Initially, the name referred to Turkic-speaking peoples allied to the Mongols. The Tatars became especially identified with the western part of the Mongol Empire, and later derived entities, and the name was used generally by Europeans for the Mongols and allies. They converted to Islam in the 14th century. The Tatar Crimean Khanate engaged in large-scale enslavement of Christian Europeans.
Russia gradually conquered the Tatar khanates, finally annexing the Crimean Khanate in 1783.