Po Beg
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Po Beg
Qutlu? Säbäg Qatun
Po Beg
Khatun of Second Turkic Khaganate
BornAshide Suofu
Noble familyAshide
Spouse(s)Bilge Khagan

Qutlu? Säbig Qatun[1] also known as Po Beg (title - Chinese: ?; pinyin: G?du?lùsu?fúk?d?n; personal name - Chinese: ; pinyin: ?sh?dé Su?fú, also called [2]) was the khatun (queen) and then hansha (queen mother) of the Second Turkic Khaganate in the early eighth century. Her father was Tonyukuk, an apa tarkan, a title equivalent to prime minister. She married Bilge Khagan (683 or 684-734) before 717, while he was still a tegin (prince).[3]


In 734, Bilge was poisoned. Before dying, however, he accused Buyruk Chor, a high governor of the empire, who had previously been to China and had him executed.[4] Bilge's sons succeeded him. After the death of his first son Yoll?g Khagan, his other son Tengri Qaghan (?-741) was enthroned. Tengri was young and Sebeg acted like a queen regent. However, the real power was in the hands of two shads (local governors), one in the west and the other in the east. Sebeg tried to centralize the power and planned to execute the two governors. She had the governor in the west executed but Pan Kül Tigin, the governor in the east, became suspicious and revolted, killing Tengri Qaghan 742.[5] Two years later, the empire was dissolved following a joint rebel of Uyghurs, Karluks and Basmyls.

Later years

During the last days of the empire, Sebeg, together with her clan, took refuge in Tang China. Emperor Xuanzong of Tang greeted her and threw a banquet for her. She was given the title of princess, and was appointed the ruler of her people. According to the New Book of Tang, Xuanzong sent flour to her clan during the harvest season.[6] According to Russian historian Lev Gumilyov (1912-1992), she saved her people but not her nation.[7]


Turkish journalist Ahmet Akyol asserts that Buyruk Chor was not responsible for Bilge Khaghan's death.[8] Probably Sebeg poisoned her husband because Bilge Khagan had planned to sign a treaty of commerce with Tang China and, as was the custom, he would marry a Chinese princess after signing the treaty. Baumer claims that Sebeg usurped power and shared it with her lover. Liu Mao-Tsai suggested that Sebeg had Yollig poisoned and put the minor Tengri on the throne so that she could be regent and that she kept the death of Yollig secret from the Chinese which explains the variations in death dates. [9]


  1. ^ Batbold, Gonchig. "The Turk and Uighur term Säbig, "Säbig"?". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ This reading, as in Gumilev (Ancient Turks, ch. 26) is based a clerical error, which changed (MC: *s?-b?uk? > Ch. su?fú) into (MC: *bu?-b?uk > Ch. pófú; for more see Yukiyo Kasai (2014) "The Chinese Phonetic Transcriptions of Old Turkish Words in the Chinese Sources from 6th-9th Century Focused on the Original Word Transcribed as Tujue " in Studies of Inner Asian Languages 29. p. 129 of 57-135
  3. ^ Gumilev p. 367
  4. ^ Gumilev p. 398
  5. ^ Ta?al. p. 356-357. Sic. Note that regnal dates for the khagans vary with the source. 741 is from Baumer.
  6. ^ Ta?al p. 376
  7. ^ Gumilev p. 442
  8. ^ "Kim ve Neden Zehirledi ?..." (in Turkish). Ahmet Akyol. Archived from the original on 2013-08-01. Retrieved .
  9. ^ Baumer, History of Central Asia, v2, p265 with footnote 28 for Liu Mao-Tsai


  • Gumilev, L. N. (2002). Ahsen Batur, Ahsen (ed.). Eski Türkler (in Turkish). ?stanbul: Selenge Yay?nlar?. ISBN 975-7856-39-8. OCLC 52822672.
  • Ta?al, Ahmet (2012). Göktürkler (in Turkish). Ankara: AKDTYK Yay?nlar?. pp. 359-62. ISBN 978-975-16-2460-4.

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