The Info List - Turan

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List of the areas mentioned in the map as part of Turan: 1. Khwarezm 2. Bukhara
with Balkh
3. Shehersebz (near Bukhara) 4. Hissar 5. Khokand
6. Durwaz 7. Karategin 8. Kunduz
9. Kafiristan
10. Chitral
11. Gilgit
12. Iskardu
13.14. The northern steppes (Kazakhstan).

(Persian: توران Tūrān, "the land of the Tur") is a region in Central Asia. The term is of Iranian origin[1] and may refer to a particular prehistoric human settlement, a historic geographical region, or a culture. The original Turanians were an Iranian[2][3][4] tribe of the Avestan age.


1 Overview 2 Terminology

2.1 Ancient literature

2.1.1 Avesta 2.1.2 Late Sassanid and early Islamic era 2.1.3 Shahnameh

2.2 Modern literature

2.2.1 Geography 2.2.2 Linguistics 2.2.3 Ideology 2.2.4 Politics 2.2.5 Names

3 Family tree 4 References 5 Further reading 6 External links

Overview[edit] In ancient Iranian mythology, Tūr or Turaj (Tuzh in Middle Persian)[5] is the son of the emperor Fereydun. According to the account in the Shahnameh
the nomadic tribes who inhabited these lands were ruled by Tūr. In that sense, the Turanians could be members of two Iranian peoples
Iranian peoples
both descending from Fereydun, but with different geographical domains and often at war with each other.[6][7] Turan, therefore, comprised five areas: the Kopet Dag
Kopet Dag
region, the Atrek valley, the eastern Alborz
mountains, Helmand valley, Bactria
and Margiana.[8] A later association of the original Turanians with Turkic peoples
Turkic peoples
is based primarily on the subsequent Turkification
of Central Asia, including the above areas.[9][10] According to C. E. Bosworth, however, there was no cultural relationship between the ancient Turkic cultures and the Turanians of the Shahnameh.[11] Terminology[edit] Ancient literature[edit] Avesta[edit] The oldest existing mention of Turan
is in the Farvardin yashts, which are in the Young Avestan
Young Avestan
language and have been dated by linguists to approximately 2300 BCE.[12] According to Gherardo Gnoli, the Avesta contains the names of various tribes who lived in proximity to each other: "the Airyas [Aryans], Tuiryas [Turanians], Sairimas [Sarmatians], Sainus [Ashkuns] and Dahis [Dahae]".[13] In the hymns of the Avesta, the adjective Tūrya is attached to various enemies of Zoroastrism
like Fraŋrasyan (Shahnameh: Afrāsīāb). The word occurs only once in the Gathas, but 20 times in the later parts of the Avesta. The Tuiryas as they were called in Avesta
play a more important role in the Avesta
than the Sairimas, Sainus and Dahis. Zoroaster
himself hailed from the Airya people but he also preached his message to other neighboring tribes.[13][14] According to Mary Boyce, in the Farvardin Yasht, "In it (verses 143–144) are praised the fravashis of righteous men and women not only among the Aryas (as the "Avestan" people called themselves), but also among the Turiyas, Sairimas, Sainus and Dahis; and the personal names, like those of the people, all seem Iranian character".[15] Hostility between Tuirya and Airya is indicated also in the Farvardtn Yast (vv. 37-8), where the Fravashis of the Just are said to have provided support in battle against the Danus, who appear to be a clan of the Tura people.[16] Thus in the Avesta, some of the Tuiryas believed in the message of Zoroaster
while others rejected the religion. Similar to the ancient homeland of Zoroaster, the precise geography and location of Turan
is unknown.[17] In post-Avestan traditions they were thought to inhabit the region north of the Oxus, the river separating them from the Iranians. Their presence accompanied by incessant wars with the Iranians, helped to define the latter as a distinct nation, proud of their land and ready to spill their blood in its defense.[18] The common names of Turanians in Avesta
and Shahnameh include Frarasyan,[19] Aghraethra,[20] Biderafsh,[21] Arjaspa[22] Namkhwast.[21] The names of Iranian tribes including those of the Turanians that appear in Avesta
have been studied by Manfred Mayrhofer in his comprehensive book on Avesta
personal name etymologies.[23] Late Sassanid and early Islamic era[edit]

was one of the regions of the Sasanian Empire, here seen at the extreme southeast.

