The Khanate of Kazan (Tatar: Казан ханлыгы; Russian: Казанское ханство, Romanization: Kazanskoye khanstvo) was a medieval Tatar Turkic state that occupied the territory of former Volga Bulgaria between 1438 and 1552. Its khans were the patrilineal descendants of Tugh Temür, the thirteenth son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan. The khanate covered contemporary Tatarstan, Mari El, Chuvashia, Mordovia, and parts of Udmurtia and Bashkortostan; its capital was the city of Kazan. It was one of the successor states of the Golden Horde, and it came to an end when it was conquered by the Tsardom of Russia.
Khanate of Kazan
The Khanate of Kazan (green), c. 1500.
|Common languages||Turkic (Tatar, Chuvash), Mari|
• Annexed to Muscovy
The territory of the khanate comprised the Muslim Bolgar-populated lands of the Bolğar, Cükätäw, Kazan, and Qaşan duchies and other regions that originally belonged to Volga Bulgaria. The Volga, Kama and Vyatka were the main rivers of the khanate, as well as the major trade ways. The majority of the population were Kazan Tatars. Their self-identity was not restricted to Tatars; many identified themselves simply as Muslims or as "the people of Kazan". Islam was the state religion.
The local feudal nobility consisted of ethnic Bolgars, but the court and body guard of the Kazan khans were composed of steppe Tatar (Kipchaks, and later of Nogais) that lived in Kazan. According to the Ginghizide tradition, the local Turkic tribes were also called Tatars by the steppe nobility and, later, by the Russian elite. Part of the higher nobility hailed from the Golden Horde. It included members of four leading noble families: Arghin, Barin, Qipchaq, and Shirin.
Peoples subject to the khan included the Chuvash, Mari, Mordva, Mishar Tatars, Udmurt, and Bashkir. The Permians and some of the Komi tribes were also incorporated into the Khanate. The Mishars had arrived during the period of the Golden Horde and gradually assimilated the resident Finnic Mordvins and Burtas. Their territory was governed by former steppe Tatars. Some Mishar duchies were never controlled from Kazan and instead gravitated towards the Qasim Khanate or Muscovite Russia.
Most of the khanate territory was covered by forests, and only the southern part adjoined the steppe. The main population of the steppes were the nomadic Manghites, also known as Nogais, who sometimes recognized the rule of the Kazan khan, but more often raided agricultural Tatars and Chuvash, as they had done in the Golden Horde period. Later, Nogais were transplanted and replaced with Kalmyks. More recently, this area was settled by Tatars, Chuvash and Russians, who erected defensive walls to guard the southern border. Since the khanate was established, Tatar Cossack troops defended the khanate from the Nogais.
Russian sources indicate that at least five languages were used in the Kazan khanate. The first and foremost was the Tatar language, including the Middle dialect of the Kazan Tatars and the Western dialect of the Mishars. Its written form (Old Tatar language) was the favoured language of the state. The Chuvash language was a descendant of the Bolgar language, spoken by the pagan Chuvash people. The Bolgar language also strongly influenced the Middle dialect of Tatar language. The other three were probably the Mari language, the Mordvin languages and the Bashkir language, likewise developed from the Bolgar and Kipchak languages.
The former territories of Volga Bulgaria (Kazan Ulus or Kazan Duchy) may have regained a degree of independence within the disintegrating Golden Horde by the turn of the 15th century. The principality was self-governed and maintained a dynasty of Bolgar rulers. Whatever the status of this proto-state, the founder of the khanate was Ulugh Muhammad, who assumed the title of khan and usurped the throne of Kazan with some help from local nobility in 1437 or 1438. It has been suggested that the transfer of power from the local Bolgar dynasty to Muhammad was finalized by his son Maxmud in 1445.
Throughout its history, the khanate was prone to civil turmoil and struggles for the throne. The khans were replaced 19 times in 115 years. There were a total of fifteen reigning khans, some ascending the throne multiple times. The Khan was often elected from the Gengizides by vernacular nobility and even by the citizens themselves.
When discussing the history of the khanate, we should take into account the scarcity of sources. Not only no single document of the khanate survived the Russian conquest, but even the documents of early Russian colonial administration (Prikaz Kazanskogo Dvortsa) were all destroyed during the Time of Troubles. 
