The Khazar State is the only Turkish state established in the Caucasus that has adopted Judaism. The Khazars form the origin of the Jews in Russia and Europe today. At the same time, this state is one of the periods that should be handled carefully in terms of Turkish history. Because it is one of the few Turkish communities that have a belief other than the belief in Gök God and Islam. It dominated the Caucasus region from the North of the Black Sea to the East of Europe. The Khazars, which have become one of the important states of Europe, have the characteristic of being an important political element that shapes the trade and the policies of the period in the region. The source of the state name of the Khazars comes from the root "Kaz". Kaz (Kezen/Traveler) means Er (Valent Person). Over time, it has reached today's pronunciation as Kazer, Hazer and Hazar. According to Jewish, Byzantine and Arab sources, it is known that the majority of the people living in the Caspian country are Turkish tribes such as Uyghur, Khazar, Pre-Bulgarian, Sabir and Pechenek.
The Khazar State has not archived its historical development in writing. We can obtain information about the development period of this state from the Russian, Byzantine and Arab histories with which it was in contact. Although we do not know the names of the Khans who ruled the state and the duration of their rule, we can reach many details about their relations with neighboring states. We can determine that the state administration and organization of the Khazars is completely unique to the Turks. Because Byzantine, Russian and Arab sources explicitly referred to the Khazars as "Turks". The religious belief of the Khazar society, as in the Göktürks, was the belief in the Monotheistic Sky God. Although the administration of the state adopted this belief, religious tolerance was at a very high level among the Khazars. Any community or statesman could choose any religion they desired, and this was in no way inconvenient. For this reason, the Khazars, who were not religiously conservative, turned to Judaism over time and started to adopt the Jewish faith first at the state level and then as a society. It is thought that this caused him to prefer Judaism. Even so, the current of Judaism in the society increased over time, resulting in a significant portion of the Khazars being Jewish. Some scholars agree that the origin of the Jewish communities in Russia, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and its surroundings is the Caspian Communities.
In fact, this community, called the Sabirs, went to war with the Sassanids in 558 and took a large part of the Caucasus under their rule. The origin of the Khazar State is the Sabir and Western Göktürk communities. After the collapse of the Great Hun State, the communities within the Huns started to migrate towards the Caspian Sea region from the 50s BC to the 370s AD. Being one of these communities, which were subject to the European Huns and continued their existence in the Caspian region for a long time, the Sabers established the Caspian State, and with the collapse of the Western Gokturks, other Gokturk Communities in the region joined the Caspian State. The dynasty of the Khazars is the Ansa tribe from the Sabirs. In the records of the Greek historian Theophanes the Confessor, he refers to the Khazars as "Turks from the east". There are also researchers who agree that the Caspian is a dialect of Turkish dialects such as Hunca and Bolgar, which has been influenced by the old Turkic language and Uyghur, and is connected to the Oğur group. Arab traveler and geographer Ibn Havkal and Istahri, contemporary of the Khazars, named the Khazar; They stated that it was neither the name of a nation nor a people and described it as the name given only to the country whose capital was İtil. University of Haifa Dr. Simon Kraiz, in the writings he found in the village of Samosdelka, which remained from the Khazars in September 2008, stated that the Khazars; He discovered that he had written a lot about Russians, Georgians, Armenians and other nationalities.
Establishment and Historical Development of the Khazars
In the 6th century, while the Sabirs were gradually forgotten, the Khazars began to appear in the same region, this time within the Don-Idil-Caucasus triangle. The Khazar empire took its place in the list of the longest-lived Turkish states over time. Previously, they made the city of Belencer the capital for two and a half centuries. When the empire expanded, they used the city of İdil, on the edge of the Volga, as the new capital for two and a half centuries. The settlement, which is called the city of İdil, is known as Astırhan today. When the Khazars came from Central Asia and settled in their new country, they also connected the Turkish tribes living there, and thus they were able to get stronger and establish an independent state in a short time.
During the establishment of the Khazar state, the Islamic armies were advancing towards the North. The Islamic Armies that destroyed the Sassanid State in 634, in 651, Caliph Hz. They made their first contact with the Khazar State by advancing towards the Caucasus during the Omar period. The Islamic Armies, which became quite strong, took Derbent and advanced to Belajar, the capital of the Khazars. Although the Khazars repulsed the Islamic armies, they had to withdraw their capital to the vicinity of İdil. However, Caliph, who came after Umar, The murder of Osman and the new caliph Hz. Due to the internal turmoil in Ali's period, the Islamic Armies could not continue to advance.
