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

TūRāN (Persian توران) literally means "the land of the Tur ", and is a region in Central Asia
Central Asia
. The term is of Iranian origin and may refer to a certain prehistoric human settlement, a historic geographical region, or a culture. The original Turanians were an Iranian tribe of the Avestan age.

CONTENTS

* 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
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 Further reading * 5 References * 6 External links

OVERVIEW

In ancient Iranian mythology, Tūr or Turaj (Tuzh in Middle Persian
Middle Persian
) is the son of the emperor Fereydun . According to the account in the Shahnameh
Shahnameh
the nomadic tribes who inhabited these lands were ruled by Tūr. In that sense, the Turanians could be members of two Iranian peoples both descending from Fereydun, but with different geographical domains and often at war with each other. Turan, therefore, comprised five areas: the Kopet Dag region, the Atrek valley, the eastern Alborz mountains, Helmand valley, Bactria
Bactria
and Margiana .

A later association of the original Turanians with Turkic peoples is based primarily on the subsequent Turkification
Turkification
of Central Asia, including the above areas. According to C. E. Bosworth , however, there was no cultural relationship between the ancient Turkic cultures and the Turanians of the Shahnameh.

TERMINOLOGY

ANCIENT LITERATURE

Avesta

The oldest existing mention of Turan
Turan
is in the Farvardin yashts , which are in the Young Avestan language and have been dated by linguists to approximately 2300 BCE. According to Prof. Gherardo Gnoli, the Avesta contains the names of various tribes who lived in proximity to each other: "the Airyas , Tuiryas , Sairimas , Sainus and Dahis ". 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
Zoroaster
himself hailed from the Airya people but he also preached his message to other neighboring tribes.

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". 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. Thus in the Avesta, some of the Tuiryas believed in the message of Zoroaster
Zoroaster
while others rejected the religion.

Similar to the ancient homeland of Zoroaster, the precise geography and location of Turan
Turan
is unknown. In post-Avestan traditions they were thought to inhabit the region north of the Oxus
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. The common names of Turanians in Avesta and Shahnameh include Frarasyan, Aghraethra, Biderafsh, Arjaspa Namkhwast. The names of Iranian tribes including those of the Turanians that appear in Avesta have been studied by Professor Mayrhofer in his comprehensive book on Avesta personal name etymologies: Iranisches Personennamenbuch, I: Die altiranischen Namen. Faszikel l, Die Avestischen Namen.

Late Sassanid And Early Islamic Era

Turan
Turan
was one of the regions of the Sasanian Empire
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.

The continuation of nomadic invasions on the north-eastern borders in historical times kept the memory of the Turanians alive. After the 6th century the Turks, who had been pushed westward by other tribes, became neighbours of Iran
Iran
and were identified with the Turanians. 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.

According to C.E. Boseworth:

In early Islamic times Persians tended to identify all the lands to the northeast of Khorasan and lying beyond the Oxus
Oxus
with the region of Turan, which in the Shahnama of Ferdowsi
Ferdowsi
is regarded as the land allotted to Fereydun's son Tur. The denizens of Turan
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
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
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
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". By the 10th century, the myth of Afrasiyab was adopted by the Qarakhanid dynasty. During the Safavid era, following the common geographical convention of the Shahnameh, the term Turan
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

Main article: Shahnameh
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
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
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
Turan
appears nearly 150 times and that of Iran
Iran
nearly 750 times.

Some examples from the Shahnameh:

نه خاکست پیدا نه دریا نه کوه

ز بس تیغداران توران گروه

Due the multitude of the swordsmen in the Turanian army

One cannot view the sands, or sea or mountains

تهمتن به توران سپه شد به جنگ

بدانسان که نخجیر بیند پلنگ

The Tahamtan (Powerful-Bodied) Rustam went to battle against the armies of Turan
Turan

Like a Leopard when he sees his hunt.

MODERN LITERATURE

Geography

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

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Western languages borrowed the word Turan
Turan
as a general designation for modern Central Asia
Central Asia
, although this expression has now fallen into disuse. Turan
Turan
appears next to Iran on numerous maps of the 19th century to designate a region encompassing modern Ouzbekistan , Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
and northern parts of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Pakistan
Pakistan
. This area roughly corresponds to what is called Central Asia
Central Asia
today.

The phrase Turan
Turan
Plain or Turan Depression became a geographical term referring to a part of Central Asia.

Linguistics

Main articles: Uralic languages
Uralic languages
, Altaic languages , Dravidian languages , and Caucasian languages

The term Turanian, now obsolete, formerly 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 and specially speakers of Altaic , Dravidian , Uralic , Japanese , Korean and other languages.

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.

The main relationships between Dravidian, Uralic, and Altaic languages were considered typological . According to Encyclopædia Britannica: "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." As of 2013 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". As of 2014 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.

Ideology

Main article: Turanid race

In European discourse, the words Turan
Turan
and Turanian can designate a certain mentality, i.e. the nomadic in contrast to the urbanized agricultural civilizations. This usage probably 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
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:

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
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".

Polish philosopher Feliks Koneczny claimed the existence of a distinctive TURANIAN CIVILIZATION, encompassing both Turkic and some Slavs
Slavs
, such as Russians
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

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
Ottoman Empire
, some Turkish nationalists adopted the word Turanian to express a pan-Turkic ideology, also called Turanism . As of 2013 Turanism forms an important aspect of the ideology of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), whose members are also known as Grey Wolves .

In recent times, 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

Turandot — or Turandokht — is a female name in Iran
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
Turan
is also a common name in the Middle East
Middle East
, and as family surnames in some countries including Bahrain
Bahrain
, Iran, Bosnia
Bosnia
and Turkey .

The Ayyubid
Ayyubid
ruler Saladin
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
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

Fereydun

Iraj

Tur

Salm

Zādashm

Pashang

Vise

Garsivaz

Aghrirat

Goroy

Zangula

Afrāsiāb

Kohram

Sepahram

Akhāst

Andarimān

Sorkhe

Jahn

Shide

Gordgir

Qarākhān

Farangis

Manizhe

Unnamed

Kahilā

Arjāsp

Kohram

Andarimān

Farshidvard

Lahhāk

Houmān

Pirān

Bārmān

Pilasm

Golbād

Nastihan

Korukhan

Siāmak

Royin

Jarire

Farud

FURTHER READING

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

REFERENCES

* ^ 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
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
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
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 * ^ E. Yarshater, , Encyclopædia Iranica. * ^ K. H. Menges, in Encyclopædia Iranica Excerpt: "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 * ^ 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 Tura