Yaqub Beg

Muhammad Yaqub Bek (محمد یعقوب بیگ) (Tajik: Яъқуб-бек, Ya’qub-bek) (1820 – 30  May 1877) was an adventurer of Tajik or Uzbek descent who was master of the Tarim Basin from 1865 to 1877. He held the title of Atalik Ghazi ("Champion Father").[1][2]

Yaqub Beg
Muhammad Yaqub Beg, from the 1898 book by N.Veselovsky
Pskent, now Panjakent Khanate of Kokand
DiedMay 30, 1877
OccupationAmir of Kashgaria

Spelling variants

In English-language literature, the name of Yaqub Beg has also been spelt as Yakub Beg (Encyclopædia Britannica), Yakoob Beg (Boulger, 1878), or Ya`qūb Beg (Kim Hodong, 2004). Authors using Russian sources have also used the spelling Yakub-bek (Paine, 1996[3]). A few publications in English written by Chinese authors spell his name Agubo, which is the Pinyin transcription of the Chinese transcription of his name, 阿古柏 (Chinese: 阿古柏帕夏; pinyin: Āgǔbó pàxià).

The first name, Muhammad, is subject to the usual variations in spelling as well.

  • Ya`qūb (Arabic name, analogue of "Jacob").
  • Beg, is a Turkic noble title.


King Yakoob Beg
Yakub Beg

Early life: Yakub Beg was born in the town of Pskente, in the Khanate of Kokand (now in Uzbekistan).[4] He rose rapidly through the ranks in the service of the Khanate of Kokand. By the year 1847 he was commander of the fort at Ak-Mechet until its capture by the Russians in 1853. He seems to have left the fort before its fall. Later that year he led an unsuccessful attempt to re-take it. He was involved in the complex factional shifts of the Khanate of Kokand. In 1864 he helped defend Tashkent during the first Russian attack.

Establishment (1865): As a result of the Dungan Revolt (1862–77), by 1864 the Chinese held only the citadels of Kashgar and a few other places. The Kyrgyz or Kazakh Sadic Beg entered Kashgar, was unable to take the citadel and sent to Tashkent for a Khoja to become ruler. Burzug Khan, the only surviving son of Jahangir Khoja, left Tashkent with 6 men, was joined by Yakub Beg, left Kokand with 68 men, crossed the frontier in January 1865, gained more supporters was soon installed on the throne of his ancestors. Sadic Beg revolted, was defeated by Yakub Beg and driven beyond the mountains. Yakub went southeast to Yarkand, the largest town in the region, and was driven out by an army from Kucha. He next besieged the Chinese at Yangi Hissar for 40 days and massacred the garrison. Sadic Beg reappeared, was defeated and talked into becoming an ally. Invaders from Badakshan were also talked into alliance. A Dungan force from Kucha and eastward arrived at Maralbeshi, was defeated and 1000 of the Dungans joined Yakub Beg. Yarkand now decided to submit to Burzug Khan and his great vizier. The Chinese in the Kashgar citadel now had no hope. In September 1865 the second in command and 3000 men surrendered, converted to Islam and joined Yakub Beg. The actual commander refused and blew himself up along with his family. (The commanders of Yarkand and Kulja had done the same.) An army of rebels from Kokand arrived and joined Yakub. Late in the year Burzug Khan and Yakub went to Yarkand to deal with a disturbance. The Dungan faction suborned Yakub’s Dungans and he was reduced to a few hundred men. Burzug drew off to a separate camp, Yakub defeated the Dungans, Burzug Khan fled to Kashgar and declared Yakub a traitor. The religious leaders supported Yakub and Burzug was seized in his palace. He was confined for 18 months, was exiled to Tibet and later found his way to Kokand. In a little more than a year Yakub had become master of Kashgar, Yarkand and Maralbashi, roughly the western end of the Tarim Basin as far as the Yarkand River.

Yaqub Beg is located in Xinjiang
Jade Gate
Jade Gate
Yangi Hissar
Yangi Hissar
Jade Gate
Jade Gate
Places for Yakub Beg. The map is about 800 miles wide.

Expansion eastward (1866–67): Around 1866 he moved southeast from Yarkand and took Khoten by treachery and some slaughter. Beyond Khoten the south side of the Tarim Basin does not seem to have been militarily significant. In the spring or summer of 1867 he moved northeast and took Aksu easily and Kucha with some difficulty. Returning to Kashgar he took Uqturfan. Before leaving Kucha he received the submission of Karashar, Turfan, Hami and Urumchi. Thus by his third year (1867) he had nominal control of the whole Tarim Basin and some power to the northeast at Urumchi. To the west, at about this time, Russia annexed Tashkent and Samarkand.

More Wars: In 1869 he annexed “Sirikul” (possibly Tashkorgan) on the road to India. At this point documentation becomes poor. In 1869 he began a series of wars eastward taking Korla and other places. Turfan was taken in July 1870. There was a Battle of Ürümqi (1870). He fought with Hami and Urumchi but did not annex them.