The Khazars, who started to have a say in their region and gathered power, enlarged both their armies and their borders with the collapse of the great Bulgarian Khanate in 665 and the subordination of the Bulgarian Khan Batbayan. After this process, the Khazar State expanded its borders to Diyenper. The Khazars, who got stronger over time, captured the Crimea in the 690s and established dominance around the Azov Sea. By the 700s, their dominion areas dominated the region from the Caspian Sea to the Dniester, from the southern skirts of the Caucasus to the Oka river, and all of the Crimea.
The armies of Islam With the murder of Ali in 661, the Khazars, together with the Umayyads, who took the Arab communities under their rule, engaged in long-lasting conflicts with the Muawiya government. Deposed in 695 in Byzantium, П. Justinian took refuge with the Goths in the Crimea. The Goths handed him over to the Crimean Khan Busir. Busir married Justinian, who took refuge in him for 10 years, to his sister in 704. However, in 705, the Byzantine Emperor П. Tiberius orders the death of Justinian by declaring that he will give great rewards to those who bring Justinian dead or alive. Juistinianos, for whom a death warrant was issued, escaped from the Khazars and took refuge in Tervel, another Turkish state, Khan of the Danube Bulgarian State, and took the throne of Byzantium with the help of Tervel Khan.
Busir Khan, the ruler of the Khazar state, captured Cherson, which was under the control of Byzantium, in 710. Thereupon, Juistinianos marches on Busir and takes Cherson back. However, the Chersonian rebels retake Crimea with the support of Busir Khan. In this period, the hostility between the Khazars and Byzantium intensified with the mutual attacks of the two rulers.
Continuing to put pressure on the Khazars, Byzantium began to lose its influence on the Khazars after the Umayyads besieged Istanbul in 717. With the decrease of Byzantine pressure, the Khazar state entered Shirvan in the same year and took control of a large part of today's Azerbaijani lands. After this period, the struggles for the dominance of the Caucasus, especially between the Umayyads and the Khazars, gained momentum. The Khazar state gathered all its power in 731 and organized an expedition against the Umayyads. In this attack, the Umayyads suffered a heavy defeat and advanced to the front of Mosul, but the Umayyads, who gathered strength again, attacked the Khazars again under the leadership of Sait El Haraşi, and they took the region up to the front of Azerbaijan again under their control.
The Umayyads appointed Marwan, who would become the caliph in 732, as the governor of the region on the Azerbaijan-Armenia line on the Caspian border. During the Marwan period, the Umayyads achieved great success and strengthened their dominance and succeeded in suppressing the Khazars. The Umayyads, who wanted to reduce the effectiveness of the Khazar state, marched on the Khazars and captured several cities and took many prisoners. The Khazar State was saved from collapse by signing an agreement on the condition that they accept Umayyad domination and Islam. However, with the withdrawal of the Umayyads from the region, the Khazars returned to their old beliefs. It was during the reign of Harun Reşit that the Hazas recovered and organized expeditions against the Umayyads. The Umayyads, who also won this struggle, dominated the southern Caucasus. After this date, there was no war between the Khazar State and the Umayyads, and peace prevailed in the relations between the two states.
The Khazars were in a constant struggle with their neighbors, the Umayyads and Byzantium. However, the alliance with Byzantium to eliminate the Umayyads brought the relations between the two countries very close. These relations, which continued during the time of the Byzantine Emperor Leon III, were formed by the marriage of Constantine IV, son of Leon III, to the daughter of the Khazar Khan Bihar. Born from this marriage, Leon ascended to the Byzantine throne in 775. As a result of the good relations that started with this kinship bond, the commercial relations between the Khazar State and Byzantium gradually developed.
The Crimean region, which was especially vital for the Khazar state, was very important. Sometimes, the Khazars, who lost the dominance of the Crimea, took the Doros (Mangup) castle in the Southern Crimea in 787, putting an end to the domination of the Goths, who dominated the Crimea, and brought this state under their own dominance. The Khazars, who strengthened their dominance in the region, expanded their borders to the Western and Northern regions in the 8th and 9th centuries. With this power, they were able to collect taxes, manage trade and control regional policies from almost every tribe in Eastern Europe. 1 squirrel fur and silver money were taxed per house from the Khazars, the Slavic tribes, Polyan, Severyan, Radimic and Vyatic, who settled in the region in today's East Russia. Novrogod Knezi Oleg, who took his place after Runic, the leader of the Slavs, asked the Slavic tribes not to pay taxes to the Khazar State by putting pressure on the Severyans in 884 to put an end to this situation. This attempt of Oleg left the Khazar State in a difficult position. Slavic tribes that joined forces also began to gather strength.
