Turkey 1215 CE

The Turkish sultanate of Rum now rules in Asia Minor.

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What is happening in Turkey in 1215CE

In the wake of the crushing defeat of the Byzantine army by the Seljuq Turks at Manzikert in 1071, the Byzantines lost eastern and central Anatolia.  Tribal bands of Muslim Turks occupied the land, replacing or absorbing the native population of the region.

With the break-up of the large Seljuq empire, a branch of the Seljuq clan founded the independent sultanate of Rum (“Rome”) in about 1080. Since then, in wars against its Crusader, Byzantine and Muslim neighbours, this sultanate has expanded across most of Anatolia and become a powerful and wealthy state. The sultans protect and promote trade, which has expanded due to the Crusader’s demand for luxury goods from the east.

The court uses Persian as its official language, and is a major centre of Persian culture. The sultanate’s bureaucracy is staffed by Persian officials. The army, however, is mostly composed of Turkish tribesmen, often more loyal to their local chieftains than to the sultan.

Next map, Turkey in 1453

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