I've seen both the Karluks and the Uyghurs referred as the founders of the Kara-Khanid Khanate (sometimes in the same source).
Is there a consensus about the matter or am I missing something?
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The language of the Turkic literary works emanating from the Qara Xan empire (namely al-Kashgari and the Kutadgu Bilig) are not written in Uyghur (alias Old Turkish), but in a different branch of Turkic. Clauson, in his “Etymological Dictionary Of Pre-Thirteenth-Century Turkish” classifies it as Xaqani, not Uyghur. This means that it is problematic to identify the founders of the empire as Uyghurs.