If a nation does not know its history, if the country loses its history, then its citizens have nowhere to go.
Mirzhakyp Dulatuly

On the Foundation of the Kazakh Khanate

On the Foundation of the Kazakh Khanate - e-history.kz
Kazakh khanate has a deep history. It is the heir of at least twenty states and two empires and for two thousand years, beginning from the Sak era ending with the Altyn Orda, the peoples of these

states had a substantial influence on the world history.

According to researchers, the Kazakh Khanate was founded in the secod half of the 15th century. The process of the formation of Kazakh statehood was associated with the basic necessities of life of kindred tribes, since the issues of preserving ethnic and territorial integrity, ensuring security, creating conditions for everyday household activities were not resolved either during the existence of Ak Orda or in Abilkhair's Khanate or Nogai Orda. Within these state associations there was no political stability. The descendants of Urys Khan, the sultans Zhanibek and Kerei, assumed the historic mission of the future of ethnically close tribes. Mohammed Haydar Dulati described these events by noting that at that time Abilkhair khan ruled over the Kipchak steppes. 

He brought a lot of trouble to the descendants of Zhoshy - the sultans. Zhanibek khan and Kerei Khan fled from him, and went to Moghulistan. Yesen Buga met them brightly and presented them with kozybasy on the coast of Shu. This is the western edge of Moghulistan. They lived peacefully in this region. After the death of Abulkhair, his descendants brought quarrels among themselves, and there was a lot of misunderstanding. Some of them gathered around the Kerei and Zhanibek khans. Their number reached two hundred thousand. The reign of the Kazakh sultans began in 870. Information from Allah is more accurate. In the history of a nomadic tribal society, the separation of a part of a clan or tribe, its merging with other patriarchal communities was quite common. But the massive displacement of a significant part of the related tribes beyond the Abilkhair's khanate meant more than territorial territorial disputes and internecine clashes among the descendants of Genghis Khan, which had already become customary. However, it should be noted that the Kazakh Khanate is not created from the moment of its departure.

The enemy of Yesen buga - Zhunis khan was invited to Herat by Timurid Abdu Said. The confrontation of Yesen buga and Zhunis Khan lasted about two years. Consequently, the migration of Zhanibek and Kerey with the ulus people into the possession of the Moghul khan Yesen buga occurred in the years 1459-1460. In the middle of the fifteenth century, Southern Kazakhstan was attacked by Oirats (Kalmaks), united by a very strong ruler Yesen. In the beginning, he goes on a campaign against the Ming empire levies a tribute to the Chinese, then directs attention to Moghulistan and the Seven Rivers.

The Oirats made a military campaign against Moghulistan and reached the bank of the Shu river. Khan Yesen buga, concerned about the strife in Kashgar, could not resist. The commander of the Oirats, Oz Temir taishy, ​​took advantage of the fact that Yesen buga Khan was in Kashgaria and, without any resistance, passed through the eastern part of Moghulistan to Semirechye, then headed to Turkestan. His army ravaged the population living on the shores of the Syrdarya, plundered the city of Tashkent and Turkestan. Oirats are sent to the capital Abulhair Khan Sygnak. Abilkhair Khan's army also performed. The battle of the troops of Abilkhair Khan and the Oirats at the head of Oz Temir taishy occurred in fourteen fifty seven near Kok kesene, in the vicinity of Syganak. Abulkhair Khan suffers a major defeat from the Oirats and flees from the battlefield. As a result, Abilkhair Khan was forced to make a humiliating peace with Oz Temir.  Thus, it can be assumed that the split in the Uzbek Khanate coincides with the years when Abulkhair Khan puts in order a lot of property suffered from the pogrom of the Oirats. Therefore, the order that Abulkhair Khan begins to establish in his domain was rigid and very harsh. On the internal politics of Abilkhair Khan in the period under review, he was harsh, even to his relatives.

