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Turkey: The Sixteen Great Turkish Empires

Part 3

Last modified: 2005-01-22 by ivan sache
Keywords: karahan | gazneli | seljuk | harzemshah | crescent (grey) | peacock | bow (black) | arrow (black) |
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Important note

The 16 Great Turkish Empires are listed on several Turkish sources, such as the websites of the Research Centre for Turkestan and Azerbaijan and the Australian-Turkish Media Group. All sources give an identical presentation of the Empires, which probably comes from some official document. In the following paragraphs, this description is given as the "official description".

To the best of our knowledge, the historical existence of most of these flags is not proven and we are not aware of their origin and designer. They are therefore considered as "attributed flags".

Ivan Sache, 27 November 2003

The Karahan (Karahanlılar)

[THe Karahan]by Ivan Sache

"Official description":

Founded by Saltuk Bugra Khan, covering the Trans-Oxus area including Issyk and Balkash lakes.

This was an Empire north of the Ghaznevid Empire, founded by a family of Karluk Turkish descent, which ruled in the X-XIIth centuries, with capitals in Bukhara and Kashgar (Balasaghun).

The flag attributed to the Karahan is yellow-orange with an unindentified white device.

Ivan Sache & Jarig Bakker, 4 July 2004

The Gazneli (Gazneliler)

[The Gazneli]by Ivan Sache

"Official description":

Founded by Alptekin, covering the area from the Trans-Oxus to the Ganges River, from the shores of the Caspian Sea to the steppes of the Pamir (total area 4,700,000 sq. km).

The Empire of the Ghaznavids, founded by Mahmud of Ghazni (ruled 998-1030), had its center in Ghazni, Afghanistan.

The flag attributed to the Gazneli is green with a grey crescent in canton and a peacock.

Ivan Sache & Jarig Bakker, 4 July 2004

The Great Seljuk Empire (Büyük Selçuk İmparatorluğu)

[The Great Seljuk Empire]by Ivan Sache

"Official description":

Founded by Selçuk Khan, bordering Balkash and Issyk lakes and Tarim Derya in the East, Aegean and the Mediterrenean shores in the West, Aral Lake, Caspian Sea, Caucasian and the Black Sea in the North and Arabia and Gulf of Oman in the South (total area 10,000,000 sq. km)

This refers to the Seljuk Turks, a Muslim dynasty established in what is now eastern Turkey after about 1065 AD.

The flag attributed to the Great Seljuk Empire is blue with a white winged and double-headed silhouette and a black bow and arrow.

Ivan Sache & Thomas Robinson, 4 July 2004

The Harzemshah (Harzemşahlar)

[The Harzemshah]by Ivan Sache

"Official description":

Founded by Kudrettin Mehmet (Harzemshah), covering Persia, Southern Caucasia, Dagestan, Afghanistan and most of Central Asia (total area 5,000,000 sq. km)

Khwarizm Shah was the region around Khiva, near Lake Aral. This area is related to the Anushtiginid dynasty, which ruled nearly all of Central Asia till India from 1097-1231, when they were crushed by Dsjingis Khan.

The flag attributed to the Harzemshah is a plain black flag.

Ivan Sache & Jarig Bakker, 4 July 2004

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