A Life Dedicated to Independence: Kuchum Khanİlyas Topsakal, Mecnun Tarık Yılmaz
Kuchum Khan, a descendant of the Shaybanids, put an end to the rule of Taibugids in the Sibir Khanate in 1563. Kuchum Khan, who had focused more on the internal affairs of the state because he shared the first years of his rule with his brother, started to deal with the foreign affairs of the state on the death of his brother. Thus, with the invasion of the Kazan Khanate by Moscow in 1552, he aimed to stop the Russian advance toward Siberia. Achieving this goal required the help of the indigenous tribes of Siberia, especially clergy from Bukhara and Kazan. Kuchum Khan, who had received the support of clergy and indigenous tribes since 1573, had extremely successful confronations in Siberia until 1582 but the involvement of Stroganovs and Cossacks in the struggles reversed the situation. Cossacks had to leave the city as a result of the occupation of Isker. Even though he succeeded in killing the Cossack Ataman Yermak Timofeyevich in 1584, Kuchum Khan could not take the city back. Despite this, after the death of Yermak Timofeyevich, he fought the central Russian troops who arrived in Siberia until 1598.
Bağımsızlığa Adanmış Bir Hayat: Küçüm Hanİlyas Topsakal, Mecnun Tarık Yılmaz
Şeybani soyundan gelen Küçüm Han, 1563 yılında Sibir Hanlığı’ndaki Taybuga hâkimiyetine son vermiştir. İktidarının ilk yıllarını ağabeyi ile birlikte paylaşmasından dolayı daha çok devletin iç meselelerine yoğunlaşan Küçüm Han, ağabeyinin ölmesiyle birlikte devletin dış meseleleriyle de uğraşmaya başlamıştır. Böylece Moskova’nın 1552 yılında Kazan Hanlığı’nı işgal etmesiyle birlikte Sibirya’ya doğru hız kazanan Rus ilerleyişini durdurmayı kendisine amaç edinmiştir. Bu amacını gerçekleştirmek için ise, Buhara ve Kazan’dan gelen din adamları başta olmak üzere, Sibirya’nın yerli kabilelerinin yardımına ihtiyaç duymuştur. 1573 yılından itibaren din adamlarının ve yerli kabilelerin desteğini alan Küçüm Han, 1582 yılına kadar Sibirya’da son derece başarılı mücadeleler vermiştir. Ancak mücadelelere Stroganovların ve Kozakların dahil olması durumu tersine çevirmiştir. Kozakların, İsker’i işgal etmesi sonucu şehri terk etmek zorunda kalmıştır. 1584 yılında Kozak Ataman’ı Yermak Timofeyeviç’i öldürmeyi başarsa da şehri geri alamamış; ama buna rağmen Yermak Timofeyeviç’in ölümünden sonra Sibirya’ya gelen merkezi Rus birlikleriyle 1598 yılına kadar mücadele etmeyi sürdürmüştür.
In the thirteenth century, lands of the Ishım, Tobol, Irtysh, and Tura Rivers, were handed over to the Kyrgyz nobleman Taibuga, son of Mamık by Genghis Khan. Taibuga established an autonomous country centered on Chimgi-Tura (the current Tyumen) and his successors Hodja Khan and Mar Khan carried on his legacy. However, in time, Taibugids domination was threatened by the Shaybanids, who wanted to take over this country. Thus began the conflict for domination between the Taibugids and the Shaybanids. Although the Shaybanids sovereign Ibak Khan did take the country on 1468, he could not hold it for long and lost it back to the Taibugas in a short time.
Following this struggle with the Shaybanids, the Taibugids decided to foster close relations with Moscow to keep their domination strong. Therefore, Moscow was gaining control, first by occupying the Kazan Kaganate in 1552 and the Astrakhan Kaganate in 1556 but also by sending the Russian immigrants and miners to Perm, even spreading through Siberia. Nevertheless, in 1557–1558, Kuchum Khan, who wanted to obtain Sibir Kaganate, put an end to the Taibugids and Moscow’s hopes of possessing this country and in 1563 put an end to the rule of the Taibugids in the Siberian Khanate.
