Turkish people
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The Turkish people, or simply the Turks ( tr, Türkler), are the world's largest Turkic ethnic group; they speak various dialects of the
Turkish language Turkish ( , ), also referred to as Turkish of Turkey (''Türkiye Türkçesi''), is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 80 to 90 million speakers. It is the national language of Turkey and Northern Cyprus. Significant smal ...
and form a majority in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a East Thrace, small portion on th ...
and
Northern Cyprus Northern Cyprus ( tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs), officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC; tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti, ''KKTC''), is a ''de facto'' state that comprises the northeastern portion of the Geography of Cyprus, isl ...
. In addition, centuries-old ethnic Turkish communities still live across other former territories of 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) ...
. Article 66 of the
Turkish Constitution The Constitution of the Republic of Turkey ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Anayasası), also known as the Constitution of 1982, is Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), ...
defines a "Turk" as: "Anyone who is bound to the Turkish state through the bond of citizenship." While the legal use of the term "Turkish" as it pertains to a
citizen Citizenship is a "relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection". Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its citizens, and ...
of Turkey is different from the term's ethnic definition, the majority of the Turkish population (an estimated 70 to 75 percent) are of Turkish ethnicity. The vast majority of Turks are
Muslims 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 ...
and follow the
Sunni 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 ...
and
Alevi Alevism or Anatolian Alevism (; tr, Alevilik, ''Anadolu Aleviliği'' or ''Kızılbaşlık''; ; az, Ələvilik) is a local Islamic tradition, whose adherents follow the mystical Alevi Islamic (Batin (Islam), ''bāṭenī'') teachings of Haji Be ...
faith. The ethnic Turks can therefore be distinguished by a number of cultural and regional variants, but do not function as separate ethnic groups. In particular, the culture of the Anatolian Turks in
Asia Minor 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 ...
has underlied and influenced the
Turkish nationalist Turkish nationalism ( tr, Türk milliyetçiliği) is a political ideology that promotes and glorifies the Turkish people, as either a Turkey#Demographics, national, Turkish people, ethnic, or Turkish language, linguistic group. The term "ultrana ...
ideology. Other Turkish groups include the Rumelian Turks (also referred to as "Balkan Turks") historically located in the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographical area in southeastern Europe with various geographical and historical definitions. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the who ...
;
Turkish Cypriots Turkish Cypriots or Cypriot Turks ( tr, Kıbrıs Türkleri or ''Kıbrıslı Türkler''; el, Τουρκοκύπριοι, Tourkokýprioi) are ethnic Turkish people, Turks originating from Cyprus. Following the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman conquest of ...
on the island of Cyprus,
Meskhetian Turks Meskhetian Turks, also referred to as Turkish Meskhetians, Ahiska Turks, and Turkish Ahiskans, ( ka, მესხეთის თურქები ''Meskhetis turk'ebi'') are an ethnic subgroup of Turkish people, Turks formerly inhabiting th ...
originally based in
Meskheti Meskheti ( ka, მესხეთი) or Samtskhe ( ka, სამცხე) (Moschia Moschia (Meskheti, possibly related to Mushki) is a mountainous region of Georgia (country), Georgia between Kingdom of Iberia, Iberia, Armenia, and Colchis. The ...
, Georgia; and ethnic Turkish people across the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233: ) is a geopolitical region commonly encompassing Arabian Peninsula, Arabia (including the Arabian Peninsula and Bahrain), Anatolia, Asia Minor (Asian part of Turkey except Hatay Pro ...
, where they are also called "Turkmen" or "Turkoman" in 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 ...
(e.g.,
Iraqi Turkmen The Iraqi Turkmens (also spelled as Turkoman and Turcoman; tr, Irak Türkmenleri), also referred to as Iraqi Turks, Turkish-Iraqis, the Turkish minority in Iraq, and the Iraqi-Turkish minority ( ar, تركمان العراق; tr, Irak Türkleri ...
,
Syrian Turkmen Syrian Turkmen, also referred to as Syrian Turkomans, Turkish Syrians, or simply Syrian Turks or Turks of Syria, ( ar, تركمان سوريا; tr, Suriye Türkmenleri or ) are Syrian citizens of Turkish people, Turkish origin who mainly trace ...
, Lebanese Turkmen, etc.). Consequently, the Turks form the largest minority group in
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedon ...
, the second largest minority group in
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to Iraq–Turkey border, the north, Iran to Iran–Iraq ...
,
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya bo ...
,
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in 1991 as one of the successor states of Socialist Feder ...
, and
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 the third largest minority group in
Kosovo Kosovo ( sq, Kosova or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово ), officially the Republic of Kosovo ( sq, Republika e Kosovës, links=no; sr, Република Косово, Republika Kosovo, links=no), is a international recognition of Kosovo, partiall ...
. They also form substantial communities in the
Western Thrace Western Thrace or West Thrace ( el, υτικήΘράκη, '' ytikíThráki'' ; tr, Batı Trakya; bg, Западна/Беломорска Тракия, ''Zapadna/Belomorska Trakiya''), also known as Greek Thrace, is a Geography, geograp ...
region of
Greece Greece,, or , romanized: ', officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with ...
, the
Dobruja Dobruja or Dobrudja (; bg, Добруджа, Dobrudzha or ''Dobrudža''; ro, Dobrogea, or ; tr, Dobruca) is a historical region in the Balkans that has been divided since the 19th century between the territories of Bulgaria and Romania. I ...
region of
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
, the
Akkar Akkar District ( ar, قضاء عكار) is the only district in Akkar Governorate, Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. ...
region in
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue ...
, as well as minority groups in other post-Ottoman Balkan and Middle Eastern countries. Mass immigration due to fleeing ethnic cleansing after the persecution of Muslims during Ottoman contraction has led to mass migrations from the 19th century onward; these Turkish communities have all contributed to the formation of a
Turkish diaspora The Turkish diaspora ( tr, Türk diasporası or ''Türk gurbetçiler'') refers to ethnic Turkish people who have migrated from, or are the descendants of migrants from, the Republic of Turkey, Northern Cyprus or other modern nation-states tha ...
outside the former Ottoman lands. Approximately 2 million Turks were massacred between 1870–1923 and those who escaped it settled in Turkey as
muhacir Muhacir or Muhajir (from ar, مهاجر, translit=muhājir, lit=migrant) are the estimated 10 million Ottoman Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is ...
s. The mass immigration of Turks also led to them forming the largest ethnic minority group in
Austria The Republic of Austria, commonly just Austria, , bar, Östareich is a country in the southern part of Central Europe, lying in the Eastern Alps. It is a federation of nine States of Austria, states, one of which is the capital, Vienna, ...
,
Denmark ) , song = ( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast") , song_type = National and royal anthem , image_map = EU-Denmark.svg , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Danish Realm, Kingdom of Denmark ...
,
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
, and the
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Neth ...
. There are also Turkish communities in other parts of Europe as well as in
North America North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Car ...
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country by ...
and the
Post-Soviet states The post-Soviet states, also known as the former Soviet Union (FSU), the former Soviet Republics and in Russia as the near abroad (russian: links=no, ближнее зарубежье, blizhneye zarubezhye), are the 15 sovereign states that wer ...
. Turks are the 13th largest ethnic group in the world. Turks 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 ...
settled in
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 ...
in the 11th century, through the conquests of the
Seljuk Turks 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 ...
. This began the transformation of the region, which had been a largely Greek-speaking region after previously being Hellenized, into a Turkish Muslim one. The Ottoman Empire came to rule much of the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographical area in southeastern Europe with various geographical and historical definitions. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the who ...
, the
South Caucasus The South Caucasus, also known as Transcaucasia or the Transcaucasus, is a geographical region on the border of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, straddling the southern Caucasus Mountains. The South Caucasus roughly corresponds to modern ...
, the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233: ) is a geopolitical region commonly encompassing Arabian Peninsula, Arabia (including the Arabian Peninsula and Bahrain), Anatolia, Asia Minor (Asian part of Turkey except Hatay Pro ...
(excluding Iran, even though they controlled parts of it), and
North Africa North Africa, or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in t ...
over the course of several centuries. The empire lasted until the end of the First World War, when it was defeated by the Allies and partitioned. Following the
Turkish War of Independence The Turkish War of Independence "War of Liberation", also known figuratively as ''İstiklâl Harbi'' "Independence War" or ''Millî Mücadele'' "National Struggle" (19 May 1919 – 24 July 1923) was a series of military campaigns waged by th ...
that ended with the
Turkish National Movement The Turkish National Movement ( tr, Türk Ulusal Hareketi) encompasses the political and military activities of the Turkish revolutionaries that resulted in the creation and shaping of the modern Republic of Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiy ...
retaking much of the territory lost to the Allies, the Movement ended the Ottoman Empire on 1 November 1922 and proclaimed the
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 ...
on 29 October 1923.


