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The Turkic peoples are a collection of diverse
ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups. Those attributes can include common sets of traditions, an ...
s of West,
Central
Central
,
East
East
, and North Asia as well as parts of
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 Continent#Subcontinents, subcontinent of Eurasia ...

Europe
, who speak
Turkic languages
Turkic languages
.. "Turkic peoples, any of various peoples whose members speak languages belonging to the Turkic subfamily...". "The Turkic peoples represent a diverse collection of ethnic groups defined by the Turkic languages." According to historians and linguists, the Proto-Turkic language originated in Central-East Asia region, potentially in
Mongolia
Mongolia
or Tuva. Initially, Proto-Turkic speakers were potentially both hunter-gatherers and farmers, but later became
nomadic
nomadic
pastoralists. Early and
medieval In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire ...
Turkic groups exhibited a wide range of both East Asian and West-Eurasian physical appearances and genetic origins, in part through long-term contact with neighboring peoples such as Iranian, Mongolic, Tocharians, Yeniseian people, and others."Some DNA tests point to the Iranian connections of the Ashina and Ashide,133 highlighting further that the Turks as a whole ‘were made up of heterogeneous and somatically dissimilar populations’.134 Geographically, the accounts cover the regions of Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Xinjiang, the Yenisei zone and the Altay, regions with Turkic, Indo-European (Iranian and Tokharian), Yeniseic, Uralic and other populations. Wusun elements, like most steppe polities of an ethno-linguistic mix, may have also played a substratal role." Many vastly differing ethnic groups have throughout history become part of the Turkic peoples through language shift, acculturation, conquest, intermixing,
adoption
adoption
, and
religious conversion Religious conversion is the adoption of a set of beliefs identified with one particular religious denomination to the exclusion of others. Thus "religious conversion" would describe the abandoning of adherence to one denomination and affiliati ...
. Nevertheless, Turkic peoples share, to varying degrees, non-linguistic characteristics like cultural traits, ancestry from a common gene pool, and historical experiences. Some of the most notable modern Turkic ethnic groups include the Altai people,
Azerbaijanis
Azerbaijanis
, Chuvash people, Gagauz people,
Kazakhs
Kazakhs
,
Kyrgyz people
Kyrgyz people
, Turkmens, Turkish people,
Tuvans
Tuvans
, Uyghurs, Uzbeks, and Yakuts.


Etymology

The first known mention of the term ''Turk'' ( Old Turkic: 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰 ''Türük'' or 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰:𐰜𐰇𐰛 ''Kök Türük'', ,
Pinyin Hanyu Pinyin (), often shortened to just pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese in China, and to some extent, in Singapore and Malaysia. It is often used to teach Mandarin, normally writte ...

Pinyin
: Tūjué < Middle Chinese *''tɦut-kyat'' < *''dwət-kuɑt'', Old Tibetan: ''drugu'') Orkhon inscriptions Bain Tsokto inscriptions applied to only one Turkic group, namely, the Göktürks, who were also mentioned, as ''türüg'' ~ ''török'', in the 6th-century Khüis Tolgoi inscription, most likely not later than 587 AD. A letter by Ishbara Qaghan to Emperor Wen of Sui in 585 described him as "the Great Turk Khan". The Bugut (584 CE) and Orkhon inscriptions (735 CE) use the terms ''Türküt'', ''Türk'' and ''Türük''. During the first century CE, Pomponius Mela refers to the ''Turcae'' in the forests north of the Sea of Azov, and
Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
lists the ''Tyrcae'' among the people of the same area. 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 Herodotus ( ; grc, , }; BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided in ...
( Histories, iv. 22), and were likely Ugric ancestors of
Magyars Hungarians, also known as Magyars ( ; hu, magyarok ), are a nation and ethnic group native to Hungary () and Kingdom of Hungary, historical Hungarian lands who share a common Hungarian culture, culture, Hungarian history, history, Magyar tribe ...

Magyars
. 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. It is generally accepted that the name ''Türk'' is ultimately derived from the Old-Turkic migration-term 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰 ''Türük''/''Törük'',<"Türk"
in ''Turkish Etymological Dictionary'', Sevan Nişanyan.
which means 'created, born' or 'strong'. 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''. Even though
Gerhard Doerfer Gerhard Doerfer (8 March 1920 – 27 December 2003) was a German Turkologist, Altaicist, and philologist best known for his studies of the Turkic languages, especially Khalaj language, Khalaj. Biography Doerfer was born on March 8, 1920 in Kö ...
supports the proposal that ''türk'' means 'strong' in general,
Gerard Clauson Sir Gerard Leslie Makins Clauson (28 April 1891 – 1 May 1974) was an England, English civil servant, businessman, and oriental studies, Orientalist best known for his studies of the Turkic languages. The eldest son of Major John Eugene 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 djectivemeaning (of a fruit) 'just fully ripe'; (of a human being) 'in the prime of life, young, and vigorous'". Turkologist Peter B. Golden agrees that the term ''Turk'' has roots in Old Turkic. yet is not convinced by attempts to link ''Dili'', ''Dingling'', ''Chile'', ''Tele'', & ''Tiele'', which possibly transcribed *''tegrek'' (probably meaning '
cart A cart or dray (Australia and New Zealand) is a vehicle designed for transport, using two wheels and normally pulled by one or a pair of draught animals. A handcart is pulled or pushed by one or more people. It is different from the flatbed tr ...

cart
'), to ''Tujue'', which transliterated ''Türküt''. The Chinese
Book of Zhou The ''Book of Zhou'' (''Zhōu Shū'') records the official history of the Xianbei-led Western Wei and Northern Zhou dynasties of China, and ranks among the official Twenty-Four Histories of imperial China. Compiled by the Tang dynasty historian ...
(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 The Altai Mountains (), also spelled Altay Mountains, are a mountain range in Central Asia, Central and East Asia, where Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan converge, and where the rivers Irtysh and Ob River, Ob have their headwaters. The m ...

Altai Mountains
. Hungarian scholar
András Róna-Tas András Róna-Tas (born 30 December 1931) is a Hungarian people, Hungarian historian and linguistics, linguist. He was born in 1931 in Budapest. Róna-Tas studied under such preeminent professors as Gyula Ortutay and Lajos Ligeti, and received a ...
(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. The earliest Turkic-speaking peoples identifiable in Chinese sources are the Yenisei Kyrgyz and
Xinli
Xinli
, located in South Siberia. Another example of an early Turkic population would be the Dingling. Medieval European chroniclers subsumed various Turkic peoples of the Eurasian steppe under the "umbrella-identity" of the "
Scythians The Scythians or Scyths, and sometimes also referred to as the Classical Scythians and the Pontic Scythians, were an ancient Eastern * : "In modern scholarship the name 'Sakas' is reserved for the ancient tribes of northern and eastern Cent ...
". Between 400 CE and the 16th century, Byzantine sources use the name Σκύθαι (''Skuthai'') in reference to twelve different Turkic peoples.G. Moravcsik, ''Byzantinoturcica'' II, p. 236–39 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
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
the linguistic classification
in order to avoid any
political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations among individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The branch of social science that stu ...

political
sense. In short, the term ''Türki'' can be used for ''Türk'' or vice versa.


List of ethnic groups

; Historical Turkic groups * Az * Dingling *
Bulgars The Bulgars (also Bulghars, Bulgari, Bolgars, Bolghars, Bolgari, Proto-Bulgarians) were Turkic peoples, Turkic semi-nomadic warrior tribes that flourished in the Pontic–Caspian steppe and the Volga region during the 7th century. They became ...

Bulgars
* Esegel * Barsils * Alat * Basmyl *
Onogurs The Onoğurs or Oğurs (Ὀνόγουροι, Οὔρωγοι, Οὔγωροι; Onογurs, Ογurs; "ten tribes", "tribes"), were Turkic peoples, Turkic Eurasian nomads, nomadic equestrians who flourished in the Pontic–Caspian steppe and the Volga ...
*
Saragurs The Saragurs or Saraguri ( gr, Σαράγουροι, syr, s.r.w.r.g.wr, Šarağurs) was a Eurasian Turkic tribal confederations, Oghur (Turkic) nomadic tribe mentioned in the 5th and 6th centuries. They may be the Sulujie (蘇路羯, ''suoluo-kjɐ ...
* Sabirs *
Shatuo The Shatuo, or the Shatuo Turks (; also transcribed as Sha-t'o, Sanskrit SartZuev Yu.A., ''"Horse Tamgas from Vassal Princedoms (Translation of Chinese composition "Tanghuyao" of 8-10th centuries)"'', Kazakh SSR Academy of Sciences, Alma-Ata, I ...
* Ongud (from Shatuo) * Göktürks *
Oghuz Turks The Oghuz or Ghuzz Turks ( Middle Turkic: ٱغُز, ''Oγuz'', ota, اوغوز, Oġuz) were a western Turkic people that spoke the Oghuz branch of the Turkic language family. In the 8th century, they formed a tribal confederation conve ...
* Kanglys *
Khazars The Khazars ; he, כּוּזָרִים, Kūzārīm; la, Gazari, or ; zh, 突厥曷薩 ; 突厥可薩 ''Tūjué Kěsà'', () were a semi- nomadic Turkic people that in the late 6th-century CE established a major commercial empire cover ...
*
Kipchaks The Kipchaks or Qipchaks, also known as Kipchak Turks or Polovtsians, were a Turkic people, Turkic nomadic people and confederation that existed in the Middle Ages, inhabiting parts of the Eurasian Steppe. First mentioned in the 8th century as p ...
* Kurykans * Kumans *
Pechenegs The Pechenegs () or Patzinaks tr, Peçenek(ler), Middle Turkic languages, Middle Turkic: , ro, Pecenegi, russian: Печенег(и), uk, Печеніг(и), hu, Besenyő(k), gr, Πατζινάκοι, Πετσενέγοι, Πατζινα ...
*
Karluks The Karluks (also Qarluqs, Qarluks, Karluqs, otk, 𐰴𐰺𐰞𐰸, Qarluq, Para-Mongol: Harluut, zh, s=葛逻禄, t=葛邏祿 ''Géluólù'' ; customary phonetic: ''Gelu, Khololo, Khorlo'', fa, خَلُّخ, ''Khallokh'', ar, قارلوق ...
* Tiele * Tabgach * Turgesh *
Tukhsi The Tuhsis were a Middle Turkic, medieval Turkic-speaking tribe, who lived alongside the Chigil, Yagma, and other tribes, in Zhetysu and today southern Kazakhstan. Tuhsi were also considered remnants of the Türgesh people. Turkologist Yury Zuev n ...
*
Yenisei Kirghiz The Yenisei Kyrgyz ( otk, 𐰶𐰃𐰺𐰴𐰕:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, Qyrqyz bodun), were an ancient Turkic people who dwelled along the upper Yenisei River in the southern portion of the Minusinsk Depression from the 3rd century BCE to the 13t ...
* Chigils *
Toquz Oghuz The Toquz Oghuz ( otk, 𐱃𐰸𐰆𐰔:𐰆𐰍𐰔, Toquz Oγuz; ; "Turks of Nine Seok (clan), Bones") was a political alliance of nine Turkic languages, Turkic-speaking Tiele people, Tiele Turkic tribal confederations, tribes in Inner Asia, dur ...
* Orkhon Uyghurs * Yagma * Nushibi * Duolu * Kutrigurs *
Utigurs Utigurs were Turkic people, Turkic Eurasian nomads, nomadic equestrians who flourished in the Pontic–Caspian steppe in the 6th century AD. They possibly were closely related to the Kutrigurs and Bulgars. Etymology The name ''Ut(r)igur'', recorde ...
* Yabaku * Yueban * Bulaqs *
Xueyantuo The Xueyantuo were an ancient Tiele tribe and khaganate in Northeast Asia who were at one point vassals of the Göktürks, later aligning with the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; zh, t= ), or Tang Empire, was an Dynasties in Ch ...
* Torks * Chorni Klobuky * Berendei * Yemeks *
Naimans The Naiman (Mongolian language, Mongolian: Найман, Naiman, "eight"; ; Kazakh language, Kazakh: Найман, Naiman; Uzbek language, Uzbek: Nayman) were a medieval tribe originating in the territory of modern Western Mongolia (possibly durin ...
(partly) *
Keraites The Keraites (also ''Kerait, Kereit, Khereid''; ; ) were one of the five dominant Mongol or Turkic tribal confederations (khanates) in the Altai-Sayan region during the 12th century. They had converted to the Church of the East (Nestorianism) i ...
(partly) * Merkits (partly) *
Uriankhai Uriankhai (Mongolian script, traditional Mongolian: , Mongolian Cyrillic alphabet, Mongolian Cyrillic: урианхай; sah, урааҥхай; zh, t=烏梁海, s=乌梁海, p=Wūliánghǎi), Uriankhan (, урианхан) or Uriankhat (, ...
(partly) Possible Proto-Turkic ancestry, at least partial, Pritsak O. & Golb. N: ''Khazarian Hebrew Documents of the Tenth Century'', Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1982. has been posited for
Xiongnu The Xiongnu (, ) were a tribal confederation of nomads, nomadic peoples who, according to ancient Chinese historiography, Chinese sources, inhabited the eastern Eurasian Steppe from the 3rd century BC to the late 1st century AD. Modu Chanyu, ...
,
Huns The Huns were a Nomad, nomadic people who lived in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Eastern Europe between the 4th and 6th century AD. According to European tradition, they were first reported living east of the Volga River, in an area that wa ...
and
Pannonian Avars The Pannonian Avars () were an alliance of several groups of Eurasian nomads of various origins. The peoples were also known as the Obri in chronicles of Rus, the Abaroi or Varchonitai ( el, Βαρχονίτες, Varchonítes), or Pseudo-Avars ...
, as well as
Tuoba The Tuoba (reconstructed Middle Chinese pronunciation: *''tʰak-bɛt''), also known as the Taugast or Tabgach ( otk, 𐱃𐰉𐰍𐰲 ''Tabγač''), was a Xianbei clan in Imperial China.Wei Shou. ''Book of Wei''. Vol. 1 During the Sixteen Kingdo ...
and
Rouran The Rouran Khaganate, also Juan-Juan Khaganate (), was a tribal confederation and later state founded by a people of Proto-Mongolic Donghu origin.*Pulleyblank, Edwin G. (2000)"Ji 姬 and Jiang 姜: The Role of Exogamic Clans in the Organizati ...
, who were of Proto-Mongolic Donghu ancestry., as well as
Tatars The Tatars ()Tatar
in the Collins English Dictionary
is an umbrella term for different Turki ...
, Rourans' supposed descendants.


Remarks


Language


Distribution

The Turkic languages constitute a
language family A language family is a group of languages related through Genetic relationship (linguistics), descent from a common ''ancestral language'' or ''parental language'', called the proto-language of that family. The term "family" reflects the tree m ...
of some 30 languages, spoken across a vast area from
Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is a subregion of the Europe, European continent. As a largely ambiguous term, it has a wide range of geopolitical, geographical, ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic connotations. The vast majority of the region is covered by Russ ...
and the
Mediterranean 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 Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...
, to
Siberia Siberia ( ; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive region, 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 ...
and
Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym and endonym, exonym (derived from the endodemonym "Manchu") for a historical and geographic region in Northeast Asia encompassing the entirety of present-day Northeast China (Inner Manchuria) and parts of the Russian Fa ...
and through to the Middle East. Some 170 million people have a Turkic language as their native language;Turkic Language family tree
entries provide the information on the Turkic-speaking populations and regions.
an additional 20 million people speak a Turkic language as a
second language A person's second language, or L2, is a language that is not the First language, native language (first language or L1) of the speaker, but is learned later. A second language may be a neighbouring language, another language of the speaker's home ...
. The Turkic language with the greatest number of speakers is Turkish proper, or
Anatolia Anatolia (also Asia Minor), is a large peninsula in Western Asia and is the western-most extension of continental Asia. The land mass of Anatolia constitutes most of the territory of contemporary Turkey. Geographically, the Anatolian region i ...
n 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 Southern and Eastern Europe and
West Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical region of Asia, as defined by some academics, UN bodies and other institutions. It is almost entirely a part of the Middle East, and includes Anat ...
; 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 The Caucasus () or Caucasia (), is a region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, mainly comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. The Caucasus Mountains, including the Greater Caucasus range ...
, China, and northern Iraq. The Turkic language family is traditionally considered to be part of the proposed
Altaic language family Altaic (; also called Transeurasian) is a controversial proposed language family A language family is a group of languages related through Genetic relationship (linguistics), descent from a common ''ancestral language'' or ''parental lan ...
. Howeover since the 1950s, many comparative linguists have rejected the proposal, after supposed
cognate In historical linguistics, cognates or lexical cognates are sets of words in different languages that have been inherited in direct descent from an etymological ancestor in a common parent language. Because language change can have radical ...
s 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.Asya Pereltsvaig (2012) ''Languages of the World, An Introduction''. Cambridge University Press. Pages 211–216.


