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Azerbaijan as part of the State of Hulakids

In the mid of the 13th century, big feudal properties and areas, which referred to Mongol khaganate maintained their independence. Due to subordinate the governors of these regions Great Mongol khagan Munke sent army to the Front Asia under the leadership of his brother, Hulaku khan in 1253. Hulaku khan subordinated all local governors in Iran, Arabic Irag and Syria by the support of big feudals. In 1256, Hulaku khan laid down the existence of Alamut possession of Ismailits in Northern Iran. In 1257 Hulaku khan entirely subordinated Azerbaijan. Then he made campaign to Baghdad, which he conquered in February, 1258. After the conquest of Baghdad, the city was destroyed and caliph was assassinated. So, Mongols laid down the existence of Abbasid caliphate, which existed more than 500 years.

Hulaku khan established new, fifth Mongolian – the state of Hulakids (Elkhanids). The state of Elkhanids existed in the territory of Azerbaijan till 1357. During about 100 years of existence, this state influenced both to social-economic and cultural life of Azerbaijan, also partly to the ethnic content, religious belief, culture and language of the country.

Azerbaijan, Persian Irag, Arabic Irag, Kerman, Georgia, Asia Minor, Armenia, Kurdistan, Persia, Khuzistan, Khorasan and other regions were included to the state of Hulakids. The territory of this state stretched from Egypt to Amudarya, from Hormuz gulf to Derbend. The capital of the state of Hulakids was firstly Maragha, then Tabriz.

The uniting of Arran, Shirvan, Sheki, Mughan, Karabakh, Nakhichevan, Qushtasfi and Arasban in the content of Azerbaijan and the transition of these cities into socio-economic, ethnic, cultural and spiritual part of Azerbaijan in 13th and 15th centuries was very essential event. The borders of Azerbaijan, which extended to the Caspian Sea in the East, stretched to the district of Gilan in South-East, to the district of Persia (southern cities of Zenjan, Savucbulag, Ushnu, Ruindej) in the South, to the cities of Urmiya, Salmas, Khoy, Maku, Dabil (Dvin) in the West,then passing the lake of Goycha included the district of Sheki as well as Derbent and its around in the North.

More than 20 (twenty) tribes from Turkish-Mongolian origin (ulduz-chobani, calairi, caghatay, kurgan, sunit, corat, budat, ayrat, tatar, dolan, onqut and etc.), which served in the army of Hulaku khan settled in the South Caucasus and mixed with the local population there. The settlement of these tribes in Azerbaijan became the reason of the increasement of number of Turkish-spoken population.

In 13th century Turks played an essential role in various spheres of the Hulakid state. For instance, the one of official languages in the state of Hulakids was Turkish, the other official languages were Persian and Arabic.

Mongols, who essentially were idol-worshipers conducted intensive struggle against Islam in Azerbaijan in the first years.

Christianity, Iudaism, Buddism and Christian states of Europe influenced to Elkhanids much. Mongol princes oftenly changed their religious belief during the struggle for throne, in order to gain support of any feudal group or social cathegories. So, Ghazan khan (1295-1304), who was idol worshiper in his childhood, converted to Islam in order to occupy the reign and declared it the official religion. After the religious reform of Ghazan khan the position of Islam strengthened – there were used Islamic expressions in the central state administrative, in the state orders, in the coin minting and during Friday prayings (khutba) too. Ghazan khan, who was known as “reformer of Islamic religion” weakened the positions of Christianity and other religions.

He destroyed church, pagan temples, synagogues and other non- muslim temples and built mosques in their places.

The founder of the dynasty, Hulaku khan determined the administration of organs in superior authority, military-political institutions also the regions among princes and emirs relying on nomadic aristocracy. Hulaku khan created powerful and centralized state in economic relations by the means of dismiss of local feudals. But the strengthening of nomadic aristocracy caused to the uprising against central reign and increasement of feudal strife.

The feudal strife became in open form at the end of Abaga-khan’s (1265-1282) reign. After his death, part of the feudals supported Ahmed-khan, the other part supported Argun-khan. Ahmed khan (1282-1284) who came into throne was not able to stay in power for a long time as elkhan and in 1284, he was dethroned, the throne was passed to Argun-khan (1284-1391). Although during Argun-khan’s reign


feudal strife was ended, but after his death internecines increased for the choosing of new elkhan. The son of Abaga-khan, Keykhatu-khan (1291- 1295) came to the throne, but soon he became the puppet in the hands of feudal groups. During the reign of Baydu khan, who was in throne only for several monthes, the central authority completely weakened.

In 1295, Ghazan khan (1295-1304) was proclaimed new elkhan of the state of Hulakids by the vehicle of local feudals in Karabakh. Nomadic emirs, who united in the north Azerbaijan conducted fought against Ghazan khan – organized conspiracy against him, shaped conflicts and rose uprisings in different regions of the country against khan. In 1296, there was organized conspiracy against Ghazan-khan under the leadership of Arslan-oghlu in Arran and in 1297, there began revolt under the leadership of Taydju-oghlu in the North of Azerbaijan. In 1298, Ghazan khan managed to neutralize all disorders and strengthened the central authority.

Central authority, which became strong during Ghazan-khan’s reign, which much more strengthened in the reign of his brother, Sultan Ulcaytu (1304-1316), who completely restored stability in the country, even included Gilan and Herat to its territories. After the death of Sultan Ulcaytu, his 12 years old son Abu-Said (1316-1335) was brought to the throne, but the state administration was centralized in the hands of major emir of the state – Choban. Big feudals, who disagreed with this began the struggle against central authority. The realized invasions and attacks of neighborhood countries to Azerbaijan much more aggravated the circumstances of Hulakids. The state of Hulakids encountered with tripe danger. So, emir Yasavur, who occupied the authority in Khorasan, in 1318 plundered lots of regions of Hulakids. The Sultan of Egypt and khan of Gold-Orda also invaded to the state of Elkhanids.

About Ismayil bey Zardabli

Author of t extbook for the higher educational institutions "THE HISTORY OF AZERBAIJAN, from ancient times to the present day"