Turkic peoples explained

The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethnic groups that live in northern, central and western Asia, northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family.[1] They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds. The term Turkic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people including existing societies such as the Turkish, Azerbaijani, Chuvashes, Kazakhs, Tatars, Kyrgyzs, Turkmens, Uyghurs, Uzbeks, Bashkirs, Qashqai, Gagauzs, Yakuts, Crimean Karaites, Krymchaks, Karakalpaks, Karachays, Nogais and as well as past civilizations such as the Kumans, Kipchaks, Avars, Bulgars, Turgeshes, Seljuks, Khazars, Ottoman Turks, Mamluks, Timurids, and possibly Huns and the Xiongnu.[1] [2] [3]


See also: List of Turkic groups.

The distribution of people of Turkic cultural background ranges from Siberia, across Central Asia, to Eastern Europe. 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, East Turkistan region of western China, northern Iraq, Pakistan, Israel, Russia, Afghanistan, and the Balkans: Moldova, Bulgaria, Romania, 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.[4] 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.

One of the major difficulties perceived by many who try to classify the various Turkic languages and dialects is the impact which Soviet and particularly Stalinist nationality policies—the creation of new national demarcations, suppression of languages and writing scripts, and mass deportations—had on the ethnic mix in previously multicultural regions like Khwarezm, the Fergana Valley, and Caucasia. Many of the above-mentioned classifications are therefore by no means universally accepted, either in detail or in general. Another aspect often debated is the influence of Pan-Turkism, and the emerging nationalism in the newly independent Central Asian republics, on the perception of ethnic divisions.

All the Turkic peoples native to Central Asia are of mixed Caucasoid and Mongoloid origin. Of these Central Asian Turks, Kazakhs and the Kyrgyz are closer to Mongoloids racially. Karakalpak are mixed almost evenly. Uighur in Xinjiang China, Uzbek and Turkmen are more close to Caucasoid types. 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.[5]

The Turkic people display a great variety of ethnic types.[6] They possess physical features ranging from Caucasoid to Northern Mongoloid. Mongoloid and Caucasoid facial structure is common among many Turkic groups, such as Chuvash people, Tatars, Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Hazaras, and Bashkirs. Historically, the racial classification of the Turkic peoples was sometimes given as "Turanid".

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

PeopleRegionPopulationModern language
Turkish people Turkey, Germany, Bulgaria, Georgia, Syria


70 M

Azerbaijanis Azerbaijan Republic, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Russia, Georgia


22 to 30 M

UzbeksUzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan


28,3 M

KazakhsKazakhstan, Russia, China, Uzbekistan


13.8 M

UyghursChina (Xinjiang), Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey


9 M

TurkmensTurkmenistan, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan,


8 M

TatarsRussia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Poland, Lithuania, Finland


7 M

KyrgyzsKyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, China, Tajikistan


4,5 M

BashkirsRussia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan


2 M

Crimean TatarsUkraine (Crimea), Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Romania


0.5 to 2 M

Crimean Tatar


1.7 M



1.7 M

KarakalpaksUzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan


0.6 M



0.5 M



0.4 M

Karachays and BalkarsRussia, Turkey


0.4 M



0.3 M



0.2 M

Crimean Karaites and KrymchaksLithuania, Poland, Russia, Turkey


0.2 M

Karaim and Krymchak

Geographical distribution

Many of the Turkic peoples have their homelands in Central Asia, where the Turkic peoples settled from China. According to historian John Foster, "The Turks emerge from among the Huns in the middle of [the] fifth century. They were living in Liang territory when it began to be overrun by the greater principality of Wei. Preferring to remain under the rule of their own kind, they moved westward into what is now the province of Kansu. This was the territory of kindred Huns, who were called the Rouran. The Turks were a small tribe of only five hundred families, and they became serfs to the Rouran, who used them as iron-workers. It is thought that the original meaning of "Turk" is "helmet", and that they may have taken this name because of the shape of one of the hills near which they worked. As their numbers and power grew, their chief made bold to ask for the hand of a Rouran princess in marriage. The demand was refused, and war followed. In 546, the iron-workers defeated their overlords."[7] Since then Turkic languages have spread, through migrations and conquests, to other locations including present-day Turkey. While the term "Turk" may refer to a member of any Turkic people, the term Turkish usually refers specifically to the people and language of the modern country of Turkey.