From the 5th century CE, the Sasanian Empire
Sasanian Empire
defined "Turan" in opposition to "Iran", as the land where lay its enemies to the northeast.[24] The continuation of nomadic invasions on the north-eastern borders in historical times kept the memory of the Turanians alive.[18] After the 6th century the Turks, who had been pushed westward by other tribes, became neighbours of Iran
and were identified with the Turanians.[18][25] The identification of the Turanians with the Turks was a late development, possibly made in the early 7th century; the Turks first came into contact with the Iranians only in the 6th century.[19] According to Clifford E. Boseworth:[26]

In early Islamic times Persians tended to identify all the lands to the northeast of Khorasan and lying beyond the Oxus
with the region of Turan, which in the Shahnama of Ferdowsi
is regarded as the land allotted to Fereydun's son Tur. The denizens of Turan
were held to include the Turks, in the first four centuries of Islam essentially those nomadizing beyond the Jaxartes, and behind them the Chinese (see Kowalski; Minorsky, "Turan"). Turan
thus became both an ethnic and a geographical term, but always containing ambiguities and contradictions, arising from the fact that all through Islamic times the lands immediately beyond the Oxus
and along its lower reaches were the homes not of Turks but of Iranian peoples, such as the Sogdians and Khwarezmians.

The terms "Turk" and "Turanian" became used interchangeably during the Islamic era. The Shahnameh, or the Book
of Kings, the compilation of Iranian mythical heritage, uses the two terms equivalently. Other authors, including Tabari, Hakim Iranshah and many other texts follow like. A notable exception is the Abl-Hasan Ali ibn Masudi, an Arab historian who writes: "The birth of Afrasiyab was in the land of Turks and the error that historians and non-historians have made about him being a Turk is due to this reason".[27] By the 10th century, the myth of Afrasiyab was adopted by the Qarakhanid dynasty.[19] During the Safavid
era, following the common geographical convention of the Shahnameh, the term Turan
was used to refer to the domain of the Uzbek empire in conflict with the Safavids. Some linguists derive the word from the Indo-Iranian root *tura- "strong, quick, sword(Pashto)", Pashto turan (thuran) "swordsman". Others link it to old Iranian *tor "dark, black", related to the New Persian tār(ik), Pashto tor (thor), and possibly English dark. In this case, it is a reference to the "dark civilization" of Central Asian nomads in contrast to the "illuminated" Zoroastrian civilization of the settled Ārya. Shahnameh[edit] Main article: Shahnameh In the Persian epic Shahnameh, the term Tūrān ("land of the Tūrya" like Ērān, Īrān = "land of the Ārya") refers to the inhabitants of the eastern-Iranian border and beyond the Oxus. According to the foundation myth given in the Shahnameh, King Firēdūn (= Avestan Θraētaona) had three sons, Salm, Tūr and Īraj, among whom he divided the world: Asia Minor
Asia Minor
was given to Salm, Turan
to Tur and Iran to Īraj. The older brothers killed the younger, but he was avenged by his grandson, and the Iranians became the rulers of the world. However, the war continued for generations. In the Shahnameh, the word Turan
appears nearly 150 times and that of Iran
nearly 750 times. Some examples from the Shahnameh:

نه خاکست پیدا نه دریا نه کوه ز بس تیغداران توران گروه No earth is visible, no sea, no mountain, From the many blade-wielders of the Turan

تهمتن به توران سپه شد به جنگ بدانسان که نخجیر بیند پلنگ Tahamtan (Powerful-Bodied) Rustam
took the fight to the Turan
army Just as a leopard sights its prey.

Modern literature[edit] Geography[edit]

Another 19th-century "Map of Iran
and Turan", drawn by Adolf Stieler

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Western languages borrowed the word Turan
as a general designation for modern Central Asia, although this expression has now fallen into disuse. Turan
appears next to Iran on numerous maps of the 19th century[28] to designate a region encompassing modern Ouzbekistan, Kazakhstan
and northern parts of Afghanistan
and Pakistan. This area roughly corresponds to what is called Central Asia
Central Asia
today. The phrase Turan
Plain or Turan Depression
Turan Depression
became a geographical term referring to a part of Central Asia. Linguistics[edit] Main article: Turanian languages The term Turanian, now obsolete, formerly[when?] occurred in the classifications used by European (especially German, Hungarian, and Slovak) ethnologists, linguists, and Romantics to designate populations speaking non-Indo-European, non-Semitic, and non-Hamitic languages[29] and specially speakers of Altaic, Dravidian, Uralic, Japanese, Korean and other languages.[30] Max Müller
Max Müller
(1823–1900) identified different sub-branches within the Turanian language family:

the Middler Altaic
division branch, comprising Tungusic, Mongolic, Turkic, The Northern Ural Samoyedic, Ugriche and Finnic the Southern branch consisted of Dravidian languages
Dravidian languages
such as Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, and other Dravidian languages the languages of the Caucasus which Müller classified as the scattered languages of the Turanian family

