ASTANA CELEBRATES 550TH ANNIVERSARY OF KAZAKH KHANATE,
HOLDS CCTS SUMMIT
Kazakhstan celebrated the 550th anniversary of the formation of the Kazakh
Khanate on Sept. 11 with a number of events throughout the capital. President
Nursultan Nazarbayev congratulated all the country’s citizens on the day during
a solemn meeting held in the city’s Palace of Independence.
The event was
attended by the Presidents of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Kyrgyzstan Almazbek
Atambayev, Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Ismet Yilmaz and
Turkmenistan Deputy Prime Minister Sapardurdy Toylyev, as well as deputies of
the Kazakh Parliament and representatives of the country’s intelligentsia,
sports, culture and arts fields.
participants, Nazarbayev said the celebration was a tribute to the glorious
past of the nation and reminder of the history lessons for today’s generation.
He emphasised that the generation raised in independent Kazakhstan had
lifted the prestige of the country to unprecedented heights by realising the
centuries-old dream of its ancestors.
The head of
state stressed that Kazakhstan will always cherish and preserve the friendship
and trust with its neighbours and build good relations with all countries in
remember that we share a centuries-long historic path with Russia, especially
the Russian people. Over the years of independence, we have also written
new pages of history together with the European Union and American and Muslim
countries. Important international events hosted in our country are now
reflected on the pages of the newest history,” he said.
a monument dedicated to the Kazakh Khanate anniversary will be opened in a
month in ancient Taraz, a city which has more than 2,000 years of history
located in an area where events related to the formation of the Khanate 550
years ago took place.
meeting, the Akorda presidential residence held the fifth summit of the
Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States (CCTS), reported the President’s
The meeting was
devoted to the theme of development of cooperation in the sphere of
information. Speeches were given by Nazarbayev, Aliyev, Atambayev, Yilmaz and
Toylyev, as well as CCTS Secretary General Ramil Hasanov.
In his speech,
Nazarbayev said the CCTS fifth summit is an important step towards the
integration of the Turkic world. He put forward a number of proposals for the
President suggested accelerating the adoption of the concept of Turkic world
integration prepared by the Turkic Academy. He also drew attention to the
importance of joint efforts in the fight against terrorist, extremist and
interested in the soonest establishment of peace and stability in Syria, Libya
and Iraq. We stand for the settlement of the situation between Palestine and
Israel. We support solely peaceful rehabilitation of Afghanistan,” he said.
development of cooperation in trade and economic spheres, Nazarbayev noted each
of the CCTS member states has the chance to become a transcontinental transit
bridge connecting the economic and communication networks of China, Russia,
Europe, the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia.He also suggested
creating a common Turkic integration fund with the support of business
communities and sponsors from the member states.
event, the parties signed the fifth summit declaration as well as decrees on
the appointment of the Turkic Council Deputy Secretary General and President of
the Turkish Fund of Culture and Heritage.
announced that the sixth CCTS summit will be held in 2016 in Cholpon-Ata,
Kyrgyzstan, with the theme of national sports.
The council was
established in 2009 as an international intergovernmental organisation with the
overarching aim of promoting comprehensive cooperation among Turkic-speaking
states. Its founding member states were Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and
The same day,
Nazarbayev University hosted Mangilik El, an international scientific-practical
conference dedicated to the Kazakh Khanate anniversary. The conference was
attended by leading Kazak scholars and their counterparts from Azerbaijan,
Belarus, Bulgaria, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Israel, Italy,
Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, Spain, Switzerland,Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine,
the United States, and Uzbekistan.
was intended to scientifically reveal the role and significance of the Kazakh
Khanate in the history of the nation’s people and its statehood. The
participants considered the issues of preserving Kazakh moral ideals for future
generations in the framework of Mangilik El national idea and other important
The day was
capped with a large-scale theatrical show in Barys Ice Palace,the city’s
newly-built sports centre. The event was attended by the CCTS summit
participants and thousands of guests. During the performance, the audience was
shown the most significant events which occurred during the last 3,000 years on
the territory of modern Kazakhstan. One of the brightest parts of the ceremony
was the 300-year period of the Kazakh Khanate development and its culmination,
the establishment of an independent Kazakhstan.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov at a briefing for the
diplomatic corps dedicated to the celebration of the 550th Anniversary of the
foundation of the Kazakh Khanate.
