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Very little is known about the life of the legendary rebel leader Shahkulu, except that he was born into an oppressed Turkmen tribe in eastern Anatolia. Though raised with in the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire, Shahkulu fell in with the Templars after an Ottoman ambush left him orphaned and alone.
Raised from youth by Safavid sympathizers, and later Templar ideologues, his hatred for the Ottoman Turks was matched only by his furious determination to eliminate all opposition to the Templar ideology. His uncertain partnership with Manuel was formed partly out of a shared sense of ideology and partly out of bitter convenience. The Byzantines, after all, hadn't been much kinder than the Ottomans to his people.