Chagatai Khanate

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The Chagatai Khanate around 1310

Chagatai Khanate was the name of a Central Asian region between the 13th and 16th centuries , in which a line of the Genghisids ruled. The founder of the khanate was Chagatai Khan , the second son of Genghis Khan . The respective ruling Khan had his residence in the city of Almaliq .

Size and population

This khanate , founded by the Mongols , essentially comprised the respective areas of today's Central Asian and Turkic-speaking states of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan (Starr therefore speaks of a Turkic-Mongolian dominion) in the west and the Chinese region of Xinjiang (initially without the territory of Djungaria ) and in the east the north of Afghanistan . In total, this khanate covered around 6.2 million km² in its largest area. The area was also known as Chagatai-Ulus .

The population of the khanate was made up of different peoples , which mainly consisted of nomadic clans of various, for example Chagataisch-speaking Turkic peoples on the one hand and partly of settled Iranian oasis farmers and the then predominantly Persian-speaking city ​​population ( Tajiks ). Various Turkic peoples settled in the east such as B. the Karluken , Naimanen, Kyrgyz and Uighurs . In the middle lived the Turkic tribes of the Tschigil , Kimek and Türgiş. The steppe areas in the west were formed by Oghus clans, which belong to the south- west Turkish peoples. Remnants of the Seljuks related to them still lived there . The population in the south was made up of Iranian Afghans , Persians and Kashmiris .

Parts of the caracalpaks that settled around the Aral Sea were a specialty . In the area of ​​the Chagatai Khanate they formed a sedentary Turkic-speaking minority , since they were fishermen and farmers and not nomads like the linguistically related "Kazak Tatars" .


The khanate came into being around 1229 when the "Ulus Tschagatai" was founded by Tschagatai , a son of Genghis Khan. In the same year, at the Mongolian princes' assembly, large parts of the areas of the former "Khanates of the West" on the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers, originally assured to his brother Jötschi , were awarded to him. In the Mongolian Empire , the khanate existed formally as part of it until 1368. However, the princes acted extremely autonomously in this , since the sovereignty of the great khan was only loose according to old nomadic traditions.

The Khan resided in Almaliq (also Almalyq or Almalik), which near the present-day Yining ( District Ili in Chinese Xinjiang lag).

After 1346 the descendants of Chagatai Khan lost the western parts of the country (Transoxania) and their direct rule was limited to the east. This was now called " Mogulistan ", land of the Mongols. This khanate existed as a unitary state until around 1514. In the course of the early 16th century, the Chagatai khanate dissolved into individual territories, each of which was headed by a khan.

The Mongol Empire (13th / 14th centuries)

Successor to the Mongol Empire:
  • Khanate of the Golden Horde
  • Chagatai Khanate
  • Ilchanate
  • Empire of the Yuan Dynasty
  • After Chagatai's death around 1242, there were several changes of government with the interference of the respective great Khans. For example, Güyük Khan , the Great Khan (ruled 1246–1248), deposed Qara Hulagu and instead installed his personal friend Yesun Möngke; Güyük's rival and successor Möngke Khan (Great Khan from 1251–1259) did the opposite. Arigkbugha Khan (r. 1260–1264) then deposed Qara Hulagu's widow Orghina and installed Algui, and Kubilai Khan (r. 1260–1294) confirmed Algui, but had his successor Mubarak Shah replaced by Boraq.

    However, Boraq got into a dispute with the Great Khan (administrative issues) and then stood alone against his rivals, above all Möngke Timur from the Golden Horde and Qaidu , who restricted him to Central Asia around 1269. According to Raschid ad-Din in 1269 in Kuriltai on the Talas River, Boraq had to compare himself to Qaidu: he concluded an alliance with him that was directed against Kubilai Khan and the Ilkhan and that would guide the policy of the next forty years.

    With Boraq's death in 1271, the “ Ögedäjiden ” under Ögedäj's grandson, Qaidu († around 1303), finally rose to become the true rulers of the khanate. Qaidu was at this time the senior partner of the Chagatai Khan Du'a (son of Boraq, r. 1282-1307) and an opponent of Kublai Khan . It was not until 1309/10 that the Chagatai princes were again the sole masters of their country, after Qaidus' son Capar (ruled 1303-1309) of Du'a and then of Du'a's son Kebek with the help of the Mongol emperor Timur (r. 1294-1307 ) was ousted (1306 and 1309).

    In the 14th century, the relationship with the Mongol emperor relaxed, only Ayurparibhadra (r. 1311-1320) intervened again in 1315/16, standing in alliance with the Ilchanate. The Khan Esen Bugha (the energetic Kebek had abdicated in 1310 in favor of his older brother) suffered some severe defeats, which in the end only remained an episode.

    Du'a's sons Kebek and Tarmashirin tried to consolidate the state. Kebek (ruled 1309, 1318–1326, murdered) took into account the nomads and the settled people (burdened by very high taxes) alike, was Islam-friendly and founded Qarshi, a new capital south-west of Samarkand . He divided the country into territorial administrative districts, which should finance the maintenance of local troops with their taxes. With these measures, however, he already aroused the displeasure of the traditional Mongols, who feared for their independence.