This is a highly symbolic year for all citizens of our country.
It was exactly 550 years ago, here in the center of the Eurasian continent,
that our ancestors founded the Kazakh Khanate, a great creation of the nomadic
It was the starting point in the centuries-long nationhood of our people, which
has found its fullest expression in the modern country named Kazakhstan.
As our head of the state, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has written: “Assessing Kazakh
history, we must abandon the many stereotypes and instead understand properly
what aspects of traditional Kazakh society have ‘imprinted’ themselves into our
modern nation. ”.
It is this centuries-long period of the history of our country that laid the
foundation not only of our modern state but also of our multi-vector foreign
The Kazakh Khanate was not, of course, the first chapter in the history of the
It was heir to the Great Steppe empires – the Turkic Kaganate (of the 6th to
8th centuries) and Eke Mongol Ulus (the Great Empire of Genghis Khan).
However, their origins and development can be traced much further back in time.
The ancient history of the Great Eurasian steppe zone is primarily a history of
militant nomadic tribes.
The current territory of Kazakhstan were lands inhabited by Iranian-speaking
and Turkic-speaking tribes: the Saka, Kangly, Usuns and Huns.
These ethnic groups had to permanently overcome the twists and turns of war,
established diplomatic relations, concluded trade agreements, struck political
and military alliances, to extend permanently the territorial framework for the
future Kazakh state of today.
Even in the second half of the 5th century BC the man known as the Father of
History, the Greek author Herodotus described the vast eastern country of
Scythia, which would be also known as “the country of Saka people”.
Ancient Persian sources placed Saka, the population of Great Steppe, to the
north of the Amudarya and Syrdarya rivers.
The Saka civilization to the west was in contact with the Ancient Greeks and to
the east with the Chinese.
To the south, the Saka’s nomadic country of Turan bordered Iran, the land of
It was this era when the Silk Road, the trade artery linking the early
civilizations of East and West first began to emerge.
We also saw the rise of the first political entities within the present
territory of Kazakhstan.
Ssome historians cite Zoroastrianism’s sacred book of Avesta to point to a state
named Kangkha in the midstream of the Syrdarya River around the 7th and 6th
According to ancient Chinese document, the Book of Han, roughly the same areas
were occupied in the 2nd century BC by the State of Kangyui.
A successor to the political traditions of the Saka tribes, covering roughly
the lands of modern-day southeastern Kazakhstan and northern Kyrgyzstan, was
the State of Usun.
The arrival of the Great Empire of Huns signaled a milestone in the ethnic,
cultural and political development of the people of this land.
In the middle of the 6th century, a decisive role in the development of
language, culture and the worldview of the tribes inhabiting Kazakhstan was
played by the Turk Empire or Turkic Kaganate (referred to in written sources as
“Turkic El”), a major power of the Early Middle Age.
The first kagans’ policies were so in tune with the interests of all Turkic
tribes that the limits of their authority quickly expanded as far as the Black
Sea in the west and the Great Wall of China in the east.
Based on authoritative historical sources, President Nazarbayev has written
that “The first Turkic Empire (552-603) was part of the system of political and
economic relations between Byzantium, Iran and China.
In its heyday, the Turkic Empire stretched from Manchuria to the Gulf of Kerch
and from the Yenisei River to the Amu Darya. Therefore Turkic Kagans became the
creators of the first Eurasian empire”.
According to both medieval and modern historians, the Turkic states were the
direct successors of the Hun Empire.
The Turks, drawing on the achievements of western and eastern nations, created
a distinctive culture with its own writing system, the so-called Orkhon-Yenisei
Being at the crossroads of different religions, such as Tengrism, Christianity,
and Buddhism, the Turkic Kaganate also played a huge role in their subsequent
Following the collapse of the Turkic Kaganate, a series of new ethno-political
unions of Turkic tribes emerged one after another.