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 Western China, and to northern edges of Pakistan and the Middle East.

Some 170 million people have a Turkic language as their native language;[8] 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. More than one third of these are ethnic Turks of Turkey, dwelling predominantly in Turkey proper and formerly Ottoman-dominated areas of 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, northern Iraq.

At present, there are six independent Turkic countries: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan; There are also several Turkic national subdivisions[9] in the Russian Federation including Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, Chuvashia, Khakassia, Tuva, Yakutia, the Altai Republic, Kabardino-Balkaria, and Karachayevo-Cherkessiya. Each of these subdivisions has its own flag, parliament, laws, and official state language (in addition to Russian).

The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in western China and the autonomous region of Gagauzia, located within eastern Moldova and bordering Ukraine to the north, are two major autonomous Turkic regions. The Autonomous Republic of Crimea within Ukraine is a home of Crimean Tatars. In addition, there are several Iraq, Georgia, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and western Mongolia.In the age of nationalism, Turkic speakers were among the first Muslim people to take up Western ideas of liberalism and secular ideologies. Pan-Turkism first sprang up at the end of the 19th century in the Russian Empire and was advanced by leading Turkish intellectuals like Crimean Tatar Ismail Gasprinski, Azerbaijan philosophers like Mirza Fatali Akhundov and Tatar Yusuf Akçura, as a reaction to Panslavist and Russification policies of the Russian Empire. The first fully democratic and secular republics in the Islamic world were Turks: the ill-fated Idel-Ural State established in 1917, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918 (both annexed and absorbed by the Soviet Union), and in 1923 Republic of Turkey. In 1991 Azerbaijan became an independent Azerbaijan Republic.

The Turks in Turkey are over 60 million[10] to 70 million worldwide, while the second largest Turkic people are the Azerbaijanis, numbering 22 to 30 million worldwide; most of them live in Azerbaijan and Iran.

Turks in India are very small in number. There are barely 150 Turkish people from Turkey in India. These are recent immigrants. Descendants of Turkish rulers also exist in Northern India. Mughals who are part Turkic people also live in India in significant numbers. They are descendants of the Mughal rulers of India. Karlugh Turks are also found in small amounts in Srinagar region of Kashmir. Small amount of Uyghurs are also present in India. Turks also exist in Pakistan in similar proportions.One of the tribe in Hazara region of Pakistan is Karlugh Turks which is direct descendent of Turks of Central Asia. Turkish influence in Pakistan can be seen through the national language, Urdu, which comes from a Turkish word meaning "horde" or "army".

Western Yugur at Gansu in China, Salar at Qinghai in China, Dolgan at Krasnoyarsk Krai in Russia, Nogai at Dagestan in Russia are the Turk minorities at the respective regions.Beauty of Yugur Culture, Beauty of the Dolgan and Northern Tungus Culture, Beauty of Yakut Sakha Culture, Beauty of Khakass Culture at youtube show the facial feature of the Turks native to Asian Russia and China


The first known mention of the term Turk (Old Turkic: Türük[11] [12] or Kök Türük[11] [12] or Türük,[13] Chinese: 突厥, Pinyin: Tūjué, Wade-Giles: T'u-chüeh, Middle Chinese (Guangyun):) applied to a Turkic group was in reference to the Göktürks in the 6th century. A letter by Ishbara Qaghan to Emperor Wen of Sui in 585 described him as "the Great Turk Khan."[14] The Orhun inscriptions (735 CE) use the terms Turk and Turuk.