Downfall (1877): The Chinese began their reconquest in 1876. Yakub died in 1877 while retreating from the Chinese. (See Qing reconquest of Xinjiang.)


Boulger praised Chinese rule, seeing them, like the British in India, as foreign conquerors who brought peace and order. He admired Yakub as a soldier and politician, but thought that his position was ultimately hopeless.

Poems were written about the victories of Yaqub Beg's forces over the Chinese and the Dungans (Chinese Muslims).[5]

Yaqub Beg was given the title of "Athalik Ghazi, Champion Father of the Faithful" by the Amir of Bokhara in 1866. The Ottoman Sultan gave him the title of Amir.[6]

Yaqub entered into relations and signed treaties with the Russian Empire and Great Britain, but when he tried to get their support against China, he failed.[7]

Yakub Beg was disliked by his Turkic Muslim subjects, burdening them with heavy taxes and subjecting them to a harsh version of Islamic Sharia law.[8][9]

The Tarim Basin was conquered by him acting as a Khoqandi foreigner and not as a local separatist Uyghur, which he was not at all.[10]

It was written by Zuo Zongtang that "The Andijanis are tyrannical to their people; government troops should comfort them with benevolence. The Andijanis are greedy in extorting from the people; government troops should rectify this by being generous."[11]

Yaqub Beg's rule was unpopular among the natives with one of the local Kashgaris, a warrior and a chieftain's son, commenting: "During the Chinese rule there was everything; there is nothing now." There was also a falling-off in trade.[12]Korean historian Kim Hodong points out the fact that his disastrous and inexact commands failed the locals and they in turn welcomed the return of Chinese troops.[13]

Outside powers

Yakub came to power after the Chinese were driven out. The Chinese only became important when they returned with an army. The Khan of Kokand had some claim over Barzug Khan as a subject, but did nothing in practice. Russia and England never recognized Yakub as a legal ruler. Yakub was careful not to provoke the Russians but was firm in resisting pressure from their side. The British sent agents from India, but the country between Kashgar and British India was too difficult for the British to do much.

In 1867 Yakub rejected a Russian proposal to build a road into his territory. Reinthal went to Kashgar with no effect. Yakub sent a man to Punjab and in response, in 1868, Robert Barkley Shaw went unofficially to Kashgar, the first Englishman to do so. He was soon joined by George W. Hayward. In 1870 Thomas Douglas Forsyth was sent to Kashgar as envoy, found Yakub campaigning in the east and returned to India. In 1871 Russia occupied Kulja. In 1872 Alexander Kaulbars went from Kulja to Kashgar and signed a trade treaty, but Yakub Beg was careful that Russian merchants made little profit. Kaulbars left with Haji Torah or Seyyid Yakub Khan, the nephew of Yakub Beg. Haji Torah went to Tashkent, St Petersburg and Constantinople, through the Suez Canal to India and returned with Forsyth. In 1874 Forsyth went to Kashgar and signed a trade treaty. In 1875 Russia planned to invade Kashgar, but this was interrupted by the events leading to the annexation of Kokand.

The death of Yakub Beg

Dungan Revolt Map
Qing dynasty's campaign against Yaqub Beg and his allies

His manner of death is unclear. The Times of London and the Russian Turkestan Gazette both reported that he had died after a short illness.[14] The contemporaneous historian Musa Sayrami (1836–1917) states that he was poisoned on May 30, 1877 in Korla by the former hakim (local city ruler) of Yarkand, Niyaz Hakim Beg, after the latter concluded a conspiracy agreement with the Qing (Chinese) forces in Jungaria.[14] However, Niyaz Beg himself, in a letter to the Qing authorities, denied his involvement in the death of Yakub Beg, and claimed that the Kashgarian ruler committed suicide.[14] Some say (probably, without any basis in fact) that he was killed in battle with the Chinese.[15]

While contemporaneous Muslim writers usually explained Yakub Beg's death by poisoning, and the suicide theory was apparently the accepted truth among the Qing generals of the time, modern historians, according to Kim Hodong, think that natural death (of a stroke) is the most plausible explanation.[14][16] Contemporaneous western sources say the Chinese got rid of him by poisoning him or some other sort of subversive act.[17] Westerners also say he was assassinated.[18]

The exact date of Yakub Beg's death is also somewhat uncertain. Although Sayrami claimed that he died on April 28, 1877, modern historians think that this is impossible, as Przewalski met him on May 9. The Chinese sources usually give May 22 as the date of his death, while Aleksey Kuropatkin thought it to be May 29. Late May, 1877 is therefore thought to be the most likely time period.[14]