Müller also began to muse whether Chinese belonged to the Northern branch or Southern branch.[31] The main relationships between Dravidian, Uralic, and Altaic
languages were considered[by whom?] typological. According to Crystal & Robins, "Language families, as conceived in the historical study of languages, should not be confused with the quite separate classifications of languages by reference to their sharing certain predominant features of grammatical structure."[32] As of 2013[update] linguists classify languages according to the method of comparative linguistics rather than using their typological features. According to Encyclopædia Britannica, Max's Müller's "efforts were most successful in the case of the Semites, whose affinities are easy to demonstrate, and probably least successful in the case of the Turanian peoples, whose early origins are hypothetical".[33] As of 2014[update] the scholarly community no longer uses the word Turanian to denote a classification of language families. The relationship between Uralic and Altaic, whose speakers were also designated as Turanian people in 19th-century European literature, remains uncertain.[34] Ideology[edit] Main article: Turanid race In European discourse, the words Turan
and Turanian can designate a certain mentality, i.e. the nomadic in contrast to the urbanized agricultural civilizations. This usage probably[original research?] matches the Zoroastrian concept of the Tūrya, which is not primarily a linguistic or ethnic designation, but rather a name of the infidels that opposed the civilization based on the preaching of Zoroaster. Combined with physical anthropology, the concept of the Turanian mentality has a clear potential for cultural polemic. Thus in 1838 the scholar J.W. Jackson described the Turanid or Turanian race in the following words:[35]

The Turanian is the impersonation of material power. He is the merely muscular man at his maximum of collective development. He is not inherently a savage, but he is radically a barbarian. He does not live from hand to mouth, like a beast, but neither has he in full measure the moral and intellectual endowments of the true man. He can labour and he can accumulate, but he cannot think and aspire like a Caucasian. Of the two grand elements of superior human life, he is more deficient in the sentiments than in the faculties. And of the latter, he is better provided with those that conduce to the acquisition of knowledge than the origination of ideas.

According to Iranian poet Mohammad Taghi Bahar, the name Turan
derives from the Avestan "Tau-Raodan", which means "Further on the River", where the "River" equates to the Amu Darya. Bahar also mentions the word Turk is from Middle Persian
Middle Persian
"Turuk," which means "Warrior" or "Horseman".[36] Polish philosopher Feliks Koneczny claimed the existence of a distinctive Turanian civilization, encompassing both Turkic and some Slavs, such as Russians. This alleged civilization's hallmark would be militarism, anti-intellectualism and an absolute obedience to the ruler. Koneczny saw this civilization as inherently inferior to Latin (Western European) civilization. Politics[edit]

Poster of the opera by Puccini, Turandot
(1926). The name of the opera is based on Turan-Dokht ("daughter of Turan"), which is a common name used in Persian poetry for Central Asian princesses.

In the declining days of the Ottoman Empire, some Turkish nationalists adopted the word Turanian to express a pan-Turkic ideology, also called Turanism. As of 2013[update] Turanism
forms an important aspect of the ideology of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party
Nationalist Movement Party
(MHP), whose members are also known as Grey Wolves. In recent times[when?], the word Turanian has sometimes expressed a pan- Altaic
nationalism (theoretically including Manchus and Mongols in addition to Turks), though no political organization seems to have adopted such an ambitious platform. Names[edit] Turandot
— or Turandokht — is a female name in Iran
and it means "Turan's Daughter" in Persian. (It is best known in the West through Puccini's famous opera Turandot
(1921–24).) Turan
is also a common name in the Middle East, and as family surnames in some countries including Bahrain, Iran, Bosnia
and Turkey. The Ayyubid
ruler Saladin
had an older brother with the name Turan-Shah. Turaj, whom ancient Iranian myths depict as the ancestor of the Turanians, is also a popular name and means Son of Darkness. The name Turan
according to Iranian myths derives from the homeland of Turaj. The Pahlavi pronunciation of Turaj is Tuzh, according to the Dehkhoda dictionary. Similarly, Iraj, which is also a popular name, is the brother of Turaj in the Shahnameh. An altered version of Turaj is Zaraj, which means son of gold. Family tree[edit]







































