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An Heir of Chinghis Khan in the Age of Revolutions: The Story of an Unruly Crimean Prince in the Ottoman Empire and Beyond

Hakan Kirimli
De Gruyuter
Nov 2017

Focusing on Cengiz Mehmed Geray, an idiosyncratic member of the ruling house of the Crimean Khanate, this article examines how a Crimean Prince became an active participant in the stormy politics of the Ottoman Empire and later of Europe, as a result of his distinguished Chinghisid pedigree, in the age of revolutions. The first section of this article discusses the place of the Geray and Chinghisid lineage within Ottoman imperial politics. The second section focuses on the period following the Gerays’ departure from Crimea. It illustrates how members of the family, although scattered throughout the Balkans, operated in the provincial and imperial politics of the Ottoman Empire in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The following section introduces Cengiz Geray and his turbulent life between the Ottoman and Russian Empires, and discusses how he became an actor in a revolutionary age. The last section is a short discussion on Chinghisid charisma in the early modern Europe, Russia and the Ottoman Empire.