Yaqub Beg and his son Ishana Beg's corpses were "burned to cinders" in public. This angered the population in Kashgar, but Chinese troops quashed a rebellious plot by Hakim Khan to rebel.[19] Four of his sons and two grandsons were captured by the Chinese; one son was beheaded, one grandson died, and the rest were sentenced to be castrated and enslaved to soldiers.[20] Surviving members of Yaqub Beg's family included his 4 sons, 4 grandchildren (2 grandsons and 2 granddaughters) and 4 wives. They either died in prison in Lanzhou, Gansu, or were killed by the Chinese. His sons Yima Kuli, K'ati Kuli, Maiti Kuli, and grandson Aisan Ahung were the only survivors in 1879. They were all underage children, and put on trial, sentenced to an agonizing death if they were complicit in their father's rebellious "sedition", or if they were innocent of their father's crimes, were to be sentenced to castration and serving as a eunuch slave to Chinese troops, when they reached 11 years old.[21][22] Although some sources assert that the sentence of castration was carried out, official sources from the US State Department and activists involved in the incident state that Yaqub Beg's son and grandsons had their sentence commuted to life imprisonment with a fund provided for their support.[23][24][25]


Night interview with King
Night interview with Yakub Beg, King of Kashgaria, 1868

After his death his state of Kashgaria rapidly fell apart, and Kashgar was reconquered by the Qing dynasty and later inherited by the Republic of China.

Yaqub Beg makes a notable appearance in the second half of George Macdonald Fraser's novel Flashman at the Charge.

One source says that his tomb was at Kashgar but was razed by the Chinese in 1878.[26][27]

The name Yaqub Beg was used for a son of Yulbars Khan.[28]

Rebiya Kadeer claimed Yakub Beg was a "Uyghur hero".[29]

Al-Qaeda ideologue Mustafa Setmariam Nasar praised Yaqub Beg, praising his buildings of educational institutions for Islam and Mosques calling him "Attalik Ghazi" and a "good man" for his war against Buddhists and Chinese.[30]

The "Doğu Türkistan Haber Ajansı" (East Turkestan News Agency) published an article from Al-Qaeda branch Al-Nusra Front's English language "Al-Risalah magazine" (مجلة الرسالة), second issue (العدد الثاني), translated from English into Turkish and titled Al Risale: "Türkistan Dağları" 2. Bölüm (The Message : "Turkistan Mountains" Part 2.) which praised the Sharia implemented by Yaqub Beg and cited him as an upholder of Jihad, attacking the Qing.[31][32]

The Turkistan Islamic Party mentioned Yaqub Beg's war in issue 1,[33] and issue 19 of its magazine "Islamic Turkistan" in an article about the history of the region.[34]

