Monday, September 8, 2008

Tatars - Kazan Sovereignty - Kazan Tataristan - from Hayat


In the past, the name "Tatar" was generally given to the community composed of different tribes and races which formed Genghis Khan's Army. Among these there were Turks, as well as Mongols and Tunguz, who were related to them due to their being of Ural-Altay race. Later on, Kazan Turks were also erroneously called "Tatar."

After Genghis's Army was dispersed, a part of Tatars stayed in Russia, a part remained in China. The word "Tatar" originated from the name of a tribe called 'Tata" (Dada) living in northeast Mongolistan during the 5th Century. During the Czar's reign the Russians gave this name to nearly all the tribes of Turkish origin, whereas after the Revolution they gave this name to the Kazan Turks. Likewise, in Turkey the said name is generally given to Turks residing in Crimea and its environment.

(Taken from Hayat Encyclopedia)

Kazan Sovereignty

With its Capitol Kazan, it is an old Turkish State. Because of its Capitol, it was called 'Kazan Sovereignty." In 1437 it got separated from the "Altin Ordu" (Golden Horde, East Europe) Sovereignty. The State was in power until 1556, i.e., it existed for 119 years.

It was located in the old Bulgarian zone, on the watercourse of the Volga River, which forms an important passageway between East and Northeast Europe. It was bordered by the Astrakhan Sovereignty in the south, Nogay Sovereignty in the east and southeast, Moscow State in the west, and by the vast plains inhabited by the Finnish-Ugur tribes in the north. Bulgarian Turks constituted the original population. Besides these, there were also people of Mordva, Chirmish and Finnish-ugur races.

