Prof. Dr.Zekeriya  KİTAPÇI


The conquest of Turkestan, or Central Asia, by Muslim Arabs is one of the most important events of not only Turkish and Islamic history but also the entire historical course of humanity in terms of its final impacts. Muslim conquests in Central Asia paved the way for the Turks’ accepting Islam as their religion, changing the course of Islamic and world history and starting a brand new era in both.

Unfortunately, however, Turkish historians have not seriously worked on these conquests that are of vital significance for Turkish, Islamic, as well as world history, except from a few articles.([1]) This is in sharp contrast to Western scholars, such as H. A. R. Gibb,([2]) W. Barthold,([3]) J. Wellhausen,([4]) and R. N. Frye,([5]) who produced a lot of subjective but quite serious works on the issue. In the view of the author, this is a historical responsibility on shoulders of Turkish historians. Especially at a time when the Turkic republics have been newly showing up in the arena of nations and when the spirit of Central Asian Turkism has been rejuvenating slowly, though with all its glory, this lack of interest in such an important issue emerges as a burden on the shoulders of Turkish historians, getting heavier each day.

Turkish-Arabic Political Relations and Initial Contacts

It is hard to talk about any political, economic or trade lies between Turks and Arabs in the pre-Islamic era, which amounts to a long period of time before the seventh century. Muslim conquests in Central Asia in this century and subsequent developments in connection with them constitute the starting point for relations. And the reason for lack of any contact between these two communities was perhaps the geographical situation of the Arabian Peninsula-that is, its being outside of historical migration routs, and its lack of attractiveness, associated with its infertile lands, for the mostly nomadic Turks. Still, however, it would be utterly wrong to conclude that there was nothing noteworthy about the history of Turkish-Arabic contacts or that the Arabs of the pre-Islamic era knew nothing about Turks. Because basic resources on the issue are full of information, which is, however, still in the form of piles of unprocessed information and which has not yet been uncovered by Turkish literature and history.

In fact, the first contacts of pre-Islamic Arabs with the ancient Turks date back to the early third century. These initial contacts were made possible mostly by the advent of Turkish raiders, who managed to make their way into the Oxus Basin, into first Persia and then, through Persia, to today’s Iraq. A second path for contact with Arabs was opened by the Khazars, the “eagle guards” of the Caucasus, when they raided into Persia over Azerbaijan and then arrived in Mesopotamia and finally the Arabian Peninsula, where they put formidable pressure on native Arabian tribes.([6])

A dispatch of some of the Turkish soldiers of the Sasanid army to Yemen;([7]) the arrival of a group of civilian Turks in Mecca during the pre-Islamic era and their taking refuge with the Prophet’s family;([8]) references to Turks in pre-Islamic Arab poetry,([9]) they ail show that, pre-Islamic Arabs knew Turks in several aspects. Abu Sufyan, Prophet Muhammad’s Uncle Abu Talib([10]) and of course Prophet Muhammad himself are among those who knew about Turks during the conversion of Arabs to Islam.([11])


Leaving aside Turkic-Arab relations in the pre-Islamic era, the first serious plans for the conquest of Turkic lands in Central Asia were on the agenda during the term of Caliph Omar (634-643). Throughout this period, Arabic armies, sent out to fight on new fronts under the command of successful and eligible commanders, made their way to Persia following a complete victory against the Byzantine forces in Syria. Having received a serious defeat at the hands of Muslim Arabs in the well-known Qadissiya War of 632,([12]) the Sasanids never again managed to withstand the Arabs in wars taking place in northern and southern Persia, finally leaving the scene of world history. Famous commander Ahnaf b. Qais and an Arab army marching under his commander captured all of northern Persia and the eastern boundaries of the Islamic Empire reached the Oxus River in 642, during the reign of Caliph Omar.([13])

As cited in Firdevsi’s Shahname, the Oxus River, today’s Amu Darya, was accepted as a natural boundary between the Ari and Turani people, since the very old ages of history.([14]) Now on the other side of the Oxus River the Arabs faced a new, robust nation as their rival, which is the brave descendants of the legendary Turan heroes, who ruled over the Central Asian steppes for centuries and created a number of slates and empires. it was after this moment of encounter that history started to record the story of a struggle between Muslim Arabs, storming into Central Asia from the Arabian deserts, and the stouthearted Turks, heroes of the steppes having written a number of heroic legends in these lands. it was from that moment on that the history was preparing to add new golden pages to the universal book of humanity. What we mean is the conquest of Central Asia by Muslim Arabs.

