Extract

Deep roots of the Tatars

  • The original Turkish foundation stone on the façade of the Taş Han in Karau Bazar announces that it was built by Ghazi Ağa in 1654–55

Karasu Bazar stands on the broad “dark river” of its name, the Kara Su, which flows north into the Sea of Azov. This was the middle of three prosperous Tatar market towns in well-watered farming country between the steppe and the mountains of the south coast – the other two are Akmesçit and Solhat.

Karl Koch wrote during his Crimea travels of 1844: “Catherine the Great left only two places, Kara-Su-Bazaar and Baktchi-Sarai, where the Tatars might live undisturbed.” In fact, two-thirds of Crimea’s population – anything between 150,000 and 300,000 of its people – had left in the decades surrounding the Russian annexation of 1783. Koch was told there were still 22 mosques in Karasu, yet he saw only seven minarets. Swathes of country lay abandoned, and the khan’s lands had reverted to the state.

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Issue 49, April 2013 Travels in Tartary
£10.00 / $13.16 / 63.02 TL
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Issue 49, April 2013 Travels in Tartary
£10.00 / $13.16 / 63.02 TL
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