Etymology and definition


Etymology

The first definite references to the "Turks" mainly come from
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related 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 population, most populous country, with a Popul ...
sources which date back to the sixth century. In these sources, "Turk" appears as "Tujue" (), which referred to the
Göktürks The Göktürks, Celestial Turks or Blue Turks ( otk, 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, Türük Bodun; ; ) were a nomadic A nomad is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such grou ...
. There are several theories regarding the origin of the ethnonym "Turk". There is a claim that it may be connected 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 ...
's (c. 484–425 BC) reference to Targitaos, a king 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 ...
; however, Mayrhofer (apud Lincoln) assigned Iranian etymology for Ταργιτάος ''Targitaos'' from
Old Iranian The Iranian languages or Iranic languages are a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages in the Indo-European languages, Indo-European language family that are spoken natively by the Iranian peoples, predominantly in the Iranian plateau, Iranian Pl ...
*''darga-tavah-'', meaning "he whose strength is long-lasting". During the first century AD.,
Pomponius Mela Pomponius Mela, who wrote around AD 43, was the earliest Roman geographer. He was born in Iulia Traducta, Tingentera (now Algeciras) and died  AD 45. His short work (''De situ orbis libri III.'') remained in use nearly to the year 1500. It ...
refers to the "Turcae" in the forests north of the
Sea of Azov The Sea of Azov (Crimean Tatar language, Crimean Tatar: ''Azaq deñizi''; russian: Азовское море, Azovskoye more; uk, Азовське море, Azovs'ke more) is a sea in Eastern Europe connected to the Black Sea by the narrow (ab ...
, and
Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman Empire, Roman author, Natural history, naturalist and Natural philosophy, natural philosopher, and naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and a friend of t ...
lists the "Tyrcae" among the people of the same area.; yet English archaeologist Ellis Minns contended that ''Tyrcae'' Τῦρκαι is "a false correction" for Ἱύρκαι ''Iyrcae''/''Iyrkai'', a people who dwelt beyond the
Thyssagetae The Thyssagetae ( grc, Θυσσαγέται) were an ancient tribe described by Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, , }; BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the class ...
, 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 Histories or, in Latin, Historiae may refer to: * the plural of history History (derived ) is the systematic study and the documentation of the human activity. The time period of event before the invention of writing systems is considere ...
, iv. 22) 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 according to American historian Peter B. Golden, while any connection of some of these ancient peoples to Turks is possible, it is rather unlikely.


Definition

In the 19th century, the word ''Türk'' referred to
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 peasants. The Ottoman ruling class identified themselves as
Ottomans The Ottoman Turks ( tr, Osmanlı Türkleri), were the Turkic founding and sociopolitically the most dominant ethnic group of the Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synony ...
, not as Turks. In the late 19th century, as the Ottoman upper classes adopted European ideas of
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation should be congruent with the State (polity), state. As a movement, nationalism tends to promote the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of peo ...
, the term ''Türk'' took on a more positive connotation. During Ottoman times, the ''
millet Millets () are a highly varied group of small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food. Most species generally referred to as millets belong to the tribe Paniceae, but some millets also ...
'' system defined communities on a religious basis, and today some regard only those who profess the
Sunni 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 ...
faith as true Turks.
Turkish Jews The history of the Jews in Turkey ( tr, Türkiye Yahudileri or ; he, יהודים טורקים, Yehudim Turkim; lad, Djudios Turkos) covers the 2400 years that Jews have lived in what is now Turkey. There have been Romaniotes, Jewish commun ...
,
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to 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 ...
, and
Alevis Alevism or Anatolian Alevism (; tr, Alevilik, ''Anadolu Aleviliği'' or ''Kızılbaşlık''; ; az, Ələvilik) is a local Islamic tradition, whose adherents follow the mystical Alevi Islamic (Batin (Islam), ''bāṭenī'') teachings of Haji Be ...
are not considered Turks by some. In the early 20th century, the Young Turks abandoned Ottoman nationalism in favor of
Turkish nationalism Turkish nationalism ( tr, Türk milliyetçiliği) is a political ideology that promotes and glorifies the Turkish people, as either a Turkey#Demographics, national, Turkish people, ethnic, or Turkish language, linguistic group. The term "ultrana ...
, while adopting the name ''Turks'', which was finally used in the name of the new Turkish Republic.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, or Mustafa Kemal Pasha until 1921, and Ghazi Mustafa Kemal from 1921 Surname Law (Turkey), until 1934 ( 1881 – 10 November 1938) was a Turkish Mareşal (Turkey), field marshal, Turkish National Movement, re ...
defined the Turkish nation as the "people (''halk'') who established the Turkish republic". Further, "the natural and historical facts which effected the establishment (''teessüs'') of the Turkish nation" were "(a) unity in political existence, (b) unity in language, (c) unity in homeland, (d) unity in race and origin (''menşe''), (e) to be historically related and (f) to be morally related". Article 66 of the
Turkish Constitution The Constitution of the Republic of Turkey ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Anayasası), also known as the Constitution of 1982, is Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), ...
defines a "''Turk''" as anyone who is "bound to the Turkish state through the bond of
citizenship Citizenship is a "relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection". Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its citizens, and ...
."