See also



  1. ^ "Atalik". Encyclopaedia of Islam: Supplement. 12. 1980. p. 98. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
  2. ^ [1] Yakub Beg
  3. ^ "Imperial Rivals: China, Russia, and Their Disputed Frontier", by Sarah C. M. Paine (1996) ISBN 1-56324-723-2
  4. ^ "Yakub Beg: Tajik adventurer". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  5. ^ Ildikó Bellér-Hann (2008). Community matters in Xinjiang, 1880-1949: towards a historical anthropology of the Uyghur. BRILL. p. 74. ISBN 90-04-16675-0. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  6. ^ Boulger, page 118 and 220
  7. ^ Herbert Allen Giles (1898). A Chinese biographical dictionary, Volume 2. London: B. Quaritch. p. 894. Retrieved 2011-07-13.(STANFORD UNIVERSITY LIBRARY)
  8. ^ Wolfram Eberhard (1966). A history of China. Plain Label Books. p. 449. ISBN 1-60303-420-X. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
  9. ^ Linda Benson; Ingvar Svanberg (1998). China's last Nomads: the history and culture of China's Kazaks. M.E. Sharpe. p. 19. ISBN 1-56324-782-8. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
  10. ^ James A. Millward (2007). Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang. Columbia University Press. pp. 117–. ISBN 978-0-231-13924-3.
  11. ^ John King Fairbank (1978). The Cambridge History of China: Late Chʻing, 1800-1911, pt. 2. Cambridge University Press. pp. 221–. ISBN 978-0-521-22029-3.
  12. ^ Demetrius Charles de Kavanagh Boulger (1878). The life of Yakoob Beg: Athalik ghazi, and Badaulet; Ameer of Kashgar. LONDON : W. H. ALLEN & CO., 13, WATERLOO PLACE, S.W.: W. H. Allen. p. 152. Retrieved 2012-01-18. . As one of them expressed it, in pathetic language, "During the Chinese rule there was everything; there is nothing now." The speaker of that sentence was no merchant, who might have been expected to be depressed by the falling-off in trade, but a warrior and a chieftain's son and heir. If to him the military system of Yakoob Beg seemed unsatisfactory and irksome, what must it have appeared to those more peaceful subjects to whom merchandise and barter were as the breath of their nostrils?
  13. ^ Kim, Hodong (2004). Holy War in China: The Muslim Rebellion and State in Chinese Central Asia, 1864-1877. Stanford University Press. p. 172. ISBN 9780804767231.
  14. ^ a b c d e Kim (2004), pp. 167–169
  15. ^ "Central and North Asia, 1800-1900 A.D." metmuseum.org. 2006. Retrieved December 14, 2006.
  16. ^ The stroke (Russian: удар) version e.g. here: N. Veselovsky (Н. Веселовский), Badaulet Yaqun Beg, Ataliq of Kashgar (Бадаулет Якуб-бек, Аталык Кашгарский), in «Записки Восточного отделения Русского археологического общества», No. 11 (1899).
  17. ^ George Curzon Curzon (2010). Problems of the Far East - Japan-Korea-China. READ BOOKS. p. 328. ISBN 1-4460-2557-8. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  18. ^ John Stuart Thomson (1913). China revolutionized. INDIANAPOLIS: The Bobbs-Merrill company. p. 310. Retrieved 2010-06-28. American Commissioner Cushing, Daniel Webster's son Fletcher, etc., arrive at Canton 1844 Manchu yellow instead of Chinese blue adopted as official color 1855 Famous Empress Dowager Tse Hsi and Viceroy Li Hung Chang arise to power 1856 Non-fulfilment of Nanking treaty with Britain causes war again 1856 Coolie slave trade for Peru, Cuba, California, etc., opens at Macao 1860 Britain and France war with China 1860 Taiping rebellion, beginning at Canton, sweeps to Nanking; opposed by the American, Ward; Chinese Gordon, etc., on behalf of Manchus.... 1863 Yung Wing brings first Chinese students to America (Hartford) 1872 Terrific Mohammedan rebellion in Shensi, Kansu, Yunnan provinces and Turkestan, suppressed by ferocious General Tso Tsung-tang, Mohammedan leader, Yakub Beg, being assassinated in Turkestan May, 1877 Sir Robert Hart establishes Chinese national customs, first guarantee for foreign loans 1886 China-Japan war over Korea; Formosa lost; indemnity also paid 1894 Emperor Kwang Hsu's reform edicts, influenced by Kang Yu Wei 1898 Siege of Peking by allies 1900 Russia-Japan war over Manchuria 1904 America, Britain and China at Shanghai agree to end opium curse I909 Death of Emperor Kwang Hsu and Empress Dowager Tse Hsi together 1909
  19. ^ Appletons' annual cyclopaedia and register of important events, Volume 4. NEW YORK: TD. Appleton and company. 1880. p. 145. Retrieved 2011-05-12. In May, Hakim Khan Tufi, the pretender to the Kashgar throne, quitted his exile on Russian territory, and, entering Kashgar with a large number of followers through the Pamir, endeavored to raise a rebellion against the Chinese. This step was taken by Hakim Khan in order to profit by the angry excitement then reigning among the Mussulmans of Kashgar on account of the burning of the remains of Yakoob Beg, their late ruler, by order of the Chinese. In consequence of the rebellious attitude of the Mussulmans of Kashgar, and their openly expressed regrets at the loss of their beloved Yakoob Beg, the Chinese authorities ordered the bodies of Yakoob Beg and of his son, Ishana Beg, to be disinterred and publicly burned to cinders. The ashes of Yakoob were, moreover', sent to Peking. Such a proceeding only served to give new force to the existing discontent, and a conspiracy among the Mohammedans was the result. Hakim Khan endeavored to take advantage of this conspiracy, but the Chinese troops put a speedy end to the troubles.
  20. ^ Herbert Allen Giles (1898). A Chinese biographical dictionary, Volume 2. London: B. Quaritch. p. 894. Retrieved 2011-07-13.(STANFORD UNIVERSITY LIBRARY)[2]
  21. ^ Translations of the Peking Gazette. SHANGHAI. 1880. p. 83. Retrieved 2011-05-12.(Original from the University of California)REPRINTED FROM THE "NORTH-CHINA HERALD AND SUPREME COURT AND CONSULAR GAZETTE."
  22. ^ Appletons' annual cyclopaedia and register of important events, Volume 4. NEW YORK: D. Appleton and Company. 1888. p. 145. Retrieved 2011-05-12. At the time that Eastern Turkistan again passed into the hands of China, there were taken prisoners four sons, two grandsons, two granddaughters, and four wives of Yakoob Beg. Some of these were executed and others died; but in 1870 there remained in prison at Lanchanfoo, the capital of Kan-suh, Maiti Kuli, aged fourteen ; Yima Kuli, aged ten ; K'ati Kuli, aged six, sons of Yakoob Beg; and Aisan Ahung, aged five, his grandson. These wretched little boys were treated like state criminals. They arrived in Kan-suh in February, 1879, and were sent on to the provincial capital to be tried and sentenced by the Judicial Commissioner there for the awful crime of being sons of their father. In the course of time the Commissioner made a report of the trial, which he concluded as follows : In cases of sedition, where the law condemns the malefactors to death by the slow and painful process, the children and grandchildren, if it be shown that they were not privy to the treasonable designs of their parents, shall be delivered, no matter whether they have attained full age or not, into the hands of the imperial household to be made eunuchs of, and shall be forwarded to Turkistan and given over as slaves to the soldiery. If under the age of ten, they shall be confined in prison until they shall have reached the age of eleven, whereupon they shall be handed to the imperial household to be dealt with according to law. In the present case, Yakoob Beg's sons Maiti Kuli, Yima Kuli, and K'ati Kuli, and the rebel chief Beg Kuli's son, Aisan Ahung, are all under age, and were not, it has been proved, privy to the treasonable designs of their parents. They have, therefore, to be handed to the imperial household to be dealt with in accordance with the law, which prescribes that, in cases of sedition, the Sons and grandsons of malefactors condemned to dealt by the slow and painful process, if it be shown that they were not privy to the treasonable designs of their parents, shall, whether they have attained full age or not, be delivered into the hands of the imperial household to be made eunuchs of, and shall be sent to Turkistan to be given as slaves to the soldiery. But, as these are rebels from Turkistan, it is requested that they may, instead, be sent to the Amoor region, to be given as slaves to the soldiery there. As Maiti Kuli is fourteen, it is requested that he may be delivered over to the imperial household as soon as the reply of the Board is received. Yima Kuli is just ten, K'ati Kuli and Aisan Ahung are under ten: they have, therefore, to be confined In prison until they attain the age of eleven, when they will be delivered over to the imperial household to "be dealt with according to law.
  23. ^ James D. Hague (1904). Clarence King Memoirs: The Helmet of Mambrino. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. p. 50. Retrieved 2016-09-19.
  24. ^ "THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN.; CASE OF THE KINGMA CHILDREN--LETTER FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT". New York Times. New York. 1880-03-20. Retrieved 2016-09-19.
  25. ^ Jung Chang (2014). Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China. New York: Anchor. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-385-35037-2. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  26. ^ Thwaites, Richard (1986). "Real Life China 1978-1983". Rich Communications, Canberra, Australia. 0-00-217547-9. Retrieved December 14, 2006.
  27. ^ Michael Dillon (1 August 2014). Xinjiang and the Expansion of Chinese Communist Power: Kashgar in the Early Twentieth Century. Routledge. pp. 11–. ISBN 978-1-317-64721-8.
  28. ^ Andrew D. W. Forbes (9 October 1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: A Political History of Republican Sinkiang 1911-1949. CUP Archive. pp. 225–. ISBN 978-0-521-25514-1.
  29. ^ Rebiya Kadeer; Alexandra Cavelius (2009). Dragon Fighter: One Woman's Epic Struggle for Peace with China. Kales Press. pp. 6–. ISBN 978-0-9798456-1-1.
  30. ^ Mustafa Setmariam Nasar (aliases Abu Musab al-Suri and Umar Abd al-Hakim) (1999). "Muslims in Central Asia and The Coming Battle of Islam".
  31. ^ *"Al Risale : "Türkistan Dağları " 2. Bölüm". Doğu Türkistan Bülteni Haber Ajansı. Bahar Yeşil. 29 October 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  32. ^ Zelin, Aaron Y. (October 25, 2015). "New issue of the magazine: "al-Risālah #2"". JIHADOLOGY: A clearinghouse for jihādī primary source material, original analysis, and translation service.
  33. ^ "ماذا تعرف عن تركستان الشرقية". تركستان الإسلامية. No. العددالأول. السنة الأولي شعبان 1429 يوليو 2008. p. ١٧. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  34. ^ الشيخ علي العرجاني أبو حسن الكويتي (رجب - 1437 هـ). "تركستان الشرقية تاريخ زاهر وجرح ينزف" (PDF). تركستان الإسلامية. No. العدد 19. p. 46. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • Boulger, Demetrius Charles (1878). The Life of Yakoob Beg, Athalik Ghazi and Badaulet, Ameer of Kashgar. London: W. H. Allen. (Full text is available on Internet Archive; a recent reprint is available as e.g. ISBN 0-7661-8845-0)


