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Turkic peoples

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Turkic peoples
Turkic Languages distribution map.png
The distribution of the Turkic languages
Total population
Approx. 140–160 million[1][2] or over 170 million[3]
Regions with significant populations
 Turkey57,500,000–61,500,000[4][additional citation(s) needed]
 Uzbekistan31,900,000[5][additional citation(s) needed]
 Iran15,000,000–20,000,000[6][7] 18% of population[8]
 Russia12,751,502[citation needed]
 Kazakhstan12,300,000[9][additional citation(s) needed]
 China11,647,000[10][additional citation(s) needed]
 Azerbaijan10,000,000[11][additional citation(s) needed]
European Union European Union5,876,318[citation needed] (Bulgaria 588,318[12])
 Afghanistan4,600,000–5,300,000 (2017)[13][14]
 Turkmenistan4,500,000[15][additional citation(s) needed]
 Kyrgyzstan4,500,000[16][additional citation(s) needed]
 Iraq3,000,000[17][18]
 Tajikistan1,200,000[19][additional citation(s) needed]
 United States1,000,000+[20]
 Syria800,000–1,000,000+[21]
 Ukraine398,600[22]
 Northern Cyprus313,626[23]
 Australia293,500[citation needed]
 Mongolia135,618[24][25]
 Lebanon200,000[26][27][28][29]
 Moldova126,010[30]
 North Macedonia81,900[31][32]
Languages
Turkic languages
Religion
Various religions

The Turkic peoples are a collection of diverse ethnic groups of Central, East, North, and West Asia as well as parts of Europe, who speak Turkic languages.[33][34]

The origins of the Turkic peoples has been a topic of much discussion, but evidence point either to a homeland in South Central Siberia, close to the Altai Mountains and Lake Baikal or further East in Mongolia. Archaeogenetic, historical and linguistic evidence suggests that the earliest Turkic peoples were "within or close to the Northeast Asian genepool" but made up of multiple heterogeneous groups, with their exact location of their homeland remains disputed.[35][36]

The genetic and historical evidence suggests that the early Turkic peoples harbored both West-Eurasian and Northeast Asian ancestry and were located in and around the Altai region and western Mongolia. Later medieval Turkic groups exhibited a wide range of both West-Eurasian and East Asian physical appearances and genetic origins, in part through long-term contact with neighboring Iranian and Mongolic peoples.[37][38][39] Many vastly differing ethnic groups have throughout history become part of the Turkic peoples through language shift, acculturation, conquest, intermixing, adoption, and religious conversion.[3] Nevertheless, Turkic peoples share, to varying degrees, non-linguistic characteristics like cultural traits, ancestry from a common gene pool, and historical experiences.[3] Some of the most notable modern Turkic ethnic groups include the Altai people, Azerbaijanis, Chuvash people, Gagauz people, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz people, Turkmens, Turkish people, Tuvans, Uzbeks, and Yakuts.

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Ethnic group

Ethnic group

An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups. Those attributes can include common sets of traditions, ancestry, language, history, society, culture, nation, religion, or social treatment within their residing area. Ethnicity is sometimes used interchangeably with the term nation, particularly in cases of ethnic nationalism, and is separate from the related concept of races.

Central Asia

Central Asia

Central Asia is a region of Asia that stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to western China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north. It includes the former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan, which are colloquially referred to as the "-stans" as the countries all have names ending with the Persian suffix "-stan", meaning "land of". Current geographical location of Central Asia was formerly part of the historic Turkistan also known as Turan.

East Asia

East Asia

East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both geographical and ethno-cultural terms. The modern states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. China, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan are all unrecognised by at least one other East Asian state due to severe ongoing political tensions in the region, specifically the division of Korea and the political status of Taiwan. Hong Kong and Macau, two small coastal quasi-dependent territories located in the south of China, are officially highly autonomous but are under Chinese sovereignty. Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau are among the world's largest and most prosperous economies. East Asia borders Siberia and the Russian Far East to the north, Southeast Asia to the south, South Asia to the southwest, and Central Asia to the west. To the east is the Pacific Ocean and to the southeast is Micronesia.

Europe

Europe

Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered a subcontinent of Eurasia and it is located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. Comprising the westernmost peninsulas of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Africa and Asia. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south and Asia to the east. Europe is commonly considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed of the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, the Greater Caucasus, the Black Sea and the waterways of the Turkish Straits.

Altai Mountains

Altai Mountains

The Altai Mountains, also spelled Altay Mountains, are a mountain range in Central and East Asia, where Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan converge, and where the rivers Irtysh and Ob have their headwaters. The massif merges with the Sayan Mountains in the northeast, and gradually becomes lower in the southeast, where it merges into the high plateau of the Gobi Desert. It spans from about 45° to 52° N and from about 84° to 99° E.

Acculturation

Acculturation

Acculturation is a process of social, psychological, and cultural change that stems from the balancing of two cultures while adapting to the prevailing culture of the society. Acculturation is a process in which an individual adopts, acquires and adjusts to a new cultural environment as a result of being placed into a new culture, or when another culture is brought to someone. Individuals of a differing culture try to incorporate themselves into the new more prevalent culture by participating in aspects of the more prevalent culture, such as their traditions, but still hold onto their original cultural values and traditions. The effects of acculturation can be seen at multiple levels in both the devotee of the prevailing culture and those who are assimilating into the culture.

Conquest

Conquest

Conquest is the act of military subjugation of an enemy by force of arms.

Adoption

Adoption

Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another, usually a child, from that person's biological or legal parent or parents. Legal adoptions permanently transfer all rights and responsibilities, along with filiation, from the biological parents to the adoptive parents.

Altai people

Altai people

The Altai people, also the Altaians, are a Turkic ethnic group of indigenous peoples of Siberia mainly living in the Altai Republic, Russia. Several thousand of the Altaians also live in Mongolia and China but are officially unrecognized as a distinct group and listed under the name "oirots" as a part of the Mongols, as well as in Kazakhstan where they number around 200. For alternative ethnonyms see also Tele, Black Tatar, and Oirats. During the Northern Yuan Dynasty of Mongolia, they were ruled in the administrative area known as Telengid Province.

Azerbaijanis

Azerbaijanis

Azerbaijanis, Azeris, or Azerbaijani Turks are a Turkic people living mainly in northwestern Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan. They are the second-most numerous ethnic group among the Turkic-speaking peoples after Turkish people and are predominantly Shia Muslims. They comprise the largest ethnic group in the Republic of Azerbaijan and the second-largest ethnic group in neighboring Iran and Georgia. They speak the Azerbaijani language, belonging to the Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages and carry a mixed heritage of Caucasian, Iranian, and Turkic elements.

Chuvash people

Chuvash people

The Chuvash people are a Turkic ethnic group, a branch of Oghurs, native to an area stretching from the Volga-Ural region to Siberia. Most of them live in Chuvashia and the surrounding areas, although Chuvash communities may be found throughout the Russian Federation. They speak Chuvash, a unique Turkic language that diverged from other languages in the family more than a millennium ago.

Gagauz people

Gagauz people

The Gagauz are a Turkic people living mostly in southern Moldova and southwestern Ukraine (Budjak). Gagauz are mostly Eastern Orthodox Christians. The term Gagauz is also often used as a collective naming of Turkic people living in the Balkans, speaking Balkan Gagauz Turkish.

Etymology

Map from Kashgari's Diwan (11th century), showing the distribution of Turkic tribes.
Map from Kashgari's Diwan (11th century), showing the distribution of Turkic tribes.

The first known mention of the term Turk (Old Turkic: 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰 Türük or 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰:𐰜𐰇𐰛 Kök Türük, Chinese: 突厥, Pinyin: Tūjué Middle Chinese *tɦut-kyat dwət-kuɑt, Old Tibetan: drugu)[40][41][42][43] applied to only one Turkic group, namely, the Göktürks,[44] who were also mentioned, as türüg ~ török, in the 6th-century Khüis Tolgoi inscription, most likely not later than 587 AD.[45][46][47] A letter by Ishbara Qaghan to Emperor Wen of Sui in 585 described him as "the Great Turk Khan".[48][49] The Bugut (584 CE) and Orkhon inscriptions (735 CE) use the terms Türküt, Türk and Türük.[50]

During the first century CE, Pomponius Mela refers to the Turcae in the forests north of the Sea of Azov, and Pliny the Elder lists the Tyrcae among the people of the same area.[51][52][53] However, English archaeologist Ellis Minns contended that Tyrcae Τῦρκαι is "a false correction" for Iyrcae Ἱύρκαι, a people who dwelt beyond the Thyssagetae, according to Herodotus (Histories, iv. 22), and were likely Ugric ancestors of Magyars.[54] There are references to certain groups in antiquity whose names might have been foreign transcriptions of Tür(ü)k, such as Togarma, Turukha/Turuška, Turukku and so on; but the information gap is so substantial that any connection of these ancient people to the modern Turks is not possible.[55][56]

It is generally accepted that the name Türk is ultimately derived from the Old-Turkic migration-term[57] 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰 Türük/Törük,[58] which means 'created, born'[59] or 'strong'.[60] Scholars, including Toru Haneda, Onogawa Hidemi, and Geng Shimin believed that Di, Dili, Dingling, Chile and Tujue all came from the Turkic word Türk, which means 'powerful' and 'strength', and its plural form is Türküt.[61] Even though Gerhard Doerfer supports the proposal that türk means 'strong' in general, Gerard Clauson points out that "the word türk is never used in the generalized sense of 'strong'" and that türk was originally a noun and meant "'the culminating point of maturity' (of a fruit, human being, etc.), but more often used as an [adjective] meaning (of a fruit) 'just fully ripe'; (of a human being) 'in the prime of life, young, and vigorous'".[62] Turkologist Peter B. Golden agrees that the term Turk has roots in Old Turkic.[63] yet is not convinced by attempts to link Dili, Dingling, Chile, Tele, & Tiele, which possibly transcribed *tegrek (probably meaning 'cart'), to Tujue, which transliterated Türküt.[64] The Chinese Book of Zhou (7th century) presents an etymology of the name Turk as derived from 'helmet', explaining that this name comes from the shape of a mountain where they worked in the Altai Mountains.[65] Hungarian scholar András Róna-Tas (1991) pointed to a Khotanese-Saka word, tturakä 'lid', semantically stretchable to 'helmet', as a possible source for this folk etymology, yet Golden thinks this connection requires more data.[66]

The earliest Turkic-speaking peoples identifiable in Chinese sources are the Gekun and Xinli, located in South Siberia.[67][68] Another earlier people, the Dingling, are often also assumed to be Proto-Turks,[69][70][71] or are alternatively linked to Tungusic peoples[72][73] or Na-Dené and Yeniseian peoples.[74] Medieval European chroniclers subsumed various Turkic peoples of the Eurasian steppe under the "umbrella-identity" of the "Scythians". Between 400 CE and the 16th century, Byzantine sources use the name Σκύθαι (Skuthai) in reference to twelve different Turkic peoples.[75]

In the modern Turkish language as used in the Republic of Turkey, a distinction is made between "Turks" and the "Turkic peoples" in loosely speaking: the term Türk corresponds specifically to the "Turkish-speaking" people (in this context, "Turkish-speaking" is considered the same as "Turkic-speaking"), while the term Türki refers generally to the people of modern "Turkic Republics" (Türki Cumhuriyetler or Türk Cumhuriyetleri). However, the proper usage of the term is based on the linguistic classification in order to avoid any political sense. In short, the term Türki can be used for Türk or vice versa.[76]

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Mahmud al-Kashgari

Mahmud al-Kashgari

Mahmud ibn Husayn ibn Muhammed al-Kashgari was an 11th-century Kara-Khanid scholar and lexicographer of the Turkic languages from Kashgar.

Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk

Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk

The Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk is the first comprehensive dictionary of Turkic languages, compiled in 1072–74 by the Turkic scholar Mahmud Kashgari who extensively studied the Turkic languages of his time.

Chinese language

Chinese language

Chinese is a group of languages that form the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages family, spoken by the ethnic Han Chinese majority and many minority ethnic groups in Greater China. About 1.3 billion people speak a variety of Chinese as their first language.

Göktürks

Göktürks

The Göktürks, Celestial Turks or Blue Turks were a nomadic confederation of Turkic peoples in medieval Inner Asia. The Göktürks, under the leadership of Bumin Qaghan and his sons, succeeded the Rouran Khaganate as the main power in the region and established the First Turkic Khaganate, one of several nomadic dynasties that would shape the future geolocation, culture, and dominant beliefs of Turkic peoples.

Inscription of Hüis Tolgoi

Inscription of Hüis Tolgoi

The Inscription of Hüis Tolgoi (HT) is a monolingual inscription in a Mongolian language found in Bulgan Province, Mongolia in 1975 by D. Navaan. The 11-line text is written in vertical Brahmi script running right to left with horizontal marks separating words. The language of the inscription was unknown until the joint expedition of Alexander Vovin, Étienne de la Vaissière, Dieter Maue and Mehmet Ölmez to Mongolia in 2014 for closer imaging of the stele. Due to certain morphological peculiarities the language of the inscription was hypothesized to be Mongolic rather than Turkic. The language, "which can be conditionally termed as a variety of Para-Mongolic," is "much closer to the mainstream Mongolic languages, such as Middle Mongolian and modern extant Mongolic languages than to Serbi-Khitan," and is beyond reasonable doubt some form of Mongolic, close to the mainstream Mongolic language.

Ishbara Qaghan

Ishbara Qaghan

Ishbara Qaghan or Erfu Kehan ; personal name: Chinese: 阿史那攝圖/阿史那摄图, pinyin Āshǐnà Shètú/Niètú; Wade-Giles A-shih-na she-t'u/nie-t'u) was the first son of Issik Qaghan, grandson of Bumin Qaghan, and the sixth khagan of the Turkic Khaganate (581–587). His name is non-Turkic.

Emperor Wen of Sui

Emperor Wen of Sui

The Emperor Wen of Sui, personal name Yang Jian (楊堅), Xianbei name Puliuru Jian (普六茹堅), alias Narayana deriving from Buddhist terms, was the founder and the first emperor of the Chinese Sui dynasty. The Book of Sui records him as having withdrawn his favour from the Confucians, giving it to "the group advocating Xing-Ming and authoritarian government." As a Buddhist, he encouraged the spread of Buddhism through the state. He is regarded as one of the most important emperors in Chinese history, reunifying China proper in 589 after centuries of division since the independence of the Cheng Han and Han Zhao dynasties from the Western Jin dynasty in 304. During his reign, the construction of the Grand Canal began.

Bugut inscription

Bugut inscription

The Bugut inscription is a multi-lingual inscription first discovered in Ikh-Tamir sum of Arkhangai Province, Mongolia. The inscription is dated to 584 CE and was dedicated to Taspar Khagan the fourth Khagan of the Turkic Khaganate. The inscription is in the form of a monumental wolf-crowned stele 198 cm high that sits on a turtle base 47 cm high. The front, right and left side of the stele has a Sogdian inscription written with Sogdian alphabet. The back side has a possibly Ruanruan inscription written with Brahmi script. The original location of the inscription on the west bank of the Bayantsagaan river, a tributary of the North Tamir river, shows evidence of a walled complex. The wall embankment is 59mx30m with an inner moat 4.5m wide and 2m deep. In the center of the walled complex was a temple whose wooden pillars and roof tiles were still visible on the ground. Only a few brick fragments were found. The inscription itself was found within the walls on a square platform 7.5mx7.5m made of layered stones.

Ellis Minns

Ellis Minns

Sir Ellis Hovell Minns, FBA was a British academic and archaeologist whose studies focused on Eastern Europe.

Iyrcae

Iyrcae

The Iyrcae were an ancient nation on the north-east trade route described by Herodotus beyond the Thyssagetae.

Herodotus

Herodotus

Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian and geographer from the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Persian Empire and a later citizen of Thurii in modern Calabria (Italy). He is known for having written the Histories – a detailed account of the Greco-Persian Wars. Herodotus was the first writer to perform systematic investigation of historical events. He is referred to as "The Father of History", a title conferred on him by the ancient Roman orator Cicero.