Alphabet

The Turkic alphabets are sets of related alphabets with letters (formerly known as
runes Runes are the letter (alphabet), letters in a set of related alphabets known as runic alphabets native to the Germanic peoples. Runes were used to write various Germanic languages (with some exceptions) before they adopted the Latin alphabet, a ...
), used for writing mostly
Turkic languages
Turkic languages
. Inscriptions in Turkic alphabets were found in
Mongolia
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 The Old Uyghur alphabet was a list of alphabets used by Turkic languages, Turkic script used for writing the Old Uyghur, a variety of Old Turkic spoken in Turpan and Gansu that is the ancestor of the modern Western Yugur language. The term "Old Uy ...
in the
East
East
and
Central Asia Central Asia, also known as Middle Asia, is a region of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the c ...
, Arabic script in the Middle and Western Asia,
Cyrillic The Cyrillic script ( ), Slavonic script or the Slavic script, is a writing system used for various languages across Eurasia. It is the designated national script in various Slavic languages, Slavic, Turkic languages, Turkic, Mongolic languages, ...
in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans, and
Latin alphabet The Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet is the collection of letters originally used by the Ancient Rome, ancient Romans to write the Latin language. Largely unaltered with the exception of extensions (such as diacritics), it used to write Eng ...
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 Palaeography (American and British English spelling differences#ae and oe, UK) or paleography (American and British English spelling differences#ae and oe, US; ultimately from grc-gre, , ''palaiós'', "old", and , ''gráphein'', "to write") ...
as, for example, have the Gothic runes, noted for the exceptional uniformity of its language and paleography. The Turkic alphabets are divided into four groups, the best known of them is the
Orkhon Orkhon ( mn, Орхон) may refer to: * Orkhon River, Mongolia * Orkhon Valley, the landscape around that river * Orkhon Province, an Aimag (province) in Mongolia * several Sums (districts) in different Mongolian Aimags: ** Orkhon, Bulgan ** Orkho ...
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 Old Turkic (also East Old Turkic, Orkhon Turkic language, Old Uyghur) is the earliest attested form of the Turkic languages, found in Göktürks, Göktürk and Uyghur Khaganate inscriptions dating from about the eighth to the 13th century. It ...
. It was later used by the
Uyghur Empire The Uyghur Khaganate (also Uyghur Empire or Uighur Khaganate, self defined as Toquz-Oghuz country; otk, 𐱃𐰆𐰴𐰕:𐰆𐰍𐰕:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, Toquz Oγuz budun, Tang dynasty, Tang-era names, with modern Hanyu Pinyin: or ) was a Turkic ...
; a
Yenisei The Yenisey (russian: Енисе́й, ''Yeniséy''; mn, Горлог мөрөн, ''Gorlog mörön''; Buryat language, Buryat: Горлог мүрэн, ''Gorlog müren''; Tuvan language, Tuvan: Улуг-Хем, ''Uluğ-Hem''; Khakas language, K ...
variant is known from 9th-century Kyrgyz inscriptions, and it has likely cousins in the
Talas Valley The Talas (Kyrgyz language, Kyrgyz, kk, Талас) is a river that rises in the Talas Region of Kyrgyzstan and flows west into Kazakhstan. The river is long and has a basin area of . Course It is formed from the confluence of the Karakol and ...
of
Turkestan Turkestan, also spelled Turkistan ( fa, ترکستان, Torkestân, lit=Land of the Turks), is a historical region in Central Asia corresponding to the regions of Transoxiana and Xinjiang. Overview Known as Turan to the Persians, western Turke ...
and the
Old Hungarian script The Old Hungarian script or Hungarian runes ( hu, Székely-magyar rovás, 'székely-magyar runiform', or ) is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written graphemes (called letter (alphabet), letters) that represent t ...
of the 10th century.
Irk Bitig ''Irk Bitig'' or ''Irq Bitig'' ( otk, ), known as the ''Book of Omens'' or ''Book of Divination'' in English, is a 9th-century manuscript book on divination that was discovered in the "Library Cave" of the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, China, by Au ...
is the only known complete manuscript text written in the Old Turkic script.


History


Origins

The origins of the Turkic peoples has been a topic of much discussion.
Peter Benjamin Golden Peter Benjamin Golden (born 1941) 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 peoples, Turkic and Central Asian Studies, ...
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 Altai-Sayan region in
Siberia Siberia ( ; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive region, 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 ...
. A possible genealogical link of the Turkic languages to Mongolic and Tungusic languages, specifically a hypothetical homeland in
Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym and endonym, exonym (derived from the endodemonym "Manchu") for a historical and geographic region in Northeast Asia encompassing the entirety of present-day Northeast China (Inner Manchuria) and parts of the Russian Fa ...
, such as proposed in the Transeurasian hypothesis, by Martine Robbeets, has been received support but also criticism, with opponents attributing similarities to long-term contact. Linguistic and genetic evidence strongly suggest an early presence of Turkic peoples in Mongolia. The proto-Turkic-speakers may have been linked to
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 pa ...
East Asian East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the continental landmas ...
agricultural societies in Northeastern China, which is to be associated with the
Xinglongwa culture The Xinglongwa culture () (6200 BC, 6200–5400 BC) 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 tempe ...
and the succeeding
Hongshan culture The Hongshan culture () was a Neolithic culture in the Xiliao River, 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. The culture ...
, based on varying degrees of specific Northeast Asian genetic substratum among modern Turkic speakers. The East Asian agricultural roots of the Proto-Turkic language have been corroborated in multiple recent studies. According to historians, "the Proto-Turkic subsistence strategy included an agricultural component, a tradition that ultimately went back to the origin of millet agriculture in Northeast China". Around 2,200 BC, the agricultural ancestors of the Turkic peoples probably migrated westwards into
Mongolia
Mongolia
, where they adopted a pastoral lifestyle, in part borrowed from
Iranian peoples The Iranian peoples or Iranic peoples are a diverse grouping of Indo-European languages, Indo-European peoples who are identified by their usage of the Iranian languages and other cultural similarities. The Proto-Iranian language, Proto-Iran ...
. Given nomadic peoples such as
Xiongnu The Xiongnu (, ) were a tribal confederation of nomads, nomadic peoples who, according to ancient Chinese historiography, Chinese sources, inhabited the eastern Eurasian Steppe from the 3rd century BC to the late 1st century AD. Modu Chanyu, ...
,
Rouran The Rouran Khaganate, also Juan-Juan Khaganate (), was a tribal confederation and later state founded by a people of Proto-Mongolic Donghu origin.*Pulleyblank, Edwin G. (2000)"Ji 姬 and Jiang 姜: The Role of Exogamic Clans in the Organizati ...
and
Xianbei The Xianbei (; ) were a Proto-Mongols, Proto-Mongolic ancient nomadic people that once resided in the eastern Eurasian steppes in what is today Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Northeast China, Northeastern China. They originated from the Donghu ...
share underlying genetic ancestry "that falls into or close to the northeast Asian gene pool", the proto-Turkic language likely originated in northeastern Asia. A 2018
autosomal An autosome is any chromosome that is not a sex chromosome. The members of an autosome pair in a diploid cell have the same morphology, unlike those in allosome, allosomal (sex chromosome) pairs, which may have different structures. The DNA in au ...
single-nucleotide polymorphism In genetics, a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP ; plural SNPs ) is a germline substitution of a single nucleotide at a specific position in the genome. Although certain definitions require the substitution to be present in a sufficiently larg ...
study suggested that
Eurasian Steppe The Eurasian Steppe, also simply called the Great Steppe or the steppes, is the vast steppe ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecology, ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller ...
slowly transitioned from
Indo European The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of languages related through Genetic relationship (linguistics), descent from a common ''ancestral language'' or ''parental language'', called the proto-lang ...
and
Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran, a sovereign state * Iranian peoples, the speakers of the Iranian languages. The term Iranic peoples is also used for this term to distinguish the pan ethnic term from Iranian, used for the people of Iran * Iranian lan ...
-speaking groups with largely western Eurasian ancestry to increasing East Asian ancestry with Turkic and Mongolian groups in the past 4000 years, including extensive Turkic migrations out of Mongolia and slow assimilation of local populations. Genetic data shows that the different 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 Tajiks ( fa, تاجيک، تاجک, ''Tājīk, Tājek''; tg, Тоҷик) are a Persian language, Persian-speaking Iranian peoples, Iranian ethnic group native to Central Asia, living primarily in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Tajiks ...
, which display genetic continuity to
Indo-Iranians Indo-Iranian peoples, also known as Indo-Iranic peoples by scholars, and sometimes as Arya or Aryans from their self-designation, were a group of Indo-European peoples who brought the Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European l ...
of the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic) and the Bronze Age (Chalcolithic). The concept has been mostly appl ...
. Certain Turkic ethnic groups, specifically the
Kazakhs
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 The Kipchaks or Qipchaks, also known as Kipchak Turks or Polovtsians, were a Turkic people, Turkic nomadic people and confederation that existed in the Middle Ages, inhabiting parts of the Eurasian Steppe. First mentioned in the 8th century as p ...
with medieval Mongolians. The data suggests that the Mongol invasion of Central Asia had lasting impacts onto the genetic makeup of Kazakhs.Estimating the impact of the Mongol expansion upon the gene pool of Central Asians. ЛД Дамба · 2018


Early historical attestation

The earliest separate Turkic peoples, such as the ''Gekun'' (鬲昆) and ''Xinli'' (薪犁), appeared on the peripheries of the late
Xiongnu The Xiongnu (, ) were a tribal confederation of nomads, nomadic peoples who, according to ancient Chinese historiography, Chinese sources, inhabited the eastern Eurasian Steppe from the 3rd century BC to the late 1st century AD. Modu Chanyu, ...
confederation about 200 BCE
Sima Qian Sima Qian (; ; ) was a Chinese historian of the early Han dynasty The Han dynasty (, ; ) was an imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 9 AD, 25–220 AD), established by Emperor Gaozu of Han, Liu Bang (Emperor Gao) and ruled by the H ...
''
Records of the Grand Historian ''Records of the Grand Historian'', also known by its Chinese language, Chinese name ''Shiji'', is a monumental Chinese historiography, history of China that is the first of China's Twenty-Four Histories, 24 dynastic histories. The ''Records'' ...
'
Vol. 110
"後北服渾庾、屈射、丁零、鬲昆、薪犁之國。於是匈奴貴人大臣皆服,以冒頓單于爲賢。" tr. "Later e wentnorth ndsubjugated the nations of Hunyu, Qushe, Dingling, Gekun, and Xinli. Therefore, the Xiongnu nobles and dignitaries all admired ndregarded
Modun chanyu Modu, Maodun, Modun (, from Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese, and the ancestor of all modern varieties of Chinese. The earliest examples of Chinese are divinatory in ...
as capable"
(contemporaneous with the Chinese
Han Dynasty The Han dynasty (, ; ) was an imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 9 AD, 25–220 AD), established by Emperor Gaozu of Han, Liu Bang (Emperor Gao) and ruled by the House of Liu. The dynasty was preceded by the short-lived Qin dynasty (22 ...
)Findley (2005), p. 29. and later among the Turkic-speaking Tiele as '' Hegu'' (紇骨)Pulleyblank, E. G. "The Name of the Kirghiz." Central Asiatic Journal 34, no. 1/2 (1990). p. 99 and '' Xue'' (薛). The Tiele (also known as Gaoche 高車, lit. "High Carts"), may be related to the
Xiongnu The Xiongnu (, ) were a tribal confederation of nomads, nomadic peoples who, according to ancient Chinese historiography, Chinese sources, inhabited the eastern Eurasian Steppe from the 3rd century BC to the late 1st century AD. Modu Chanyu, ...
and the Dingling. According to the ''
Book of Wei The ''Book of Wei'', also known by its Chinese language, Chinese name as the ''Wei Shu'', is a classic Chinese historical text compiled by Wei Shou from 551 to 554, and is an important text describing the history of the Northern Wei and Eastern ...
'', 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 The Spring and Autumn period was a period in History of China, Chinese history from approximately 770 to 476 BC (or according to some authorities until 403 BC) which corresponds roughly to the first half of the Eastern Zhou period. The period' ...
. Historically they were established after the 6th century BCE.Peter Zieme: The Old Turkish Empires in Mongolia. In: Genghis Khan and his heirs. The Empire of the Mongols. Special tape for Exhibition 2005/2006, p. 64 The Tiele were first mentioned in Chinese literature from the 6th to 8th centuries. 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''. The appellation ''Türük'' ( Old Turkic: 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰) ~ ''Türk'' (OT: 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰚) (whence Middle Chinese 突厥 *''dwət-kuɑt'' > *''tɦut-kyat'' >
standard Chinese Standard Chinese ()—in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because it entails a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise analysis of all aspects of language, pa ...
: ''Tūjué'') was initially reserved exclusively for the Göktürks by Chinese, Tibetans, and even the Turkic-speaking
Uyghurs The Uyghurs; ; ; ; zh, s=, t=, p=Wéiwú'ěr, IPA: ( ), alternatively spelled Uighurs, Uygurs or Uigurs, are a Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central Asia, Cent ...
. In contrast, medieval Muslim writers, including Turkic speakers like Ottoman historian Mustafa Âlî and explorer
Evliya Çelebi Derviş Mehmed Zillî (25 March 1611 – 1682), known as Evliya Çelebi ( ota, اوليا چلبى), was an Ottoman explorer who travelled through the territory of the Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The de ...
as well as Timurid scientist
Ulugh Beg Mīrzā Muhammad Tāraghay bin Shāhrukh ( chg, میرزا محمد طارق بن شاہ رخ, fa, میرزا محمد تراغای بن شاہ رخ), better known as Ulugh Beg () (22 March 1394 – 27 October 1449), was a Timurid sultan ...
, 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 , differentiated from non-Turkic speakers. According to some researchers (Duan, Xue, Tang, Lung, Onogawa, etc.) the later
Ashina tribe The Ashina (; Middle Chinese: (Guangyun) ), 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 m ...
descended from the Tiele confederation. The Tiele however were probably one of many early Turkic groups, ancestral to later Turkic populations. 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.