In literature

External links

1877 in China

Events from the year 1877 in China.

1992 Ürümqi bombings

On 5 February 1992, four bombs exploded in public buildings and on two buses, line 2 and line 30, in Urumqi, Xinjiang, China. The bombings resulted in three deaths and 23 injuries.


`Alimqul (also spelt Alymkul, Alim quli, Alim kuli) (ca. 1833 – 1865) was a warlord in the Kokand Khanate, and its de facto ruler from 1863 to 1865.

Alimqul was born in Budjun Batken, 1833, into a family of a Kyrgyz-Kipchak beys. He studied in madrasahs in Andijan and Kokand, earning the title of mullah, and for a while he himself served as the biy of Qurghan Tepa, near Andijan.

In 1858, Alimqul helped Malla Beg (Malla Bek) overthrow his brother Khudayar Khan by bringing the Kyrgyz over to Malla Beg's side. Malla Beg, upon seizing the Kokandian khan's throne in November 1858, rewarded Alimqul with several successive promotions. In 1860, already governor of Marghilan, Alimqul was in charge of a large Kokandian force that defeated invaders from the Emirate of Bukhara.

Alimqul actively participated in the struggle for power that ensued after the death of Malla Beg in a February, 1862, coup. He soon succeeded in thwarting Bukhara's attempt to bring Khudayar Khan back to power. Not being of royal blood himself, Alimqul elevated Malla Beg's minor son, Sultan Sayyid Khan as a titulary khan, and ruled the country himself as Atalyk and commander in chief of the military (Amir-i Lashkar).

