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Political history


In the history of Kazakhstan the 14-15th centuries were especially important, because during this period the formation of the Kazakh nation was completed. Kazakh nation formed on the base of different Turkic and Mongolian ethnic groups. The struggle for independence between peoples forcibly incorporated into the Mongol uluses, changes in their internal life led to the fall of the Golden Horde and the Chagatai Khanate.The territory of Kazakhstan was the part of these states after the establishment of the Mongol authority. Gradually were overcome severe economic consequences of the Mongol conquests. Agriculture, urban life, handicraft production in the south of Kazakhstan, agriculture in the south-east were revived, the number of livestock grew. Trade relations in the steppe regions of central Kazakhstan, Semirechye and in oases of southern Kazakhstan and Central Asia were restored. There were some changes in the development of public relations.

Post-Mongol period (14-15th centuries) was represented by the ethnic consolidation of nomadic, semi-nomadic and settled agricultural population on the vast territory of East Dasht-i Kipchak, Semirechye and southern Kazakhstan. In Persian and Turkic sources of the 14-16th centuries this part of Kazakhstan called Turkestan. The process of formation of a unified nation and its state was hampered by the political fragmentation of the region. The initial phase of this difficult period in the history of Kazakhstan was characterized by the collapse of the Mongol uluses - Genghis possessions in Dasht-i Kipchak and Central Asia (Transoxiana). The final phase was represented by the formation of the Kazakh state - the Kazakh Khanate. After the fall of the Mongol Empire several states appeared on the local ethnic basis – the White Horde, Moghulistan, Khanate of Abu’l Khayr (State of nomadic Uzbeks), the Nogai Horde. It should be noted that the fragmentation of the population of Kazakhstan in the 14th - first half of the 15th centuries influenced the emergence of such ethnic characteristics as forming of three zhuzes. It is also significant that at this stage of the historical development the ethno-political evolution was common between the neighboring Turkic peoples - Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Kyrgyzs, Tatars, Nogais, etc.

In East Dasht-i Kipchak in the middle of 13th - the first third of the 15th centuries there was a state of Ak-Orda (White Horde). By Rashid ad-Din (14th c.), the eastern part of the Ulus of Jochi (left wing) was given to Orda Ichen, one of the older sons of Jochi. According to Abulgazi (17th c.), these lands were given to Orda by his younger brother Batu Khan in the middle of the 13th century. According to Rashid ad-Din, the successors of Orda were actually independent rulers and only nominally recognized themselves as vassals of Batu Khan’s descendants. The territory of the White Horde by the time of its height in the second half of the 14th century had already formed while decoupled from the Golden Horde. The Ulus of Orda Ichen originally covered the territory of north-eastern Semirechye, Irtysh region, steppes to Ulutau and Kentau. In the area between the Yaik, Irgiz, Tobol and Sarysu rivers, in the Aral steppes and lower reaches of the Syr Darya was located the ulus of Shayban, another Jochi’s son. Orda’s residence in the middle of the 13th century, according to Plano Carpini, was situated on the Irtysh River and the Lake Alakol. In the 14th century descendants of Orda Ichen extended their authority to the Ulus of Shayban. That was the entire territory of present-day Kazakhstan, with the exception of the territory of Semirechye, which first time was the part of the Chagatai Khanate, then of Moghulistan. Political center of the White Horde moved to the south of Kazakhstan, Sygnak became the capital. It seems that these events had an impact on the change of the state’s name. A number of modern scholars call this state, located on the territory of Kazakhstan, the Kok Horde (Blue Horde). Apparently, the original possessions of Orda Ichen called the Blue Horde, and Shayban’s ones called the White Horde. Possibly, all the possessions of Batu Khan, including the Ulus of Shayban, also called the White Horde. After the Ulus of Shayban was annexed by the descendants of Orda Ichen, the word "White Horde" became the name of the whole state. In the historical sources this word was known from the 15th century (Muin ad-Din Natanzi and other authors). Since the end of the 14th century the territory of the White Horde was also called the Uzbek ulus.

The White Horde appeared and was formed as an independent state in the post-Mongol period in conditions of economic revival and rise of local Turkic and Turkified elite. It was inhabited by Turkic-speaking tribes, who lived in the steppes of Kazakhstan since olden times or moved here from the eastern regions during the invasion of Genghis Khan. There were Turkic clans and tribes, and Turkified Mongol tribes among them: the Kipchaks, Naimans, Wusun (Uysyn), Argyns, Karluks, Kereits (Khereids), Kangly, Kongrats, Manghits and many others.

