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Finding Neverland Blog Archive

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The City of Crimean Khanate.



Crimean Khanate was a state ruled by Crimean Tatars from 1441 to 1783. Its khans were the patrilineal descendants of Toqa Temür, the thirteenth son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan. This khanate was by far the longest-lived of the Turkic khanates that succeeded the empire of the Golden Horde. The best part of this city was the architecture and the buildings which are still adored by people around the world.


The Crimean Khanate was founded when certain clans of the Golden Horde Empire ceased their nomadic life in the Desht-i Kipchak and decided to make Crimea their homeland, which at that time had been an ulus of the Golden Horde since 1239, with its capital at Qirim. The local separatists invited a Genghisid contender for the Golden Horde throne, Hacı Giray, to be their khan. Hacı Giray accepted their invitation and traveled from exile in Lithuania. He warred for independence against the Horde from 1420 to 1441, in the end achieving success. But Hacı Giray then had to fight off internal rivals before he could ascend the throne of the khanate in 1449, after which he moved its capital to Qırq Yer. The khanate included the Crimean Peninsula and the steppes of modern southern Ukraine and Russia.


The Turkish traveler, Evliya Çelebi clearly mentioned the impact of Cossack raids from Azak upon the territories of the Crimean Khanate, these terrible raids ruined trade routes and severely depopulated many important regions. By the time Evliya Çelebi had arrived almost all the towns he visited were affected by the Cossack raids. In fact, the only place Evliya Çelebi considered safe from the Cossacks was the Ottoman fortress at Arabat.

The rule of the last Crimean khan Şahin Giray was marked with increasing Russian influence and outbursts of violence from the khan administration towards internal opposition. On 8 April 1783, in violation of the treaty (some parts of which had been already violated by Crimeans and Ottomans), Catherine II intervened in the civil war, de facto annexing the whole peninsula as the Taurida Governorate.


In 1787, Şahin Giray took refuge in the Ottoman empire and was eventually executed, on Rhodes, by the Ottoman authorities for betrayal. The royal Giray family survives to this day. Through the 1792 Treaty of Jassy (Iaşi) the Russian frontier was extended to the Dniester River and the takeover of Yedisan was complete. The 1812 Treaty of Bucharest transferred Bessarabia to Russian control.

The city was a gem on it' own there were many beautiful places in the city which are still present. The Selim II Giray fountain, built in 1747, is considered one of the masterpieces of Crimean Khanate's hydraulic engineering designs and is still marveled in modern times. It consists of small ceramic pipes, boxed in an underground stone tunnel, stretching back to the spring source more than 200 meters away. It was one of the finest sources of water in Bakhchisaray.

One of the notable constructors of Crimean art and architecture was, Qırım Giray, who in 1764 commissioned the fountain master Omer the Persian to construct the Bakhchisaray Fountain. The Bakhchisaray Fountain or Fountain of Tears is a real case of life imitating art. The fountain is known as the embodiment of love of one of the last Crimean Khans, Khan Qırım Giray for his young wife, and his grief after her early death. The Khan was said to have fallen in love with a Polish girl in his harem. Despite his battle-hardened harshness, he was grievous and wept when she died, astonishing all those who knew him. He commissioned a marble fountain to be made, so that the rock would weep, like him, forever.

Internally, the khanate territory was divided among the beys, and beneath the beys were mirzas from noble families. The relationship of peasants or herdsmen to their mirzas was not feudal. They were free and the Islamic law protected them from losing their rights. Apportioned by village, the land was worked in common and taxes were assigned to the whole village. The tax was one tenth of an agricultural product, one twentieth of a herd animal, and a variable amount of unpaid labor.

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