The Seljuk Empire (Persian: آل سلجوق, translit. Āl-e Saljuq, lit. 'House of Saljuq') or Great Seljuq Empire was a medieval Turko-Persian Sunni Muslim empire, originating from the Qiniq branch of Oghuz Turks. The Seljuk Empire controlled a vast area stretching from the Hindu Kush to western Anatolia and the Levant, and from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf. From their homelands near the Aral Sea, the Seljuks advanced first into Khorasan and then into mainland Persia before eventually conquering eastern Anatolia. The Seljuk empire was founded by Tughril Beg (1016–1063) in 1037. However, even as early as 1097, the empire was fractured within, and became an easy target of the Crusades. Not long after the Second Crusade, the Empire effectively collapsed when the last sultan, Ahmad Sanjar, died in 1157. Revolts and invasion tore the surviving empire apart.