Faction Overview Turks in Rise of Chivalry Turks in Renovatio Europam
The Turks have the Power of Nomadism. They replace the Lakota.
Faction Type: Muslim
National Bonuses:
  • Receive Food for each Citizen, Scout, and Cavalry unit (except when garrisoned).
  • Farms and granaries in captured enemy cities are instantly razed.
  • Have no national territory, and can construct buildings in any territory not held by another nation.
  • Ranged cavalry upgrades are free.
Ghazni sancak
Unique units muster:


Available Unique Buildings:
  • Beitul Hiqmah (wonder)
  • Córdoban Mezquita (wonder)

Available Unique Techs:

  • Centralisation
  • Darul Islam
  • The Five Pillars

Suggestions and Spoilers

  • Strengths: Powerful late-game army, good gunpowder units, and powerful middle- to late-era cavalry.
  • Weaknesses: Difficult startup, and lack of food production upgrades means that early growth is difficult to achieve, poor late-game melee infantry.

In Rise of Kings, the national bonuses of the Turks mirror well their history and reputation for migration and conquest. Indeed, Turkish unique units are relatively more powerful if not the best ones throughout all the 24 factions of Rise of Kings. Their mid- to late-game heavy cavalry sipahi line are slightly cheaper and bear long lances that allow them to execute a ranged attack. In the late game, not only do they possess the full complement of "modern" cavalry units, they also possess two potent gunpowder units: the Kapykulu Marksmen, who are the forerunners of the janissary corps; and the Ocak Cannon, a powerful culverin-type capable being massed in large numbers. Additionally, their cavalry archers will upgrade for free, so long as the correct prerequisite techs were researched. Like in real life, Turkish cavalry is strong, and doesn't need Centralisation in order to be fully available. Their infantry however is another story — in the Imperial Era, the only upgrade you will get will be Armoured Militia, Billmen and Crossbow Infantry, but this isn't much of a problem given how strong Turkey's cavalry can be. The Turkish navy is a mixed bag of blessings: on one hand their best light ship, the Fusta, is very weak, but on the other hand it is cheap and also deals more damage than European War Galleys. Apparently, the only advantage the Turks might have at sea is strength in numbers.

This powerful war machine, however, might pale in comparison compared to what the Turks are capable of: expansion and colonisation. This they do very well. Unlike other factions such as the Chinese (which get to build large cities instead of small ones) or the Magyar and Russians (who have extra capacity for more cities), Turkic cities can be built just about anywhere, and your borders remain invisble to all other players. This can be used well to your advantage: being able to forward build away from your own cities means that you can build just about anywhere. If you had sufficient food and wood, you could easily build cities in strategic areas to act as choke points to hold back your own opponents' expansion. Less ground covered means fewer cities, and probably less food and wealth to go by as well. Conversely, you can play this faction like the English, by colonising prime areas with plenty of resources or strategic value!

However, all this power comes at a price: the Turks are unable to build farms, and can only collect food by creating more citizens, scouts or cavalry units. Thus, the only hope for the Turkic player might be to create massive armies and populations in order to maintain a steady stream of food to fuel the creation of cities (and ultimately, armies). This might well be done through creating fishing boats (on water maps), or possibly via the creation of merchants to procure rare resources, as well as scouts to search for food like the Spanish do. That one part might be important, as scouts not only collect more resources from ruins, but can also generate food for you in sufficiently huge numbers. The other side of a Turkic strategy would also perhaps be to either demand food from other players, trade with them or possibly even raid them outright for resources and to cut them down to size, before they eventually outpace you economically and begin to overwhelm you.

