Mansur Khan (Moghul Khan)

Mansur Khan (1482/31543) (Chinese: 速檀满速儿; pinyin: Sùtán Mǎnsù'ér; Uyghur: منصور خان), was a khan of eastern Moghulistan from 1503 until his death. From his father Ahmad Alaq, the previous khan, he inherited the eastern parts of Moghulistan proper (Yili area), the Muslim oasis cities of Yanqi, Baicheng, and Kuche, and the Buddhist "Uighur" holdout of Turfan.[1] He also led a jihad of conquest against Oirat Mongol and Chinese territories to the east, including Hami and Dunhuang, and attempted to convert the Kyrgyz to Islam.[2]


When he was nineteen, Mansur was made khan by his father, who departed to join his brother Mahmud Khan in a campaign against the Shaybanid Uzbeks of Transoxiana. The campaign ended in disaster, as both Ahmad and Mahmud were captured. They were released but Ahmad died shortly after in Aksu. Following Ahmad's death, Mansur set up his court in Aksu.

Rebellion and expeditions

Mansur's rule was quickly challenged by the Dughlat amir Mirza Aba Bakr, who, although in theory was a Moghul vassal, reigned virtually independently in Yarkand and Kashgar. The Mirza set out with an army for Aksu; upon learning of this Mansur prepared the town for a siege and departed. Aksu was taken by storm and plundered, after which the Mirza's army destroyed the towns of Bai and Kucha before returning to Kashgar.

In 1508 Mansur's uncle Mahmud Khan left western Moghulistan (present Kyrgyzstan) for the Shaybanid court in Transoxiana; Mansur's brothers Said Khan (Sultan Said Khan) and Sultan Khalil Sultan assumed his place as leaders of that country. Mansur promptly invaded western Moghulistan and defeated his brothers in battle, forcing them to flee to Ferghana. He deported the Moghuls and Kyrgyzs of western Moghulistan to Turfan, and put to death most of the Kyrgyzs.

The next few years of Mansur's reign saw several mostly successful expeditions against the Oirats to the north. Several of his brothers also revolted against him, although they did not seriously threaten his rule as khan. When Said Khan conquered Kashgar from Mirza Aba Bakr in 1514, however, Mansur feared that Said Khan would take revenge on him for his attack upon him six years before. Instead, Said Khan decided to submit to him and agreed to place Mansur's name in the khutba. Peace was therefore made between the two brothers in 1516, with Mansur ruling in Turfan and Said Khan in Kashgar, and was not broken until the death of Said Khan.

War with China and death

In 1513 the Qara Del prince of Hami, which lay to the east of Turfan, switched his allegiance from the Chinese Ming Emperor to Mansur Khan. After this several expeditions were undertaken by the khan against China proper. Mansur Khan army annexed Sajou (Dunhuang) and reached Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu- westernmost point in Great Wall of China. He furthermore fought the Kazakhs in northern Moghulistan (present Semirechye of Kazakhstan), but was defeated; after this the campaigns against his neighbors became fewer.

During the Moghul war against China, the Chinese Ming Dynasty defeated multiple raids by the Turpan Kingdom under Mansur allied with the Mongols under Ibrahim who fled Batumöngke Dayan Khan of Mongolia-based Northern Yuan, over disputes on tribute. In 1517, 1524, and 1528 battles brok out. The Ming had rejected many tribute missions from Turpan. Mansur tried to attack China in 1524 with 20,000 men, but was beaten by Chinese forces. The Ming forces repulsed the Turpan forces and Mongols from their raid on Suzhou District.[3][4] The Chinese refused to lift the economic blockade and restrictions that had led to the battles, and continued restricting Turpan's tribute and trade with China. Turfan also annexed Hami.[5][6]

In 1533 Said Khan died and his son Abd ar-Rashid Khan succeeded him. Mansur responded by undertaking a campaign against Aksu, but failed to gain anything. Some time later he attempted a second time but again was unsuccessful. In 1543 he died and was succeeded in his remaining domains by his eldest son Shah Khan (1543-1570).

Chughtai Khanate

Preceded by
Ahmad Alaq
Moghul Khan (in eastern Moghulistan)
Succeeded by
Shah Khan
Preceded by
Mahmud Khan
Moghul Khan (in western Moghulistan)
Succeeded by
Sultan Said Khan


  1. "Chapter LIV. Transactions of Mansur Khan" in Mirza Muhammad Haidar. The Tarikh-i-Rashidi: A History of the Moghuls of Central Asia.Trans. Edward Denison Ross. ISBN 81-86787-02-X
  2. Soucek, Svat (2000). A History of Inner Asia. Cambridge University Press. p. 165.
  3. Association for Asian Studies. Ming Biographical History Project Committee, Luther Carrington Goodrich, Chao-ying Fang (1976). Dictionary of Ming biography, 1368-1644. Columbia University Press. p. 1038. ISBN 0-231-03833-X. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  4. Association for Asian Studies. Ming Biographical History Project Committee, Luther Carrington Goodrich, Chao-ying Fang (1976). Dictionary of Ming biography, 1368-1644. Columbia University Press. p. 1037. ISBN 0-231-03833-X. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  5. Jonathan D. Spence; John E. Wills, Jr.; Jerry B. Dennerline (1979). From Ming to Ch'ing: Conquest, Region, and Continuity in Seventeenth-Century China. Yale University Press. p. 177. ISBN 0-300-02672-2. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
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