Atabeg

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Atabeg is a Turkish title in use during the medieval period, particularly among the Seljuk Turks. Literally translated as "father of a prince", an Atabeg was a city or provincial governor who was also charged with the fosterage of a monarch's heir; a Vali was a governor without the privilege of fosterage (and therefore no direct connection to the royal house).

An Atabeg was seen as subordinate to the Malik but superior to a Khan. There is no direct equivalent to a European rank, but in terms of authority, prestige and territorial control they could be equated to a powerful Count or Duke.