Xiongnu (3rd c. BCE – 1st c. CE)

It has even been suggested that the Xiongnu themselves, who were mentioned in Han Dynasty records, were
Proto-Turkic Proto-Turkic 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 languages, Oghur (western) ...
speakers. 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. Some scholars believe they were probably a confederation of various ethnic and linguistic groups. 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. These examined individuals were found to be primarily of
East Asian East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the continental landmas ...
ancestry. Using the only extant possibly Xiongnu writings, the rock art of the Yinshan and
Helan Mountains The Helan Mountains, frequently called Alashan Mountains in older sources, are an isolated desert mountain range forming the border of Inner Mongolia's Alxa League and Ningxia. They run north-south parallel to the north-flowing Yellow River in t ...
, some scholars argue that the older Xiongnu writings are precursors to the earliest known Turkic alphabet, the
Orkhon script The Old Turkic script (also known as variously Göktürk script, Orkhon script, Orkhon-Yenisey script, Turkic runes) was the alphabet used by the Göktürks and other early Turkic peoples, Turkic khanates from the 8th to 10th centuries to re ...
. Petroglyphs of this region dates from the
9th millennium BCE The 9th millennium BC spanned the years 9000 BC to 8001 BC (11 to 10 thousand years ago). In chronological terms, it is the first full millennium of the current Holocene The Holocene ( ) is the current geological epoch. It began approxim ...
to the 19th century, and consists mainly of engraved signs (petroglyphs) and few painted images. Excavations done during 1924–1925 in
Noin-Ula The Noin-Ula burial site ( mn, Ноён уулын булш, , also Noyon Uul) consist of more than 200 large burial mounds, approximately square in plan, some 2 m in height, covering timber burial chambers. They are located by the Selenga River ...
kurgans located in the
Selenga The Selenga or Selenge ( ; bua, Сэлэнгэ гол / Сэлэнгэ мүрэн, translit=Selenge gol / Selenge müren; russian: Селенга́, ) is a major river in Mongolia and Republic of Buryatia, Buryatia, Russia. Originating from its ...
River in the northern n hills north of
Ulaanbaatar Ulaanbaatar (; mn, Улаанбаатар, , "Red Hero"), previously anglicized as Ulan Bator, is the Capital (political), capital and List of cities in Mongolia, most populous city of Mongolia. It is the coldest capital city in the world, on ...
produced objects with over 20 carved characters, which were either identical or very similar to the
runic Runes are the letter (alphabet), letters in a set of related alphabets known as runic alphabets native to the Germanic peoples. Runes were used to write various Germanic languages (with some exceptions) before they adopted the Latin alphabet, a ...
letters of the Turkic Orkhon script discovered in the Orkhon Valley.


Huns (4th–6th c. CE)

In the 18th century, the French scholar Joseph de Guignes became the first to propose a link between the Huns and the
Xiongnu The Xiongnu (, ) were a tribal confederation of nomads, nomadic peoples who, according to ancient Chinese historiography, Chinese sources, inhabited the eastern Eurasian Steppe from the 3rd century BC to the late 1st century AD. Modu Chanyu, ...
people, who were northern neighbours of
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
in the 3rd century BC. The
Hun The Huns were a nomadic people who lived in Central Asia Central Asia, also known as Middle Asia, is a region of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent i ...
hordes ruled by
Attila Attila (, ; ), frequently called Attila the Hun, was the ruler of the Huns from 434 until his death in March 453. He was also the leader of a tribal empire consisting of Huns, Ostrogoths, Alans, and Bulgars, among others, in Central Europe ...
, who invaded and conquered much of Europe in the 5th century, might have been, at least partially, Turkic and descendants of the Xiongnu.G. Pulleyblank, "The Consonantal System of Old Chinese: Part II", Asia Major n.s. 9 (1963) 206–65 Since Guignes' time, considerable scholarly effort has been devoted to investigating such a connection. The issue remains controversial. Their relationship to other peoples known collectively as the Iranian Huns is generally accepted, but whether these groups are all inter-related remains controversial. Some scholars claimed Huns as Proto-Mongolian or Yeniseian in origin.
Linguistic Linguistics is the scientific Science is a systematic endeavor that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Science may be as old as th ...
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, though they are "far from unambiguous, so no firm conclusion can be drawn from this type of data".


Steppe expansions


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

The earliest certain mentioning of the politonym "Turk" was in the Chinese
Book of Zhou The ''Book of Zhou'' (''Zhōu Shū'') records the official history of the Xianbei-led Western Wei and Northern Zhou dynasties of China, and ranks among the official Twenty-Four Histories of imperial China. Compiled by the Tang dynasty historian ...
. 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 Wei (), known in historiography as the Western Wei (), was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that followed the disintegration of the Northern Wei. One of the Northern and Southern dynasties#Northern dynasties, Northern dyn ...
dynasty and the Turks in the years 545 and 546. According to the ''Book of Sui'' and the ''
Tongdian The ''Tongdian'' () is a Chinese institutional history and encyclopedia text. It covers a panoply of topics from high antiquity through the year 756, whereas a quarter of the book focuses on the Tang Dynasty. The book was written by Du You from 766 ...
'', they were "mixed barbarians" (; ''záhú'') who migrated from Pingliang (now in modern
Gansu province Gansu (, ; Chinese postal romanization, alternately romanized as Kansu) is a provinces of China, province in Northwest China. Its capital and largest city is Lanzhou, in the southeast part of the province. The seventh-largest administrative dis ...
,
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
) to the
Rouran The Rouran Khaganate, also Juan-Juan Khaganate (), was a tribal confederation and later state founded by a people of Proto-Mongolic Donghu origin.*Pulleyblank, Edwin G. (2000)"Ji 姬 and Jiang 姜: The Role of Exogamic Clans in the Organizati ...
s seeking inclusion in their confederacy and protection from the prevailing dynasty.
Wei Zheng Wei Zheng (580–643), courtesy name Xuancheng, posthumously known as Duke Wenzhen of Zheng, was a Chinese politician and historian. He served as a chancellor of the Tang dynasty for about 13 years during the reign of Emperor Taizong of Tang, Em ...
et al., ''Suishu''
vol. 84
quote: "突厥之先,平涼雜胡也,姓阿史那氏。後魏太武滅沮渠氏,阿史那以五百家奔茹茹,世居金山,工於鐵作。金山狀如兜鍪,俗呼兜鍪為「突厥」,因以為號。"
Du You Du You () (735 – December 23, 812), courtesy name Junqing (), formally Duke Anjian of Qi (), was a Chinese historian, military general, and politician. He served as chancellor of the Tang Dynasty. Du was born to an eminent aristocratic family ...
, ''Tongdian'
vol. 197
quote: "突厥之先,平涼今平涼郡雜胡也,蓋匈奴之別種,姓阿史那氏。後魏太武滅沮渠氏,沮渠茂虔都姑臧,謂之北涼,為魏所滅。阿史那以五百家奔蠕蠕,代居金山,狀如兜鍪,俗呼兜鍪為「突厥」,因以為號。"
Alternatively, according to the ''
Book of Zhou The ''Book of Zhou'' (''Zhōu Shū'') records the official history of the Xianbei-led Western Wei and Northern Zhou dynasties of China, and ranks among the official Twenty-Four Histories of imperial China. Compiled by the Tang dynasty historian ...
'', ''
History of the Northern Dynasties The ''History of the Northern Dynasties'' () is one of the official Chinese historical works in the ''Twenty-Four Histories'' canon. The text contains 100 volumes and covers the period from 386 to 618, the histories of Northern Wei, Western We ...
'', and ''
New Book of Tang The ''New Book of Tang'', generally translated as the "New History of the Tang" or "New Tang History", is a work of official history covering the Tang dynasty in ten volumes and 225 chapters. The work was compiled by a team of scholars of the So ...
'', the Ashina clan was a component of the
Xiongnu The Xiongnu (, ) were a tribal confederation of nomads, nomadic peoples who, according to ancient Chinese historiography, Chinese sources, inhabited the eastern Eurasian Steppe from the 3rd century BC to the late 1st century AD. Modu Chanyu, ...
confederation.
Linghu Defen Linghu () is a Chinese compound surname A Chinese compound surname is a Chinese surname Chinese surnames are used by Han Chinese and Sinicization, Sinicized ethnic groups in China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, and among overseas Chinese communitie ...
et al., ''Zhoushu''
vol. 50
quote: "突厥者,蓋匈奴之別種,姓阿史那氏。"
Göktürks were also posited as having originated from an obscure Suo state (索國), north of the Xiongnu. The Ashina tribe were famed
metalsmith A metalsmith or simply smith is a craftsperson fashioning useful items (for example, tools, kitchenware, tableware, jewelry, armor and weapons) out of various metals. Smithing is one of the oldest list of metalworking occupations, metalworking o ...
s and were granted land south of the
Altai Mountains The Altai Mountains (), also spelled Altay Mountains, are a mountain range in Central Asia, Central and East Asia, where Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan converge, and where the rivers Irtysh and Ob River, Ob have their headwaters. The m ...

Altai Mountains
(金山 ''Jinshan''), which looked like a
helmet A helmet is a form of protective gear worn to protect the head. More specifically, a helmet complements the skull in protecting the human brain A brain is an organ (biology), organ that serves as the center of the nervous system in all ...
, from which they were said to have gotten their name 突厥 (''Tūjué''), 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. The original Old Turkic name ''Kök Türk'' derives from ''kök'' ~ ''kö:k'', "sky, sky-coloured, blue, blue-grey". Unlike its Xiongnu predecessor, the Göktürk Khaganate had its temporary
Khagan Khagan or Qaghan (Mongolian:; or ''Khagan''; otk, 𐰴𐰍𐰣 ), or , tr, Kağan or ; ug, قاغان, Qaghan, Mongolian Script The classical or traditional Mongolian script, also known as the , was the first Mongolian alphabet, wr ...
s from the
Ashina Ashina may refer to: *Ashina tribe The Ashina (; Middle Chinese: (Guangyun) ), 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 agai ...
clan, who were ''subordinate'' to a
sovereign ''Sovereign'' is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French , which is ultimately derived from the Latin , meaning 'above'. The roles of a sovereign vary from monarch, ruler or ...
authority controlled by a council of tribal chiefs. The
Khaganate A khaganate or khanate was a polity A polity is an identifiable Politics, political entity – a group of people with a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social r ...
retained elements of its original animistic- shamanistic religion, that later evolved into
Tengriism Tengrism (also known as Tengriism, Tengerism, or Tengrianism) is an ethnic and old state Turko- Mongolic religion originating in the Eurasian steppes The Eurasian Steppe, also simply called the Great Steppe or the steppes, is the vast steppe ...
, although it received missionaries of
Buddhist Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, most commonly referred to as the Buddha, was a ...
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 Old Turkic script (also known as variously Göktürk script, Orkhon script, Orkhon-Yenisey script, Turkic runes) was the alphabet used by the Göktürks and other early Turkic peoples, Turkic khanates from the 8th to 10th centuries to re ...
. 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". The Göktürks ( First Turkic Kaganate) quickly spread west to the Caspian Sea. Between 581 and 603 the
Western Turkic Khaganate The Western Turkic Khaganate () or Onoq Khaganate ( otk, 𐰆𐰣:𐰸:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, On oq budun, Ten arrow people) was a Turkic peoples, Turkic khaganate in Eurasia, formed as a result of the wars in the beginning of the 7th century (593– ...
in Kazakhstan separated from the
Eastern Turkic Khaganate The Eastern Turkic Khaganate () was a Turkic peoples, Turkic khaganate formed as a result of the internecine wars in the beginning of the 7th century (AD 581–603) after the First Turkic Khaganate (founded in the 6th century in the Mongoli ...
in Mongolia and
Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym and endonym, exonym (derived from the endodemonym "Manchu") for a historical and geographic region in Northeast Asia encompassing the entirety of present-day Northeast China (Inner Manchuria) and parts of the Russian Fa ...
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 The Second Turkic Khaganate ( otk, 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰:𐰃𐰠, Türük el, State of the Turks, , known as ''Turk Bilge Qaghan country'' ( otk, 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰝:𐰋𐰃𐰠𐰏𐰀:𐰴𐰍𐰣:𐰃𐰠𐰭𐰀, Türük Bilgä Qaγan eli) in Bai ...
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 The Uyghur Khaganate (also Uyghur Empire or Uighur Khaganate, self defined as Toquz-Oghuz country; otk, 𐱃𐰆𐰴𐰕:𐰆𐰍𐰕:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, Toquz Oγuz budun, Tang dynasty, Tang-era names, with modern Hanyu Pinyin: or ) was a Turkic ...
in the year 744.Haywood, John (1998), ''Historical Atlas of the Medieval World, AD 600–1492'', Barnes & Noble


Bulgars, Golden Horde and the Siberian Khanate

The
Bulgars The Bulgars (also Bulghars, Bulgari, Bolgars, Bolghars, Bolgari, Proto-Bulgarians) were Turkic peoples, Turkic semi-nomadic warrior tribes that flourished in the Pontic–Caspian steppe and the Volga region during the 7th century. They became ...

Bulgars
established themselves in between the Caspian and Black Seas in the 5th and 6th centuries, followed by their conquerors, the
Khazars The Khazars ; he, כּוּזָרִים, Kūzārīm; la, Gazari, or ; zh, 突厥曷薩 ; 突厥可薩 ''Tūjué Kěsà'', () were a semi- nomadic Turkic people that in the late 6th-century CE established a major commercial empire cover ...
who converted to Judaism in the 8th or 9th century. After them came the
Pechenegs The Pechenegs () or Patzinaks tr, Peçenek(ler), Middle Turkic languages, Middle Turkic: , ro, Pecenegi, russian: Печенег(и), uk, Печеніг(и), hu, Besenyő(k), gr, Πατζινάκοι, Πετσενέγοι, Πατζινα ...
who created a large confederacy, which was subsequently taken over by the
Cumans The Cumans (or Kumans), also known as Polovtsians or Polovtsy (plural only, from the Russian language, Russian Exonym and endonym, exonym ), were a Turkic people, Turkic nomadic people comprising the western branch of the Cuman–Kipchak confede ...
and the
Kipchaks The Kipchaks or Qipchaks, also known as Kipchak Turks or Polovtsians, were a Turkic people, Turkic nomadic people and confederation that existed in the Middle Ages, inhabiting parts of the Eurasian Steppe. First mentioned in the 8th century as p ...
. One group of Bulgars settled in the Volga region and mixed with local
Volga Finns The Volga Finns (sometimes referred to as Eastern Finns) are a historical group of List of larger indigenous peoples of Russia, indigenous peoples of Russia living in the vicinity of the Volga, who speak Uralic languages. Their modern representa ...
to become the
Volga Bulgars Volga Bulgaria or Volga–Kama Bulgaria, was a historic Bulgars, Bulgar state that existed between the 7th and 13th centuries around the confluence of the Volga and Kama River, in what is now European Russia. Volga Bulgaria was a multi-ethnic ...
in what is today
Tatarstan The Republic of Tatarstan (russian: Республика Татарстан, Respublika Tatarstan, p=rʲɪsˈpublʲɪkə tətɐrˈstan; tt-Cyrl, Татарстан Республикасы), or simply Tatarstan (russian: Татарстан, tt ...
. These Bulgars were conquered by the Mongols following their westward sweep under Ogedei 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 Bulgarian (, ; bg, label=none, български, bălgarski, ) is an Eastern South Slavic, Eastern South Slavic language spoken in Southeastern Europe, primarily in Bulgaria. It is the language of the Bulgarians. Along with the closely ...
. Everywhere, Turkic groups mixed with the local populations to varying degrees. 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 The Golden Horde, self-designated as Ulug Ulus, 'Great State' in Turkic, was originally a Mongols, Mongol and later Turkicized khanate established in the 13th century and originating as the northwestern sector of the Mongol Empire. With the fr ...
in Eastern Europe, western & northern Central Asia, and even western Siberia. The Cuman-Kipchak Confederation and Islamic
Volga Bulgaria Volga Bulgaria or Volga–Kama Bulgaria, was a historic Bulgar state that existed between the 7th and 13th centuries around the confluence of the Volga The Volga (; russian: Во́лга, a=Ru-Волга.ogg, p=ˈvoɫɡə) is the List of ...
were absorbed by the Golden Horde in the 13th century; in the 14th century, Islam became the official religion under
Uzbeg Khan The Uzbeks ( uz, , , , ) are a Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic group native to the wider Central Asia, Central Asian region, being among the largest Turkic ethnic group in the area. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, next to ...
where the general population (Turks) as well as the aristocracy (Mongols) came to speak the Kipchak language and were collectively known as "
Tatars The Tatars ()Tatar
in the Collins English Dictionary
is an umbrella term for different Turki ...
" by Russians and Westerners. This country was also known as the
Kipchak Khanate The Golden Horde, self-designated as Ulug Ulus, 'Great State' in Turkic, was originally a Mongols, Mongol and later Turkicized khanate established in the 13th century and originating as the northwestern sector of the Mongol Empire. With the fr ...
and covered most of what is today
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the List of European countries by area, second-largest European country after Russia, which it borders Russia–Ukraine border, to the east and northeast. Ukraine ...
, as well as the entirety of modern-day southern and eastern
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
(the European section). The Golden Horde disintegrated into several khanates and hordes in the 15th and 16th century including the
Crimean Khanate The Crimean Khanate ( crh, , or ), officially the Great Horde and Desht-i Kipchak () and in old European historiography and geography known as Little Tartary ( la, Tartaria Minor), was a Crimean Tatars, Crimean Tatar state existing from 1441 to ...
,
Khanate of Kazan The Khanate of Kazan ( tt, Казан ханлыгы, Kazan xanlıgı; russian: Казанское ханство, Kazanskoye khanstvo) was a medieval Tatar Turkic state that occupied the territory of former Volga Bulgaria between 1438 and 1552 ...
, and
Kazakh Khanate The Kazakh Khanate ( kk, Қазақ Хандығы, , ), in eastern sources known as Ulus of the Kazakhs, Ulus of Jochi, Yurt of Urus, was a Kazakhs, Kazakh state in Central Asia, successor of the Golden Horde existing from the 15th to 19th ...
(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 The Khanate of Sibir (also Khanate of Turan, sty, Себер ханлыгы) was a Siberian Tatars, Tatar Khanate located in southwestern Siberia with a Turco-Mongol tradition, Turco-Mongol ruling class. Throughout its history, members of the Sh ...
was established in the 1490s by fleeing Tatar aristocrats of the disintegrating
Golden Horde The Golden Horde, self-designated as Ulug Ulus, 'Great State' in Turkic, was originally a Mongols, Mongol and later Turkicized khanate established in the 13th century and originating as the northwestern sector of the Mongol Empire. With the fr ...
who established Islam as the official religion in western Siberia over the partly Islamized native
Siberian Tatars Siberian Tatars ( sty, , ), the ethnographic and ethnoterritorial group of Tatars of Western Siberia, the Indigenous peoples of Siberia, indigenous Turkic languages, Turkic-speaking population of the forests and steppes of Western Siberia, orig ...
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.)

