750 Years of Golden Horde

550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate we celebrated in 2015, did not form “from scratch”, but came out of a single “matrix” of the Golden Horde – together with the Kazan, Crimean, Astrakhan, Siberian Khanates and the Nogai Horde.

President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in his Address to the people of Kazakhstan, announced the celebration of the 750th anniversary of the Golden Horde. This anniversary date is coming this year. Somewhat earlier, at the International Tourism Forum “Ulytau-2019” he called Ulytau “the golden cradle of the Kazakh people, a witness to history”. The President also mentioned the historical role of Zhoshy Khan, the founder of the Golden Horde. Timur Kozyrev, an expert of the International Turkic Academy, a well-known political scientist in Kazakhstan, answers the questions of “Kazakhstanskaya Pravda” about the role of the Golden Horde period in the history of Kazakhstan, its study, the importance of historical knowledge for modern man.

Timur Anatolyevich, it is known that the years of life of Zhoshy Khan are 1182-1227. However, the 750th anniversary of the Golden Horde is now being celebrated if we count from 1269, when Zhoshy was no longer alive. What events were associated with this date?

  • It was about the 750th anniversary of the Talas kurultai, as a result of which the Ulus of Zhoshy (Golden Horde) gained full independence. This historical kurultai was held in 1269 in the valley of the Talas River, somewhere at the junction of modern Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. There, the rulers of the uluses of Zhoshy, Chagatai and Ogedei – namely Mengu-Timur, Boraki Khaidu – recognized each other as sovereign rulers, concluding an alliance against the great Khan Khubilai in case he did not recognize their independence.

That is why the Talas kurultai of 1269 is sometimes called the “Belovezhskaya Pushcha” of the 13th century: following its results, the unified empire of Genghis Khan ceased to exist. It was then that the Zhoshy Ulus (also known as Ulug Ulus – the Great Ulus, also known as the Golden Horde) finally became an independent state.

President Kassym-JomartTokayev spoke about this historic event at the forum. And without exaggeration, it played a key role in the history of Kazakhstan and all of Eurasia.

What is this role?

–     First of all, 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate we celebrated in 2015, did not form “from scratch”, but came out of a single “matrix” of the Golden Horde – together with the Kazan, Crimean, Astrakhan, Siberian Khanates and the Nogai Horde.

Zhanibek and Kerey, the founders of the Kazakh Khanate, as well as all its subsequent rulers, up to the last Khan – Kenesary, belonged to the Urusid branch of the Chingizid dynasty. Their ancestor Urus Khan is one of the Golden Horde rulers of the XIV century, whom some Kazakh historians (for example, R. Temirgaliev) identify with the legendary Alasha Khan.

However, it is not only a matter of dynastic succession. According to a number of leading experts, the ethnogenesis of the Kazakh people basically took place just in the Golden Horde period, and at the time of the collapse of the Horde, only the modern name “Kazakh” was missing, which appeared later, due to a number of political circumstances.

However, even then there was practically a single nomadic people of Desht-i-Kipchak, from which the modern Kazakhs, Nogais and Karakalpaks are directly descended – three ethnic groups, in all respects extremely close to each other. Volga and Crimean Tatars, Bashkirs also rightly consider themselves the heirs of the Golden Horde.

Chokan Valikhanov once wrote: “According to their legends, the Kirghiz (the pre-revolutionary name of the Kazakhs on the part of the Russian imperial administration) consider themselves descendants of the Tatars of the Golden Horde.” Of course, the term “Tatars” by Chokan Valikhanov is also used in its pre-revolutionary, expansive meaning.

Is it possible to see the Horde heritage in modern Kazakh culture?

  • Any number of examples. The main layer of Kazakh folklore, in many respects common with the Kazan and Crimean Tatars, Bashkirs, Nogais and Karakalpaks, also dates back to the Golden Horde era. First of all, the images of Emir Edige and Asan Kaigy, adviser to Az Zhanibek, the great ruler of the Horde, who was called “the good king Janibek” in Russian chronicles, come to mind.

The first Kazakh historian, as is known, was Kadyrgali Zhalairi. His book “Zhamigat-tavarikh” is the first Kazakh historical work, it is a very Golden Horde book in content: it shows a direct connection between the Kazakh Khanate and the Golden Horde, gives an inside look at its history.

The influence of the Golden Horde on the spiritual culture of Kazakhstan was clearly reflected – it was from the Horde, from the khans of Berke and Uzbekamy that they inherited our traditional Hanafi madhhab of Sunnism, with its rational approach and tolerance.

On the territory of Kazakhstan there is a huge number of written sources and cultural monuments associated with the Golden Horde. For example, historians are well aware that Kazakhstan is a kind of “champion” in Central Asia in terms of the number of epigraphic monuments (tombstones) of the Golden Horde era.

Separately, it is worth mentioning the mausoleum of Zhoshy Khan in Ulytau. So “accidentally”, but very symbolically (!) it turned out that it is located in the very geographical center of Kazakhstan.

In addition, in our Atyrau region there is the settlement of Sarayshyk – one of the capitals of the Golden Horde, where the Horde khans Tokhta and Az Zhanibek were buried, and later the Kazakh khans Zhanibek and Kasym. This, by the way, is also very symbolic. And the city of Atyrau itself, even in Soviet times, the locals called not “Guriev”, but Uishik. That was the name of the ancient Golden Horde city nearby, from the bricks of which the Yaik Cossacks later built Guryev.

What else?.. For example, the name of the national currency of Kazakhstan – “tenge” comes from the name of the Golden Horde currency “dang”. By the way, the Russian “money” also comes from it.

Even a bold tradition – to build beautiful cities in the middle of the Steppe, on a flat empty space – was once laid down by the Horde khans. And the construction of Astana in independent Kazakhstan is not just a bold decision, it was based on an age-old tradition, originally imprinted in our “national code”, in the words of Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev.

There are actually many more examples. I offhand cited those facts that immediately came to mind.


Source and full text at the link: zakon.kz

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