Material Remains of the Geray Dynasty on the Territories of the Former Ottoman Empire
Bilkent Üniversitesi, Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü, Ankara/TÜRKİYE
Keywords: Crimea, Crimean Tatars, Geray, Geray dynasty, Rumelia, tombstones
Several members of the Geray dynasty, which reigned over the Crimean Khanate for more than three and a half centuries, began to settle on the territorries of the Ottoman Empire from the 16th century on. So much so that as of the 18th century, the number of the Gerays who settled in the Ottoman Empire outnumbered those who remained in their homeland, the Crimea. Following the destruction of the Crimean Khanate and the annexation of its territories by the Russian Empire in 1783, the remaining male members of the Geray dynasty in the Crimea also joined the others who had already been residing in Ottoman Rumelia, except for some who chose to settle in the North Caucasus.
During their centuries-long residence in the Ottoman Empire, members of the Geray dynasty built countless mansions, residences, fortifications, bridges, public baths, fountains, water mills, and other edifices. The present article attempts to bring about a general account of the existing material remains of the Geray dynasty on the territories of the former Ottoman Empire. These material remains basically consist of several sarcophagi and tombstones, two mausolea, a bridge, a fountain and the ruins of three mansions, a public bath and a defence tower. These surviving material remains are located in the territories of modern day Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece. Certainly, they constitute a very small portion of which had actually existed and almost all of them are in urgent need of care and repair.