Previous use of similar terms are of unknown significance, although some strongly feel that they are evidence of the historical continuity of the term and the people as a linguistic unit since early times. This includes Chinese records Spring and Autumn Annals referring to a neighbouring people as Beidi.[15]

According to Turkologists Peter Golden and András Róna-Tas, the Turk term is ultimately rooted: "is East Iranian, most probably Saka, origin, and is the name of a ruling tribe whose leading clan Ashina conquered the Turks, reorganized them, but itself became rapidly Turkified".[16]

The Chinese Book of Zhou (7th century) presents an etymology of the name Turk as derived from "helmet", explaining that taken this name refers to the shape of the Altai Mountains.According to Persian tradition, as reported by 11th-century ethnographer Mahmud of Kashgar and various other traditional Islamic scholars and historians, the name "Turk" stems from Tur, one of the sons of Japheth (see Turan). During the Middle Ages, the various Turkic peoples of the Eurasian steppe were also subsumed under the classical name of the Scythians.[17] Between 400 CE and the 16th century the Byzantine sources use the name Σκΰθαι in reference to twelve different Turkic peoples.[17]

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.[18]


Origins and early expansion

See main article: Turkic migrations, Turkic tribal confederations and Nomadic empires.

See also: Xiongnu, Huns and Göktürks.

It is generally agreed that the first Turkic people lived in a region extending from Central Asia to Siberia with the majority of them living in China historically. Historically they were palpable after the 6th Century BC.[19] The earliest separate Turkic peoples appeared on the peripheries of the late Xiongnu confederation (contemporaneous with the Chinese Han Dynasty).[20] Turkic people may be related to the Xiongnu, Dingling and Tiele people. According to the Book of Wei, the Tiele people were the remaining of the Chidi (赤狄), the red Di people competing with the Jin in the Spring and Autumn Period.[21] Turkic tribes, such as Khazars and Pechenegs, probably lived as nomads for many years before establishing the Göktürk Empire or Mongolia in the 6th century. These were herdsmen and nobles who were searching for new pastures and wealth. The first mention of Turks was in a Chinese text that mentioned trade of Turk tribes with the Sogdians along the Silk Road.[22] The first recorded use of "Turk" as a political name is a 6th-century reference to the word pronounced in Modern Chinese as Tujue. The Ashina clan migrated from Li-jien (modern Zhelai Zhai) to the Juan Juan seeking inclusion in their confederacy and protection from the prevalent dynasty. The tribe were famed metal smiths and was granted land near a mountain quarry which looked like a helmet, from which they were said to have gotten their name 突厥 (tūjué). A century later, their power had increased such that they conquered the Juan Juan and established the Gök Empire.

Turkic peoples originally used their own alphabets, like Orkhon and Yenisey runiform, and later the Uyghur alphabet. The oldest inscription was found near the Issyk river in Kyrgyzstan. Traditional national and cultural symbols of the Turkic peoples include wolves in Turkic mythology and tradition; as well as the color blue, iron, and fire. Turquoise blue, from the French word meaning "Turkish", is the color of the stone turquoise still used as jewelry and a protection against evil eye.

It has often been suggested that the Xiongnu, mentioned in Han Dynasty records, were Proto-Turkic speakers.[23] [24] [25] [26] [27] Although little is known for certain about the Xiongnu language(s), it seems likely that at least some Xiongnu tribes spoke a Turkic language.[28] Some scholars see a possible connection with the Iranic-speaking Sakas,[29] while others believe they were probably a confederation of various ethnic and linguistic groups. On the other hand, genetics research from 2003[30] confirms the studies indicating that the Turkic people originated from the same area and so are related with the Xiongnu.[31] So the scientific genetic results show clearly that the Turks originated nearby the Centre-west part of modern China.

Xiongnu writing, older than Turkic is agreed to have the earliest known Turkic alphabet, the Orkhon script. This has been argued recently using the only extant possibly Xiongu writings, the rock art of the Yinshan and Helanshan.[32] It is dated from the 9th millennium BC to 19th century, and consists mainly of engraved signs (petroglyphs) and few painted images.[33] Excavations done during 1924–1925, in Noin-Ula kurgans located in Selenga River in the northern Mongolian hills north of Ulan Bator, produced objects with over 20 carved characters, which were either identical or very similar to that of to the runic letters of the Turkic Orkhon script discovered in the Orkhon Valley.[34]

The Hun hordes of Attila, who invaded and conquered much of Europe in the 5th century, might have been Turkic and descendants of the Xiongnu.[20] [35] [36] Some scholars argue that the Huns were one of the earlier Turkic tribes, while others argue that they were of Mongolic origin.[37] Linguistics studies by Otto Maenchen-Helfen's support a Turkic origin.[38] [39] In all probability, they were closely related as the borders were not settled unlike modern times and migrations were common to distant places.