In the area of the Irtysh River, the State of Kimaks appeared in the late 8th
Its fall was caused by a powerful wave of migration from the east and in the
middle of the 9th century began the rise of Kypchaks.
Eventually they occupied much of Eurasia’s Great Steppe, with its borders
stretching from the Irtysh to the west as far as the Danube’s mouth, with the
entire area labeled in Arabic and Persian sources of the period as Desht-i
Kypchak (or the Kypchak Steppe).
In Russian sources the Kypchaks were called Polovtsy and European ones named
them Kumans or Kuns.
During the 12th and 13th centuries in Desht-i Kypchak there was a migration of
large masses of the population.
The Kypchak confederation was a set of clans and tribes, brought together by
both military and economic factors and from which the cultural and linguistic
unity of the people gradually emerged.
The fundamental transformation of political and cultural values, economic and
ethnic components of Eurasian political entities came in the 13th century after
the unification of the entire nomadic Central Asian peoples under the Mongol
Empire or Horde led by Genghis Khan.
This emerged following the Supreme congress of nomadic tribes or Kurultai- in
Renowned early 20th century Russian historian of Central Asia Vasily Bartold
highlighted the deep connections between the Turkic Kaganate and Genghis Khan’s
According to him, the numerically dominant Turkic-speaking tribes gradually
assimilated the core group of Mongolian-speaking warriors in central parts of
the Eurasian plains to shape new state entities in the Great Steppe.
Another milestone event for the future of the Kazakh Khanate was the partition
of the empire of Genghis Khan into several smaller informal states.
Among them, perhaps the largest was the Golden Horde (Altyn Orda) managed by
the descendants of his eldest son Juchi.
The Golden Horde was the first centralized state in post-Mongol period that
included most of the modern Kazakhstan’s territories.
Initially part of the Mongol Empire, it was under the control of Genghis Khan’s
grandson, Batu (1242-1256), who behaved essentially as an independent ruler.
The key principles of nomadic statehood, which were laid in the foundation of
the Golden Horde, were relevant for several other political entities which
developed from Genghis Khan’s descendants in the Great Steppe including the
White Horde, the Abulkhair Khanate, Moghulistan, and eventually, the Kazakh
Unlike in the previous era, each of these had a number of important features as
they emerged largely or exclusively on the territory of modern Kazakhstan.
They had similar political structures and far-reaching similarities in their
economic and cultural development.
In addition, they had common dynastic origin, sharing the tradition derived
from Gengis Khan and his descendants of the exclusive right of authority.
In the broader historical context, the remarkable civilization of the Great
Eurasian Steppe in the medieval period left its imprint on the development of
many of its neighbours too including Iran, China, India, Byzantium, Russia and
the countries of Eastern Europe.
It was on the basis of the nomadic civilization that the Kazakh people’s first
formalized state emerged and on which the best traditions and accomplishments
of political, economic, social and cultural development of the peoples
inhabiting the lands of modern-day Kazakhstan are now based.
The new state’s very name - the Kazakh Khanate – confirmed the emergence of a
new and hitherto unknown political entity in the 15th century’s historical
The 16th century Central Asian historian Mirza Mohammed Haydar Dulati reported
that the Kazakh Khanate was formed in autumn 1465 in the valleys of rivers Chu
and Talas in the modern Zhambyl Oblast in South and South-Eastern Kazakhstan.
This followed the migration of numerous tribes led by the princes (sultans)
Kerei and Zhanibek that rebelled against the despotic rule of Abulkhair Khan
from the rival dynastic branch of Shaibanids.
With the consolidation of the new state, a centralized system of political
authority was established in the Great Steppe.
Legislative and executive powers were concentrated in the hands of a supreme
ruler – Khan, who also performed the duties of a military commander.
The executive and legislative powers of Khan were regulated by such legislative
acts of the Kazakhs as the Qasym Khannyn Qasqa Zholy (Kassym Khan’s Trodden
Path), Esim Khannyn Eski Zholy (Esim Khan’s Old Path), and Zheti Zhargy (Seven
These were official documents that regulated public policy and society’s
functioning in general.