The
Uyghur Khaganate The Uyghur Khaganate (also Uyghur Empire or Uighur Khaganate, self defined as Toquz-Oghuz country; otk, 𐱃𐰆𐰴𐰕:𐰆𐰍𐰕:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, Toquz Oγuz budun, Tang dynasty, Tang-era names, with modern Hanyu Pinyin: or ) was a Turkic ...
had established itself by the year 744 AD. Through trade relations established with China, its capital city of Ordu Baliq in central Mongolia's Orkhon Valley became a wealthy center of commerce, and a significant portion of the Uyghur population abandoned their nomadic lifestyle for a sedentary one. The Uyghur Khaganate produced extensive literature, and a relatively high number of its inhabitants were literate. The official state religion of the early Uyghur Khaganate was
Manichaeism Manichaeism (; in New Persian ; ) is a former major religionR. van den Broek, Wouter J. Hanegraaff ''Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times''SUNY Press, 1998 p. 37 founded in the 3rd century AD by the Parthian Empire, Parthian ...
, which was introduced through the conversion of Bögü Qaghan by the
Sogdians :''This Wikipedia:Category, category lists articles related to historical Iranian peoples'' Iranian peoples, Historical History of Iranian peoples, Peoples Historical ethnic groups of Europe, Iranian Historical ethnic groups of Asia, Iranian Histor ...
after the
An Lushan rebellion The An Lushan Rebellion was an uprising against the Tang dynasty of China towards the mid-point of the dynasty (from 755 to 763), with an attempt to replace it with the Yan (An–Shi), Yan dynasty. The rebellion was originally led by An Lushan, a ...
. The Uyghur Khaganate was tolerant of religious diversity and practiced variety of religions including Buddhism, Christianity, shamanism and Manichaeism. During the same time period, the
Shatuo The Shatuo, or the Shatuo Turks (; also transcribed as Sha-t'o, Sanskrit SartZuev Yu.A., ''"Horse Tamgas from Vassal Princedoms (Translation of Chinese composition "Tanghuyao" of 8-10th centuries)"'', Kazakh SSR Academy of Sciences, Alma-Ata, I ...
Turks emerged as power factor in Northern and Central China and were recognized by the Tang Empire as allied power. The
Shatuo The Shatuo, or the Shatuo Turks (; also transcribed as Sha-t'o, Sanskrit SartZuev Yu.A., ''"Horse Tamgas from Vassal Princedoms (Translation of Chinese composition "Tanghuyao" of 8-10th centuries)"'', Kazakh SSR Academy of Sciences, Alma-Ata, I ...
Turks had founded several short-lived sinicized dynasties in northern China during the
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (), from 907 to 979, was an era of political upheaval and division in 10th-century Imperial China. Five dynastic states quickly succeeded one another in the Central Plain, and more than a dozen concu ...
. 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.According to '' Old History of the Five Dynasties'', vol. 99, and ''
New History of the Five Dynasties The ''Historical Records of the Five Dynasties'' (''Wudai Shiji'') is a Chinese history book on the Five Dynasties period (907–960), written by the Song dynasty official Ouyang Xiu in private. It was drafted during Ouyang's exile from 1036 to 1 ...
'', vol. 10. Liu Zhiyuan was of Shatuo origin. According to '' Wudai Huiyao''
vol. 1
Liu Zhiyuan's great-great-grandfather Liu Tuan (劉湍) (titled as Emperor Mingyuan posthumously, granted the temple name of Wenzu) descended from Liu Bing (劉昞), Prince of Huaiyang, a son of
Emperor Ming of Han Emperor Ming of Han (15June 28 – 5September 75), born and also known as and as , was the second emperor of China's Han dynasty#Eastern Han, Eastern Han dynasty. He was the fourth son and second crown prince of Emperor Guangwu of Han, Emper ...
According to '' Old History of the Five Dynasties'', vol. 99, and ''
New History of the Five Dynasties The ''Historical Records of the Five Dynasties'' (''Wudai Shiji'') is a Chinese history book on the Five Dynasties period (907–960), written by the Song dynasty official Ouyang Xiu in private. It was drafted during Ouyang's exile from 1036 to 1 ...
'', vol. 10. Liu Zhiyuan was of Shatuo origin. According to '' Wudai Huiyao''
vol. 1
Liu Zhiyuan's great-great-grandfather Liu Tuan (劉湍) (titled as Emperor Mingyuan posthumously, granted the temple name of Wenzu) descended from Liu Bing (劉昞), Prince of Huaiyang, a son of
Emperor Ming of Han Emperor Ming of Han (15June 28 – 5September 75), born and also known as and as , was the second emperor of China's Han dynasty#Eastern Han, Eastern Han dynasty. He was the fourth son and second crown prince of Emperor Guangwu of Han, Emper ...
After the fall of the Tang-Dynasty in 907, the Shatuo Turks replaced them and created the
Later Tang Tang, known in historiography as the Later Tang, was a short-lived Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China and the second of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period#Five Dynasties, Five Dynasties during the Five Dynasties and ...
Dynasty in 923. The Shatuo Turks ruled over a large part of northern China, including
Beijing } Beijing ( ; ; ), alternatively romanized as Peking ( ), is the capital of the People's Republic of China. It is the center of power and development of the country. Beijing is the world's most populous national capital city, with over 21 ...
. 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 The Han Chinese () or Han people (), are an East Asian ethnic group native to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by populat ...
ethnic group after they were conquered by the
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou. ...
. The Yenisei Kyrgyz allied with China to destroy the Uyghur Khaganate in the year 840 AD. From the
Yenisei River The Yenisey (russian: Енисе́й, ''Yeniséy''; mn, Горлог мөрөн, ''Gorlog mörön''; Buryat language, Buryat: Горлог мүрэн, ''Gorlog müren''; Tuvan language, Tuvan: Улуг-Хем, ''Uluğ-Hem''; Khakas language, K ...
, the Kyrgyz pushed south and eastward in to Xinjiang and the Orkhon Valley in central Mongolia, leaving much of the Uyghur civilization in ruins. Much of the Uyghur population relocated to the south in modern-day China, establishing kingdoms in Gansu and Turpan.


Central Asia


Kangar union (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 Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country located mainly in Central Asia and partly in Eastern Europe. It borders Russia to Kazakhstan–Russia border, the north and ...
, without Zhetysu). The capital of the Kangar union was located in the Ulytau mountains. Among the Pechenegs, the Kangar formed the elite of the Pecheneg tribes. After being defeated by the
Kipchaks The Kipchaks or Qipchaks, also known as Kipchak Turks or Polovtsians, were a Turkic people, Turkic nomadic people and confederation that existed in the Middle Ages, inhabiting parts of the Eurasian Steppe. First mentioned in the 8th century as p ...
,
Oghuz Turks The Oghuz or Ghuzz Turks ( Middle Turkic: ٱغُز, ''Oγuz'', ota, اوغوز, Oġuz) were a western Turkic people that spoke the Oghuz branch of the Turkic language family. In the 8th century, they formed a tribal confederation conve ...
, and the
Khazars The Khazars ; he, כּוּזָרִים, Kūzārīm; la, Gazari, or ; zh, 突厥曷薩 ; 突厥可薩 ''Tūjué Kěsà'', () were a semi- nomadic Turkic people that in the late 6th-century CE established a major commercial empire cover ...
, they migrated west and defeated
Magyars Hungarians, also known as Magyars ( ; hu, magyarok ), are a nation and ethnic group native to Hungary () and Kingdom of Hungary, historical Hungarian lands who share a common Hungarian culture, culture, Hungarian history, history, Magyar tribe ...

Magyars
, and after forming an alliance with the
Bulgars The Bulgars (also Bulghars, Bulgari, Bolgars, Bolghars, Bolgari, Proto-Bulgarians) were Turkic peoples, Turkic semi-nomadic warrior tribes that flourished in the Pontic–Caspian steppe and the Volga region during the 7th century. They became ...

Bulgars
, they defeated the
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
Army. The Pecheneg state was established by the 11th century and at its peak carried a population of over 2.5 million, composed of many different ethnic groups. The elite of the Kangar tribes are believed to have had an
Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran, a sovereign state * Iranian peoples, the speakers of the Iranian languages. The term Iranic peoples is also used for this term to distinguish the pan ethnic term from Iranian, used for the people of Iran * Iranian lan ...
origin, and they likely spoke an Iranian langauge, while most of the Pecheneg population spoke a Turkic language, with a significant percentage speaking Hunno-Bulgar dialects. The Yatuks, a tribe within the Kangar state who could not accompany the Kangars as they migrated West, remained in the old lands, where they are known as the Kangly people, who are now part of the Uzbek, Kazakh, and Karakalpak tribes.


Oghuz Yabgu State (766–1055)

The Oguz Yabgu State (''Oguz il'', meaning "Oguz Land,", "Oguz Country")(750–1055) was a Turkic state, founded by
Oghuz Turks The Oghuz or Ghuzz Turks ( Middle Turkic: ٱغُز, ''Oγuz'', ota, اوغوز, Oġuz) were a western Turkic people that spoke the Oghuz branch of the Turkic language family. In the 8th century, they formed a tribal confederation conve ...
in 766, located geographically in an area between the coasts of the Caspian and
Aral Sea The Aral Sea ( ; kk, Арал теңізі, Aral teñızı; uz, Орол денгизи, Orol dengizi; kaa, Арал теңизи, Aral teńizi; russian: Аральское море, Aral'skoye more) was an endorheic basin, endorheic lake lyi ...
s. Oguz tribes occupied a vast territory in
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country located mainly in Central Asia and partly in Eastern Europe. It borders Russia to Kazakhstan–Russia border, the north and ...
along the Irgiz, Yaik, Emba, and Uil rivers, the Aral Sea area, the
Syr Darya The Syr Darya (, ),, , ; rus, Сырдарья́, Syrdarjja, p=sɨrdɐˈrʲja; fa, سيردريا, Sirdaryâ; tg, Сирдарё, Sirdaryo; tr, Seyhun, Siri Derya; ar, سيحون, Seyḥūn; uz, Sirdaryo, script-Latn/. historically known ...
valley, the foothills of the Karatau Mountains in
Tien-Shan The Tian Shan,, , otk, 𐰴𐰣 𐱅𐰭𐰼𐰃, , tr, Tanrı Dağı, mn, Тэнгэр уул, , ug, تەڭرىتاغ, , , kk, Тәңіртауы / Алатау, , , ky, Теңир-Тоо / Ала-Тоо, , , uz, Tyan-Shan / Tangritog‘ ...
, and the
Chui River The Chu (Shu or Chüy) ( kk, Шу, Shu, شۋ; ky, Чүй, Chüy, چۉي; dng, Чў, Chwu (from , ''Chǔ''); russian: Чу, Chu) is a river in Northern Kyrgyzstan and Southern Kazakhstan. Of its total length of ,Northeastern China, ,
Siberia Siberia ( ; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive region, 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 ...
and the
Turkestan Turkestan, also spelled Turkistan ( fa, ترکستان, Torkestân, lit=Land of the Turks), is a historical region in Central Asia corresponding to the regions of Transoxiana and Xinjiang. Overview Known as Turan to the Persians, western Turke ...
-region towards the
Iranian plateau The Iranian plateau or Persian plateau is a geology, geological feature in Western Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia. It comprises part of the Eurasian Plate and is wedged between the Arabian Plate and the Indian Plate; situated between th ...
, South Asia, and
Anatolia Anatolia (also Asia Minor), is a large peninsula in Western Asia and is the western-most extension of continental Asia. The land mass of Anatolia constitutes most of the territory of contemporary Turkey. Geographically, the Anatolian region i ...
(modern Turkey) in many waves. The date of the initial expansion remains unknown.


