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The Seljuk Empire was formally part of the Abbasid Caliphate, which means that the Seljuk Sultan, supposedly, should have been responsible in front of the Abbasi Caliph in Baghdad.

Nevertheless,as far as I know, Seljuks did not only enjoy autonomy in their own regions , but rather used to enter wars and sign treaties on their own behalf (mostly with the Byzantine Empire and later the Crusaders) .

What explains that?

How independent was the Seljuk Empire ?

Did similar examples exist in history : where a sub-entity of a broader state or empire was able to determine its own “foreign policy”?

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"Was the Seljuk Empire an independent empire or an autonomous sub-entity of the Abbasid Caliphate?"

Yes.

That is the only answer that makes sense. The Seljuk realm was somewhere on the spectrum between an independent state and an autonomous sub-entity of the Abbasid Calipha. Deciding to where to put it on that spectrum is assuming that it is possible to give a more precise answer.

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