Boundaries of Sovereignty in the Context of Kut and Tore in the Old Turks

Ahmetbeyoglu A.

TURKISH JOURNAL OF HISTORY-TARIH DERGISI, no.71, pp.29-50, 2020 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 71
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/turkjhist.2020.003
  • Page Numbers: pp.29-50


As in various ancient states, the Turkish state concept has its own characteristic structure. Lifestyle, geographical conditions, relations with other states, problems, belief systems, culture, the understanding of law, practice of values, and perception of the universe set the boundaries and the idea of the Turkish state. Turks did not have a privileged class attached to the land in their social structures or clergy. They lived in organized clans and came onto the stage of history in a political formation. Turks placed their state at the center of life and in their perceptions of the universe, and at the foundation of the state they placed tore (moral laws) with the philosophy that arose from steppe culture. The ruler set the qualifications of the state and the limits of the administration as one of the principal elements of the state. The ruler was perceived as a symbol representing the state and, in a way, as a substitute for the state. Therefore, if the ruler, who bears the responsibility of the executive, begins to show weakness in his qualities, becomes unable to meet the expectations of the unity of society which the forms the state, or makes the country open to disasters, his rule becomes controversial. In this case, the assembly would step in and end his reign according to tore.