In the settled areas of the White Horde forms of land tenure were developed. In the nomadic areas aristocracy possessed the large herds that turned them into actual owners of grazing lands, which formally were in common use. According to historical sources in the White Horde were known such types of land tenure as indju, mulk, soyurgal. Tarkhan grants were given. In several sources were mentioned some forms of exploitation of nomads and farmers. The working population of the White Horde paid taxes to their khans and aristocracy, such as kupchur, zyaket, tagar. War and strife only complicated the situation. At the head of the state was a Khan descended from Orda Ichen. Under his rule were the local governors from the Jochids and nomadic nobility (lords, emirs, Bahadurs), who exercised administrative and political power within their possessions.

The political history of the White Horde in the first phase was represented by continuing struggle for independence of the territory of East Dasht-i Kipchak from the power of the Golden Horde Khans, and later the intervention of the White Horde Khans in the Golden Horde government. The final phase was represented by the fight against aggression of Emir Timur, the ruler of Transoxiana, and the Timurids. The final separation from the Golden Horde occurred by the middle of the 14th century under Khans Erzen and Mubarak Khoja (1320-1344). The White Horde was consolidated under Urus Khan, ruled in the 60's and 70's of the 14th century. He was fighting and protecting the White Horde from the invasions of Timur.

In the last third of the 14th - early 15th centuries the White Horde, as well as the neighboring state Moghulistan, was attacked several times by Emir Timur.

Emir Timur belonged to the Turkified Mongol tribe Barlas. He rose to prominence during the feudal strife and wars in Transoxiana in the 60's of the 14th century. In 1370, he seized power and was a sovereign ruler in Central Asia for 35 years. These years he organized predatory, rapacious campaigns against neighboring regions and countries, and attempted to create a world empire. He used the most cruel and barbaric methods in his bloody conquests.

Unifying Central Asia Timur at the same time raided the territories of East Dasht-i Kipchak, Semirechye and the Tien Shan mountains. In the north and west the mighty Golden Horde prevented the aggressive plans of Timur. But before conquering it, Timur marched against the nearest to Transoxiana neighbors, the White Horde and Moghulistan. They were the first objects of Timur’s aggression outside of Central Asia.

Trying to prevent the economic and political independence of the White Horde and Moghulistan, Timur in the 70-80’s organized about ten campaigns in their territories. As a result, both of the countries were weakened, the population was wiped out or captured, all the goods were looted, number of livestock reduced, sedentary agriculture declined in its development. Timur's aggressive policy against the White Horde and Moghulistan interrupted the process of ethnic consolidation and development of the Kazakh and Kyrgyz tribes. Formally, the steppe areas were not annexed by the Timur’s empire, but the important area of South Kazakhstan, with its cities Sygnak, Otrar, Sauran, Yasi, Sairam, was lost. Tokhtamysh forcefully ascended the throne of the White Horde with Timur’s backing. Using military resources of the White Horde, Tokhtamysh in 1380 conquered the western part of the Ulusof Jochi and tried to break free of Timur’s power. But after three military campaigns of Timur's army in 1389, 1391 and 1395 the Golden Horde was defeated. During these campaigns against the Golden Horde Timur’s troops plundered the population of Kazakhstan, Caucasus and Southern Russia. Were destroyed all the major cities of Golden Horde in the Volga region and Crimea (Sarai- Berke, Astrakhan, Azov, etc.). The economic life of these areas and transit trade were interrupted. By the end of Timur’s life his empire included, except Transoxiana, Turkestan (southern Kazakhstan) and Khorezm, the territories of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Caucasus and part of India. In winter 1404-1405 Timur marched again towards Moghulistan. He led a huge army across South Kazakhstan to China, but in February 1405 died himself in Otrar.

As a result of Timur’s conquests and internal strife in the late 14th - early 15th centuries the White Horde was weakened. In 1423/24-1428 Urus Khan’s grandson Baraq reasserted the authority of his dynasty in the White Horde, but soon died. The power in the most part of the White Horde transferred to Abu’l-Khayr from the Shaybanid dynasty. The descendants of Urus Khan and Baraq in the second quarter of the 15th century retained their authority in southern Kazakhstan.

The White Horde was politically and economically independent state, with its own foreign policy and dynastic rulers. It played an important role in the political consolidation of ethnic groups, tribes and nations in East Dasht-i Kipchak and Turkestan at the turn of the 14-15th centuries.