Indeed, the conquest of Central Asia by the Arabs was possible in three stages:

The First Stage: This stage refers to the first raids by Caliph Omar’s handpicked commander Ahnef b. Qais (642-705). These raids, which mostly took the form of plundering and which marked nothing but misery for the Turks of Central Asia, continued for more than a half century. For Arabs, they were nothing but an unfortunate military adventure.

The Second Stage: This stage refers to more organized attacks launched mostly on Baykent, Bukhara and Samarkand for the final purpose of conquest under the command of the esteemed Arab commander Outayba b. Muslim. This stage started in 705, when the great statesman Hajaj b. Yousuf sent Outayba b. Muslim to Khorasan as the governor of the city, assigning him with the duty of conquering Turkic lands and extending Arab rule until the Great Wall of China. The period ended when Outayba was killed in 712 by his own comrades in the army.

The Third Stage: it refers to the era of Arab political rule over Turkic lands, starting during the reign of Yezid al-Muhallab in 712 and continuing under Nasr b. Sayyar. This stage started when Turghesh Khan Kur-Sul was killed in an unfortunate event by Nasr b. Sayyar in 738 and ended with the Abbasid Revolution in 750.

The First Stage: First Raids On Turkish Lands

Though Caliph Omar categorically banned Muslim Arabs’ passing over to the other side of the Oxus River,([15]) this ban was never practically binding on Arab military governors sent to Khorasan, as they launched constant attacks on this banned area.

According to the Information provided in ancient resources, the first serious raid on Turkic lands was launched under the command of Ubeydullah b. Ziad and raged violently throughout the several years that followed. Having been sent to Khorasan as gover­nor in 673, during the term of Muawiyya as caliph, Ubeydullah passed the Oxus River with a 24,000-strong army and arrived near Bukhara. At that time, the local Bukhara Khanate was ruled by Malike Kabach Khatun, a female member from one of the aristocrat families of the area.([16])

Attacking on the totally unprepared forces of Malike Kbach Khatun, Ubeydullah plundered Bukhara, took scores of Turkish men captives, including most notably some 2,000 skilled archers, and returned to his headquarters in Merv with a huge booty. And this was not all, as he also forced Malike Kabach Khatun to sign a bitter deal, forcing the Khanate to pay an annual tribute of one million dinars in return for a truce.([17])

Caliph Omar’s successor Osman’s son Said followed Ubedullah as the next governor of Khorasan in 675.([18]) The aim of the new governor was to hit Samarkand. After a comprehensive military preparation, Said arrived at Samarkand with his army. The famous sahaba Qusam b. Abbas, who was also very famous for resembling the Prophet Muhammad in several respects, was accompanying Said in this mili­tant campaign.([19]) Unfortunately, he became a martyr during one of battles with Turks.

The Turkish Khanate in Samarkand was then ruled by another aristocrat family named, Tarhan. Having managed to enter the city after a series of bloody battles, Said bin Osman seized all the property at the hands of the Turkish residents as loot, took some 30,000 Turkish men*as captives, in an effort to cripple the armed forces, and returned to Merv with a sizable band of captives.([20])

Said b. Osman, this erratic, greedy governor, was recalled in 675 because of his excessive addiction to richness and wealth. Eslem b. Zira([21]) and then Selm b. Ziyad succeeded him as the new governors of Khorasan in 675 and 680 respectively.([22]) During his term, Selm first launched a raid on Kharezm, forced the local people of the city to pay tribute and then headed for Samarkand, again leaving the local people no alternative but to pay tribute in return for their lives.([23])

Abdullah bin Khazrn from the Beni Temim tribe was appointed in 683 as the new governor of Khorasan after Selm bin Ziyad.([24]) At that time, Arabs were in great political turmoil in the east. Taking this turmoil as an opportunity, the Turks of Herat revolted against their Arab conquerors and managed to retake territories up to Nishabur after a series of violent battles.([25]) Deeply impressed by the brave struggle of Herat Turks, Abdullah bin Khazm sent his commander Zuheir b. Hayyan to quell their revolt, managing to repel them in the end. Though proud of Zuheir’s achievements, his close companion, Sabit Qutna, could not help praising Turks’ performance in the war as follows:

“If there were no help from the omnipotent Allah and the blows of my swords on the enemy soldiers’ heads, the women of the Sons of Disar would have run away in all directions, like frightened birds, from Turks.”([26])

