The Seljuks (Seldjuq) were a major branch of the Oghuz (or Ğuz) Turks that lived in Central Asia in the 9th to 13th century. The Seljuks migrated into western Asia in the 10th century while fighting with various tribes on their way. They accepted Sunni Islam and founded dynasties in Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria and Anatolia. The Seljuk Empire's lands covered approximately today's Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, all of the Middle East and a part of the Arabian peninsula. An Oghuz bey (chief) called Seljuk (Seldjuq) was the founder of the dynasty. His son led the Seljuks during the migration and his grandson, Toğrül (Tughril), conquered Persia and occupied Baghdad. He died in 1063 in favour of his nephew (the great-grandson of Seljuk), Alp Arslan, who invaded Anatolia at the Battle of Manzikert in the 1070s.
Seljuk Turks can be regarded as the ancestors of Western Turks (today's Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan). They and their descendants (i.e., the Ottoman Empire) played a major role in medieval times by setting a barrier against the Mongol onslaught, defending the Islamic world against Crusaders and bringing an end to the Byzantine Empire. The fact that they embraced Sunni Islam and defended it with an irresistible power is one of the reasons why this branch is the major and most populous division of Islam.
The Seljuk dynasty collapsed tn the middle of the 13th century when the Seljuks of Anatolia was divided in three emirates; the ones of Izz ad-Din Kay-Kaus II (1246-60), Rukn ad-Din Qïlïch Arslan IV (1248-65), and Ala ad-Din Kay-Qubadh II (1249-57). When the mongols raided Anatolia in the 1260s the emirates fell into chaos and was divided into smaller areas ruled by beys (chiefs).
Seljuk Great Sultans, 1038-1157
Seljuk Sultans of Khorasan, 1097-1157
Seljuk Sultans of Iraq and Western Iran, 1118-1194
Seljuk Sultans of Rum (Anatolia), 1077-1307
Seljuk Kings of Syria
Kings of Damascus
Kings of Aleppo
Seljuk Rulers of Kerman, 1041-1187