Histories (Herodotus)

Histories (Herodotus)

The Histories of Herodotus is considered the founding work of history in Western literature. Written around 430 BC in the Ionic dialect of classical Greek, The Histories serves as a record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various cultures that were known in Greece, Western Asia and Northern Africa at that time. Although not a fully impartial record, it remains one of the West's most important sources regarding these affairs. Moreover, it established the genre and study of history in the Western world.

List of ethnic groups

List of the modern Turkic peoples
Ethnonym Population National-state formation Religion
Turks 75,700,000  Turkey,  Northern Cyprus Sunni Islam, Alevism
Azerbaijanis 31,300,000  Azerbaijan,  Dagestan (Russian Federation) Shia Islam, Sunni Islam
Uzbeks 30,700,000  Uzbekistan Sunni Islam
Kazakhs 15,193,000  Kazakhstan, Mongolia Bayan-Ölgii, China Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, Barköl Kazakh Autonomous County, Mori Kazakh Autonomous County,  Altai Sunni Islam
Uyghurs 11,900,000 China Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (PRC) Sunni Islam
Turkmens 8,000,000  Turkmenistan Sunni Islam
Volga Tatars 6,200,000  Tatarstan (Russian Federation) Sunni Islam, Orthodox Christianity
Kyrgyz 6,000,000  Kyrgyzstan, China Kizilsu Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture Sunni Islam
Bashkirs 1,700,000  Bashkortostan (Russian Federation) Sunni Islam
Chuvashes 1,500,000  Chuvashia (Russian Federation) Orthodox Christianity, Vattisen Yaly
Khorasani Turks 1,000,000 N/A Shia Islam
Qashqai 949,000 Shia Islam
Karakalpaks 796,000  Karakalpakstan (Uzbekistan) Sunni Islam
Kumyks 520,000  Dagestan (Russian Federation) Sunni Islam
Crimean Tatars

Crimea (disputed by Ukraine and Russia)

Sunni Islam
Yakuts (Sakha) 482,000 Yakutia Sakha Republic or Yakutia (Russian Federation) Orthodox Christianity, Tengrism
Karachays 346,000  Karachay-Cherkessia (Russian Federation) Sunni Islam
Tuvans 273,000  Tuva (Russian Federation) Tibetan Buddhism, Tengrism
Gagauz 126,000 Gagauzia Gagauzia (Moldova) Orthodox Christianity
Balkars 112,000  Kabardino-Balkaria (Russian Federation) Sunni Islam
Nogais 110,000  Dagestan and  Karachay-Cherkessia (Russian Federation) Sunni Islam
Salar 104,000 China Xunhua Salar Autonomous County, Jishishan Bonan, Dongxiang and Salar Autonomous County Sunni Islam, Tibetan Buddhism
Khakas 75,000  Khakassia (Russian Federation) Orthodox Christianity, Tengrism
Altaians 74,000  Altai (Russian Federation) Burkhanism, Tengrism, Orthodox Christianity
Äynu >60,000 N/A Alevism
Khalaj 42,000 Shia Islam
Yugurs 13,000

China Sunan Yugur Autonomous County

Tibetan Buddhism, Tengrism
Dolgans 13,000

Flag of Taymyr Autonomous Okrug.svg Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District (Russian Federation)

Tengrism, Orthodox Christianity
Khotons 10,000 N/A Sunni Islam
Nağaybäk 8,000 Orthodox Christianity
Shors 8,000 Orthodox Christianity, Tengrism
Siberian Tatars 6,000 Sunni Islam
Telengits 3,700 Orthodox Christianity, Burkhanism, shamanism
Soyots 3,600 Tibetan Buddhism, Tengrism
Kumandins 2,900 Orthodox Christianity, Tengrism
Teleuts 2,700 Orthodox Christianity, Tengrism
Crimean Karaites 2,000 Karaite Judaism
Tubalar 1,900 Orthodox Christianity, shamanism
Fuyu Kyrgyz 1,400 Sunni Islam
Chelkans 1,100 Orthodox Christianity, Burkhanism, shamanism
Krymchaks 1,000 Orthodox Judaism
Tofalars 800 Tengrism, Orthodox Christianity
Chulyms 355 Orthodox Christianity
Dukha 282 Tengrism
Ili Turks 177 Sunni Islam
Historical Turkic groups

Possible Proto-Turkic ancestry, at least partial,[77][78][79][80][81][82] has been posited for Xiongnu, Huns and Pannonian Avars, as well as Tuoba and Rouran, who were of Proto-Mongolic Donghu ancestry.,[83][84][85][86] as well as Tatars, Rourans' supposed descendants.[87][88][note 4]

Remarks

  1. ^ Book of Wei vol. 102. quote: "悅般國 [...] 其風俗言語與高車同" translation: "Yueban nation [...] Their customs and language are the same as the Gaoche['s]"; Gaoche (高車; lit. "High-Carts") was another name of the Turkic-speaking Tiele
  2. ^ Merkits were always counted as a part of the Mongols within the Mongol Empire, however, some scholars proposed additional Turkic ancestry for Merkits; Christopher P. Atwood – Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire ISBN 9780816046713, Facts on File, Inc. 2004.
  3. ^ Refers to forest peoples of the North, including the Turkic-speaking Tuvans and Yakuts, and also Mongolic-speaking Altai Uriankhai. The ethnonym Uriankhai is etymologically Mongolic, compare Khalkha uria(n) "war motto" and khai, alternation of khan. Uriankhai people are possibly linked to the Wuluohun tribe of the Shiwei people, who were predominantly Mongolic-speaking.
  4. ^ Even though Chinese historians routinely ascribed Xiongnu origin to various nomadic peoples, such ascriptions do not necessarily indicate the subjects' exact origins; for examples, Xiongnu ancestry was ascribed to Turkic-speaking Göktürks and Tiele as well as Para-Mongolic-speaking Kumo Xi and Khitan.[89]

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List of Turkic dynasties and countries

List of Turkic dynasties and countries

The following is a list of dynasties, states or empires which are Turkic-speaking, of Turkic origins, or both. There are currently six recognised Turkic sovereign states. Additionally, there are six federal subjects of Russia in which a Turkic language is a majority, and five where Turkic languages are the minority, and also Crimea, a disputed territory between Ukraine and Russia where Turkic languages are the indigenous minority. There have been numerous Turkic confederations, dynasties, and empires throughout history across Eurasia.

Northern Cyprus

Northern Cyprus

Northern Cyprus, officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, is a de facto state that comprises the northeastern portion of the island of Cyprus. Recognised only by Turkey, Northern Cyprus is considered by the international community to be part of the Republic of Cyprus.

Alevism

Alevism

Alevism or Anatolian Alevism is a local Islamic tradition, whose adherents follow the mystical Alevi Islamic (bāṭenī) teachings of Haji Bektash Veli, who is supposed to have taught the teachings of Ali and the Twelve Imams. Differing from Sunnism and other Twelver Shia, Alevis have no binding religious dogmas, and teachings are passed on by a spiritual leader. They acknowledge the six articles of faith of Islam, but may differ regarding their interpretation. Adherents of Alevism are found primarily in Turkey and estimates of the percentage of Turkey's population that are Alevi include between 4% and 15%.

Azerbaijanis

Azerbaijanis

Azerbaijanis, Azeris, or Azerbaijani Turks are a Turkic people living mainly in northwestern Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan. They are the second-most numerous ethnic group among the Turkic-speaking peoples after Turkish people and are predominantly Shia Muslims. They comprise the largest ethnic group in the Republic of Azerbaijan and the second-largest ethnic group in neighboring Iran and Georgia. They speak the Azerbaijani language, belonging to the Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages and carry a mixed heritage of Caucasian, Iranian, and Turkic elements.

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of the South Caucasus region, and is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia and Turkey to the west, and Iran to the south. Baku is the capital and largest city.

Dagestan

Dagestan

Dagestan, officially the Republic of Dagestan, is a republic of Russia situated in the North Caucasus of Eastern Europe, along the Caspian Sea. It is located north of the Greater Caucasus, and is a part of the North Caucasian Federal District. The republic is the southernmost tip of Russia, sharing land borders with the countries of Azerbaijan and Georgia to the south and southwest, the Russian republics of Chechnya and Kalmykia to the west and north, and with Stavropol Krai to the northwest. Makhachkala is the republic's capital and largest city; other major cities are Derbent, Kizlyar, Izberbash, Kaspiysk and Buynaksk.

Shia Islam

Shia Islam

Shīʿa Islam or Shīʿīsm is the second-largest branch of Islam. It holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib as his successor (khalīfa) and the Imam after him, most notably at the event of Ghadir Khumm, but was prevented from succeeding Muhammad as the leader of the Muslims as a result of the choice made by some of Muhammad's other companions (ṣaḥāba) at Saqifah. This view primarily contrasts with that of Sunnī Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor before his death and consider Abū Bakr, who was appointed caliph by a group of senior Muslims at Saqifah, to be the first rightful (rāshidūn) caliph after Muhammad. Adherents of Shīʿa Islam are called Shīʿa Muslims, Shīʿītes, or simply Shīʿa or Shia.

Kazakhs

Kazakhs

The Kazakhs are a Turkic ethnic group native to northern parts of Central Asia, chiefly Kazakhstan, but also parts of Uzbekistan and Russia, as well as China and Mongolia. The Kazakhs are descendants of the ancient Turkic tribes and the medieval Mongolic or Turco-Mongol tribes.

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country located mainly in Central Asia and partly in Eastern Europe. It borders Russia to the north and west, China to the east, Kyrgyzstan to the southeast, Uzbekistan to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southwest, with a coastline along the Caspian Sea. Its capital is Astana, known as Nur-Sultan from 2019 to 2022. Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city, was the country's capital until 1997. Kazakhstan is the world's largest landlocked country, the largest and northernmost Muslim-majority country by land area, and the ninth-largest country in the world. It has a population of 19 million people, and one of the lowest population densities in the world, at fewer than 6 people per square kilometre.

Mongolia

Mongolia

Mongolia is a landlocked country in East Asia, bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south. It covers an area of 1,564,116 square kilometres, with a population of just 3.3 million, making it the world's most sparsely populated sovereign nation. Mongolia is the world's largest landlocked country that does not border a closed sea, and much of its area is covered by grassy steppe, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south. Ulaanbaatar, the capital and largest city, is home to roughly half of the country's population.

China

China

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population exceeding 1.4 billion, slightly ahead of India. China spans five time zones and borders fourteen countries by land, the most of any country in the world, tied with Russia. China also has a narrow maritime boundary with the disputed Taiwan. Covering an area of approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the world's third largest country by total land area. The country consists of 23 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two Special Administrative Regions. The national capital is Beijing, and the most populous city and financial center is Shanghai.

Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture

Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture

Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture is an autonomous prefecture for Kazakh people in Northern Xinjiang, China, one of five autonomous prefectures in Xinjiang. Yining City is its capital. It is bordered by Mongolia, Russian Federation and Republic of Kazakhstan on the northeast to southwest, with a boundary line of 2,019 kilometers. Including Khorgas, Bakhty and Jeminay, there are 9 ports of entry at the national level. With the unique location advantage, Ili has been an important commercial hub and international channel of opening up to the west.

Language

A page from "Codex Kumanicus". The Codex was designed in order to help Catholic missionaries communicate with the Kumans.
A page from "Codex Kumanicus". The Codex was designed in order to help Catholic missionaries communicate with the Kumans.

Distribution

The Turkic languages constitute a language family of some 30 languages, spoken across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, to Siberia and Manchuria and through to the Middle East. Some 170 million people have a Turkic language as their native language;[90] an additional 20 million people speak a Turkic language as a second language. The Turkic language with the greatest number of speakers is Turkish proper, or Anatolian Turkish, the speakers of which account for about 40% of all Turkic speakers.[91] More than one third of these are ethnic Turks of Turkey, dwelling predominantly in Turkey proper and formerly Ottoman-dominated areas of Southern and Eastern Europe and West Asia; as well as in Western Europe, Australia and the Americas as a result of immigration. The remainder of the Turkic people are concentrated in Central Asia, Russia, the Caucasus, China, and northern Iraq.

The Turkic language family is traditionally considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.[92] Howeover since the 1950s, many comparative linguists have rejected the proposal, after supposed cognates were found not to be valid, hypothesized sound shifts were not found, and Turkic and Mongolic languages were found to be converging rather than diverging over the centuries. Opponents of the theory proposed that the similarities are due to mutual linguistic influences between the groups concerned.[93][94][95][96][97]

Alphabet

The Turkic alphabets are sets of related alphabets with letters (formerly known as runes), used for writing mostly Turkic languages. Inscriptions in Turkic alphabets were found in Mongolia. Most of the preserved inscriptions were dated to between 8th and 10th centuries CE.

The earliest positively dated and read Turkic inscriptions date from the 8th century, and the alphabets were generally replaced by the Old Uyghur alphabet in the East and Central Asia, Arabic script in the Middle and Western Asia, Cyrillic in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans, and Latin alphabet in Central Europe. The latest recorded use of Turkic alphabet was recorded in Central Europe's Hungary in 1699 CE.

The Turkic runiform scripts, unlike other typologically close scripts of the world, do not have a uniform palaeography as, for example, have the Gothic runes, noted for the exceptional uniformity of its language and paleography.[98] The Turkic alphabets are divided into four groups, the best known of them is the Orkhon version of the Enisei group. The Orkhon script is the alphabet used by the Göktürks from the 8th century to record the Old Turkic language. It was later used by the Uyghur Empire; a Yenisei variant is known from 9th-century Kyrgyz inscriptions, and it has likely cousins in the Talas Valley of Turkestan and the Old Hungarian script of the 10th century. Irk Bitig is the only known complete manuscript text written in the Old Turkic script.[99]

Descriptive map of Turkic peoples.
Descriptive map of Turkic peoples.

Discover more about Language related topics

Codex Cumanicus

Codex Cumanicus

The Codex Cumanicus is a linguistic manual of the Middle Ages, designed to help Catholic missionaries communicate with the Cumans, a nomadic Turkic people. It is currently housed in the Library of St. Mark, in Venice.

Codex

Codex

The codex was the historical ancestor of the modern book. Instead of being composed of sheets of paper, it used sheets of vellum, papyrus, or other materials. The term codex is often used for ancient manuscript books, with handwritten contents. A codex, much like the modern book, is bound by stacking the pages and securing one set of edges by a variety of methods over the centuries, yet in a form analogous to modern bookbinding. Modern books are divided into paperback or softback and those bound with stiff boards, called hardbacks. Elaborate historical bindings are called treasure bindings. At least in the Western world, the main alternative to the paged codex format for a long document was the continuous scroll, which was the dominant form of document in the ancient world. Some codices are continuously folded like a concertina, in particular the Maya codices and Aztec codices, which are actually long sheets of paper or animal skin folded into pages.

Cumans

Cumans

The Cumans, also known as Polovtsians or Polovtsy, were a Turkic nomadic people comprising the western branch of the Cuman–Kipchak confederation. After the Mongol invasion (1237), many sought asylum in the Kingdom of Hungary, as many Cumans had settled in Hungary, the Second Bulgarian Empire playing an important role in the development of the state. Cumans played also an important role in Anatolia.

Proto-Turkic language

Proto-Turkic language

The Proto-Turkic language is the linguistic reconstruction of the common ancestor of the Turkic languages that was spoken by the Proto-Turks before their divergence into the various Turkic peoples. Proto-Turkic separated into Oghur (western) and Common Turkic (eastern) branches. One estimate postulates Proto-Turkic to have been spoken 2,500 years ago in East Asia.

