Belek Ghazi

Governor of Suruç
In office
1095 (?)  1098
Bey of Artukids
In office
Personal details
Born unknown
Died 6 May 1124
Tyre, Lebanon
Nationality Turk
Military service
Allegiance Seljuq Empire
Battles/wars Conquest of Harput
Battle against Mengüceks
Battle against countship of Edessa
Belek Ghazi in Elâzığ

Belek Ghazi (Nuruddevle Belek or Balak) was a Turkish bey in the early 12th century.

Early life

His father was Behram and his grand father was Artuk, an important figure of the Seljuk Empire in the 11th century. He was a short-term governor of Suruç (now a district center in Şanlıurfa Province of Turkey). During the First Crusade, the crusaders captured the city in 1098. He took part in the Seljuk expedition to Antakya which was recently lost to Crusaders. But the campaign ended in failure.

Beylik in Harput

In 1112 Belek captured Harput (an ancient city near to present day Elâzığ in Turkey) from Mengüceks. He founded a beylik.[1] This beylik is now known as the Harput branch of the Artukids (the other two being the Hasankeyf branch of Sökmen and Mardin branch of Ilghazi). Next year he married to Ayşe Hatun, widow of the late Anatolian Seljuk sultan Kılıç Arslan I . By this prestigious marriage, he formed family ties with the Seljuk family.[2]

In 1120, Belek together with Danishmends defeated a coalition of Mengüceks and Constantine Gabras of the Byzantine Empire.[3] Two years later, after the death of Ilghazi, Belek became the leader of the Artukids.[4] In 1122 he defeated the forces of Countship of Edessa and took Joscelin I as captive. Next year Baldwin II of Jerusalem too was enslaved by Belek. These two victories gained Belek fame both in Muslim countries and in Europe.[2]

Death and aftermath

In 1124 he was invited to defend Tyre the only port the Muslims used in Syria against the attacking Crusaders. During the fighting he was killed on 6 May 1124.[2] Shortly after his death Harput was annexed by the Artukids of Hasankeyf. Nevertheless, in 1185 another beylik was founded by Artukids in Harput


  1. Yücel-Yaşar, p.167
  2. 1 2 3 Belek Gazi
  3. Yücel-Yaşar,p.153
  4. Yücel Yaşar, p168


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