This article is about a Turkish ruler presented by author and feminist Bahriye Üçok in her book. I am very happy that the Turkish author reminds us of this female ruler who would otherwise be buried in oblivion.
Türkan Hatun reigned in the Muslim State of Kirman of Kutluk in today’s Iran in the 13th century. First of all, let us take a brief look at the history of the founding of this state in order to better understand how it came about that a woman should rise to the position of ruler in a newly formed Muslim state:
Barak Hâjib, one of the former emirs of the idol-worshipping Karahitay, on taking possession of the Kirman region in 619/1222, set up a state there. A short while later, Jelâlüddîn Harezmshah, on his way through Kirman, married Barak’s daughter. At this time, Barak became subject to the Harezmshahs. Jelâlüddîn Harezmshah, because of the merciless pursuit of the Mongols, was compelled to retreat. Realising that the supremacy had now passed from the Harezmis to the Mongols, Barak Hâjib lost no time in proclaiming his allegiance to Genghis Khan. In addition he gave one if his daughters, Sevinch Türkân, to Genghis Khan’s son Jagatay. In this way, he received The title of “Kutluk Khan.”