List of alphabets used by Turkic languages

List of alphabets used by Turkic languages

There exist several alphabets used by Turkic languages, i.e. alphabets used to write Turkic languages:The New Turkic Alphabet (Yañalif) in use in the 1930s USSR (Latin) The Common Turkic Alphabet, proposed by Turkic Council to unify scripts in Turkic languages (Latin)

Language family

Language family

A language family is a group of languages related through descent from a common ancestral language or parental language, called the proto-language of that family. The term "family" reflects the tree model of language origination in historical linguistics, which makes use of a metaphor comparing languages to people in a biological family tree, or in a subsequent modification, to species in a phylogenetic tree of evolutionary taxonomy. Linguists therefore describe the daughter languages within a language family as being genetically related.

Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe is the eastern part of the European continent. The concept of "Eastern Europe" has a wide range of geopolitical, geographical, ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic connotations. The vast majority of the region is covered by Russia, which is the largest and most populous country in Europe, spanning roughly 40% of the continent's landmass; along with 15% of its total population.

Mediterranean Sea

Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant. The Sea has played a central role in the history of Western civilization. Although the Mediterranean is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is usually referred to as a separate body of water. Geological evidence indicates that around 5.9 million years ago, the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic and was partly or completely desiccated over a period of some 600,000 years during the Messinian salinity crisis before being refilled by the Zanclean flood about 5.3 million years ago.

Manchuria

Manchuria

Manchuria is an exonym for a historical and geographic region in Northeast Asia encompassing the entirety of present-day Northeast China and parts of the Russian Far East. Its meaning may vary depending on the context:Historical polities and geographical regions usually referred to as Manchuria: The Later Jin (1616–1636), the Manchu-led dynasty which renamed itself from "Jin" to "Qing", and the ethnicity from "Jurchen" to "Manchu" in 1636 the subsequent duration of the Qing dynasty prior to its conquest of China proper (1644) the northeastern region of Qing dynasty China, the homeland of Manchus, known as "Guandong" or "Guanwai" during the Qing dynasty The region of Northeast Asia that served as the historical homeland of the Jurchens and later their descendants Manchus Qing control of Dauria was contested in 1643 when Russians entered; the ensuing Sino-Russian border conflicts ended when Russia agreed to withdraw in the 1689 Treaty of Nerchinsk controlled in whole by Qing Dynasty China until the Amur Annexation of Outer Manchuria by Russia in 1858-1860 controlled as a whole by the Russian Empire after the Russian invasion of Manchuria in 1900 until the Russo-Japanese War and the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905, which required Russian withdrawal. controlled by Qing China again, and reorganised in 1907 under the Viceroy of the Three Northeast Provinces controlled by the Republic of China (1912–1949) after the 1911 revolution controlled by the Fengtian clique lead by Zhang Zuolin from 1917-1928, until the military Northern Expedition and the Northeast Flag Replacement brought it under control the Republic of China (1912–1949) again controlled by Imperial Japan as the puppet state of Manchukuo, often translated as "Manchuria", (1932–1945). Formed after the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, it included the entire Northeast China, the northern fringes of present-day Hebei Province, and the eastern part of Inner Mongolia. briefly entirely controlled by the USSR after the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in 1945, but then divided with China Modern Northeast China, specifically the three provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning, but broadly also including the eastern Inner Mongolian prefectures of Hulunbuir, Hinggan, Tongliao, and Chifeng, and sometimes Xilin Gol Areas of the modern Russian Federation also known as "Outer Northeast China" or "Outer Manchuria". The two areas involved are Priamurye between the Amur River and the Stanovoy Range to the north, and Primorye which runs down the coast from the Amur mouth to the Korean border, including the island of Sakhalin

Anatolia

Anatolia

Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It constitutes the major part of modern-day Turkey. The region is bounded by the Turkish Straits to the northwest, the Black Sea to the north, the Armenian Highlands to the east, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Aegean Sea to the west. The Sea of Marmara forms a connection between the Black and Aegean seas through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits and separates Anatolia from Thrace on the Balkan peninsula of Southeast Europe.

Ottoman Empire

Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire, also known as the Turkish Empire, was an empire that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Turkoman tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe and, with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by Mehmed the Conqueror.

Caucasus

Caucasus

The Caucasus or Caucasia, is a region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, mainly comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. The Caucasus Mountains, including the Greater Caucasus range, have historically been considered as a natural barrier between Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

History

Eastern Hemisphere in 500 BCE
Eastern Hemisphere in 500 BCE

Origins

The origins of the Turkic peoples has been a topic of much discussion.[100][101] Peter Benjamin Golden listed Proto-Turkic lexical items about the climate, topography, flora, fauna, people's modes of subsistence in the hypothetical Proto-Turkic Urheimat and proposed that the Proto-Turkic Urheimat was located at the southern, taiga-steppe zone of the Sayan-Altay region in Siberia.[102] A possible genealogical link of the Turkic languages to Mongolic and Tungusic languages from Northeast Asia, specifically a hypothetical homeland in Manchuria, such as proposed in the Transeurasian hypothesis, by Martine Robbeets, has been received support but also serve criticism, with opponents attributing similarities to long-term contact and also note that similar or even more similarities are shared with Uralic languages.[103][104][105][106][107] Linguistic and genetic evidence strongly suggest an early presence of Turkic peoples in western Mongolia.[108][100][109][110] The proto-Turkic-speakers may have been linked to Neolithic East Asian agricultural societies in Northeastern China, based on specific Northeast Asian genetic substratum among many Turkic speakers, but the linguistic evidence remains inconclusive and may instead be explained by geneflow from Northeast Asia towards Siberia.[111][112][113] Around 2,200 BC, the proto-Turkic-speakers, either forest-tundra hunter-gatherers and or semi-agriculturalists, seem to have adopted a pastoralist lifestyle.[114]

The genetic evidence suggests that the Turkification of Central Asia was carried out by dominant but diverse groups migrating out of Mongolia, linguistically assimilating various different non-Turkic groups. The exact location of the homeland of the Turkic peoples and languages cannot be adequately concluded, but likely has been somewhere "within or close to the areas of the Northeast Asian gene pool" (Mongolia).[115][116]

Genetic, archeologic and linguistic evidence links the early Turkic peoples to the "Northeast Asian gene pool". Proto-Turks are suggested to have adopted a nomadic lifestyle and expanded from eastern Mongolia westwards.[35]
Genetic, archeologic and linguistic evidence links the early Turkic peoples to the "Northeast Asian gene pool". Proto-Turks are suggested to have adopted a nomadic lifestyle and expanded from eastern Mongolia westwards.[35]

The main migration of Turkic peoples occurred between the 6th and 11th centuries, when they spread across most of Central Asia. The Eurasian Steppe slowly transitioned from Indo European and Iranian-speaking groups with nearly exclusive West-Eurasian ancestry to a more heterogeneous region with increasing East Asian ancestry with Turkic and Mongolian groups in the past 4000 years, including extensive Turkic and later Mongol migrations out of Mongolia and slow assimilation of local populations.[117]

Genetic data shows that the average of Central Asian Turkic-speaking peoples have between 22% to 60% East Asian ancestry (samplified by "Baikal hunter-gatherer ancestry" shared with other Northeast Asians and Eastern Siberians), in contrast to Iranian-speaking Central Asians, specifically Tajiks, which display genetic continuity to Indo-Iranians of the Iron Age.[118] Certain Turkic ethnic groups, specifically the Kazakhs, display even higher East Asian ancestry. This is explained by substantial Mongolian influence on the Kazakh genome, through significant admixture between medieval Turkic Kipchaks with medieval Mongolians. The data suggests that the Mongol invasion of Central Asia had lasting impacts onto the genetic makeup of Kazakhs.[119][120][121][122][123]

Early historical attestation

Xiongnu, Mongolic, and proto-Turkic tribes (ca. 300 CE)
Xiongnu, Mongolic, and proto-Turkic tribes (ca. 300 CE)

The earliest separate Turkic peoples, such as the Gekun (鬲昆) and Xinli (薪犁), appeared on the peripheries of the late Xiongnu confederation about 200 BCE[124][125] (contemporaneous with the Chinese Han Dynasty)[126] and later among the Turkic-speaking Tiele[127] as Hegu (紇骨)[128] and Xue (薛).[129][130]

The Tiele (also known as Gaoche 高車, lit. "High Carts"),[131] may be related to the Xiongnu and the Dingling.[132] According to the Book of Wei, the Tiele people were the remnants of the Chidi (赤狄), the red Di people competing with the Jin in the Spring and Autumn period.[133] Historically they were established after the 6th century BCE.[125]

The Tiele were first mentioned in Chinese literature from the 6th to 8th centuries.[134] Some scholars (Haneda, Onogawa, Geng, etc.) proposed that Tiele, Dili, Dingling, Chile, Tele, & Tujue all transliterated underlying Türk; however, Golden proposed that Dili, Dingling, Chile, Tele, & Tiele transliterated Tegrek while Tujue transliterated Türküt, plural of Türk.[135] The appellation Türük (Old Turkic: 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰) ~ Türk (OT: 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰚) (whence Middle Chinese 突厥 *dwət-kuɑt > *tɦut-kyat > standard Chinese: Tūjué) was initially reserved exclusively for the Göktürks by Chinese, Tibetans, and even the Turkic-speaking Uyghurs. In contrast, medieval Muslim writers, including Turkic speakers like Ottoman historian Mustafa Âlî and explorer Evliya Çelebi as well as Timurid scientist Ulugh Beg, often viewed Inner Asian tribes, "as forming a single entity regardless of their linguistic affiliation" commonly used Turk as a generic name for Inner Asians (whether Turkic- or Mongolic-speaking). Only in modern era do modern historians use Turks to refer to all peoples speaking Turkic languages, differentiated from non-Turkic speakers.[136]

According to some researchers (Duan, Xue, Tang, Lung, Onogawa, etc.) the later Ashina tribe descended from the Tiele confederation.[137][138][139][140][141] The Tiele however were probably one of many early Turkic groups, ancestral to later Turkic populations.[142][143] However, according to Lee & Kuang (2017), Chinese histories do not describe the Ashina and the Göktürks as descending from the Dingling or the Tiele confederation.[144]

Xiongnu (3rd c. BCE – 1st c. CE)

Territory of the Xiongnu, which included Mongolia, Western Manchuria, Xinjiang, East Kazakhstan, East Kyrgyzstan, Inner Mongolia, and Gansu.
Territory of the Xiongnu, which included Mongolia, Western Manchuria, Xinjiang, East Kazakhstan, East Kyrgyzstan, Inner Mongolia, and Gansu.

It has even been suggested that the Xiongnu themselves, who were mentioned in Han Dynasty records, were Proto-Turkic speakers.[145][146][147][148] Although little is known for certain about the Xiongnu language(s), it seems likely that at least a considerable part of Xiongnu tribes spoke a Turkic language.[149] Some scholars believe they were probably a confederation of various ethnic and linguistic groups.[150][151] A genetic research in 2003, of the remains of 62 individuals buried between the 3rd century BC and the 2nd century AD at the Xiongnu necropolis at Egyin Gol in northern Mongolia, found that these individuals have similar DNA sequences as many modern Turkic groups, supporting the view that the Xiongnu were at least partially of Turkic origin.[152] These examined individuals were found to be primarily of East Asian ancestry.[153]

Using the only extant possibly Xiongnu writings, the rock art of the Yinshan and Helan Mountains,[154] some scholars argue that the older Xiongnu writings are precursors to the earliest known Turkic alphabet, the Orkhon script. Petroglyphs of this region dates from the 9th millennium BCE to the 19th century, and consists mainly of engraved signs (petroglyphs) and few painted images.[155] Excavations done during 1924–1925 in Noin-Ula kurgans located in the Selenga River in the northern Mongolian hills north of Ulaanbaatar produced objects with over 20 carved characters, which were either identical or very similar to the runic letters of the Turkic Orkhon script discovered in the Orkhon Valley.[156]

Huns (4th–6th c. CE)

Huns (c.450 CE)
Huns (c.450 CE)

In the 18th century, the French scholar Joseph de Guignes became the first to propose a link between the Huns and the Xiongnu people, who were northern neighbours of China in the 3rd century BC.[157] The Hun hordes ruled by Attila, who invaded and conquered much of Europe in the 5th century, might have been, at least partially, Turkic and descendants of the Xiongnu.[126][158][159] Since Guignes' time, considerable scholarly effort has been devoted to investigating such a connection. The issue remains controversial. Their relationships to other peoples known collectively as the Iranian Huns are also disputed.

Some scholars claimed Huns as Proto-Mongolian or Yeniseian in origin.[160][161] Linguistic studies by Otto Maenchen-Helfen and others have suggested that the language used by the Huns in Europe was too little documented to be classified. Nevertheless, the majority of the proper names used by Huns appear to be Turkic in origin,[162][163] though they are "far from unambiguous, so no firm conclusion can be drawn from this type of data".[164]

Steppe expansions

Göktürks – Turkic Khaganate (5th–8th c.)

First Turk Khaganate (600 CE)
First Turk Khaganate (600 CE)
The Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganates (600 CE)
The Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganates (600 CE)

The earliest certain mentioning of the politonym "Turk" was in the Chinese Book of Zhou. In the 540s AD, this text mentions that the Turks came to China's border seeking silk goods and a trade relationship. A Sogdian diplomat represented China in a series of embassies between the Western Wei dynasty and the Turks in the years 545 and 546.[165]

According to the Book of Sui and the Tongdian, they were "mixed barbarians" (雜胡; záhú) who migrated from Pingliang (now in modern Gansu province, China) to the Rourans seeking inclusion in their confederacy and protection from the prevailing dynasty.[166][167] Alternatively, according to the Book of Zhou, History of the Northern Dynasties, and New Book of Tang, the Ashina clan was a component of the Xiongnu confederation.[168][169][170][171] Göktürks were also posited as having originated from an obscure Suo state (索國), north of the Xiongnu.[172][173] The Ashina tribe were famed metalsmiths and were granted land south of the Altai Mountains (金山 Jinshan), which looked like a helmet, from which they were said to have gotten their name 突厥 (Tūjué),[174][166] the first recorded use of "Turk" as a political name. In the 6th-century, Ashina's power had increased such that they conquered the Tiele on their Rouran overlords' behalf and even overthrew Rourans and established the First Turkic Khaganate.[175]

Colored terracotta figurine of a Gokturk male found in a Kurgan, Kazakhstan, 5th–6th c.
Colored terracotta figurine of a Gokturk male found in a Kurgan, Kazakhstan, 5th–6th c.
A Turkic warrior from the Göktürk period. The horse's tail is knotted in Turkic style. His hair is long, braided and his big-collared caftan and boots are Turkic clothing features.
A Turkic warrior from the Göktürk period. The horse's tail is knotted in Turkic style. His hair is long, braided and his big-collared caftan and boots are Turkic clothing features.