In the 6th century, 400 years after the collapse of northern Xiongnu power in Inner Asia, leadership of the Turkic peoples was taken over by the Göktürks. Formerly in the Xiongnu nomadic confederation, the Göktürks inherited their traditions and administrative experience. From 552 to 745, Göktürk leadership united the nomadic Turkic tribes into the Göktürk Empire. This was the first known political entity to be called "Turk". The name derives from gok, "blue" or "celestial". Unlike its Xiongnu predecessor, the Göktürk Khanate had its temporary khans from the Ashina clan that were subordinate to a sovereign authority controlled by a council of tribal chiefs. The Khanate retained elements of its original shamanistic religion, 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 Khanate was also the first state known as "Turk". It eventually collapsed due to a series of dynastic conflicts, but the name "Turk" was later taken by many states and peoples.

Turkic peoples and related groups migrated west from Turkestan and what is now Mongolia towards Eastern Europe, Iranian plateau and Anatolia and modern Turkey in many waves.[40] The date of the initial expansion remains unknown. After many battles, they established their own state and later created the Ottoman Empire.[41] The main migration occurred in medieval times, when they spread across most of Asia and into Europe and the Middle East.[42] They also participated in the Crusades.[43]

Later Turkic peoples include the Avars, Karluks (mainly 8th century), Uyghurs, Kyrgyz, Oghuz (or Ğuz) Turks, and Turkmens. As these peoples were founding states in the area between Mongolia and Transoxiana, they came into contact with Muslims, and most gradually adopted Islam. Small groups of Turkic people practice other religions, including Christians, Jews (Khazars), Buddhists, and Zoroastrians.

Middle Ages

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. 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.[42]

Meanwhile, the Kyrgyz and Uyghurs were struggling with one another and with the Chinese Empire. The Kyrgyz people ultimately settled in the region now referred to as Kyrgyzstan. The Tatar peoples conquered the Volga Bulgars in what is today Tatarstan, following the westward sweep of the Mongols under Genghis Khan in the 13th century. Other Bulgars, who had initially invaded Europe in 5th-6th centuries, as part of the Hunnic tribal confederation, finally settled in Southastern Europe in the 7th-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.[42] In 1090–91, the Turkic Pechenegs reached the walls of Constantinople, where Emperor Alexius I with the aid of the Kipchaks annihilated their army.[44]

Islamic empires

See main article: Ghaznavid Empire, Timurids, Ilkhanate, Mughal Empire and Ottoman Empire. 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.[42]

The Mughal Empire was a Turkic empire that, at its greatest territorial extent, ruled most of the South Asia, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and parts of Uzbekistan from the early 16th to the early-18th century. 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.[45] [46] The Mughal dynasty was notable for the ability of its rulers, who through seven generations maintained a record of unusual talent, and for its administrative organization. A further distinction was the attempt of the Mughals to integrate Hindus and Muslims into a united Indian state.[45] [47] [48] [49]

Modern history

The Ottoman Empire gradually grew weaker in the face of maladministration, repeated wars with Russia and Austro-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.[42] Ethnic nationalism also developed in Ottoman Turkey 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.

Chinese Turkestan remains part of the People's Republic of China, and Tatarstan, Tuva and Yakutia in the Russian Federation, but the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan (with ethnic Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Turkmen and Uzbek majorities, respectively) gained independence in 1991 after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.


See main article: Turkic languages.

See also: Turkic alphabets.

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 from Mongolia and Eastern Turkestan in the east to Balkans in the west. Most of the preserved inscriptions were dated to between 8th and 10th centuries DE.

