Kerey Khan (approximately reigned in 1459-1473) Janibek Khan (approximately in 1473-1480)
One of the first outstanding personalities, who have played a huge role in the history of the Kazakh society, became sultans- chingizids and then khans - Kerey and Janibek. They were the leaders, who had a direct impact on the formation of the Kazakh Khanate.
It was from founding of the state mechanism starts the actual history of Kazakhstan, when in the middle of the XV century in the vast steppes of Central Asia to the historic arena appeared the state, which called itself the Kazakh.
In the first half of the XV century Abulhair Khanate, or, as they called him, Uzbek ulus, which possessions included lands of Dasht-i-Qipchaq, modern Central Kazakhstan and some parts of western Kazakhstan, was one of the most powerful states in Central Asia.
Abulhair khan was ambitious of power person and quite cruelly managed with close sultans that caused their discontent and resistance. However, until middle of the fiftieth years of the XV century they could not render serious resistance to Abulkhair and were in certain dependence. Feeling constant danger from the governor of the Uzbek ulus, young sultans sought to keep from him. Short-sighted policy of Abulkhair, continuous wars, economic instability, civil strife and despotism were kept his citizens in constant awe and tension, delivered the mass of burdens and deprivations, had pernicious effect on economic life of edge.
Kerey and Janibek skillfully used this situation in Abulkhair’s khanate. They managed to create an original center of the current opposition in Western Kazakhstan. Rebellious sultans very carefully, but tenaciously held in their hands a number of trade and major cities (Sygnak, Suzak, Sauran), which rich by water and pasture marginal land. They with subjected tribes roamed the steppes of Central and Western Kazakhstan. Gradually a part of former Abulhair’s supporters, who dissatisfied policy of arbitrariness in the steppe, migrated to them.
Abulkhair did not intend to suffer long separatism and Kerey and Zhanibek's willfulness and moved the armies in the areas controlled by them. Sultans at that moment evaded from direct fight and went to the south, to Zhetisu. The medieval author Mahmoud of ibn-Vali wrote about events of that time: "When Abulkhair won over sons his enemies in the Desht-i Qipchaq areas, some of descendants of Dzhuchi khan , like , Kerey-khan and Zhanibek-khan … left a submission and obedience circle and preferred to leave the homeland. They refused from inherited (from ancestors) the countries, they stepped into the foreign land. With group of people, who “worthy recognitions”, they chose a way to Mogulistan". It is possible to assume that among persons "worthy recognitions", most likely, were Katan bey, Asan-Kaygy, Shalkiiz zhirau, Zhirenshe-sheshen (orator) and others. According to the Kazakh legends, murder of Akzhol bey, a representative of an influential kin -Argin , and the unfair solution of a lawsuit Abulkhair were a direct reason for sultans carting away.
So, the rebelled sultans sent the horses to the south, to Mogulistan. The broken-away part of supporters Zhanibek and Kerey began to call himself Kazakhs. By way of life, language and culture, inhabitants of Mogulistan had little differences from inhabitants of the Uzbek ulus. Mirza Muhammad Haidar in the work "Tarikh-i Rashidi" reported that the possessor of Mogulistan Esen-Buga "… Willingly accepted them and provided them Chu's districts and Kozy-Basha" (now it is the district between Lake Balkhash and Kurday pass). The union with Zhanibek and Kerey was extremely necessary for Esen-Buga. Leaning on them, he managed to solve a number of the foreign policy tasks of protection a borders of Mogulistan.
Kerey and Zhanibek's departure from Abulkhair became only the first step to formation of Kazakh autonomy. At that time Zhanibek was about forty years old. Kerey was little years older. Thus, it was a considered and verified step from their party . Besides, this step was taken thanks to mass moods, to break off all relations with Abulkhair. There was fact that the number of their supporters constantly grew.
Exact date of a carting of Zhanibek and Kerey is still unknown. According to one data, it happened in 1456, on another – 1459-1460. Authentically one fact that this short period of the end of the fiftieth — the beginning of the sixtieth years was decisive in formation of the Kazakh state.
By 1465-1466 the power of sultans in the state formed by them finally became stronger. There were also attributes, characteristic for the nomadic states,bey’s courts, tax system, territorial borders.
Abulkhair too late understood to what consequences could lead stubborn willfulness of rebellious khans. In the fall of 1468 he set the army against Zhaibek and Kerey, to crush the young khanate, but during this campaign died, without having achieved his aim.
The Uzbek ulus after Abulkhair's death in 1468 came to final frustration, a disorders began in ulus. Part of citizens migrated to Zhanibek and Kerey, they brought about two hundred thousand people. The name “Kazakh Uzbek” was approved by them . Thus, rebellious sultans became initiators of creation of new state education – the Kazakh khanate.
After Abulkhair’s death, Zhanibek and Kerey put a lot of effort to attach his lands. From the very beginning of a khanate formation they moved persistent fight for the cities near Syr Darya. which were excellent fortresses and the trade and economic centers. They tried to be approved finally in the lands surrounding the cities of Sygnak, Suzak, etc. So wars in the Kazakh lands did not cease. The whistling of feathered arrows was so frequent, as well as wind whistle. Blood flew, anxiously neighing a fighting horses, the struck soldiers fell, their wives and mother sobbed. Whether but it occupied minds of governors! Long three decades the first Kazakh khans waged war for the possession and their expansion, which supported everywhere by the nobility and common people.