During the reign of Ulugh Muhammad and his son Maxmud, Kazan forces raided Muscovy and its subject lands several times. Vasily II of Moscow engaged in the Great Feudal War against his cousins, was defeated in a battle near Suzdal, and was forced to pay ransom to the Kazan khan.
In July 1487, Grand Duke Ivan III of Moscow occupied Kazan and seated a puppet leader, Möxämmädämin, on the Kazan throne. After that, the Kazan Khanate became a protectorate of Moscow, and Russian merchants were allowed to trade freely throughout its territory. Supporters of a union between the Ottoman Empire and the Crimean Khanate tried to exploit the population's grievances to provoke revolts (in 1496, 1500, and 1505), but with negligible results.
In 1521, Kazan emerged from the dominance of Moscow, concluding a mutual aid treaty with the Astrakhan Khanate, the Crimean Khanate and the Nogay Horde. The combined forces of khan Muhamed Giray and his Crimean allies then attacked Muscovy.
The reinforcement of Crimea displeased the pro-Moscow elements of the Kazan Khanate, and some of these noblemen provoked a revolt in 1545. The result was the deposition of Safa Giray. A Moscow supporter, Şahğäli, occupied the throne. Following that year, Moscow organized several campaigns to impose control over Kazan, but the attempts were unsuccessful.
With the help of the Nogays, Safa Giray returned to the throne. He executed 75 noblemen, and the rest of his opposition escaped to Russia. In 1549 he died, and his 3-year-old son Ütämeşgäräy was recognized as khan. His regent and the de facto ruler of the khanate was his mother Söyembikä. The administration of the ulan Qoşçaq gained a degree of independence under her rule.
At that time Safa Giray's relatives (including Devlet I Giray) were in Crimea. Their invitation to the throne of Kazan was vitiated by a large portion of vernacular nobility. Under Qoşçaq's government relations with Russia continued to worsen. A group of disgruntled noblemen at the beginning of 1551 invited a supporter of Tsar Ivan the Terrible, Şahğäli, for the second time.
At the same time the lands to the east of the Volga River (Taw yağı) were ceded to Russia. Ütämeşgäräy, along with his mother, was sent to a Moscow prison. Şahğäli occupied the Kazan throne until February 1552. Anti-Moscow elements in the Kazan government exiled Şahğäli and invited the Astrakhan prince Yadegar Moxammad, along with the Nogays, to aid them.
In August 1552, forces of Ivan the Terrible, operating from the Russian castle of Sviyazhsk, laid siege to Kazan. The Russians defeated the Tatar inland troops, burnt Archa and some castles. On October 3, after two months of siege and destruction of the citadel walls, the Russians entered the city. Some defenders managed to escape but most were put to the sword. Yadegar Moxammad was imprisoned and the population was slaughtered. The Kazan Chronicle reports about 110,000 killed, both civilians and garrison.
After the fall of Kazan, territories such as Udmurtia and Bashkortostan joined Russia without a conflict. The administration of the khanate was wiped out; pro-Moscow and neutral nobles kept their lands, but others were executed. Tatars were then resettled far away from rivers, roads and Kazan. Free lands were settled by Russians and sometimes by pro-Russian Tatars. Orthodox bishops such as Germogen forcibly baptized many Tatars.
Part of the population continued to resist Russian rule until 1556. Rebel governments were formed in Chalem and Mishatamaq, but as the Nogays under Ğäli Äkräm often raided the agricultural population, the coalition went to ruin. After a brutal repression against the Kazan rebels, their commanders were executed.
By some estimates, the population of the former khanate declined by several thousands during the wars. The administration, known as the Kazan Palace's Office undertook the forced Russification and Christianization of the Tatars and other peoples. The term Tsardom of Kazan was in use until 1708 when the Kazan Governorate was formed.
According to some scholars, the Khanate of Kazan was briefly restored during the Time of Troubles with the help of the ethnic Russian population, but Russian forces under the leadership of Kuzma Minin suppressed the rebellion.
