by Mehran Baharlı
KIRMAN SELJUKS (1048-1187)
Period of Kavurd
Period of Interregnum and the Collapse of the State
Period of Kavurd
When Seljuk State won the victory of Dandanakan war (1040) that had an important place in their history, they probably convened a general assembly in the city of Merv. In this assembly, they shared the lands that they had conquered until that time and the fields that they were to conquer in the future among the members of the dynasty according to the tradition of domination among Turks. In the course of this planning for shares, the province of Tabes and the region of Kirman and the environs of Kuhistan had been given to Kavurd. Kavurd was Cagri Bey Davud's elder son. The Seljuk raids to the province of Kirman started in the years of 1042-43. Then, the Ruler Kavurd came to the region of Kirman in Iran together with five-six thousands of Turkish cavalrymen in his revenue. The northern Kirman (Serd-sir) that was under the dominion of Buveyhi people was captured by Kavurd in the year of 1048 and he established his dominion in this place. Therefore, he laid foundation for the establishment of Kirman Seljuks State. Kavurd could establish a general domination in Kirman only within two years (December 1050- January 1051).
While the Ruler Kavurd dominated in Kirman, the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula was under the dominion of Oman Buveyhi people. Kavurd then paid attention to the region of Oman. He hoisted sails towards the coasts of Oman with the ships that he had provided from the emir of Hurmuz. Therefore, Kavurd realised his first overseas expedition in the history of Seljuks State with his ships under his command. As a result, Kavurd established dominion in Oman. Pursuant to Oman, he advanced towards Fars that was a neighbouring province in the west of Kirman and captured it (1062).
Upon the death of Tugrul Bey who was the sultan of the Great Seljuk State (4th September 1063), Kavurd wanted to be involved within the struggles for the sovereignty and to become the sultan instead of his uncle. However, when he heard that his brother, Alp Arslan was enthroned as the sovereign of the Seljuk State, he returned to Isfahan and recognised his sultanate. However, Fazliye who was the former ruler of Fars asked help from the Sultan Alp Arslan. Firstly, Sultan Alp Arslan send the requisite help and then, he personally advanced towards Fars and captured this place from Kavurd. Then, he returned these lands to Fazliye. The fact that Alp Arslan did not want Kavurd to gain much more power and to expand his fields of domination must have played an important role in the return of Fars to Fazliye by Sultan Alp Arslan.
After a while, Kavurd rebelled against Sultan Alp Arslan upon the encouragement of his vizier. When Sultan learned this situation, he immediately advanced towards Kirman (June-July 1067). Kavurd who lost the war that took place among the vanguard forces preferred to run away. As a result, Alp Arslan forgave his brother and went to the region of Fars. We have observed that the Ruler Kavurd had collaborated with his old enemy, Fazluye and rebelled against Sultan Alp Arslan within two years after his pardon. Sultan assigned his Vizier Nizam ul-Mulk with the task of fighting against Fazluye, and he went to Kirman. Nizam ul-Mulk was able to take Fazliye as prisoner. When Alp Arslan perceived that there was a group within his own army that supported KAvurd, he had to leave Kirman (1069).
Despite these events, Sultan Alp Arslan had taken into account his brother, Kavurd in the testament that he had arranged in his lifetime before his death, and he had left the domination of the regions of Fars and Kirman to his brother. Pursuant to the death of Alp Arslan (1072), his son, Melikshah was declared as the sultan of the Great Seljuk State. On the other hand, Kavurd had also wanted to ascend the throne of the Great Seljuk State. To this effect, he set in motion. As a result, Melikshah won the war. Although the Ruler Kavurd had firstly run away, he was caught and taken prisoner and then, suffocated with the string of his bow (1073). The Ruler Kavurd was a fair man who had a good head for business. He had pleased the people with his generosity and good administration and Kirman people had attained wealth and prosperity in his period. The fault of Kavurd as a ruler was his involvement in the struggles for sovereignty in order to become the sultan of the Great Seljuk State.
When the Ruler Kavurd set off in order to fight with the Sultan Melikshah, he had left his son, Kirmanshah as his representative in Kirman. Upon the news about the death of his father, Kirmanshah had become the ruler. The kingdom of Kirmanshah could only last for one year, and then, he died.Pursuant to Kirmanshah, his son, Kavurd's younger son, Huseyin was enthroned. However, Sultanshah who was one of the sons of Kavurd ran away from prison in which he was detained in Hemedan and he ascended the throne of Kirman Seljuks State instead of his brother who was at a very young age (September-October 1074). After a while, Sultan Melikshah advanced towards Kirman with a great army. However, due to the high traffic among the envoys and the mediation of the emirs, Melikshah pardoned Sultanshah, and left him in his place. Then, he returned to Isfahan again. Sultan-shah died in the year of 1085.
Instead of the Ruler Sultanshah, his brother, Turan-shah replaced him as the ruler of Kirman Seljuks State. In the following year of the enthronement of the Ruler Turan-shah (1085-86), he witnessed the social issues and problems resulting from the residence of some of the army in the houses of civil people within the city and he attempted to provide the necessary public works in order to prevent these kinds of problems.
Pursuant to the death of the Ruler Kavurd, the Kirman Seljuks State had lost the neighbouring province of Fars for a specific period. The Ruler Turan-shah organised two military expeditions to Fars. He was defeated in the first one, but he organised a new army for the second exhibition and captured Fars.
Then, upon the death of Sultan Melikshah (1092), his wife, Terken Hatun was involved in a struggle in order to enthrone his younger son, Mahmud as the sovereign of the Great Seljuk State. The army that Terken Hatun sent in order to establish dominion in Fars was defeated by Turan-shah (1094).