Kerey Khan ( year of birth is unknown - died in the early 70s . XV c.) . Information about one of the first khans of Kazakh Khanate is very scarce . In historical sources of 50-s of XV. The name Kerey khan is not mentioned. A few posts about him in numbers of east manuscripts, where he serves as Senior Khan of Kazakhs. According to sources Kerey Khan was the son of Orys Khan’s grandson - Bolat .
There are no information in sources about his father sultan Anika Bulat. But the name of his grandfather – Toktakiy, is mentioned in many works of eastern authors . He was the eldest son of Orys Khan and after his death in 1377 succeeded his father. Toktakyi was gentle and courteous man. But this peaceful virtues of Kerey’s grandfather was not destined to appear in full: he reigned only three months and was killed in the war with the Emir Timur and his protege - Mangyshlak Toktamysh oglanom (later the Khan of the Golden Horde).
Kerey was the only son of sultan Bolat. His activity is connected with the events occurring to the middle of the 70th years of the XV century, where he played an active role. As a result of these events the power in the Uzbek ulus passed from Abulkhair khan to Kerey and Zhanibek's dynasty. The eldest Kerey was raised on a white rug and declared Khan.
The last mention of the name Kerey khan in the historical annals of 1472-1473 is connected with attack of sultan Burysh-oglan on Mogul Horde of Zhunus khan. To the 80th years the management passes to Buryndyk khan, one of numerous sons of Kerey, who has continued affairs of the father.
In the historical materials, which narrating about transferring khan’s power by Kereyto the hands of his son Buryndyk, does not contain exact data on the state activity of Kerey khan in the period of its reign in the Uzbek ulus, his destiny, time and circumstances of death. Most likely, Kerey khan died after events of 1472-1473.
Zhanibek khan (year of birth and death are unknown) – one of founders of the Kazakh khanate and a dynasty of the Kazakh khans. Zhanibek was a son of Barack khan and the grandson of Kuyruchuk khan- the fourth son of Orys khan. There are a bit information about Zhanibek’s grandfather - Kuyruchuk. There is such story in "Zafar-name" Sharaf of ad-Din Ali Jasdi (XV century). In April, 1395 on Terek there was a decisive battle between the emir Timur and Toktamysh, the khan of the Golden Horde. Toktamysh suffered defeat and ran. Timur moved to a pursuit the opponent. Having arrived to a crossing place through Volga (Itil), called by the Turatur crossing, "he gave to the son of Urys khan, Kuyruchuk-oglan, who was with him, group of brave Uzbeks, who servants in the highest yard, prepared accessories of padish advantage, awarded him with embroidered gold robe and a gold belt, ordered to him transported through Itil(V olga) and transferred him the Ulus Dzhuchi. The tsarevitch from a Dzhuchi kin, according to an order, came over to riverside and was engaged in bringing of scattered army and the system of the ulus". About that when and as Kuyruchuk-oglan appeared in Timur's horde and about circumstances of his board Ulus Dzhuchi of data is not present. It is known only that his reign was short: soon after Timur's leaving from the territory of the Gold Horde his protege was killed.
The Zhanibek’s father Barack khan was known as the person of desperate bravery and very vigorous governor. He possessed all qualities of the person of action: courage, determination, persistence. At the very beginning of the 20th of the XV century he won a victory over the political opponents in Syr Darya possession of Dzhuchids. From there he acted in the Volga region on war with applicants for a Golden Horde’s throne. Having victoriously crushed army of the Hudayda , khan, he captured Sarai, the capital of the Golden Horde. Then he got back to shores of Syr-Darya and was at war with Timur's grandson, Ulugbek, the governor of Transoxiana.
Barack khan had three sons and one daughter Saadat-begim; names of his sons: Mir-Sayid, Mir-Kasim, Abu-Said, also called him Zhanibek". It is known that Barack khan died in1428; therefore, it is possible to assume that Zhanibek was born no later than in 1429. Mentions of Zhanibek-khan meet in many east books that testifies to his popularity. There he acts as the leader of Kazakhs, the brave soldier, one of founders of the Kazakh khanate. His name is almost always mentioned near the name Kerey khan. However it is unlikely that Zhanibek was the independent governor. Sources say that he "was called Kichi Zhanibek khan ", that means the junior khan. And he "… in all affairs obeyed and submitted to Buryndyk khan " who continued business of his father Kerey khan. It must assume that Zhanibek khan was very educated person of this time, knowing history of the state of Genghis Khan – the Golden Horde. Zhanibek gave to the people, inhabiting his state, the name Kazakh, and called the state as Kazakh khanate. He had to be engaged in mainly internal affairs: creation of the center of the Kazakh khanate with the capital in Saray-Jük and distribution of lands between the Kazakh kins; army creation, adjustment of trade with neighboring countries and stamping of coins. The protection of borders of the khanate he instructed to his sons.
Zhanibek khan had nine sons. His third son Kasym became a khan and managed to approve the sovereignty over huge open spaces of the Kazakh lands. During his reign Kazakh khanate became one of the strongest states in Central Asia.
This is information about Kerey and Zhanibek khans, founders of the first Kazakh state. The place of their burial is unknown. But there is a memory; there is a posterity; there is a khanate, which was destined to have a long life.