Yesterday, August 26th, marked the 946th anniversary of The Battle of Manzikert (Malazgirt), which was fought between the Byzantine Empire and the Selcuk Empire on August 26, 1071 near Manzikert (modern Malazgirt in Muş Province, Turkey).
Yesterday also marked the 95th anniversary of the the start of the Grand Battle of Dumplupinar on August 26, 1922 which cleared Anatolia of adversary forces.
In 1071, the decisive defeat of the Byzantine army and the capture of the Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes are considered the beginning of the end of Byzantine Empire and the gradual conquest of Anatolia by the Turks.
The decisive defeat of the Byzantine army and the capture of the Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes are considered the the beginning of the end of Byzantine Empire and the gradual conquest of Anatolia by the Turks.
A few decades after the actual battle, Anna Komnene wrote:
“…the fortunes of the Roman Empire had sunk to their lowest ebb. For the armies of the East were dispersed in all directions, because the Turks had over-spread, and gained command of, countries between the Euxine Sea [Black Sea] and the Hellespont, and the Aegean Sea and Syrian Seas [Mediterranean Sea], and the various bays, especially those which wash Pamphylia, Cilicia, and empty themselves into the Egyptian Sea [Mediterranean Sea].”
When Emperor Romanos IV was conducted into the presence of Sultan Alp Arslan, the Sultan refused to believe that the bloodied and tattered man covered in dirt was the mighty Emperor of the Romans. A famous conversation is also reported to have taken place:
Alp Arslan: “What would you do if I were brought before you as a prisoner?”
Romanos: “Perhaps I’d kill you, or exhibit you in the streets of Constantinople”.
Alp Arslan: “My punishment is far heavier. I forgive you, and set you free.”
Alp Arslan treated Romanos with considerable kindness and again offered the terms of peace that he had offered prior to the battle.
Over the next 946 years Anatolia saw the flourishing of the great Turkish Empires, Selcuks followed by the Ottomans. To day Anatolia is the home of the modern Turkish Republic with more than 80 million citizens.