In turn, these laws were based on the centuries-old customs and traditions of
These codes shaped the public administration of the Kazakh State and defined
the concept of “Steppe Democracy.”
The Kazakh society had the right to openly regulate the complicated issues of
domestic and foreign policy by electing judges - biys, who represented the
A special role in strengthening the Kazakh Khanate, promoting the idea of unity
and spreading its message to the people as a whole was played by spiritual
leaders – storytellers – zhyraus and akyns, as well as musicians – kuishi.
Through their works, they raised issues such as the power and responsibility of
the khans, biys, batyrs (warriors) in securing the independence of the people.
They also drew attention to the importance of foreign policy and international
relations, as well as educating the younger generation.
Founded in 1465, the Kazakh Khanate over two and a half centuries evolved. Its
economic, political and cultural policies developed and strengthened.
Timely changes helped strengthen the national spirit of the Kazakh people.
In the 16th century, the Kazakh Khanate was already known throughout much of
According to the renowned Russian scholars Vladimir Dahl and Nikolay Baskakov,
the ethnic name of “Kazakh” has Turkic origins.
In old Turkic sources the concept of “kazaklyk” was used as a symbol of freedom
and the free way of life.
As Baskakov noted, all interpretations of the word “Kazakh” are related to each
other and have common roots which mean an “independent person”.
He wrote, “the same meaning is associated with the name of Turkic nationality –
Kazakhs – and it means a free and independent nomad”.
The early 16th century source known as Zayn ad-Din Vasifi’s “Badai Al-wakai”
labelled the lands ruled by Kazakh khans as “Kazakhstan”.
The map drawn in 1562 based on information collected by the English traveller
and diplomat Anthony Jenkinson – the envoy in Moscow for the English Queens
Mary and later Elizabeth the First named the vast land between “Tashkent” in
the south and “Siberia” in the north as “Cassackia”.
The greatest political prominence and territorial expansion of the Kazakh
Khanate was under the reigns of Khan Kasym who ruled between 1511 and 1523 and
later Khan Khaknazar who ruled between 1538 and 1580.
During these periods, the Kazakh khans pursued active, independent domestic and
They ruled the lands between the Caspian Sea to the Altay Mountains, an area
quite similar in its shape to the outline of modern Kazakhstan.
Already during this period, foreign policy was determined by a number of
important directions, or vectors, that would find their continuation later.
It was during this time, for instance, that early diplomatic relations were
established with Russia.
By the 17th century, the process of forming a single nation was generally
As a result, all Turkic and non-Turkic tribes of Central Asia, ruled by the
Kazakh Khanate, consolidated into an entity known as Kazakhs.
Ethnic traditions, customs, a common religion, language and culture were
The Kazakh Khanate’s rulers and their people fought hard to preserve the
integrity of their national territory.
It was only through the unity of the Kazakh people that external aggression,
civil strife and separatist tendencies of individual rulers could be overcome.
We must not also forget the Steppe diplomacy that successfully operated across
the vast lands of Eurasia.
The Kazakh Khanate gradually but confidently emerged as an independent force in
The Kazakh State rulers carried out their foreign policy by diplomatic activity
based on rules drawn up from their practical experiences of negotiations with
representative of other states.
Only a nation with genes of peacefulness, good-neighbourliness and tolerance in
its blood could have safeguarded such a vast territory through the art of
These have become the principles of a multi-vector policy, balance and pragmatism
of contemporary Kazakh diplomacy.
The Kazakh Khanate’s history was, however, cut short by a number of negative
In particular, military forces were depleted as a result of the bloody
defensive wars of 17th and 18th centuries against a powerful nomadic Empire of
the Dzungars and the parallel expansion of a new dominant power in Eurasia -
the Russian Empire.
It was the Russian Empire which eventually incorporated lands of the Kazakh
khanate - partly voluntarily, partly conquered by force of European weaponry,
in the 130 years between 1731 and 1865.