Ulug Muhammed (1437-1445) son of Jelaletdin, one of the "Altin Ordu" rulers, was the founder of Kazan Sovereignty
Ulug Muhammed, being the Ruler of Altin Ordu during 1426-1436, led a successful diplomacy against Egypt and Moscow, but he was not able to do away with the coup d'etat directed by Timur against the State of Altin Ordu. During the internal disorders and agitations caused by various tribes and clans he lost his throne in 1436. First, he took refuge in Crimea and then in the Moscow State. The Ruler of Moscow, Vasiliy, for fear that their good relations with Altin Ordu might spoil, sent an Army against Muhammed. In spite of the fact that he succeeded in defeating the Russians, Muhammed did not stay in this region, but came to the spot at which he was going to make a Capitol, that is Kazan. In Kazan, he began making efforts for the purpose of being recognized as the Ruler of Altin Ordu. By bringing his Army up to the doors of Moscow, he defeated Vasiliy in 1439. During the second battle in Moscow, in which his sons, Mahmut, Kasim and Yakub also took part, the Russian Army was defeated near Suzdal, and Vasiliy was made prisoner-of-war (1445). Upon the acceptance of Vasiliy of all the stipulations put forth by Muhammed, Vasiliy was set free. According to the Articles of Agreement, Russia was to pay huge indemnities. Moreover, Moscow, heretofore, being connected with Altin Ordu, would, from now on, be united with Kazan and, consequently, was obligated to execute its duties towards that State. In order to have the assurance that the items of the said Agreement were accomplished, Muhammed appointed Kazan Agents (Officials) to be stationed at the Russian State Center and at the Provinces. Also, according to the Agreement reached, he gave the region on the River Oka within the Moscow territory to his son Kasim (Kasim Sovereignty), whereby availing himself of pursuing Moscow's internal affairs. His aim was to collect and unite the scattering Altin Ordu Sovereignty around a powerful administrative center, but he died prior to the realization of his aim. His elder son Mahmud (1445-1462) became the Kazan Khan. During Mahmud's ruling, the State was in peace and comfort. After his death, his elder son Halil, took his place. His sovereignty was short-lived. Later, his brother Ibrahim became the Head of State (1467-1479). Some of the elders and the State of Moscow supported Muhammed's brother Kasim. Kasim opened a rebellion against Ibrahim. Kazan and Kasim Sovereignties became one another's enemies. Due to this conduct of the Russians, Ibrahim started a frontal attack. He plundered the neighborhood of Galich, captured the City of Hilin (Viyatka). In the year 1469, Moscow's campaign against Kazan ended with a defeat. In the same year, the Russians coming very close to Kazan, retreated as a result of an agreement made between them. This agreement was in force for 8 years. The Russians, wishing to recapture the City of Hilin after 1478, renewed their attacks. After the death of Ibrahim, his elder son Ali (or Ilham) was enthroned (1419-1484). His mother, Fatima, was Ibrahim's first wife. Muhammed Emin, the son of Ibrahim's second wife Nur Sultan, was against Ali's monarchy. Together with his brother, Abdullatif, he quitted Kazan and went to Moscow. The campaign prepared by the Russians against Kazan in 1482, was this time prevented by diplomatic means. However, Ali being dethroned in 1484, by the approval of the Russians, Muhammed Emin was put in his place. His ruling in confusion and disorder was short-lived by Ali's coming back to power in 1485. However, the internal disorder continued. Wishing to take advantage of this situation, the Russians sent an army against Kazan in 1487. Kazan was besieged, but due to a strong defense, the Russians began to withdraw their army. Just at that moment, there was a coup d'etat in Kazan and Ali was dethroned. The Russians took over Kazan . Ali and his supporters were severely punished. Muhammed Emin came to power again by the support of the Russians. In this was, Moscow became free of being bound to Kazan. Muhammed Emin did all that the Russians desired of him. Once, he even went to war on the side of the Russians (1490). On the other hand, the Kazan people rioted because of the Russian pressure. With Kul Ahmet, Orak Sadr and Argish as their leaders, they enthroned a West Siberian Ruler, Ibak's son Mamuk (1495-1496). Upon this Muhammed Emin fled to Moscow. Kul Ahmet turning against Mamuk dethroned him. Muhammed Emin's brother Abdullatif (1496-1502), also by the support of the Russians, took his place. However, not proving to be an instrument to the wishes of the Russian, he was dethroned and exiled. Friend of the Russians, Muhammed Emin, became the Ruler again(1502-1518). He strengthened his position by having his enemies put to death. The Russian Czar, Ivan III, had lost his old power, Muhammed Emin wanted to take advantage of this opportunity, but due to a certain misunderstanding that popped up, he opened was against Moscow. He captured Nijni Novgorod. During the years that followed, the Kazan Army made many accomplishments. Peace, called "The Eternal Peace" was signed between the two States by the Ambassador of Kazan, Sait Shah Huseyin.
Muhammed Emin had no children. After his death, Ulug Muhammed's family line came to an end in Kazan. ulug Muhammed's enemy, the son of Kuchuk Muhammed's grandson, Shah Gali (Ruler of the Kasim State) was brought to power by the support of the Russians. Kazan became dependent on Russia. However, the friendly terms between the Crimean Khan Sahib-Giray and the Russians being spoiled, he captured Kazan and repelled the Russians. Thus this was the beginning of the Giray (Gerey) family. The Kazan troops, under the command of Sahib-Giray(1521-1524) with the help of the Crimean Army, advanced over the River Oka towards Moscow. Vasiliy III fled, leaving his throne. As a result of the Agreement made between the two States, Moscow became dependent on Crimea, with the obligation of payment of certain taxes. On the other hand, the Kazan State for fear of being left alone against the enemy, sent envoys to Kanuni Sultan Suleyman. Kazan accepted the Osmanli domination with an agreement made between them. This situation was made known to the Russian State. Upon this, their hostile relations with Kazan became worse. During the ruling of Safa Giray (1524-1531), who had succeeded Sahib-Giray, the Russian Army in which Shah Gali also took part, was defeated by the Kazan Army commanded by Atabey Talish and Oruch Bey. During the years following this event, the Russians, realizing that they cannot attain any success by way of war started causing disorder and confusion in Kazan by way of propaganda. Shah Gali's son, Jan Gali was brought to power (1531-1533), in place of Safa Giray. After a short period, Jan Gali was killed. Safa Giray became the Ruler again (1533-1546). He made several successful raids against the Russians. He took over Nijni Novgorog. However, not being supported by the influenced people, he was dethroned. The ruling of Shah Gali who took his place, lasted only a month. Shah Gali fled to Moscow, after Safa Giray returned to Kazan. During the period of his third sovereignty (1546-1549), Safa Giray took over the internal affairs into his own hands. He punished the officials who were pro-Russians. After long struggles, he succeeded in bringing about a national unity in Kazan. His son Otemish succeeded him (1549-1551). Being only 3 years old at the time, his mother Suyumbike administered Kazan on his behalf.
During the years 1548-1550, the attacks made by the Russians to Kazan were not successful. during the ruling of Metropolit Makariy (1542-1552), the Russians tried to spread Christianity in Kazan. In 1551 the Russians set up a fortified locality, at the site where the Stream Zuye pours into the Volga River, and piled stocks of arms and provisions there. Thus, the possibilities were born for hitting the Kazan Armies from behind. Shah Gali supported by the Russians and the Kasim people, entered Kazan and became Khan (1551). During this period the financial position of Kazan was in a bad state. Ways and means were sought to come to terms with the Russians. The stipulations of the Agreement were very unfavorable. The Russians left only the left side of the Volga River to Shah Gali. Half of the territory of Kazan was usurped by the Russians. This state of affairs became unbearable for the Kazan people. Furthermore, the Russians demanded that the administration of Kazan be given to the Russian regent. This wish was not accepted. During the start of the internal turmoil, Shah Gali quitted the City and passed over to the Russian side. The Kazan people enthroned Yadigar Muhammed, the Astrakhan Prince (1552), who at that time was among the Nogays. Yadigar, descendant of the Timur Kutlug lineage, was the grandson of the Saray Khan, Said Ahmed, and the son of the Astrakhan Khan Kasim. The new Ruler, strengthened by the help of Chapkun Bey, openly was against the Russians. Due to the rioting of the people under the Russian administration in the mountainous region, and the coming forward of the Crimeans, the Russians retreated. However, being reinforced at Zuye, the Russians besieged Kazan. After street fightings, which continued for days, the Kazan people were defeated. Yadigar Khan and his followers were made prisoners-of-war. The city was plundered and its inhabitants were put to sword (1552).
The Kazan people did not stop struggling. In 1556, they began making raids from all sides against the Russians. Mamish Berdi Bey prepared his Army for a combat at the Galim Fortress, which was located upon a high hill "Sundir", on the right shore of the Volga River. The brother of Suyumbike, Ali Ekrem, son of Yusuf, descendant of the Nogay Family was enthroned as the Kazan Khan. Ali Ekrem died during the war against the Russians at Galim (1556). Upon Mamish Berdi Bey's becoming a prisoner-of-war, Kazan was recaptured by the Russians.