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































^ Emeri "van" Donzel, Islamic Reference Desk, Brill Academic Publishers, 1994. pg 461. Actual Quote: Iranian term applied to region lying to the northeast of Iran
and ultimately indicating very vaguely the country of the Turkic peoples. ^ Edward A Allworth,Central Asia: A Historical Overview, Duke University Press, 1994. pp 86 ^ I. M. Diakonoff, The Paths of History, Cambridge University Press, 1999, p. 100: " Turan
was one of the nomadic Iranian tribes mentioned in the Avesta. However, in Firdousi’s poem, and in the later Iranian tradition generally, the term Turan
is perceived as denoting 'lands inhabited by Turkic speaking tribes.'" ^ According to Prof. Gherardo Gnoli: "Iranian tribes that also keep on recurring in the Yasht, Airyas, Tuiryas, Sairimas, Sainus and Dahis". G. Gnoli, Zoroaster's time and homeland, Naples 1980 ^ Dehkhoda
dictionary: Turaj ^ Yarshater, Ehsan (2004). " Iran
iii. Traditional History of Persia". Encyclopædia Iranica.  ^ Menges, Karl Heinrich (1989). "Altaic". Encyclopædia Iranica. In a series of relatively minor movements, Turkic groups began to occupy territories in western Central Asia
Central Asia
and eastern Europe which had previously been held by Iranians (i.e. Turan). The Volga Bulgars, following the Avars, proceeded to the Volga and Ukraine in the 6th–7th centuries.  ^ Possehl, Raymond (2002). The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective. Rowman Altamira Press. p. 276.  ^ Firdawsi, "The Epic of Kings", translated by Helen Zimmern, eBooks@Adelaide 2004 Archived 2007-06-13 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Edgar Burke Inlow. Shahanshah: A Study of the Monarchy of Iran, Motilal Banarsidass Pub, 1979. pg 17: "Faridun divided his vast empire between his three sons, Iraj, the youngest receiving Iran. After his murder by his brothers and the avenging Manuchihr, one would have thought the matter was ended. But, the fraternal strife went on between the descendants of Tur and Selim (Salm) and those of Iraj. The former – the Turanians – were the Turks or Tatars of Central Asia, seeking access to Iran. The descendants of Iraj were the resisting Iranians. ^ Bosworth, C. Edmund (1973). "Barbarian Incursions: The Coming of the Turks into the Islamic World". In Richards, D.S. Islamic Civilization. Oxford. p. 2. Hence as Kowalski has pointed out, a Turkologist seeking for information in the Shahnama on the primitive culture of the Turks would definitely be disappointed.  ^ Prods Oktor Skjærvø, "Avestan Quotations in Old Persian?" in S. Shaked and A. Netzer, eds., Irano-Judaica IV, Jerusalem, 1999, pp. 1–64 ^ a b G. Gnoli, Zoroaster's time and homeland, Naples 1980 ^ M. Boyce, History of Zoroastrianism. 3V. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1991. (Handbuch Der Orientalistik/B. Spuler) ^ M. Boyce, History of Zoroastrianism. 3V. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1991. (Handbuch Der Orientalistik/B. Spuler)., pg 250 ^ G. Gnoli, Zoroaster's time and homeland, Naples 1980, pg 107 ^ G. Gnoli, Zoroaster's time and homeland, Naples 1980, pg 99–130 ^ a b c Ehsan Yarshater, "Iranian National History," in The Cambridge History of Iran
3(1)(1983), 408–409 ^ a b c d Yarshater, Ehsan (1984). "Afrāsīāb". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 24 April 2016.  ^ Khaleghi-Motlagh, Djalal (1984). "Aḡrēraṯ". Encyclopædia Iranica.  ^ a b Tafażżolī, Aḥmad (1989). "Bīderafš". Encyclopædia Iranica.  ^ Tafażżolī, Aḥmad (1986). "Arjasp". Encyclopædia Iranica.  ^ Mayrhofer, Manfred (1977). Iranisches Personennamenbuch (in German). Vol. I/1 - Die altiranischen Namen/Die Avestischen Namen. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. pp. 74f.  Reviewed in Dresden, Mark J. (1981). "Journal of the American Oriental Society". 101 (4): 466. doi:10.2307/601282.  ^ The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Attila, Michael Maas, Cambridge University Press, 2014 p.284 ff ^ R. Frye, The Heritage of Persia: The pre-Islamic History of One of the World's Great Civilizations, World Publishing Company, New York, 1963. pg 41 ^ Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (1990). " Central Asia
Central Asia
iv. In the Islamic Period up to the Mongols". Encyclopædia Iranica.  ^ Abi al-Ḥasan Ali ibn al-Ḥusayn ibn Ali al-Masudi, Muruj al-dhahab wa-maadin al-jawhar, Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Marifah, 2005. ^ File: Iran
map 1843.jpg ^ Abel Hovelacque, The Science of Language: Linguistics, Philology, Etymology, pg 144, [1] ^ Elisabeth Chevallier,François Lenormant, "A Manual of the Ancient History of the East", J. B. Lippincott & co., 1871. pg 68. [2] ^ George "van" Driem, Handbuch Der Orientalistik, Brill Academic Publishers, 2001. pp 335–336. [3] ^ Crystal, David; Robins, Robert Henry. "Language". Encyclopædia Britannica. 5 - Linguistic change / Language typology.  ^ "religions, classification of." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. ^ "Ural– Altaic
languages." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007 ^ "The Iran
and Turan", Anthropological Review 6:22 (1868), p. 286 ^ Smith, Matthew (2010). "Sabkšenāsi". Encyclopædia Iranica. 