Faction summary

  • Expansive civ with an unorthodox economy, but a powerful army.
  • Population Boom — Since the only way you are going to generate food is by creating and keeping alive as many citizens. You would be well advised to ensure that anti-rush defences are up, and to use your cavalry wisely.
  • The Invisible Hand — Build your own merchants and caravans to improve trade while taking apart your opponents' own to dirsupt trade and line your pockets with your cavalry archers. Accompany them with a duke patriot unit to protect them from attrition and gather resources from whatever units you destroy.
  • Real Estate Boom — One of the key bonuses of the Turks is the ability to build anywhere unclaimed by another faction. Use this ability to the fullest: cities can be built near economically strategic regions (characterised by access to ample timber and metal). Likewise, forts and cities can be built near your opponents to keep them from expanding further into your territory.
  • Timarli — While you are able to generate food from citizens, scouts and cavalrymen, it is wiser to dump your resources into horse archers, scouts and heavy cavalry. This is because these units produce food while not requiring food themselves to be created. Since they are fast and can be used to great effect, you can keep your cavalry out of harm's reach. That way your cavalry will remain intact and whole enough to continue regurgitating food back into your stockpile, while being mobile enough to take apart enemy units. This food can then be reinvested into city building or villagers to keep your mines and timber posts fully staffed for maximum production.
  • Unmedical Profession — Since you lack access to the health series of research (given that you are unable to build granaries) alternative technologies and wonder effects that contribute to faster unit production must be made a top priority.
  • Soldiers of Fortunes — Food is a costly business, so unless you had created many villagers, mercenaries can be called upon to replace light and heavy infantrymen. Your unique gunpowder unit costs both wealth and knowledge, however, thus you might need to be wary over a merc-intensive game, or a late game involving more solid troops.
  • Just Friends — The best allies are those which can cover your disadvantages. For instance, Poland, Venice and Andalus have food bonus abilities, making them potential partners. Equally important are those who can pull off a good rush such as the Saracens or the Swedes, as you can use them to expand your empire while they use their cheap infantry to take out the foe. The Spanish are also good choices, as their ability to uncloak the map at the beginning means that you would have no problems picking good areas to place your cities, making for a faster economy.

Leaders: Shirkuh, Zahid, Othman Ertogrul, Kerbogha, Kilij Arslan, Timur, Osman, Orhan, Murad, Bayezid, Mehmed, Mahmud the Ghaznavid, Satuq Bughra Khan, Babur

Settlements: Nishapur; Hamedan; Kerman; Mashhad; Isfahan; Tehran; Bushehr; Bukhara; Kabul; Samarqand; Rasht; Bam; Istahbanat; Yasuj; Rigan; Abadan; Marvas; Dushanbe; Herat; Mezar-e-Sharif; Zabol; Merv; Shiraz; Khomein; Sinop; Qon; Susa; Tabriz; Baku; Yazd; Arak; Konya; Sanandaj; Shymket; Astana; Tashkent; Meymand; Tiflis; Halabja; Quetta; Jhelum; Lahore

Best age(s): Imperial. But the problem is how to get there, especially if rare resources and fish are not available.


Central Asia had long been the home of various nomadic tribes based on the practice of animal herding and horses. Humans had inhabited the region ever since the prehistoric period. In the centuries before Genghis Khan's conquests, various Turkic and Mongol-Tungusic tribes inhabited the steppes of Mongolia. These various ethnic groups alternatively ruled each other during this time, one group would gain power and subdue the others until another group formed to topple the previously superior power. One of the first politically organized groups were the Hsiung-nu (the Chinese name for a tribe called the Hunnu) had for a time been dominant in the region. They throughout this time, posed a constant threat to ancient China, and were the cause for China to build the Great Wall. In fact, one of the splinter groups from this nation that had moved north and westward would eventually arrive at the gates of the Romans in the 4th century to be known to the western world as the Huns. So it is no coincidence that some of the most successful conquerors and invaders came from this region of the world. The land lends itself to breed a people who were used to harsh living conditions, mobility and war — elements that make for an ideal military force.