Conversely, different opinions have been expressed about the genealogy of Kuchum Khan, and historians are divided over this. The first of these views was formed on the basis of some events relating to Kuchum Khan and that Kuchum Khan was connected to the Kazakh Horde lineage. As it happens, some of the historians who expressed this thought acted independently of the information given in the main sources, while others simply misinterpreted the main sources. The second opinion about the ancestry of Kuchum Khan is that he belonged to the Shaybanids. This view was first put forward by Kadir Ali Bek Celayiri in 1602, and then Abu’l Gazi Bahadır Han made some alterations regarding the family members of Kuchum Khan in line with the same opinion. Despite this, the information given by these two people about the ancestry of Kuchum Khan caused some mistakes when considered within the framework of main sources and logic. Aware of these mistakes, Sh. Marcani made new inferences about the family members of Kuchum Khan by synthesizing the information given by Kadir Ali Bek Celayiri and Abu’l Gazi Bahadır Han within the framework of his research over time. As a result, although Kadir Ali Bek Celayiri and Abu’l Gazi Bahadır Han and Sh. Marcani have expressed various opinions about the family members of Kuchum Khan, it is still valid today, although it is certain that Kuchum Khan is descended from the Shaybanid dynasty.
Thus, Kuchum Khan, whom sources confirm as a descendant of the Shaybanids, put an end to the rule of Taibugids in the Siberian Khanate in 1563. Kuchum Khan, who had focused more on the internal affairs of the state because he shared the first years of his rule with his brother, started to deal with the foreign affairs of the state on the death of his brother. Therefore, with the invasion of the Kazan Khanate by Moscow in 1552, he aimed to stop the Russian advance toward Siberia. Achieving this goal required the help of the indigenous tribes of Siberia, especially clergy from Bukhara and Kazan.
Kuchum Khan, who received the support of the clergy and local tribes from 1573, conducted extremely successful struggles in Siberia until 1582. However, the fact that the Stroganovs, whose businesses were damaged by the attacks of Kuchum Khan, and the Cossacks, who were supported financially by the Stroganovs, participated in these struggles reversed the situation. Although Kuchum Khan fought with the Cossacks who left the Stroganovs’ households in Chusovo on September 1, 1582, he was forced to leave the city on October 26, 1582, as a result of the occupation of Isker by the Cossacks. Despite this, Kuchum Khan, who was determined to ensure the independence of the Sibir Khanate, attacked the Cossacks with various tactics applied in the steppe and managed to both wear out the Cossack troops and kill various Cossack Atamans at different times. As can be seen, from 1584, the gradual loss of important leaders of the Cossack troops and the emerging food problem confirm the success of Kuchum Khan and his subordinates.
After these events, Kuchum Khan made an agreement with the people of Bukhara to deal the final blow to the Cossacks in June 1584 and succeeded in killing the Cossack Ataman Yermak Timofeyevich in an ambush set up on the Vagay River. However, due to the struggle for power in the Siberian Khanate, Kuchum Khan could not take back the Isker. Despite this, after the death of Yermak Timofeyevich, Moscow, taking advantage of the power struggles in Siberia, continued the process leading to the Russian domination of the region with the military governors it sent to Siberia. Thus, while Moscow was building various Russian cities in the region, it struggled with Kuchum Khan and his followers. Despite this, Kuchum Khan, who was determined to expel the Russian central troops as well as expelling the Cossacks from Siberia, fought the central Russian troops until 1598. As of that year, there were not enough soldiers around Kuchum Khan and sources indicate that the lands of the Mangits, namely, the Nogay Orda, were lost.
In our study, first of all, under the title “Kuchum Khan’s Genealogy,” the opinions expressed on whether Kuchum Khan is a Kazakh or a Shaybanid will be assessed, then, under the title “Life of Kuchum Khan,” information will be presented about the wars that involved Kuchum Khan and his sense of independence.