Under such conditions, one can easily imagine the position of those sultans who belonged to another branch of Chingizids and, therefore, expressed the dynastic interests of different groups. When Abulkhair Khan interrupted the princes from the descendants of Zhoshy in the country of Desht-i Kipchak and dispersed that society in different parts, this scattering and frustration became the cause of their unification and cohesion. Zhanibek and Kerei became the leaders of such a scattered society consisting of the tribes and clans of the Uzbek tribes dissatisfied with the policy of the khan. Not being able to successfully fight the khan, they chose to leave their native spaces, and embarked on the path of exile with a group of tribes who recognized them, headed for Moghulistan.

The emergence of a powerful Kalmak state put the ruler of Moghulistan of that period Yesen buga in a difficult position. He did not have the opportunity at that time to repel the raids of the northern nomads, so to say to resist the migrating tribes headed by Zhanibek and Kerey. Therefore, he sought to rely on Zhanibek and Kerei and ensure the security of his borders. Secondly, in the person of Zhanibek and Kerei and their warriors, he saw a stronghold to protect the western borders of his possessions from the claims of his brother Yunus Khan, supported by Timurid Abu Said.

After the death of Yesen, the power in Moghulistan passed to his brother Zhunis khan, and friendly and family relations were established with Zhanibek and Kerei. Thus, both parties teamed up and reaffirmed the commitment to friendship and union. Actually, the two founderswho settled in Moghulistan, are joining all dissatisfied with Abilkhair khan. It is Abilhair’s fears. Therefore, the head of the Uzbek khanate Abilkhair undertook a carefully prepared campaign in Moghulistan. However, during this campaign, he fell ill and died.

Departure from the historical scene of Abilkhair, the collapse of Moghulistan in several fiefdoms allowed Zhanibek and Kerey to return to the middle course of the Syrdarya, Turkestan with a view to gain a foothold in the steppe with descendants of Khan Abulkhair. Their specific task was to make this region the center of a new state. From 1470, Kazakh troops began to appear on the shores of the Syrdarya. From now on, the desire of the Kazakh Khans to subjugate the Kypchak steppes laid the foundation of their political and military activities. By the end of the fifteenth century, Zhanibek and Kerei, then their successors and the descendant of Buryndyk khan directed all their efforts to the expansion of the territory of the Kazakh Khanate.

The purpose of the first Kazakh rulers to subjugate the cities around Turkestan had a number of reasons. First, the districts of Prisydarya and Karatau were the closest to Zhetisu possessions of the Kazakh khans and were hereditary for them. Secondly, the cities on the coast of the Syrdarya have long been political, trade, economic and cultural centers. And during the time of the Ak Orda and the Abilkhair's khanate, these vast steppe spaces and developed agricultural oases acquired even greater political and strategic importance. The cities including Otyrar, Syganak, Sauran, Sairam, Sozak and others were administrative and political centers of previously existing states, and their conquest could be the key to the future strengthening and expansion of the young Kazakh Khanate. Therefore, the struggle of the Kazakh khans and the ruler of the nomadic Uzbeks - the grandson of Abilkhair khan - Mohammed Sheybani for the Syrdarya cities led to protracted wars, especially by the end of the fifteenth century. The heirs of Timur  and the Moghul khans, who also had an interest in this region, intervened in their confrontations.

One of the prominent leaders of the Kazakh troops in the period of the end of the fifteenth century was Buryndyk khan, the son of Kerei khan. But even with him, the struggle for the towns near the Syrdarya and their oases were a variable success. Victories and defeats accompanied all participants of this confrontation. During this period, in the course of incessant clashes, the Sheibanids pushed aside the troops of the heirs of the Amir Temirr and captured Otyrar, Yassy, Ozgent. And Tashkent and Sairam at this time took possession of the Moghul khan Sultan Makhmut. The Kazakh khans subjugated Sozak, Syganak, Northern Aral sea and a significant part of Central Kazakhstan.

