He is mentioned in the account of Bishop Israel of Caucasian Albania, who travelled to Alp Ilutuer's court in an unsuccessful attempt to convert him and his people to Christianity. Alp is an Old Turkic word meaning "hero", though it also sometimes was used as a personal name. Ilutuer is believed to be a cognate of the ancient Turkic title for a vassal ruler (in this case, vassal to the Khazars. Therefore it is unclear whether Alp Ilutuer is a proper name, a title, or a combination of the two.
In 670s he provoked some raids against the Khazars and heroically died in war. Alp Iluetuer is still remembered in Bulgar and Chuvash legend.
His name's correct construction must be Alp İlteber according to Old Turkic.