Then followed a controversial, although not a totally negative, period of
development under the rule of Russian Tsars.
In the early 20th century, when Russia faced a wave of revolutionary democratic
activism, a fresh impetus for Kazakh statehood came from the activities of a
new generation of Kazakh intellectuals.
This resulted in formation of the short-lived government of Alash Orda, with
Alash being a synonym of the name Kazakh.
The All-Kazakh Congress, held in Orenburg in 1917, created a territorial and
national autonomy “Alash” embracing a number of regions with Kazakh population.
All executive powers were passed to the Temporary National Council of Alash
Orda, which consisted of 25 members and was led by the eminent statesman,
liberal politician, and true patriot Alikhan Bukeyhanov.
Assessing the significance of those events, President Nazarbayev in his book
“In the Stream of History” wrote that through the Government of Alash Orda:
“The Kazakh nation obtained a real chance to reach its primary objective of
recreating a national statehood.
However, the peaceful development of events was interrupted by a new crisis in
the Russian society, which led to the establishment of a dictatorship of the
Nevertheless, this new socio-political realities led to Kazakhstan having a
chance to recapture some form of nationhood.
Milestone events in this process were the creation of the Kazakh Autonomous
Soviet Republic in 1920 and of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic in 1936.
But the truth is that autonomous Kazakh statehood existed only formally.
In reality there was limited sovereignty and a significant dependence of its
authorities first on the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and later
on the Soviet Union’s leadership.
This all changed with the independence that Kazakhstan gained in 1991 which saw
a new stage of Kazakh statehood.
This heralded dynamic political, economic, social and cultural development.
People throughout the world are now aware of our nation’s achievements during
They include the move of our nation’s capital, hosting the OSCE Summit in
Astana and the Congresses of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, the
triumph of our Olympic team in London 2012, and winning the right to host the
EXPO 2017 in Astana.
In his 2012 State-of-the Nation Address, President Nazarbayev set out our
country’s development strategy until 2050 to build on all we have achieved. .
I invited you today, your excellencies, distinguished representatives of your
governments and peoples to gather here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to
explain why the 550th anniversary of the first national state of the Kazakhs is
so important to our country and people.
In a few days in Astana, with the participation of our President and many
foreign visitors, there will be a celebration of this significant historical
It will coincide with a major international conference, which will bring
together scholars from around the world who study issues related to the history
of the Kazakh khanate.
I hope to see you as honored guests in the evening of September 11 at a
colorful performance in the newly commissioned Barys Ice Palace in Astana.
The celebration will continue the next day on streets and squares across our
In a month’s time, the ancient city of Taraz in the south of our country will
host further celebrations.
Taraz is the capital of the region where the actual events of the formation of
the Kazakh khanate took place.
There, on October 8, we will hold a big celebration under the open sky to
recreate the atmosphere of those historic events that happened on this land 550
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for listening to my attempt to explain the importance of the
celebration of the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh khanate for our nation which
I hope you will convey to your capitals.
I believe this will help improve understanding of the history and identity of
the people of Kazakhstan.
This can only help improve relations and cooperation between our countries.
Let me end what has been a lengthier statement than usual.
Thank you for your attention. I would be delighted to answer any questions and
to hear your opinions and comments on what I have said.
on the celebrations of the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate
Background to the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate
• The Kazakh Khanate was founded by Ghengisid Sultans (Princes) Kerey and
Zhanibek in 1465.
• The Khanate was located roughly on the territory of present-day Kazakhstan
and was the first separate state of the Kazakhs, a Turkic-speaking, formerly
nomadic people inhabiting the vast Eurasian steppe plains between Altai
mountains in the east and the Caspian sea in the west, Siberian taiga in the
north and Tian Shan mountains in the south.
• The formation of the independent Kazakh Khanate began when several tribes
under the rule of Sultans Kerey and Zhanibek departed from the Khanate of
Abu'l-Khayr Khan. The sultans led their people toward Mogolistan, eventually
settling in the area between rivers Chu and Talas in modern-day southeastern
Kazakhstan and founding an independent state.
