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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    Where did you see this? Please cite the source. However, IIRC the Kara-Khanid was founded by a mixed group. – Semaphore Dec 18 '14 at 5:25
  • In this online guide created by Ulrich Theobald (Universität Tübingen) we find both: 1. chinaknowledge.de/History/Altera/qaraqans.html claims it was founded by Qarluqs. 2. chinaknowledge.de/History/Altera/uighurs.html claims it was founded by Uyghurs (see The Uyghurs of Kašgar). Of course, I'm not discussing the ethnos of the population or its later leaders, only the founding members of the dynasty. – Firebug Dec 18 '14 at 11:53

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.

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