DIPLOMACY OF THE GOK-TURK STATE (552-630)

Çiğdem ŞAHİN

As the historical studies about the Gok-Turk State (Turk State) become more intense, it is also possible to carry out studies that examine this state model from different directions. Although the political structure of this state and its the relations with the other political entities are examined in various historical researches, there is a need for detailed analysis especially about its diplomatic structure and functioning. This study aims to examine the general foreign relations bureaucracy, diplomatic structure and ad hoc envoys of the Gok-Turk State in the first and separation periods (Eastern Gok-Turk State and Western Gok-Turk State) between 552 and 630. After a brief information about the GokTurk state and specifying its external relations and diplomatic bureaucracy, the State’s external relations are evaluated in general. Mainly, how diplomacy was carried out by the Gok-Turk State, how diplomatic functions were carried out by ad hoc envoys and to what extent the Gok-Turks pursued diplomatic methods and techniques (such as envoy selection, immunities of envoy, diplomatic protocol, diplomatic language) are revealed through the ad hoc envoy instances with other states, especially the Chinese states and Byzantium. It is concluded that the Gok-Turks have a certain degree of diplomatic bureaucratic functioning with no definite details within the scope of foreign relations and diplomacy, that they have maintained a diplomatic structure in response to the practices of their respective states and applied ad hoc envoy mission procedures on the basis of reciprocity.

Keywords: Gok-Turk State, Byzantium, Chinese states, foreign affairs, diplomacy, ad hoc envoy