Persia


= Ghaznavid dynasty (977–1186)

= The Ghaznavid dynasty ( fa, غزنویان ''ġaznaviyān'') was a
Persianate A Persianate society is a society that is based on or strongly influenced by the Persian language, Persian culture, culture, Persian literature, literature, Persian art, art and/or identity. The term "Persianate" is a neologism credited to Marsh ...
Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the ...
dynasty of Turkic ''
mamluk Mamluk ( ar, مملوك, mamlūk (singular), , ''mamālīk'' (plural), translated as "one who is owned", meaning "History of slavery in the Muslim world, slave", also Arabic transliteration, transliterated as ''Mameluke'', ''mamluq'', ''mamluke ...
'' origin, at their greatest extent ruling large parts of
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located 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 Turkmeni ...
,
Afghanistan Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,; prs, امارت اسلامی افغانستان is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia. Referred to as the Heart of Asia, it is bordere ...
, much of
Transoxiana Transoxiana or Transoxania (Land beyond the Oxus) is the Latin name for a region and Sogdia, civilization located in lower Central Asia roughly corresponding to modern-day eastern Uzbekistan, western Tajikistan, parts of southern Kazakhstan, par ...
and the northwest
Indian subcontinent The Indian subcontinent is a list of the physiographic regions of the world, physiographical region in United Nations geoscheme for Asia#Southern Asia, Southern Asia. It is situated on the Indian Plate, projecting southwards into the Indian O ...
(part of Pakistan) from 977 to 1186.C.E. Bosworth: ''The Ghaznavids''. Edinburgh, 1963 C.E. Bosworth, "Ghaznavids", in ''
Encyclopaedia of Islam The ''Encyclopaedia of Islam'' (''EI'') is an Encyclopedia, encyclopaedia of the academic discipline of Islamic studies published by Brill Publishers, Brill. It is considered to be the standard reference work in the field of Islamic studies. Th ...
'', Online Edition; Brill, Leiden; 2006/2007
The dynasty was founded by
Sabuktigin Abu Mansur Nasir al-Din Sabuktigin ( fa, ابو منصور سبکتگین) ( 942 – August 997), also spelled as Sabuktagin, Sabuktakin, Sebüktegin and Sebük Tigin, was the founder of the Ghaznavid dynasty, ruling from 367 A.H/977 A.D to 38 ...
upon his succession to rule of the region of
Ghazna Ghazni ( prs, غزنی, ps, غزني), historically known as Ghaznain () or Ghazna (), also transliterated as Ghuznee, and anciently known as Alexandria in Opiana ( gr, Αλεξάνδρεια Ωπιανή), is a city in southeastern Afghanistan ...
after the death of his father-in-law,
Alp Tigin Alp-Tegin, ( fa, الپتگین ''Alptegīn'' or ''Alptigīn'') or Alptekin, was a Turkic slave commander of the Samanid Empire, who would later become the semi-independent governor of Ghazna from 962 until his death in 963. Before becoming gov ...
, who was a breakaway ex-general of the
Samanid Empire The Samanid Empire ( fa, سامانیان, Sāmāniyān) also known as the Samanian Empire, Samanid dynasty, Samanid amirate, or simply as the Samanids) was a Persianate society, Persianate Sunni Islam, Sunni Muslim empire, of Iranian peoples, Ira ...
from
Balkh Balkh (; prs, , ''Balkh''; xbc, Βάχλο, ''Bákhlo''; grc, Βάκτρα, ''Báktra'') is a town in the Balkh Province of Afghanistan, about northwest of the provincial capital, Mazar-e Sharif, and some south of the Amu Darya river and the ...
, north of the
Hindu Kush The Hindu Kush is an mountain range in Central Asia, Central and South Asia to the west of the Himalayas. It stretches from central and western Afghanistan, Quote: "The Hindu Kush mountains run along the Afghan border with the North-West Fro ...
in
Greater Khorasan Greater Khorāsān,Dabeersiaghi, Commentary on Safarnâma-e Nâsir Khusraw, 6th Ed. Tehran, Zavvâr: 1375 (Solar Hijri Calendar) 235–236 or Khorāsān ( pal, Xwarāsān; fa, wikt:خراسان, خراسان ), is a historical eastern region in ...
.Encyclopædia Britannica
"Ghaznavid Dynasty"
Online Edition 2007
Although the dynasty was of
Central Asian Central Asia, also known as Middle Asia, is a subregion, 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 t ...
Turkic origin, it was thoroughly Persianised in terms of language, culture, literature and habits and hence is regarded by some as a "Persian dynasty".


= Seljuk Empire (1037–1194)

= The Seljuk Empire ( fa, آل سلجوق, translit=Āl-e Saljuq, lit=House of Saljuq) or the Great Seljuq Empire was a
high medieval The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the periodization, period of European history that lasted from AD 1000 to 1300. The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and were followed by the Late Middle Ages, which ended ...
Turko-Persian The composite Turko-Persian, Turco-Persian
''Turko-Persia in historical perspective'', Cambridge University Press, ...
Sunni Muslim Sunni Islam () is the largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam, followed by 85–90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word ''Sunnah'', referring to the tradition of Muhammad. The differences between Sunni and Shia ...
empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". The center of the empire (sometimes referred to as the metropole) ex ...
, originating from the Qiniq branch of
Oghuz Turks The Oghuz or Ghuzz Turks ( Middle Turkic: ٱغُز, ''Oγuz'', ota, اوغوز, Oġuz) were a western Turkic people that spoke the Oghuz branch of the Turkic language family. In the 8th century, they formed a tribal confederation conve ...
. At its greatest extent, the Seljuk Empire controlled a vast area stretching from western
Anatolia Anatolia (also Asia Minor), is a large peninsula in Western Asia and is the western-most extension of continental Asia. The land mass of Anatolia constitutes most of the territory of contemporary Turkey. Geographically, the Anatolian region i ...
and the
Levant The Levant () is an approximation, approximate historical geography, historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia. In its narrowest sense, which is in use today in archaeology an ...
to the
Hindu Kush The Hindu Kush is an mountain range in Central Asia, Central and South Asia to the west of the Himalayas. It stretches from central and western Afghanistan, Quote: "The Hindu Kush mountains run along the Afghan border with the North-West Fro ...
in the east, and from
Central Asia Central Asia, also known as Middle Asia, is a region of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the c ...
to the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of Persis, Fars, ), sometimes called the ( ar, اَلْخَلِيْجُ ٱلْعَرَبِيُّ, Al-Khalīj al-ˁArabī), is a Mediterranean sea (oceanography), me ...
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 Aral Sea ( ; kk, Арал теңізі, Aral teñızı; uz, Орол денгизи, Orol dengizi; kaa, Арал теңизи, Aral teńizi; russian: Аральское море, Aral'skoye more) was an endorheic basin, endorheic lake lyi ...
, the Seljuks advanced first into Khorasan and then into mainland
Persia Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located 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 Turkmeni ...
, before eventually conquering eastern Anatolia. Here the Seljuks won the
battle of Manzikert The Battle of Manzikert or Malazgirt was fought between the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Empire on 26 August 1071 near Manzikert, Iberia (theme), theme of Iberia (modern Malazgirt in Muş Province, Turkey). The decisive defeat of the Byzant ...
in 1071 and conquered most of Anatolia from the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
, which became one of the reasons for the
first crusade The First Crusade (1096–1099) was the first of a series of religious wars, or Crusades, initiated, supported and at times directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The objective was the recovery of the Holy Land from Muslim conqu ...
(1095–1099). From c. 1150–1250, the Seljuk empire declined, and was invaded by the
Mongols The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , , ; ; russian: Монголы) are an East Asian people, East Asian ethnic group indigenous peoples, native to Mongolia, Inner Mongolia in China and the Buryatia, Buryatia Republic of the Russia, Russ ...
around 1260. The Mongols divided Anatolia into
emirate An emirate is a territory ruled by an emir, a title used by monarchs or high officeholders in the Muslim world. From a historical point of view, an emirate is a political-religious unit smaller than a caliphate. It can be considered equivalen ...
s. Eventually one of these, the Ottoman, would conquer the rest.


= Timurid Empire (1370–1507)

= The
Timurid Empire The Timurid Empire ( chg, , fa, ), self-designated as Gurkani (Chagatai language, Chagatai: کورگن, ''Küregen''; fa, , ''Gūrkāniyān''), was a PersianateB.F. Manz, ''"Tīmūr Lang"'', in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Online Edition, 2006 Tu ...
was a Turko-Mongol empire founded in the late 14th century through military conquests led by Timurlane. The establishment of a cosmopolitan empire was followed by the
Timurid Renaissance The Timurid Renaissance was a historical period in Asian history, Asian and Islamic history spanning the late 14th, the 15th, and the early 16th centuries. Following the gradual downturn of the Islamic Golden Age, the Timurid Empire, based in Cen ...
, a period of local enrichment in
mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...
,
astronomy Astronomy () is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics, physics, and chemistry in order to explain their origin and chronology of the Universe, evolution. Objects of interest ...
,
architecture Architecture is the art and technique of designing and building, as distinguished from the skills associated with construction. It is both the process and the product of sketching, conceiving, planning, designing, and construction, constructin ...
, as well as newfound economic growth. The cultural progress of the Timurid period ended as soon as the empire collapsed in the early 16th century, leaving many intellecuals and artists to turn elsewhere in search of employment.


= Central Asian khanates (1501–1920)

= The Bukhara Khanate was an Uzbek state that existed from 1501 to 1785. The khanate was ruled by three dynasties of the
Shaybanids The Shibanids or Shaybanids ( fa, سلسله شیبانیان) or more accurately the Abu'l-Khayrid-Shibanids were a Persianization, Persianized''Introduction: The Turko-Persian tradition'', Robert L. Canfield, Turko-Persia in Historical Perspectiv ...
, 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 The Emirate of Bukhara ( fa, , Amārat-e Bokhārā, chg, , Bukhārā Amirligi) was a Muslims, Muslim polity in Central Asia that existed from 1785 to 1920 in what is modern-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. It occupied ...
(1785–1920). In 1710, the Kokand Khanate (1710–1876) separated from the Bukhara Khanate. In 1511–1920,
Khwarazm Khwarazm (; Old Persian Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages (the other being Avestan language, Avestan) and is the ancestor of Middle Persian (the language of Sasanian Empire). Like other Old Iranian langu ...
(Khiva Khanate) was ruled by the Arabshahid dynasty and the Uzbek dynasty of Kungrats.


= Safavid dynasty (1501–1736)

= The
Safavid dynasty The Safavid dynasty (; fa, دودمان صفوی, Dudmâne Safavi, ) was one of Iran's most significant ruling dynasties reigning from Safavid Iran, 1501 to 1736. Their rule is often considered the beginning of History of Iran, modern Iranian ...
of
Persia Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located 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 Turkmeni ...
(1501–1736) were of mixed ancestry ( Kurdish ''Encyclopædia Iranica'' and Azeri Turks,"Peoples of Iran"
''Encyclopædia Iranica''. RN Frye.
which included intermarriages with Georgian, Circassian, and
Pontic Greek Pontic Greek ( pnt, Ποντιακόν λαλίαν, or ; el, Ποντιακή διάλεκτος, ; tr, Rumca) is a Varieties of Modern Greek, variety of Modern Greek indigenous to the Pontus (region), Pontus region on the southern shore ...
Anthony Bryer. "Greeks and Türkmens: The Pontic Exception", ''Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Vol. 29'' (1975), Appendix II "Genealogy of the Muslim Marriages of the Princesses of Trebizond" dignitaries). Through intermarriage and other political considerations, the Safavids spoke Persian and Turkish, 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 Tahmasp I ( fa, طهماسب, translit=Ṭahmāsb or ; 22 February 1514 – 14 May 1576) was the second shah of Safavid Iran from 1524 to 1576. He was the eldest son of Ismail I and his principal consort, Tajlu Khanum. Ascending the throne after t ...
.Ira Marvin Lapidus, ''A history of Islamic Societies'', Cambridge University Press, 2002, 2nd edition. pg 445. The Safavid dynasty ruled parts of
Greater Iran Greater Iran ( fa, ایران بزرگ, translit=Irān-e Bozorg) refers to a region covering parts of Western Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, Xinjiang, and the Caucasus, where both Culture of Iran, Iranian culture and Iranian langua ...
for more than two centuries. and established the
Twelver Twelver Shīʿīsm ( ar, ٱثْنَا عَشَرِيَّة; '), also known as Imāmīyyah ( ar, إِمَامِيَّة), is the largest branch of Shia Islam, Shīʿa Islam, comprising about 85 percent of all Shīʿa Muslims. The term ''Twelver ...
school of
Shi'a Islam Shīʿa Islam or Shīʿīsm is the second-largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib as his S ...
RM Savory, ''Safavids'', ''
Encyclopedia of Islam The ''Encyclopaedia of Islam'' (''EI'') is an Encyclopedia, encyclopaedia of the academic discipline of Islamic studies published by Brill Publishers, Brill. It is considered to be the standard reference work in the field of Islamic studies. Th ...
'', 2nd ed.
as the official
religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or religious organization, organizations, that generally relates hu ...
of their empire, marking one of the most important turning points in
Muslim history Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam, a Monotheism, monotheistic religion belonging to the Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic tradition. They consider the Quran, the foundational religious text of Islam, to be the ve ...


= Afsharid dynasty (1736–1796)

= The
Afsharid dynasty The Afsharid dynasty ( fa, افشاریان) was an Iranian dynasty founded by Nader Shah () of the Qirqlu clan of the Turkoman Afshar tribe. List of Afsharid monarchs Family tree References Sources * * * * * * * * ...
was named after the Turkic Afshar tribe to which they belonged. The Afshars had migrated from
Turkestan Turkestan, also spelled Turkistan ( fa, ترکستان, Torkestân, lit=Land of the Turks), is a historical region in Central Asia corresponding to the regions of Transoxiana and Xinjiang. Overview Known as Turan to the Persians, western Turke ...
to
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (, ; az, Azərbaycan ), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, , also sometimes officially called the Azerbaijan Republic is a transcontinental country, transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Wester ...
in the 13th century. The dynasty was founded in 1736 by the military commander
Nader Shah Nader Shah Afshar ( fa, نادر شاه افشار; also known as ''Nader Qoli Beyg'' or ''Tahmāsp Qoli Khan'' ) (August 1688 – 19 June 1747) was the founder of the Afsharid dynasty of Iran and one of the most powerful rulers in History o ...
who deposed the last member of the
Safavid dynasty The Safavid dynasty (; fa, دودمان صفوی, Dudmâne Safavi, ) was one of Iran's most significant ruling dynasties reigning from Safavid Iran, 1501 to 1736. Their rule is often considered the beginning of History of Iran, modern Iranian ...
and proclaimed himself King of
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located 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 Turkmeni ...
. Nader belonged to the Qereqlu branch of the Afshars. During Nader's reign, Iran reached its greatest extent since the
Sassanid Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ) and also referred to by historians as the Neo-Persian Empire, was the History of Iran, last Iranian empire before the early Muslim conquests of the 7th-8th cen ...
.


= Qajar dynasty (1789–1925)

= The Qajar dynasty was created by the Turkic Qajar tribe, ruling over Iran from 1789 to 1925.Abbas Amanat, ''The Pivot of the Universe: Nasir Al-Din Shah Qajar and the Iranian Monarchy, 1831–1896'', I. B. Tauris, pp 2–3. The Qajar family took full control of Iran in 1794, deposing Lotf 'Ali Khan, the last
Shah Shah (; fa, شاه, , ) is a royal title that was historically used by the leading figures of List of monarchs of Persia, Iranian monarchies.Yarshater, EhsaPersia or Iran, Persian or Farsi, ''Iranian Studies'', vol. XXII no. 1 (1989) It wa ...
of the
Zand dynasty The Zand dynasty ( fa, سلسله زندیه, ') was an Iranian peoples, Iranian dynasty, founded by Karim Khan Zand (1751–1779) that initially ruled southern and central Iranian plateau, Iran in the 18th century. It later quickly came to exp ...
, and re-asserted Iranian sovereignty over large parts of the
Caucasus The Caucasus () or Caucasia (), is a region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, mainly comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. The Caucasus Mountains, including the Greater Caucasus range ...
. In 1796,
Mohammad Khan Qajar Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar ( fa, آقا محمد خان قاجار, translit=Âqâ Mohammad Xân-e Qâjâr; 14 March 1742 – 17 June 1797), also known by his regnal name of Agha Mohammad Shah (, ), was the founder of the Qajar dynasty of Qajar Ira ...
seized
Mashhad Mashhad ( fa, مشهد, Mašhad ), also spelled Mashad, is the List of Iranian cities by population, second-most-populous city in Iran, located in the relatively remote north-east of the country about from Tehran. It serves as the capital of R ...
with ease, putting an end to the
Afsharid dynasty The Afsharid dynasty ( fa, افشاریان) was an Iranian dynasty founded by Nader Shah () of the Qirqlu clan of the Turkoman Afshar tribe. List of Afsharid monarchs Family tree References Sources * * * * * * * * ...
, and Mohammad Khan was formally crowned as Shah after his punitive campaign against Iran's Georgian subjects.
Michael Axworthy Michael George Andrew Axworthy (26 September 1962 – 16 March 2019) was a British academic, author, and commentator. He was the head of the Iran section at the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office between 1998 and 2000. Personal life and fam ...