History


Prehistory, Ancient era, and Early Middle Ages

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 ...
was first inhabited by hunter-gatherers during the
Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek: παλαιός ''wikt:παλαιός, palaios'', "old" and λίθος ''wikt:λίθος, lithos'', "stone"), is a period in human prehistory that is distinguished by ...
era, and in antiquity was inhabited by various ancient Anatolian peoples. After
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc, wikt:Ἀλέξανδρος, Ἀλέξανδρος, Alexandros; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the Ancient Greece, ancient Greek kingdom of Maced ...
's conquest in 334 BC, the area was Hellenized, and by the first century BC it is generally thought that the native
Anatolian languages The Anatolian languages are an Extinct language, extinct branch of Indo-European languages that were spoken in Anatolia, part of present-day Turkey. The best known Anatolian language is Hittite language, Hittite, which is considered the earlies ...
, themselves earlier newcomers to the area, following the
Indo-European migrations The Indo-European migrations were hypothesized migrations of Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) Proto-Indo-Europeans, speakers, and subsequent migrations of people speaking derived Indo-European languages, which took place approx. 4000 to 1000 ...
, became extinct. The early
Turkic peoples 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 ...
descended from agricultural communities in
Northeast Asia Northeast Asia or Northeastern Asia is a geographical subregion of Asia; its northeastern landmass and islands are bounded by the Pacific Ocean. The term Northeast Asia was popularized during the 1930s by American historian and political scienti ...
who moved westwards into the
Mongolian Plateau The Mongolian Plateau is the part of the Central Asia, Central Asian Plateau lying between 37°46′-53°08′N and 87°40′-122°15′E and having an area of approximately . It is bounded by the Greater Hinggan Mountains in the east, the Yin Mo ...
in the late 3rd millennium BC, where they adopted a pastoral lifestyle. By the early 1st millennium BC, these peoples had become equestrian nomads. In subsequent centuries, the steppe populations of
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 ...
appear to have been progressively replaced and Turkified by
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 ...
nomadic Turks, moving out of the Mongolian Plateau. In Central Asia, the earliest surviving
Turkic language The Turkic languages are a language family of over 35 documented languages, spoken by the Turkic peoples The Turkic peoples are a collection of diverse ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identi ...
texts, found on the eighth-century Orkhon inscription monuments, were erected by the
Göktürks The Göktürks, Celestial Turks or Blue Turks ( otk, 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, Türük Bodun; ; ) were a nomadic A nomad is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such grou ...
in the sixth century CE, and include words not common to Turkic but found in unrelated Inner Asian languages. Although the ancient Turks were
nomad A nomad is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherers, Nomadic pastoralism, pastoral nomads (owning livestock), tinkers and Merchant, trader nomads. In t ...
ic, they traded wool, leather, carpets, and horses for grain, silk, wood, and vegetables, and also had large ironworking stations in the 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 ...
during the 600s CE. Most of the Turkic peoples were followers of
Tengrism Tengrism (also known as Tengriism, Tengerism, or Tengrianism) is an ethnic and old state Turkic peoples, Turko-Mongolic peoples, Mongolic religion originating in the Eurasian Steppe, Eurasian steppes, based on folk shamanism, animism and general ...
, sharing the cult of the sky god
Tengri Tengri ( zh, 騰格里; otk, 𐰚𐰇𐰚:𐱅𐰭𐰼𐰃, Kök Teŋri/Teŋiri, lit=Blue Heaven; Old Uyghur: ''tängri''; Middle Turkic languages, Middle Turkic: تآنغرِ; ky, теңир; tr, Tanrı; az, Tanrı; bg, Тангра; Pro ...
, although there were also adherents of
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 ...
,
Nestorian Christianity The Church of the East ( syc, ܥܕܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ, ''ʿĒḏtā d-Maḏenḥā'') or the East Syriac Church, also called the Church of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, the Persian Church, the Assyrian Church, the Babylonian Church or the Nestorian C ...
, and
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. ...
. However, during the
Muslim conquests The early Muslim conquests or early Islamic conquests ( ar, الْفُتُوحَاتُ الإسْلَامِيَّة, ), also referred to as the Arab conquests, were initiated in the 7th century by Muhammad, the Muhammad in Islam, main Islamic ...
, the Turks entered the
Muslim world The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the Islamic community, which is also known as the Ummah. This consists of all those who adhere to the religious beliefs and laws of Islam or to societies in which Islam is practiced. In ...
proper as
slaves Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave—someone forbidden to quit one's service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as property. Slavery typically involves slaves being made to perf ...
, the booty of Arab raids and conquests. The Turks began converting to
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 ...
after 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 ...
through the efforts of
missionaries A missionary is a member of a Religious denomination, religious group which is sent into an area in order to promote its faith or provide services to people, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care, and economic development.Tho ...
,
Sufis Sufism ( ar, ''aṣ-ṣūfiyya''), also known as Tasawwuf ( ''at-taṣawwuf''), is a mysticism, mystic body of religious practice, found mainly within Sunni Islam but also within Shia Islam, which is characterized by a focus on Islamic spiri ...
, and merchants. Although initiated by the
Arabs The Arabs (singular: Arab; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, DIN 31635: , , plural ar, عَرَب, DIN 31635: , Arabic pronunciation: ), also known as the Arab people, are an ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping o ...
, the conversion of the Turks to Islam was filtered through
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from 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 Arm ...
and Central Asian culture. Under the
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 ...
, most were domestic servants, whilst under the
Abbasid Caliphate 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 ...
, increasing numbers were trained as soldiers. By the ninth century, Turkish commanders were leading the
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 ...
’ Turkish troops into battle. As the Abbasid Caliphate declined, Turkish officers assumed more military and political power by taking over or establishing provincial dynasties with their own corps of Turkish troops.