The Khanate's urban population produced clay ware, wood and metal handiworks, leather, armor, ploughs and jewels. The major cities included Qazan, Arça, Cükätaw, Qaşan, Çallı, Alat and Cöri. The urban population also traded with the people of Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Russia. In the 16th century, Russia became the main trading partner of Kazan, and the khanate shared the economic system of Moscow. The major markets were the Taşayaq Bazaar in Kazan and the Markiz Isle fair on the Volga River. Agricultural landownership was based on the söyurğal and hereditary estates.
The khan governed the state. He based his actions on decisions and consultations of a cabinet council, or Diwan. The nobility comprised the ranks of bäk (beg), ämir (emir), and morza. Military estates consisted of the uğlan (ulan), bahadir, içki (ichki). Muslim clergy also played a major role. They were divided into säyet (seid), şäyex (sheikh), qazí (qazi), and imams. The ulema, or clergy, played a judicial role, and maintained the madrassas (schools) and maktabs (libraries).
The majority of the population comprised qara xalıq (black people), a free Muslim population who lived on state land. The feudal lands were mostly settled by çura (serfs). Prisoners of war were usually sold to Turkey or into Central Asia. Occasionally they were sold within the Khanate as slaves (qol) and sometimes were settled on feudal lands to become çura later. The muslim and non-Muslim population of the Khanate had to pay the yasaq.
The Khanate was divided into 5 daruğa: Alat, Arça, Gäreç, Cöri and Nuğay. The term daruğa translates as "direction". They replaced the "duchies" that the khanate originated from. Some feudal lords sporadically asserted independence from Kazan, but such attempts would be promptly suppressed.
The military of the khanate consisted of armament and men from the darughas and subject lands, khan guards, and the troops of the nobility. The number of soldiers was never constant, ranging from 20,000 to 60,000 in number. Often, troops from Nogay, the Crimea and Russia also served the Kazan khans. Fire-arms (arquebuse) were used for defending the walls of Kazan.
Although Islamic influence predominated, lay literature also developed. The most prominent Old Tatar language poets were Möxämmädyar, Ömmi Kamal, Möxämmädämin, Ğärifbäk, and Qolşärif. Möxämmädyar renovated the traditions of Kazan poetry, and his verses were very popular.
The city of Bolghar retained its position as a sacred place, but had this function only, due to the emergence of Kazan as a major economic and political center in the 1430s.
The architecture of the khanate is characterized by white-stone architecture and wood carvings.
It was actually the Orthodox Church militant that first stimulated [...] Russian campaigns of conquest to the East, advocating the spread of Christianity into the well-established Muslim Kazan Khanate. Immediately after the conquest the church established a strong institutional presence in the Tatar regions and planned for the forced conversion of its Muslim population to Orthodox Christianity. [...] Despite its establishment of churches, monasteries, and religious institutions in the newly conquered regions, the church was to be frustrated in its goal of imposing Christianity on Muslim turf.
Canghali (also Jan Ali, Can Ali, Tatar: Җангали; Russian: Джан-Али) (1516–1535) was ruler of the Khanate of Qasim in 1519–1532 and then Khanate of Kazan in 1532–1535. He was the son of Qasim khan Shayex Allahiar (Şäyex Allahiär) (r. 1512-15) and younger brother of Qasim khan Shahgali or Shah Ali (r. 1515-19).
When Shah Ali moved to Kazan Jan Ali took the throne. The Qasim Khanate was a vassal state of Muscovy. Canghali as its ruler had close ties with Muscovy.
In 1532 Vasili III of Russia defeated Kazan, khan Safagäräy fled and the 16-year-old Canghali was brought in as a pro-Russian ruler of the bigger and generally independent Kazan Khanate. In 1533 Canghali married Söyembika, the daughter of Nogay nobleman. During his reign he was completely manipulated by Bulat Shirin (Bulat Şirin, /boo-LAHT shee-RREEN/) and queen Gawharshat (Gäwhärşat, /geh-w-ha-rr-SHAHT/), widow or sister of Moxammat Amin khan. During 1535 coup of Kazan nobility, he lost the throne and was exiled to Iske Qazan. Older sources (Howorth) say that he was killed.Ghiyath-ud-din Khan
Ghiyath-ud-din Khan (Urdu;Persian;Arabic: غیاث الدین خان ; Tatar: Ğiäsetdin, Russian: Ghiasetdin) (? –1438 or 1445) was initially the governor of Kazan province of the fragmenting Golden Horde during the reign of
Edigu. The principality was self-governed and maintained a dynasty of Bolgar rulers.