Another event that took place in the period of Turan-shah was the rebellion of Oman people. However, this rebellion was suppressed and the Seljuk domination was restored in Oman. The Ruler Turan-shah reigned the state for thirteen years and died in October- November 1097.
Pursuant to the death of Turan Shah, his only son, Iran Shah was enthroned as the sovereign of the Kirman Seljuks State. After a while, Iran Shah adopted the Batini sect under the effect of some people within his retinue. Pursuant to this development, Iran Shah started to behave in hostile manner against the people, and he had killed several Muslim judges and scholars besides this hostility. The staff officers of the state disliked him due to his laxity in showing the proper respect to the religious values and his weakness in the administration of the state affairs. As a result, a Turk named as Cilak Bezdar and a group of people applied to the Sheikh of Islam (minister of religious affairs) and the Muslim judges. The Sheikh of Islam and the Muslim judges of the period agreed on the issue of dethronement of Iran-shah due to his attitudes and behaviours. The people rebelled upon the juridical decision issued by them. Iran Shah had firstly begged for intercession, then tried to escape, but it was no use and he was caught and killed (1101).
In the course of his kingdom, the Ruler Iran Shah had followed his relatives strictly. However, Kirman Shah's son had run away from this pursuit and he knew how to hide himself. As a result, he was found and enthroned as the ruler of the Kirman Seljuk State in 1101. Oman people tried to benefit from the bad administration of the state by Iran Shah and the interregnum period in the course of the change of rulers. Probably in the first days of the enthronement of Arslan Shah, a person named as Emir Ebu Sa'd Muhammed had established dominion in half of Oman. However, Arslan Shah recaptured Oman and established his dominion. Some turmoil that burst out in the region of Fars was resolved and the conditions of peace and security were provided.
The Ruler Arslan Shah was submissive to Sultan Sencer in the east. Besides this submission, he had established good relations with the Seljuks in Iraq. These good relations were reinforced particularly through marriages. But afterwards, the Ruler Arslan Shah did not have any capacity for work due to the extension of his period of kingdom and his over-age of seventy. As a result, his son, Muhammed set off much before than his brothers. He took his father from the palace and arrested him and then, he ascended the throne of Kirman Seljuks State (August-September 1142). Arslan Shah lived in the castle that he was arrested in for three years and died (probably in 1145).
When the Ruler Muhammed was enthroned, he behaved so cruel to his brothers and his nephews that were nearly twenty in number. He neutralised all the persons that could threaten his sovereignty apart from Seljuk Shah. The most important political event that took place in the period of the Ruler Muhammed was related with his brother, Seljuk Shah. As a result of the war between the two brothers, Seljuk Shah who was defeated ran away to Oman. A new Turkish State named as Salgurlu State had begun to dominate in Fars, a neighbouring country that was once dominated by the Kirman Seljuks State.
The Ruler Muhammed had a sincere friendship with the Tutor Sungur from Salgurlu State. Whne Oguz people defeated Sencer, the sultan of the Great Seljuk State and took him as prisoner, the other emirs and rulers were effected by these events. Tabes ruler entered the presence of the Ruler Muhammed and gave the delivery of the named city to the Kirman Seljuks State. Pursuant to the captivity of Sultan Sencer, the Ruler Muhammed had probably been submissive to Sultan Muhammed II b. Mahmud (1153-1159) from Iraq Seljuks State and he had established good relationship with him. Another person who wanted to be submissive to the Ruler Muhammed was Resid Camedar who was the governor of Isfahan. However, the Ruler Muhammed died on the date of 27th June 1156, and this death led the hopes of Kirman Seljuks fizzled out that were oriented towards the establishment of domination in the important city of Isfahan.
Tugrul-shah ascended the throne of the Kirman Seljuks State on the date when the Ruler Muhammed died. First of all, Tugrul had arrested his brother, Mahmud-shah. Then, Seljuk-shah who had been involved in a struggle for sultanate in the lifetime of his father was caught and killed(1156-57). Therefore, he had taken the proper precautions about the claimants of the crown that could pose a threat for him. The Ruler Tugrul-shah continued his friendship with the neighbouring Salgurlu State in Fars like in the period of his father. It has been observed that the tutors started to gradually establish dominion over the rulers and within the state administration in the Kirman Seljuks State since the period of Tugrul-shah. The Ruler Tugrul-shah died in March 1170.
Period of Interregnum and the Collapse of the State
In the course of the turmoils resulting from the death of the Ruler Tugrul Shah, his third son, Behram Shah ascended the throne of Kirman Seljuks State through the support of his Tutor, Reyhan. This situation caused to the opening of the period of interregnum in the Kirman Seljuks State. The struggle that occurred among Tugrul Shah's sons was a significant factor that played an important role in the collapse of the Kirman Seljuks State. The administration of the state was dominated by the tutors. The emirs who wanted to become a prince's tutor struggled among each other. In the course of the struggles for the throne, the brigades of the rulers continuously changed sides between one ruler and the other and provoked the struggles to an extreme degree. Furthermore, the cities that had commercial importance were despoiled and the economical situation of Kirman got worsened gradually.
In this period of turmoils, Oguz people who came from Khorasan to Kirman benefited from the weak and unstable administration of the Kirman Seljuks State and established dominion in this region.
Dinar, one of Oguz beys started to establish dominion in the most important cities of Kirman bit by bit. The emirs and statesmen of the Kirman Seljuks State had perceived the danger that was approaching and they got afraid. Then, they started to leave Kirman as soon as possible. The Ruler Dinar captured the capital city of Berdesir in September 1187 and abolished the Kirman Seljuks State thereof.