The Tatars first reached the mouths of the Danube in the mid-13th century at the height of power of the Golden Horde and in 1241, under the leadership of Kadan, the Tatars cross the Danube and conquer and devastate the region. The region was probably not under the direct rule of the Horde, but rather, a vassal of the Bakhchisaray Khan.
It is known from Arab sources that at the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th century that descendants of the Nogai Horde settled in Isaccea. Another Arab scholar, Ibn Battuta, who passed through the region in 1330-1331, talks about Baba Saltuk (Babadag) as the southernmost town of the Tatars.
The Golden Horde began to lose its influence after the wars of 1352-1359 and at the time, a Tatar warlord, Demetrius is noted defending the cities of the Mouths of the Danube.
Crimean Tatars were brought to Dobruja by the Ottomans following the increasing power of the Russians in the region and its annexation of Crimea in 1783. However, after the independence of Romania in 1877-1878, between 80,000 and 100,000 Crimean Tatars moved to Anatolia, a migration which continued afterwards. As such, the number of Tatars in Northern Dobruja decreased from 21% in 1880 to 5.6% in 1912. In 2002, they formed 2.4% of the population.