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First Crusaders Defeat Seljuks

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May, 21, 1097 A.D.:
First Crusaders Defeat Seljuks

By: Mir M.Hosseini


Following the death of Malekshah, disunity within the Seljuk realms allowed for the unexpected success of the First Crusade. Kilij Arslan established the Seljuk Rum empire and chose Iznik as his capital. After he defeated the first wave of Crusaders in 1096 and killed about 30,000 near Iznik, he headed east to establish his realm in Anatolia.
Meanwhile, the main Crusaders army besieged Iznik and before Kilij Arslan could return to his capital, it was captured on May, 21, 1907. That was the beginning of a set of other defeats from the Crusaders on June, 29, and on July, 1. Kilij Arslan entered a long Marathon of hit-and-run with until 1101 when he ambushed the invading army. At the Battle of Mersivan in Aug, 1101, the Seljuks surrounded the invaders for four days and nearly destroyed the crusaders army when they took their camp on the fifth day.
This victory, followed by inflicting heavy losses on the Crusaders, proving that they were not invincible. He then moved his capital to Konya.
After the crusades Kilij Arslan moved towards the east taking Carrhae, and Diyarbakir. In 1107 he conquered Mosul, but he was defeated by forces of Sultan Mohammad in Baghdad. He died shortly after retreating to his capital.
All following Crusades suffered similar difficulties when attempting to cross Anatolia and the only open route to the Holy Land was the sea route. After all failures, only centuries later, by a UN vote on 1947 Jewish state could be created in occupied Palestinian territories.



KEY TERMS:Anatolia , Baghdad , Carrhae , Crusade , Diyarbakir , Holy Land , Iznik , Jew , Jewish , Kilij Arslan , Konya , Malek , Malekshah , Marathon , Mosul , Palestinian , Palestinian territories , Seljuk , Sultan


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