Suleiman ibn Qutalmish

Suleiman ibn Qutalmish (Turkish: Kutalmışoğlu Süleyman Şah, Old Anatolian Turkish: سُلَیمانشاہ بن قُتَلمِش, Persian: سلیمان بن قتلمش‎) founded an independent Seljuk Turkish state in Anatolia and ruled as Seljuk Sultan of Rûm from 1077 until his death in 1086.[1]

Suleiman I
Kutalmışoğlu Suleiman monument in Tarsus, Mersin
Sultan of Rum
SuccessorKilij Arslan I
Near Antioch
ConsortSeljuk Khatun
IssueKilij Arslan I
ReligionSunni Islam


Suleiman was the son of Qutalmish, who had struggled unsuccessfully against his cousin Alp Arslan for the throne of the Great Seljuk Empire. When Kutalmish died in 1064, Suleiman fled with his three brothers into the Taurus Mountains and there sought refuge with Turkmen tribes living beyond the borders of the empire. Alp Arslan responded by launching a series of punitive expeditions against them. Of the four brothers, Suleiman alone survived the raids and was able to consolidate his leadership of the Turkmen.[2]

His realmEdit

In 1078, the Byzantine emperor Michael VII sought the help of Suleiman against Nicephorus Botaneiates, the commander of the Anatolic Theme, who had challenged the emperor for the throne. Suleiman intercepted Botaneiates' small force between Cotyaeum and Nicaea, whereupon the usurper persuaded Suleiman to join his rebellion by offering him incentives superior to those of the emperor.[3] Nicephorus' bid for power was successful, and in return for their support Suleiman's Turkmen were allowed to settle on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus, near Constantinople itself. Two years later, Suleiman lent his support to another pretender, Nicephorus Melissenus.[4] It was the latter Nicephorus who opened the gates of Nicaea to the Turkmen, allowing Suleiman to establish a permanent base.[5] All Bithynia was soon under Suleiman's control, a circumstance which allowed him to restrict communication between Constantinople and the former Byzantine subjects in Anatolia.

In 1084, Suleiman left Nicaea, leaving his kinsman Abu'l Qasim in charge.

Suleiman expanded his realm. In 1084 he captured Antioch and proceeded to massacre its inhabitants. Moreover, the treasures of the church of St. Cassianus were stolen and the church was converted into a mosque.[6]

His deathEdit

In 1086, Suleiman, seeking to expand his dominion, placed Aleppo under siege and demanded its surrender.[7] The emir of Aleppo sent a message to Tutush I, the Seljuk ruler of Syria, stating he would hand the city over to him.[7] Suleiman, hearing of the approach of Tutush's forces, raised the siege and marched to meet him.[7] Near Aleppo, Suleiman's forces fled before Tutush's army, while Suleiman was killed.[8] Suleiman's son, Kilij Arslan I, was captured, and Malik Shah transferred him to Isfahan as a hostage.

Upon the death of Malik-Shah I, Kilij Arslan I re-established the Sultanate of Rûm.


  1. ^ Peacock 2013, p. 71-72.
  2. ^ Cahen 1968, p. 73-74.
  3. ^ Vryonis 1971, p. 112-113.
  4. ^ Ostrogorsky 1969, p. 348-349.
  5. ^ Cahen 1968, p. 75.
  6. ^ Vryonis 1971, p. 159.
  7. ^ a b c Ibn al-Athir 2002, p. 223.
  8. ^ Grousset 1970, p. 154.


  • Cahen, Claude (1968). Pre-Ottoman Turkey: a general survey of the material and spiritual culture and history c. 1071-1330. Translated by Jones-Williams, J. Taplinger.
  • Grousset, René (1970). The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia. Translated by Walford, Naomi. Rutgers University Press.
  • Ibn al-Athir (2002). The Annals of the Saljuq Turks. Translated by Richards, D.S. Routledge.
  • Ostrogorsky, George (1969). History of the Byzantine State. Translated by Hussey, Joan. Rutgers University Press.
  • Peacock, Andrew (2013). The Seljuks of Anatolia: Court and Society in the Medieval Middle East. I.B. Tauris.
  • Vryonis, Speros (1971). The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization from the Eleventh through the Fifteenth Century. University of California Press.
  • Sevim, Ali (1987). Anadolu’nun Fethi : Selçuklular Dönemi (başlangıçtan 1086’ya kadar). Turkish Historical Association.
Preceded by
Sultan of Rûm
Succeeded by