In late 1864, Alimqul was instrumental in sending Buzurg Khan and Yaqub Beg to Kashgar. Once established as Kashgar's ruler, Buzurg and Yaqub sent Alimqul an ambassador, Mir Baba, with rich gifts. Although Mir Baba met with Alimqul, he did not have a chance to deliver the presents: Alimqul was wounded and died when defending Tashkent against the Russians in May 1865.


Atalik and Atalık are surnames of Turkish origin. People with those names include:

Ekaterina Atalik (born 1982), Russian-Turkish chess player

Suat Atalık (born 1964), Turkish/Bosnian chess grandmaster

Bai Yanhu

Bai Yanhu (Chinese: 白彥虎) also known as Mohammed Ayub Bianhu, was a Hui military commander and rebel from Shaanxi, China. He was known for leading a tribe of Hui people across the vast lands of northwestern China to Kyrgyzstan under Russian rule. His people is later known as Dungan.Bai initially took part in the Dungan revolt. After being defeated by the Qing army, he withdrew from the hostile forces and fled to Suzhou(肅州, today's Jiuquan). He was rejected by the local muslim community of Suzhou and marched further west across Jiayuguan and Dunhuang to Hami, arriving Hami in the autumn of 1873. The city of Hami was controlled by the Chinese government. Bai Yanhu then took control of the city with the help of an Uyghur chieftain. Moving from Hami to Turpan, Bai then came to the basin of Manasi River. In Xinjiang, Bai Yanhu and Yaqub Beg became allies against Zuo Zongtang's expeditionary forces. Zuo's advance eventually expelled Bai from the territory under Chinese rule. Bai then pledged their loyalty to the Russian empire. With the purpose of exploiting their manual labour, the Russians settled Bai and his people down on Chu River near Tokmak in 1878.Bai's tribe's first settlement was located 8 kilometres from Tokmak. Bai named the colony "Yingpan"(Literally "Camp"). After the dissolution of the Soviet Union,Yingpan lies within the border of Kazakhstan. Today, the town is known as Masanchi, named after the Dungan Communist revolutionary Magaza Masanchi.

Battle of Ürümqi (1870)

The Battle of Ürümqi was a battle waged by Yaqub Beg's Turkic kingdom of Kashgaria against Chinese Muslim rebels in Ürümqi in a bid to conquer all of Xinjiang and subjugated Chinese Muslims under his control.

Dungan Revolt (1862–77)

The Dungan Revolt (1862–77) or Tongzhi Hui Revolt (simplified Chinese: 同治回变/乱; traditional Chinese: 同治回變/亂; pinyin: Tóngzhì Huí Biàn/Luàn, Xiao'erjing: توْجِ حُوِ بِيًا/لُوًا, Dungan: Тунҗы Хуэй Бян/Луан) or Hui (Muslim) Minorities War was a mainly ethnic and religious war fought in 19th-century western China, mostly during the reign of the Tongzhi Emperor (r. 1861–75) of the Qing dynasty. The term sometimes includes the Panthay Rebellion in Yunnan, which occurred during the same period. However, this article relates specifically to the uprising by members of the Muslim Hui and other Muslim ethnic groups in China's Shaanxi, Gansu and Ningxia provinces, as well as in Xinjiang, between 1862 and 1877. Some claim that the revolt arose over a pricing dispute involving the sale of bamboo poles between a Han merchant and a Hui. However, according to historical records from the era, bamboo poles were bought in large quantities by the Hui to make spears as weaponry. Moreover, there had already been attacks on Han counties prior to the Shengshan bamboo incident.

The conflict eventually led to large-scale massacres of Han and non-Muslim Chinese. A recorded 20.77 million population reduction in Shaanxi and Gansu occurred due to migration and war related death. A further 74.5% population reduction occurred in Gansu, and 44.7% in Shaanxi. In Shaanxi, 83.7% (~5.2 million) of the total loss occurred in the period of war as a consequence of mass migration and war-related death. Many civilian deaths were also caused by famine due to war conditions.The uprising occurred on the western bank of the Yellow River in Shaanxi, Gansu and Ningxia, but excluded Xinjiang Province. A chaotic affair, it often involved diverse warring bands and military leaders with no common cause or a single specific goal. A common misconception is that the revolt was directed against the Qing dynasty, but no evidence shows that the rebels intended to attack the capital, Beijing, or to overthrow the entire Qing government, but to exact revenge on their personal enemies for injustices. When the rebellion failed, mass emigration of the Dungan people from Ili to Imperial Russia ensued.


Emasculation is to deprive of strength/vigor or weaken a man.The word also has other meanings which are more commonly used. See below.

Musa Sayrami

Mullā Mūsa Sayrāmī (Uyghur: موللا مۇسا سەيرامى‎, ULY: Molla Musa Seyrami, Uzbek: Mulla Muso Sayramiy; 1836–1917) was a historian from Xinjiang, known for his account of the events in that region in the 19th century, in particular the Dungan Rebellion of 1864-1877. While the ethnonym Uyghurs, with its modern meaning, was not yet used in Musa Sayrami's day, he probably would be called an Uyghur if he lived a few decades later, based on his place of birth and the language of his literary works.


