Yättishär döläti
يەتتىشەر دۆلەتى
Left: 1865-1873; Right: 1873-1877
The map of the Dungan revolt
Sunni Islam
GovernmentMonarchy(ruled with the Sharia)[3]
Yettishar Khan 
• 1865-1877
Yaqub Beg
• Established
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Qing Empire
Qing Empire
Today part ofChina

Yettishar[a] (Uyghur: يەتتىشەر دۆلەتى; Chinese: 哲德沙爾汗國; meaning "Seven Cities" or "Heptapolis"), commonly known as Kashgaria, was a short-lived Sunni Muslim Turkic state that existed in Xinjiang between 1865 and 1877 during the Dungan Revolt against the Qing dynasty.[1][2] The seven cities were Kashgar, Khotan, Yarkand, Yangishahr, Aksu, Kucha and Korla.[5] In 1873, the state was recognized by the Ottoman Empire as a vassal.[6]: 152–153  On 18 December 1877, the army of the Qing entered Kashgar bringing the state to an end.[2]



Main article: Dungan Revolt (1862–1877)

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By the 1860s, Xinjiang had been under Qing rule for a century. The area had been conquered in 1759 from the Dzungar Khanate[7] whose core population, the Oirats, subsequently became the targets of genocide. However, as Xinjiang consisted mostly of semi-arid or desert lands, these were not attractive to potential Han settlers except some traders, so other people such as Uyghurs settled in the area.

The ethnic group known today as Uyghur people was not known by the term "Uyghur" up to the 20th century. The Uzbeks that dwelled close to present-day Xinjiang were collectively called "Andijanis" or "Kokandis", while the Uyghurs in the Tarim Basin were known as "Turki", probably due to their language. There were also Uyghur immigrants residing in Ili area that were called "Taranchi". The modern term "Uyghur" was assigned to this ethnic group by the newly created Soviet Union in 1921 at a conference in Tashkent. As a result, sources from the period of the Dungan revolt make no mentions of Uyghurs. The conflict was mainly an ethnic and religious war fought by members of the Muslim Hui and other Muslim ethnic groups in China's Shaanxi, Ningxia and Gansu provinces, as well as in Xinjiang, between 1862 and 1877.

The conflict led to a recorded 20.77 million deaths due to migration and war-related death. Many war immigrants also died from starvation on their journey to safety.[8] Thousands of Muslim refugees from Shaanxi fled to Gansu. Some of them formed significant battalions in eastern Gansu, intending to reconquer their lands in Shaanxi. While the Hui rebels were preparing to attack Gansu and Shaanxi, Yaqub Beg, an ethnic Uzbek or Tajik commander from the Kokand Khanate, fled from the Khanate in 1865 after losing Tashkent to the Russians, settled in Kashgar and soon managed to take complete control of Xinjiang.

Establishment of Yettishar

Further information: Yaqub Beg

Yaqub beg, ruler of Yettishar
Yaqub beg, ruler of Yettishar
Yaqub Beg
Yaqub Beg
Andijani troops of Yaqub beg
Andijani troops of Yaqub beg

Yaqub Beg was born in the town of Piskent, in the Khanate of Kokand (now in Uzbekistan).[9] In rebellions from 1864, the Khoqandi foreigner Yaqub Beg conquered the Tarim Basin.[10]

Yaqub came to power after the Chinese were driven out. The Chinese only became important when they returned with an army. The Khan of Kokand had some claim over Barzug Khan as a subject, but did nothing in practice. Russia and England never recognized Yaqub as a legal ruler.[citation needed] Yaqub entered into relations and signed treaties with the Russian Empire and Great Britain, but when he tried to get their support against China, he failed.[11]

Yaqub Beg was given the title of "Athalik Ghazi, Champion Father of the Faithful" by the Amir of Bokhara in 1866. The Ottoman Sultan gave him the title of Amir.[12]: 118, 220 


Yaqub Beg's rule was unpopular among the natives with one of the local Kashgaris, a warrior and a chieftain's son, commenting: "During the Chinese rule there was everything; there is nothing now." There was also a falling-off in trade.[13] Yaqub Beg was disliked by his Turkic Muslim subjects, burdening them with heavy taxes and subjecting them to a harsh version of Islamic Sharia law.[14][15]