The Turks Embrace Islam

Ever since Islam began making inroads into the heart of the continent, it began to assimilate the fierce horse-riding tribes who haunted the steppes, eventually converting many of them to Islam and recruiting them as mercenaries and then civil servants, much as in the same way the Romans towards the end of their empire tried to employ the Goths in the same fashion — with more or less similar results. In Iran, increasing dependence on this class in the Samanid empire would soon result in the decline of the same and the rise of the Turkic-born but Persian-influenced Ghaznavid Empire, centred around Ghazna in Iran and later ruled from Lahore in present-day Pakistan.

Ruling houses of the Turks

The first independent Islamic Turkic empire was the Kara Khanid empire in the 9th century. Centred around Kashgar in present-day western China near the border with Kirghistan, it would annex Samanid possessions in Central Asia, before it fell apart, and was divided again by the Mongols and the Khwarezmid and Selcuk sultans.

Next in line were the Selcuks. Originally in the service of the Kara Khanids, Selcuk warriors defeated in battle against the Turco-Iranian Ghaznavids in 1025 would eventually return back with a vengeance, taking the whole of Iran from the Ghaznavids (who would hold out in India until cut down by the Ghorids, another noble family descended from Turkic tribesmen), and would go on to expand their influence into Anatolia, Palestine and Iraq as vassals to the Abbasid caliph who then ruled in Baghdad. While the Selcuk made great contributions to Persian culture by perpetuating the cultural preservation policies of the Samanids, they however are better known for their depredations of the Byzantine empire, which eventually resulted in the Crusades. Nonetheless, Persian culture not only thrived and survived, but was even dispersed far and wide throughout the Islamic world: until the late modern period, the Persian language occupied a niche in Turkic society not dissimilar to that of the French language in early modern Europe.
Darul hikmeh
Meanwhile, other Turkic clans were also carving out fiefdoms for themselves throughout the Caliph's lands and beyond, often ruling as so-called mamluks, or "slaves" of Baghdad. As with the Selcuks, they too were subservient but only formally so. The Tulunids were the first independent dynasty in Islamic Egypt, ruling from 868 to 905. The Abbasids ousted them and transferred custodianship of Egypt to another group of Turkic Saracens, the Ikhshidids, who would rule for roughly three decades before being deposed by the Fatimid sultanate. Another group of Turkic-descended mamluks would arise in Egypt again, under the Bahrids in 1250. This whole process repeated itself again in 1382 when the Burji mamluks arose under their emir Barquq. Turkic rule also extended into India under a series of Turkic dynasties from the 13th to the 16th centuries, before a descendant of Genghis Khan, Zahir ud-din Muhammad Babur, would then invade and establish a new dynasty, the so-called "Mongol" or Mughal empire in India.

Rise of the Ottomans

Despite the depredations and usurpation of power by the Turks, and the depredations of the Crusaders and the Mongols, the Caliphate managed to hold out over the centuries, albeit as a political figurehead. Yet, for all purposes, the Caliphate's days were numbered.

By the 1300s, the Selcuk colonies of the Middle East had all but disintegrated into several small petty kingdoms throughout the Middle East and Turkey. There then emerged in the sultanate of Rum, or the so-called "Roman sultanate" in central Turkey, a ruling family known as the Osmanoglu, later known as the Ottomans to Westerners. Under their scion Osman I Etogrul, the Osmanoglu would unite the territories of the other petty rulers of the Rum sultanate under their rule. By 1453, this state had captured Byzantium, ending almost a thousand years of Christian rule in Asia Minor, and the conquerors even staked their claim to the throne of Rome itself. The Middle East soon was next, with the local populations welcoming the Ottomans as liberators from hated mamluk rulers. Ottoman forces reached Egypt in 1517, whose ruler, Mutawakkil III, was deported to Constantinople (now renamed Istanbul) where he surrendered the title of caliph to the Ottoman Turks.


Rebel and barbarian factions such as the Celts sport the exact same national bonuses as the Turks.