South-East Kazakhstan in the middle of the 14th - early 16th centuries was a part of Moghulistan, which formed in the north-eastern part of Central Asia, in Semirechye and East Turkestan after the fall of the Chagatai Khanate. Moghulistan, as well as other states, appeared after the Mongol holdings of the Genghisids were disintegrated in the region of Central Asia, eastern part of Dasht-i Kipchak and East Turkestan. Huge Mongol uluses forcibly integrated areas, inhabited by various ethnic communities with different economic, social, political, cultural and historical development. Eventually they broke into several feudal possessions with a certain historical, economic and ethnic basis. Local feudal lords rose to prominence and attempted to assert their authority in the state.

In the 70s of the 13th centuryin the territory of Ogedei and Chagatai uluses Hajdu state was established, which covered the area from the Altai to the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers. In the middle of the 14th century the reasons mentioned above led to the disintegration of the state. In the western part of it (Transoxiana) there emerged the state of Emir Timur. In the eastern part, called Moghulistan, the feudal nobility, headed by a representative of a large Dughlat tribe Emir Bulaji, in 1347-1348 chose TughlughTimur as a Khan of the Chagatai Khanate, who became the founder of the Moghulistan dynasty of rulers. In the 16th century he founded the Yarkent Khanate in Kashgar.

Boundaries of Moghulistan changed during the period of 150 years of its existence. It consisted of Moghulistan itself and part of Eastern Turkestan, which was a vassal territory, called in the sources Kingdom of Mangalai. This area was an appanage of Dughlat Emir Bulaji and his descendants. Historical and geographical term "Moghulistan" (Mughalistan) was formed from the ethnonym "Moghul." The word “Moghul” simply means “Mongol”, which was pronounced such way in Central Asia and Kazakhstan and spelled in Turkic and Persian historical works. The vast region of south-eastern Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the northern part of East Turkestan was called Moghulistan during the existence of the Chagatai Khanate because of preserved nomadic traditions and a big number of Mongols moved there.

Moghulistan covered the territory from Tashkent and Turkestan provinces in the west to the Lake Barkul and the city of Hami in the east, from Balkhash, Tarbagatai and the Black Irtysh River in the north to Fergana and Kashgar agricultural oases in the south. The Kingdom of Mangalai included the territories of Kashgar and the southern part of Kyrgyzstan with the cities of Kashgar, Hotan, Kashan, Aksu, Aksiket, Atbashi, etc. The population of Moghulistan consisted of Turkic and Turkified Mongol tribes: the Dughlats, Kangly, Kereits, Wusun, Barlas etc. They formed the Turkic-speaking ethno-political community called the "Moghuls." Large part of these tribes, lived in Semirechye, formed the basis of the Kazakh nation. The other group, located in Tien Shan region and Eastern Turkestan, became a part of the Kyrgyz and Uighur nations.

In Moghulistan the political ruler of the state and supreme owner of the lands was a Khan. Here, just as in the White Horde, were known such forms of land tenure as iqta, indju and soyurgal. In the nomadic areas the land was in common use. Concentration of livestock in the hands of aristocracy turned them into actual owners of grazing lands (historical sources mention dozens or even hundreds of thousands of livestock belonging to the only owner). Building of fortresses often made them the owners of the pastures.

The nomadic aristocracy of Moghulistan and ordinary nomads and sedentary farmers of Kashgar were in conflict with each other. The latter were under the rule of nomadic elite, which received the whole regions and cities from the Khan with the right to collect taxes. According to historical sources, there were several types of taxes obtained from the urban and rural, agricultural and nomadic population: kalan, kupchur, zyaket, tagar, baj, kharaj etc. Population had various duties: military, transport, labor, post, etc. Frequent war and strife for the possessions only complicated the situation.

In government of the state ulusbek helped the Khan (traditionally ulusbek was an emir from the Dughlat tribe). Khan had a political and military council of aristocracy. Bureaucratic apparatus was more developed in settled agricultural parts of the state, especially in tax collection and organization of military forces.