Korean historian Kim Hodong points out the fact that his disastrous and inexact commands failed the locals and they in turn welcomed the return of Chinese troops.[6]: 172  Qing dynasty general Zuo Zongtang wrote that "The Andijanis are tyrannical to their people; government troops should comfort them with benevolence. The Andijanis are greedy in extorting from the people; government troops should rectify this by being generous."[16]

Downfall (1877)

Main article: Qing reconquest of Xinjiang

Khotan uyghurs, Yettishar troops
Khotan uyghurs, Yettishar troops

In the late 1870s, the Qing decided to reconquer Xinjiang with General Zuo Zongtang as its commander. As Zuo moved into Xinjiang to crush the Muslim rebels under Yaqub Beg, he was joined by Dungan Khufiyya Sufi General Ma Anliang and his forces, which were composed entirely out of Muslim Dungan people. Ma Anliang and his Dungan troops fought alongside Zuo Zongtang to attack the Muslim rebel forces.[17] In addition, General Dong Fuxiang had an army of both Hans and Dungan people, and his army took the Kashgar and Khotan areas during the reconquest.[18][19] Also, the Shaanxi Gedimu Dungan Generals Cui Wei and Hua Decai, who had defected back to the Qing, joined Zuo Zongtang and led the attack on Yaqub Beg's forces in Xinjiang.[20]

General Zuo implemented a conciliatory policy toward the Muslim rebels, pardoning those who did not rebel and those who surrendered if they had joined in only for religious reasons. If rebels assisted the government against the rebel Muslims they received rewards.[17] In contrast to General Zuo, the Manchu leader Dorongga sought to massacre all the Muslims and saw them all as the enemy.[17] Zuo also instructed General Zhang Yao that "The Andijanis are tyrannical to their people; government troops should comfort them with benevolence. The Andijanis are greedy in extorting from the people; the government troops should rectify this by being generous", telling him to not mistreat the Turkic Muslim natives of Xinjiang.[21]: 241] Zuo wrote that the main targets were only the "die-hard partisans" and their leaders, Yaqub Beg and Bai Yanhu.[21]: 241 The natives were not blamed or mistreated by the Qing troops, a Russian wrote that soldiers under General Liu "acted very judiciously with regard to the prisoners whom he took . . . . His treatment of these men was calculated to have a good influence in favour of the Chinese."[21]: 241

Zuo Zongtang, previously a general in the Xiang Army, was the commander in chief of all Qing troops participating in this counterinsurgency. His subordinates were the Han Chinese General Liu Jintang and Manchu Jin Shun. [21]: 240 Liu Jintang's army had modern German artillery, which Jin Shun's forces lacked and neither was Jin's advance as rapid as Liu's. After Liu bombarded Ku-mu-ti, Muslim rebel casualties numbered 6,000 dead while Bai Yanhu was forced to flee for his life. Thereafter Qing forces entered Ürümqi unopposed. Zuo wrote that Yaqub Beg's soldiers had modern western weapons but were cowardly: "The Andijani chieftain Yaqub Beg has fairly good firearms. He has foreign rifles and foreign guns, including cannon using explosive shells [Kai Hua Pao]; but his are not as good nor as effective as those in the possession of our government forces. His men are not good marksmen, and when repulsed they simply ran away."[21]: 241

In December 1877, all of Kashgar was conquered.[2] Muhammad Ayub with the Dungan detachments took refuge in the possessions of Russia. The power of the Qing dynasty was restored over all of Xinjiang, except for the Ili region, which was returned by Russia to China under the Treaty of Saint Petersburg.[citation needed]

Death of Yaqub Beg

Main article: Yaqub Beg § Death

The manner of Yaqub Beg's death is unclear. The Times of London and the Russian Turkestan Gazette both reported that he had died after a short illness.[6]: 167–169  The contemporaneous historian Musa Sayrami (1836–1917) states that he was poisoned on May 30, 1877 in Korla by the former hakim (local city ruler) of Yarkand, Niyaz Hakim Beg, after the latter concluded a conspiracy agreement with the Qing (Chinese) forces in Jungaria.[6]: 167–169  However, Niyaz Beg himself, in a letter to the Qing authorities, denied his involvement in the death of Yaqub Beg, and claimed that the Kashgarian ruler committed suicide.[6]: 167–169  Some say that he was killed in battle with the Chinese.[22] Modern historians, according to Kim Hodong, think that natural death (of a stroke) is the most plausible explanation.[6]: 167–169 