The earliest positively dated and read Turkic inscriptions date from ca. 150, and the alphabets were generally replaced by the Uyghur alphabet in the Central Asia, Arabic script in the Middle and Western Asia, Greek-derived 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.[50] The Turkic alphabets are divided into four groups, the best known of them is the Orkhon version of the Enisei group.

The Turkic language family is traditionally considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.[51] [52] [53] [54] The Altaic language family includes 66 languages[55] spoken by about 348 million people, mostly in and around Central Asia and northeast Asia.[52] [56] [57]

The various Turkic languages are usually considered in geographical groupings: the Oghuz (or Southwestern) languages, the Kypchak (or Northwestern) languages, the Eastern languages (like Uygur), the Northern languages (like Altay and Yakut), and one existing Oghur language: Chuvash (the other Oghur languages, like Hunnic and Bulgaric, are now extinct). The high mobility and intermixing of Turkic peoples in history makes an exact classification extremely difficult.

The Turkish language belongs to the Oghuz subfamily of Turkic. It is for the most part mutually intelligible with the other Oghuz languages, which include Azeri, Gagauz, Turkmen and Urum, and to a varying extent with the other Turkic languages.


Early Turkic mythology and shamanism

See main article: Mythology of the Turkic and Mongolian peoples.

Pre-Islamic Turkic mythology was dominated by shamanism. The chief deity wasTengri, 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. Asena (Ashina Tuwu) is the wolf mother of Tumen Il-Qağan, the first Khan of the Göktürks. The Horse is also one of the main figures of Turkic mythology.

Religious conversions

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.[58] It existed in the Buddhist Uyghur Gaochang up to the 12th century.[59]

Tibetan Buddhism, or Vajrayana was the main religion after Manichaeism.[60] [61] [62] They worshipped Täŋri Täŋrisi Burxan,[63] Quanšï Im Pusar[64] and Maitri Burxan.[65] 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.

Many Karaims and Krymchaks of Eastern Europe (Especially Crimea) are Jewish, and there are Turks of Jewish backgrounds who live in major cities such as Istanbul, Ankara and Baku. The Khazars widely practiced Judaism before their conversion to Islam.

Even though many Turkic peoples became Muslims under the influence of Sufis, often of Shī‘ah persuasion, 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.

The major Christian-Turkic peoples are the Chuvash of Chuvashia and the Gagauz (Gökoğuz) of Moldova. 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. 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.[66] Church of the East was popular among Turks such as the Naimans.[67] It even revived in Gaochang and expanded in Xinjiang in the Yuan dynasty period.[68] [69] [70] It disappeared after its collapse.[71] [72]

Post-Soviet shamanistic revival

See main article: Tengrism. A movement of "Tengrism" has developed among intellectual circles of Central Asia since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. "Tengrism" is advocated as the national religion of the Turkic peoples, and combined with the political ideologies of ethnic nationalism or Pan-Turkism.In post-Soviet Siberia, some Yakuts (Sakha) and others have completely rejected Eastern Orthodox Christianity in favor of a revived shamanism.[73]

International organizations

See also: Pan-Turkism. 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).

