Safa Giray of Kazan

Safa Giray (Tatar: Safagäräy, Crimean Tatar: Safa Geray; Iske imla: صفا گرای) was three times khan of Khanate of Kazan (1524–31, 1535–46, 1546–49). He was the nephew[1] of the previous Kazan Khan Sahib Giray and brother of Moxammat Giray.

Safa Giray
Khan of the Tatar Kazan Khanate
(1st reign)
Reign1524 – 1531
PredecessorSahib I Giray
SuccessorCanghali
Khan of the Tatar Kazan Khanate
(2nd reign)
Reign1535 – 1546
PredecessorCanghali
SuccessorShahghali
Khan of the Tatar Kazan Khanate
(3rd reign)
Reign1546 – 1549
PredecessorShahghali
SuccessorUtameshgaray
Born1510
Died1549

First reign 1524–31: In 1524 a large Russian army approached Kazan and Sahib Giray fled. His 13-year-old nephew Safa Giray took his place. The Russian siege of Kazan failed and they withdrew. In 1530 another Russian army burned part of Kazan and Safa Giray fled to Arsk. The matter was settled when a faction deposed Safa Giray and enthroned the pro-Russian Jan Ali.

Second reign 1535–46: Four years later, in 1535 the Kazan nobility expelled or killed the pro-Russian Jan Ali and Safa Giray returned to the throne. He married Jan Ali's wife or widow Söyembikä of Kazan. The pro-Russian faction wanted to enthrone Jan Ali's brother Shah Ali, but they were unsuccessful. The choice of an anti-Russian khan led to border fighting around Nizhny Novgorod. In 1537 or 1538 Safa Giary burned the outskirts of Murom and withdrew on the approach of a Russian army. In 1546 two Russian armies raided near Kazan and withdrew. In 1546 a Kazan faction revolted and Safa Giray fled to his father-in-law Yusuf of the Nogai horde. He was replaced by the pro-Russian Shahghali (Shah Ali).

Third reign 1546–49: Shah Ali soon found his position impossible and after a few months slipped out of town. Safa Giray returned with a Nogai army but Shah Ali's flight made the army unnecessary. Leaders of the pro-Russian faction fled. In late 1547 Ivan the Terrible in person led a winter campaign against Kazan, but an early thaw made the roads and rivers impassible, so he returned to Moscow. Part of the army continued, won a few battles and withdrew.

Safa Giray died in 1549. Reason of his death is unclear, but it is said that he was poisoned by his enemies.[2] After his death his infant son Utamesh ascended the throne. His wife, Söyembikä became Regent.

See alsoEdit

Preceded by
Sahib Giray
Khan of Kazan
1525–1532
Succeeded by
Canghali
Preceded by
Canghali
Khan of Kazan
1535–1546
Succeeded by
Shahgali
Preceded by
Shahgali
Khan of Kazan
1546–1549
Succeeded by
Utamesh

ReferencesEdit

  • Henry Hoyle Howorth, History of the Mongols, 1880, Part 2, pp 388–392, 400-403, 404-405
  1. ^ The Russian Wikipedia under Safa Giray and Mengli Giray makes him the son of Fetikh (Sahib's brother), son of Mengli, who died in 1510, the same year as Safa's birth. This needs more documentation.
  2. ^ М.Г. Худяков. Очерки по истории Казанского ханства. М., 1991 (in Russian)