Hacı I Giray

Hacı I, Malek
Khan of Crimea
Reign 1441 – 1466
Successor Nur Devlet
Born 1397
Died 1466
Full name
Hacı Giray
House Giray
Father Hyias-ed-Din
Religion Islam

Hacı I Giray, Melek Haji Girai (Crimean Tatar: Bır Hacı Geray, بیر-حاجى كراى; Melek Hacı Geray, ملک خاجى كراى; died 1466) was the founder and the first ruler of the Crimean Khanate. He is sometimes referred to as Hacı Devlet Giray or Devlet Hacı Giray. He is said to have been an 11th generation descendant of Tughril, Khan of the Keraites whose descendants intermarried with the Genghisids (Mongol imperial clan of Genghis Khan and his successors).

Crimean Tatar national flag with golden Taraq Tamğa

He ascended the throne after a long struggle against the khans of the Golden Horde for the independence of the Crimean Khanate in which he was supported by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. While some sources state he came to power as early as 1428 or 1434, the first coins of Haci Giray are not earlier than 1441.

Hacı I Giray founded the Giray Dynasty of the Crimean Khans, and introduced the new state symbol: "taraq tamğa" or "the trident of Girays", which is derived from the scales insignia of the Golden Horde. He established his residence in Salaçıq village (in the vicinity of modern Bakhchisaray near the Çufut Qale fortress). A contemporary European source, The Chronicle of Dlugosz, described him as a person of outstanding personal values and a perfect governor.

According to some historians in 1456 he was deposed for a short period by the revolt of his own son Hayder, but was restored that the same year.

Hacı I Giray is buried in the Durbe in Salaçıq in Bakhchisaray.

Preceded by
Khan of Crimea
Succeeded by
Nur Devlet

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