Turkification and Islamicism by Uyghurs
- History of East Turkistan
'Turkistan' means 'Land of Turks' in Persian language. It is Uyghur who undertook a large role to Turkify and Islamicise this area.
In 744 Qutlugh bilge kol (Kutluk Bilge Kul, Kutluk bilge kol), the Chief of Uyghur, perished Eastern Gokturks and announced himself Qaghan. It was the establishment of the Uyghur Khaganate. The Uyghur is a tribe clan of Eastern Gokturks called 'nine allies of Tiele' during Tang Dynasty. The early Uyghur Khaganate was elephantine and the repression of An Shi Rebellion, that pushed the Tang to the brink of demolition, was impossible without the auxiliary forces of Uyghurs.
However in 840, during the civil commotion, the capital was captured and the Uyghurs were to scatter in all directions.
The movements of Uyghurs are seen on Karabalgassun Inscription found in the area where the capital was located in nineteenth century, as well as in Chinese Classical data. This inscription was incised to commend the exploit of Khan VIII and it was written in Orkhon script(Turk, Gokturk), Chinese and Sogdian. From the material it is assumed that Uyghurs that time practiced Manichaeism and had a big cultural influence from Sogds.
Uyghurs wandered by the demolition of the Uyghur Khaganate were parted some heading south and the other heading west. The ones went southward migrated in Tang and fell within it. The other went west fixated in (i) Hexi Corridor, (ii) Eastern sub-Tian Shan and (iii) Hemisphere of Karluks.
- (i) Hexi Corridor : Kanchou (Ganzhou) Uyghur Kingdom
It is the area of Gansu in present geography. In 890 the refugee Uyghurs migrated and seized Gang-zhou and Su-zhou taking advantages on civil commotion of Zhang regime of Han that governed this area those days. They kept a friendly relationship with neighbouring Han regimes.
- (ii) Eastern sub-Tian Shan : Karakhoja Uygur Kingdom(Western Uyghur/ Gao chang Uyghur)
The Uyghurs who migrated to Turfan and Kucha area where there was Protectorate of the Western Regions in Tang Dynasty, captured oasis cities in Tarim basin in ninth century and changed their nomadic lifestyle to fixated lifestyle.
Than Shan Uyghurs amplified its original culture by accepting Buddhism and Nestranism. In eleventh century, it started to get pressure from east and west and by Kara-Khitan Khanate, its sovereignty got limited.
In the end, it was absorbed by Mongolia in thirteenth century. They used Uyghur alphabet that was taken from Sogd. The alphabet was inherited in Mongolian script and Manchu alphabet.
- (iii) Hemisphere of Karluks : Karakhanid Uyghur Kingdom
The refugee Uyghurs moved to furthest west entered Karluks. The Karluks was established in the field locating in Western Altay mountains, Northern Tian Shan and Southern Lake Balkhash. It was originally a subordinate of the Uyghur Khaganate.
In 840, the chief Karluk himself gave out Khan and Kara-Khanid Khanate was established. It is assumed that it was the refugee Uyghur who established this Khanate (Though it is confirmed that it is Turk who established the Khanate, there are various theories about the origin of the Khanate).
This Khanate was the first Turk who accepted Islam and it deployed jihad against east and west. It became the main body to govern the western half of Tarim Basin and Turkify the central Asia along with Tian Shan Uyghur Khanate.
In 1041, it split into east and west. The Western Kara-Khanid joined suzerain of Seljuq Dynasty and it was perished by Khwarezm. In 1212, the Eastern Kara-Khanid also followed the same way and perished by Mongolia in 1211.
This is how the Eastern and Western of Pamir Mountains in Central Asia became Turkistan, where the Turk reside. Over more, western half of Tarim Basin, that was under governance of Kara-Khanid was Islamicised.