''Iran: Empire of the Mind: A History from Zoroaster to the Present Day''
Penguin UK, 6 November 2008.
In the Caucasus, the Qajar dynasty permanently lost many of Iran's integral areas to the
Russians , native_name_lang = ru , image = , caption = , population = , popplace = 118 million Russians in the Russian Federation (2002 ''Winkler Prins'' estimate) , region1 = , pop1 ...
over the course of the 19th century, comprising modern-day Georgia,
Dagestan Dagestan ( ; rus, Дагеста́н, , dəɡʲɪˈstan, links=yes), officially the Republic of Dagestan (russian: Респу́блика Дагеста́н, Respúblika Dagestán, links=no), is a republic of Russia Russia (, , ), ...
,
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (, ; az, Azərbaycan ), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, , also sometimes officially called the Azerbaijan Republic is a transcontinental country, transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Wester ...
and
Armenia Armenia (), , group=pron officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.The UNbr>classification of world regions places Armenia in Western Asia; the CIA World Factbook , , and '' ...
.Timothy C. Dowling
''Russia at War: From the Mongol Conquest to Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Beyond''
pp 728–730 ABC-CLIO, 2 December 2014
The dynasty was founded by
Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar ( fa, آقا محمد خان قاجار, translit=Âqâ Mohammad Xân-e Qâjâr; 14 March 1742 – 17 June 1797), also known by his regnal name of Agha Mohammad Shah (, ), was the founder of the Qajar dynasty of Qajar Ira ...
and continued until
Ahmad Shah Qajar Ahmad Shah Qajar ( fa, احمد شاه قاجار; 21 January 1898 – 21 February 1930) was List of monarchs of Persia, Shah of Persia (Name of Iran, Iran) from 16 July 1909 to 15 December 1925, and the last ruling member of the Qajar dynasty. ...
.


South Asia

The
Delhi Sultanate The Delhi Sultanate was an Islamic empire based in Delhi that stretched over large parts of the Indian subcontinent for 320 years (1206–1526).
is a term used to cover five short-lived,
Delhi Delhi, officially the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, is a city and a union territory of India containing New Delhi, the capital of India. Straddling the Yamuna river, primarily its western or right bank, Delhi shares borders wi ...
-based kingdoms three of which were of Turkic origin in
medieval India Medieval India refers to a long period of Post-classical history of the Indian subcontinent between the "ancient period" and "modern period". It is usually regarded as running approximately from the breakup of the Gupta Empire in the 6th cent ...
. These Turkic dynasties were the Mamluk dynasty (1206–90); the
Khalji dynasty The Khalji or Khilji (Pashto language, Pashto: ; Persian language, Persian: ) dynasty was a Turkic people, Turco-Afghans, Afghan dynasty which ruled the Delhi sultanate, covering large parts of the Indian subcontinent for nearly three decad ...
(1290–1320); and the
Tughlaq dynasty The Tughlaq dynasty ( fa, ), also referred to as Tughluq or Tughluk dynasty, was a Muslim dynasty of Indian people, Indo-Turkic peoples, Turkic origin which ruled over the Delhi sultanate in medieval India. Its reign started in 1320 in Delhi ...
(1320–1414).
Southern India South India, also known as Dakshina Bharata or Peninsular India, consists of the peninsular southern part of India. It encompasses the States and union territories of India, Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and T ...
also saw many Turkic origin dynasties like the
Adil Shahi dynasty The Adil Shahi or Adilshahi, was a Shia Islam, Shia,Salma Ahmed Farooqui, ''A Comprehensive History of Medieval India: From Twelfth to the Mid-Eighteenth Century'', (Dorling Kindersley Pvt Ltd., 2011), 174. and later Sunni Muslim,Muhammad Qasim ...
, the
Bidar Sultanate Bidar sultanate was one of the Deccan sultanates of late medieval southern India. The sultanate emerged under the rule of Qasim Barid I in 1492 and leadership passed to his sons. Starting from the 1580s, a wave of successions occurred in the ...
, and the
Qutb Shahi dynasty The Qutb Shahi dynasty also called as Golconda Sultanate (Persian language, Persian: ''Qutb Shāhiyān'' or ''Sultanat-e Golkonde'') was a Persianate society, Persianate Shia Islam dynasty of Turkoman (ethnonym), Turkoman origin that ruled th ...
, collectively known as the
Deccan sultanates The Deccan sultanates were five Islamic Medieval India, late-medieval Indian kingdoms—on the Deccan Plateau between the Krishna River and the Vindhya Range—that were ruled by Muslim dynasties: namely Ahmadnagar Sultanate, Ahmadnagar, Berar ...
. The
Mughal Empire The Mughal Empire was an early-modern empire that controlled much of South Asia between the 16th and 19th centuries. Quote: "Although the first two Timurid emperors and many of their noblemen were recent migrants to the subcontinent, the d ...
was a Turko-Mongol founded Indian empire that, at its greatest territorial extent, ruled most of South Asia, including
Afghanistan Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,; prs, امارت اسلامی افغانستان is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia. Referred to as the Heart of Asia, it is bordere ...
, Pakistan, India,
Bangladesh Bangladesh (}, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, eighth-most populous country in the world, with a population exceeding 165 million pe ...
and parts of
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan (, ; uz, Ozbekiston, italic=yes / , ; russian: Узбекистан), officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( uz, Ozbekiston Respublikasi, italic=yes / ; russian: Республика Узбекистан), is a Doubly landlocked, do ...
from the early 16th to the early 18th centuries. The Mughal dynasty was founded by a Chagatai Turkic prince named
Babur Babur ( fa, , lit= tiger, translit= Bābur; ; 14 February 148326 December 1530), born Mīrzā Zahīr ud-Dīn Muhammad, was the founder of the Mughal Empire The Mughal Empire was an early-modern empire that controlled much of South ...
(reigned 1526–30), who was descended from the Turkic conqueror
Timur Timur ; chg, ''Aqsaq Temür'', 'Timur the Lame') or as ''Sahib-i-Qiran'' ( 'Lord of the Auspicious Conjunction'), his epithet. ( chg, ''Temür'', 'Iron'; 9 April 133617–19 February 1405), later Timūr Gurkānī ( chg, ''Temür Kür ...
(Tamerlane) on his father's side and from Chagatai, second son of the
Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , , ; ; russian: Монголы) are an East Asian ethnic group native to Mongolia, Inner Mongolia Inner Mongolia, officially the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, is an Autonomous regions of Chin ...
ruler
Genghis Khan ''Chinggis Khaan'' ͡ʃʰiŋɡɪs xaːŋbr /> Mongol script: ''Chinggis Qa(gh)an/ Chinggis Khagan'' , birth_name = Temüjin , successor = Tolui (as regent) Ögedei Khan , spouse = , issue = , house = Borjigi ...
, on his mother's side.
Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-d ...
Articl
Mughal Dynasty
/ref> A further distinction was the attempt of the Mughals to integrate Hindus and Muslims into a united Indian state. and the Last Turkic dynasty in India were the
Hyderabad State Hyderabad State () was a princely state located in the south-central Deccan Plateau, Deccan region of India with its capital at the city of Hyderabad. It is now divided into the present-day state of Telangana, the Kalyana-Karnataka region of K ...
lasted from 1724 to 1948 located in the south-central region of India.


Arab world

The Arab Muslim
Umayyads Umayyads may refer to: * Umayyad dynasty, a Muslim ruling family of the Caliphate (661–750) and in Spain (756–1031) * Umayyad Caliphate (661–750) :* Emirate of Córdoba (756–929) :* Caliphate of Córdoba (929–1031) {{dab ...
and
Abbasids The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ; ar, الْخِلَافَةُ الْعَبَّاسِيَّة, ') was the third caliphate to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was founded by a dynasty descended from Muhammad's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib ...
fought against the pagan Turks in the Türgesh Khaganate in the
Muslim conquest of Transoxiana The Muslim conquest of Transoxiana or Arab conquest of Transoxiana were the 7th and 8th century Muslim conquests, conquests, by Umayyad and Abbasid Arab peoples, Arabs, of Transoxiana, the land between the Amu Darya, Oxus (Amu Darya) and Syr Da ...
. Turkic soldiers in the army of the
Abbasid The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ; ar, الْخِلَافَةُ الْعَبَّاسِيَّة, ') was the third caliphate to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was founded by a dynasty descended from Muhammad's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib ...
caliphs A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة , ), a person considered a political-religious successor to th ...
emerged as the de facto rulers of most of the Muslim Middle East (apart from
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, translit=Sūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, الجمهورية العربية السورية, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a Western Asian country loc ...
and
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مصر , ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast corner of Africa and Western Asia, southwest corner of Asia via a land bridg ...
), particularly after the 10th century. Examples of regional de-facto independent states include the short lived
Tulunids The Tulunids (), were a Mamluk Mamluk ( ar, مملوك, mamlūk (singular), , ''mamālīk'' (plural), translated as "one who is owned", meaning "History of slavery in the Muslim world, slave", also Arabic transliteration, transliterated as ...
and Ikhshidids in Egypt. The Oghuz and other tribes captured and dominated various countries under the leadership of the
Seljuk dynasty The Seljuk dynasty, or Seljukids ( ; fa, سلجوقیان ''Saljuqian'', alternatively spelled as Seljuqs or Saljuqs), also known as Seljuk Turks, Seljuk Turkomans "The defeat in August 1071 of the Byzantine emperor Romanos Diogenes by the Turk ...
and eventually captured the territories of the Abbasid dynasty and the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
.


Anatolia – Ottomans

After many battles, the western
Oghuz Turks The Oghuz or Ghuzz Turks ( Middle Turkic: ٱغُز, ''Oγuz'', ota, اوغوز, Oġuz) were a western Turkic people that spoke the Oghuz branch of the Turkic language family. In the 8th century, they formed a tribal confederation conve ...
established their own state and later constructed the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
. 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.Carter V. Findley, ''The Turks in World History'' (Oxford University Press, October 2004) They also took part in the military encounters of the
Crusades The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The best known of these Crusades are those to the Holy Land in the period between 1095 and 1291 that were in ...
. In 1090–91, the Turkic Pechenegs reached the walls of
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse), Tsargrad (Slavs, Slavic), Qustantiniya (Arabic), Basileuousa ("Queen of Cities"), Megalopo ...
, where Emperor
Alexius I Alexios I Komnenos ( grc-gre, Ἀλέξιος Κομνηνός, 1057 – 15 August 1118; Latinized Alexius I Comnenus) was Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continu ...
with the aid of the Kipchaks annihilated their army. As the
Seljuk Empire The Great Seljuk Empire, or the Seljuk Empire was a high medieval, culturally Turco-Persian tradition, Turko-Persian, Sunni Islam, Sunni Muslim empire, founded and ruled by the Qiniq (tribe), Qïnïq branch of Oghuz Turks. It spanned a total are ...
declined following the
Mongol invasion The Mongol invasions and conquests took place during the 13th and 14th centuries, creating history's largest contiguous empire: the Mongol Empire (1206-1368), which by 1300 covered large parts of Eurasia. Historians regard the destruction under t ...
, the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
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.


Islamization

Turkic peoples like the
Karluks The Karluks (also Qarluqs, Qarluks, Karluqs, otk, 𐰴𐰺𐰞𐰸, Qarluq, Para-Mongol: Harluut, zh, s=葛逻禄, t=葛邏祿 ''Géluólù'' ; customary phonetic: ''Gelu, Khololo, Khorlo'', fa, خَلُّخ, ''Khallokh'', ar, قارلوق ...
(mainly 8th century),
Uyghurs The Uyghurs; ; ; ; zh, s=, t=, p=Wéiwú'ěr, IPA: ( ), alternatively spelled Uighurs, Uygurs or Uigurs, are a Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central Asia, Cent ...
, Kyrgyz, Turkmens, and
Kipchaks The Kipchaks or Qipchaks, also known as Kipchak Turks or Polovtsians, were a Turkic people, Turkic nomadic people and confederation that existed in the Middle Ages, inhabiting parts of the Eurasian Steppe. First mentioned in the 8th century as p ...
later came into contact with
Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the ...
s, and most of them gradually adopted
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
. Some groups of Turkic people practice other religions, including their original animistic-shamanistic religion,
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...
,
Burkhanism Burkhanism or Ak Jang ( alt, Ак јаҥ "the White Faith") is a Indigenism, indigenist new religious movement that flourished among the Altai people of Russia's Altai Republic between 1904 and the 1930s. The Russian Empire was suspicious of th ...
, Jews (
Khazars The Khazars ; he, כּוּזָרִים, Kūzārīm; la, Gazari, or ; zh, 突厥曷薩 ; 突厥可薩 ''Tūjué Kěsà'', () were a semi- nomadic Turkic people that in the late 6th-century CE established a major commercial empire cover ...
,
Krymchaks The Krymchaks ( Krymchak: , , , ) are Jewish ethno-religious communities of Crimea Crimea, crh, Къырым, Qırım, grc, Κιμμερία / Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería / Taurikḗ ( ) is a peninsula in Ukraine, on the no ...
,
Crimean Karaites The Crimean Karaites or Krymkaraylar (Crimean Karaim language, Karaim: Кърымкъарайлар, ''Qrımqaraylar'', singular къарай, ''qaray''; Trakai dialect: ''karajlar'', singular ''karaj''; he, קראי מזרח אירופה; crh ...
),
Buddhism Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religions, Indian religion or Indian philosophy#Buddhist philosophy, philosophical tradition based on Pre-sectarian Buddhism, teachings attributed to the Buddha. ...
and a small number of Zoroastrians.


Modern history

The Ottoman Empire gradually grew weaker in the face of poor administration, repeated wars with
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
, 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 Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with ...
. Ethnic nationalism also developed in Ottoman Empire during the 19th century, taking the form of
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 Viceroyalty (1801–1917), Caucasus (modern-day Azerbaijan) and the Ottoman Empire ( ...
or
Turanism Turanism, also known as pan-Turanianism, pan-Turanism, or simply Turan, is a pseudoscientific Pan-nationalism, pan-nationalist cultural and political movement proclaiming the need for close cooperation or political unification between people who ...
. 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 The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling across large parts of Eurasia. It succeeded the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad, which ended th ...
living either in the Soviet Union or (after a short-lived
First East Turkestan Republic The Turkic Islamic Republic of East Turkestan (TIRET; ug, شەرقىي تۈركىستان تۈرك ئىسلام جۇمھۇرىيىتى, , Шәрқий Түркистан Түрк-Ислам Җумхурийити; ) was a short-lived breakaway ...
) in the Chinese Republic. For much of the 20th century, Turkey was the only independent Turkic country. In 1991, after the disintegration of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
, five Turkic states gained their independence. These were
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (, ; az, Azərbaycan ), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, , also sometimes officially called the Azerbaijan Republic is a transcontinental country, transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Wester ...
,
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country located mainly in Central Asia and partly in Eastern Europe. It borders Russia to Kazakhstan–Russia border, the north and ...
,
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan,, pronounced or the Kyrgyz Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan border, the north, Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan border, the west, Tajikistan to K ...
,
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan ( or ; tk, Türkmenistan / Түркменистан, ) is a country located in Central Asia, bordered by Kazakhstan to the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan border, northwest, Uzbekistan to the Turkmenistan–Uzbekistan border, north, eas ...
, and
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan (, ; uz, Ozbekiston, italic=yes / , ; russian: Узбекистан), officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( uz, Ozbekiston Respublikasi, italic=yes / ; russian: Республика Узбекистан), is a Doubly landlocked, do ...
. Other Turkic regions such as
Tatarstan The Republic of Tatarstan (russian: Республика Татарстан, Respublika Tatarstan, p=rʲɪsˈpublʲɪkə tətɐrˈstan; tt-Cyrl, Татарстан Республикасы), or simply Tatarstan (russian: Татарстан, tt ...
, Tuva, and
Yakutia Sakha, officially the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia),, is the Federal subjects of Russia#List, largest republics of Russia, republic of Russia, located in the Russian Far East, along the Arctic Ocean, with a population of roughly 1 million. Sak ...
remained in the
Russian Federation Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
.
Chinese Turkestan Xinjiang, SASM/GNC: ''Xinjang''; zh, c=, p=Xīnjiāng; formerly romanized as Sinkiang (, ), officially the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR), is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China China, officially the P ...
remained part of the
People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
. 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 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 list of Turkic dynasties and countries, Turkic co ...
in 2021.