Political history of Moghulistan was full of feudal wars, internecine strife and resistance against the attacks of neighboring states, especially against the incursions of Emir Timur into the Tien Shan region. First Moghul Khans Tughlugh Timur (1347-1362) and Ilyas Khoja in the 60’s attempted to reassert the authority of the Chagataids in Transoxiana. But in 70-80’s the rulers of Moghulistan Kyzyr Khoja Khan (1388-1389), the Dughlat emir Qamarud-Din, Enge-tore and others had to fight, as noted above, against the aggression of Timur. During this struggle was attempted unification with the White Horde, also suffered from the invasions of Timur. The joint struggle against the incursions of Emir Timur was of great importance for the population of the East Dasht-i Kipchak and Semirechye because of establishing of economic, business and other contacts. As a result of continuing fight against Timur’s aggression Moghulistan disintegrated into fiefdoms. Kyzyr Khoja Khan was forced to acknowledge himself a vassal of Timur. The Timurids continued extending their authority in the territory of Semirechye and Kashgar.

Under the son of Kyzyr Khoja, Muhammed Khan (1408-1416), the state became strengthened. Under him Moghulistan became independent from the Timurids. He managed to return the lands in the Chu and Talas Valleys. Internecine strife stopped for a while. In order to centralize the state Mohammed was converting the population to Islam.

The Moghuls had to deal with several enemy incursions by the Oirats. The Oirats were the westernmost group of the Mongols (in Central Asian sources they were called Kalmyks). Uais Khan (1418-1428) several times fought against them. He had to move his residence from Turfan to Ilibalyk in Semirechye. After his reign Moghulistan steadily declined in its power.

The internecine struggle was won by the group of aristocracy led by the Dughlat ulusbek Mir Muhammad Shah, who supported Uais Khan's son Esen Buga (1433-1462). Under Esen Buga in the late 50's the part of Kazakh tribes led by the sultans Janybek and Kerey migrated from East Dasht-i-Kipchak into Semirechye. The formation of the Kazakh Great juz on the basis of Turkic and Turkified tribes of Semirechye and the whole Kazakh nation, consisted of all the tribes on the territory of Kazakhstan, had already completed. This factor, as well as the formation of the Kyrgyz nation, was very important in separation of the South-East Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and the collapse of Moghulistan. At a certain stage of development Moghulistan played an important role in preservation and development of major ethnic groups, preparing conditions for the following genesis of ethnically homogeneous states in the region.

The fall of Moghulistan was also caused by other political and socio-economic reasons. The fragmentation of the country into fiefdoms (uluses), dynastic wars of the Chagataids, internecine strife, the discontent of the masses and instability led to massive migrations. Yunus Khan (1462-1487) consolidated the state for a while, but in 1472 was defeated by the Oirats, invaded into Semirechye, and fled to the Syr Darya. In the 80’s he managed to conquer Sairam and Tashkent. Yunus’s son Sultan Ahmad Khan in 1474 founded in the eastern part of Moghulistan an independent domain. His brother, Sultan Mahmud Khan (1487-1508) waged war with the Kazakh khans in Semirechye and the Syr Darya cities. The last of the rulers of Moghulistan was the grandson of Yunus Khan, Sultan Said Khan. In 1514 he conquered Kashgar, which was under the vassal ruler of Moghulistan, Abu Bakr Mirza, and founded a new state in East Turkestan – the Yarkent Khanate. Kazakh clans and tribes of Semirechye in 60’s became part of the Kazakh Khanate.

In the 20’s of the 15th century in the steppes of Kazakhstan as a result of the collapse of the White Horde and Jochids strife the more powerful state became independent, called the Khanate of Abu’l Khayr Khan from the Shaybanid dynasty. According to historical sources, this state had other names - the state of nomadic Uzbeks or the Uzbek Khanate.

Jochids strife, the most important of which were Jumaduq Khan, Mahmud Khoja Khan, Mustafa Khan and others, resulted in the death of the White Horde Khan Barak and in 1428 the election of Abu’l Khayr as a Khan. Abu’l Khayr was a son of Dawlat Shaykh Oglan. He managed to create an independent khanate and held power for forty years in the vast area of steppe regions of Kazakhstan. The Khanate of Abu’l Khayr covered the territory from the Yaik (Ural) in the west to the Lake Balkhash in the east, from the lower reaches of the Syr Darya and the Aral Sea in the south to the middle reaches of the Tobol and Irtysh River in the north.