When Edigu died, Ghiyath-ud-din the reigning ruler taking advantage of the troubles of the Golden Horde established himself as an independent ruler of Kazan Ulus (Kazan province) during the 1420s. Eventually Ghiyath-ud-din would have to confront the former ruler of the Golden Horde, Ulugh Muhammad, but was defeated and killed whereas Ulugh Muhammad would take over Kazan and establish his own separate Khanate of Kazan formally breaking from the Golden Horde.History of Tatarstan
The region of Tatarstan, now within the Russian Federation, was inhabited by different groups during prehistory. The state of Volga Bulgaria grew up during the Middle Ages and for a time was subject to the Khazars. The Volga Bulgars became Muslim and incorporated various Turkic peoples to form the modern Volga Tatar ethnic group.
The region came under the domination of the Khanate of Kazan in the 15th century. The khanate was conquered by Ivan the Terrible in 1552 and abolished in 1708. This period was marked by settlement of the area by Russians and attempts at conversion to Orthodox Christianity, provoking a number of rebellions among the Tatars and neighbouring groups. In the late 18th and 19th centuries industry developed, economic conditions improved and Tatars achieved more equal status with Russians. However, Tatar national consciousness was growing, and upon the October Revolution of 1917, national institutions were established and independence declared as the Idel-Ural State. After several years of civil war the Soviet government suppressed independence and established the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Soviet Union.
Under Soviet rule there was a famine followed by progressive decline of the Tatar language, culture and religion both Christian and Muslim. The discovery of large petroleum deposits helped to promote further major growth in industry. Around the time of the fall of the USSR in 1991 there were again moves for independence, but in 1994 the region, under the name of Tatarstan, became a constituent republic of the Russian Federation. In 2008 a national assembly, the Milli Mejlis, declared Tatarstan independent, but this status has not been recognised by the United Nations or the Russian government.Ibrahim of Kazan
İbrahim khan (died 1479) was a ruler of the Khanate of Kazan (since 1467). He was the son of Mäxmüd. He was crowned after Xälil's death and was married to his wife Nursoltan. In 1467–1469 and 1478 he participated in wars against Muscovy. After the treaty concluded with Ivan III, all Russian prisoners of war were liberated. He was a supporter of policy of non-intervention to Muscovy's politics.Idel-Ural
Idel-Ural (Tatar: Идел-Урал, Russian: Идель-Урал) literally Volga-Ural is a historical region in Eastern Europe, in what is today Russia. The name literally means Volga-Urals in the Tatar language. The frequently used Russian variant is Volgo-Uralye (Russian: Волго-Уралье). The term Idel-Ural is often used to designate 6 republics of Russia of this region: Bashkortostan, Chuvashia, Mari El, Mordovia, Tatarstan, and Udmurtia, especially in Tatar-language literature or in the context of minority languages.Idel-Ural is at the center of the Volga Federal District (Поволжье, Povolzhye). The major religions in the region are Islam and Orthodox Christianity.
Before being conquered by the Tsardom of Russia in the 16th century, the region was dominated by native Uralic tribes and a succession of Turkic empires, such as Volga Bulgaria, the Khazars, the Golden Horde, and the Khanate of Kazan.Ilham Ghali of Kazan
Ilham (Ghali, Ali, Ilham, Aleham, Tatar: İlham, Ğäli) (c. 1449 – c. 1490) was a khan of Kazan Khanate in 1479–1484 and 1485–1487. For more see Möxämmädämin of Kazan.Kul Sharif
Kul Sharif or Qol Şärif (Tatar: Кол Шәриф; Russian: Кул-Шариф; died 1552) was a statesman, university professor and religious Imam of Khanate of Kazan, Old Tatar language-poet.He participated in some diplomatic missions on behalf of Kazan khans to Muscovy and there carried out negotiations for the khanate's independence.In 1552 he was one of leaders of Kazan's defense from the Russian troops of Ivan the Terrible. He also participated in the negotiations with Russian representatives in Sviyajsk (Zöyä). After the storm of Kazan started, he organized a group of students and defended the Khan Palace. He was killed during the battle.Later, four of his poems were included in "The Book of Baqırğan". Qolşärif's literary legacy was published in "İ küñel, bu dönyadır (O soil, may be this world...)", a collection of verses (Kazan, 1997). It is believed that the authorship of the dastan "Qíssai Xöbbi xuca" also belongs to him. It was published in 1889.Mamuq of Kazan
Mamıq or (Mamuq) (?-1498/1499), was possibly the same person who was Khan of Siberia Khanate. After murdering Ibak Khan in 1495, Mamuq left Tyumen Ulus and shifted his capital to Qashliq better known as Sibir. He led faithful Tyumen troops and Nogais to invade Kazan in 1495/96.
