The name Kemales, though the precise reading is uncertain, was a common name among the Turks. The family name Tzotzikios however clearly indicates that this general was Georgian. He can perhaps be identified with the strategos of Istria under Basil II (see Skylitzes, p.356). The name is also found among the founders of the monastery of Iviron. Georgians played a significent role in the service of the empire, and Artach was an important fortress on the eastern frontier, facing the emirate of Aleppo.