The Khanate consisted of basically the same tribes as the White Horde. At the end of 14th - the first half of the 15th centuries these tribes were known as the "Uzbeks". According to historical sources they included such ethnic groups as the Kipchaks, Naimans, Manghits, Karluks, Hongirads, Kangly, Wusuns, Uighurs, Kurlauts, Durmens, Burkuts, etc. There were mainly Turkic tribes of the Kipchak and Karluk origin, the descendants of the early medieval population of Dasht-i Kipchak and South-East Kazakhstan, such as Kangly, Wusuns, Karluks and Turkified Mongols. Later, many of these ethnic groups became known as the tribes of the Kazakh Middle Juz. These tribes and tribal alliances were close to each other in economic development, social relations and culture.

The Khanate of Abu’l Khayr was not a centralized state, it was divided into several ethno-territorial, ethno-political groups, possessions (uluses) led by the Genghisids of different lineages and the nomadic aristocracy. During the reign of Abu’l Khayr there were a lot of internecine strife and war. In the 30’ he defeated Mahmud Khoja Khan near the Tobol, in the steppes of the Syr Darya won the battle against Dzhuchidali Mahmud Khan and Ahmed Khan, and captured Orda Bazar. In 1446 Abu’l Khayr defeated Mustafa Khan. Among his opponents were the Jochids Ibak Khan, Bureke Sultan, grandchildren of the White Horde Urus Khan Janybek and Kerey.

Abu’l Khayr Khan led conquest wars outside of his khanate - in Central Asia, southern and south-eastern Kazakhstan. In 1430, he captured Khorezm for a short time, and sacked Urgench. In 1446 Abu’l Khayr managed to defeat several cities on the Syr Darya and in the foothills of the Karatau, belonged to the Timurids and the descendants of the White Horde Khans. There were Sygnak, Suzak, Ak-Kurgan, Uzgen, Arkuk. The cities were given as appanages (soyurgal) to supporting him tribal leaders, particularly, to the Manghits. This tactic consolidated Abu’l Khayr’s power among one group of aristocracy, but strained relations with the other.

Sygnak became the capital of the Khanate (Khan's residence was in Tara and Orda Bazar cities before). In the 50’s Abu’l Khayr Khan raided Samarkand and Bukhara, interfering in the internal strife of the Timurids from Transoxiana. In 1457 Abu’l Khayr was defeated at the battle of Sygnak by the Oirats invaded the south-eastern and southern Kazakhstan. In the late 50's - early 60's in the western part of Moghulistan part of tribes headed by sultans Janybek and Kerey migrated from the Khanate. Abu’l Khayr organized a campaign against them in 1468, but died himself on the way. After the death of Abu’l Khayr Khan the state broke into parts. Khan's successor Shaikh Haidar Khan was killed immediately in internecine struggle between the Jochids. Abu’l Khayr’s grandson Muhammad Shaybani had to wage a long struggle for power against the Kazakh khans in the steppe and in the southern cities of the Middle Syr Darya and Karatau region.

The absence of stable relations between the different parts of the state, dynastic war and strife for the territory and resistance to exploitation and oppression of the nomads, resulted in the migration of people to other areas, weakened the Khanate of Abu’l Khayr and led to the collapse. Almost the same situation was in Moghulistan. There also was a process of tribal consolidation into separate ethno-political structures.

With the formation of the Kazakh Khanate the power of the Shaybanids, descended from Abu’l Khayr, declined in the territory of East Dasht-i Kipchak. Part of nomadic Uzbeks (tribal alliance, consisted of the Kipchaks, Karluks, Uighurs, Hongirads and others) at the beginning of 16th century migrated to Transoxiana. Remaining tribes on the territory of Kazakhstan were under the rule of the Kazakh Khans. Taking advantage of the weakening of the Timurid state, the Shaybanids seized power in Central Asia.

One of the major states, appeared in the result of the collapse of the Golden Horde was the Nogai Horde. In the 14-15th centuries it covered part of Western Kazakhstan. Initially, from the end of the 14th century this tribal alliance located between the Ural and the Volga was called the "Manghit Yurt", as the title of one of its largest tribes. The separation of the Nogai Horde, as a semi-independent state, began under Edigu, who was a major figure in the Golden Horde and actually held power in it for about 15 years (1396-1411). Edigu was at war with Tokhtamysh, enthroned his puppet khans in the Golden Horde, and during the feudal strife tried to consolidate the Nogai Ulus. He was killed in 1419. Later, the Manghit leaders tried to strengthen ties with the eastern neighbors and formed an alliance with Abu’l Khayr Khan. Finally, the Nogai Horde became independent by the middle of 15th century and was consolidated under the son of Edigu Nur ad-Din (1426-1440).

