tugrul Bey, the leader of the dynasty, entered Baghdad in 1055 after an agreement with the Abbasid caliph declaring the establishment of the Great Seljuk Empire.
The ruling system of the Seljuk state had an authoritarian structure, as in the Turkish-Islamic tradition. At the top of the state was the ruler, called the sultan. The sultan was also the supreme commander of the state and the supreme judge. Seljuk rulers used the title of sultan.
Under the sultan, there was a council called Divan-ı Saltanat, which handled administrative and clerical matters. Divan-ı Saltanat was an assembly made up of aides to the sultan. This assembly made decisions on matters such as tax collection, civil litigation, military affairs, diplomacy and other administrative matters.
Since Seljuk rule came about through the convergence of the regional principalities, the rule system was also based on this principle. The administration of the regions was given to the sultan’s close relatives or reliable beys, called atabeys. Atabeys were the people who could replace the sultan and played an important role in the administration of the state in the event of the sultan’s death or health problems.
The sultanate system of the Seljuk state was highly effective because it was backed by military success and political mastery. The state spread over a large area in the Middle East and Anatolia and became one of the major powers of the Islamic world in the 11th and 12th centuries.
Duties and responsibilities of the sovereign
The monarch was the head of the state. Tuğrul Bey was the first ruler to use the title ‘sultan’ in the Seljuks. The monarch, representing the state, was also the head of 4 institutions: ‘palace’, ‘army’, ‘government’ and ‘justice’.
The edicts issued by the sultan, the orders he gave, and even the fact that every word that came out of his mouth was considered a law, shows that he has the legislative power. .All levels of the state; The ulema, the umera and the people had to obey these orders.
Each ruler who ascended the throne would set up his own work team in accordance with his own actions. In addition, each monarch, as head of state, ensured internal and external security, that is, peace. He would impose taxes, distribute iqta and give land to the kings. We call the sum of these works execution.
The sultan was also the head of the institution of justice. The ruler was in the position of supreme judge like any Islamic ruler. He presided over the Supreme Court called Divan-ı Mezalim on Mondays and Thursdays. He listened to the grievances of the people. He handled big cases. He could punish criminals and pardon criminals. He could even grant a collective amnesty. The rulers took into account Sharia laws and Turkish customs and traditions during the process.
Rulers in the Seljuk state
The Seljuk state is a Turkish-Islamic state that ruled for about 400 years. In this process, different rulers played a role in the administration of the state. Here are some of the main rulers of the Seljuk state:
Tugrul Bey (1016-1063)
Tugrul Bey, the founder of the Seljuk state, conquered Baghdad in 1055 and proclaimed the Great Seljuk Empire. While the capital of the empire was in Baghdad, the borders of the state extended from Central Asia to Anatolia.
Alparslan, one of the main rulers of the Seljuk state, defeated the Byzantine Empire in the battle of Manzikert and entered Anatolia. This victory led the Turks to conquer Anatolia and establish a new state there.
Malik Shah (1055-1092)
Melikşah, the longest-reigning ruler of the Seljuk state, brought the state’s power to its peak. During his period, the borders of the state expanded from Central Asia to Syria. He also attached great importance to Islamic culture and art.
Sultan Senser (1087-1157)
Sultan Sencer, the third ruler of the Seljuk state, ascended the throne after the death of his father, Melikşah. During his period, the borders of the state were expanded and the capital was moved to Isfahan. In addition, great progress has been made in the fields of science and art.
2. Kilicarslan (1155-1192)
One of the main rulers of the Seljuk state, II. Kılıçarslan was a pioneer in the establishment of the Anatolian Seljuk state. During his reign, the borders of the state were expanded and many wars were won. In addition, important developments have been recorded in the fields of science and art.
Culture and art in Seljuk rule
The Seljuk state is one of the most important and influential states in Turkish history. The foundation dates back to the 11th century and existed until the 14th century. Tugrul Bey, the founder of the Seljuk state, had a great influence in the Islamic world and made the Turks a major power in the Islamic world.
With the establishment of the Seljuk state, Islamic culture and art also took an important place in the life of the Turks. Seljuk rulers attached great importance to Islamic architecture, literature, music and other arts.
Seljuk architecture is one of the most important examples of the Islamic architectural style. Seljuk architecture was used in the construction of many mosques, madrasas, tombs, palaces and bridges in Anatolia. Elements such as domes, vaults, arches and columns were used in Seljuk architecture. Seljuk architecture is closely related to other branches of art, such as geometric motifs and calligraphy.
What is a policy? (1092)
By giving orders to statesmen, including Nizam-ül Mülk, by Sultan Melikşah in 1086-1087; He said, “Let each of you think for the state and write on behalf of the state what will be good and bad today.” Melikşah did not like the communiqués given. He liked the policy of Nizam-ül Mulk in 1092.
What is Nizam-ül Mulk?
The work consists of 51 chapters. Politics is not a simple advice book. It contains offers and recommendations. It also contains important information about the Seljuk state. The author embellished the work with exemplary stories. He also alternated hadiths and verses. The work makes recommendations to the ruler of the period, Melikşah, on how the state should be run. He also warned the sultan about the esoteric and other hostile states.
How was the economy of the Seljuk state?
The economy of the Seljuk state was based on agriculture and trade. Agriculture, livestock and trade formed the basis of the economy of the Seljuk state. Goods such as silk, spices, metal and cloth were important trade products of the Seljuk state.
What was the main war of the Seljuk state?
The main battle of the Seljuk state is the battle of Manzikert. This war was won in 1071 by Alparslan against the Byzantine Empire.
What branches of art developed during the Seljuk state?
During the Seljuk state, branches of art such as architecture, literature, music and calligraphy developed.
What was the reason for the collapse of the Seljuk state?
Among the reasons for the collapse of the Seljuk state are internal conflicts, Mongol invasion, economic problems and political instability. At the end of the 13th century, the entry of the Mongols into Anatolia and the loss of the Battle of Ankara caused the collapse of the Seljuk state.