HomeBEYOND TURKEYHistorical message from the legendary city of Hive

Historical message from the legendary city of Hive

Illustration: Cemile Ağaç Yildirim
Article by Prof. Dr. Suleyman Kiziltoprak
Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Faculty Member
After the First World War, the relations between Turkey and the Turkish world became very limited. When the USSR collapsed, new opportunities arose for the cooperation of the Turkish world. In 1992, the “Turkish-Speaking Heads of State Summit” was held in Ankara under the leadership of Turkey. In 2009, the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking Countries, namely the Turkic Council, was established. The Turkic Council, which draws its strength from the common language and culture of its people, took a historic step at the 8th Summit held in Istanbul on 12 November 2021 and declared its name as the “Organization of Turkic States”. This association aims to contribute to peace and friendship on a global and regional scale, as well as to serve goals such as economic development and cultural cooperation among member states. In this context, the strengthening of relations between Turkey and Uzbekistan is of historical importance.
Khiva, one of the historical cities of Uzbekistan such as Samarkand and Bukhara, has gained a reputation as the homeland of the Khwarazmshahs. The city of Khiva, which has been the capital of the Khiva Khanate since 1598, preserves its ancient historical beauties with its wonderful architectural structures in the heart of Central Asia. The city was chosen as the Cultural Capital of the Turkish World in 2020, in commemoration of the 1000th anniversary of Celaleddin’s accession to the throne. In 2022, it transferred the flag to Bursa. The Silk Road has been the carrier of culture and civilization throughout history. Today, it has started to perform its role vigorously again.
Hive, the exceptional city of the Silk Road, is like a living fairy tale town. Hive is a legendary city that shines a light on the world with its cultural values, the state, science and art people it has trained, as well as its architectural works. When the sun comes up, the red brick walls shine like gold, while the turquoise and green domes of the magnificent buildings sparkle like diamonds. It presents an extraordinary color riot that the audience will never forget. At night, the moon rises with the clarity of a bride’s face. The snow that covers the domes of the fairy tale city in winter transforms the city into a bridal beauty. Like a golden necklace in the middle of the desert, the 6-meter-high walls surrounding the city have a length of 10 km. Inside these walls, there are many palaces, mosques, small mosques, madrasas and tombs that impress the visitors.
The land of Khiva has also been home to many scientists, historians, poets, painters and musicians. Scholars such as Muhammed Musa el-Harezmi, Ebu Abdullah el-Khwarizmi, Abu Reyhan Muhammed el-Biruni enlightened the world with their works in almost every field from mathematics to astronomy, from history to health sciences. Hive has a deep-rooted history dating back 2500 years, in the south of the Aral Sea, near the Amuderya (Ceyhun) river. The city, which is one of the most important stops of the Silk Road route, is one of the “heart-gâh” cities of the Oghuz Turks. The city, which met with Islam in 712; It has been the favorite of great states such as Ghaznavids, Seljuks and Harzemshahs. Unfortunately, at the end of 1220, the Mongols captured and destroyed the capital of the Khwarazmshahs, Gürgench and Khiva.
Celaleddin Harzemşah fought heroically many times against Genghis Khan’s army, which was considered invincible. In the war he continued until the edge of the Sind River in 1221, he ignored Genghis’ call to surrender and rode his horse to the river on the edge of the cliff. When he came out of the river, he raised the sword in his hand towards Cengiz and called “Come, let’s fight head to head”. But no Mongol dared to ride after him. That’s when Cengiz said: “I need such a son to rule the world” and expressed his respect for his heroism.
Celaleddin Harzemşah, who had a full national consciousness, saw himself as the heir of the Great Seljuks and the defender of Islam against the Mongols. He was one of the bravest and most prosperous rulers of Turkish-Islamic history. He gained a great reputation with his struggle against the Mongols and was known as a hero who defended Islam.
Namık Kemal, who wrote a play called Celaleddin Harzemşah, presents him as a model hero to Turkish youth. Namık Kemal portrays the exemplary personality of Celaleddin Harzemşah, who bravely defended the Islamic and Turkish world against the Mongols, in this work of which he also expressed his admiration. Even after Celaleddin passed away after an epic struggle of eleven years, the Mongols continued to fear and admire him. Celaleddin, who was presented by Namık Kemal as one of the greatest commanders of the Turkish nation, is remembered for fighting against the Mongols with great courage and being martyred for the sake of homeland, nation and religion, just as Selahaddin Ayyubi had achieved in his struggle against the Crusaders.
Uzbek poet and novelist Erkin Samandar also writes a novel called Celaleddin and successfully presents him as a unique hero in courage, a brave commander, a great Khwarazmshah, an immortal national hero of the Turks. While Genghis Khan was taking over the sultans of all sizes and advancing, Celaleddin bravely resisted him and for eleven years, by raising the flag of freedom in Turkestan, India, Iran and the Caucasus, he joined his forces and succeeded in stopping and defeating the Mongol army.
Celaleddin Harzemşah also had the ability to write Persian poetry like Yavuz Selim. One verse is as follows:


Der rezm âhanimu der bezm çu mûm

Ber dost mübârekimu ber düşmen şûm

      We are like iron in war, candle at the feast

      We bring blessings to our friend, bad luck to the enemy

The revival of the historic Silk Road is closely related to maintaining peace and stability on the route from Beijing to London. While the eyes of the world are on Turkey, the message of our esteemed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Uzbekistan, the country of Emir Timur, from Khiva, the homeland of Celaleddin Harzemshah, whose heroism Genghis Khan envied, is very important:
The grandchildren of Celaleddin are in unity and solidarity. and Turkey is always on the side of Uzbekistan. Turkey continues to take impartial but brave steps towards peace by adhering to international norms with common sense so that new crises and wars do not break out in other geographies. In this context, the territorial integrity and independence of the countries in the Balkans, Caucasus and Central Asia are important. Turkey stands by the countries and peoples in this geography. The Turkish World is not alone.

Source: Efsane şehir Hive’den tarihi mesaj 

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