• The Kazakh Khanate became known in Western Europe around 1562. It appeared as
“Cassackia” on a map drawn by Anthony Jenkinson, an English diplomat and
traveller, to fill in the area between “Tashkent” and “Siberia”.
• The Kazakh Khanate existed until 18th century until it broke into three parts
that were subsequently incorporated into the Russian Empire.
Why is Kazakhstan celebrating the anniversary?
• It is an opportunity for the Kazakh population to learn about their roots.
• It will be a moment to acknowledge the rich history and culture of
• The celebrations are aimed at further uniting the multi-ethnic population of
• The celebrations are aimed at strengthening the identity and unity of the
• President Nursultan Nazarbayev noted the importance of knowing the nation's
own history and passing this knowledge to the younger generations.
Celebration throughout the year
• Numerous events are being held to mark the occasion, including exhibitions,
historical performances and the filming of TV series.
• A total of around 100 different events have been planned around the country
• More details on the 550th anniversary can be found here:
Major events taking place to celebrate the anniversary in September and October
• 11 September:
a) A grand meeting to mark the occasion and to feature the speech by President
Nursultan Nazarbayev at the Palace of Independence
b) The Summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking Nations at the
Akorda Presidential Residence. While the summit is not directly related to the
celebration of the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate, it is nevertheless
significant that it brings together leaders of the Turkic-speaking world and is
taking place on the day the country holds these celebrations.
- The Council was established in 2009 as an international intergovernmental
organization, with the overarching aim of promoting comprehensive cooperation
among Turkic speaking states. Its four founding member States are Azerbaijan,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey.
- The Summit will be attended by Presidents of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev,
Azerbaijan -- Ilham Aliev, and Kyrgyzstan – Almazbek Atambayev, as well as the
Chairman of the Great National Assembly of Turkey Ismet Yilmaz.
c) An international academic conference that will discuss the topic of Kazakh
Khanate at the Nazarbayev University and will feature scholars from 20
countries whose academic works relate to the history of the Kazakh Khanate.
d) A large-scale theatrical show at the newly built Barys Ice Palace. The show,
set to last 1.5 hours, will trace the history of Kazakhstan from before the
establishment of the Kazakh Khanate to today’s independent nation. Delegates of
the Summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking Nations will attend
• 11-13 September: Festive events – celebrations will take place on the
Independence Square and the streets of Astana
- The events will include art exhibitions and concerts dedicated to the 550th
anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate
- The celebrations will end with a big gala concert.
• 8-9 October: Celebrations in the Zhambyl region – An outdoor show will take
place in Taraz, the capital of the Zhambyl region in the southern part of
- The Zhambyl region is the site of the declaration of the Kazakh Khanate in
- The celebrations will also include the unveiling of a monument dedicated to
the 550th anniversary, theatrical performances, historical re-enactments and
• Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world, as well as the world's
largest landlocked country. Its population is around 17 million.
• The country’s size means its natural landscape includes mountain tops,
glaciers, large forests, huge rocky canyons, as well as mountain lakes and
• Astana has been the capital of Kazakhstan since 10 December 1997.
• The city offers many attractions for tourists, including the Baiterek Tower,
Palace of Peace & Harmony, as well as many other buildings designed by
famous British architect Norman Foster, including the Khan Shatyr Entertainment
• Almaty is the largest city in the country and is located in the mountainous
area of southern Kazakhstan. Despite losing its status as the capital to
Astana, Almaty remains the major commercial and cultural centre of Kazakhstan
• Its attractions include the Medeo, which has one of the largest and unique
speed skating rinks in the world. Almaty also features Chimbulak (a skiing
resort), and the nearby Charyn canyon and the Big Almaty Lake.
• The citizens of the following countries can travel to Kazakhstan without a
visa for a period of 15 days: Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany,
Hungary, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, the UK and the U.S.
• Kazakhstan also offers a visa-free regime for up to 90 days to citizens of
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia
and Ukraine. Citizens of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Argentina, South Korea and
Turkey are allowed visa-free entry for up to 30 days.