The boundaries of the Nogai Horde, as well as of other nomadic states, varied depending on the foreign policy situation. By the second half of the 15th century the Nogais moved beyond the left bank of the Ural and moved further to the east and south, occupying pastures of the Uzbeks. Abu’l Khayr during his raids into Central Asia did not oppose the Nogais. The Nogai pastures on the north-east extended to Siberia (the land to the south-east of Tyumen called the Nogai steppe). In the south-east they sometimes occupied the Syr Darya region and the Aral Sea coast. The Nogai rulers Vaqqas Bey, Musa Mirza, Yamghurchi and others helped Abu’l Khayr in capturing cities on the Syr Darya. Later the Nogais were at war, and then formed an alliance with the Kazakh Khans. In the middle of the 16th century Khak-Nazar Khan was called in the sources as a "Khan of Kazakhs and Nogais."

The ethnic consist of the Nogai Horde was close to the tribes of the White Horde and the Khanate of Abu’lKhayr. In the Nogai Horde there were Turkic and Turkified Mongol tribes and tribal alliances: the Manghits, Kipchaks, Kangly, Hongirads, Naimans, Wusuns, Karluks, Alshyns, etc. The Nogai Horde was established as ethno-political alliance, which was the basis of the Nogai nation, formed by the end of the 15th century.

In the second half of the 15th century the name of the ethnic group "Nogais" appeared and became known to the neighboring nations.

In the Nogai society of the 14-16th centuries, also as in other nomadic societies, there were early feudal relations with retained patriarchal features. The highest titles were princes, khans, mirzas, sultans, bais. They stood at the head of the hordes, uluses and auls, solved all the economic problems. Possessing great wealth, which consisted of numerous herds of horses, camels, sheep and cattle, the Nogai aristocracy controlled nomadic pastures and hunting grounds, although formally they were in tribal communal property.

In the Nogai Horde there was an ulus system of political organization. Prince of the Horde had hereditary, military, diplomatic and administrative power. The Horde consisted of several uluses. Each of them consolidated several tribal groups. Uluses were headed by mirzas. The mirzas often had unlimited power in their domains and possessed the best ulus pastures. Nomadic pastoralists had to move with their mirzas, pay taxes and participate in military campaigns.  The raids and war with neighbors were profitable for aristocracy. The Horde could muster up to 300,000 soldiers.

In the 16th century trade, economic and political relations between the Nogai Horde and the Russian state were established. History of the Nogai Horde was closely intertwined with the history of neighboring Khanates of the Volga region and Siberia, Central Asia and Kazakhstan, especially with nomadic Uzbeks and Kazakhs. Group of the Nogais, moving between the Emba and the Syr Darya, was in constant contact with the Kazakhs.

After the annexation of Kazan and Astrakhan Khanates by Russia, and as a result of infightings among the Nogai ruling family, the Nogai Horde disintegrated into several independent hordes.Part of its population on the territory of Kazakhstan formed the Little juz. In the northeast, other part of the Nogai tribes was annexed by the lords of Siberia. The Nogai hordes in a period of fragmentation in the 16-18th centuries were in stable relations with the Crimean Khanate and the Russian state. Possessions of the Nogai Horde in the northeast reached the Irtysh River and bordered on the Siberian Khanate.

The Siberian Khanate from the 60’s of the 15th to the end of the 16th centuries covered the territory of Western Siberia, the lands along the Ob, Tobol and Ishim, part of modern North-East Kazakhstan and the right bank of the Irtysh River. In the 14th century, there existed the state of Taibuga, which was a political union of Turkic tribes, among which the leading role played the Kereits. Further to the south at the 14th – early 15th centuries there were lands of the White Horde.

The main population of the Siberian Khanate consisted of Turkic-speaking tribes, known as "Siberian Tatars", and the Ugric tribes. According to sources the Siberian khans from the Shaybanid dynasty owned the lands on the middle reaches of the Tobol, Ishim and Irtysh rivers to the Lake Yamyshevo. The territories to the south-east along the Irtysh in the 16th century already belonged to the Oirats (Dzhungars or Kalmyks). On the northern territories of Moghulistan, collapsed in the early 16th century, along the upper reaches of the Irtysh River, east of the Tarbagatai, in the upper reaches of the Ili, there was the Oirat tribal consolidation. Siberian khans and the Oirat Taishi in the 15-16th centuries were constant opponents of the Kazakh khans on the northern and eastern borders of Kazakhstan.

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