Ottoman Empire and the Crimean Khanate: A Symbiotic Alliance or Veiled Rivalry?

Event Sponsor
Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, CREEES Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies
Encina Hall West, Room 219

The Crimean Khanate was one of the successor states of the Golden Horde. In 1475, it entered into an alliance with the Ottoman Empire which gradually evolved into a vassalage. The Ottoman tutelage (or protectorate) over the Crimean Khanate lasted for exactly 300 years (1475-1774).  During this period, vital mutual interests bound both states together and they benefitted from each other’s existence. The Ottomans, thanks to the Crimean Khanate, secured their hold over the Black Sea basin and its vast northern hinterland and made extensive use of the distinguished Crimean Tatar cavalry in their numerous wars. The Crimean Khanate, on the other hand, enjoyed the powerful support of the Ottoman Empire against its own regional enemies. 

The benefits, however, only covered the deep-seated and reciprocal feelings of dynastical preeminence and ensuing rivalries. While the Ottoman sultans were wary of the Crimean khans, the latter were uncomfortable about the intervertion of the Porte into the affairs of the khanate. At any rate, The Ottoman-Crimean relations were of very peculiar character and they did not resemble at all to those of other Ottoman allies or vassal states. The Ottoman protectorate over the Crimean Khanate, as well as its eventual termination in 1774, had fateful consequences for both states. 

Hakan Kırımlı is Associate Professor of Russian Studies at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. Dr. Kırımlı received his Ph.D in the Department of History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests center on the history of Turkic/Muslim peoples of the Russian Empire, with a particular emphasis on Crimean Tatars, Turko-Russian and Turko-Ukrainian relations. His publications include: National Movements and National Identity Among the Crimean Tatars (1905-1916)(Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1996), and several articles in Cahiers du Monde Russe et Soviétique(Paris), Middle Eastern Studies (London), Central Asian Survey (London), Voprosy Istorii(Moscow), Belleten(Ankara), and others. 

Dr. Kırımlı is the 2015-2016 Aron Rodrigue International Visitor and the 2015-2016 FSI-Humanities Center International Visitor at Stanford University.

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