After they had displaced the Oghuz, the Kipchaks occupied almost the entire territory of todays Kazakhstan in the history of Kazakhstan during the Golden Horde Age ( middle of the XI century), with the exception of only the Zhetisu region (Seven Rivers).
The land on which these tribes lived was called Desht-i Kypchak. The Kipchaks were considered one of the best warriors in Asia, so it is not surprising that these tribes became the main fighting force of the Golden Horde when the Mongols conquered Desht-i Kypchak. However, not all Kipchaks fell under the banner of Genghis Khan. Some of them, especially West Kipchaks, went to the Crimea. It can be assumed that they were the ancestors of the Crimean Tatars.
In 1218, Mongols invaded the territory of Kazakhstan. Genghis Khan’s troops marched through Syrdarya, destroying cities such as Otrar, Sygnak and Asnas to their foundations. Initially the nomads put up fierce resistance, but then many tribes laid down their weapons and joined the Mongolian army, either voluntarily or under duress.
The Turkish steppe became part of the Mongolian Ulus (horde), which was led by the sons of Genghis Khan. The ruler of eastern Desht-i Kypchak (from Balchash to the Lower Volga region) became Jochi, the elder son of the leader. The lands of Turkestan, Zhetisu and Mawara’unnahr, became part of Ulus Chagatai. The third son of Genghis Khan – Ögedei Khan received, in order, a northeastern part of Zhetisu, Tarbagatai, as well as areas of Upper Irtysh and Western Mongolia.
East Desht-i Kypchak, part of the territory of Khorezm and Western Siberia became part of the Golden Horde – the state founded by Batu (middle son of Jochi). The capital of the empire became the city of Sarai-Batu, which is located near today’s Astrakhan.
The overwhelming majority of the Horde were representatives of Turkic tribes such as Kipchak, Kanglis, Nayman, Kereits and Conghurats. It is paradoxical, but even then in the Golden Horde, the Mongols were an ethnic minority. Historians estimate that they made up only a fifth of the entire Batu army.
The year 1391 was tragic for the rulers of the Golden Horde. In that year, Amir Temur (Tamerlan), or “Iron Timur”, who was so respectfully honoured by his tribesmen, defeated the army of the Horde, whereupon the once powerful state was divided into two parts – the western – Ak-Orda and the eastern – Kok-Orda. The latter in turn was divided into two further wings – the Nogai Horde and the Uzbek Khanate. ⇒ History of Kazakhstan in the era of the Khanates