The original Old Turkic name Kök Türk derives from kök ~ kö:k, "sky, sky-coloured, blue, blue-grey".[176] Unlike its Xiongnu predecessor, the Göktürk Khaganate had its temporary Khagans from the Ashina clan, who were subordinate to a sovereign authority controlled by a council of tribal chiefs. The Khaganate retained elements of its original animistic- shamanistic religion, that later evolved into Tengriism, although it received missionaries of Buddhist monks and practiced a syncretic religion. The Göktürks were the first Turkic people to write Old Turkic in a runic script, the Orkhon script. The Khaganate was also the first state known as "Turk". It eventually collapsed due to a series of dynastic conflicts, but many states and peoples later used the name "Turk".[177][178]

The Göktürks (First Turkic Kaganate) quickly spread west to the Caspian Sea. Between 581 and 603 the Western Turkic Khaganate in Kazakhstan separated from the Eastern Turkic Khaganate in Mongolia and Manchuria during a civil war. The Han-Chinese successfully overthrew the Eastern Turks in 630 and created a military Protectorate until 682. After that time the Second Turkic Khaganate ruled large parts of the former Göktürk area. After several wars between Turks, Chinese and Tibetans, the weakened Second Turkic Khaganate was replaced by the Uyghur Khaganate in the year 744.[179]

Bulgars, Golden Horde and the Siberian Khanate

The migration of the Bulgars after the fall of Old Great Bulgaria in the 7th century
The migration of the Bulgars after the fall of Old Great Bulgaria in the 7th century

The Bulgars established themselves in between the Caspian and Black Seas in the 5th and 6th centuries, followed by their conquerors, the Khazars who converted to Judaism in the 8th or 9th century. After them came the Pechenegs who created a large confederacy, which was subsequently taken over by the Cumans and the Kipchaks. One group of Bulgars settled in the Volga region and mixed with local Volga Finns to become the Volga Bulgars in what is today Tatarstan. These Bulgars were conquered by the Mongols following their westward sweep under Genghis Khan in the 13th century. Other Bulgars settled in Southeastern Europe in the 7th and 8th centuries, and mixed with the Slavic population, adopting what eventually became the Slavic Bulgarian language. Everywhere, Turkic groups mixed with the local populations to varying degrees.[175]

The Volga Bulgaria became an Islamic state in 922 and influenced the region as it controlled many trade routes. In the 13th century, Mongols invaded Europe and established the Golden Horde in Eastern Europe, western & northern Central Asia, and even western Siberia. The Cuman-Kipchak Confederation and Islamic Volga Bulgaria were absorbed by the Golden Horde in the 13th century; in the 14th century, Islam became the official religion under Uzbeg Khan where the general population (Turks) as well as the aristocracy (Mongols) came to speak the Kipchak language and were collectively known as "Tatars" by Russians and Westerners. This country was also known as the Kipchak Khanate and covered most of what is today Ukraine, as well as the entirety of modern-day southern and eastern Russia (the European section). The Golden Horde disintegrated into several khanates and hordes in the 15th and 16th century including the Crimean Khanate, Khanate of Kazan, and Kazakh Khanate (among others), which were one by one conquered and annexed by the Russian Empire in the 16th through 19th centuries.

In Siberia, the Siberian Khanate was established in the 1490s by fleeing Tatar aristocrats of the disintegrating Golden Horde who established Islam as the official religion in western Siberia over the partly Islamized native Siberian Tatars and indigenous Uralic peoples. It was the northernmost Islamic state in recorded history and it survived up until 1598 when it was conquered by Russia.

Uyghur Khaganate (8th–9th c.)

Uyghur Khaganate
Uyghur Khaganate
Uyghur painting from the Bezeklik murals
Uyghur painting from the Bezeklik murals
Uyghur royals in Chinese-style dresses
Uyghur royals in Chinese-style dresses

The Uyghur empire ruled large parts of Mongolia, Northern and Western China and parts of northern Manchuria. They followed largely Buddhism and animistic traditions. During the same time, the Shatuo Turks emerged as power factor in Northern and Central China and were recognized by the Tang Empire as allied power. The Uyghur empire fell after several wars in the year 840.[179][180]

The Turkic Later Tang Dynasty
The Turkic Later Tang Dynasty

The Shatuo Turks had founded several short-lived sinicized dynasties in northern China during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. The official language of these dynasties was Chinese and they used Chinese titles and names. Some Shaotuo Turks emperors also claimed patrilineal Han Chinese ancestry.[181][182][183]

After the fall of the Tang-Dynasty in 907, the Shatuo Turks replaced them and created the Later Tang Dynasty in 923. The Shatuo Turks ruled over a large part of northern China, including Beijing. They adopted Chinese names and united Turkic and Chinese traditions. Later Tang fell in 937 but the Shatuo rose to become one of the most powerful clans of China. They created several other dynasies, including the Later Jin and Later Han. The Shatuo Turks were later assimilated into the Han Chinese ethnic group after they were conquered by the Song dynasty.[180][184]

The Yenisei Kyrgyz allied with China to destroy the Uyghur Khaganate in 840. The Kyrgyz people ultimately settled in the region now referred to as Kyrgyzstan.

Central Asia

Kangar union (659–750)

Kangar Union after the fall of Western Turkic Khaganate, 659–750
Kangar Union after the fall of Western Turkic Khaganate, 659–750

The Kangar Union (Qanghar Odaghu) was a Turkic state in the former territory of the Western Turkic Khaganate (the entire present-day state of Kazakhstan, without Zhetysu). The ethnic name Kangar is a medieval name for the Kangly people, who are now part of the Kazakh, Uzbek,[185] and Karakalpak nations. The capital of the Kangar union was located in the Ulytau mountains. The Pechenegs, three of whose tribes were known as Kangar (Greek: Καγγαρ), after being defeated by the Oghuzes, Karluks, and Kimek-Kypchaks, attacked the Bulgars and established the Pecheneg state in Eastern Europe (840–990 CE).

Oghuz Yabgu State (766–1055)

Oghuz Yabgu State (c.750 CE)
Oghuz Yabgu State (c.750 CE)

The Oguz Yabgu State (Oguz il, meaning "Oguz Land,", "Oguz Country")(750–1055) was a Turkic state, founded by Oghuz Turks in 766, located geographically in an area between the coasts of the Caspian and Aral Seas. Oguz tribes occupied a vast territory in Kazakhstan along the Irgiz, Yaik, Emba, and Uil rivers, the Aral Sea area, the Syr Darya valley, the foothills of the Karatau Mountains in Tien-Shan, and the Chui River valley (see map). The Oguz political association developed in the 9th and 10th centuries in the basin of the middle and lower course of the Syr Darya and adjoining the modern western Kazakhstan steppes.

Iranian, Indian, Arabic, and Anatolian expansion

Turkic peoples and related groups migrated west from present-day Northeastern China, Mongolia, Siberia and the Turkestan-region towards the Iranian plateau, South Asia, and Anatolia (modern Turkey) in many waves. The date of the initial expansion remains unknown.

Persia

Ghaznavid dynasty (977–1186)
Ghaznavid Empire at its greatest extent in 1030 CE
Ghaznavid Empire at its greatest extent in 1030 CE

The Ghaznavid dynasty (Persian: غزنویان ġaznaviyān) was a Persianate[186] Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin,[187] at their greatest extent ruling large parts of Iran, Afghanistan, much of Transoxiana and the northwest Indian subcontinent (part of Pakistan) from 977 to 1186.[188][189][190] The dynasty was founded by Sabuktigin upon his succession to rule of the region of Ghazna after the death of his father-in-law, Alp Tigin, who was a breakaway ex-general of the Samanid Empire from Balkh, north of the Hindu Kush in Greater Khorasan.[191]

Although the dynasty was of Central Asian Turkic origin, it was thoroughly Persianised in terms of language, culture, literature and habits[192][193][194][195] and hence is regarded by some as a "Persian dynasty".[196]

Seljuk Empire (1037–1194)
A map showing the Seljuk Empire at its height, upon the death of Malik Shah I in 1092.
A map showing the Seljuk Empire at its height, upon the death of Malik Shah I in 1092.

The Seljuk Empire (Persian: آل سلجوق, romanizedĀl-e Saljuq, lit.'House of Saljuq') or the Great Seljuq Empire[197][198][199] was a high medieval Turko-Persian[200] Sunni Muslim empire, originating from the Qiniq branch of Oghuz Turks.[201] At its greatest extent, the Seljuk Empire controlled a vast area stretching from western Anatolia and the Levant to the Hindu Kush in the east, and from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf in the south.

The Seljuk empire was founded by Tughril Beg (1016–1063) and his brother Chaghri Beg (989–1060) in 1037. From their homelands near the Aral Sea, the Seljuks advanced first into Khorasan and then into mainland Persia, before eventually conquering eastern Anatolia. Here the Seljuks won the battle of Manzikert in 1071 and conquered most of Anatolia from the Byzantine Empire, which became one of the reasons for the first crusade (1095–1099). From c. 1150–1250, the Seljuk empire declined, and was invaded by the Mongols around 1260. The Mongols divided Anatolia into emirates. Eventually one of these, the Ottoman, would conquer the rest.

Timurid Empire (1370–1507)
Map of the Timurid Empire at its greatest extent under Timur.
Map of the Timurid Empire at its greatest extent under Timur.

The Timurid Empire were a Turko-Mongol empire founded in the late 14th century by Timurlane, a descendant of Genghis Khan. Timur, although a self-proclaimed devout Muslim, brought great slaughter in his conquest of fellow Muslims in neighboring Islamic territory and contributed to the ultimate demise of many Muslim states, including the Golden Horde.

The Turco-Mongol residual states and domains by the 15th century
The Turco-Mongol residual states and domains by the 15th century
Central Asian khanates (1501–1920)
Central Asia in 1636
Central Asia in 1636

The Bukhara Khanate was an Uzbek[202] state that existed from 1501 to 1785. The khanate was ruled by three dynasties of the Shaybanids, Janids and the Uzbek dynasty of Mangits. In 1785, Shahmurad, formalized the family's dynastic rule (Manghit dynasty), and the khanate became the Emirate of Bukhara (1785–1920).[203] In 1710, the Kokand Khanate (1710–1876) separated from the Bukhara Khanate. In 1511–1920, Khwarazm (Khiva Khanate) was ruled by the Arabshahid dynasty and the Uzbek dynasty of Kungrats.[204]

Safavid dynasty (1501–1736)

The Safavid dynasty of Persia (1501–1736) were of mixed ancestry (Kurdish[205] and Azeri Turks,[206] which included intermarriages with Georgian,[207] Circassian,[208][209] and Pontic Greek[210] dignitaries). Through intermarriage and other political considerations, the Safavids spoke Persian and Turkish,[211][212] and some of the Shahs composed poems in their native Turkish language. Concurrently, the Shahs themselves also supported Persian literature, poetry and art projects including the grand Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp.[213][214] The Safavid dynasty ruled parts of Greater Iran for more than two centuries.[215][216][217][218] and established the Twelver school of Shi'a Islam[219] as the official religion of their empire, marking one of the most important turning points in Muslim history

Afsharid dynasty (1736–1796)

The Afsharid dynasty was named after the Turkic Afshar tribe to which they belonged. The Afshars had migrated from Turkestan to Azerbaijan in the 13th century. The dynasty was founded in 1736 by the military commander Nader Shah who deposed the last member of the Safavid dynasty and proclaimed himself King of Iran. Nader belonged to the Qereqlu branch of the Afshars.[220] During Nader's reign, Iran reached its greatest extent since the Sassanid Empire.

Qajar dynasty (1789–1925)

The Qajar dynasty was created by the Turkic Qajar tribe, ruling over Iran from 1789 to 1925.[221][222] The Qajar family took full control of Iran in 1794, deposing Lotf 'Ali Khan, the last Shah of the Zand dynasty, and re-asserted Iranian sovereignty over large parts of the Caucasus. In 1796, Mohammad Khan Qajar seized Mashhad with ease,[223] putting an end to the Afsharid dynasty, and Mohammad Khan was formally crowned as Shah after his punitive campaign against Iran's Georgian subjects.[224] In the Caucasus, the Qajar dynasty permanently lost many of Iran's integral areas[225] to the Russians over the course of the 19th century, comprising modern-day Georgia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan and Armenia.[226] The dynasty was founded by Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar and continued until Ahmad Shah Qajar.

South Asia

Mughal Emperor Jahangir presents Prince Khurram with a turban ornament.
Mughal Emperor Jahangir presents Prince Khurram with a turban ornament.
Babur, founder of the Mughal Empire and Mughal emperor Humayun.
Babur, founder of the Mughal Empire and Mughal emperor Humayun.

The Delhi Sultanate is a term used to cover five short-lived, Delhi-based kingdoms three of which were of Turkic origin in medieval India. These Turkic dynasties were the Mamluk dynasty (1206–90); the Khalji dynasty (1290–1320); and the Tughlaq dynasty (1320–1414). Southern India also saw many Turkic origin dynasties like the Adil Shahi dynasty, the Bidar Sultanate, and the Qutb Shahi dynasty, collectively known as the Deccan sultanates. The Mughal Empire was a Turko-Mongol founded Indian empire that, at its greatest territorial extent, ruled most of South Asia, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and parts of Uzbekistan from the early 16th to the early 18th centuries. The Mughal dynasty was founded by a Chagatai Turkic prince named Babur (reigned 1526–30), who was descended from the Turkic conqueror Timur (Tamerlane) on his father's side and from Chagatai, second son of the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan, on his mother's side.[227][228] A further distinction was the attempt of the Mughals to integrate Hindus and Muslims into a united Indian state.[227][229][230][231] and the Last Turkic dynasty in India were the Hyderabad State lasted from 1724 to 1948 located in the south-central region of India.

Arab world

Silver dirham of AH 329 (940/941 CE), with the names of Caliph al-Muttaqi and Amir al-umara Bajkam (de facto ruler of the country)
Silver dirham of AH 329 (940/941 CE), with the names of Caliph al-Muttaqi and Amir al-umara Bajkam (de facto ruler of the country)

The Arab Muslim Umayyads and Abbasids fought against the pagan Turks in the Türgesh Khaganate in the Muslim conquest of Transoxiana. Turkic soldiers in the army of the Abbasid caliphs emerged as the de facto rulers of most of the Muslim Middle East (apart from Syria and Egypt), particularly after the 10th century. Examples of regional de-facto independent states include the short lived Tulunids and Ikhshidids in Egypt. The Oghuz and other tribes captured and dominated various countries under the leadership of the Seljuk dynasty and eventually captured the territories of the Abbasid dynasty and the Byzantine Empire.[175]

Anatolia – Ottomans

Ottoman empire in 1683
Ottoman empire in 1683

After many battles, the western Oghuz Turks established their own state and later constructed the Ottoman Empire. The main migration of the Oghuz Turks occurred in medieval times, when they spread across most of Asia and into Europe and the Middle East.[175] They also took part in the military encounters of the Crusades.[232] In 1090–91, the Turkic Pechenegs reached the walls of Constantinople, where Emperor Alexius I with the aid of the Kipchaks annihilated their army.[233]

As the Seljuk Empire declined following the Mongol invasion, the Ottoman Empire emerged as the new important Turkic state, that came to dominate not only the Middle East, but even southeastern Europe, parts of southwestern Russia, and northern Africa.[175]

Islamization

Turkic peoples like the Karluks (mainly 8th century), Uyghurs, Kyrgyz, Turkmens, and Kipchaks later came into contact with Muslims, and most of them gradually adopted Islam. Some groups of Turkic people practice other religions, including their original animistic-shamanistic religion, Christianity, Burkhanism, Jews (Khazars, Krymchaks, Crimean Karaites), Buddhism and a small number of Zoroastrians.

Modern history

Independent Turkic states shown in red
Independent Turkic states shown in red

The Ottoman Empire gradually grew weaker in the face of poor administration, repeated wars with Russia, Austria and Hungary, and the emergence of nationalist movements in the Balkans, and it finally gave way after World War I to the present-day Republic of Turkey.[175] Ethnic nationalism also developed in Ottoman Empire during the 19th century, taking the form of Pan-Turkism or Turanism.

The Turkic peoples of Central Asia were not organized in nation-states during most of the 20th century, after the collapse of the Russian Empire living either in the Soviet Union or (after a short-lived First East Turkestan Republic) in the Chinese Republic. In the 20th century Turkey was the only independent Turkic country most of the time.

In 1991, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, five Turkic states gained their independence. These were Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Other Turkic regions such as Tatarstan, Tuva, and Yakutia remained in the Russian Federation. Chinese Turkestan remained part of the People's Republic of China. Immediately after the independence of the Turkic states, Turkey began seeking diplomatic relations with them. Over time political meetings between the Turkic countries increased and led to the establishment of TÜRKSOY in 1993 and the Turkic Council in 2009, which later was renamed Organization of Turkic States in 2021.

Discover more about History related topics

Nomadic empire

Nomadic empire

Nomadic empires, sometimes also called steppe empires, Central or Inner Asian empires, were the empires erected by the bow-wielding, horse-riding, nomadic people in the Eurasian Steppe, from classical antiquity (Scythia) to the early modern era (Dzungars). They are the most prominent example of non-sedentary polities.