As all these explanations made so far show that local Turkish khans were helpless in the face of Arab military governors’ unexpected attacks and raids. Arab governors, who skillfully benefited from the defensive weaknesses of the Turks, seized not only the wealth and properties of Turks but also dealt serious blows to their war capacity, cruelly executing scores of Turkish warriors and bringing many others as captives to Arab cities.([27])

This issue has another interesting dimension; the Turkish nation, and local Turkish khanates, who founded several states throughout history and, as such, had a strong tradition of statecraft, found Muslim Arabs’ sudden attacks and plunders that followed these attacks very strange. They were so unfamiliar with such kind of war technique that they could not even understand they were actually at war, Even the thought of these forces conquering their lands someday and depriving them of their liberty was inconceivable for the Turks. H.A.R. Gibb explains how the Turks were far from under-standing what was actually going on as follows: “The rulers of Lower Turkestan were so accustomed to thinking of Arabs as mere looters that they could not understand even after a while that they had already lost their independence.”([28])

The Second Stage: Qutayba Bin Muslim and New Areas For Conquests

Arab forces’ attacks on Turkish lands, which took the form of a series of unplanned, uncoordinated raids largely meant for the purpose of plundering as described above, lasted until the appointment of Qutayba bin Muslim to Khorasan by Hajaj b. Yusuf in 705.([29]) The areas that carne under Arab rule as the result of Outayba’s orderly, conquest oriented military campaigns, which nevertheless took the form of a storm of blood and fire, and the broader regions that cover these areas are as follows:

  1. Lower Turkestan, where the powerful Toharistan Turkish Khanate, established by descendants of Aftalits, was destroyed and its valuable Turkic-origin ruler Nizek Tarhan was executed.
  2. Oxus, or today’s Amu Darya Basin, where local Turkish khanates located in the Baykent-Bukhara-Samarkand triangle, an area which Arabs call Maweraunnehir, in a somehow intentional way to deny Turk character of the region, were brought under Arab rule.
  3. Lower watercourse of the Oxus River, that is, the Kharezm region and the Aral Sea area
  4. Vast areas surrounding the eastern and southern parts coasts of the Caspian Sea, where a number of local Turkish khanates, most notably that. of Sul-Tekin, surrendered to Arab conquerors.
  5. The area which is east to Samarkand, extending eastward up until China and goes parallel to the Silk Road. This vast area, the true center for Turkism, covers such major cities as Tashkent, Fargana and even Kashgar to a certain extent. Arabs engaged in fierce battles with Turkish forces there, who ruled over the Lower Turkestan and fought to keep the region under Turkish control.([30])

Following his arrival in Khorasan, Qutayba first restored central authority and, soon after that, he headed for the Toharistan Turkish Khanate with backing from the Turkish-origin commander Nizak Tarhan, who subsequently became one of the first Muslim-Turk rulers of history.([31]) From then on, Nizek Tarhan and his forces who had a very extensive knowledge of the region’s geography, were due to play a very special role in bringing success to Outayba’s Central Asia campaign.

After then, Qutayba attacked Baykent, one of the most important Turkish settlement areas in the region,([32]) and a major Turkish([33]) city distinguished by intense industrial and trade activities.([34]) A ruler, or “Tarhan”,([35]) again corning from an aristocrat family of the city, was then in power in Baykent. The fail of Baykent in 706, despite the extraordinary resistance of its people, the execution of scores of its soldiers and especially the destruction of the city with all its beauties, all these marked the most important victory for Umayyads in the course of their Central Asian conquest.([36])

Having captured Baykent, Outayba marched to Bukhara, one of the most developed and wealthy cities of the region. Following a number of sieges and huge losses on both sides, the city came under his control, for the fourth and last time.([37]) And the Muslim conqueror was not willing to be satisfied with this bright victory which was unprecedented. He marched on Taqalan. Having captured the city and crushed its people, he arrived in Kesh and Nesef in 709. in the meantime, he urged the people of Fariab to surrender the city. He set the entire city on fire after this demand was rejected.([38])

Now it was the all of Samarkand, another major trade and cultural center of Lower Turkestan. But he was determined on first capturing Kharezm before launching this massive military campaign on Samarkand. For this reason, he sent his brother Abd al Rahman b. Muslim with a 20,000-strong army to Kharezm and urged him to do all he could to capture this city.([39]) In the end, the northern trade route, which was of vital significance for the Central Asian economic and trade life, came under Arab control.

