Yesim Khan

Yesim Khan

Yesim Khan is the representative of the dynasty of Genghis khan, who ruled the Kazakh Khanate from 1598 to 1628. He was the son of Shygai khan. From the historical treatise of Kadyrgali Zhalayiri about Shygai khan we know that Yesim khan spent his whole life in struggle, fought with his enemies and with his tremendous courage made them flee away, glorified his relatives with his valiance, and became famous among the people for his heroism. He was one of the twelve sons of Shygai Khan. His full name was Yesmuhammed.

Historical sources mention only the names of Yesim khan’s three sons, the rest are unknown. His sons: Zhanibek sultan, Zhangir khan and Syrdak sultan. After Yesim`s death, the throne was acceded by his sons Zhanibek khan and Zhangir khan. The famous Tauke khan is the son of Zhangir khan and grandson of Yesim khan. In the historical data, describing the events in Central Asia in 1598 and the policy pursued by the Kazakh Khanate on this occasion, the name of Yesim sultan begins to appear for the first time. At that time, Yesim sultan was one of the most influential and famous sultans after his elder brother Tauekel Khan. This is confirmed by written historical sources.

Yesim khan became well-known in Kazakh history as “Yensegei boily er Yesim” (tall and fearless Yesim), which was given to him in 1598 during a military expedition to Mawerennahr with his brother Tauekel khan. After the death of Tauekel Khan and the accession of Yesim Khan to the throne, the first thing he did was to solve the issue of Mawerennahr and put it in order. Iskander Munshi writes: “After some time, with intervention of the Nakshband sheikhs, peace was established between the Kazakh ruler in Tashkent and the Central Asian rulers and an agreement was made that the Samarkand army would not take any action against Tashkent”, meaning that the rulers of Mawerennahr legally recognized the adding of the areas of Turkistan and Tashkent to the territory of the Kazakh Khanate.

The historical fact that Turkistan became the capital of the Kazakh Khanate and the city of Kazakh khans during the reign of Yesim is sung in the epic “Isatai-Makhambet”:

The throne of Genghis established once again,
And the flag was raised in Turkistan.
The place of our ancestors,
Where the Khans lived.

Based on this, it is surely known that “From the reign of Yesim khan, the capital of the Kazakh people was established and the former city of Yassy was renamed as Turkistan – the Land of Turki. Based on this state order, established by Yesim khan, the city of Turkistan had been the capital of the Kazakh State for several centuries. From that time, Turkistan served as the state capital for twenty one Kazakh khans.

Prepared by: Iskakova M.
“Azret Sultan” State Historical and Cultural Reserve Museum

Read Previous


Read Next