History Files


Far East Kingdoms

Central Asia




Göktürks (Blue Turks)

The Göktürks were early Turks who lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle in Asia. They appeared in the sixth century AD and managed to unite all Turkish speaking peoples in a confederation. İstemi and Bumin were the two brothers who succeeded in achieving this. The empire was immediately divided into two major provinces with one of the brothers in power in each, and they continued their lines independently. Gok means 'blue' but also 'sky', or in a more abstract sense 'heavens'.

(All details by Hayreddin Barbarossa, drawn from Turkish editions of Britannica and Grand Larousse.)


The Göktürks divide into Eastern and Western branches.

Western Kaghans (Yabgus)
AD 552 - 738

The western faction of Turks expanded towards Sogdiana and up to the borders of Khorasan. Less than two centuries later, both eastern and western factions collapsed.

552 - 576

İstemi 'Yabgu'

Brother of Bumin, Eastern Kaghan.


The White Huns are defeated in Kushanshah Afghanistan by an alliance of the Western Kaghans and the Sassanids, and a level of Indo-Sassanid authority is re-established in the region for the next century. The Western Kaghans set up rival states in Bamiyan, Kabul, and Kapisa.

576 - 603

Bilge Tardu



Tardu denounces the sovereignty of İşbara of the Eastern Kaghans.

599 - 603

Tardu is proclaimed Great Kaghan.

603 - 611


Grandson of Tardu.


Culo is overthrown by Şipi, the Eastern Kaghan, and is executed in 619.

611 - 618


Relationship unknown.


Sikoey is elected by the high council.

618 - 630

Tong Yabgu

Relationship unknown.


Yabgu is overthrown and executed by his uncle.

630 - 631

Baghatur Sepi


631 - 633

Se Yabgu

Descendant of Bumin. Eastern Kaghan.

633 - 634

Baghaşa Tulu

634 - 638

İşbara Teriş Tunga

638 - 640

Baghatur İpi

640 - 653

İpi Tulu

646 - 653

Nominal Great Kaghan.

653 - 659

Çençu Yabgu

659 - 682

The Western Kaghans fall under Chinese sovereignty.

659 - 676

Eçine Türçe

676 - 678

Tuçi Kaghan

678 - 682

Eçine Kür Pur Çur


The Western Kaghans fall under the domination of the restored Eastern Kaghandom.

682 - 700

Eçine Tuyça

700 - 706


706 - 711


711 - 738



Sulu starts the more minor Türgish dynasty.