Then Qutayba devised a careful plan. Before losing lime, he marched on Samarkand with a great army, violating a previous non-aggression agreement, and besieged the city. Despite the resistance of the local Turkish population, Outayba was able to conquer Samarkand in the end, with help of Turkish elements in his army to a great extent.([40])

Outayba intended to use Samarkand as a base for his further conquests in Central Asia, more specifically for the conquest of Tashkent and Fargana, which could eventually pave the way for aıı Arab invasion of China. Having reinforced his army with fresh forces sent by Hajaj, the Arab commander embarked on his march into the inner parts of Maweraunnehir (Lower Turkestan) with a great army in 713. But as his army arrived near Tashkent, Outayba was informed about the death of Hajaj, who guarded and supported him to the very end, in the same year. From then on, it was doubtful whether or not his soldiers, whose obedience was largely stemming from their fear of Hajaj, would continue to be loyal to him.

Besides, there were some important changes going on in the capital of the Caliphate. Caliph Suliayman b. Abd al-Malik, who succeeded Walid b. Abd al-Malik in 714, started a revenge campaign against those who worked against his rule. Knowing that the new caliph would sooner or later extend his campaign of revenge at him, Outayba moved faster and revolted against the central authority in Fargana. But he soon found out to his disappointment that his army, which won one vic­tory after another and get rich with loot under his command, sided with the caliph against him. A death squad headed by Sud al-Tamimi one day attacked Qutayba in his tent and beheaded him, along with 11 other people from his family in 714.([41])

The Third Stage: Muslim Arab Rule Over the

Entire Lower Turkestan

The campaign for the conquest of Turkish lands, which got underway with Outayba, continued at full pace under other military governors sent to Khorasan after him. Umayyad Caliph Suliayman bin Abd al-Malik sent Yazid b. Muhallab to Khorasan as governor in 717. This was the encompassment of a long-time desire for Yazid, who so terribly wanted to become the gover­nor of Khorasan that he devised several schemes for this end.([42]) Upon his arrival in Khorasan, the new governor first handled the chaos emerging after the murder of Outayba and restored order. Having established peace and order to a certain extent, he launched a fresh mili­tary campaign to bring to life the plans of conquests he had in mind.

The initial objective of Yazid was to conquer Curcan and Taberistan. To do so, he marched with his army on the Turks of Dehistan, an area located between Kharezm and Curcan. He besieged the city with a massive army. Aware of the fact that his city was not capable of resisting against such a force, the ruler of the city Sul-Tekin told the Arabs that they could enter the city on some conditions. Yazid accepted the offer but his army plundered the city as soon as they entered. in addition, according to Ibn Jerir, he also ordered the execution of some 14,000 Turkish men in order to curb resistance.([43])

Having captured Dehistan and Taberistan this way, through the use of brutal force, Yazid then marched on Curcan Turks. As stated above, he deemed Curcan to be very important. Ibn Jerir reports that he prayed to God before heading for Curcan and swore to Him that he “will not leave Curcan before eating bread made from Turkish bones and will not stop killing them, if victory is ours.”([44])

Having started his onslaught in such a state of mind, Yazid marched on Curcan and besieged the city with his massed forces. The siege lasted more than seven months and in the end, there was no choice for the Turkish people of Curcan, who bravely defended their city without a bit of outside help, other than surrendering to Arab forces. Having entered the city, Yazid ordered all of the Turkish men be gathered in a certain place. Then he took some of them as captives and put anoth­er group to the sword. He also set up a row of gallows along a 24-kilometer road to hang the rest. He also did not hesitate to let his soldiers plunder the city in the way they wish. History books say the number of Turks killed by Yazid only in Curcan exceeded 40.000.([45])

Yazid b. al-Muhallab was dismissed by the Caliph Omar bin Abd al-Aziz and Abdullah bin Cerrah al-Hakimi was sent to Khorasan to replace him in 716.([46]) This date marked the beginning of a new and difficult era in the Arab military campaign in Central Asia because by then, the politics of Central Asia was passing through major changes with the appearance of Turgish Turks, the new generation representatives of Turkish military might, on the scene of world history (717-738).([47]) The Turgish forces were then led by Bilge Khan’s son-in-law Su-Lu Khan, who was called by the Arabs Abu Muzahim, meaning the father of hardship and trouble.([48])

Soon after corning to power, Su-lu Khan confront-ed the unsuccessful Arab governors of Khorasan and launched against them a severe struggle. He had two main objectives in his mind while launching a war against the Arabs. First, he wanted to stop further Arab expansion towards Central Asia, prevent the assimilation of the Turkish population of the region and their turning into “Arab subjects.” Secondly, he wanted to drive Muslim Arabs out of Maweraunnehr, or Lower Turkistan.