it says here: (Taken from Large Dictionary & Encyclopedia)

It was only on October 2, 1552, Ivan the Terrible had captured Kazan. He succeeded for the first time in history, to include Russia among the large States. Russia is protecting this characteristic quality for more than 400 years now. In the Kazan State, which was the first Turkish Territory usurped by the Russians, the survival of Turkish nationalism can be reckoned as a miracle peculiar to the Turkish race. The reason being that a terrible Russian cruelty continued for 400 years. However, due to the fact that this region was adorned with Turkish history of a thousand years, and because it possessed a rooted culture, it preserved itself from being exterminated. Kazan was one of the centers of Turkish culture, and up to the present date, trained and educated distinctive personage. The Kazan dialect is one of the important literary languages, and it has a rich literature.

now it say here: (Taken from Hayat Encylopedia)


(this is very dated, statistically wrong, but still somewhat relevant)

Kazan is the Capitol of the Autonomous Republic of the Volga Tatars in the United Soviet Republic of Russia.

With its population of 711,000, Kazan has a University, Chemistry and Metallurgy Industry (railway and stream barges), and it is also the starting point for the gas pipeline stretching out to Gorkiy.

History: At a spot, a little further from the present day location of the City, the Bulgarians, descendants of Huns, after fleeing from the Khazars (Caspian Sea inhabitants) built a city called Bolgany (7th Century).

The Mongols destroyed Bolgany in 1236, and by the order of Sayun Han, built the City of Kazan in 1257.

However, the said City was destroyed by Vasiliy Dimitriyevich, Prince of Moscow (1391). Later it was restored by Mashmutek Han (1441), and became the Capitol of Kazan Sovereignty. It had disconnected itself from the "Altin Ordu" State and with its fairs and markets became a famous commercial center.

Czar Vasiliy III (1505-1533), failing to conquer the City, caused its bankruptcy by establishing the Makaryev Fair, along the shore of Volga, which later was transferred to Novgorod.

Ivan IV, after building Sviyajak on the opposite side of Kazan (1551), and as a result of a long besiege, took over the City, put the inhabitants to the sword and replaced them by the Russians (1552). Some of the Turks migrated to Bashkirstan, Ural and Siberia. The Finnish-Ugur tribes were faced with the same treatment.

Mosques, elementary and high schools belonging to the Turkish Community dwelling in Zuye were destroyed by Feodor, son of Czar Ivan (1592).

During the Stenka Razin Rebellion (1668-1671), the Kazan Turks played an important role.

Until the 17th Century, the administration of Kazan was in the hands of a regent, possessing a special seal. In Moscow, there was a separate office in charge of Kazan's affairs. Kazan was made a province in 1708. The Russians applied "duty-service/forced labor" system called "lashman" to the Turks (1718). After the rebellion, some facilities were brought about for the Kazan Turks, and regency was re-established in Kazan (1781). This rebellion was the last struggle made by the Kazan Turks for their independence. The uprisings, thereafter, remained regional.

After the throning of Katherina II, among the commissioners in charge of preparing new laws and regulations, there were also 27 Kazan delegates. The following were the desires of the Kazan delegates: Freedom in religion, Reduction in taxes, The right of using their mother tongue at the Courts, Judges to be chosen by the people, Freedom in commerce, Turkish dominant members to have equal rights with the Russian ones. After the State recognized Islam as a religion (1785), permission was given to construct a mosque, a small mosque and a school. A Canonical Court was formed, headed by a religious leader (1788).

