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Beylerbayan Apek of Orhanli Beylerbeylik (Turkish)



A Concept Drawing of Turkish (Oghuz) Woman Warrior in the Historically Wrong Sketch Series - Medieval Revisited, which is roughly based on the Middle ages covering 800 AD to 1400 AD. Orhanli Beylerbeylik represents the dominion of the Turkish people, mainly the Oghuz in the Historically Wrong Sketch Series. They can be compared to the Seljuk Turks that ruled pretty much half of the Islamic World in their height, during the middle ages.

Inspired by the Music: NAMI NAMI by Azam Ali (Turkish Folk Song)


Perhaps, out of all the the Turkic people that dominated the medieval warfare, the Oghuz turks were one of the most successful in terms of establishing their rule over vast territories. Indeed, most of the ancestors of modern day Turkish people in Turkey, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Gagauzia and Iranian Azerbaijan were the Oghuz Turks, better known as Turkmen or Turcoman. What started as part of the tribal Turkic group from central Asia serving under various Khanates like the Gökturks and the Khazars, the Ohguz managed to build some of the most powerful military state in the middle ages. The best example would be the Seljuk Sultanates, Anatolian Sultanate of Rum, various Turko-Persian dynasties, and finally, the Ottoman Empire that nearly brought the Eastern European frontier to its knees.


The Drawing is a re-sketch of the original picture, since I have received quite a few feedback regarding it. Also, the re-sketch would fit better in the upcoming artbook project. But what originally inspired me with htis drawing is a nice cup of Turkish coffee sold by this cafe just down the road from my home, whose taste and aroma tickles my brain so much that the creativity juice suddenly flow like waterfall :D!

Speaking of which, the character portrayed here is Beylerbayan Apek Ertugrulgoglu, dressed in stylized tribal turkic kaftan, complete with the turkic fur helmet, lamellar armor and mail shirt underneath, which was inspired by the ones worn the rich tribal member of the Oghuz Turks. Along with her attire, she is equipped with a turkic mace, curved sword and a recurved central-asian composite bow, which at that time, were superior compared to the ones used by the Persian and Arabs. The quiver is richly decorated with gilded flower petals and I have included the Seljuk double headed eagle, as well as star of David on her scabbard for stylistic purpose.

The scene depicts another tukic tribal noblemen on the left, dressed in much simpler kaftan attire with no armor, though he may have worn silk underneath for protection against arrow. On her right, it's a rather badly drawn Turkish Ghulam from the Seljuk sultanate era and beyond, a short of slave-soldier and precursor to the Mamlukes of Egypt.  Also, I have included some bits of pieces from the ruins of Persepolis in Iran, which can be seen from the (badly) drawn relief of Persian immortals, Persepolis bull head statue, as well as tablet with the Zoroastrian Symbol and text written in Old Persian Cuneiform (probably from achaemenid era?). The reason being is that, Turko-Persian culture had long been a blend of 2 of some the world's olderst culture, creating not only unique style of art and literature, but also warfare and the birth of some of the world's most powerful dynasties.

As for the role of Turkish Women, both in the traditional tribal custom to the high porte of Ottoman, they occupied pretty important place. Their steppe origins were also famous for their Women Warriors who rode alongside the men in battle as horse archers. Also, The mothers occupied the most respected place in the families, and the nature of Turkic tribal society gave some rights to women, both noble and commoners. On the other hand, the women who were captured as slaves had little rights, but could become very influential in the politics of the household, which was rather common in the Ottoman Household.

Credit to :iconexcellencia: for his role in correcting the Turkish title in the series, as well as a tribute to all the Turkish people here in DA :)


Maybe related to the following women warriors

 The Persian  Shahdokht Roshanara of Bahramiyan Eranshahr by Gambargin , The Byzantines, Basilissa Sotirisa of Basileia Rhiomanion (Greek) by Gambargin, The Arabs Sultana Ahu of Sultanat Misr Al-Sarraviyah (Egypt) by Gambargin
and the Other Steppe Culture  Sevindik Khanum of Desht-i Yurtubi (Cuman-Kypchak) by Gambargin

A Part of the Historically Wrong Sketch Series: Medieval Revisited - You can find more on the various faction on the map here:

HWS Medieval Revisited - Faction Map v.1.30 by Gambargin


Our general understanding that during the middle ages, the Arabs were the most renowned warriors in the Islamic world. It can be said true when referring to the early rise of the Rashidun Caliphate after the passing of prophet Muhammad (SAW) in 600s. But you would be surprised, that by the time of the crusades, and beyond, the Turks constituted most the elite and the fearsome warrior class in the Islamic world. Not only that, the Turks have founded powerful ruling dynasties that left its mark from the Balkan peninsula to the land as far Bengal in India. But why the Turks?