Pamirdin (Памирдин) is a type of pie, consumed within the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. The pie contains lamb, carrots and onion.

Pūl (coin)

Pūl (Russian: пул, Tatar: پول) was a historical Russian currency that circulated in Russian Turkestan. Pūls were used in Golden Horde, Afghanistan, Bukhara, Chagatai Khanate, Kokand Khanate, Dzungar Khanate, and other Eurasian principalities, it was a copper coin of very small denomination, 1/60 of an altyn.

Qing reconquest of Xinjiang

The Qing reconquest of Xinjiang was the event when the Qing dynasty in China reconquered Xinjiang after the Dungan Revolt in the late 19th century. After a century of Qing rule, the Tajik adventurer Yakub Beg occupied almost all of Xinjiang during the revolt, but it was eventually defeated by the Qing General Zuo Zongtang (also known as General Tso). Furthermore, Qing China recovered the Gulja region through diplomatic negotiations with the Russian Empire and the Treaty of Saint Petersburg in 1881. Xinjiang was converted into a province in 1884.


Sangza (Uyghur: ساڭزا, Саңза‎) (simplified Chinese: 馓子; traditional Chinese: 饊子; pinyin: sǎn zi; Zhuyin Fuhao: ㄙㄢˇ ·ㄗ, IPA: [sàn.tsi], Xiao'erjing: صًا ذِ) is a popular snack in Xinjiang consisting of deep-fried noodles in a twisted pyramid shape. The snack is made by pulling wheat flour dough into thin ropes, which are deep-fried. Bunches of the ropes are then shaped into rings, which are stacked into a pyramid.

Sangza is also eaten in other areas of China where the Hui minority live.

The Girl from Dabancheng

The Girl from Dabancheng (Chinese: 达坂城的姑娘, Uyghur: Qamberxan) is a well known folk song with Chinese lyric translated by Wang Luobin, and adapted from the Uyghur folksong Qamberxan. One of the early recordings of the song Qamberxan was done by a German ethnomusicologist on the singing of a Turpan Taranchi farmer's 16-year-old daughter. The song was most likely composed by an Uyghur soldier back in the time of Yaqub Beg, when the soldier was posted from southern Xinjiang to the north (Ili) or east (Turpan). Indeed, there are many songs dated back that time associated with a soldier's courtship, such as Havagul (mispronounced and adapted by Wang Luobin as Avargul), which talks about a girl in Ili. However, Qamberxan talks about a girl in Dabancheng (or Davanching in the Uyghur language) which lies between Turpan and Urumqi, and is a district of Urumqi. This district is well known as an entrepot on inter-oasis travel. The reputation of the beauty of local girls is partly due to the mixing among the different populations that traveled through it.

Following is the Uyghur and Chinese lyrics of the song Qamberxan (Uyghur transliteration uses the TB31 alphabet):


达坂城的姑娘Uyğur Xeliq Naxşise

维吾尔民歌Davançiñniği yeri qattiq tavuzi tatliq

达坂城的石路硬又平啦 西瓜大又甜啦

Davançiñda bir yarım bar Qambarxan atlıq

那里住的的姑娘辫子长啊 两个眼睛真漂亮

Qambarxanniği saçı uzun yerge tegemdu


Qambarxandın sorap beqiñ erge tegemdu


Uşşaqqina ünçilirim çeçilip ketti terip berseñçuSoyey disem boyum yetmes egilip berseñçuAtlarıñnı xaydaydiken muz davan bilen=(birlen)Bir yaxşını qiynaydiken bir yaman birlenQarısam görenmeydu Davançiñdiği qorğanEcep bir yaman iken Qambarxandin ayrilğan