Genetic history of East Asians

Genetic history of East Asians

This article explains the genetic makeup and population history of East Asian peoples and closely related populations, which are collectively referred to as "East-Eurasians" in population genomics.

Liao civilization

Liao civilization

The Liao Civilization or Liao River Civilization, named after the Liao River, is an ancient Chinese civilization that originated in the Liao basin. It is thought to have formed in about 6,200 BC. This civilization was discovered when Ryuzo Torii, a Japanese archaeologist, discovered the Hongshan culture in 1908.

Peter Benjamin Golden

Peter Benjamin Golden

Peter Benjamin Golden is an American historian who is Professor Emeritus of History, Turkish and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University. He has written many books and articles on Turkic and Central Asian Studies, such as An introduction to the history of the Turkic peoples.

Taiga

Taiga

Taiga, generally referred to in North America as a boreal forest or snow forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests consisting mostly of pines, spruces, and larches.

Steppe

Steppe

In physical geography, a steppe is an ecoregion characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes.

Siberia

Siberia

Siberia is an extensive geographical region, constituting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has been a part of Russia since the latter half of the 16th century, after the Russians conquered lands east of the Ural Mountains. Siberia is vast and sparsely populated, covering an area of over 13.1 million square kilometres (5,100,000 sq mi), but home to merely one-fifth of Russia's population. Novosibirsk and Omsk are the largest cities in the region.

Manchuria

Manchuria

Manchuria is an exonym for a historical and geographic region in Northeast Asia encompassing the entirety of present-day Northeast China and parts of the Russian Far East. Its meaning may vary depending on the context:Historical polities and geographical regions usually referred to as Manchuria: The Later Jin (1616–1636), the Manchu-led dynasty which renamed itself from "Jin" to "Qing", and the ethnicity from "Jurchen" to "Manchu" in 1636 the subsequent duration of the Qing dynasty prior to its conquest of China proper (1644) the northeastern region of Qing dynasty China, the homeland of Manchus, known as "Guandong" or "Guanwai" during the Qing dynasty The region of Northeast Asia that served as the historical homeland of the Jurchens and later their descendants Manchus Qing control of Dauria was contested in 1643 when Russians entered; the ensuing Sino-Russian border conflicts ended when Russia agreed to withdraw in the 1689 Treaty of Nerchinsk controlled in whole by Qing Dynasty China until the Amur Annexation of Outer Manchuria by Russia in 1858-1860 controlled as a whole by the Russian Empire after the Russian invasion of Manchuria in 1900 until the Russo-Japanese War and the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905, which required Russian withdrawal. controlled by Qing China again, and reorganised in 1907 under the Viceroy of the Three Northeast Provinces controlled by the Republic of China (1912–1949) after the 1911 revolution controlled by the Fengtian clique lead by Zhang Zuolin from 1917-1928, until the military Northern Expedition and the Northeast Flag Replacement brought it under control the Republic of China (1912–1949) again controlled by Imperial Japan as the puppet state of Manchukuo, often translated as "Manchuria", (1932–1945). Formed after the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, it included the entire Northeast China, the northern fringes of present-day Hebei Province, and the eastern part of Inner Mongolia. briefly entirely controlled by the USSR after the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in 1945, but then divided with China Modern Northeast China, specifically the three provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning, but broadly also including the eastern Inner Mongolian prefectures of Hulunbuir, Hinggan, Tongliao, and Chifeng, and sometimes Xilin Gol Areas of the modern Russian Federation also known as "Outer Northeast China" or "Outer Manchuria". The two areas involved are Priamurye between the Amur River and the Stanovoy Range to the north, and Primorye which runs down the coast from the Amur mouth to the Korean border, including the island of Sakhalin

Altaic languages

Altaic languages

Altaic is a controversial proposed language family that would include the Turkic, Mongolic and Tungusic language families and possibly also the Japonic and Koreanic languages. Speakers of these languages are currently scattered over most of Asia north of 35 °N and in some eastern parts of Europe, extending in longitude from Turkey to Japan. The group is named after the Altai mountain range in the center of Asia.

Martine Robbeets

Martine Robbeets

Martine Robbeets is a Belgian comparative linguist. She is known for the Transeurasian languages hypothesis, which groups the Japonic, Koreanic, Tungusic, Mongolic, and Turkic languages together into a single language family.

Neolithic

Neolithic

The Neolithic period, or New Stone Age, is an Old World archaeological period and the final division of the Stone Age. It saw the Neolithic Revolution, a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several parts of the world. This "Neolithic package" included the introduction of farming, domestication of animals, and change from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to one of settlement.

East Asian people

East Asian people

East Asian people are the people from East Asia, which consists of China, Taiwan, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, and South Korea. The total population of all countries within this region is estimated to be 1.677 billion and 21% of the world's population in 2020. However, large East Asian diasporas, such as the Chinese diaspora, Japanese diaspora, Korean diaspora, and Mongolian diaspora, as well as diasporas of other East Asian ethnic groups, mean that the 1.677 billion does not necessarily represent an accurate figure for the numbers of East Asian people worldwide.

Physiognomy

According to historians Joo-Yup Lee and Shuntu Kuang, Chinese official histories do not depict Turkic peoples as belonging to a single uniform entity called "Turks".[234] However "Chinese histories also depict the Turkic-speaking peoples as typically possessing East/Inner Asian physiognomy, as well as occasionally having West Eurasian physiognomy"[234] and that "like Chinese historians, Muslim writers in general depict the "Turks" as possessing East Asian physiognomy".[235] According to "fragmentary information on the Xiongnu language that can be found in the Chinese histories, the Xiongnu were Turkic,"[236] however historians have been unable to confirm whether or not they were Turkic. Sima Qian's description of their legendary origins suggest their physiognomy was "not too different from that of... Han (漢) Chinese population,"[236] but a subset of Xiongnu known as the Jie people were described having "deep-set eyes," "high nose bridges" and "heavy facial hair."[236] The Jie may have been Yeniseian and regardless of whether or not the Xiongnu were Turkic, they were a hybrid people.[237] According to the Old Book of Tang, Ashina Simo "was not given a high military post by the Ashina rulers because of his Sogdian (huren 胡人) physiognomy."[238] The Tang historian Yan Shigu described the Hu people of his day as "blue-eyed and red bearded"[239] descendants of the Wusun, whereas "no comparable depiction of the Kök Türks or Tiele is found in the official Chinese histories."[239] However, Professor Xue Zongzheng has argued that West Eurasian features were typical of the royal Ashina clan of the Eastern Turkic Khaganate, and that their appearance shifted to an East Asian one, due to intermarriage with foreign nobility.[240] Lee and Kuang believe it is likely "early and medieval Turkic peoples themselves did not form a homogeneous entity and that some of them, non-Turkic by origin, had become Turkicised at some point in history."[241] They also suggest that many modern Turkic-speaking populations are not directly descended from early Turkic peoples.[241] Lee and Kuang concluded that "both medieval Chinese histories and modern DNA studies point to the fact that the early and medieval Turkic peoples were made up of heterogeneous and somatically dissimilar populations."[242]

Medieval Arab and Persian descriptions of Turks state that they looked strange from their perspective and were extremely physically different from Arabs. Turks were described as "broad faced people with small eyes" and with pink skin,[243] as being "short, with small eyes, nostrils, and mouths" (Sharaf al-Zaman al-Marwazi), as being "full-faced with small eyes" (Al-Tabari), as possessing "a large head (sar-i buzurg), a broad face (rūy-i pahn), narrow eyes (chashmhā-i tang), and a flat nose (bīnī-i pakhch), and unpleasing lips and teeth (lab va dandān na nīkū)" (Keikavus).[244] Medieval Muslim writers noted that Tibetans and Turks resembled each other, and that they often were not able to tell the difference between Turks and Tibetans.[245] On Western Turkic coins "the faces of the governor and governess are clearly Mongoloid (a roundish face, narrow eyes), and the portrait have definite old Türk features (long hair, absence of headdress of the governor, a tricorn headdress of the governess)".[246] In the Ghaznavids' residential palace of Lashkari Bazar, there survives a partially conserved portrait depicting a turbaned and haloed adolescent figure with full cheeks, slanted eyes, and a small, sinuous mouth.[247] The Armenian historian Movses Kaghankatvatsi describes the Turks of the Western Turkic Khaganate as "broad-faced, without eyelashes, and with long flowing hair like women".[248]

Al-Masudi writes that the Oghuz Turks in Yengi-kent near the mouth of the Syr Darya "are distinguished from other Turks by their valour, their slanted eyes, and the smallness of their stature."[235] Later Muslim writers noted a change in the physiognomy of Oghuz Turks. According to Rashid al-Din Hamadani, "because of the climate their features gradually changed into those of Tajiks. Since they were not Tajiks, the Tajik peoples called them turkmān, i.e. Turk-like (Turk-mānand)." Ḥāfiẓ Tanīsh Mīr Muḥammad Bukhārī also related that the Oghuz' ‘Turkic face did not remain as it was’ after their migration into Transoxiana and Iran. Khiva khan Abu al-Ghazi Bahadur wrote in his Chagatai language treatise Shajara-i Tarākima (Genealogy of the Turkmens) that "their chin started to become narrow, their eyes started to become large, their faces started to become small, and their noses started to become big’ after five or six generations". Ottoman historian Mustafa Âlî commented in Künhüʾl-aḫbār that Anatolian Turks and Ottoman elites are ethnically mixed: "Most of the inhabitants of Rûm are of confused ethnic origin. Among its notables there are few whose lineage does not go back to a convert to Islam."[249]

Kevin Alan Brook states that like "most nomadic Turks, the Western Turkic Khazars were racially and ethnically mixed."[250] Istakhri described Khazars as having black hair while Ibn Sa'id al-Maghribi described them as having blue eyes, light skin, and reddish hair. Istakhri mentions that there were "Black Khazars" and "White Khazars." Most scholars believe these were political designations: black being lower class while white being higher class. Constantin Zuckerman argues that these "had physical and racial differences and explained that they stemmed from the merger of the Khazars with the Barsils."[251] Old East Slavic sources called the Khazars the "White Ugry" and the Magyars the "Black Ugry."[252] Soviet excavated Khazar remains show Slavic-type, European-type, and a minority Mongoloid-type skulls.[251]

Other early-attested Turkic speaking groups were the Xinli 薪犁, later known as Xue 薛 in the 7th century[129][130] and the Gekun (鬲昆) or Jiankun (堅昆), later known as Jiegu (結骨), Hegu (紇骨), Hegusi (紇扢斯), Hejiasi (紇戛斯), Hugu (護骨), Qigu (契骨), Juwu (居勿), and Xiajiasi (黠戛斯), all being transcriptions of Kyrgyz.[253][254] The Yenisei Kyrgyz are mentioned in the New Book of Tang as having the same script and language as the Uyghurs but "The people are all tall and big and have red hair, white faces, and green eyes."[255][note 1] The New Book of Tang also states that the neighboring Boma tribe resembled the Kyrgyz but their language was different, which may imply the Kyrgyz were originally a non-Turkic people and was later Turkicized through inter-tribal marriages.[255] According to Gardizi, the Kyrgyz were mixed with "Saqlabs" (Slavs), which explains the red hair and white skin among the Kyrgyz.[260]

Early Chinese histories do not mention special information about the Kipchak tribes; however, the Yuanshi mentioned that Yuan general Tutuha originated from the Kipchak tribe Ölberli.[261] Russian anthropologist Oshanin (1964: 24, 32) notes that "the ‘Mongoloid’ phenotype, characteristic of modern Kazakhs and Qirghiz, prevails among the skulls of the Qipchaq and Pecheneg nomads found in the kurgans in eastern Ukraine"; Lee & Kuang (2017) propose that Oshanin's discovery is explainable by assuming that the historical Kipchaks' modern descendants are Kazakhs of the Lesser Horde, whose men possess a high frequency of haplogroup C2's subclade C2b1b1 (59.7 to 78%). Lee and Kuang also suggest that the high frequency (63.9%) of the Y-DNA haplogroup R-M73 among Karakypshaks (a tribe within the Kipchaks) allows inferrence about the genetics of Karakypshaks' medieval ancestors, thus explaining why some medieval Kipchaks were described as possessing "blue [or green] eyes and red hair.[262]

Remarks

  1. ^ 9th-century author Duan Chengshi described the Kyrgyz tribe (Jiankun buluo 堅昆部落) as "yellow-haired, green-eyed, red-mustached [and red-]bearded".[256] New Book of Tang (finished in 1060) describes Alats, a medieval Turkic people, as resembling Kyrgyzes[257] who were "all tall, red-haired, pale-faced, green-irised";[258] New Book of Tang also states that Kyrgyzes regarded black hair as "infelicitous" and insisted that black-eyed individuals were descendants of Han general Li Ling.[259]

Discover more about Physiognomy related topics

Sima Qian

Sima Qian

Sima Qian was a Chinese historian of the early Han dynasty. He is considered the father of Chinese historiography for his Records of the Grand Historian, a general history of China covering more than two thousand years beginning from the rise of the legendary Yellow Emperor and the formation of the first Chinese polity to the reigning sovereign of Sima Qian's time, Emperor Wu of Han. As the first universal history of the world as it was known to the ancient Chinese, the Records of the Grand Historian served as a model for official history-writing for subsequent Chinese dynasties and the Chinese cultural sphere up until the 20th century.

Jie people

Jie people

The Jié were members of a tribe of northern China in the fourth century. During the period of the Sixteen Kingdoms, they were regarded by the Han people as one of the Five Barbarians. Under Shi Le, they established the Later Zhao dynasty. The Jie were defeated by Ran Min in the Wei–Jie war in 350 following the fall of the Later Zhao. Chinese historians continued to document the Jie people and their activities after the Wei–Jie war.

Old Book of Tang

Old Book of Tang

The Old Book of Tang, or simply the Book of Tang, is the first classic historical work about the Tang dynasty, comprising 200 chapters, and is one of the Twenty-Four Histories. Originally compiled during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, it was superseded by the New Book of Tang which was compiled in the Song dynasty, but later regained acceptance.

Tang dynasty

Tang dynasty

The Tang dynasty, or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907 AD, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Historians generally regard the Tang as a high point in Chinese civilization, and a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Tang territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivaled that of the Han dynasty.

Ashina tribe

Ashina tribe

The Ashina, were a Turkic speaking tribe and the ruling dynasty of the Göktürks. This clan rose to prominence in the mid-6th century when the leader, Bumin Qaghan, revolted against the Rouran Khaganate. The two main branches of the family, one descended from Bumin and the other from his brother Istämi, ruled over the eastern and western parts of the Göktürk confederation, respectively.

Sharaf al-Zaman al-Marwazi

Sharaf al-Zaman al-Marwazi

Sharaf al-Zamān Ṭāhir al-Marwazī or Marvazī was a physician and author of Nature of Animals.

Al-Tabari

Al-Tabari

Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Jarīr ibn Yazīd al-Ṭabarī, more commonly known as al-Ṭabarī (الطبري), was a Muslim historian and scholar from Amol, Tabaristan. Among the most prominent figures of the Islamic Golden Age, al-Tabari is known for his historical works and his expertise in Qur'anic exegesis, but he has also been described as "an impressively prolific polymath". He wrote works on a diverse range of subjects, including world history, poetry, lexicography, grammar, ethics, mathematics, and medicine.

Keikavus

Keikavus

Keikavus was the ruler of the Ziyarid dynasty from ca. 1050 to 1087. He was the son of Iskandar and grandson of Qabus. During his reign, he had little power, due to his status as a vassal to the Seljuqs. He is the celebrated author of the Qabus nama, a major work of Persian literature.

Ghaznavids

Ghaznavids

The Ghaznavid dynasty was a culturally Persianate, Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin, ruling, at its greatest extent, large parts of Persia, Khorasan, much of Transoxiana and the northwest Indian subcontinent from 977 to 1186. The dynasty was founded by Sabuktigin upon his succession to the rule of Ghazna after the death of his father-in-law, Alp Tigin, who was an ex-general of the Samanid Empire from Balkh, north of the Hindu Kush in Greater Khorasan.