With the support of coup of Qarachi Qol Muhammad he occupied Kazan in 1495 becoming Khan of Kazan (1495–1496). He struggled against local nobility, trying to centralize power. But finding the people and nobility of Kazan resistant and possible arrival of Russian reinforcements he left the place and died on his way home in 1497/98.Mäxmüd of Kazan
Mäxmüd Khan (pronounced [mæxˈmyt]); in Russian chronicles Махмутек (Makhmutek); ?-1467) was a ruler (khan) of the Khanate of Kazan from 1445 – 1466. He was an elder son of Oluğ Möxämmäd, and is reputed to be one of the khanate's founders. He participated in his father's campaigns against Muscovy. In 1445, he won the battle of Suzdal and took captive the Grand Duke of Moscow Vasily II, forcing Russia to pay tribute (yasak). After the death of Oluğ Möxämmäd, Mäxmüd succeeded to Kazan's throne. In December 1446 he supported Vassily II to dethrone Dmitry Shemyaka. In 1448 he attacked Moscow to preserve advantageous treaty conditions that were concluded after the battle of Suzdal. In that period, the Qasim Khanate, governed by Mäxmüd's relatives, was created as a buffer-state between Muscovy and the Khanate of Kazan.
(in Tatar) "Мәхмүд хан". Tatar Encyclopaedia. Kazan: The Republic of Tatarstan Academy of Sciences. Institution of the Tatar Encyclopaedia. 2002.Russo-Kazan Wars
The Russo-Kazan Wars was a series of wars fought between the Khanate of Kazan and Muscovite Russia from 1438, until Kazan was finally captured by Ivan the Terrible and absorbed into Russia in 1552.Safa Giray of Kazan
Safa Giray (Tatar: Safagäräy, Crimean Tatar: Safa Geray; Iske imla: صفا گرای) was three times khan of Khanate of Kazan (1524-31, 1535–46, 1546-49). He was the nephew of the previous Kazan Khan Sahib Giray and brother of Moxammat Giray.
First reign 1524-31: In 1524 a large Russian army approached Kazan and Sahib Giray fled. His 13-year-old nephew Safa Giray took his place. The Russian siege of Kazan failed and they withdrew. In 1530 another Russian army burned part of Kazan and Safa Giray fled to Arsk. The matter was settled when a faction deposed Safa Giray and enthroned the pro-Russian Jan Ali.
Second reign 1535-46: Four years later, in 1535 the Kazan nobility expelled or killed the pro-Russian Jan Ali and Safa Giray returned to the throne. He married Jan Ali's wife or widow Söyembikä of Kazan. The pro-Russian faction wanted to enthrone Jan Ali's brother Shah Ali, but they were unsuccessful. The choice of an anti-Russian khan led to border fighting around Nizhny Novgorod. In 1537 or 1538 Safa Giary burned the outskirts of Murom and withdrew on the approach of a Russian army. In 1546 two Russian armies raided near Kazan and withdrew. In 1546 a Kazan faction revolted and Safa Giray fled to his father-in-law Yusuf of the Nogai horde. He was replaced by the pro-Russian Shahghali (Shah Ali).
Third reign 1546-49: Shah Ali soon found his position impossible and after a few months slipped out of town. Safa Giray returned with a Nogai army but Shah Ali's flight made the army unnecessary. Leaders of the pro-Russian faction fled. In late 1547 Ivan the Terrible in person led a winter campaign against Kazan, but an early thaw made the roads and rivers impassible, so he returned to Moscow. Part of the army continued, won a few battles and withdrew. Safa Giray died in 1549. It is said that he died by falling against a pillar when drunk.Sahib I Giray
Sahib I Giray, Sahib Khan Girai (1501–1551) — ruled the Khanate of Kazan (1521-25) and seven years later the Crimean Khanate (1532-51). He was the son the Crimean Khan Meñli I Giray and younger brother of Khan Mehmed I Giray.
