Western Turkic Khaganate
|Onoq ("Ten Arrows")
Western Turkic Khaganate
Greatest extent of the Western Turkic Khaganate after the Battle of Bukhara
|Capital||Navekat (summer capital)
Suyab (principal capital)
|Historical era||Early Middle Ages|
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The Onoq Western Turkic Khaganate (Chinese: 西突厥; pinyin: Xi tūjué) was a Turkic khaganate formed as a result of the internecine wars in the beginning of the 7th century (593 – 603 AD) after the Göktürk Khaganate (founded in the 6th century in Mongolia by the Ashina clan) had splintered into two polities – Eastern and Western.
In the beginning [after 552], Shidianmi [Istämi] followed the Shanyu [Qaghan] and commanded the ten great chiefs. Together with their 100,000 soldiers, he marched to the Western Regions and subdued the barbarian statelets. There he declared himself as qaghan, under the title of ten tribes, and ruled them [the western barbarians] for generations.—Tongdian, 193 and Jiu Tangshu, 194
Soon [after 635], Dielishi Qaghan [of the Western Göktürks] divided his state into ten parts, and each was headed by one man, together they made up the ten she [shad]. Every she is given an arrow by him, thus they were known as the ten arrows. He also divided the ten arrows into two factions, each consisted of five arrows. The left [east] faction consisted of five Duoliu Duolu tribes, headed by five chuo [qur] separately. The right [west] faction consisted of five Nushibi (Ch. 弩失畢) tribes, headed by five sijin [irkin] separately. Each took command on one arrow and called themselves as the ten arrows. Thereafter, each arrow was also known as one tribe, and the great arrow head as the great chief. The five Duoliu tribes inhabited to east of Suiye [water] (Chu River), and the five Nushibi tribes to the west of it. Since then, they called themselves as the ten tribes.—Tongdian, 193 and Jiu Tangshu, 194
The first statement dates their origin back to the beginning of the First Turkic Qaghanate with Istämi, younger brother of Tumen (Bumen), who had brought with him the ten tribes probably from the Eastern Qaghanate at Mongolia and left to the west to expand the Qaghanate. The exact date for the event was not recorded, and the shanyu here referred to might be Muhan Khan.
The second statement contributes it to Dielishi, who took over the throne in 635 and began to strengthen the state by further affirming the initial ten tribes and two tribal wings, in contrast with the rotation of rule between the Tumen (through Apa) and Istämi (through Tardu) lineages in the Western Qaghanate. Thereafter, the name "ten tribes" (十姓) became as a shortened address for the Western Turks in Chinese records. However it should be noted that those divisions did not include the five major tribes, who were active further east of the ten tribes.
The earlier tribes consisted of eight primary tribes ruled by ten chiefs-in-command, afterwards called the on (ten) oq (arrows) (十箭). They were the five Duolu (咄陆) tribes, and the three Nushipi (弩失毕) tribes. The relationships between the ten tribes and the ruling elites were divided into two groups. The more aristocratic Duolu tribes, who held the title qur, and the lower-rated Nushipi in west, who were probably initially made up of Tiele conscripts. During the reformation the more powerful Nushipi tribes such as A-Xijie and Geshu were sub-divided into two tribal groups with a greater and lesser title under a fixed tribal name.
In 619 the Western Turks invaded Bactria but were repulsed in the course of the Second Perso-Turkic War. During the Third Perso-Turkic War Khagan Tung Yabghu and his nephew Böri Shad joined their forces with Emperor Heraclius and successfully invaded Transcaucasia.
The khaganate's capitals were Navekat (the summer capital) and Suyab (the principal capital), both situated in the Chui River valley of Kyrgyzstan, to the east from Bishkek. The khaganate was overrun by Tang Chinese forces under Su Dingfang in 658-659 during the Tang campaign against the Western Turks.
- History of Turkey
- Ishbara Tolis (Dielishi Qaghan )
- Old Great Bulgaria
- Oghuz Turks
- Turks in the Tang military
- Turkic interregnum
- Turkic peoples
- Timeline of Turks (500-1300)
- List of Turkic dynasties and countries
- Twitchett, David. The Cambridge History of China. Cambridge University Press, 1979. ISBN 0-521-21446-7. Page 223.
- Xue, "A History of Turks", p. 271, 300.
- Wang, "Political Relationship Between the Chinese, Tibetan and Arab", p. 28.
- 1. Chuyue (处月, later as Shato) 2. Chumi (处密) 3. Gusu (姑苏) 4. Bishi (畀失) 5. Qarluq.
- Xue, "A History of Turks", p. 271, 273, 275, 300-301.
- Wang, "Political Relationship Between the Chinese, Tibetan and Arab", p. 29.
- 1. Chumukun (处木昆) 2. Huluju (胡禄居) 3. Shesheti (摄舍提) 4. Tuqishi (突骑施) 5. Shunishi (鼠尼施).
- 1. A-Xijie (阿悉结) 2. Geshu (哥舒) 3. Basegan (拔塞干).
- Xue, "A History of Turks", p. 272, 314.
- Wang, "Political Relationship Between the Chinese, Tibetan and Arab", p. 30-31.
- Hans J. Van de Ven. Warfare in Chinese History. Brill Academic Publishers, 2000. ISBN 90-04-11774-1. Page 118.