The Tatar Khanate of Crimea: Genghisid Giray Dynasty

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Behiç Giray

Jul 17, 2008
Genghis Khan was the founder of the greatest empire of all times. And his grandsons were also rulers of great empires(also: Crimean Khanate).
Crimean Khanate was founded in 1438 by Hadji Giray(Hacı Giray). He was a Golden Horde prince and a grandson of Genghis Khan. He wanted to found a great empire like Empire of Genghis or Golden Horde. In the time of Mengli Giray, a time of trouble, Ottoman Empire attacked to Genoese Forts in South Crimea. And, Mengli Giray entered Ottoman protection. After that time, Tatar army of Crimea joined great wars of Ottoman Empire.
Khanate of Crimea was one of the strongest forces of Eastern Europe. Tatar horsemen were the fastest and strongest units in 16th century in Eastern Europe. Crimean Tatar army of Giray Dynasty burned Moscow in 1571.
And, Crimean Tatar(Turkish) culture was really colorful and wonderful.
Giray dynasty showed one of the greatest royal cultures.
But when the Crimean Khanate was encroached by Imperial Russian Army in 1783, Shahin Giray was the Crimean Khan.
I want to tell something about him. He was born in Edirne, a city of Turkey. When he was born, his father had been dead. He studied in Salonica, Venice and Rome. He could speak Latin, Italian, Greece, Ottoman Turkish and Crimean Tatar. He was invited to Crimea by his uncle when he was 20. And he worked there as a commander. One day, Russian Army attacked to Crimea and burned lots of buildings in Bakhcisaray,capital city.Shahin Giray visited to St. Petersburg as an ambassador. Catherine II wrote about him:
"He is the most gentle Tatar, I have ever seen. He wants to see and learn everything. He likes writing poets."
When his uncle died, he became the khan of Crimea. And he wanted to do some reforms. But his people didn't want it. And they revolted. After that, he had to leave Crimea. He left and went to Imperial Russia. He accepted Catherine's offer to make Crimea Russian land and to be Iranian King.
Today, Shahin Giray's grandsons and granddaughters live in Turkey, cities: Bursa and Istanbul.
I'm one of them. I will post here some photos of my royal family.
:king4:Greetings from Bursa
What a wonderfull tale. You have brought one of the old and great nations back to live. I have alwayes wondered what became of the decendants of the once so mighty Tatar kingdom. And here they are.

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Many thanks to post these! And you too, Warren, for the great link you provided.

I was always interested in Khanats from Central Asia, and it's interesting to know that descents of Khan of Crimea are now in Turkey.

I saw this forum yesterday. I looked for information about my dynasty, but I couldn't find. So, I though that I had to write something. I wrote.
It's no problem for me.
I think, people should not to forget Tatars and their dynasty.
Thank you for starting this thread Behiç. It demonstrates that there are still many fascinating areas to be explored for those interested in the lesser-known monarchies of Asia.

One book I would recommend for anyone interested in this part of the world and the Islamic states of Central Asia is "Sultans in Splendour - the Last Years of the Ottoman World" by Philip Mansel, 1988. The most interesting section, for me, was that on the 'Khans and Emirs' where he gives some insight into the Emir of Bokhara (also a descendant of Genghis Khan) and the Khan of Khiva. The book is lavishly illustrated and gives a vivid impression of what is now a very distant world.

Here is an image of the book's cover.
Dear Behic Giray,

Thank you for posting here and educating us on an interesting topic.

And, thank you for your chart showing us your lineage from the Khan of Crimea.
I am glad you are entitled to a princely title?

I have a physical fitness trainer who is Mongolian. He doesn't know anything about his heritage and so I took him to the movie "The Mongols", which is all about Genghis Khan as a boy. Very interesting.
You should see it!!

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And me too! I must see this movie. May you send me some more info about it? Who are the actors starring in it?

And thanks for the genealogical tree Behiç Giray!