In 1521 he was Invited to Kazan and easily replaced the unpopular pro-Russian Shah Ali (Shahghali). Crimea and Kazan then attacked Muscovy and defeated Vasili III of Russia near Moscow. In 1525 he was driven out of Kazan by a Russian army and followed by his nephew Safa Giray of Kazan.
In 1532 after the death of Saadet I Giray Sahib inherited the Crimean Khanate. In 1541 he again invaded Muscovy.
Died in 1551.
Sahib's wives were:
Khanbike Sultan, sister of Circassian Prince, Mashuk Kanukov.Söyembikä of Kazan
Söyembikä (also spelled Söyenbikä, Sujumbike, pronounced [sœˌjœmbiˈkæ]; Cyrillic: Сөембикә) (1516 – after 1554) was a Tatar ruler, xanbikä. She served as regent of Kazan during the minority of her son from 1549 until 1551.Taw yağı
The Taw yağı (pronounced [tʌʊ jʌˈɣɯ] in Tatar) or Viryal (Tatar: Cyrillic Тау ягы, Latin Taw yağı; Chuvash: Вирьял; Russian: Го́рная сторона́, literally Hill Bank Land) was a historical region of Tatarstan, Khanate of Kazan, Volga Bulgaria, the name is known since the 1550s. This land was situated at the Hill, i.e. right bank of the Volga. Since 1547, this region was disintegrated from the khanate. The Feudal lords of the Hill Bank Land eventually joined Russia following 1556. Sviyazhsk was established as the center of the Hill Bank Land. Later, this part of the former khanate was incorporated to Sviyazhsk Uyezd. The region had multiethnic population (Russian: горные люди) and included Tatars, Chuvashes, Hill Mari and Mordvins.
During the Russian Civil War, White guerrillas were based in the forests here.
This part of Tatarstan is well known by its rocky "mountains," formed by the Volga due the Coriolis effect. The mountains themselves became recently known for their dachas, resorts and Alpine skiing.Ulugh Muhammad
Ulugh Muhammad (died 1445; Urdu, Persian and Arabic: الغ محمد; Tatar: Олуг Мөхәммәт; Russian: Улуг Мухаммед), written as Ulanus by orientalists, was twice Khan of the Golden Horde and founder of the Khanate of Kazan.Volga Tatars
The Volga Tatars are a Turkic ethnic group native to the Volga-Ural region of Russia. They are in turn subdivided into various subgroups. Volga Tatars are Russia's second-largest ethnicity, composing 53% of the population of Tatarstan and 25% of the population of Bashkortostan.Xälil of Kazan
Xalil (also Khalil, Halil, Chelealeck; Tatar: Халил, pronounced [xæˈlil]) (?–1467) was the khan of Kazan Khanate circa 1466–1467. There is very little information about him. He was the eldest son of khan Maxmud (Mahmudek, Mäxmüd) and ascended to the throne after his father's death. He was followed by his brother Ibrahim.Yadegar Mokhammad of Kazan
Yadegar Mokhammad (Tatar: Yädegär Möxämmäd, Yädkär, Yädegär, [jædeˈɡær mœxæmˈmæt]) (died 1565) was the last khan of Kazan Khanate (March-October 1552). He was the son of Astrakhan khan Qasim II. In 1542-50 he was in the service of Tsardom of Russia, participated in the attack on Kazan in 1550 and then joined the Nogais. Because of Kazan's near-defeat in 1550, in 1551 the peace party enthroned the pro-Russian khan Shah Ali. In 1552 the patriotic party regained power, Shah Ali fled and Yadegar was invited by Qol Sharif and Chapqin bek Otich uli (Çapqın bäk Otıç ulı, [ɕʌpˈqɯn bæk ɔˈtɯɕuˈlɯ]) to the throne of Kazan Khanate. Subsequently, he led the war against the Russian invasion. See Siege of Kazan. He was captured in October 1552 when Russian troops took Kazan. In 1553 he converted to Christianity, assumed the name of Simeon Kasayevich and lived in Moscow as a Russian nobleman.