Seljuk era

During the 11th century, the
Seljuk Turks 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 ...
, who were influenced by Persian civilization in many ways, grew in strength and succeeded in taking the eastern province of the
Abbasid Empire 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 ...
. By 1055, the
Seljuks 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 ...
captured
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد , ) is the capital of Iraq and the list of largest cities in the Arab world, second-largest city in the Arab world after Cairo. It is located on the Tigris near the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon and the ...
and began to make their first incursions into
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 ...
. When they 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 ...
against 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 ...
in 1071, it opened the gates of Anatolia to them. Although ethnically Turkish, the Seljuk Turks appreciated and became carriers of
Persian culture The culture of Iran () or culture of PersiaYarshater, Ehsa, ''Iranian Studies'', vol. XXII no. 1 (1989) is among the most influential in the world. Iran, also known as Name of Iran, Persia, is widely considered to be one of the Cradle of civili ...
rather than
Turkish culture The culture of Turkey ( tr, Türkiye Kültürü) combines a heavily diverse and heterogeneous set of elements that have been derived from the various cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, Caucasia, Middle East and Central Asia t ...
. Nonetheless, the
Turkish language Turkish ( , ), also referred to as Turkish of Turkey (''Türkiye Türkçesi''), is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 80 to 90 million speakers. It is the national language of Turkey and Northern Cyprus. Significant smal ...
and
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 ...
were introduced and gradually spread over the region and the slow transition from a predominantly
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to 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 ...
and
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
-speaking Anatolia to a predominantly
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 ...
and Turkish-speaking one was underway. In dire straits, the Byzantine Empire turned to the West for help, setting in motion the pleas that led to 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 ...
. Once the
Crusaders 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 ...
took Iznik, the Seljuk Turks established the
Sultanate of Rum fa, سلجوقیان روم () , status = , government_type = Hereditary monarchyTriumvirate, Triarchy (1249–1254)Diarchy (1257–1262) , year_start = 1077 , year_end = 1308 , p1 ...
from their new capital,
Konya Konya () is a major city in central Turkey, on the southwestern edge of the Central Anatolia Region, Central Anatolian Plateau, and is the capital of Konya Province. During antiquity and into Seljuk times it was known as Iconium (), although the ...
, in 1097. By the 12th century, Europeans had begun to call the Anatolian region "Turchia" or "Turkey", the land of the Turks. The Turkish society in Anatolia was divided into urban, rural and nomadic populations; other Turkoman (Turkmen) tribes who had arrived into Anatolia at the same time as the Seljuks kept their nomadic ways. These tribes were more numerous than the Seljuks, and rejecting the sedentary lifestyle, adhered to an Islam impregnated with
animism Animism (from 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 prese ...
and
shamanism Shamanism is a religious practice that involves a practitioner (shaman) interacting with what they believe to be a Spirit world (Spiritualism), spirit world through Altered state of consciousness, altered states of consciousness, such as tranc ...
from their
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 ...
n steppeland origins, which then mixed with new Christian influences. From this popular and syncretist Islam, with its mystical and revolutionary aspects, sects such as the
Alevis Alevism or Anatolian Alevism (; tr, Alevilik, ''Anadolu Aleviliği'' or ''Kızılbaşlık''; ; az, Ələvilik) is a local Islamic tradition, whose adherents follow the mystical Alevi Islamic (Batin (Islam), ''bāṭenī'') teachings of Haji Be ...
and
Bektashis The Bektashi Order; sq, Tarikati Bektashi; tr, Bektaşi or Bektashism is an Islamic Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism#Islam, monotheistic religion centred primarily around the ...
emerged. Furthermore, intermarriage between the Turks and local inhabitants, as well as the conversion of many to Islam, also increased the Turkish-speaking Muslim population in Anatolia. By 1243, at the
Battle of Köse Dağ The Battle of Köse Dağ was fought between the Sultanate of Rum fa, سلجوقیان روم () , status = , government_type = Hereditary monarchyTriumvirate, Triarchy (1249–1254)Diarchy (1257–1262) , year_start ...
, 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 ...
defeated the Seljuk Turks and became the new rulers of Anatolia, and in 1256, the second Mongol invasion of Anatolia caused widespread destruction. Particularly after 1277, political stability within the Seljuk territories rapidly disintegrated, leading to the strengthening of Turkoman principalities in the western and southern parts of Anatolia called the " beyliks".


Beyliks era

When the Mongols defeated the Seljuk Turks and conquered Anatolia, the Turks became the
vassal A vassal or liege subject is a person regarded as having a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until a ...
s of the
Ilkhans The Ilkhanate, also spelled Il-khanate ( fa, ایل خانان, ''Ilxānān''), known to the Mongols as ''Hülegü Ulus'' (, ''Qulug-un Ulus''), was a khanate established from the southwestern sector of the Mongol Empire. The Ilkhanid realm, ...
who established their own empire in the vast area which stretched from present-day
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 ...
to present-day
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a East Thrace, small portion on th ...
. As the Mongols occupied more lands in Asia Minor, the Turks moved further into western Anatolia and settled in the Seljuk-Byzantine frontier. By the last decades of the 13th century, the Ilkhans and their Seljuk vassals lost control over much of Anatolia to these Turkoman peoples. A number of Turkish lords managed to establish themselves as rulers of various
principalities A principality (or sometimes princedom) can either be a monarchical A monarchy is a government#Forms, form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The legitimacy (political)#monarchy ...
, known as " Beyliks" or
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. Amongst these beyliks, along the Aegean coast, from north to south, stretched the beyliks of Karasi, Saruhan, Aydin, Menteşe, and Teke. Inland from Teke was
Hamid Hamid refers to two different but related Arabic given names, both of which come from the Arabic triconsonantal root of Ḥ-M-D (ِِح-م-د): # (Arabic: حَامِد ''ḥāmid'') also spelled Haamed, Hamid or Hamed, and in Turkish Hamit; it m ...
and east of Karasi was the beylik of
Germiyan The Germiyanids ( tr, Germiyanoğulları Beyliği or ''Germiyan Beyliği'') was a prominent Anatolian beylik Anatolian beyliks ( tr, Anadolu beylikleri, Ottoman Turkish language, Ottoman Turkish: ''Tavâif-i mülûk'', ''Beylik'' ) were sm ...
. To the northwest of Anatolia, around
Söğüt Söğüt (, ; Greek language, Greek: Θηβάσιον or Θηβάσιο, ''Thêbásion'') is a town and List of districts in Turkey, district in Bilecik Province, Turkey. It is in the Marmara Region, Turkey, Marmara region in the north-west of t ...
, was the small and, at this stage, insignificant, Ottoman beylik. It was hemmed into the east by other more substantial powers like
Karaman Karaman, historically known as Laranda (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto- ...
on
Iconium Konya () is a major city in central Turkey, on the southwestern edge of the Central Anatolian Plateau, and is the capital of Konya Province Konya Province ( tr, ), in southwest Central Anatolia Anatolia (also Asia Minor), is a large pe ...
, which ruled from the Kızılırmak River to 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 ...
. Although the
Ottomans The Ottoman Turks ( tr, Osmanlı Türkleri), were the Turkic founding and sociopolitically the most dominant ethnic group of the Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synony ...
was only a small principality among the numerous Turkish beyliks, and thus posed the smallest threat to the Byzantine authority, their location in north-western Anatolia, in the former Byzantine province of
Bithynia Bithynia (; Koine Greek: , ''Bithynía'') was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor (present-day Turkey), adjoining the Sea of Marmara, the Bosporus, and the Black Sea. It bordered Mysia to the southwest, Pa ...
, became a fortunate position for their future conquests. The
Latins The Latins were originally an Italic peoples, Italic tribe in ancient central Italy from Latium. As Roman power and colonization Romanization (cultural), spread Latin culture during the Roman Republic. Latins culturally "Romanized" or "Latinize ...
, who had conquered the city 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 ...
in 1204 during the
Fourth Crusade The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Roman Catholic Church, Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition was to recapture the Islam, Muslim-controlled city of Jerusalem, by first defeating th ...
, established a
Latin Empire The Latin Empire, also referred to as the Latin Empire of Constantinople, was a feudal Crusader states, Crusader state founded by the leaders of the Fourth Crusade on lands captured from the Byzantine Empire. The Latin Empire was intended to re ...
(1204–1261), divided the former Byzantine territories in the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographical area in southeastern Europe with various geographical and historical definitions. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the who ...
and the Aegean among themselves, and forced the Byzantine Emperors into exile at
Nicaea Nicaea, also known as Nicea or Nikaia (; ; grc-gre, wikt:Νίκαια, Νίκαια, ) was an ancient Greek city in Bithynia, where located in northwestern Anatolia and is primarily known as the site of the First Council of Nicaea, First and Se ...
(present-day Iznik). From 1261 onwards, the Byzantines were largely preoccupied with regaining their control in the Balkans. Toward the end of the 13th century, as Mongol power began to decline, the Turkoman chiefs assumed greater independence.