Determined to achieve these two important objec­tives, Su-lu Khan launched a bitter fight against the incompetent Arab governors of Bukhara, namely Said b. Abd al-Aziz (721), Amr b. al-Harashi (722), Muslini b. Said al-Kilabi (722), Asad b. Abdullah al-Qasri (724) Ashras b. Abdullah al-Sullemi (727) and Juneyd b. Abdullah al-Murri (729), finally driving the Arabs out of Lower Turkestan almost completely.([49])

Persevering efforts of this successful Turgish Khan against Arabs to push them out of Turkish lands continued until appointment of Nasr b. Sayyar al-Kinani as Khorasan governor.([50])

Indeed, Nasr bin Sayyar was a clever, strong-mind-ed person who used to think carefully and make a good analysis of a situation before starting any action. He was a successful soldier with numerous achievements in the Arab army, which conquered vast areas in the Lower Turkestan, before coming to Khorasan as gov­ernor. The battles he took part in the Lower Turkestan constituted a valuable opportunity for him to increase his knowledge of both the region and Turks.([51]) He also learned Turkish and married of f his daughter to Tugshad, the Turkish ruler of Bukhara.([52])

The new governor spent his first year in Khorasan in military preparations. He first put the weary Arab army, which largely went out of discipline, in order. He also established a 20,000-strong reinforcement unit, comprising, alongside with Arabs, Turks and other elements from Bukhara, Samarkand, Kesh and Nesef.([53]) Ali these preparations were made because Nasr was very much determined to property establish Arab political rule over Turkish lands and solve forever the issue of Turks that was keeping Arabs busy for a long time.

Having completed his preparations, Nasr started in 739 his military march with a sizable army in the direction of Central Asia, towards Tashkent. Upon hearing reports of Nasr’s military campaign targeting Tashkent, Kur-Sul, who succeeded Su-lu Khan, set to preparations at once to meet the approaching Arab army. He formed a 15,000-strong, dynamic army to confront Nasr’s forces.

With his mighty army and strong will, he was now facing the new Arab governor. The Arabs would have to retreat from all of Central Asia up until Merv and Turks would no longer be the subjects of Arabs if this war ended in his victory. The elderly Turkish khan, who spent most of his life on battlefields, attacked Arab forces from a very appropriate position and managed to encircle the Arab army. The Arabs were late to understand that they were trapped by Turks.

Thus, dark days for the Arab army started. Nasr’s situation was not much different from Ahnef b. Qais who was once trapped by the Turkish ruler To-lu Khan. Like Ahnef, Nasr could not dare to launch a decisive battle. But he still ordered his soldiers to take up positions and told them not to leave their positions under any circumstance. He also put watchmen in some points as a precaution against an unexpected Turkish attack. From then on, there was nothing much left for Nasr to do, other than wait to see how the things would develop.

Fortune helped Nasr in a way that went even beyond his imagination in these critical days. Because the Turkish khan, in an act of complete carelessness, was captured by Arab soldiers as he was on a walk to watch Arab army positions.

The soldiers brought this old man in silk clothes to Nasr. He was quick to understand how important this old man brought to his tent in the midnight was. This man vas the mighty Turkish Khan Kur-Sul, who was responsible for the fear and tension that pervaded so many days for Arabs.

Kur-Sul offered a deal to Nasr, pledging lo give some l.000 Turkish camels in return for his release. He consulted with representatives of elite of Damascus and Khorasan, who were accompanying him. His associates advised him lo release Kur-Sul. Then, according to historical sources, the following dialogue Look place between Nasr and Kur-Sul. According to sources, first Nasr asked Kur-Sul how old he was.

“I do not know precisely,” responded Kur-Sul. Then Nasr asked “how many limes did you fight against Arabs?” “Seventy two,” replied Kur-Sul. Nasr continued to ask: “Were you in the famous Thirsty Battles also?” The Turkish khan said “yes, I was there.”

Having received these responses, Nasr announced Lo Kur-Sul his decision.