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". However "Chinese histories also depict the Turkic-speaking peoples as typically possessing East/Inner Asian physiognomy, as well as occasionally having West Eurasian physiognomy." According to "fragmentary information on the Xiongnu language that can be found in the Chinese histories, the Xiongnu were Turkic," however historians have been unable to confirm whether or not they were Turkic.
Sima Qian Sima Qian (; ; ) was a Chinese historian of the early Han dynasty The Han dynasty (, ; ) was an imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 9 AD, 25–220 AD), established by Emperor Gaozu of Han, Liu Bang (Emperor Gao) and ruled by the H ...
's description of their legendary origins suggest their physiognomy was "not too different from that of... Han (漢) Chinese population," but a subset of Xiongnu known as the
Jie people Jie or JIE may refer to: * Jie of Xia, last ruler of the Xia Dynasty of China * Jie Zhitui or Zitui (7th centuryBC), a famed minister of Zhou China * Jie (ethnic group), tribe in the Xiongnu Confederation in the 4th and 5th centuries * Jie (Ug ...
were described having "deep-set eyes," "high nose bridges" and "heavy facial hair." The Jie may have been Yeniseian, although others maintaining an Iranian affiliation, and regardless of whether or not the Xiongnu were Turkic, they were a hybrid people. According to the ''
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 Kingdo ...
'', Ashina Simo "was not given a high military post by the Ashina rulers because of his Sogdian (''huren'' 胡人) physiognomy." The Tang historian Yan Shigu described the Hu people of his day as "blue-eyed and red bearded" descendants of the
Wusun The Wusun (; Eastern Han Chinese Eastern Han Chinese or Later Han Chinese is the stage of the Chinese language Chinese (, especially when referring to written Chinese) is a group of languages spoken natively by the ethnic Han Chines ...
, whereas "no comparable depiction of the Kök Türks or Tiele is found in the official Chinese histories." Historian Peter Golden has reported that genetic testing of the proposed descendants of the Ashina tribe does seem to confirm a link to the
Indo-Iranians Indo-Iranian peoples, also known as Indo-Iranic peoples by scholars, and sometimes as Arya or Aryans from their self-designation, were a group of Indo-European peoples who brought the Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European l ...
, emphasizing that "''the Turks as a whole ‘were made up of heterogeneous and somatically dissimilar populations". Historian Emel Esin and Professor Xue Zongzheng have 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. As a result, by the time of Kul Tigin (684 AD), members of the Ashina dynasty had East Asian features. "The Chinese sources of the Kök-Türk period describe the turcophone Kirgiz with green eyes and red hair. They must have been in majority Europeoids although intermarriages with the Chinese had begun long ago. The Kök-Türk kagan Mu-kan was also depicted with blue eyes and an elongated ruddy face. Probably as a result of the repeated marriages, the members of the Kök-Türk dynasty (pl. XLVII/a), and particularly Köl Tigin, had frankly Mongoloid features. Perhaps in the hope of finding an occasion to claim rulership over China, or because the high birth of the mother warranted seniority, the Inner Asian monarchs sought alliances165 with dynasties reigning in China." 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." They also suggest that many modern Turkic-speaking populations are not directly descended from early Turkic peoples. 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." Like Chinese historians, Medieval Muslim writers generally depicted the Turks as having an East Asian appearance. Unlike Chinese historians, Medieval Muslim writers used the term "Turk" broadly to refer to not only Turkic-speaking peoples but also various non-Turkic speaking peoples, such as the
Hephthalites The Hephthalites ( xbc, ηβοδαλο, translit= Ebodalo), sometimes called the White Huns (also known as the White Hunas, in Iranian languages, Iranian as the ''Spet Xyon'' and in Sanskrit as the ''Sveta-huna''), were a people who lived in Cen ...
, Rus,
Magyars Hungarians, also known as Magyars ( ; hu, magyarok ), are a nation and ethnic group native to Hungary () and Kingdom of Hungary, historical Hungarian lands who share a common Hungarian culture, culture, Hungarian history, history, Magyar tribe ...
, and
Tibetans The Tibetan people (; ) are an East Asian people, East Asian ethnic group indigenous peoples, native to Tibet. Their current population is estimated to be around 6.7 million. In addition to the majority living in Tibet Autonomous Region of Chin ...
. In the 13th century, Juzjani referred to the people of Tibet and the mountains between Tibet and Bengal as "Turks" and "people with Turkish features." 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", having light-colored, often reddish hair, and with pink skin,: "One of the issues that most occupied the travelers was the physiognomy of the Turks.120 Both mentally and physically, Turks appeared to the Arab authors as very different from themselves.121 The shape of these "broad faced people with small eyes" and their physique impressed the travelers crossing the Eurasian lands." "According to this explanation: Because of the Turks' distance from the course of the sun and from the sun's rising and descending, the snow in their lands is abundant and coldness and humidity dominate it. This caused the bodies of this land's inhabitants to become mellow and their epidermis thick.124 Their sleek hair is spare and its colour is pale with an inclination to red. Due to the cold weather of their surroundings, coldness dominates their temper. In effect, the cold climate breeds abundant flesh. The arctic temperature compresses the heat and makes it visible. This gives them their pink skin. It is noticeable among the people who have bulky bodies and pale colour. Whilst a chilly wind hits them, their faces, lips, fingers and legs became red. This is because while they were warm their blood expanded, and then the cold temperature caused it to amass." as being "short, with small eyes, nostrils, and mouths" ( Sharaf al-Zaman al-Marwazi), as being "full-faced with small eyes" (
Al-Tabari ( ar, أبو جعفر محمد بن جرير بن يزيد الطبري), more commonly known as al-Ṭabarī (), was a Muslim historian and scholar from Amol, Tabaristan. Among the most prominent figures of the Islamic Golden Age, al-Tabari i ...
), 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).Lee & Kuang (2017) "A Comparative Analysis of Chinese Historical Sources and Y-DNA Studies with Regard to the Early and Medieval Turkic Peoples", Inner Asia 19. p. 207-208 of 197–239 Quote: "The Chinese histories also depict the Turkic-speaking peoples as typically possessing East/Inner Asian physiognomy, as well as occasionally having West Eurasian physiognomy. DNA studies corroborate such characterisation of the Turkic peoples." 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)". In the
Ghaznavids The Ghaznavid dynasty ( fa, غزنویان ''Ġaznaviyān'') was a culturally Persianate society, Persianate, Sunni Islam, Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turkic peoples, Turkic ''mamluk'' origin, ruling, at its greatest extent, large parts of Persia, ...
' 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. The Armenian historian
Movses Kaghankatvatsi Movses Kaghankatvatsi ( hy, Մովսէս Կաղանկատուացի ''Movses Kaġankatvac’i''), or Movses Daskhurantsi ( ''Movses Dasxuranc’i'') is the reputed author (or authors) of a tenth-century Classical Armenian historiographical work on C ...
describes the Turks of the
Western Turkic Khaganate The Western Turkic Khaganate () or Onoq Khaganate ( otk, 𐰆𐰣:𐰸:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, On oq budun, Ten arrow people) was a Turkic peoples, Turkic khaganate in Eurasia, formed as a result of the wars in the beginning of the 7th century (593– ...
as "broad-faced, without eyelashes, and with long flowing hair like women".
Al-Masudi Al-Mas'udi ( ar, أَبُو ٱلْحَسَن عَلِيّ ٱبْن ٱلْحُسَيْن ٱبْن عَلِيّ ٱلْمَسْعُودِيّ, '; –956) was an Historiography of early Islam, Arab historian, geographer and Explorer, traveler. He is ...
writes that the
Oghuz Turks The Oghuz or Ghuzz Turks ( Middle Turkic: ٱغُز, ''Oγuz'', ota, اوغوز, Oġuz) were a western Turkic people that spoke the Oghuz branch of the Turkic language family. In the 8th century, they formed a tribal confederation conve ...
in Yengi-kent near the mouth of the
Syr Darya The Syr Darya (, ),, , ; rus, Сырдарья́, Syrdarjja, p=sɨrdɐˈrʲja; fa, سيردريا, Sirdaryâ; tg, Сирдарё, Sirdaryo; tr, Seyhun, Siri Derya; ar, سيحون, Seyḥūn; uz, Sirdaryo, script-Latn/. historically known ...
"are distinguished from other Turks by their valour, their slanted eyes, and the smallness of their stature." Later Muslim writers noted a change in the physiognomy of Oghuz Turks. According to
Rashid al-Din Hamadani Rashīd al-Dīn Ṭabīb ( fa, رشیدالدین طبیب;‎ 1247–1318; also known as Rashīd al-Dīn Faḍlullāh Hamadānī, fa, links=no, رشیدالدین فضل‌الله همدانی) was a statesman, historian and physician in Ilk ...
, "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 Transoxiana or Transoxania (Land beyond the Oxus) is the Latin name for a region and Sogdia, civilization located in lower Central Asia roughly corresponding to modern-day eastern Uzbekistan, western Tajikistan, parts of southern Kazakhstan, par ...
and
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located 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 Turkmeni ...
.
Khiva Khiva ( uz, Xiva/, خىۋا; fa, خیوه, ; alternative or historical names include ''Kheeva'', ''Khorasam'', ''Khoresm'', ''Khwarezm'', ''Khwarizm'', ''Khwarazm'', ''Chorezm'', ar, خوارزم and fa, خوارزم) is a district-level city ...
khan
Abu al-Ghazi Bahadur Abu al-Ghazi Bahadur ( uz, Abulgʻozi Bahodirxon, Abulgazi, Ebulgazi, Abu-l-Ghazi, August 24, 1603 – 1663) was Khan of Khiva from 1643 to 1663. He spent ten years in Persia before becoming khan, and was very well educated, writing two historical ...
wrote in his
Chagatai language Chagatai (چغتای, ''Čaġatāy''), also known as ''Turki'', Eastern Turkic, or Chagatai Turkic (''Čaġatāy türkīsi''), is an extinct Turkic languages, Turkic literary language that was once widely spoken across Central Asia and remained t ...
treatise ''
Shajara-i Tarākima ''Shajara-i Tarākima'' () is a Chagatai-language historical work completed in 1659 by Khan of Khiva and historian Abu al-Ghazi Bahadur. ''Shajara-i Tarākima'' is one of the two works composed by Abu al-Ghazi Bahadur that have great importanc ...
'' (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." Kevin Alan Brook states that like "most nomadic Turks, the Western Turkic
Khazars The Khazars ; he, כּוּזָרִים, Kūzārīm; la, Gazari, or ; zh, 突厥曷薩 ; 突厥可薩 ''Tūjué Kěsà'', () were a semi- nomadic Turkic people that in the late 6th-century CE established a major commercial empire cover ...
were racially and ethnically mixed."
Istakhri Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Farisi al-Istakhri () (also ''Estakhri'', fa, استخری, i.e. from the Iranian city of Istakhr Istakhr (Middle Persian romanized: ''Stakhr'', fa, اصطخر, translit=Istakhr also spelt استخر in ...
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."
Old East Slavic Old East Slavic (traditionally also Old Russian; be, старажытнаруская мова; russian: древнерусский язык; uk, давньоруська мова) was a language used during the 9th–15th centuries by East ...
sources called the Khazars the "White Ugry" and the Magyars the "Black Ugry." Soviet excavated Khazar remains show Slavic-type, European-type, and a minority Mongoloid-type skulls. The Yenisei Kyrgyz are mentioned in the ''
New Book of Tang The ''New Book of Tang'', generally translated as the "New History of the Tang" or "New Tang History", is a work of official history covering the Tang dynasty in ten volumes and 225 chapters. The work was compiled by a team of scholars of the So ...
'' as having the same script and language as the
Uyghurs The Uyghurs; ; ; ; zh, s=, t=, p=Wéiwú'ěr, IPA: ( ), alternatively spelled Uighurs, Uygurs or Uigurs, are a Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central Asia, Cent ...
but "The people are all tall and big and have red hair, white faces, and green eyes." 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, who were later Turkicized through inter-tribal marriages. According to Lee & Kuang, the prevalence of West Eurasian features among the ancient Kirghiz was likely due to their genetic relation to Indo-Iranians. According to Gardizi, the Kyrgyz were mixed with "Saqlabs" (Slavs), which explains the red hair and white skin among the Kyrgyz, while the ''New Book'' states that the Kyrgyz "intermixed with the Dingling." The Kyrgyz "regarded those with black eyes as descending from iLing," a
Han dynasty The Han dynasty (, ; ) was an imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 9 AD, 25–220 AD), established by Emperor Gaozu of Han, Liu Bang (Emperor Gao) and ruled by the House of Liu. The dynasty was preceded by the short-lived Qin dynasty (22 ...
general who defected to the Xiongnu. In a Chinese legal statute from the early period of the
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China, ruling from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last ort ...
, the
Kipchaks The Kipchaks or Qipchaks, also known as Kipchak Turks or Polovtsians, were a Turkic people, Turkic nomadic people and confederation that existed in the Middle Ages, inhabiting parts of the Eurasian Steppe. First mentioned in the 8th century as p ...
are described as having blond hair and
blue Blue is one of the three primary colours in the RYB color model, RYB colour model (traditional colour theory), as well as in the RGB color model, RGB (additive) colour model. It lies between Violet (color), violet and cyan on the optical sp ...
eyes. It also states that they had a "vile" and "peculiar" appearance, and that some Chinese people wouldn't want to marry them. 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 of the Zhuz#Junior zhuz, 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.


Remarks


Archaeology

*
Xinglongwa culture The Xinglongwa culture () (6200 BC, 6200–5400 BC) 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 tempe ...
*
Hongshan culture The Hongshan culture () was a Neolithic culture in the Xiliao River, 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. The culture ...
* :ru:Чаатас, Čaatas culture * :ru:Аскизская культура, Askiz culture * Kurumchi culture * Saltovo-Mayaki * Saymaluu-Tash * Bilär * Por-Bazhyn * Ordu-Baliq * Jankent


International organizations

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. The TAKM – Organization of the Eurasian Law Enforcement Agencies with Military Status, was established on 25 January 2013. It is an Intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental military law enforcement (gendarmerie) organization of currently three Turkic countries (
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (, ; az, Azərbaycan ), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, , also sometimes officially called the Azerbaijan Republic is a transcontinental country, transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Wester ...
,
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan,, pronounced or the Kyrgyz Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan border, the north, Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan border, the west, Tajikistan to K ...
and Turkey) and
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country located mainly in Central Asia and partly in Eastern Europe. It borders Russia to Kazakhstan–Russia border, the north and ...
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. 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.