At the end of the 18th Century, a few leather factories were opened in Kazan. The number of these in 1812 was 18. The ensuing economical development led to the birth of new ideas, and a wish to increase educational institutions. Ebun-Nasr Kursavi (1765-1813), after proclaiming freedom of mind, opposed mysticism and hierarchy and opened the door for innovation. Going along the same path, Shihabetdin Merjani (1818-1889), spread these ideas in the High School opened in Kazan. The innovation activity continued during the periods of Huseyin Feyzhan (1821-1866), and Kayyum Nasiri (1824-1902). As a result of the community joining in the new social establishments, national principles took the place of religious principles. Ismail Gasprali (1851-1914), publicized this as "Unity in language, Opinion and Duty."

After the Revolution of 1905, there were new developments. With the Congresses of 1905, 1906, and 1907, the "Union of all Moslems of Russia" came to being. As a result of the union of all Turks, their representation at the National Assembly was made possible. At the Congress of July 22, 1917, the autonomy for the Moslem Turk-Tatars in Russian inland and Siberia was announced. The same year, the National Assembly accepted the Constitution. The National Assembly chose a National Administrative Committee consisting of the following ministries of 5 members each: Religious Affairs, Educational Affairs and Financial Affairs. The said National Administrative Committee, headed by Sadri Maksudi (Arsal) was abolished after the Bolsheviks came to power.

Fine Arts: Seven kilometres away from Kazan, graves belonging to the bronze and iron eras were found. In the past, Kazan was surrounded by walls of timber. Outside of the walls of 1800 metres long, wide and deep ditches were dug. The "Khan" Palace, being inside the fortress was destroyed in 1807. The most beautiful monument in the city is the "Khan Mesjidi"(Suyum Bike Minaresi.) It has seven stories and its height is seventy five meters. Adjacent to it, there is a mosque, which was later turned into a church. "The Mausoleum of the Khans" was also near it. The largest of Kazan's mosques is the "Kulu Sherif" Mosque, with its eight minarets. Adjacent to the mosque, there was a high school. Belonging to recent times, is the Turk Islam Monument "Merjani Mosque" (1766), as well as the "Apanay" and "Yunus" Mosques, which were built at a later date. The Central Museum of Tataristan contains collections of the Volga Peoples' Ethnography, Archeology and Arts. In the State University, established in 1804 Leo Tolstoy, Lenin and his brother Alexander Ulyanoff, and Rikoff have been educated.

(Taken from Large Dictionary & Encyclopedia)
(Address: Meydan YayinEvi
Capaloglu Sultan Mektebi Sokak 23-25
Istanbul, Turkey)


Tataristan is located in northeast Europe, in the region between the Volga River and its branch Kama. A stream called Vyatka branches off from the Kama towards the North. The land consists of a vast plain with the elevation not exceeding 500 metres. The yearly average rainfall is never more than half a meter. The yearly average temperature is 3ºC. In the North, the country is under similar cold climatic conditions prevailing in Eastern Europe. In the North the country is covered by forests; in the south by steppes. The trees that grow in the forests lose their leaves in the winter. The inhabitants make their living by stock-breeding, agriculture, by growing flax and other kinds of industry.

Tataristan is a Turkish country for 1500. (?) On its East is Bashkurdistan, an Independent Turkish Republic; on its North is Udmurtistan, an Independent Finnish Republic; on its South is the Kuybishev Province, which the Turks call "Samars". These territories are the first Turkish lands, which the Russians seized in the middle of the 16th Century. During this period the Volga (Idil) Turks have been able to safeguard their nationality and culture, despite the unbelievable constraint and pressure. Kazan is still one of the most important Turkish cultural centers outside of Turkey. According to the population census in the Tataristan Republic made by the Russians in April 1959, it has not been publicized out of 2,847,000 inhabitants how many are Turks and how many are Russians. Prior to World War II two-thirds of the population were Turks.

Its University, established in 1805, is one of the most important Turkology Centers in Russia. Kazan is the most important stations on the railway for trains coming from Moscow and Gorkiy and going through Svedlovsk to Siberia.

This article is from my stack of Tatar Related papers, clippings, articles and photocopies.
This article was originally titled "Tatars Kazan Sovereignty Kazan Tataristan
Information obtained from hayat Encyclopedia by Salih & Shemsiye Apakay
Translated from Turkish
(This is copied word-for-word)

Salih Absi and Shemsiye Apa worked so hard to help us maintain our culture so far from our homeland.
Bless their souls.

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