Seljuk Influence on the Mamelukes
Keywords: Seljuk, Mamelukes, Islam
One of the main influences on the structure of the Mameluke State was the organisation of the Seljuk State. In various works of his, Fuat Köprülü stated that, "In the Middle Ages the Turkish-Islamic world in the Middle East constituted a single cultural sphere; various sub-spheres within this area had very similar social and political structures, notwithstanding some local differentiations. It is clear that as far as their state was concerned, the Egyptian Mamelukes were influenced by the Seljuks. The Eyyubis State, of which the Mamelukes were the inheritors, was one of the branches of the Seljuk State." This subject was neglected in later years. In this article we have tried to expound on these observations by Fuat Köprülü, concerning the sphere of Turkish-Islamic culture in the Middle East and Seljuk influences, by adding a few more details in the light of existing sources. In this way, by underlining an aspect of the historical background inherited by the Mamelukes, we have explained the history of their organisation. We have also tried to explain the relations between Seljuk and Mameluke organisations, based on existing sources. Within this context, we have tried to present this subject in the light of the perspective afforded us by the sources, beginning from the related terminology. Nevertheless our aim was not to write a detailed history of the institutions that we mention. An attempt to do this would not only not have fitted within the narrow confines of this article, but would also have led us astray from our subject. Since our aim was to underline the cultural relations between the Seljuks and the Mamelukes, we have been content with explaining these institutions in a general way. In this article, we have made an attempt to study the way the Seljuks influenced the Mamelukes through Zengi and the Eyyubis and we have put forward elements that will render concrete the matter.