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Toghril Beg

Compiled by: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On September 4, 1063 AD, Toghril Beg, the Turkic warlord who rose to power in Central Asia, Iran, Iraq, Anatolia, and parts of Syria, died at the age of 73 in Rayy, now a suburb of modern Tehran, where his tower-shaped tomb still stands. He, along with his elder brother, Chaghri Beg, rose to prominence in the service of the Khaqan of the Qara-Khanid Dynasty of Bukhara that had replaced the Iranian Samanid Dynasty in Central Asia.
He then united the Turkoman warriors of the Eurasian Steppes into a confederacy of tribes that traced ancestry to an ancestor, named Seljuq, and after defeating the Qara-Khanids, vanquished the Ghaznavids of Khorasan and Afghanistan, before conquering eastern Iran.
He established the Seljuq Sultanate after conquering the Iranian Plateau and Anatolia (modern eastern Turkey). The Abbasid caliph of Baghdad secretly invited him to Iraq to replace the Iranian Buwaihid Shi’ite Dynasty. Tughril marched upon Baghdad in 1055, and to the chagrin of the caliph, relegated the Abbasids to figureheads by taking command of the caliphate's armies in military offensives against the Byzantine Empire and the Syrian territories of the Fatemid Ismaili Shi’ite Caliphate of Egypt and North Africa.
In 1058, he lost Baghdad to the Fatemids but recaptured it two years later. On his death the childless Toghril, who had forcibly married the Abbasid caliph’s daughter, was succeeded after a brief struggle between the two sons of his deceased brother, Chaghri, by his surviving nephew Alp Arsalan, perhaps the greatest ruler of the Seljuq Dynasty.

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