Lashkari Bazar

Lashkari Bazar

Lashkari Bazar was a palatial residence of rulers of the Ghaznavid Empire, located in Lashkargah in Afghanistan. The original name was probably al-'Askar.

Movses Kaghankatvatsi

Movses Kaghankatvatsi

Movses Kaghankatvatsi, or Movses Daskhurantsi is the reputed author of a tenth-century Classical Armenian historiographical work on Caucasian Albania and eastern provinces of Armenia, known as The History of the Country of Albania.

Al-Masudi

Al-Masudi

Al-Mas'udi was an Arab historian, geographer and traveler. He is sometimes referred to as the "Herodotus of the Arabs". A polymath and prolific author of over twenty works on theology, history, geography, natural science and philosophy, his celebrated magnum opus Murūj al-Dhahab wa-Ma'ādin al-Jawhar, combines universal history with scientific geography, social commentary and biography, and is published in English in a multi-volume series as The Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems.

Archaeology

Discover more about Archaeology related topics

Xinglongwa culture

Xinglongwa culture

The Xinglongwa culture (興隆洼文化) was a Neolithic culture in northeastern China, found mainly around the Inner Mongolia-Liaoning border at the Liao River basin. Xinglongwa pottery was primarily cylindrical and baked at low temperatures.

Hongshan culture

Hongshan culture

The Hongshan culture was a Neolithic culture in the West Liao river basin in northeast China. Hongshan sites have been found in an area stretching from Inner Mongolia to Liaoning, and dated from about 4700 to 2900 BC.

Kurumchi culture

Kurumchi culture

The Kurumchi culture or the "Kurumchi blacksmiths" was the earliest Iron Age archaeological culture of Baikalia as proposed by Bernhard Petri. He also speculated that they were the progenitors of the Sakha people, a claim that didn't go unchallenged by his contemporaries. Petri assumed that the Kurumchi left Baikalia for the Middle Lena due to pressure from the ancestors of the Buryats.

Saltovo-Mayaki

Saltovo-Mayaki

Saltovo-Mayaki or Saltovo-Majaki is the name given by archaeologists to the early medieval culture of the Pontic steppe region roughly between the Don and the Dnieper Rivers, flourishing roughly between the years of 700 and 950.

Saymaluu-Tash

Saymaluu-Tash

Saymaluu-Tash is a petroglyph site and a national park in Jalal-Abad Region, Kyrgyzstan, south of Kazarman. Over 10,000 carved pictures—and perhaps as many as 11,000—which are black-and-white rock paintings, have so far been identified, making the site a globally important collection of rock art. They are a sacred display of offerings of the ancient people of the lower valley.

Bilär

Bilär

Bilär - was a medieval city in Volga Bulgaria and its second capital before the Mongol invasion of Volga Bulgaria. It was located on the left bank of the Small Cheremshan River in Alexeeyevsky District of the Tatarstan. The distance to Bilyarsk is 50 km and 150 km to Kazan.

Por-Bazhyn

Por-Bazhyn

Por-Bazhyn is a ruined structure on a lake island high in the mountains of southern Tuva. The name derives from Tuvinian 'clay house'. Excavations suggest that it was built as an Uyghur palace in the 8th century AD, converted into a Manichaean monastery soon after, abandoned after a short occupation, and finally destroyed by an earthquake and subsequent fire. Its construction methods show that Por-Bazhyn was built within the Tang Chinese architectural tradition.

Ordu-Baliq

Ordu-Baliq

Ordu-Baliq, also known as Mubalik and Karabalghasun, was the capital of the first Uyghur Khaganate. It was built on the site of the former Göktürk imperial capital, 27 km north-to-northwest of the later Mongol capital, Karakorum. Its ruins are known as Kharbalgas in Mongolian, which means "black ruins". They form part of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape World Heritage Site.

Jankent

Jankent

Jankent is a deserted town east of the Aral Sea in modern Kazakhstan. It is known from Arab writings of the 10th century AD as the capital of the steppe empire of the Oghuz Turks. Archaeological research has provided information about the appearance of the town and confirmed the date, but also points to earlier origins.

International organizations

Map of TÜRKSOY members.
Map of TÜRKSOY members.

There are several international organizations created with the purpose of furthering cooperation between countries with Turkic-speaking populations, such as the Joint Administration of Turkic Arts and Culture (TÜRKSOY) and the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking Countries (TÜRKPA) and the Turkic Council.

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  Members
  Observer States

The TAKM – Organization of the Eurasian Law Enforcement Agencies with Military Status, was established on 25 January 2013. It is an intergovernmental military law enforcement (gendarmerie) organization of currently three Turkic countries (Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey) and Kazakhstan as observer.

TÜRKSOY

Türksoy carries out activities to strengthen cultural ties between Turkic peoples. One of the main goals to transmit their common cultural heritage to future generations and promote it around the world.[263]

Every year, one city in the Turkic world is selected as the "Cultural Capital of the Turkic World". Within the framework of events to celebrate the Cultural Capital of the Turkic World, numerous cultural events are held, gathering artists, scholars and intellectuals, giving them the opportunity to exchange their experiences, as well as promoting the city in question internationally.[264]

Organization of Turkic States

The Organization of Turkic States, founded on November 3, 2009 by the Nakhchivan Agreement confederation, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey, aims to integrate these organizations into a tighter geopolitical framework.

The member countries are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.[265] The idea of setting up this cooperative council was first put forward by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev back in 2006. Hungary has announced to be interested in joining the Organization of Turkic States. Since August 2018, Hungary has official observer status in the Organization of Turkic States.[266] Turkmenistan also joined as an observer state to the organization at 8th summit.[267] Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was admitted to the organization as observer member at the 2022 Samarkand Summit.[268][269]

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Pan-Turkism

Pan-Turkism

Pan-Turkism is a political movement that emerged during the 1880s among Turkic intellectuals who lived in the Russian region of Kazan (Tatarstan), Caucasus and the Ottoman Empire, with its aim being the cultural and political unification of all Turkic peoples. Turanism is a closely-related movement but it is a more general term, because Turkism only applies to Turkic peoples. However, researchers and politicians who are steeped in the Pan-Turkic ideology have used these terms interchangeably in many sources and works of literature.

TAKM

TAKM

The TAKM - Organization of the Eurasian Law Enforcement Agencies with Military Status, is an intergovernmental military law enforcement (gendarmerie) organization of three Turkic countries and, formerly, Mongolia. The initialism TAKM came from the founder countries' names.

Intergovernmental organization

Intergovernmental organization

An intergovernmental organization (IGO) or intergovernmental organisation, also known as an international institution, is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states, or of other organizations through formal treaties for handling/serving common interests and governed by international laws. IGOs are established by a treaty that acts as a charter creating the group. Treaties are formed when lawful representatives (governments) of several states go through a ratification process, providing the IGO with an international legal personality. Intergovernmental organizations are an important aspect of public international law.

Military

Military

A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct military uniform. It may consist of one or more military branches such as an army, navy, air force, space force, marines, or coast guard. The main task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state and its interests against external armed threats.

Law enforcement

Law enforcement

Law enforcement is the activity of some members of government who act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, deterring, rehabilitating, or punishing people who violate the rules and norms governing that society. The term encompasses police, courts, and corrections. These three components may operate independently of each other or collectively, through the use of record sharing and mutual cooperation.

Gendarmerie

Gendarmerie

A gendarmerie is a military force with law enforcement duties among the civilian population. The term gendarme is derived from the medieval French expression gens d'armes, which translates to "men-at-arms". In France and some Francophone nations, the gendarmerie is a branch of the armed forces that is responsible for internal security in parts of the territory, with additional duties as military police for the armed forces. It was introduced to several other Western European countries during the Napoleonic conquests. In the mid-twentieth century, a number of former French mandates and colonial possessions adopted a gendarmerie after independence. A similar concept exists in Eastern Europe in the form of Internal Troops, which are present in many countries of the former Soviet Union and its former allied countries.

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of the South Caucasus region, and is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia and Turkey to the west, and Iran to the south. Baku is the capital and largest city.

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan, or the Kyrgyz Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the south, and the People's Republic of China to the east. Its capital and largest city is Bishkek.

Turkey

Turkey

Turkey, officially the Republic of Türkiye, is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with the Black Sea to the north; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran to the east; Iraq to the southeast; Syria and the Mediterranean Sea to the south; the Aegean Sea to the west; and Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest. Cyprus is located off the south coast. Turks form the vast majority of the nation's population and Kurds are the largest minority. Ankara is Turkey's capital, while Istanbul is its largest city and financial centre.

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country located mainly in Central Asia and partly in Eastern Europe. It borders Russia to the north and west, China to the east, Kyrgyzstan to the southeast, Uzbekistan to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southwest, with a coastline along the Caspian Sea. Its capital is Astana, known as Nur-Sultan from 2019 to 2022. Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city, was the country's capital until 1997. Kazakhstan is the world's largest landlocked country, the largest and northernmost Muslim-majority country by land area, and the ninth-largest country in the world. It has a population of 19 million people, and one of the lowest population densities in the world, at fewer than 6 people per square kilometre.

Organization of Turkic States

Organization of Turkic States

The Organization of Turkic States (OTS), formerly called the Turkic Council or the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States, is an international organization comprising prominent independent Turkic countries: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. It is an intergovernmental organization whose overarching aim is promoting comprehensive cooperation among Turkic-speaking states. First proposed by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2006, it was founded on 3 October 2009, in Nakhchivan. The General Secretariat is in Istanbul.

Demographics

Bashkirs, painting from 1812, Paris
Bashkirs, painting from 1812, Paris

The distribution of people of Turkic cultural background ranges from Siberia, across Central Asia, to Southern Europe. As of 2011 the largest groups of Turkic people live throughout Central Asia—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan, in addition to Turkey and Iran. Additionally, Turkic people are found within Crimea, Altishahr region of western China, northern Iraq, Israel, Russia, Afghanistan, Cyprus, and the Balkans: Moldova, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and former Yugoslavia.

A small number of Turkic people also live in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Small numbers inhabit eastern Poland and the south-eastern part of Finland.[270] There are also considerable populations of Turkic people (originating mostly from Turkey) in Germany, United States, and Australia, largely because of migrations during the 20th century.

Sometimes ethnographers group Turkic people into six branches: the Oghuz Turks, Kipchak, Karluk, Siberian, Chuvash, and Sakha/Yakut branches. The Oghuz have been termed Western Turks, while the remaining five, in such a classificatory scheme, are called Eastern Turks.

The genetic distances between the different populations of Uzbeks scattered across Uzbekistan is no greater than the distance between many of them and the Karakalpaks. This suggests that Karakalpaks and Uzbeks have very similar origins. The Karakalpaks have a somewhat greater bias towards the eastern markers than the Uzbeks.[271]

Historical population:

Year Population
1 AD 2–2.5 million?
2013 150–200 million

The following incomplete list of Turkic people shows the respective groups' core areas of settlement and their estimated sizes (in millions):

People Primary homeland Population Modern language Predominant religion and sect
Turkish people Turkey 70 M Turkish Sunni Islam
Azerbaijanis Iranian Azerbaijan, Republic of Azerbaijan 30–35 M Azerbaijani Shia Islam (65%), Sunni Islam (35%)[272][273] (Hanafi).
Uzbeks Uzbekistan 28.3 M Uzbek Sunni Islam
Kazakhs Kazakhstan 13.8 M Kazakh Sunni Islam
Uyghurs Altishahr (China) 9 M Uyghur Sunni Islam
Turkmens Turkmenistan 8 M Turkmen Sunni Islam
Tatars Tatarstan (Russia) 7 M Tatar Sunni Islam
Kyrgyzs Kyrgyzstan 4.5 M Kyrgyz Sunni Islam
Bashkirs Bashkortostan (Russia) 2 M Bashkir Sunni Islam
Crimean Tatars Crimea (Russia/Ukraine) 0.5 to 2 M Crimean Tatar Sunni Islam
Chuvashes Chuvashia (Russia) 1.7 M Chuvash Orthodox Christianity
Qashqai Southern Iran (Iran) 0.9 M Qashqai Shia Islam
Karakalpaks Karakalpakstan (Uzbekistan) 0.6 M Karakalpak Sunni Islam
Yakuts Yakutia (Russia) 0.5 M Sakha Orthodox Christianity and Turkic Paganism
Kumyks Dagestan (Russia) 0.4 M Kumyk Sunni Islam
Karachays and Balkars Karachay-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria (Russia) 0.4 M Karachay-Balkar Sunni Islam
Tuvans Tuva (Russia) 0.3 M Tuvan Tibetan Buddhism
Gagauzs Gagauzia (Moldova) 0.2 M Gagauz Orthodox Christianity
Turkic Karaites and Krymchaks Ukraine 0.004 M Karaim and Krymchak Judaism

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Bashkirs

Bashkirs

The Bashkirs are a Kipchak Turkic ethnic group, indigenous to Russia. They are concentrated in Bashkortostan, a republic of the Russian Federation and in the broader historical region of Badzhgard, which spans both sides of the Ural Mountains, where Eastern Europe meets North Asia. Smaller communities of Bashkirs also live in the Republic of Tatarstan, the oblasts of Perm Krai, Chelyabinsk, Orenburg, Tyumen, Sverdlovsk and Kurgan and other regions in Russia; sizable minorities exist in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of the South Caucasus region, and is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia and Turkey to the west, and Iran to the south. Baku is the capital and largest city.

Iran

Iran

Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmenistan to the north, by Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east, and by the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf to the south. It covers an area of 1.64 million square kilometres, making it the 17th-largest country. Iran has a population of 86 million, making it the 17th-most populous country in the world, and the second-largest in the Middle East. Its largest cities, in descending order, are the capital Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, Karaj, Shiraz, and Tabriz.

Crimea

Crimea

Crimea is a peninsula in Ukraine, on the northern coast of the Black Sea. It has a population of 2.4 million. The peninsula is almost entirely surrounded by the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov. The Isthmus of Perekop connects the peninsula to Kherson Oblast in mainland Ukraine. To the east, the Crimean Bridge, constructed in 2018, spans the Strait of Kerch, linking the peninsula with Krasnodar Krai in Russia. The Arabat Spit, located to the northeast, is a narrow strip of land that separates the Sivash lagoons from the Sea of Azov. Across the Black Sea to the west lies Romania and to the south is Turkey.

Altishahr

Altishahr

Altishahr, also known as Kashgaria, is a historical name for the Tarim Basin region used in the 18th and 19th centuries. The term means 'Six Cities' in Turkic languages, referring to oasis towns along the rim of the Tarim, including Kashgar, in what is now southern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.

China

China

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population exceeding 1.4 billion, slightly ahead of India. China spans five time zones and borders fourteen countries by land, the most of any country in the world, tied with Russia. China also has a narrow maritime boundary with the disputed Taiwan. Covering an area of approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the world's third largest country by total land area. The country consists of 23 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two Special Administrative Regions. The national capital is Beijing, and the most populous city and financial center is Shanghai.

Iraq

Iraq

Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, the Persian Gulf and Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital and largest city is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Iraqi Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, Assyrians, Armenians, Yazidis, Mandaeans, Persians and Shabakis with similarly diverse geography and wildlife. The vast majority of the country's 44 million residents are Muslims – the notable other faiths are Christianity, Yazidism, Mandaeism, Yarsanism and Zoroastrianism. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish; others also recognised in specific regions are Neo-Aramaic, Turkish and Armenian.

Israel

Israel

Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia. It is situated on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea, and shares borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan to the east, and Egypt to the southwest; it is also bordered by the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively. Tel Aviv is the economic and technological center of the country, while its seat of government is in its proclaimed capital of Jerusalem, although Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem is unrecognized internationally.