I know this movie. But, I haven't watched it yet.
My friends said that it was really good movie.
hey, everyone can someone please tell me who the head of the house would be and what was the succession rules of this dynasty? Thanks
There is no head of the house.
Because, our house was disbanded. And now we want to unite it again.
According to the succession rules: everyone,man, can be the head of this dynasty.
But, especially the eldest one.
Thanks, any ideas about some sources saying a man from London from your family being head "My family is headed by Prince Jezzar Giray, who lives in London" from one source
According to his pretences, he is the head of Giray dynasty.
But, I don't recognize him.
I don't think that he can help our Tatar people from U.K!
The head of our dynasty must live near Crimea.
Crimean Khans and Head of our dynasty are choosen by a kurultay(Crimean Tatar national assembly).
There is no kurultay so there is no head of our dynasty.
Crimean Tatar girl from Ankara,Turkey
Crimean Tatar Folk Dance
Crimean Tatar National Assembly - Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine
Crimean Tatars at protest to Russian ultranationalist attacks to national assembly


Meñli Giray Khan - second Khan of Crimea
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But I don't understand who is the head of the family. I mean if Crimea was still a kingdom, who would be its ruler?
Who is the eldest son of the eldest son etc. :queen3:

But it's really interesting. How did you understand all this? Are you Muslim and did the Khans of Crimea were Muslims, too?
umm.. Well.
I said that there was no head of our family.
If Crimea was still a khanate, a Genghisid Giray who was selected by national assembly would be its ruler.
The age isn't important.
Me and my family are Muslim. But I don't know that all Girays are Muslim or not.
Khans of Crimea were Muslims, right.
Is this the movie starring John Wayne and Susan Hayward? Please oh please do not get your history from that! Instead read THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE MONGOLS by Jerimiah Curtin, an out of print book but well worth the effort. CHAZ Allright but I am still leary of getting history from movies, but I could be wrong in this case. I still recomend the above book as your best bet. CHAZ
One of the interesting things is Girays' service to Ottomans.. There are some dialogues about it:
"Safavid Shah's Wife: You, Girays, are member of more noble and older dynasty than Ottomans. Why do you serve them? We know that your ancestor, Genghis, destroyed a lot of empire. So, you can do it again. You're talented to do it. If you want, Ottomans serve you.

Adil Giray, a Crimean Prince who was prisoner of war in Iran: We are members of a noble and old dynasty. It is true. But we are happy with our service to Islam and our Turkness. Ottomans are our brothers, not our master! We don't serve them, we serve Islam. If we betray our brothers, we are dishonest! We can't live without our honour.."

quote from Namık Kemal's book "Cezmi"
P.S: This book is only in Turkish.
Some photos from Our Old Palace "it is a museum now"
Han Saray/Khan Palace





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I hope there is a continuity to this. I will be very interested to know the history of the Genghiz Khan, the Tartars and Mongols bloodline and history until now.
Very informative posts, Behiç (seems to me you should have a title). Do you know the Mongol terms for positions like "eldest son" or "heir apparent" or "head of house"? The house name is Khan for a long time, is that correct?

Anyway, I guess I'd just like to know more about naming conventions and the language in general. I appreciate any information along linguistic lines.

The pictures above are lovely, by the way. We once had a chance to go out of our way to see the Palace, but were too pressed for time, and now regret that we didn't.
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Giray Dynasty

Giray Dynasty was the oldest and the biggest family and one of the mightiest goverment in the world. The dynasty finished at 1790 years but still the grandsons are living. For understanding the importance of that family, we can say that, Kubilay Khan which Marco Polo visited was their grand uncle, Hulagu Khan which burnt Baghdad was their again grand uncle. Also again for understanding its importance I must add that more than 1000 years in central asia and middle east the kingdom families couldnt use "Khané(king) after their names because only Chengiz family can use this title.
Giray Dynasty was the last Chengiz Khan family.

My name is Umut GERGIN and I am also comign from Giray Dynasty and I am a Giray Prince, Behic Giray is also in our family and he is one of my far cousin.

Also I saw a question about the head of the Giray Dynasty, there is no head because Kurultay (the group which occured from old people) is choosing the right giray price as Khan. All Giray family was muslim and still they are muslim. They lost their mongolian character and became Turkish but as you know turks and mongols are coming from the same root.
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Which is the reaction of the Giray Dynasty to the situation in Crimea now?
Dear Cory, Some Giray dynasty member still live in sevastopol and other cities in crimea and family and other tatars support ukranian crimea against russia they declared it.
Dear Behiç do you know turkish?

Lord Minister Evaoglou Captain Alexakis A. Ilker Sancak of Manahosz of Surmenia-Trabzon (Καπετανος Αλεχακις δο Ποντος
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