Carpets from Turkmenistan


Abul Ghazi reports that the Yazor or Yazior were called Karadashli during his time(125). A man named Yazir, who Mahmud Kashgari also mentioned, was(126) the first son of Ai Khan, who in turn was the second son of Oghuz Khan. Hence, Yazir was the fifth grandson of Oghuz Khan. He belonged to the right flank of the army, and the eagle was his totem animal(127).

As the conflict between the Seljuk and Shah Malek, ruler of Djand (about 1034) began to erupt, Yazir left the Syr Darya region for Durun(128). “The name Durun (now ruins near the railway station of Baharden) appears in local toponymy later than the name Yazir; it seems to be mentioned for the first time in the account of Timur’s expedition in 1384.”(129) Accordingly, this region became known as the Yazir region, or Yazir Yurts, meaning the “tenting grounds of the Yazir”.

While settling there they must have encountered favorable conditions, for they rose to great power throughout the next two centuries, their leaders marriing into the mighty dynasty of Khawrazm Shah.

Turkan Khatun (Tarkan Khatun) of the Yazir tribe was the mother of the very powerful Shah Mohammad Khawrazm (1200 until 1220)(130). They continued to maintain their dominant position throughout the 12th and 13th century, apparently even surviving the influx Genghis Khan’s troops. They are the most dominant of all the Turkmen tribes, their numbers are the greatest and they still live in the area today known as Turkmenistan.

In 1384 expeditions of world conqueror Timur encountered and referred to the Karadashli as inhabitants of the Tak stronghold that later simply was called the Yazir fortress(131).

Under the lead of Shahrokh, the son of Timur(born in 1377, ruled 1405 until 1447), the Karadashli’s supreme power eventually faded. It seems they occupied southern Turkmenistan for a long time but by the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century Tekke forces drove them to move out of the Akhal region(132).

In the years between 1725 and 1740 Nader Shah of Persia began to move in on the Uzbek and Turkmen people. As a result, most Karadashli left the western Akhal area and fled towards Khiva, the Kopet Dag Mountains, the Balkan regions and other locations. Yuri Bregel, a Russian ethnigrapher, assumed these movements took place after the time of Mongol rule.

Over the centuries Karadashli dominance subsided and, once the Tekke were forced out of Akhal, the remaining members of this tribe merged with the Yomut(133).