Afghanistan

Afghanistan

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia. Referred to as the Heart of Asia, it is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south, Iran to the west, Turkmenistan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north, Tajikistan to the northeast, and China to the northeast and east. Occupying 652,864 square kilometers (252,072 sq mi) of land, the country is predominantly mountainous with plains in the north and the southwest, which are separated by the Hindu Kush mountain range. As of 2021, its population is 40.2 million, composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks. Kabul is the country's largest city and serves as its capital.

Cyprus

Cyprus

Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It is situated south of the Anatolian Peninsula, and its continental position is disputed; while it is geographically located in West Asia, it has cultural and geopolitical ties to Southern Europe. Cyprus is the third-largest and third-most populous island in the Mediterranean, and is located south of Turkey, east of Greece, north of Egypt, and west of Syria. Its capital and largest city is Nicosia.

Balkans

Balkans

The Balkans, also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographical area in southeastern Europe with various geographical and historical definitions. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the whole of Bulgaria. The Balkan Peninsula is bordered by the Adriatic Sea in the northwest, the Ionian Sea in the southwest, the Aegean Sea in the south, the Turkish Straits in the east, and the Black Sea in the northeast. The northern border of the peninsula is variously defined. The highest point of the Balkans is Mount Musala, 2,925 metres (9,596 ft), in the Rila mountain range, Bulgaria.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria

Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the east. Bulgaria covers a territory of 110,994 square kilometres (42,855 sq mi), and is the sixteenth-largest country in Europe. Sofia is the nation's capital and largest city; other major cities are Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas.

Cuisine

Markets in the steppe region had a limited range of foodstuffs available—mostly grains, dried fruits, spices, and tea. Turks mostly herded sheep, goats and horses. Dairy was a staple of the nomadic diet and there are many Turkic words for various dairy products such as süt (milk), yagh (butter), ayran, qaymaq (similar to clotted cream), qi̅mi̅z (fermented mare's milk) and qurut (dried yoghurt). During the Middle Ages Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Tatars, who were historically part of the Turkic nomadic group known as the Golden Horde, continued to develop new variations of dairy products.[274]

Nomadic Turks cooked their meals in a qazan, a pot similar to a cauldron; a wooden rack called a qasqan can be used to prepare certain steamed foods, like the traditional meat dumplings called manti. They also used a saj, a griddle that was traditionally placed on stones over a fire, and shish. In later times, the Persian tava was borrowed from the Persians for frying, but traditionally nomadic Turks did most of their cooking using the qazan, saj and shish. Meals were served in a bowl, called a chanaq, and eaten with a knife (bïchaq) and spoon (qashi̅q). Both bowl and spoon were historically made from wood. Other traditional utensils used in food preparation included a thin rolling pin called oqlaghu, a colander called süzgu̅çh, and a grinding stone called tāgirmān.[274]

Medieval grain dishes included preparations of whole grains, soups, porridges, breads and pastries. Fried or toasted whole grains were called qawïrmach, while köchä was crushed grain that was cooked with dairy products. Salma were broad noodles that could be served with boiled or roasted meat; cut noodles were called tutmaj in the Middle Ages and are called kesme today.[274]

There are many types of bread doughs in Turkic cuisine. Yupqa is the thinnest type of dough, bawi̅rsaq is a type of fried bread dough, and chälpäk is a deep fried flat bread. Qatlama is a fried bread that may be sprinkled with dried fruit or meat, rolled, and sliced like pinwheel sandwiches. Toqach and chöräk are varieties of bread, and böräk is a type of filled pie pastry.[274]

Herd animals were usually slaughtered during the winter months and various types of sausages were prepared to preserve the meats, including a type of sausage called sujuk. Though prohibited by Islamic dietary restrictions, historically Turkic nomads also had a variety of blood sausage. One type of sausage, called qazi̅, was made from horsemeat and another variety was filled with a mixture of ground meat, offal and rice. Chopped meat was called qïyma and spit-roasted meat was söklünch—from the root sök- meaning "to tear off", the latter dish is known as kebab in modern times. Qawirma is a typical fried meat dish, and kullama is a soup of noodles and lamb.[274]

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Grain

Grain

A grain is a small, hard, dry fruit (caryopsis) – with or without an attached hull layer – harvested for human or animal consumption. A grain crop is a grain-producing plant. The two main types of commercial grain crops are cereals and legumes.

Dried fruit

Dried fruit

Dried fruit is fruit from which the majority of the original water content has been removed either naturally, through sun drying, or through the use of specialized dryers or dehydrators. Dried fruit has a long tradition of use dating back to the fourth millennium BC in Mesopotamia, and is prized because of its sweet taste, nutritive value, and long shelf life.

Goat

Goat

The goat or domestic goat is a domesticated species of goat-antelope typically kept as livestock. It was domesticated from the wild goat of Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the animal family Bovidae and the tribe Caprini, meaning it is closely related to the sheep. There are over 300 distinct breeds of goat. It is one of the oldest domesticated species of animal, according to archaeological evidence that its earliest domestication occurred in Iran at 10,000 calibrated calendar years ago.

Horse

Horse

The horse is a domesticated, one-toed, hoofed mammal. It belongs to the taxonomic family Equidae and is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature, Eohippus, into the large, single-toed animal of today. Humans began domesticating horses around 4000 BCE, and their domestication is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BCE. Horses in the subspecies caballus are domesticated, although some domesticated populations live in the wild as feral horses. These feral populations are not true wild horses, as this term is used to describe horses that have never been domesticated. There is an extensive, specialized vocabulary used to describe equine-related concepts, covering everything from anatomy to life stages, size, colors, markings, breeds, locomotion, and behavior.

Ayran

Ayran

Ayran, doogh, dhallë, daw, xynogala or tan is a cold savory yogurt-based beverage popular across Western Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeastern Europe, North Asia and Eastern Europe. The principal ingredients are yogurt, water and salt. Herbs such as mint may be optionally added. Some varieties are carbonated.

Kaymak

Kaymak

Kaymak, sarshir, or qashta/ashta is a creamy dairy food similar to clotted cream, made from the milk of water buffalo, cows, sheep, or goats in Central Asia, some Balkan countries, some Caucasus countries, the countries of the Levant, Turkic regions, Iran and Iraq. In Poland, the name kajmak refers to a confection similar to dulce de leche instead.

Clotted cream

Clotted cream

Clotted cream is a thick cream made by heating full-cream cow's milk using steam or a water bath and then leaving it in shallow pans to cool slowly. During this time, the cream content rises to the surface and forms "clots" or "clouts", hence the name. It forms an essential part of a cream tea.

Kumis

Kumis

Kumis Mongolian: айраг, ääryg) is a fermented dairy product traditionally made from mare milk or donkey milk. The drink remains important to the peoples of the Central Asian steppes, of Turkic and Mongol origin: Kazakhs, Bashkirs, Kalmyks, Kyrgyz, Mongols, and Yakuts. Kumis was historically consumed by the Khitans, Jurchens, Hungarians, and Han Chinese of North China as well.

Kazakh cuisine

Kazakh cuisine

Traditional Kazakh cuisine is the traditional food of the Kazakh people. It is focused on mutton and horse meat, as well as various milk products. For hundreds of years, Kazakhs were herders who raised fat-tailed sheep, Bactrian camels, and horses, relying on these animals for transportation, clothing, and food. The cooking techniques and major ingredients have been strongly influenced by the nation's nomadic way of life. For example, most cooking techniques are aimed at long-term preservation of food. There is a large practice of salting and drying meat so that it will last, and there is a preference for sour milk, as it is easier to save in a nomadic lifestyle.

Golden Horde

Golden Horde

The Golden Horde, self-designated as Ulug Ulus, lit. 'Great State' in Turkic, was originally a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate established in the 13th century and originating as the northwestern sector of the Mongol Empire. With the fragmentation of the Mongol Empire after 1259 it became a functionally separate khanate. It is also known as the Kipchak Khanate or as the Ulus of Jochi, and replaced the earlier less organized Cuman–Kipchak confederation.

Kazan (cookware)

Kazan (cookware)

A kazan or qazan is a type of large cooking pot used throughout Central Asia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and the Balkan Peninsula, roughly equivalent to a cauldron, boiler, or Dutch oven. They come in a variety of sizes, and are often measured by their capacity, such as "a 50-litre kazan". Usually their diameter is half a meter. Kazans are made of cast iron or in modern times aluminum and are used to cook a wide variety of foods, including plov (pilaf), sumalak, shorpa, kesme, and bawyrsaq, and as such are an important element in celebrations when food must be prepared for large numbers of guests.

Cauldron

Cauldron

A cauldron is a large pot (kettle) for cooking or boiling over an open fire, with a lid and frequently with an arc-shaped hanger and/or integral handles or feet. There is a rich history of cauldron lore in religion, mythology, and folklore.

Religion

Early Turkic mythology and Tengrism

A shaman doctor of Kyzyl.
A shaman doctor of Kyzyl.
Circle dance of Shamans 1911
Circle dance of Shamans 1911

Early Turkic mythology was dominated by Shamanism, Animism and Tengrism. The Turkic animistic traditions were mostly focused on ancestor worship, polytheistic-animism and shamanism. Later this animistic tradition would form the more organized Tengrism. The chief deity was Tengri, a sky god, worshipped by the upper classes of early Turkic society until Manichaeism was introduced as the official religion of the Uyghur Empire in 763.

The wolf symbolizes honour and is also considered the mother of most Turkic peoples. Ashina is the wolf mother of Tumen Il-Qağan, the first Khan of the Göktürks. The horse and predatory birds, such as the eagle or falcon, are also main figures of Turkic mythology.

Religious conversions

Buddhism

Buddhism had considerable impact and influence onto the historical Turkic peoples and cultures. In pre-Islamic times, Buddhism and Tengrism coexisted, with several Buddhist temples, monasteries, figures and steles, with images of Buddhist characters and sceneries, were constructed by various Turkic tribes. Throughout Kazakhstan, there exist various historical Buddhist sites, including an underground Buddhist cave monastery. After the Arab conquest of Central Asia, and the spread of Islam among locals, Buddhism (and Tengrism) started to lose ground, however a certain influence of the Buddhist teachings remained in the next centuries.[275]

Tengri Bögü Khan made the now extinct Manichaeism the state religion of Uyghur Khaganate in 763 and it was also popular in Karluks. It was gradually replaced by the Mahayana Buddhism. It existed in the Buddhist Uyghur Gaochang up to the 12th century.[276]

Tibetan Buddhism, or Vajrayana was the main religion after Manichaeism.[277] They worshipped Täŋri Täŋrisi Burxan,[278] Quanšï Im Pusar[279] and Maitri Burxan.[280] Turkic Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent and west Xinjiang attributed with a rapid and almost total disappearance of it and other religions in North India and Central Asia. The Sari Uygurs "Yellow Yughurs" of Western China, as well as the Tuvans of Russia are the only remaining Buddhist Turkic peoples.[281]

Islam

Most Turkic people today are Sunni Muslims, although a significant number in Turkey are Alevis. Alevi Turks, who were once primarily dwelling in eastern Anatolia, are today concentrated in major urban centers in western Turkey with the increased urbanism. Azeris are traditionally Shiite Muslims. Religious observance is less stricter in the Republic of Azerbaijan compared to Iranian Azerbaijan.

Christianity

Saint John the Baptist Cathedral in Gagauzia
Saint John the Baptist Cathedral in Gagauzia
Gravestone from Kirgistan (thirteenth/fourteenth century) with Syriac Christian inscriptions
Gravestone from Kirgistan (thirteenth/fourteenth century) with Syriac Christian inscriptions

The major Christian-Turkic peoples are the Chuvash of Chuvashia and the Gagauz (Gökoğuz) of Moldova, the vast majority of Chuvash and the Gagauz are Eastern Orthodox Christians.[282][283][284] The traditional religion of the Chuvash of Russia, while containing many ancient Turkic concepts, also shares some elements with Zoroastrianism, Khazar Judaism, and Islam. The Chuvash converted to Eastern Orthodox Christianity for the most part in the second half of the 19th century.[285] As a result, festivals and rites were made to coincide with Orthodox feasts, and Christian rites replaced their traditional counterparts. A minority of the Chuvash still profess their traditional faith.[286] Between the 9th and 14th centuries, Church of the East was popular among Turks such as the Naimans.[287] It even revived in Gaochang and expanded in Xinjiang in the Yuan dynasty period.[288][289][290] It disappeared after its collapse.[291][292]

Kryashens are a sub-group of the Volga Tatars, and the vast majority are Orthodox Christians.[293] Nağaybäk are an indigenous Turkic people in Russia, most Nağaybäk are Christian and were largely converted during the 18th century.[294] Many Volga Tatars were Christianized by Ivan the Terrible during the 16th century, and continued to Christianized under subsequent Russian rulers and Orthodox clergy up to the mid-eighteenth century.[295]

Animism

Today there are several groups that support a revival of the ancient traditions. Especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union, many in Central Asia converted or openly practice animistic and shamanistic rituals. It is estimated that about 60% of Kyrgyz people practice a form of animistic rituals. In Kazakhstan there are about 54,000 followers of the ancient traditions.[296][297]

Muslim Turks and non-Muslim Turks

Kara-Khanids performed a mass conversion campaign against the Buddhist Uyghur Turks during the Islamization and Turkification of Xinjiang.

The non-Muslim Turks' worship of Tengri and other gods was mocked and insulted by the Muslim Turk Mahmud al-Kashgari, who wrote a verse referring to them – The Infidels – May God destroy them![298][299]

The Basmil, Yabāḳu and Uyghur states were among the Turkic peoples who fought against the Kara-Khanids spread of Islam. The Islamic Kara-Khanids were made out of Tukhsi, Yaghma, Çiğil and Karluk.[300]

Kashgari claimed that the Prophet assisted in a miraculous event where 700,000 Yabāqu infidels were defeated by 40,000 Muslims led by Arslān Tegīn claiming that fires shot sparks from gates located on a green mountain towards the Yabāqu.[301] The Yabaqu were a Turkic people.[302]

Mahmud al-Kashgari insulted the Uyghur Buddhists as "Uighur dogs" and called them "Tats", which referred to the "Uighur infidels" according to the Tuxsi and Taghma, while other Turks called Persians "tat".[303][304] While Kashgari displayed a different attitude towards the Turks diviners beliefs and "national customs", he expressed towards Buddhism a hatred in his Diwan where he wrote the verse cycle on the war against Uighur Buddhists. Buddhist origin words like toyin (a cleric or priest) and Burxān or Furxan (meaning Buddha, acquiring the generic meaning of "idol" in the Turkic language of Kashgari) had negative connotations to Muslim Turks.[305][299]

Göktürk petroglyphs from Mongolia (6th to 8th century)
Göktürk petroglyphs from Mongolia (6th to 8th century)
A Penjikent man dressed in “Turkic“ long coats, 6th–8th c.
A Penjikent man dressed in “Turkic“ long coats, 6th–8th c.

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Kyzyl

Kyzyl

Kyzyl is the capital city of the republic of Tuva, Russia. The name of the city means "red" or "crimson" in Tuvan. Its population was 120,067 (2021 Census); 109,918 (2010 Census); 104,105 (2002 Census); 84,641 (1989 Census).

Circle dance

Circle dance

Circle dance, or chain dance, is a style of social dance done in a circle, semicircle or a curved line to musical accompaniment, such as rhythm instruments and singing, and is a type of dance where anyone can join in without the need of partners. Unlike line dancing, circle dancers are in physical contact with each other; the connection is made by hand-to-hand, finger-to-finger or hands-on-shoulders, where they follow the leader around the dance floor. Ranging from gentle to energetic, the dance can be an uplifting group experience or part of a meditation.