Further reading[edit]

'Centre and Periphery in Late Protohistoric Turan: the Settlement Pattern', in: Hiirtel, H. (ed.) South Asian Archaeology 1979, Berlin Archäologie in Iran
und Turan, Verlag Philipp von Zabern GmbH. Publisher – Verlag Marie Leidorf GmbH (Volume 1–3)

External links[edit]

Iranians and Turanians in the Avesta Der Schatten von Turan
(a history of the Turan
ideology – in German)

v t e

of Ferdowsi



Keyumars Hushang Tahmuras Jamshid Fereydun Iraj Manuchehr Nowzar Zaav Garshasp


Kay Kawād Kay Kāvus Kay Khosrow Kay Lohrasp Goshtāsb Kay Bahman Homai Kay Darab Dara


Siamak Mardas Zahhak Shahrasp Abtin Kayanoush Kāve Arash Salm Tur Qobád Qaren Tous Gostaham Nariman Sām Zāl Rostam Sohrab Esfandiyār Pashotan Faramarz Fariborz Siyâvash Farud Zangay-i Shavaran Kashvad Goudarz Rohham Hojir Bahram Giv Bizhan Japasp Garshasp Gorgin Mehrab Kaboli Zavara Shaghad Rostam


Faranak Arnavāz Shahrnāz Sindukht Rudaba Sudabeh Tahmina Gordafarid Farangis Manizheh Katāyoun


Zadashm Pashang Aghrirat Garsivaz Afrasiab Shideh Arjasp Viseh Nastihan Piran Viseh Houman Barman Biderafsh

Clans and families

Kashvadian House of Goudarz House of Viseh House of Nowzar House of Sasan House of Sām

Creatures & animals

Akvan Div Khazawran-i Div Arzhang Div Div-e Sepid Koulad-Ghandi Huma bird Simurgh Rakhsh Shabdiz Shabrang


Iran Turan Zabulistan Sistan Kabul Balkh Ctesiphon Estakhr Mazandaran Alborzkouh Mount Damavand Tammisha Kasa-Roud ...


Gonbadan Castle Dez-i Roein White Castle Bahman Castle Dez-i Alanan Kang-dez


Baysonghor Shahnameh Shahnameh
of Shah Tahmasp Florence Shahnameh Shahnameh
of Rashida Windsor Shahnameh Great Mongol Shahnameh
(or Demotte) Shahnameh
of Ghavam al-Din

See also

Abu-Mansur Daqiqi Abu-Mansuri Shahnameh Derafsh Kaviani Babr-e Bayan Zal and Rudabeh Rostam
and Sohrab Rostam's Seven Labours Davazdah Rokh Khosrow and Shirin Bijan and Manijeh Persian mythology