By the end of the fifteenth century, the struggle between the Kazakh khans and the wasbanids acquired the character of rivalry for the possession of the steppe territories of central and southern Kazakhstan. Mohammed Sheibani did not have significant forces to resist the growing power of the Kazakh Khanate. Mohammed Sheibani, who was oppressed by the Kazakh rulers, was forced to retire to Maverennakhr. On the way to Samarkand, a small detachment of Mohammed Sheibani was utterly defeated by Irenzhi the Sultan - the son of Zhanibek khan. The surviving companions of the prince almost scattered. He and his brother, Mahmut, barely escaped flight and, instead of Samarkand, hastily headed for Bukhara. The emirs and bahadurs - all those who witnessed the event, the source says of this defeat, Muhammad Sheybani Khan, “fled in different directions, so they did not have the opportunity to connect with each other.” Unable to reclaim the land owned by his grandfather Abulhair, Mohammed Sheibani conquers from the Timurids Maverennakhr.

The Sheibanids who had seized power in Maverennakhr sought to prevent the strengthening of the Kazakh Khanate, and for this purpose they prevented the establishment of the Kazakh rulers in the counties. To begin with, Mohammed Sheybani Khan attempted to end the trade relations of the Kazakhs with the agricultural regions of Central Asia. However, the policy of the economic blockade - a ban on trade - did not have the desired success.

At this time, the Moghul rulers, who owned East Turkestan, attempted to conquer the Zhetisu. However, Buryndyk khan managed to rally the nomadic peoples of Zhetisu, Central and Western Kazakhstan to fight him. After staying in Bukhara for about two years, Mohammed Sheibani, having collected the necessary military equipment, decided to step on Kazakh lands from a foreign country. However, his forces were too insignificant to be able to do anything serious with them and to succeed in the struggle against the Kazakh rulers. According to Mohammed Haidar Dulati, there were two major battles, and in both, the victory remained on the side of the Kazakh sultans.

The transition of some border fortresses into the hands of Mohammed Sheibani is explained by his ability to profitably use the hostile interests of his rivals, whose coalition was, as a rule, fragile. When the Kazakh Khan Burunduk, in alliance with the Timurid Muhammad-Mazid Tarkhan, approached Otrar, Muhammad Sheibani advised to lock up and not to engage in open battle with the dominant force of the enemy. “Since there are two or three rival troops,” he told his entourage, “they may be suspicious of each other. When they suspect each other, then it will lead to frustration. " And indeed it happened.

Strengthening and further development of the Kazakh Khanate at the beginning of the sixteenth century is associated with the name Kasym khan. Kasym is the son of Zhanibek khan. When, at the end of the summer of 1513, on the banks of the Shu River, Kasym khan met with the Said khan. During the reign of Buryndyk khan, he was a military commander. Kasym Sultan, according to contemporaries, was distinguished by military talent, personal courage and the ability to lead others. Although he saw that in fact the power in the Khanate and the initiative was in his hands, he did not want to break the tradition of submission to the elder. Kasym had not yet taken over the khan throne, although his power was already so great that no one thought about him - Khan. But he didn’t want to be close to Buryndyk, because if you were close and didn’t observe proper respect, it would mean to object to the khan.

Kasym, as a clever politician, was cautious, knew how to wait patiently where, seemingly, the situation allows to speed up the solution of the issue. This happened in fifteen ten, when Sheibani Khan made a raid on the Kasym ulus, located in the foothills of the Ulytau. Kasym Sultan, not having the opportunity at this point to repel the attack of the enemy, retreated to the spurs of Ulytau and there strengthened. The Sheibanids captured the abandoned Kasym Sultan's bet and celebrated the victory for several days. In the meantime, Kasym was aware of their carelessness and suddenly attacked. This caused panic and turmoil in the camp of the enemy, resulting in the death of many Uzbek soldiers and military commanders. The armament of the entire army of Sheibani Khan fell into the hands of the Kazakhs. The remains of the defeated troops joined Sheibani khan, located in Kok kesene. He immediately withdrew and hurriedly retreated. Following the army arrived Kasym Sultan and killed many more Uzbek soldiers.

