The Sultanate of Rum or Rum Seljuk Sultanate was a Turko-persian sunni muslim empire in Anatolia from 1077 to 1307. The territory of this empire consisted of the conquered Roman territories of the Byzantine Empire by seluk turks after the battle of manzikert (1071).
In the centuries before the establishment of the Anatolian Seljuk State, Anatolia is the land where Byzantine – Arab and Byzantine – Sassanid struggles were experienced. These wars, which spread over the centuries, greatly eroded economic relations, trade contracted, production and income decreased. Both wars and economic collapse have led to a decrease in the population. The weakening of the Byzantine central authority in the region, on the other hand, increased the power of the local authorities over the regions and caused them to behave arbitrarily on their own, and consequently to crush the people further. The north – south and east – west lines of international transit trade passing through Anatolia were previously cut due to the control of the Middle East and Levant by the Islamic Empire. This situation excluded Anatolia from transit trade and also condemned it to an economic recession. After the Sassanid Empire was destroyed by the Rashid’un caliphate Armies in 651, Anatolia was not politically and socio-economically relieved. This time, during the Umayyads and Abbasids, Anatolia will become the “gas field” for the Islamic world.
In the 1070s, Suleiman Ibn Qatalmash, a close associate of Malik Shah I, the great ruler of the Seljuk Empire, began to gain power in western Anatolia, and in 1075 conquered the Byzantine cities of Nesia (now Aznik) and Nicomedia (now Izmat). In 1077, he declared himself sultan against Malik Shah and made Nassia his capital. Its conquered land was called Rome, so it was called sultanate of rum.
The empire continued to expand, but in 1086, Suleiman was assassinated in Antioch by the Seljuk ruler of Syria, Titus I, and his son Qalaj Arsalan was taken prisoner. After the death of Malik Shah in 1092, Qalaj Arsalan was released and re-conquered all the territories while restoring his father’s kingdom. He was finally defeated in 1097 by the Crusaders, who were on their way to Anatolia to conquer Palestine. Although Qalaj Arsalan defeated the Crusaders in several battles and annihilated their early armies, defeating millions of great armies was not enough, but Qilaj’s resistance was a sign of the courage of the medieval Muslims. That is why the Turks remember the name of Qalaj Arsalan with great respect.
After the defeat at the hands of the Crusaders, many areas of Anatolia fell out of the hands of the Seljuks, but Qalaj Arsalan maintained a government around Konya. He conquered Mosul in 1107, but died the same year.
After the death of Tughral III, the last beacon of the Seljuk Empire in 1194, Seljuk Rum remained the sole representative of the family. Ghias-ud-Din Khikhsru I re-conquered Konya in 1205 and declared himself Sultan. During the reign of Khikhsru and his two sons, Izz al-Din Qiqaws and Izz al-Din al-Qiqbad I, the Seljuk Rome reached its zenith. Kahsro’s greatest achievement was the capture of the port of Antalya on the Mediterranean coast in 1207. Kekhsru also conquered Snoop and Tarbzon in the north, but in 1218 he had to surrender in favor of Salahuddin in Aleppo. Kiqbad wiped out the Byzantines from the shores of the Mediterranean between 1221 and 1225. In 1225 he also sent an expedition across the Black Sea to Crimea and achieved victory.
At the end of his reign, Kaikosru III could actually claim sovereignty over what remained of the Seljuk Turkish Sultanate (i.e. the lands around Konya and a small coastline including the port of Kayseri (Caesarea Mazaca)). Some Anatolian rulers recognized the supremacy of the Sultan in Konya and Kaikosru along with his successors called themselves Fahreddin, “the Pride of Islam.” When Kaikosru was executed in 1282, the Seljuk Dynasty suffered severe infighting that lasted until 1303 when Kaikaus II’s son, Mesud II, proclaimed himself sultan in Kayseri. He was assassinated, however, in 1307 and his son Mesud III very soon after.
During the reign of Ghias-ud-Din Khekhsro, a revolt broke out in 1239 under the leadership of a well-known preacher, Baba Ishaq, and within three years, the empire fell into disarray, Crimea fell out of hand and the state and forces weakened. But an even greater threat was looming over the empire, the Mongol storm that was now heading for Anatolia, traversing the Middle East. After successive defeats, the Sultan fled to Antalya, where he died in 1246.
The empire was divided into several parts on which puppet rulers ruled by the Mongols. And in the end, the Seljuk rule was limited to Konya.
In 1307, the KaraManids defeated Ghias-ud-Din Mas’ud Salis and put an end to Seljuk Rum forever.