Ablai Khan

Ablai-Khan (Lang-kk|Абылай (Әбілмансұр) хан; 1711 - 1781) was a Kazakh khan of the Middle Juz. Born as Abulmansur. Ablai-Khan belonged to the senior branch of descendants of the 15th century founder of the Kazakh state, Janybek Khan. In the first half of the 18th century Ablai-Khan proved to be a talented organizer and commander as he headed detachments of the Kazakh militia fighting the Dzungars. He participated in the most significant battles against the Dzungars from the 1720s to the 1750s, for which he was declared a "batyr" ("hero") by the people.

Ablai's activity aimed to create a strong and independent Kazakh state. He headed the unified forces of the Kazakhs and furthered the centralization of state power in Kazakhstan. Until his election as the Khan of the three Jüzes Ablai had to compete with Khan Abul Mambet and his descendants of Middle Juz for leadership. Initially, Russia recognized Abul Mambet as the Khan of Middle Juz, while Ablai was supported by China. Ablai's talent in playing China against Russia gradually made him the unrivalled Khan of the steppe. Unlike Abulkhair Khan of Kishi Jüz, Ablai never submitted to Russian rule. In 1771 at the meeting of the representatives of the three hordes (Kazakh Jüz "zhuz" or "one hundred"), Ablai was elected as the Kazakh khan. Russian Empress requested that the title of Khan should be recognized and officially approved by Russia. To that end she sent an official letter to Petropavlovsk where Ablai was expected to receive the title in 1779. He never showed up at the fort, declining Russia's request to appoint him as the Khan of Middle Juz. In contrast to Ablai, other Khans and sultans had been competing for the lavish gifts and stipends of the Emperors of Russia in return for their submission.

During the Qing campaigns against the Dzungars, Ablai Khan chose not to take sides in the Dzungar-Chinese conflict. Once the conflict was settled, Ablai offered his submission to the Qianlong Emperor. Ablai was confirmed as Kazakh khan by both the Chinese and the Russians. He lead numerous campaigns against Kokand Khanate and Kyrgyzs. In the last campaign his troops liberated many cities in Southern Kazakhstan and even captured Tashkent. Then he procedeed to present day Kyrgyzstan and won the furious battle with troops of local warlords.Upon his death in 1781 he was interred in the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasavi in Hazrat-e Turkestan. Ablai Khan's descendants in Kazakhstan include Chokan Valikhanov.

The life of Ablai Khan is the subject material for the 2005 Kazakhstani film Nomad ( _kk. Көшпенділер)

ources

*Alexei I. Levshin, _kk. Opisanie kirgiz-kazach’ikh ili kirgiz-kaisatskikh ord i stepei (St Petersburg,. 1832).
* [http://www.kazak.de/13931.html Famous Kazakhs] Website on the Kazakh Diaspora in Germany
* [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-73648/Kazakstan#598979.hook History of Kazakhstan to 1700] Encyclopedia Britannica Online.


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