Ottoman Empire

Under its founder,
Osman I Osman I or Osman Ghazi ( ota, عثمان غازى, translit= ʿOsmān Ġāzī; tr, I. Osman or ''Osman Gazi''; died 1323/4), sometimes transliterated archaically as Othman, was the founder of the Ottoman Empire (first known as the Ottoman Be ...
, the nomadic Ottoman beylik expanded along the
Sakarya River The Sakarya (Sakara River, tr, Sakarya Irmağı; gr, Σαγγάριος, translit=Sangarios; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was origi ...
and westward towards the
Sea of Marmara The Sea of Marmara,; grc, Προποντίς, Προποντίδα, Propontís, Propontída also known as the Marmara Sea, is an inland sea located entirely within the borders of Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Repu ...
. Thus, the population of western
Asia Minor 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 ...
had largely become Turkish-speaking and
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 ...
in religion. It was under his son,
Orhan I Orhan Ghazi ( ota, اورخان غازی; tr, Orhan Gazi, also spelled Orkhan, 1281 – March 1362) was the second bey of the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman Beylik from 1323/4 to 1362. He was born in Söğüt, as the son of Osman I. In the early ...
, who had attacked and conquered the important urban center of
Bursa ( grc-gre, Προῦσα, Proûsa, Latin: Prusa, ota, بورسه, Arabic, Arabic:بورصة) is a city in northwestern Turkey and the administrative center of Bursa Province. The list of cities in Turkey, fourth-most populous city in Turkey a ...
in 1326, proclaiming it as the Ottoman capital, that 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) ...
developed considerably. In 1354, the Ottomans crossed into
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 ...
and established a foothold on the
Gallipoli Peninsula The Gallipoli peninsula (; tr, Gelibolu Yarımadası; grc, Χερσόνησος της Καλλίπολης, ) is located in the southern part of East Thrace, the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles st ...
while at the same time pushing east and taking
Ankara Ankara ( , ; ), historically known as Ancyra and Angora, is the list of national capitals, capital of Turkey. Located in the Central Anatolia Region, central part of Anatolia, the city has a population of 5.1 million in its urban center ...
. Many Turks from Anatolia began to settle in the region which had been abandoned by the inhabitants who had fled
Thrace Thrace (; el, Θράκη, Thráki; bg, Тракия, Trakiya; tr, Trakya) or Thrake is a geographical and historical region in Southeast Europe, now split among Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey, which is bounded by the Balkan Mountains to th ...
before the Ottoman invasion. However, the Byzantines were not the only ones to suffer from the Ottoman advance for, in the mid-1330s, Orhan annexed the Turkish beylik of Karasi. This advancement was maintained by
Murad I Murad I ( ota, مراد اول; tr, I. Murad, Murad-ı Hüdavendigâr (nicknamed ''Hüdavendigâr'', from fa, خداوندگار, translit=Khodāvandgār, lit=the devotee of God – meaning "Head of state, sovereign" in this context); 29 June ...
who more than tripled the territories under his direct rule, reaching some , evenly distributed in
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 ...
and
Asia Minor 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 ...
. Gains in Anatolia were matched by those in Europe; once the Ottoman forces took
Edirne Edirne (, ), formerly known as Adrianople or Hadrianopolis ( Greek: Άδριανούπολις), is a city in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontine ...
(
Adrianople Edirne (, ), formerly known as Adrianople or Hadrianopolis (Greek language, Greek: Άδριανούπολις), is a city in Turkey, in the northwestern part of the Edirne Province, province of Edirne in Eastern Thrace. Situated from the Greek ...
), which became the capital of the Ottoman Empire in 1365, they opened their way into
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedon ...
and Macedonia in 1371 at the Battle of Maritsa. With the conquests of
Thrace Thrace (; el, Θράκη, Thráki; bg, Тракия, Trakiya; tr, Trakya) or Thrake is a geographical and historical region in Southeast Europe, now split among Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey, which is bounded by the Balkan Mountains to th ...
, Macedonia, and Bulgaria, significant numbers of Turkish emigrants settled in these regions. This form of Ottoman-Turkish
colonization Colonization, or colonisation, constitutes large-scale population movements wherein migrants maintain strong links with their, or their ancestors', former country – by such links, gain advantage over other inhabitants of the territory. When ...
became a very effective method to consolidate their position and power in the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographical area in southeastern Europe with various geographical and historical definitions. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the who ...
. The settlers consisted of soldiers, nomads, farmers, artisans and
merchants A merchant is a person who trades in Commodity, commodities produced by other people, especially one who trades with foreign countries. Historically, a merchant is anyone who is involved in commerce, business or trade. Merchants have operated fo ...
,
dervishes Dervish, Darvesh, or Darwīsh (from fa, درویش, ''Darvīsh'') in Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims ...
,
preachers A preacher is a person who delivers sermons or homilies on religious topics to an assembly of people. Less common are preachers who Open-air preaching, preach on the street, or those whose message is not necessarily religious, but who preach co ...
and other religious functionaries, and administrative personnel. In 1453, Ottoman armies, under Sultan
Mehmed II Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fâtih Su ...
, conquered
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 ...
. Mehmed reconstructed and repopulated the city, and made it the new Ottoman capital. After the
Fall of Constantinople The Fall of Constantinople, also known as the Conquest of Constantinople, was the capture of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire by the Ottoman Empire. The city fell on 29 May 1453 as part of the culmination of a 53-day siege w ...
, the Ottoman Empire entered a long period of conquest and expansion with its borders eventually going deep into
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 ...
, the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233: ) is a geopolitical region commonly encompassing Arabian Peninsula, Arabia (including the Arabian Peninsula and Bahrain), Anatolia, Asia Minor (Asian part of Turkey except Hatay Pro ...
, and
North Africa North Africa, or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in t ...
.
Selim I Selim I ( ota, سليم الأول; tr, I. Selim; 10 October 1470 – 22 September 1520), known as Selim the Grim or Selim the Resolute ( tr, links=no, Yavuz Sultan Selim), was the List of sultans of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan of the Ottoman ...
dramatically expanded the empire's eastern and southern frontiers in the
Battle of Chaldiran The Battle of Chaldiran ( fa, جنگ چالدران; tr, Çaldıran Savaşı) took place on 23 August 1514 and ended with a decisive victory for the Ottoman Empire over the Safavid Empire. As a result, the Ottomans annexed Eastern Anatolia and ...
and gained recognition as the guardian of the holy cities of
Mecca Mecca (; officially Makkah al-Mukarramah, commonly shortened to Makkah ()) is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam. It is inland from Jeddah on the Red ...
and
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, , Turkish: Medine-i Münevvere) and also commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second-holiest city in Islam Islam (; ar, ...
. His successor,
Suleiman the Magnificent Suleiman I ( ota, سليمان اول, Süleyman-ı Evvel; tr, I. Süleyman; 6 November 14946 September 1566), commonly known as Suleiman the Magnificent in Western world, the West and Suleiman the Lawgiver ( ota, قانونى سلطان س ...
, further expanded the conquests after capturing
