The famous Turkmen historian Juma Orazklychev told about the connection of the historical roots of Turkmens to modern processes.
On August 23, within the interview to CentralAsia.news, a senior employee of the Institute of History and Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan, candidate of historical sciences Juma Oryzklychev told how the experience of the Turkmen statehood is carefully transferred to modern realities. He also explained the Seljuks’ model of the empire.
Leaning the traditions of glorious ancestors
The youth issue is significant for every country, and especially for Turkmenistan. Since half of its population is under 20 years old, Turkmenistan pays special attention to youth policy as the most important component of the success of the state.
The law of Turkmenistan on state youth policy, adopted in 2013, partly focuses on the need to create conditions for the comprehensive development of the individual in the country. By building new schools and opening modern world-class higher educational institutions, such as the International University for the Humanities and Development or the Oguz Han Engineering and Technology University, Turkmenistan confidently follows the brilliant experience of the Great Seljuk Empire and uses the most effective experience in the relevant field.
The greatest empire that surpassed the Romans
Humanity has survived many empires, that is, large multinational formations united by a single ideology. The most famous one is the «world» Roman Empire. Its population reached 65 million people in its best years. The maximum area of the Roman Empire was 5 million square km.
Unlike the Roman state, the Great Seljuk Empire was more powerful with a population of 150 million people and an area of 10 million square km. This empire abandoned the policy of militant conquest of its neighbors and, while building a universal state, took care of creating not one, but several equivalent centers, thereby eliminating even a reason to think about the existence of a metropolis and colonies.
It was a bold experiment. Theoretically, the «Republic» of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, a disciple of Socrates is similar to the Seljuk model. Plato was inspired by the experience of Sparta, the unique state of the Hellenic world. The Spartan system is very similar to the Seljuk system, and some parallels are found in comparison. For example, both systems considered the education of young people to be a matter of paramount state importance. But the Spartans controlled only a third of the Peloponnese peninsula, and the Seljuks controlled a huge territory from the Mediterranean to the Chinese border.
Seljuk Beg’s political talent and philosophy
It all started with Seljuk Beg, who, raising his grandchildren Davut Chagry Beg and Mohammed Togrul Beg, was able to give them a broad philosophical view of the world based on a wise government.
The talent of Seljuk Beg as a mentor showed the results when his students, having risen in the 11th century at the helm of the new state that has his name, began to consistently implement a special concept of a just empire that did not know a precedent and the place where professionals are highly valued. Realization of this unique state model is the secret of the triumph of the Great Seljuk Empire.
First of all, the Seljuks knew that power can be beautiful only over free people, and this is more consistent with virtue than dominion over slaves. The state cannot be happy if the ruler forced the citizens to exercise only what is necessary to subjugate the neighbors. The countries that became part of the Great Seljuk Empire became full-fledged regions of the state, and the new citizens felt as free as the creators of the empire — the Turkmens.
The most important question about the Seljuk strategy
The Seljuks understood that a strong state needs strong professionals in all spheres. The issue of personnel training became the most important in the policy of the Seljuks. The entire educational system was radically reformed, madrasahs were turning into full-fledged universities. They prepared theologians, mathematicians, physicists, astronomers, and philosophers.
Talented candidates, who were not asked what nationality they were felt that all that was required of them was diligence. The rest was done by the empire itself since state institutions were similar to a conveyor belt, in which the system pushed the worthy people forward, while the rest part of the students was weeded out. The hardworking ones occupied the highest government posts, became the spouses of princesses. The lazy students remained at the bottom of life.
The advantages of the Seljuk training method were, on the one hand, the strictest discipline, while the Spartan conditions in comparison seem like a Sunday picnic, and on the other, constant reliance on ambition. Everyone who entered the school knew that the success of his life depends only on his diligence, he didn’t doubt that his knowledge and abilities would be in demand by the state.
«The fate of empires depends on the education of youth»
Seljuk youth policy very quickly showed its results. The number and the level of highly qualified specialists ready to serve the empire steadily increased. That is why the economy and trade flourished under the Seljuks. Science prospered, while Europe approached the corresponding level of scientific development only after a few centuries. The empire also stimulated the creation of masterpieces that are admired by people even now.
The Seljuk concept of the empire of professionals was based, first of all, on the professional approach to the mission of the sultans themselves. The Seljuks, on the other hand, were emperors with unlimited power and actively implemented their doctrine in life.
Seljuk Beg was able to invest the philosophical wisdom in his descendants and that wisdom was expressed by Aristotle with the words: «All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth». The Seljuk emperors, brought up with the code of honor of the Seljuk Beg, never forgot that they were, first of all, warriors. They continued to fight for the welfare of their subjects and the prosperity of the country even after they became civilian rulers. They understood that the victory can be won only by an army of professionals.