Organization of Turkic States

The
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 list of Turkic dynasties and countries, Turkic co ...
, founded on November 3, 2009 by the ''Nakhchivan Agreement'' confederation,
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country located mainly in Central Asia and partly in Eastern Europe. It borders Russia to Kazakhstan–Russia border, the north and ...
,
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan,, pronounced or the Kyrgyz Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan border, the north, Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan border, the west, Tajikistan to K ...
and Turkey, aims to integrate these organizations into a tighter geopolitical framework. The member countries are
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (, ; az, Azərbaycan ), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, , also sometimes officially called the Azerbaijan Republic is a transcontinental country, transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Wester ...
,
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country located mainly in Central Asia and partly in Eastern Europe. It borders Russia to Kazakhstan–Russia border, the north and ...
,
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan,, pronounced or the Kyrgyz Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan border, the north, Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan border, the west, Tajikistan to K ...
, Turkey and
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan (, ; uz, Ozbekiston, italic=yes / , ; russian: Узбекистан), officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( uz, Ozbekiston Respublikasi, italic=yes / ; russian: Республика Узбекистан), is a Doubly landlocked, do ...
. 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.
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan ( or ; tk, Türkmenistan / Түркменистан, ) is a country located in Central Asia, bordered by Kazakhstan to the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan border, northwest, Uzbekistan to the Turkmenistan–Uzbekistan border, north, eas ...
also joined as an observer state to the organization at 8th summit. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was admitted to the organization as observer member at the 2022 Organization of Turkic States summit, 2022 Samarkand Summit.


Demographics

The distribution of people of Turkic cultural background ranges from
Siberia Siberia ( ; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive region, 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 ...
, across Central Asia, to Southern Europe. the largest groups of Turkic people live throughout Central Asia—
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country located mainly in Central Asia and partly in Eastern Europe. It borders Russia to Kazakhstan–Russia border, the north and ...
,
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan,, pronounced or the Kyrgyz Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan border, the north, Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan border, the west, Tajikistan to K ...
,
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan ( or ; tk, Türkmenistan / Түркменистан, ) is a country located in Central Asia, bordered by Kazakhstan to the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan border, northwest, Uzbekistan to the Turkmenistan–Uzbekistan border, north, eas ...
,
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan (, ; uz, Ozbekiston, italic=yes / , ; russian: Узбекистан), officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( uz, Ozbekiston Respublikasi, italic=yes / ; russian: Республика Узбекистан), is a Doubly landlocked, do ...
, and
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (, ; az, Azərbaycan ), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, , also sometimes officially called the Azerbaijan Republic is a transcontinental country, transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Wester ...
, in addition to Turkey and
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located 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 Turkmeni ...
. Additionally, Turkic people are found within Crimea, Altishahr region of western
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
, northern Iraq, Israel,
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
,
Afghanistan Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,; prs, امارت اسلامی افغانستان is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia. Referred to as the Heart of Asia, it is bordere ...
, 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. 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 The Oghuz or Ghuzz Turks ( Middle Turkic: ٱغُز, ''Oγuz'', ota, اوغوز, Oġuz) were a western Turkic people that spoke the Oghuz branch of the Turkic language family. In the 8th century, they formed a tribal confederation conve ...
, Kipchaks, Kipchak, Karluks, Karluk,
Siberia Siberia ( ; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive region, 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 ...
n, Chuvash people, Chuvash, and Sakha language, 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. Historical population: The following incomplete list of Turkic people shows the respective groups' core areas of settlement and their estimated sizes (in millions):


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, ''kaymak, qaymaq'' (similar to clotted cream), Kumis, qi̅mi̅z (fermented mare's milk) and ''qurut'' (dried yoghurt). During the Middle Ages Kazakh cuisine, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Tatar cuisine, Tatars, who were historically part of the Turkic nomadic group known as the
Golden Horde The Golden Horde, self-designated as Ulug Ulus, 'Great State' in Turkic, was originally a Mongols, Mongol and later Turkicized khanate established in the 13th century and originating as the northwestern sector of the Mongol Empire. With the fr ...
, continued to develop new variations of dairy products. Nomadic Turks cooked their meals in a ''Kazan (cookware), 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 (food), manti''. They also used a ''saj'', a griddle that was traditionally placed on stones over a fire, and ''skewer, 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''. 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. There are many types of bread doughs in Turkic cuisine. ''Saj bread, Yupqa'' is the thinnest type of dough, ''Bawirsaq, bawi̅rsaq'' is a type of fried bread dough, and ''Shelpek, 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 Börek, böräk is a type of filled pie pastry. 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 halal, Islamic dietary restrictions, historically Turkic nomads also had a variety of blood sausage. One type of sausage, called ''Qazı, 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. ''Kavurma, Qawirma'' is a typical fried meat dish, and ''kullama'' is a soup of noodles and lamb.


Religion


Early Turkic mythology and Tengrism

Early Turkic mythology was dominated by Shamanism in Central Asia, Shamanism, Animism and Tengrism. The Turkic animistic traditions were mostly focused on ancestor worship, Polytheism, 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 Manichaeism (; in New Persian ; ) is a former major religionR. van den Broek, Wouter J. Hanegraaff ''Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times''SUNY Press, 1998 p. 37 founded in the 3rd century AD by the Parthian Empire, Parthian ...
was introduced as the official religion of the
Uyghur Empire The Uyghur Khaganate (also Uyghur Empire or Uighur Khaganate, self defined as Toquz-Oghuz country; otk, 𐱃𐰆𐰴𐰕:𐰆𐰍𐰕:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, Toquz Oγuz budun, Tang dynasty, Tang-era names, with modern Hanyu Pinyin: or ) was a Turkic ...
in 763. The gray wolf, wolf symbolizes honour and is also considered the mother of most Turkic peoples.
Ashina Ashina may refer to: *Ashina tribe The Ashina (; Middle Chinese: (Guangyun) ), 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 agai ...
is the wolf mother of Tumen Il-Qağan, the first Khan of the Göktürks. The horse and bird of prey, predatory birds, such as the eagle or falcon, are also main figures of Turkic mythology.


Religious conversions


Buddhism

Buddhism Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religions, Indian religion or Indian philosophy#Buddhist philosophy, philosophical tradition based on Pre-sectarian Buddhism, teachings attributed to the Buddha. ...
played an important role in the history of Turkic peoples, with the first Turkic state adopting and supporting the spread of Buddhism being the Turkic Shahis and the Göktürks. The Göktürks syncretized Buddhism with their traditional religion Tengrism and also incorporated elements of the Iranian traditional religions, such as Zoroastrianism. Buddhism had it's hight among the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region. Buddhism had also considerable impact and influence onto various other historical Turkic groups. 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 Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country located mainly in Central Asia and partly in Eastern Europe. It borders Russia to Kazakhstan–Russia border, the north and ...
, there exist various historical Buddhist sites, including an underground Buddhist cave monastery. After the Arab expansion, 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 during the next centuries. Tengri Bögü Khan initially made the now extinct
Manichaeism Manichaeism (; in New Persian ; ) is a former major religionR. van den Broek, Wouter J. Hanegraaff ''Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times''SUNY Press, 1998 p. 37 founded in the 3rd century AD by the Parthian Empire, Parthian ...
the state religion of the
Uyghur Khaganate The Uyghur Khaganate (also Uyghur Empire or Uighur Khaganate, self defined as Toquz-Oghuz country; otk, 𐱃𐰆𐰴𐰕:𐰆𐰍𐰕:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, Toquz Oγuz budun, Tang dynasty, Tang-era names, with modern Hanyu Pinyin: or ) was a Turkic ...
in 763 and it was also popular among the
Karluks The Karluks (also Qarluqs, Qarluks, Karluqs, otk, 𐰴𐰺𐰞𐰸, Qarluq, Para-Mongol: Harluut, zh, s=葛逻禄, t=葛邏祿 ''Géluólù'' ; customary phonetic: ''Gelu, Khololo, Khorlo'', fa, خَلُّخ, ''Khallokh'', ar, قارلوق ...
. It was gradually replaced by the Mahayana Buddhism. It existed in the Buddhist Uyghur Gaochang up to the 12th century. Tibetan Buddhism, or Vajrayana was the main religion after Manichaeism. They worshipped Buddha, Täŋri Täŋrisi Burxan, Guanyin, Quanšï Im Pusar and Maitreya, Maitri Burxan. 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 Yugur, Sari Uygurs "Yellow Yughurs" of Western China, as well as the of Russia are the only remaining
Buddhist Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, most commonly referred to as the Buddha, was a ...
Turkic peoples.


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

The major Christian-Turkic peoples are the Chuvash people, Chuvash of Chuvash Republic, Chuvashia and the Gagauz people, Gagauz (''Gökoğuz'') of Moldova, the vast majority of Chuvash people, Chuvash and the Gagauz people, Gagauz are Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox Christians. The traditional religion of the Chuvash people, 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. Between the 9th and 14th centuries, Church of the East was popular among Turks such as the
Naimans The Naiman (Mongolian language, Mongolian: Найман, Naiman, "eight"; ; Kazakh language, Kazakh: Найман, Naiman; Uzbek language, Uzbek: Nayman) were a medieval tribe originating in the territory of modern Western Mongolia (possibly durin ...
. It even revived in Gaochang and expanded in Xinjiang in the Yuan dynasty period. It disappeared after its collapse. Kryashens are a sub-group of the Volga Tatars, and the vast majority are Russian Orthodoxy, Orthodox Christians. Nağaybäk are an indigenous Turkic people in Russia, most Nağaybäk are Christian and were largely converted during the 18th century. Many Volga Tatars were Christianized by Ivan IV of Russia, Ivan the Terrible during the 16th century, and continued to Christianized under subsequent Russian rulers and Orthodox clergy up to the mid-eighteenth century.


Animism

Today there are several groups that support a revival of the ancient traditions. Especially after the collapse of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
, many in
Central Asia Central Asia, also known as Middle Asia, is a region of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the c ...
converted or openly practice animistic and shamanistic rituals. It is estimated that about 60% of practice a form of animistic rituals. In
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country located mainly in Central Asia and partly in Eastern Europe. It borders Russia to Kazakhstan–Russia border, the north and ...
there are about 54,000 followers of the ancient traditions.


Muslim Turks and non-Muslim Turks

The Uyghur Turks, who once belonged to a variety of religions, were gradually Islamized during a period spanning the 10th and 13th centuries. Some scholars have linked the phenomenon of recently Islamized Uyghur soldiers recruited by the Mongol Empire to the slow conversion of Uyghur populations to Islam. 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!'' 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 The Tuhsis were a Middle Turkic, medieval Turkic-speaking tribe, who lived alongside the Chigil, Yagma, and other tribes, in Zhetysu and today southern Kazakhstan. Tuhsi were also considered remnants of the Türgesh people. Turkologist Yury Zuev n ...
, Yaghma, Çiğil and Karluk. 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. The Yabaqu were a Turkic people. 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". 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.


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. (see also: Cuju)


Kyz kuu

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


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.


Kokpar

The Buzkashi, 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.


Jigit

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


Gallery


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

File:Turk_vassal_blacksmiths_under_Mongolian_rule.jpg, Turk vassal blacksmiths under Mongolian rule File:Turkic hunting scene, Gokturk period Altai.png, Turkic hunting scene, Gokturk period Altai File:Battle scene of a Turkic horseman with typical long hair (Gokturk period, Altai).png, Battle scene of a Turkic horseman with typical long hair (Gokturk period, Altai)


Bezeklik caves and Mogao grottoes

Images of Buddhist and Manichean Uyghur Khanate, Old Uyghurs from the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, Bezeklik caves and Mogao Caves, Mogao grottoes. File:Dunhuang Uighur king.jpg, Old Uyghur king from Turfan, from the murals at the Dunhuang Mogao Caves. File:Uighur prince from Bezeklik murals.jpg, Old Uyghur prince from the Bezeklik murals. File:Uighur woman from Bezeklik murals.jpg, Old Uyghur woman from the Bezeklik murals. File:UighurPrincess.png, Old Uyghur Princess. File:Museum für Indische Kunst Dahlem Berlin Mai 2006 064.jpg, Old Uyghur Princesses from the Bezeklik murals. File:Museum für Indische Kunst Dahlem Berlin Mai 2006 063.jpg, Old Uyghur Princes from the Bezeklik murals. File:Uigure-bezeklik-17.jpg, Old Uyghur Prince from the Bezeklik murals. File:Uigure-bezeklik-19.jpg, Old Uyghur noble from the Bezeklik murals. File:Manichaean Temple Banner (MIK III 6283).jpg, Old Uyghur Manichaeism, Manichaean Elect depicted on a temple banner from Qocho. File:Museum für Indische Kunst Dahlem Berlin Mai 2006 067.jpg, Old Uyghur donor from the Bezeklik murals. File:ManichaeanElectaeKocho10thCentury.jpg, Old Uyghur Manichaean Electae from Qocho. File:Museum für Indische Kunst Dahlem Berlin Mai 2006 066.jpg, Old Uyghur Manichaean clergymen from Qocho. File:Museum für Indische Kunst Dahlem Berlin Mai 2006 061.jpg, Murals from the Christian temple at Qocho, Fresco of Palm Sunday from Qocho. File:Manicheans.jpg, Manicheans from Qocho


Medieval times

File:Omurtag1.jpg, Khan Omurtag of Old Great Bulgaria, Bulgaria, from the Chronicle of John Skylitzes. File:Portrait from the Palace courtroom, Lashkari Bazar.jpg, Ghaznavid portrait, Palace of Lashkari Bazar.


Modern times

File:Azerigirls.JPG, Azerbaijani people, Azerbaijani girls in traditional dress. File:Gagauz.jpg, Gagauz people, Gagauz women and man. File:Young bashqorts.jpg, Bashkirs, Bashkir boys in national dress. File:Головной убор чувашской девушки тухъя. XIX век. Средненизовая этнографическая группы (анат енчи).jpg, A Chuvashes, Chuvash girl in traditional dress. File:Хакасы.JPG, Khakas people with traditional instruments. File:Ногайцы 01.jpg, Nogais, Nogai man in national costume. File:Dursunbey yerelkıyafeti.JPG, Turkish girls in their traditional clothes, Dursunbey, Balikesir Province. File:Turkman girl in national dress.jpg, Turkmens, Turkmen girl in national dress. File:Мөгелер биле Даңгыналар2. 2016.jpg, Tuvans, Tuvan men and women in Kyzyl, Tuva. File:Kazakh man in traditional costume.jpg, Kazakh man in traditional clothing. File:Samsa or Somsa in Uzbekistan.jpg, Uzbek with traditional cuisine. File:KyrgyzEagleHuntsman.jpg, Kyrgyz traditional eagle hunter. File:Tuvan shamans19.jpg, Tuvans, Tuvan traditional shaman. File:Sakha family.jpg, Yakut Sakha family in traditional attire.


See also

* Turkic history * Turkic migration * Turkic mythology * Turco-Persian tradition * Turco-Mongol tradition * Turkology * List of Turkic dynasties and countries


References


Sources

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Text was copied from this source, which is available under
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
* * *


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) * * Amanjolov A.S., "History of the Ancient Turkic Script", Almaty, "Mektep", 2003, * 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. . * Boeschoten, Hendrik & Lars Johanson. 2006. ''Turkic languages in contact''. Turcologica, Bd. 61. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. . * 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. ; (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) * * * Heywood, Colin. ''The Turks (The Peoples of Europe)'' (Blackwell 2005), . * Hostler, Charles Warren. ''The Turks of Central Asia'' (Greenwood Press, November 1993), . * Ishjatms N., "Nomads In Eastern Central Asia", in the "History of civilizations of Central Asia", Volume 2, UNESCO Publishing, 1996, . * Johanson, Lars & Éva Agnes Csató (ed.). 1998. ''The Turkic languages''. London: Routledge. . * 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, . * Lebedynsky, Iaroslav. (2006). ''Les Saces: Les « Scythes » d'Asie, VIIIe siècle apr. J.-C.'' Editions Errance, Paris. . * 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. * 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.


External links



at University of Michigan {{Turkic topics Turkic peoples, Ethnic groups in China Central Asian people Nomadic groups in Eurasia