  1. ^ Also spelled Yettishahr, Yättishahr or Yättä Shähär.[4]


  1. ^ a b Alexandre Andreyev (2003). Soviet Russia and Tibet: The Debacle of Secret Diplomacy, 1918-1930s. Brill Publishers. p. 16. ISBN 9004129529 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b c d G. J. Alder (1963). British India's Northern Frontier 1865-95. Longmans Green. p. 67 – via Internet Archive.
  3. ^ a b Samah Ibrahim (29 January 2019). "China's Uighur Strategy and South Asian Risk". Future Directions International. Retrieved 30 April 2020. The creation of the Islamic State of Yettishar (1865 – 1878), with its capital at Kashgar, which is in present-day Xinjiang, came about as the result of a series of uprisings in Xinjiang.
  4. ^ Ildikó Bellér-Hann, "Situating the Uyghurs Between China and Central Asia"; Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007; p.39
  5. ^ Svat Soucek, A History of Inner Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 265.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Kim, Hodong (2004). Holy War in China: The Muslim Rebellion and State in Chinese Central Asia, 1864–1877. Stanford University Press. ISBN 9780804767231.
  7. ^ Peter Perdue, China marches west: the Qing conquest of Central Eurasia. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 2005.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Yakub Beg: Tajik adventurer". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  10. ^ James A. Millward (2007). Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang. Columbia University Press. pp. 117–. ISBN 978-0-231-13924-3.
  11. ^ Herbert Allen Giles (1898). A Chinese biographical dictionary, Volume 2. London: B. Quaritch. p. 894. Retrieved 2011-07-13.(STANFORD UNIVERSITY LIBRARY)
  12. ^ Boulger, Demetrius Charles (1878). The Life of Yakoob Beg, Athalik Ghazi and Badaulet, Ameer of Kashgar. London: W. H. Allen.
  13. ^ Demetrius Charles de Kavanagh Boulger (1878). The life of Yakoob Beg: Athalik ghazi, and Badaulet; Ameer of Kashgar. LONDON : W. H. ALLEN & CO., 13, WATERLOO PLACE, S.W.: W. H. Allen. p. 152. Retrieved 2012-01-18. . As one of them expressed it, in pathetic language, "During the Chinese rule there was everything; there is nothing now." The speaker of that sentence was no merchant, who might have been expected to be depressed by the falling-off in trade, but a warrior and a chieftain's son and heir. If to him the military system of Yakoob Beg seemed unsatisfactory and irksome, what must it have appeared to those more peaceful subjects to whom merchandise and barter were as the breath of their nostrils?CS1 maint: location (link)
  14. ^ Wolfram Eberhard (1966). A history of China. Plain Label Books. p. 449. ISBN 1-60303-420-X. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
  15. ^ Linda Benson; Ingvar Svanberg (1998). China's last Nomads: the history and culture of China's Kazaks. M.E. Sharpe. p. 19. ISBN 1-56324-782-8. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
  16. ^ John King Fairbank (1978). The Cambridge History of China: Late Chʻing, 1800–1911, pt. 2. Cambridge University Press. pp. 221–. ISBN 978-0-521-22029-3.
  17. ^ a b c Lanny B. Fields (1978). Tso Tsung-tʼang and the Muslims: statecraft in northwest China, 1868-1880. Limestone Press. p. 81. ISBN 0-919642-85-3.
  18. ^ DeWitt C. Ellinwood (1981). Ethnicity and the military in Asia. Transaction Publishers. p. 72. ISBN 0-87855-387-8. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  19. ^ Ho-dong Kim (2004). Holy war in China: the Muslim rebellion and state in Chinese Central Asia, 1864-1877. Stanford University Press. p. 176. ISBN 0-8047-4884-5. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  20. ^ Garnaut, Anthony (2008). "From Yunnan to Xinjiang:Governor Yang Zengxin and his Dungan Generals" (PDF). Études orientales. Pacific and Asian History, Australian National University (25). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
  21. ^ a b c d e Fairbank, John King; Liu, Kwang-Ching; Twitchett, Denis Crispin, eds. (1980). Late Ch'ing, 1800-1911. Volume 11, Part 2 of The Cambridge History of China Series (illustrated ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-22029-7. Retrieved 2012-01-18.
  22. ^ "Central and North Asia, 1800–1900 A.D." 2006. Retrieved December 14, 2006.[dead link]