“Having heard all this, I will not let you go even if you give me everything under the sun as ransom,” he said and gave his definite command lo the soldiers; Kur-Sul’s head was going lo be cut off and his body would be hanged somewhere that could easily be seen by the Turkish army.([54])

Hence, this Turkish Khan, who spent his life on battlefields, engaged in all of the wars between Turks and Arabs, found himself on the very verge of death because of strange misfortune and carelessness. After killing Kur-Sul and badly defeating his scattered army in 738, Nasr made the Arab political presence in the Lower Turkestan a lasting one. Thus, as a result of this wild campaign of conquests in Turkish lands, “the flag of the Prophet Muhammad was carried far beyond the Oxus River, traditionally accepted as a natural boundary between the Turkic-speaking nations and Persian-speaking ones; famous trade centers of the Middle Ages such as Bukhara, Samarkand and Tashkent came under Muslim control and, as a result, supremacy of Islam was strongly established in Central Asia,” as Professor P. K. Hitti says.([55])

Having overcome the Turkish danger this way, Nasr bin Sayyar look some serious measures lo win the hearts of the offended and angry Muslims of the region in an effort to restore internal peace and entrench Arab political authority. His measures soon yielded fruit. Of course, what we mean here is a large group of those Turks, who accepted Islam and were mostly comprising of displaced refugees. Agreeing to give major concessions, Nasr managed to seal a good deal with these people. According Lo the deal:

  1. Those people who once accepted Islam but then returned lo their original faith for some reasons would be forgiven and never punished.
  2. Personal and trade debts of the refugees were due to be written off and they were not going lo be forced lo pay debts of any third person.
  3. Ali the taxes they were supposed lo pay the Caliphate Treasury would be cancelled.
  4. They were not going to be forced to return Muslims they held captive, provided that there is no legal decision by a court to that effect.([56])

These conditions of the deal, as reported by Tabari, also give us clear clues as lo the nature of the entrenched disputes between the native Turkish people and Arab administrators. Those who could not properly understood the importance of this agreement, signed in return for big concessions and sacrifices on the part of Nasr in order lo establish peace and order in Turkish lands, criticized Nasr of being too soft and some of them even applied to the caliph, complaining about him. Nasr’s response to this hardly sound criticism was an angry one: “I swear you would totally defy what you have been saying now, if you can see the strength these people could give lo Arabs through this agreement and the dam-age they could have otherwise inflicted on us.”([57])

Indeed, the Umayyad rulers were quite late lo intro-duce this era of peace and order to the Turkish lands that started only during Nasr’s rule in the region. By then, Abbasid propagandists, with their black clothes and beards, had already infiltrated into Khorasan and convinced Turks to support their revolt against Umayy’ad rule. It was no longer possible for this despotic and oppressive Umayyad administration to stay in Turkish lands.

In the end, the oppressive Umayyad state, which was based on fanatic Arab superiority, perceiving non-Arab Muslims as mere slaves to be oppressed and humiliated all the time; which insulted those from the Prophet’s family line and made disrespect against these people as a state policy; and which was never largely welcomed by Muslim community due to its despotic policies, was bound so vanish in the face of a revolting army, led by Abu Muslim al-Khorasani and comprising mostly of Turkish soldiers, commanders and people of the East. (750).

We tried so far to summarize the course of Arab conquests in Central Asia. It is interesting that these bloody conquests, which raged Turkish lands in the form of a storm of blood and fire, also set the grounds for the flourishing of some positive developments in the back-ground in terms of the spread of Islam. Most of the local Turkish rulers and their followers accepted Islam in the course of wars. Islam was also spreading fast among the people of the area and the Muslim community finally emerged as a powerful political element in the region. This no doubt was a major victory of Islam against other religions, namely Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism.

And there was more: As a continuation of these developments, many Turks from aristocrat families also accepted Islam as their religion.

Prof. Dr. Zekeriya KİTAPÇI


* Müellifin bu makalesi için bkz. Kitapçı, Z., Conquest of Central Asia, TURS, Yeni Türkiye Yayınları, Ankara, 2002, V. II. P. 140-146, Makale bir kere daha gözden geçirilmiş, bazı önemli tarih ve metin hataları düzeltilmiş ve bu kitabın bir manada İngilizce özeti olarak sunulmuştur Z.K.

[1] Gibb, H.A.R., Orta Asya Arap Fütuhatı, Trans. M. Hakkı, İstanbul, 1930.

[2] Barthold, W., Moğol İstilasına Kadar Türkistan, Prepared by H. D. Yıldız, İstanbul, 1981.

[3] Wellhausen, J., Arap Devleti ve Sukûtu, Trans. F. Işıltan, Ankara, 1960.

[4] Frye, R.N., The Golden Age of Persia; The Arabs in the East, London, 1997.

