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IslamisationComparative Perspectives from History$
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A. C. S. Peacock

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474417129

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474417129.001.0001

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Islamisation in Medieval Anatolia

Islamisation in Medieval Anatolia

(p.134) 8 Islamisation in Medieval Anatolia*

A. C. S. Peacock

Edinburgh University Press

Islam penetrated Anatolia rather later than the rest of the Middle East. Indeed, Anatolia had been the Byzantine Empire’s bulwark against the Arabs over the seventh to tenth centuries, withstanding or at least absorbing frequent – at times more or less annual – incursions that stretched far into the peninsula.1 Initially, perhaps, the raids of the Turks who had seized control of neighbouring Iran and the Caucasus in the mid-eleventh century seemed a similarly manageable annoyance. Yet for reasons that remain inadequately understood, after defeat at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, Byzantine authority evaporated over most of the peninsula, leaving the way open for the establishment of the first Muslim state based at Nicaea in the far west in 1081, ruled by a cousin of the Seljuq sultans of Iran and Iraq, Sulayman b. Qutlumush. Although Byzantium managed to regain control of some of western and littoral Anatolia, with the loss of so much of the empire’s revenue-producing territory the stage was set for its inexorable decline and obliteration at the hands of the Turks, culminating in the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by the Ottomans, who saw themselves as the Seljuqs’ heirs.

Keywords:   Islam, Anatolia, Muslim, Conversion, Arab

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