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

Turkestan. “The country of the brave”

Turkestan. “The country of the brave” - e-history.kz
Great men of history as Abulkhair, Rabiga Sultan-begim, Zholbarys-khan, Esim-khan, Ondan- sultan (Shygay-khan’s son), Ablay-khan, Kaz dausty Kazbek-bi and others were buried on that land.
Turkestan always took a special place in history of the ancient East. It was a spiritual center of inhabitants of Kazakhstan and Central Asia. It is noted in the written sources of X century, that the city used to be called Yassy and Shabgar, and later it was named as Turkestan. The word “Turk” means “courage” and “stan” has a meaning of the “country” or " unification of peoples" from Persian. As a result, the name of the city “Turkestan” can be interpreted as “the country of the brave”. 


It is specified in historical data that till VIII century Yassy was the part of Turkic, Western, Turgesh and Karlug khanates, moreover it was the capital of Oguz, Karluk and Arabs. Turkestan was the capital of the Kazakh khanate in XVI-XVIII centuries. 


Kazakh rulers realized that the city was geopolitically and spiritually important for the unification of nomads, who belonged to the group of the early state formations. Turkestan and its great historical monuments have close connection with the notion of Kazakh statehood. It may be noted by the fact, that Turkestan eventually became the forge of the great statesmen, eminent poets and scientists. Great men of history as Abulkhair, Rabiga Sultan-begim, Zholbarys-khan, Esim-khan, Ondan-sultan (Shygay-khan’s son), Ablay-khan, Kaz dausty Kazbek-bi and others were buried on that land.


Brave Kasym khan takes a special role in the history of this city: “...Defeat in the settlement of Nogay tamed fighting temper of the Kazakh warriors. But that was at the first glance. Actually, Kasym made his troops ready to a new trek. Sultan began to rectify introduced errors himself. He took unworthy commanders off the troops and accepted faithful and skilled people. His brothers and relatives were appointed as rulers of the settlements, where, in his opinion, the enemy must pass. For example, his brother Makhmud Sultan ruled Suzak and neighboring lands. One day, in the height of a harsh winter Kasym received unexpected news. It turned out that Mukhammed Shaybani did not stay for long at Nogay khanate and appeared again in the area of the river Syr. Makhmud Sultan with his warriors opposed the Shaybanids. The number of the enemy exceeded the number of the Kazakhs, so Makhmud asked for help. As Burunduk khan and sultan Kasym knew about it, despite the bitter cold, they immediately came to help. Ways of the opponents crossed on the pass Sogynlyk between Suzak and Sygnak. The battle began. Nobody could occupy the pass. Then, furious from failure, Kasym took the command on himself. The tide of the battle has changed. The enemy was forced to flee, leaving the borders of South Kazakhstan for long.” 


“Winning the field, Kasym had not came back home yet, as he was caught by the bitter news. The Shaybanids finding a gap on the borders of the territory of Kazakh people, captured Otyrar, Yassy (Turkestan), Sauran, Sygnak. He was faced a new task — to clear these cities immediately from the enemy. He had a strong commitment. The fields were strewn with the bodies of dead warriors. Mukhammed Shaybani felt uncomfortable in those parts and left to the south. Due to the skillful government of Kasym, Turkestan and Sygnak, which had always have been in the support of the Shaybanids conformed with Kazakh khanate. This raised fighting spirit of the Kazakh warriors and served as the impact to new victories. After Turkestan trek, name of Kasym sultan has gained a formidable, powerful force.” 


Since Yassy-Turkestan became the part of Kazakh khanate, it was the residence of the Kazakh khans on the territory of the Middle Syr Darya. Then this city became a major center craft and trade. Makhmud ibn Vali, the author of “Bakhr al-asrar” mentions another name of the city in his work: “Now Turkestan is city Saksi, common people call it Yassy. Khoja Akhmed Yassavi — came from this region and was buried there.” Those days the Kazakh khans hosted ambassadors from neighboring countries in this city. Turkestan was not just the residence of the Kazakh khans, also it was the place where meetings of rulers of the Kazakh khanate were held and solutions of important national issues. All Kazakh meetings were held in other regions of Kazakhstan, for example, in Ordabasy, but only regular meetings of the national character were held in Turkestan.

1f2cb0e64ee18d7dc8567e8b36b29f33.jpgTurkestan was the second Mecca for the followers of Islam from Central Asia. This city with firm walls was located at the intersection of sedentary, nomadic cultures and crossroads of major trade routes.