In 892, the even stronger Slavic tribes landed in the Caspian Sea with 55 ships, landed soldiers in the regions of Taberistan and Abiskon, where the Muslim communities were located, and gathered booty with plunder. With the permission of the Khazar Khan, they also paid the taxes to the Khazars from the booty they obtained on their return from this expedition, but the Muslims among the soldiers of the Khazar State attacked the Slavs who plundered the Muslim regions by getting the permission of the Khan. As a result of this attack, which was mostly aimed at revenge, the Slavs were defeated and the influence of the Slavs on the Muslim regions was prevented for that period.
The good relations with Byzantium deteriorated during the reign of Romanos Lekapenos (932) due to the pressure of Byzantium on the Jews. The Jews, who took refuge in the Khazar State due to the pressure of Byzantium on the Jews, caused a rift between Byzantium and the Khazar State. In response to the policies of Byzantium, the Khazars began to put pressure on the Christians within. Thereupon, Byzantine Emperor Romanos cooperated with Kievan Knezi Igor against the Khazars. Igor provoked an agreement with the other Turkic communities, Uz, Pechenek, As and Alan tribes, to march on the Khazars, and they attacked the Khazars together. Although the Khazars repulsed this attack, they started their first struggle with the Other Turkic Communities. After this date, many tribes within the Caspian have been in rebellion and struggle against the Khazars.
Although the names of the khagans who became the rulers of the Khazars are known, the period of their reign has not been determined precisely. According to the available information, Khagans of Khazars appeared on the stage of history in the following order:
8. II. Menashe
13. II. Harun
The Fall of the Khazar State (935-1030)
Starting from the 900s, the Slavs began to gain power with the commercial activities they carried out in the Caspian regions. Slavs began to settle in this region by dominating the Kiev region with their commercial power. The Khazar State began to weaken and lose its power with the pressures of Byzantium, the rebellion of the Turkish tribes that were dependent on it, and the gaining power of the Slavs. The Slavs embarked on a struggle with the Khazars in order to consolidate their power in their region and expand their dominance. At the end of long struggles, they seized the dominance of the trade route going down to the Black Sea via the Diyenper River, and they separated the Slavic tribes in this region from the Khazars and made them subject to them. The Slavs, who became stronger and included other Slavic tribes, became a state and played an active role in the destruction of the Khazars.
In 935, Igor, the Slavic Knez, attacked the Khazar city of Tmutarakan. Simultaneously, the Byzantine attack on the Crimea with the help of the Slavs and seizing a part of the Crimea left the Khazars in a difficult situation. Even though the Khazar Khagan Aeron marched to the Crimea in 939, he destroyed the region but could not take it back. By 965, the Slavs began to raid heavily on the Khazars. With this attack of the Slavs, which was the main factor in the collapse of the Khazar State, the Slavs took Sarkel and advanced south, and provoked the Pechenegs and Uz tribes against the Khazars. The Khazar State, which continued to grow until the 950s, began to receive attacks from the Turkish tribes, which were affiliated with them, with the provocation and cooperation of the Slavs from the 950s.
In the same period, the Hungarians, organized under the Caspian Administration in the Volga tribes, established the Arpad Dynasty. The Bulgarians and Pechenegs, who left the Khazar administration, and the Hungarians who settled in today's Hungary with the collapse of the Arpad Dynasty, formed the foundations of today's Hungary. As a result of the weakness that arose, other Turkic Communities started to become independent one by one by leaving the Caspian domination.
In historical sources, the collapse of the Khazars is recorded as 965. However, after the Slavs captured the Kerch Strait and the Kuban coast, the Khazars continued their existence around Azov and Crimea. Although they continued their khanate in this region until 1016 in a weakened state, Byzantium and Slavs cooperated and attacked the Tmutarakan region. After this war, the Khazar Khan was captured. The Khazar communities, which were left without a Khan, continued their existence for a while by passing to the Derebey. When the Pechenegs destroyed these feudal lords in 1030, the Khazar State came to an end. The communities that were subject to the collapse of the Caspian state migrated to the Crimea, the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus region, were assimilated and disappeared from the stage of history. Many academics think that the Jews living in Eastern Europe and Western Russia today are of Khazar origin.
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