There central Asian steppe was home to a diverse group of Turkic people that originated from a large, powerful polity in central Asia called the Gokturks from the 6th to 8th century. After its disintegration, the region saw many of the Turkic tribes migrated to the East, as well as Transoxania, which included the Bulgars, Khazars, Cumans, Kypchacks, and the Oghuz. The Oghuz themselves migrated to Transoxania in the early 8th century, and interacted with the Persian whom by this time, were ruled under the Islamic Caliphate. The cultural exchange between the two resulted in their conversion to Islam, as well as the adoption of Arabic script in their writings, since previously the majority of Oghuz Turks were illiterate.

The story of how theses Oghuz Turks came into power is relatively humble. By the 9th century onwards, the Arabs and Persian Mulsim dynasty began to employ the so called "Ghulam/Ghilman", a type of slave soldier which are primarily sourced from captured Turkic slaves. These new breed of elite soldier became important in influencing how the warfare in the middle east was fought, and later, they were employed as statesmen and administrator to govern the realm in their master's place. Perhaps, this may differ than what we associate "Slave" in our modern term. In those time, these "Slave-soldier" became more and more influential that they had developed their own military caste within the Islamic world, gradually replacing the military elite that was once held by the Arabs and Persians.

One such story of how a humble turkic tribal clan became a powerful ruling dynasty can be traced back to the Seljuq Turks. The Seljuqs originated from the Qynyk branch of the Oghuz Turks who in the 9th century lived on the periphery of the Muslim world, north of the Caspian and Aral seas in their Yabghu Khaganate of the Oghuz confederacy in the Kazakh Steppe of Turkestan. When Seljuq, the leader of the Seljuq clan, had a falling out with Yabghu, the supreme chieftain of the Oghuz, he split his clan off from the bulk of the Tokuz-Oghuz and set up camp on the west bank of the lower Syr Darya (Jaxartes). Around 985, Seljuq converted to Islam and In the 11th century the Seljuqs migrated from their ancestral homelands into mainland Persia, in the province of Khurasan, where they encountered the Ghaznavid empire.

Persia, by this time, is ruled by various independent rival persianate and turko-persian sultanates that contested each other for supremacy after the disintegration of the Abbasid Caliphate. The local Persian dynasties took power over from the previously help position by the Arabs, while some of the Turkic slave revolted against their former Persian master and established their own Turko-Persian dynasty. One such dynasty was the Ghaznavids, who came in contact with the Seljuqs. The Seljuq invaded Ghaznavid territories and were successful in subduing the rest of the region, before conquering much of Persia and Mesopotamia laying the foundation for the Great Seljuk Empire in the 11th century.

From then on, the Seljuq descended down upon their Arabs and Anatolian (armenia and byzantium) neighbors to expand their conquest, controlling most of Arabia, Mesopotamia, as well as taking away majority of Anatolian Lands from the Byzantine. The Seljuq then divided their realm into the Seljuq Sultanate that ruled much of Persia and Mesopotamia, and the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum that ruled much of the Anatolia. Unfortunately, by the 12th century, the Seljuq Sultanate in Persia had disintegrated into various feuding independent emirs, while the Sultanate of Rum disintegrated into various independent beyliks in the 13th century.

When the mongol Invaded in the 13th century, much of the land that the Turks had conquered were snatched by the mongols, except for the few beyliks/emirates in anatolia after the disintegration of Sultanate of rum. Out of these few beyliks/emirates, one of them were lead by Osman who proceed to conquer much of its neighbors, crafting a new Turkish power that would be the beginning of one of the worlds greatest empire, the Ottomans. On the other hand, the Invasion also caused many of the Turks to launch several invasions to north India, carving their own massive empire in the process, with the famous one being the Tughlaq dynasty. Their rule in India is somewhat a contrast of their rule in Persia; while the latter was known to be tolerant of the local Persian culture, the Indians often found their Turkish rulers to be aggressive and less tolerant.
Image size
1630x2359px 1.37 MB
Shutter Speed
1/17 second
Focal Length
5 mm
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Burksaurus's avatar
Beautiful Turkish warrior