    To the annoyance of the traditionalists, Kebek's successor Tarmashirin (r. 1327 / 31–1334) was an avid Muslim , suspended the Jassa in favor of the Sharia and resided permanently in Transoxania , where many Mongols followed him because of the granting of fiefs . In 1334 he was deposed and executed by the traditionalists of the East ( Ili region , old capital Almalyq) in a revolt .

    The result was a long civil war with several rapid and obscure changes of power that divided the country. Most recently, Kazan tried to keep a grandson of Du'a in power by means of violence, but was defeated and killed in 1346 by Kazagan , the Emir of the Qaraunas . When the Kazagan (ruled 1346-1357) came to power, the khans of the Chagatai Khanate lost direct control of Transoxania with the important festivals of Bukhara , Samarkand and Qarshi. Under Kazagan and subsequent emirs, including Timur Lenk, the rule of the Chagatai clan was only formal, that is, it only served to legitimize the secular rule of these emirs .

    The later khans in Mogulistan (14th - 17th centuries)

    After 1346/47, the descendants of Chagatai were only able to hold onto power in the eastern part, in the so-called Mogulistan (area of ​​the rivers Ili and Tschüi , Tianshan , Tarim basin ). There the Dughlat family brought Prince Tughluk Timur (r. 1347-1363) to power, who converted to Islam and was able to regain Transoxania around 1360 for a few years.

    Zones of influence of the two parts of the Chagatai Khanate around 1490

    But also in Mogulistan the Tschagatai soon came under pressure due to the rise of Timur Lenk (r. 1365 / 70-1405): Ilias Hoja was defeated by Timur Lenk around 1365 and soon afterwards murdered by the Dughlat, whose representatives then took part in all power struggles between the 14th and 16th centuries should play a prominent role. Khizr Hoja lived in hiding or on the run until he came to power. Only in the course of the 15th century was the Chagatai Khanate able to stabilize again in Mogulistan: in particular Yunus Khan (r. 1462–1487, grandfather of Babur on his mother's side ) is considered a cultivated and predominantly successful ruler.

    With the death of Yunus Khan, Mogulistan split into two domains of his sons, who remained closely allied. As early as 1503, a victory of the Uzbek Khan Mohammed Scheibanis brought the capture of Yunus' sons: they never regained their previous position of power. The heirs of the Chagatai Khanate gradually became the Khans of the Uzbeks and Kazakhs as well as the Kyrgyz in the course of the 16th century . Nevertheless, some khans from the descendants of the younger son Ahmad († 1503/04 with paralysis) occasionally appear up to the 17th century, but these were only of regional importance. The last ruler to be taken seriously, Abdur Raschid, died around 1565, but the Chagatai Khanate as a unitary state was already history by then.

    A certain Isma'il tried around 1678 the secular rule of the Khanate of Kashgar , in the hands of a family of Hodja was made to restore , but was of the Dzungars -Fürsten Galdan deposed in favor of Hodja.

    Prince list

    • Tschagatai († 1242)
    • Qara Hulagu (1242-1246, 1251)
    • Yesun Möngke (1246–1251)
    • Regent Orghina (1251-1260)
    • Algui (1260-1264 / 6)
    • Mubarak Shah (1264/6)
    • Boraq (1266-1271)
    • Negübei, Buqa Timur among others
    • Du'a (1282-1307)
    • Köntschek, Taliqu
    • Kebek (1309, 1318-1326)
    • Esen Bugha (1310-1318)
    • Tarmashirin (1327-1334)
    • Buzan (1334)
    • Jenkji (1334-1338)
    • Yesun Timur (1338-1340)
    • Ali Sultan; Muhammad
    • Kazan (1330s / 1343-1346)
    • [Bayan Kuli (1348–58) and other puppet rulers]

    from 1346/47 only in Moghulistan:

    • Tughluq-Timur (1347-1363)
    • Ilias Hoja (1363 - around 1369)
    • [Pretender: Qamar ad-Din (around 1369-1390, Dughlat family)]
    • Khizr Hoja (1389-1399)
    • Shams-i Jahan (around 1399–1408)
    • Muhammed Khan (1408-1416)
    • Naksh-i Jahan (1416-1418)
    • Vais Khan (1418-1428)
    • Satuq Khan, a puppet ruler of Ulugh Beg (1428–1434)
    • Esen Bugha (1428 / 34–1462)
    • Dost Muhammad (1462-1469)
    • Yunus (1462-1487)
    • Ahmad (-1503, in Aksu) and Mahmud (-1508, in Tashkent)
    • Mansur Khan (around 1503–1514 or –1543/5 partial ruler in the Ili region)
    • Said Khan (around 1514–1533, partial ruler in Kashgar)
    • Abdur Raschid (around 1533–1565, partial ruler in Kashgar)
    • various insignificant rulers until the end of the 17th century

    See also


    1. ^ S. Frederick Starr: Xinjiang: China's Muslim Borderland , p. 243
    2. Marion Linska, Andrea Handl and Gabriele Rasuly-Paleczek: Introduction to the Ethnology of Central Asia , script. Vienna, 2003, p. 65, accessed on March 7, 2020
    3. According to the information in Biran: Qaidu, p. 33,41, Du'a was installed as Khan around 1282.
    4. Ali Sultan (ruled around 1340), according to Abulghazi , came from the Ögedeis family .


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    • Tilman Nagel: Timur the Conqueror and the Islamic World of the Late Middle Ages . Munich 1993, ISBN 3-406-37171-X .
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