The Turks originated from Central Asia and are based on the Seljuk Empire, the Sultanate of Rum (shown in the Manzikert scenario) and the Ottoman Empire. They were best known for winning many battles in the Crusades as well as successfully besieging Constantinople which ended European foothold of the Silk Road and contact with the Orient. The Turks were also highly involved in the sciences and mathematics especially in the area of alchemy that would later form the backbone of modern chemistry. Being an Islamic civilization, they were notable for transmitting this knowledge to the west. Therefore, Turks mine gold faster and get Chemistry for free.
They also used gunpowder quite effectively, becoming the first "gunpowder empire", having received it from their control of the Silk Road. Therefore, many of their unique traits benefit their gunpowder units which have greater range, are created faster, and cost less. Additionally, their unique unit is also a gunpowder unit.
The Turks are a gunpowder civilization and arguably have the best units there that are cheaper, have greater range, and cost less. Apart from gunpowder using soldiers and Champions, the Turkish foot soldiers are very weak. Especially the lack of the Elite Skirmisher and Pikeman can hurt at times. Their mounted units, however, are great. Their cavalry units are complete apart from the Paladin, and their Cavalry Archers are among the very best, only seeking competition from the Magyars and Mongols. The siege weapons are good, too, especially the long-ranged Bombard Cannon, but the Onager is missing which can be a disadvantage on densely forested maps like Black Forest as the Turks have no means to quickly cut large numbers of trees. The Turkish navy is very good, only the Fast Fire Ship is missing. Their Monks rank below average, but their defensive structures get all upgrades. Their economy is overall below average without Crop Rotation and Stone Shaft Mining, but their faster gold gathering comes in very handy and greatly benefits their playing style.
Janissaries have 15 (18 for Elite) attack. Non-Elite Janissaries have an attack bonus of +4 against infantry, and Elite Janissaries have +8 attack against infantry as well as +3 attack against buildings.
Janissaries have an accuracy of 55%.
The Turkish Team bonus does not affect Elite Janissaries.
When playing a random map game against the computer, the player may encounter any of the following Turkish AI characters:
Alp Arslan (20 January 1029 – 15 December 1072): Real name Muhammad bin Dawud Chaghri; he was the second Sultan of the Seljuk Empire and great-grandson of Seljuk, the eponymous founder of the dynasty. As sultan, Alp Arslan greatly expanded Seljuk territory and consolidated power, defeating rivals to his south and northwest. His victory over the Byzantines at Manzikert ushered in the Turkish settlement of Anatolia. For his military prowess and fighting skills he obtained the name Alp Arslan, which means "Heroic Lion"in Turkish.
Atiz the Khwarezmian or Atsiz Ibn Uvaq (? – 1078/9): A Khwarezmian Turkish mercenary commander who established a principality in Palestine and southern Syria in 11th century. After capturing Damascus in 1076, he began constructing the Citadel of Damascus.
Bayazid (1354 – 8 March 1403): The Ottoman Sultan from 1389 to 1402. He was the son of Murad I and Gülçiçek Hatun. He built one of the largest armies in the known world at the time and unsuccessfully besieged Constantinople. He adopted the title of Sultan-i Rûm, Rûm being an old Islamic name for the Roman Empire. He was defeated and captured by Timur at the Battle of Ankara in 1402 and died in captivity in March 1403.
Chaghri Beg (989 - 1060): Da'ud b. Mika'il b. Saljuq, also spelled Chaghri, was the co-ruler of the early Seljuq empire. The name Chaghri is Turkic (Çağrı in modern Turkish) and literally means "small falcon", "merlin".
Danishmend: A Turkish dynasty that ruled in north-central and eastern Anatolia in the 11th and 12th centuries. The dynasty centered originally around Sivas, Tokat, and Niksar in central-northeastern Anatolia, they extended as far west as Ankara and Kastamonu for a time, and as far south as Malatya, which they captured in 1103. In early 12th century, Danishmend were rivals of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, which controlled much of the territory surrounding the Danishmend lands, and they fought extensively against the Crusaders.
Ghiyas-ud-Din of Ghor: During his early reign, he defeated the Ghurid claimants to the throne and fought with the Khwarazmian Empire over the lordship of Khorasan. He occupied Herat in 1176 and went on to establish control over most of what is now Afghanistan and the surrounding areas by 1200, and as far west as Bastam and Gurgan. His brother, Mu'izz al-Din, helped manage and expand the eastern part of the empire (as far as Bengal) and served Ghiyath with utmost loyalty and deference. Ghiyath died in 1202 and was succeeded by his brother Mu'izz al-Din.
Orkhan: Also known as Orhan. He was born in Söğüt, Turkey,he was the second bey of the nascent Ottoman Sultanate from 1323/4 to 1362. He focused his energies on conquering most of northwestern Anatolia.
Seljuk: The eponymous hero of the Seljuq Turks. He was the son of a certain Toqaq surnamed Temür Yalığ (meaning "of the iron bow") and either the chief or an eminent member from the Kınık tribe of the Oghuz Turks. In 985, the Seljuq clan split off from the bulk of the Tokuz-Oghuz, a confederacy of nine clans long settled between the Aral and Caspian Seas. They set up camp on the right bank of the lower Syr Darya (Jaxartes), in the direction of Jend, near Kzyl Orda in present-day south-central Kazakhstan. There, in 985, Seljuk converted to Islam.
Suleiman the Magnificent: Suleiman became a prominent monarch of 16th-century Europe, presiding over the apex of the Ottoman Empire's economic, military, and political power. Suleiman personally led Ottoman armies in conquering the Christian strongholds of Belgrade and Rhodes as well as most of Hungary before his conquests were checked at the Siege of Vienna in 1529. He annexed much of the Middle East in his conflict with the Safavids and large areas of North Africa as far west as Algeria. Under his rule, the Ottoman fleet dominated the seas from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and through the Persian Gulf.
Sultan Malik-shah: During his youth, he spent his time participating in the campaigns of his father Alp Arslan, along the latter's vizier Nizam al-Mulk. During one of such campaigns in 1072, Alp Arslan was fatally wounded and died only a few days later. After that, Malik-Shah was crowned as the new sultan of the empire, however, Malik-Shah did not access the throne peacefully, and had to fight his uncle Qavurt, who claimed the throne. Although Malik-Shah was the nominal head of the Seljuq state, the vizier Nizam al-Mulk held near absolute power during his reign. Malik-Shah spent the rest of his reign waging war against the Karakhanids on the eastern side, and establishing order in the Caucasus.
Sultan Murad: Murad II's reign was marked by the long war he fought against the Christian feudal lords of the Balkans and the Turkish beyliks in Anatolia, a conflict that lasted 25 years. He was brought up in Amasya, and ascended the throne on the death of his father Mehmed I. His mother was Valide Sultan Emine Hatun (daughter of Suleyman Bey, ruler of Dulkadirids), his father's third consort. Their marriage served as an alliance between the Ottomans and this buffer state, and produced a son, Mehmed II, who would go on to successfully conquer the Byzantine Empire's capital, Constantinople, in 1453.
Sultan Sanjar (1085 – 8 May 1157): The Seljuq ruler of Khorasan from 1097 until in 1118 when he became the Sultan of the Seljuq Empire, which he ruled as until his death in 1157.