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

Notes and references

Further reading and references

See also

External links

New DNA Results

Notes and References

  1. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/609972/Turkic-peoples Turkic people
  2. "Timur", The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2001–05, Columbia University Press.
  3. [Encyclopædia Britannica]
  4. [Finnish Tatars]
  5. The Karakalpak Gene Pool (Spencer Wells, 2001); and discussion and conclusions at www.karakalpak.com/genetics.html
  6. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/609972/Turkic-people#tab=active~checked%2Citems~checked&title=Turkic%20people%20--%20Britannica%20Online%20Encyclopedia Turkic people, Encyclopædia Britannica, Online Edition, 2008
  7. Book: Foster, John. The Church of the Tang Dynasty. 13. 1939. Macmillan.
  8. http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?subid=90010 Turkic Language family tree
  9. http://www.sonsoftheconquerors.com/16501.html?*session*id*key*=*session*id*val* Across Central Asia
  10. News: Milliyet. 2008-06-06. 2008-06-07. Turkish.
  11. http://irq.kaznpu.kz/?lang=e&mod=1&tid=1&oid=15&m=1 Kultegin's Memorial Complex, TÜRIK BITIG
  12. http://irq.kaznpu.kz/?lang=e&mod=1&tid=1&oid=16&m=1 Bilge Kagan's Memorial Complex, TÜRIK BITIG
  13. http://irq.kaznpu.kz/?lang=e&mod=1&tid=1&oid=17&m=1 Tonyukuk's Memorial Complex, TÜRIK BITIG
  14. http://newasia.proj.hkedcity.net/resources/25/beishi/index.phtml?section_num=099 卷099 列傳第八十七突厥鐵勒- 新亞研究所- 典籍資料庫
  15. http://members.multimania.nl/kerkuk/ITP.html The Turkmen
  16. quote:"The ethnonym "Turk" has similar connections. The Chinese form, "T'u-chùeh" < 'T'uat-kiwat reflects "Turkut", the plural form, as we have noted. This plural in –t could be Altaic. It is common in Mongol, rare in OldTurkic, and usually found in titles taken from the Jou-jan (e.g., tegin, tegit) —who, it is believed, but not universally, were speakers of some Proto-Mongolian Ianguage (they contained Hsiun-pi [Proto-Mongolian] and Hsiung-nu elements; Janhunen [1996,190], however, recently asserted a possible Turkic affiliation). It might also be Soghdian or some other Iranian tongue. In the earliest inscription from the Tùrk empire, the Bugut Inscription, which is written in Soghdian, not Turkic, we find trwkt ' ‘sy-ns’: Turkit / Turukit Ashinas (Mori-yasu and Ochir 1999,123). The Sui-shu tells us that the name "Tûrk" in their own tongue means "helmet" and that it comes from the fact that the Altay région, where we find the Tùrks at the time in which they form their empire, looks like a helmet. "The people call it a 'helmet,' t'u-chiïeh; therefore, they cail themselves by this name" (Liu 1958,1: 40). This is a folk etymology, and there is no attested Turkic form of "Tùrk" meaning "helmet." As Rôna-Tas has pointed out, however, there is a Khotancse-Saka word, tturaka, mcaning "lid" (1999,278 - 281). It is not a serious semantic stretch to "helmet." Subsequently, "Tùrk" would find a suirable Turkic etymology, being conflated with the word tùrk, which means one in the prime of youth, powerful, mighty" (Rona-Tas 1991,10-13). It seems hard to avoid the conclusion that the Tùrks, per se, had strong connections with — if not ultimate origins in — Irano-Tocharian east Turkistan. They, or at least the Ashina, were migrants to southern Siberia-northern Mongolia, where we seem to find the major concentration of Turkic-speaking peoples. There are a considarable number of Tocharian and Iranian loan words in Old Turkic — although a good number of these may have been acquired, especially in the case of Soghdian terms, during the Tùrk impérial period, when the Soghdians were a subject people, an important mercantile-commercial element in the Tùrk state, and culture-bearers across Eurasia. It also should be noted here that the early Tùrk rulers bore names of non-Turkic origin. The founders of the state are Bumïn (d. 552) and his brother Ishtemi (552-575), the Yabghu Qaghan, who governed the western part of the realm. Among their successors are 'Muqan/Mughan/Mahân/Muhân (553 - 572), Tas(t)par (572 -581), and Nivar/Nâbàr/Nawâr (581-587). None of thèse names is Turkic (Golden 1992,121 - 122; Rybatzki 2000.206-221)."

    • András Róna-Tas, Hungarians and Europe in the early Middle Ages: an introduction to early Hungarian history, Central European University Press, 1999,

    PP 281:"We can now reconstruct the history of the ethnic name Turk as follows. The word is East Iranian, most probably Saka, origin, and is the name of a ruling tribe whose leading clan Ashina conquered the Turks, reorganized them, but itself became rapidly Turkified"

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