Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Köse Dağ (1243)

As the Mongols pushed west, into the area we now call the Middle East, they began to run into previous Central Asia peoples who had already made that migration and established their own kingdoms in the region. One of those peoples was of course the ex-slave soldiers who created the Mamluk dynasty in Egypt and… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Köse Dağ (1243)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Otluk Beli (1473)

I assume anybody reading this blog has at least heard of the Ottomans (I mean, I have to assume you do read these posts), but I have to say I’d be pretty impressed if any of you have heard of the Aqquyunlu. They didn’t have a very long run as a major world power. But… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Otluk Beli (1473)

Today in Middle East history: the Battle of Otluk Dağı or Otluk Beli* (1473)

I assume anybody reading this blog has at least heard of the Ottomans (I mean, I have to assume you do read these posts), but I have to say I’d be pretty impressed if any of you have heard of the Aqquyunlu. They didn’t have a very long run as a major world power. But… Continue reading Today in Middle East history: the Battle of Otluk Dağı or Otluk Beli* (1473)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Ankara (1402)

The Ottoman Empire was around for an impressive 624 years, from its (murky but generally accepted) beginnings in 1299 with the reign of Osman I (the guy who put the “Ottoman” in “Ottoman Empire”), to its official downfall in 1923. But historians have this irritating need to periodize everything, especially something that goes on for… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Ankara (1402)

Today in Middle Eastern/European history: the Turkish War of Independence begins (1919)

It’s kind of fitting that the signing of the Sykes-Picot agreement happened right around the same time on the calendar when the Turkish War of Independence began three years later, because the war was mostly about undoing whatever plans the World War I victor Europeans had for the Turks. The October 1918 Armistice of Mudros,… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern/European history: the Turkish War of Independence begins (1919)

Today in Middle Eastern/European history: the Battle of Manzikert (1071)

Originally posted on and that's the way it was:
We’re in kind of a high season for major historical battles in the Middle East, like Yarmouk, Chaldiran, and Marj Dabiq (there’s another one coming next week). You could argue that Manzikert is the biggest of the bunch, because although it took another 400 years…