Treaty of Tarbagatai

The Treaty of Tarbagatai (or Chuguchak) of 7 October [25 September O.S.] 1864 was a border protocol between China and Russia that defined most of the western extent of their border in central Asia, between Outer Mongolia and the Khanate of Kokand. The signatories were, for Russia, Ivan Zakharov, consul-general of Ili, and Ivan Fedorovich Babkov, colonel of the Separate Siberian Corps of the General Staff, and, for China, Ming I, general of Uliastai; Hsi Lin, amban of Tarbagatai; and Bolgosu, Tarbagatai brigade commander. By this agreement, Russia gained about 350,000 square miles of territory at the expense of Chinese Xinjiang, and Lake Balkhash went from lying on the border to being entirely surrounded by Russia. It is sometimes numbered among the "unequal treaties".A Russian and Chinese border commission assembled at T'a-ch'eng (also known as Tarbagatai or Chuguchak) in China on 13 May 1861 in order to map the western border in accordance with Article III of the Treaty of Peking of 1860. The actual surveying did not begin until 11 July 1862. Both countries sought to influence the survey by the threat of military force and by alliances with local tribes, but the Russian delegation was under orders to insist on a border determined by topography and not by the boundaries between local ethnic groups. According to Babkov, "The deployment of our forces on the border clearly demonstrated to the Chinese that we had the means to uphold our demands with an armed hand whenever we wished. [This deployment] on our side of the Chinese pickets, under no circumstances can be considered a violation of international law or of friendly relations: all forces are deployed on the lands of the Kirghiz, who are Russian subjects, and ... are under strict orders never to cross the permanent Chinese picket line."Negotiations were burdened by disagreements in interpreting Article II of the Treaty of Peking. The Chinese argued that it could not be taken as the basis for negotiations since the Chinese delegate who negotiated it was ignorant of central Asian conditions. The article also failed to distinguish between the different Chinese picket lines. The Chinese delegation argued that the outermost picket line was intended, while the Russians insisted that only the innermost picket line of permanent control could count. Both claimed the inhabitants between the two picket lines as their own subjects. The Russians rejected all Chinese maps as unscientific. The first round of negotiations ended in failure in September 1862.In the summer of 1863 the Russians sent out an independent survey team, which resulted in skirmishes between Russian and Chinese troops. The objective of Russian policy in settling its border with China in 1858–64 was to establish control over a region and negotiate recognition of its sovereignty after the fact. The intensification of the Dungan Revolt that broke out in the spring of 1862 drew China's attention away from the border and toward internal security in Xinjiang. When the Chinese finally signed a protocol delimiting the border in Russia's favour, the delegates warned the Russians that the rebels were approaching Tarbagatai. The rebel leader, Yaqub Beg, initially refused to recognise the new border and recruited Kirghiz from the Russian side. As a result of the rebellion, the border markers, which were to be set up in 1865, were not put in place until 1869. Further border protocols were signed at Khovd in 1869 and at Tarbagatai in 1870.

Wali Khan (khoja)

Wali Khan (sometimes spelled Vālī-khan) was a member of the Ak Taghliq clan of East Turkestan Khojas, who invaded Kashgaria from the Kokand during the Afaqi Khoja revolts on several occasions in the 1850s, and succeeded in ruling Kashgar for a short while.

Although Ak Taghliks had been expelled from Kashgaria by the Qing in the 1760s, they had not abandoned their hopes of reconquering the region, and regularly invaded it from their base in Khanate of Kokand. Wali Khan followed in the footsteps of his father, Jahangir Khoja, his uncle Yusuf, and cousin Katti Torah, who had all invaded Kashgaria with various success through the first half of the 19th century.

He invaded Kashgaria in 1852 (with Divan Quli), 1855 (with Husayn Ishan Khoja), and most famously in 1857. Wali Khan, who was reputed for his brutality and tyranny, let a rebellion in 1855 and began by attacking Kashgar.Chinese were massacred and the daughters and wives of the subordinates of the loyalist Turki governor were seized. Adolphe Schlagintweit, a German, was executed by beheading by Wali Khan and his head put on display. Wali Khan was infamous for his cruelty and if courtiers "raised their eyes" to him he would murder them, when the call to prayer was made by a muezzin and his voice was too loud the muezzin was murdered by Wali Khan. A 12,000 strong Chinese army crushed and defeated the 20,000 strong army of Wali Khan in 77 days of combat. Wali Khan was abandoned by his "allies" due to his cruelty. The Chinese inflicted harsh reprisals upon Wali Khan's forces and had his son and father in law executed in harsh manners.In the West Wali Khan is mostly known for his execution of the German explorer Adolf Schlagintweit in 1857, but his cruelty found many other reflections in the local legends. It is said that he killed so many innocent Muslims that four or six minarets were built from the skulls of the victims ( kala minara ); or that once, when an artisan made a sabre for him, he instantly tested the weapon with the words, "Well, I'll try it now," by cutting off the artisan's son head, who had come with his father and was standing nearby. Then, with the words, "Yes, it's a really good sabre," he presented artisan with a gift. This treatment did not make Kashgarians miss the khoja too much when he was defeated by the Chinese troops after ruling the city for four months.

The local Uyghurs of Altishahr grew to hate and despite Wali Khan for his forcible introduction of Kokandi culture and suppression of Kashgari culture and for his brutality.In 1865, after Kokand Khanate had been successfully invaded by the Russian and its ruler Alimqul killed, Wali Khan joined a large group of Kokandian officials who decided to try their luck in Kashgaria. They appeared in Kashgar in September 1865, but had to submit to the fellow Kokandian Yaqub Beg, who had already firmly established himself as the ruler of the city. Wali Khan's followers attempts to bring him to power again very easily foiled by Yaqub Beg, who had Wali Khan arrested and sent to Yangihissar under armed guard, where he was later poisoned.

Xinjiang Wars

The Xinjiang Wars were a series of armed conflicts which took place within Xinjiang in the Republic of China during the Warlord Era and Chinese Civil War. The wars also played an important role in the East Turkestan independence movement.


Youtazi (Uyghur: يۇتازا, йутаза‎, ULY: yutaza) is a type of steamed multi-layer bread. It is eaten within the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.