The Republic of Kazakhstan, one of the states that formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union is preparing for the celebration of the 750th anniversary of the “Golden Horde”. The name “Golden Horde” was given to the state, founded by the descendants of Genghis Khan within the empire created by him. This happened shortly after the death of Genghis Khan’s eldest son – Jochi whose name in Kazakh pronounced as “Zhoshy”.
According to the annals, in 1269 there was a meeting of the rulers of the three so-called uluses – possessions allocated by Genghis Khan to his sons. These state formations were named after their sons – the ulus of Zhoshy, the ulus of Chagatai, the ulus of Ugedei. At that time, these uluses were ruled, respectively, by Mengu-Temir, Borak and Hajdu. These descendants of the great conqueror decided to proclaim their possessions as sovereign states, and so that the great khan Khubilai, who was the heir to Genghis Khan himself, did not try to conquer or call for submission, these three khans concluded an alliance among themselves.
On the basis of the Zhoshy ulus, a state arose, which was later called the Golden Horde. The citizens of this state called it “Uluk ulus”, which means Great ulus, or Great State. This state occupied an area up to 6 million square kilometres – from Novgorod in the north to Khwarazm in the south, from the Sea of Japan in the east to the Danube in the west. On the above-mentioned area were living Turks, Slavs, Finno-Ugric peoples and many other ethnic groups. There were hundreds of cities in the Golden Horde. During the state’s existence, capitals changed several times. One of the capitals was called Saraishyk, this settlement is located in the west of Kazakhstan.
Later, on the site of the Great ulus were formed the Kazakh Khanate, the Crimean Khanate, the Astrakhan Khanate, the Khanate of Sibir and the Nogai Horde. Kazakhs after about 200 years of being part of the Russian Empire created their own sovereign state within the borders that were defined in the USSR in 1930. It is important to note that this status did not get to this people by chance. Even before the revolution in Tsarist time among Kazakhs were a layer of educated people who created national-patriotic movement called “Alash Orda”. Founders participated in the political life of the Russian Empire, promoting the ideas of national autonomy.
In fact, the status of a national republic was first assigned to Kazakhstan as a result of the active and persistent activity of the leaders of the Alash Orda – Alikhan Bukeikhanov and others. They managed to convince the ruler of Soviet Russia Vladimir Lenin that the Kazakhs are an independent people with their own history and have the right to statehood. The status of a union republic within the USSR that enabled Kazakhstan to declare its independence in December 1991.
Great merit in this belongs to the first president of this state Nursultan Nazarbayev who in the last years of being part of the Soviet empire carried out some preparatory work and was able to lead the republic on the path of sovereign development without any conflicts.
Kazakhstan attach great importance to the period of history when the Turkic tribes that later formed the Kazakh nation were one of the main ethnic components of such a powerful state formation of the Middle Ages as the Golden Horde. The fact is that in the Soviet period and in Tsarist times, the study of the historical and cultural heritage of the Golden Horde was not encouraged. Now there is an opportunity to study and summarize all this heritage and this work is actively being carried out within the framework of the Spiritual Modernization Program which was adopted under President Nazarbayev.
Kazakhstan celebrated the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate, which declared the independence of the Golden Horde in the 15th century. In 18th century, Kazakh Genghis rulers initiated themselves to became part of the Russian Empire.
Celebrating the 750th anniversary of the Golden Horde should increase public interest in the cultural heritage of this state, stimulate domestic tourism, and attract foreign tourists. Kazakhstan has preserved many artefacts from the time of the Golden Horde – mausoleums, tombstones with inscriptions, this period is also widely represented in museums, there are a large number of written sources in the republic itself, as well as in neighbouring countries – Russia, China and others.
President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev has already given the order to create the necessary infrastructure in the place where Khan Zhoshy was buried. Mausoleum is located in Ulytau almost in the geographical centre of Kazakhstan. In Tokayev’s recent National Address to the people, he emphasized the historical role of Khan Zhoshy and the personality of this ruler. Also it has been given great attention in preparation for the anniversary.
Kazakhs positively perceives the historical connection of modern Kazakhstan with one of the most powerful medieval states of the Eurasian continent. In general, the country has a great interest in the empire of Genghis Khan and his personality. There are even hypothesis about his belonging to the Kazakh nation, although this is not officially recognized.
In general, the celebration of the 750th anniversary of the Golden Horde at the state level should be striking event for the Kazakhstanis and for the visitors.