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The Khanate of the Crimean Tatars

The Khanate of the Golden Horde hat broken up in the 15th century. Of it's 4 successor states, 3 - the Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan and Sibir - were conquered and annexed by Russia between 1552 and 1584. Only the Khanate of the Crimean Tatars held off Russian pressure; it continued to exist until 1783.
In 1475 the Khan of the Crimean Tatars had recognized the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire as his sovereign. The Crimean Tatars dispatched a cavalry contingent whenever the Sultan requested it, and the Sultan provided military assistance when the Khan of the Crimean Tatars needed it. In 1552 (the year the Russians conquered Kazan) the Crimean Tatars raided southern Russia as far as Tula, and again in 1571.
The Khanate had a structure similar to that of the Khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan. The Tatars traditionally relied on their superiority on the battlefield and stuck to nomadic lifestyle. Few places were fortified, such as the fortress of ASOV on the lower Don. The capital was BAKHCHISARAI, located on the Crimean peninsula.
In continuation of Mongol and Islamic tradition, the Tatars tolerated ethnic and religious minorities. A pocket of Crimean Goths had survived into the 16th century (but has since vanished).
When the Khanate of the Crimean Tatars was dissolved in 1783, the ruling family moved into the Ottoman Empire (where they owned property); the former Khan was appointed Khan of the Bucak Tatars (in southern Bessarabia; 1812 ceded to Russia).


This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on June 21st 2005

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