Belgrade Belgrade ( , ;, ; names in other languages) is the capital and largest city in Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian language, Serbian: , , ), officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian language, Serbian: , , ), is a landlocked country in So ...
in 1521 and using its territorial base to conquer
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Spanning of the Pannonian Basin, Carpathian Basin, it is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Romania to the east and southeast, Serbia to the ...
, and other Central European territories, after his victory in the
Battle of Mohács The Battle of Mohács (; hu, mohácsi csata, tr, Mohaç Muharebesi or Mohaç Savaşı) was fought on 29 August 1526 near Mohács, Kingdom of Hungary The Kingdom of Hungary was a monarchy in Central Europe that existed for nearly a m ...
as well as also pushing the frontiers of the empire to the east. Following Suleiman's death, Ottoman victories continued, albeit less frequently than before. The island of
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country located south of the Anatolian Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its continental position is disputed; while it is geo ...
was conquered, in 1571, bolstering Ottoman dominance over the sea routes of the eastern
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 ...
. However, after its defeat at the
Battle of Vienna The Battle of Vienna; pl, odsiecz wiedeńska, lit=Relief of Vienna or ''bitwa pod Wiedniem''; ota, Beç Ḳalʿası Muḥāṣarası, lit=siege of Vienna#Etymology, Beç; tr, İkinci Viyana Kuşatması, lit=second siege of Vienna took place ...
, in 1683, the Ottoman army was met by ambushes and further defeats; the 1699
Treaty of Karlowitz The Treaty of Karlowitz was signed in Karlowitz, Military Frontier of Archduchy of Austria (present-day Sremski Karlovci, Serbia), on 26 January 1699, concluding the Great Turkish War of 1683–1697 in which the Ottoman Empire was defeated by the ...
, which granted Austria the provinces of Hungary and
Transylvania Transylvania ( ro, Ardeal or ; hu, Erdély; german: Siebenbürgen) is a historical and cultural region in Central Europe, encompassing central Romania. To the east and south its natural border is the Carpathian Mountains, and to the west the Ap ...
, marked the first time in history that the Ottoman Empire actually relinquished territory. By the 19th century, the empire began to
decline Decline may refer to: *Decadence The word decadence, which at first meant simply "decline" in an abstract sense, is now most often used to refer to a perceived decay in standards, morals, dignity Dignity is the Rights, right of a person ...
when
ethno-nationalist Ethnic nationalism, also known as ethnonationalism, is a form of nationalism wherein the nation and nationality are defined in terms of ethnicity, with emphasis on an ethnocentrism , ethnocentric (and in some cases an ethnocracy, ethnocratic) ...
uprisings occurred across the empire. Thus, the last quarter of the 19th and the early part of the 20th century saw some 7–9 million Muslim refugees (Turks and some
Circassians The Circassians (also referred to as Cherkess or Adyghe; Adyghe language, Adyghe and Kabardian language, Kabardian: Адыгэхэр, romanized: ''Adıgəxər'') are an Indigenous peoples, indigenous Northwest Caucasian languages, Northwest Cau ...
,
Bosnians Bosnians (Bosnian language: / ; / , / ) are people identified with the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina or with the region of Bosnia (region), Bosnia. As a common demonym, the term ''Bosnians'' refers to all inhabitants/citizens of the cou ...
,
Georgians The Georgians, or Kartvelians (; ka, ქართველები, tr, ), are a nation and indigenous Peoples of the Caucasus, Caucasian ethnic group native to Georgia (country), Georgia and the South Caucasus. Georgian diaspora communities a ...
, etc.) from the lost territories 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 ...
,
Crimea Crimea, crh, Къырым, Qırım, grc, Κιμμερία / Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería / Taurikḗ ( ) is a peninsula in Ukraine, on the northern coast of the Black Sea, that has been Russian occupation of Crimea, occupied by Ru ...
,
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographical area in southeastern Europe with various geographical and historical definitions. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the who ...
, 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 ...
islands migrate to
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
Eastern Thrace Eastern may refer to: Transportation * China Eastern Airlines, a current Chinese airline based in Shanghai * Eastern Air, former name of Zambia Skyways * Eastern Air Lines, a defunct American airline that operated from 1926 to 1991 * Eastern Ai ...
. By 1913, the government of the
Committee of Union and Progress The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) ( ota, اتحاد و ترقى جمعيتی, translit=İttihad ve Terakki Cemiyeti, script=Arab), later the Union and Progress Party ( ota, اتحاد و ترقى فرقه‌سی, translit=İttihad ve Tera ...
started a program of forcible
Turkification Turkification, Turkization, or Turkicization ( tr, Türkleştirme) describes a shift whereby populations or places received or adopted Turkic people, Turkic attributes such as culture, language, history, or ethnicity. However, often this term is ...
of non-Turkish minorities. By 1914, the
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
broke out, and the Turks scored some success in
Gallipoli The Gallipoli peninsula (; tr, Gelibolu Yarımadası; grc, Χερσόνησος της Καλλίπολης, ) is located in the southern part of East Thrace, the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles st ...
during the Battle of the Dardanelles in 1915. During World War I, the government of the Committee of Union and Progress continued to implement its Turkification policies, which affected non-Turkish minorities, such as the
Armenians Armenians ( hy, հայեր, ''Romanization of Armenian, hayer'' ) are an ethnic group native to the Armenian highlands of Western Asia. Armenians constitute the main population of Armenia and the ''de facto'' independent Republic of Artsakh ...
during the
Armenian genocide The Armenian genocide was the systematic destruction of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, Armenian people and identity in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Spearheaded by the ruling Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), it was ...
and the
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group and nation indigenous to the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea regions, namely Greece, Greek Cypriots, Cyprus, Greeks in Albania, Albania, Greeks in Italy, ...
during various campaigns of ethnic cleansing and expulsion. In 1918, the Ottoman Government agreed to the Mudros Armistice with the Allies. In addition to non-Turkish minorities experiencing ethnic cleansing under the Young Turks, Turkish populations in Balkans, Caucasus and Anatolia were ethnically cleansed in what is known as the Persecution of Muslims during Ottoman contraction, where an estimated 2 million Turkish people were killed or deported. Paul Mojzes has called the Balkan Wars an ''unrecognized genocide''. The
Treaty of Sèvres The Treaty of Sèvres (french: Traité de Sèvres) was a 1920 treaty signed between the Allies of World War I The Allies of World War I, Entente (alliance), Entente Powers, or Allied Powers were a coalition of countries led by French ...
—signed in 1920 by the government of
Mehmet VI Mehmed VI Vahideddin ( ota, محمد سادس ''Meḥmed-i sâdis'' or ''Vaḥîdü'd-Dîn''; tr, VI. Mehmed or /; 14 January 1861 – 16 May 1926), also known as Şahbaba () among the Osmanoğlu family, was the 36th and last Sultan of the ...
— dismantled the Ottoman Empire. The Turks, under Mustafa Kemal Pasha, rejected the treaty and fought the
Turkish War of Independence The Turkish War of Independence "War of Liberation", also known figuratively as ''İstiklâl Harbi'' "Independence War" or ''Millî Mücadele'' "National Struggle" (19 May 1919 – 24 July 1923) was a series of military campaigns waged by th ...
, resulting in the abortion of that text, never ratified, and the abolition of the Sultanate. Thus, the 623-year-old Ottoman Empire ended.