After this event, the rivalry between the two most influential people of Buryndyk's khanate and Kasym ended, ultimately, with the victory of the all-powerful and energetic kasym. Kasym took over the throne of the Kazakh Khanate. Moghul Khan Sultan said, having learned about the speech of Kasym khan in Tashkent, hurried to the city to act with him. But, having received Kenderlik from the mountain pass, between Fergana and Tashkent by the vilayet, the news that Kasym retreated, Said Khan did not dare to go alone to Tashkent and turned back. In the autumn of fifteen thirteen on the Shu River, he meets Kasim Khan to convince the Kazakh Khan of the need for a new campaign against the Shaibanids. But Kasym politely refused. During the second decade of the sixteenth century, Kasym khan finally approved his rule over the vast steppe spaces of the Kazakh territory. At this time, the borders of the Khanate in the south reached the coast of the Syrdarya and included part of the cities of Turkestan, in the southeast they covered the foothills, and valleys of a significant part of Zhetisu, in the northwest they reached the Zhaiyk river basin.

So, by the middle of the fifteenth century, the need for the formation of the Kazakh nationality emerged. The gradual evolution of the economy, changes in the nature of social relations, the strengthening of feudal principles - all this contributed to the formation of a new ethnic community. The formation and development of the Kazakh statehood in the region of medieval Kazakhstan was of paramount importance for the consolidation and preservation of the integrity of the Kazakh ethnic group on the long path of its development. Overcoming the fragmentation and political disunity of parts of the Kazakh people in different state associations is associated with the names of Zhanibek and Kerei. Their dynastic interests, the struggle with other Chingizids for power in the steppe coincided with the interests of various social groups of the people, both from clan aristocracy and ordinary toilers.

According to some sources, Zhanibek and Kerei were close relatives. The sources do not have an exact explanation of which of them was the main one, their names are written side by side in a strict order. They both had the right to power: Zhanibek as a direct relative of Khan Barak, Kerey as the oldest in age. The specific course of the formation of the Kazakh Khanate is associated with the internal political situation of the two states on the territory of Kazakhstan, the Abilkhair's khanate and Moghulistan. Initially, the Kazakh Khanate occupied the territory of Zhetisu, Shu and Talas valleys. It united both the Kazakh clans and tribes, as well as the local clans that moved from Central and Southern Kazakhstan.

The political system of the Kazakh khanate was unstable, because it rested only on the personal authority of the ruler. This led to civil strife in the second third of the 16th century, when each ulus sultan tried to declare himself a khan. The charismatic nature of the power of the first Kazakh khans was able to consolidate society, but as soon as the khans entered the political arena, who did not have sufficient authority, the stability of the system was broken. After the death of Kasym Khan, a fierce struggle for power began among the Kazakh sultans, which led to the formation of several competing khanates.

Summing up, we can distinguish the core ideas of the Kazakh national statehood. First, Kerei and Zhanibek were the first Kazakh khans, the founders of Kazakh statehood. They became the political heirs of Urys Khan and the successors of the traditions of Ak Orda. Secondly, It is thanks to the activities of Kerei and Zhanibek that in the second half of the fifteenth century, the political name kazakh emerged in the Deshti-Kypshak, which is transformed from uzbek-kazakh to the single name of the Kazakh people, the first modern peoples in Central Asia. Thirdly, the image of Alash khan and three zhuzes is the core idea of ​​the statehood of the Kazakhs as disparate, united in a single community to achieve a common goal - the creation of the Kazakh state and is directly connected with the institution of the Kazakhs. Fourthly, if each nomadic family has its own call, then Alash becomes the single national call of the Kazakhs. Finally, the departure of Kerei and Zhanibek from the power of Abilkhair Khan shows us the institution of Kazakh, as the right to choose in the steppe tradition, the desire for independence, the manifestation of independence in the nomadic environment, i.e. implementation of the Batyr  spirit, opposing the khan's power. Therefore, each Khan sought to prove to his multi-ethnic people that he did not lose his moral and heroic qualities, did not lose respect from his people.