ḠĀYER KHAN (d. 617/1220), Turkish general of the Ḵᵛārazmšāh ʿAlāʾ-al-Dīn Moḥammad b. Tekeš. The title is supplied by Jovaynī (ed. Qazvīnī, I, p. 60); the form Qāder Khan employed by Jūzjānī (Ṭabaqāt I, 311, II, 103-4, tr. Raverty, pp. 272, 966-67) seems to be a corruption. Jovaynī gives his personal name as Īnālčoq (the lesser inal/yinal), though it is possible that this too is a title. Ḡāyer Khan was a kinsman of the Ḵᵛārazmšāh’s mother Terken Ḵātūn, who according to Jovaynī belonged to the Qangli peoples (II, 198). Nasavī (p. 34, Pers. tr., p. 50), calling him Yināl Khan, specifies that he was the son of the Ḵᵛārazmšāh’s maternal uncle and hence the nephew of Terken Ḵātūn, whom Nasavī ascribes, however, to the Bayaʾut clan of the Yemek/Kimek (ibid., pp. 25, 42, Pers. tr., pp. 38, 62), a people related to the Qangli (Bosworth). As the governor of Otrār on the Ḵᵛārazmšāh’s northern frontier, Ḡāyer Khan was responsible for the incident that provoked the invasion of Moḥammad’s territories by the Mongols under Čengīz Khan (q.v.). The fullest account is given by Nasavī (p. 34, Pers. tr., pp. 50-51), who says that he coveted the merchandise of some Muslim traders from Čengīz Khan’s empire who were visiting Otrār and put them to death. Moḥammad, who had been told they were spies, was in any case unable to punish him, since most of his senior commanders were Ḡāyer Khan’s kinsmen. At the time of the Mongol invasion, Ḡāyer Khan held Otrār with a garrison of 20,000 men, reinforced by a further contingent from the Ḵᵛārazmšāh under Qarāča. The Mongol siege of Otrār, of which Jovaynī provides a more detailed description (I, pp. 63-66), lasted for five months. Ḡāyer rejected Qarāča’s advice to surrender and, after the town had been taken and Qarāča killed, continued to resist in the citadel for a further month but was eventually taken alive. The precise dates of the siege are nowhere given; but according to Jovaynī (I, p. 66) Ḡāyer Khan’s execution took place in the Kūk-sarāy suburb of Samarqand, where Čengīz Khan arrived in the early spring of 1220 (Barthold, pp. 406, 412). Nasavī says that molten silver was poured into his eyes and ears and regards this as his just deserts (p. 37, omitted in Persian text).



Barthold, Turkestan3, pp. 397-99.

Ebn al-Aṯīr, ed. Tornberg, XII, p. 236.

C. E. Bosworth, “Ḳanghli,” in EI2 IV, p. 542.

Jūzjānī, Ṭabaqāt I, p. 311; II, pp. 103-4; tr. Raverty, pp. 272, 966-67.

Šehāb-al-Dīn Moḥammad Nasavī, Sīrat al-sulṭān Jalāl-al-Dīn, ed. O. Houdas, Paris, 1891-5, 2 vols (I, text; II, tr.); 13th-cent. Persian tr., ed. M. Mīnovī, Tehran, 1344 Š./1965; tr. Z. A. Buniiatov as Zhizneopisanie Sultana Dzhalal ad-dina Mankburny, Baku, 1973.

(Peter Jackson)

Originally Published: December 15, 2000

Last Updated: February 3, 2012

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