Modern era

Once Mustafa Kemal led the
Turkish War of Independence The Turkish War of Independence "War of Liberation", also known figuratively as ''İstiklâl Harbi'' "Independence War" or ''Millî Mücadele'' "National Struggle" (19 May 1919 – 24 July 1923) was a series of military campaigns waged by th ...
against the Allied forces that occupied the former
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) ...
, he united the Turkish Muslim majority and successfully led them from 1919 to 1922 in overthrowing the occupying forces out of what the
Turkish National Movement The Turkish National Movement ( tr, Türk Ulusal Hareketi) encompasses the political and military activities of the Turkish revolutionaries that resulted in the creation and shaping of the modern Republic of Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiy ...
considered the Turkish homeland. The Turkish identity became the unifying force when, in 1923, the
Treaty of Lausanne The Treaty of Lausanne (french: Traité de Lausanne) was a peace treaty negotiated during the Lausanne Conference of 1922–23 and signed in the Palais de Rumine, Lausanne, Switzerland, on 24 July 1923. The treaty officially settled the conflic ...
was signed and the newly founded
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 ...
was formally established. Atatürk's presidency was marked by a series of radical political and social reforms that transformed Turkey into a
secular Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin ''saeculum'', "worldly" or "of a generation"), is the state of being unrelated or neutral in regards to religion. Anything that does not have an explicit reference to religion, either negativ ...
, modern republic with civil and political equality for sectarian minorities and women. Throughout the 1920s and the 1930s, Turks, as well as other
Muslims 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 ...
, from the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographical area in southeastern Europe with various geographical and historical definitions. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the who ...
, the
Black Sea The Black Sea is a marginal sea, marginal Mediterranean sea (oceanography), mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean lying between Europe and Asia, east of the Balkans, south of the East European Plain, west of the Caucasus, and north of An ...
, the
Aegean islands The Aegean Islands ( el, Νησιά Αιγαίου, Nisiá Aigaíou; tr, Ege Adaları) are the group of islands in the Aegean Sea, with mainland Greece to the west and north and Turkey to the east; the island of Crete delimits the sea to t ...
, the island of
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country located south of the Anatolian Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its continental position is disputed; while it is geo ...
, the
Sanjak of Alexandretta The Sanjak of Alexandretta ( ar, لواء الإسكندرونة '', '' tr, İskenderun Sancağı, french: Sandjak d'Alexandrette) was a sanjak of the Mandate of Syria composed of two qadaas of the former Aleppo Vilayet (Alexandretta and Antakya ...
( Hatay), the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233: ) is a geopolitical region commonly encompassing Arabian Peninsula, Arabia (including the Arabian Peninsula and Bahrain), Anatolia, Asia Minor (Asian part of Turkey except Hatay Pro ...
, and 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, ...
continued to arrive in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a East Thrace, small portion on th ...
, most of whom settled in urban north-western Anatolia. The bulk of these immigrants, known as "
Muhacir Muhacir or Muhajir (from ar, مهاجر, translit=muhājir, lit=migrant) are the estimated 10 million Ottoman Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is ...
s", were the Balkan Turks who faced harassment and discrimination in their homelands. However, there were still remnants of a Turkish population in many of these countries because the Turkish government wanted to preserve these communities so that the Turkish character of these neighbouring territories could be maintained. One of the last stages of ethnic Turks immigrating to Turkey was between 1940 and 1990 when about 700,000 Turks arrived from Bulgaria. Today, between a third and a quarter of Turkey's population are the descendants of these immigrants.