[5] Kurat, A. N., “Kuteybe b. Müslim’in Harzem ve Semerkant’ı Zabtı”, D. T. C. F. D. VI, no, 5.

[6] al-Isfahânî, Ebü’l-Ferec, K. el-Ağani, Beirut, 1970, XIII, p. 80, 81, 82, 83, Cf. Bunyadov, Z.. Azerbaycan, VII-IX. Asırlar, Baku, 1989, p. 41. el-Hamevi, Mucemü’l-Büldan, Beirut, 1955, IV, p. 292.

[7] Togan, Z. V., Umumî Türk Tarihine Giriş, İstanbul, 1981, p. 72.

[8] Kitapçı, Z., Saadet Asrında Türkler, Konya, 1997, p. 47.

[9] Şeşen, R., Eski Araplara Göre Türkler, T. M. İstanbul, 1960, no. XV, p. 12.

[10] Ibn Hisam, es-Sire en-Nebeviyye, Mekke, 1955, l, p. 275.

[11] Kitapçı, Z., Hz. Peygamberin Hadislerinde Türkler, Konya, 1996, I, p. 105 etc.

[12] al-Taberi, Tarihu’1-Umem vel-Mülük, rev. M. İbrahim, Beirut, 1967, III, p. 454.

[13] See Kitapçı, Z., The First Challenge of the Turks Against the Arabs, T. D, İstanbul, 1979, no, XXXII, p. 896 etc.

[14] Hitti, P. K., The Arabs, Chicago, 1960, p. 80, Gibb, H. A. R., op. Cit., p. 3.

[15] al-Taberi, IV, p. 168, İbn al-Esir, al-Kâmil fit-Târih, Beirut, 1972, III, p. 34, Ibn Kesir, al-Bidâye, Beirut, 1966, VII, p. 127.

[16] al-Narşahî, Tarih-u Buhara, publish. NM. al-Tırazi, E. A. Bedevi, Egypt, 1986, p. 23, al-Reşid bin Zubeyr, K- al-Zahâir ve’t-Tuhuf, Quwait, 1959, p. 169.

[17] al-Taberi V, p. 298, İbnü’1-Esir, III, p. 5 l 3, Ibn Hubeyb, Esmâü’l-Muğlalîn, Nevâdirü’l-Mahtulat, Cairo, 1954, II, p. 166. For detailed information on KabachHatun, see alsoKilapcı Z., Mukaddes Çevreler ve Eski Hilâfet Ülkelerinde Türk Hatunları, Konya, 1995, p. 39 etc.

[18] al-Taberi, V, s. 306.

[19] Ibn Hacer, al-Isâbe, Egypt, 1328, III, p. 227, Ibn al-Esir, Usd al-Gabe, Egypt, 1280, IV, p. 157, Ibn Saad, Tabakat, Beirut, 1958, V, p. 357, Schaeder, H. H. Semerkant, İA. X. p. 470.

[20] al-Eelazurf, Fütûhu’l-Büldan, rev. A. E. et-Tabba, Ö. H, et-Tabba, Beirut, 1958, p. 579.

[21] al-Taberi, V, p. 308.

[22] al-Taberi. V, p. 471.

[23] al-Taberi, V, p. 474, el-Belâzuri, p. 581. Gibb, U. A. R. Op. Cit., p. 19.

[24] al-Taberi, V, p. 546, al-Belâzuri, p. 602.

[25] Wellhausen, J., Op. Cit., p. 203.

[26] al-Taberi, V, p. 549, Barthold, W., Türkistan, p. 238.

[27] Kitapçı, Z., Arap Şehirlerine Yerleşen İlk Türkler, Türk Kültürü, 1972, no, 112, p. 209-221.

[28] Gibb, H. A. R., op. cit., p. 40.

[29] al-Taberi, VI, p. 434, Ibn al-Esir, IV, p. 523, Brockelman, C., İslâm Milletleri ve Devletleri Tarihi, Trans. N. Çağatay, Ankara, 1964, p. 75.

[30] Kitapçı, Z., Arapların Türkistan’a Girişi, istanbul, 200, p, 78.

[31] For more inlormationsee Kitapçı, Z., İlk Müslüman Türk Hükümdarı ve Hakanları, Konya, 1996, p. 38-54.

[32] Ibn A’sem al-Kûfi, K. al-Fütûh, rev. S. Zekkâr. Beirut, 1992, III, p. 105.