Turkic mythology

Turkic mythology

Turkic mythology contains myths and legends told by the Turkic people. It features Tengrist and Shamanist strata of belief along with many other social and cultural constructs related to the nomadic and warrior way of life of Turkic and Mongol peoples in ancient times. Turkic mythology shares numerous points in common with Mongol mythology. Turkic mythology has also been influenced by other local Asiatic and Eurasian mythologies. For example, in Tatar mythology elements of Finnic and Indo-European mythologies co-exist. Beings from Tatar mythology include Äbädä, Alara, Şüräle, Şekä, Pitsen, Tulpar, and Zilant.

Tengrism

Tengrism

Tengrism is an ethnic and old state Turko-Mongolic religion originating in the Eurasian steppes, based on folk shamanism, animism and generally centered around the titular sky god Tengri. Tengri was not considered a deity in the usual sense, but a personification of the universe. The purpose of life is, according to the Tengris view, to live in harmony with the universe.

Shamanism

Shamanism

Shamanism is a religious practice that involves a practitioner (shaman) interacting with what they believe to be a spirit world through altered states of consciousness, such as trance. The goal of this is usually to direct spirits or spiritual energies into the physical world for the purpose of healing, divination, or to aid human beings in some other way.

Animism

Animism

Animism is the belief that objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence. Potentially, animism perceives all things—animals, plants, rocks, rivers, weather systems, human handiwork, and perhaps even words—as animated and alive. Animism is used in the anthropology of religion, as a term for the belief system of many Indigenous peoples, especially in contrast to the relatively more recent development of organized religions. Animism focuses on the metaphysical universe, with a specific focus on the concept of the immaterial soul.

Polytheism

Polytheism

Polytheism is the belief in multiple deities, which are usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own religious sects and rituals. Polytheism is a type of theism. Within theism, it contrasts with monotheism, the belief in a singular God, in most cases transcendent. In religions that accept polytheism, the different gods and goddesses may be representations of forces of nature or ancestral principles; they can be viewed either as autonomous or as aspects or emanations of a creator deity or transcendental absolute principle, which manifests immanently in nature. Polytheists do not always worship all the gods equally; they can be henotheists, specializing in the worship of one particular deity, or kathenotheists, worshiping different deities at different times.

Tengri

Tengri

Tengri is the All-Encompassing God of Heaven in the traditional Turko-Mongolian religious beliefs. It is also one of the names for the primary chief deity of the early Turkic and Mongolic peoples.

Manichaeism

Manichaeism

Manichaeism is a religion founded in the 3rd century AD by the Parthian prophet Mani, in the Sasanian Empire. It reveres Mani as a prophet, as well as Jesus, Zoroaster, Gautama Buddha, Narayana and Seth. The faith was formerly one of the world's major religious groups, but is practiced by relatively few today, mainly amongst Uyghurs, Mongolia, and Chinese Manichaeism.

Ashina tribe

Ashina tribe

The Ashina, were a Turkic speaking tribe and the ruling dynasty of the Göktürks. This clan rose to prominence in the mid-6th century when the leader, Bumin Qaghan, revolted against the Rouran Khaganate. The two main branches of the family, one descended from Bumin and the other from his brother Istämi, ruled over the eastern and western parts of the Göktürk confederation, respectively.

Old sports

Tepuk

Mahmud al-Kashgari in his Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk, described a game called "tepuk" among Turks in Central Asia. In the game, people try to attack each other's castle by kicking a ball made of sheep leather.[306] (see also: Cuju)

Kyz kuu

Kyz kuu (chase the girl) has been played by Turkic people at festivals since time immemorial.[307]

Jereed

Horses have been essential and even sacred animals for Turks living as nomadic tribes in the Central Asian steppes. Turks were born, grew up, lived, fought and died on horseback. Jereed became the most important sporting and ceremonial game of Turkish people.[308]

Kokpar

The kokpar began with the nomadic Turkic peoples who have come from farther north and east spreading westward from China and Mongolia between the 10th and 15th centuries.[309]

Jigit

"jigit" is used in the Caucasus and Central Asia to describe a skillful and brave equestrian, or a brave person in general.[310]

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Mahmud al-Kashgari

Mahmud al-Kashgari

Mahmud ibn Husayn ibn Muhammed al-Kashgari was an 11th-century Kara-Khanid scholar and lexicographer of the Turkic languages from Kashgar.

Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk

Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk

The Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk is the first comprehensive dictionary of Turkic languages, compiled in 1072–74 by the Turkic scholar Mahmud Kashgari who extensively studied the Turkic languages of his time.

Cuju

Cuju

Cuju or Ts'u-chü is an ancient Chinese football game. Cuju is the earliest known recorded game of football. It is a competitive game that involves kicking a ball through an opening into a net without the use of hands. Descriptions of the game date back to the Han dynasty, a Chinese military work from the 3rd–2nd century BC describes it as an exercise. It was also played in other Asian countries like Korea, Japan and Vietnam.

Kyz kuu

Kyz kuu

Kyz kuu or kyz kuumai, literally "girl chasing", is an equestrian traditional sport among Turkic peoples such as Azerbaijanis, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz. It exhibits elements of horse racing but is often referred to as a "kissing game".

Jereed

Jereed

Jereed is a traditional Turkish equestrian team sport played outdoors on horseback in which the objective is to score points by throwing a blunt wooden javelin at opposing team's horsemen. Played by Turkic peoples in Central Asia as the essential sporting and ceremonial game, it was brought to Anatolia during the westward migration in the beginning of the 11th century.

Buzkashi

Buzkashi

Buzkashi is a traditional Central Asian sport in which horse-mounted players attempt to place a goat or calf carcass in a goal. It is played primarily in Afghanistan. Similar games are known as kokpar, kupkari, and ulak tartysh in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

Gallery

Battle, hunting and blacksmithing scenes in Turkic rock art of the early Middle Ages in Altai

Bezeklik caves and Mogao grottoes

Images of Buddhist and Manichean Old Uyghurs from the Bezeklik caves and Mogao grottoes.

Medieval times

Modern times

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Mogao Caves

Mogao Caves

The Mogao Caves, also known as the Thousand Buddha Grottoes or Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, form a system of 500 temples 25 km (16 mi) southeast of the center of Dunhuang, an oasis located at a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road, in Gansu province, China. The caves may also be known as the Dunhuang Caves; however, this term is also used as a collective term to include other Buddhist cave sites in and around the Dunhuang area, such as the Western Thousand Buddha Caves, Eastern Thousand Buddha Caves, Yulin Caves, and Five Temple Caves. The caves contain some of the finest examples of Buddhist art spanning a period of 1,000 years. The first caves were dug out in AD 366 as places of Buddhist meditation and worship, later the caves became a place of pilgrimage and worship, and caves continued to be built at the site until the 14th century. The Mogao Caves are the best known of the Chinese Buddhist grottoes and, along with Longmen Grottoes and Yungang Grottoes, are one of the three famous ancient Buddhist sculptural sites of China.

Manichaeism

Manichaeism

Manichaeism is a religion founded in the 3rd century AD by the Parthian prophet Mani, in the Sasanian Empire. It reveres Mani as a prophet, as well as Jesus, Zoroaster, Gautama Buddha, Narayana and Seth. The faith was formerly one of the world's major religious groups, but is practiced by relatively few today, mainly amongst Uyghurs, Mongolia, and Chinese Manichaeism.

Qocho

Qocho

Qocho, also known as Idiqut, was a Uyghur kingdom created in 843, with strong Chinese Buddhist and Tocharian influences. It was founded by Uyghur refugees fleeing the destruction of the Uyghur Khaganate after being driven out by the Yenisei Kirghiz. They made their summer capital in Qocho and winter capital in Beshbalik. Its population is referred to as the "Xizhou Uyghurs" after the old Tang Chinese name for Gaochang, the Qocho Uyghurs after their capital, the Kucha Uyghurs after another city they controlled, or the Arslan (lion) Uyghurs after their king's title.

Murals from the Christian temple at Qocho

Murals from the Christian temple at Qocho

The murals from the Christian temple at Qocho are three Church of the East mural fragments—Palm Sunday, Repentance and Entry into Jerusalem—discovered by the German Turpan expedition team, which was led by two German archaeologists Albert Grünwedel and Albert von Le Coq, in the early 20th century.

Old Great Bulgaria

Old Great Bulgaria

Old Great Bulgaria or Great Bulgaria, also often known by the Latin names Magna Bulgaria and Patria Onoguria, was a 7th-century nomadic empire formed by the Onogur Bulgars on the western Pontic–Caspian steppe. Great Bulgaria was originally centered between the Dniester and lower Volga.

John Skylitzes

John Skylitzes

John Skylitzes, commonly Latinized as Ioannes Scylitzes, was a Byzantine historian of the late 11th century.

Lashkari Bazar

Lashkari Bazar

Lashkari Bazar was a palatial residence of rulers of the Ghaznavid Empire, located in Lashkargah in Afghanistan. The original name was probably al-'Askar.

Gagauz people

Gagauz people

The Gagauz are a Turkic people living mostly in southern Moldova and southwestern Ukraine (Budjak). Gagauz are mostly Eastern Orthodox Christians. The term Gagauz is also often used as a collective naming of Turkic people living in the Balkans, speaking Balkan Gagauz Turkish.

Bashkirs

Bashkirs

The Bashkirs are a Kipchak Turkic ethnic group, indigenous to Russia. They are concentrated in Bashkortostan, a republic of the Russian Federation and in the broader historical region of Badzhgard, which spans both sides of the Ural Mountains, where Eastern Europe meets North Asia. Smaller communities of Bashkirs also live in the Republic of Tatarstan, the oblasts of Perm Krai, Chelyabinsk, Orenburg, Tyumen, Sverdlovsk and Kurgan and other regions in Russia; sizable minorities exist in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Nogais

Nogais

The Nogais are a Turkic ethnic group who live in the North Caucasus region. Most are found in Northern Dagestan and Stavropol Krai, as well as in Karachay-Cherkessia and Astrakhan Oblast; some also live in Chechnya, Dobruja, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and a small Nogai diaspora is found in Jordan. They speak the Nogai language and are descendants of various Mongolic and Turkic tribes who formed the Nogai Horde. There are seven main groups of Nogais: the Ak Nogai, the Karagash, the Kuban-Nogai, the Kundraw-Nogai, the Qara-Nogai, the Utars and the Yurt-Nogai.

Dursunbey

Dursunbey

Dursunbey, formerly Balat, is a town and district of Balıkesir Province in the Marmara region of Turkey. Population is 16,924 . The mayor is Ramazan Bahçavan (AKP). Dursunbey is noted for its wood and apples.

Turkmens

Turkmens

Turkmens, sometimes referred to as Turkmen Turks, are a Turkic ethnic group native to Central Asia, living mainly in Turkmenistan, northern and northeastern regions of Iran and north-western Afghanistan. Sizeable groups of Turkmens are found also in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and the North Caucasus. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Eastern Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages. Examples of other Oghuz languages are Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai, Gagauz, Khorasani, and Salar.

Source: "Turkic peoples", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkic_peoples.

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Sources
Further reading
  • Karatay, Osman. The Genesis of the Turks: An Ethno-Linguistic Inquiry into the Prehistory of Central Eurasia. United Kingdom, Cambridge Scholars Publishing., 2022.
  • Alpamysh, H.B. Paksoy: Central Asian Identity under Russian Rule (Hartford: AACAR, 1989)
  • H. B. Paksoy (1989). Alpamysh: Central Asian Identity Under Russian Rule. AACAR. ISBN 978-0-9621379-9-0.
  • Amanjolov A.S., "History of the Ancient Turkic Script", Almaty, "Mektep", 2003, ISBN 9965-16-204-2
  • Baichorov S.Ya., "Ancient Turkic runic monuments of the Europe", Stavropol, 1989 (in Russian).
  • Baskakov, N.A. 1962, 1969. Introduction to the study of the Turkic languages. Moscow (in Russian).
  • Beckwith, Christopher I. (2009): Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-13589-2.
  • Boeschoten, Hendrik & Lars Johanson. 2006. Turkic languages in contact. Turcologica, Bd. 61. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. ISBN 3-447-05212-0.
  • Brook, Kevin Alan (2018), The Jews of Khazaria, Rowman & Littlefield
  • Chavannes, Édouard (1900): Documents sur les Tou-kiue (Turcs) occidentaux. Paris, Librairie d'Amérique et d'Orient. Reprint: Taipei. Cheng Wen Publishing Co. 1969.
  • Clausen, Gerard. 1972. An etymological dictionary of pre-thirteenth-century Turkish. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Deny, Jean et al. 1959–1964. Philologiae Turcicae Fundamenta. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
  • Findley, Carter Vaughn. 2005. The Turks in World History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-516770-8; ISBN 0-19-517726-6 (pbk.)
  • Golden, Peter B. An introduction to the history of the Turkic peoples: Ethnogenesis and state-formation in medieval and early modern Eurasia and the Middle East (Otto Harrassowitz (Wiesbaden) 1992) ISBN 3-447-03274-X
  • Peter B. Golden (1992). An Introduction to the History of the Turkic Peoples: Ethnogenesis and State-formation in Medieval and Early Modern Eurasia and the Middle East. O. Harrassowitz. ISBN 978-3-447-03274-2.
  • Peter B. Golden (2011). Studies on the Peoples and Culture sof the Eurasian Steppes. Editura Academiei Române – Editura Istro. ISBN 978-973-27-2152-0.
  • Heywood, Colin. The Turks (The Peoples of Europe) (Blackwell 2005), ISBN 978-0-631-15897-4.
  • Hostler, Charles Warren. The Turks of Central Asia (Greenwood Press, November 1993), ISBN 0-275-93931-6.
  • Ishjatms N., "Nomads In Eastern Central Asia", in the "History of civilizations of Central Asia", Volume 2, UNESCO Publishing, 1996, ISBN 92-3-102846-4.
  • Johanson, Lars & Éva Agnes Csató (ed.). 1998. The Turkic languages. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-08200-5.
  • Johanson, Lars. 1998. "The history of Turkic." In: Johanson & Csató, pp. 81–125. Classification of Turkic languages
  • Johanson, Lars. 1998. "Turkic languages." In: Encyclopædia Britannica. CD 98. Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 5 September. 2007. Turkic languages: Linguistic history.
  • Kyzlasov I.L., "Runic Scripts of Eurasian Steppes", Moscow, Eastern Literature, 1994, ISBN 5-02-017741-5.
  • Lebedynsky, Iaroslav. (2006). Les Saces: Les « Scythes » d'Asie, VIIIe siècle apr. J.-C. Editions Errance, Paris. ISBN 2-87772-337-2.
  • Malov S.E., "Monuments of the ancient Turkic inscriptions. Texts and research", M.-L., 1951 (in Russian).
  • Mukhamadiev A., "Turanian Writing", in "Problems Of Lingo-Ethno-History Of The Tatar People", Kazan, 1995 (Азгар Мухамадиев, "Туранская Письменность", "Проблемы лингвоэтноистории татарского народа", Казань, 1995) (in Russian).
  • Menges, K. H. 1968. The Turkic languages and peoples: An introduction to Turkic studies. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
  • Öztopçu, Kurtuluş. 1996. Dictionary of the Turkic languages: English, Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Uighur, Uzbek. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-14198-2
  • Samoilovich, A. N. 1922. Some additions to the classification of the Turkish languages. Petrograd.
  • Schönig, Claus. 1997–1998. "A new attempt to classify the Turkic languages I-III." Turkic Languages 1:1.117–133, 1:2.262–277, 2:1.130–151.
  • Vasiliev D.D. Graphical fund of Turkic runiform writing monuments in Asian areal. М., 198 (in Russian).
  • Vasiliev D.D. Corpus of Turkic runiform monuments in the basin of Enisei. М., 1983 (in Russian).
  • Voegelin, C.F. & F.M. Voegelin. 1977. Classification and index of the World's languages. New York: Elsevier.
  • Khanbaghi, Aptin (2006). The Fire, the Star and the Cross: Minority Religions in Medieval and Early Modern Iran. I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84511-056-7.
  • Yarshater, Ehsan (2001). Encyclopedia Iranica. Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 978-0-933273-56-6.
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