[33] On the Turkic structure of Baykent see Esin, E., İslâmiyetten Önce Türk Kültür Tarihine Giriş, İstanbul, 1978, p. 243, Kitapçı, Z., Orta Asya’da İslâmiyet’in Yayılışı ve Türkler, Konya, 1998, p. 147.

[34] al-Taberi, VI, p. 430, Frye, R. N., History of Buhara, Cambridge, 1954, p.18.

[35] Tarhan: A Turkish title, the noble ruler appointed as local administrator by the khan. See Donuk, A., Eski Türk Devletlerinde İdarî, Askerî Unvan ve Terimler, İstanbul, 1988, p. 40, Orkun, H. N., Eski Türk Yazıtları, İstanbul, 1936,1. p. 128-156.

[36] Ibn A’sem, III, p. 107. al-Taberi, VI, p. 431-432. Ibn Kesir, IX, p. 72, Ibn al-Esir, IV, p. 528, Gibb, H. A. R., op. cit., p. 30.

[37] al-Narshahi, p. 72, Arnold, T. V., The Preachings of islam, Lahore, 1965, p. 216, İbn Hayyat, Tarih, Necet, 1967, p. 210.

[38] al-Taberi. VI, p. 462.

[39] Kurat, A. N., “Kuteybe b. Müslim’in Harzem ve Semerkant’ı Zaptı”, D. T. C. F. Dergisi, 1948, VI, no, 5, p. 385-415.

[40] Kitapçı, Z., et-Türk fi Müellefât el-Câhız, Beyrut, 1972, p. 70.

[41] al-Yakûbi, Tarih, II. p. 296, al-Taberi, VI, p. 506, Tbn Kesir, al-Bidâye, IX, p. 167.

[42] al-Taberi, VI, p. 523.

[43] al-Taberi, VI, p. 534-535.

[44] al-Taberi, VI, p. 451.

[45] al-Taberi, VI, p. 543.

[46] İbn al-Esir, V, p. 44.

[47] For this initial period of the Turgish, see Genç, R., Tûrgişler md. Türk Ansiklopedisi, XXXII, p. 60-61, Chavannes, E., Documents, Paris, l 903, p. 80 vd., Orkun, İl. N., Türk Tarihi, İstanbul, 1936, I, p. 191 Ögel, B., Türk Kültürünün Gelişme Çağları, İstanbul, 1988, p. 141, Kafosoğlu, İ., Türk Millî Kültürü, Ankara, 1977, p. 120.

[48] İbn Kesir, IX, p. 222, al-Taberi, VII, p. 113.

[49] For a full list of Arab governors sent to Khorasan sce Kitapçı, Z., Orta Asya’da İslâmiyet’in Yayılışı ve Türkler, p. 398-399.

[50] al-Taberi, VII, p. 224.

[51] Shaban, M. A., The Abbaside Revolution, Cambridge, 1970, I, p. 127.

[52] Kitapçı, Z., Mukaddes Çevreler ve Eski Hilâfet Ülkelerinde Türk Hâtûnları, p. 48.

[53] Kitapçı, Z., Orta Doğu’da Türk Askeri Varlığının İlk Zuhuru, İstan­bul, 1987, p, 41, al-Taberi, VII, p. 174.

[54] al-Taberi, VII, p. 174.

[55] Hitti, P. K., cit. p. 80.

[56] al-Taberi, VII, p. 192, Ibn al-Esir, V, p. 250, Also Cf. Zettensteen, SK. V. Nasr md. İA. IX. p. 170.

[57] al-Taberi, VII, p. 192, Ibn al-Esir, V, p. 250.

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Prof. Dr. Zekeriya KİTAPÇI, Osmanlıların Orta Afrika Politikası Askeri, Ticâri ve Siyasi İlişkiler, Osmanlı Ansiklopedisi Cilt I, Yeni Türkiye Yayınları [s.411]. Prof. Dr. Zekeriya KİTAPÇI, Türklerin Müslüman Oluşu, Türkler, Yeni Türkiye Yayınları, Ankara (

Gazete Yazıları Zekeriya Kitapcı

Zekeriya KİTAPÇI, Afrikada İslamiyet, Tercüman Gazetesi, 23 Ağustos 1978. Zekeriya KİTAPÇI, Afrikada Misyoner Faaliyetleri ve İslamiyet, Bayrak Gazetesi, 1 Ocak 1985. Zekeriya KİTAPÇI, Nijeryada İslâmiyet ve Hıristiyanlık Mücadelesi, Türkiye Gazetesi, 02-03-04-05-06-07-08.01.1985 tarihli ...