Geographic distribution


Traditional areas of Turkish settlement


Turkey

The ethnic Turks are the largest ethnic group in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a East Thrace, small portion on th ...
and number approximately 60 million to 65 million. Due to differing historical Turkish migrations to the region, dating from the Seljuk conquests in the 11th century to the continuous Turkish migrations which have persisted to the present day (especially Turkish refugees from neighboring countries), there are various accents and customs which can distinguish the ethnic Turks by geographic sub-groups. For example, the most significant are the Anatolian Turks in the central core of Asiatic Turkey whose culture was influential in underlining the roots of the Turkish nationalist ideology. There are also nomadic Turkic tribes who descend directly 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 ...
, such as the
Yörüks The Yörüks, also Yuruks or Yorouks ( tr, Yörükler; , ''Youroúkoi''; bg, юруци; mk, Јуруци, ''Juruci''), are a Turkish ethnic subgroup of Oghuz descent, some of whom are nomad A nomad is a member of a community without f ...
; the
Black Sea The Black Sea is a marginal sea, marginal Mediterranean sea (oceanography), mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean lying between Europe and Asia, east of the Balkans, south of the East European Plain, west of the Caucasus, and north of An ...
Turks in the north whose "speech largely lacks the vowel harmony valued elsewhere"; the descendants of ''
muhacir Muhacir or Muhajir (from ar, مهاجر, translit=muhājir, lit=migrant) are the estimated 10 million Ottoman Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is ...
s'' (Turkish refugees) who fled persecution from former Ottoman territories in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; and more recent refugees who have continued to flee discrimination and persecution since the mid-1900s. Initially, ''muhacirs'' who arrived in
Eastern Thrace Eastern may refer to: Transportation * China Eastern Airlines, a current Chinese airline based in Shanghai * Eastern Air, former name of Zambia Skyways * Eastern Air Lines, a defunct American airline that operated from 1926 to 1991 * Eastern Ai ...
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 ...
came fleeing from former Ottoman territories which had been annexed by
European colonial powers Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonisation, colonisers may impose the ...
(such as
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
in
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religi ...
or
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 ...
in
Crimea Crimea, crh, Къырым, Qırım, grc, Κιμμερία / Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería / Taurikḗ ( ) is a peninsula in Ukraine, on the northern coast of the Black Sea, that has been Russian occupation of Crimea, occupied by Ru ...
); however, the largest waves of ethnic Turkish migration came from the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographical area in southeastern Europe with various geographical and historical definitions. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the who ...
during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the
Balkan Wars The Balkan Wars refers to a series of two conflicts that took place in the Balkan States in 1912 and 1913. In the First Balkan War The First Balkan War ( sr, Први балкански рат, ''Prvi balkanski rat''; bg, Балканск ...
led to most of the region becoming independent from Ottoman control. The largest waves of ''muhacirs'' came from the Balkans (especially
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedon ...
,
Greece Greece,, or , romanized: ', officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with ...
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
and
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh-Latn-Cyrl, separator=" / ", Jugoslavija, Југославија ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; rue, label= Pannonian Rusyn, Югославия, translit=Juhoslavij ...
); however, substantial numbers also came from Cyprus, the
Sanjak of Alexandretta The Sanjak of Alexandretta ( ar, لواء الإسكندرونة '', '' tr, İskenderun Sancağı, french: Sandjak d'Alexandrette) was a sanjak of the Mandate of Syria composed of two qadaas of the former Aleppo Vilayet (Alexandretta and Antakya ...
, the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233: ) is a geopolitical region commonly encompassing Arabian Peninsula, Arabia (including the Arabian Peninsula and Bahrain), Anatolia, Asia Minor (Asian part of Turkey except Hatay Pro ...
(including Trans-Jordan and
Yemen Yemen (; ar, ٱلْيَمَن, al-Yaman), officially the Republic of Yemen,, ) is a country in Western Asia. It is situated on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, and borders Saudi Arabia to the Saudi Arabia–Yemen border, north and ...
) North African (such as
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religi ...
and
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya bo ...
) and 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, ...
(especially from
Meskheti Meskheti ( ka, მესხეთი) or Samtskhe ( ka, სამცხე) (Moschia Moschia (Meskheti, possibly related to Mushki) is a mountainous region of Georgia (country), Georgia between Kingdom of Iberia, Iberia, Armenia, and Colchis. The ...
). The Turks who remained in the former Ottoman territories continued to face discrimination and persecution thereafter leading many to seek refuge in Turkey, especially Turkish Meskhetians deported by
Joseph Stalin Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili; – 5 March 1953) was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former ...
in 1944; Turkish minorities in
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh-Latn-Cyrl, separator=" / ", Jugoslavija, Југославија ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; rue, label= Pannonian Rusyn, Югославия, translit=Juhoslavij ...
(i.e., Turkish Bosnians, Turkish Croatians, Turkish Kosovars, Turkish Macedonians, Turkish Montenegrins and Turkish Serbians) fleeing
Josip Broz Tito Josip Broz ( sh-Cyrl, Јосип Броз, ; 7 May 1892 – 4 May 1980), commonly known as Tito (; sh-Cyrl, Тито, links=no, ), was a Yugoslav Communism, communist revolutionary and statesman, serving in various positions from 1943 until ...
's regime in the 1950s;
Turkish Cypriots Turkish Cypriots or Cypriot Turks ( tr, Kıbrıs Türkleri or ''Kıbrıslı Türkler''; el, Τουρκοκύπριοι, Tourkokýprioi) are ethnic Turkish people, Turks originating from Cyprus. Following the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman conquest of ...
fleeing the
Cypriot intercommunal violence Several distinct periods of Cypriot intercommunal violence involving the two main ethnic communities, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, marked mid-20th century Cyprus. These included the Cyprus Emergency of 1955–59 during British rule, the ...
of 1955–74; Turkish Iraqis fleeing discrimination during the rise of Arab nationalism in the 1950s and 1970s followed by the
Iran–Iraq War The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between Iran and Ba'athist Iraq, Iraq that lasted from September 1980 to August 1988. It began with the Iraqi invasion of Iran and lasted for almost eight years, until the acceptance of United Nations Secu ...
of 1980–88; Turkish Bulgarians fleeing the Bulgarisation policies of the so-called " Revival Process" under the communist ruler
Todor Zivkov Todor ( Bulgarian, and sr, Тодор/Todor) is a Bulgarian, Macedonian and Serbian given name A given name (also known as a forename or first name) is the part of a personal name quoted in that identifies a person, potentially with a mid ...
in the 1980s; and Turkish Kosovars fleeing the
Kosovo War The Kosovo War was an armed conflict in Kosovo that started 28 February 1998 and lasted until 11 June 1999. It was fought by the forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (i.e. Serbia and Montenegro), which controlled Kosovo before the wa ...
of 1998–99. Today, approximately 15–20 million Turks living in Turkey are the descendants of refugees from the Balkans; there are also 1.5 million descendants from
Meskheti Meskheti ( ka, მესხეთი) or Samtskhe ( ka, სამცხე) (Moschia Moschia (Meskheti, possibly related to Mushki) is a mountainous region of Georgia (country), Georgia between Kingdom of Iberia, Iberia, Armenia, and Colchis. The ...
and over 600,000 descendants from
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country located south of the Anatolian Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its continental position is disputed; while it is geo ...
. The Republic of Turkey continues to be a land of migration for ethnic Turkish people fleeing persecution and wars. For example, there are approximately 1 million
Syrian Turkmen Syrian Turkmen, also referred to as Syrian Turkomans, Turkish Syrians, or simply Syrian Turks or Turks of Syria, ( ar, تركمان سوريا; tr, Suriye Türkmenleri or ) are Syrian citizens of Turkish people, Turkish origin who mainly trace ...
living in Turkey due to the current Syrian civil war.


Cyprus

The
Turkish Cypriots Turkish Cypriots or Cypriot Turks ( tr, Kıbrıs Türkleri or ''Kıbrıslı Türkler''; el, Τουρκοκύπριοι, Tourkokýprioi) are ethnic Turkish people, Turks originating from Cyprus. Following the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman conquest of ...
are the ethnic Turks whose Ottoman Turkish forebears colonized the island of
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country located south of the Anatolian Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its continental position is disputed; while it is geo ...
in 1571. About 30,000 Turkish soldiers were given land once they settled in Cyprus, which bequeathed a significant Turkish community. In 1960, a census by the new Republic's government revealed that the Turkish Cypriots formed 18.2% of the island's population. However, once inter-communal fighting and ethnic tensions between 1963 and 1974 occurred between the Turkish and
Greek Cypriots Greek Cypriots or Cypriot Greeks ( el, Ελληνοκύπριοι, Ellinokýprioi, tr, Kıbrıs Rumları) are the ethnic Greeks, Greek population of Cyprus, forming the island's largest Ethnolinguistic group, ethnolinguistic community. Accordin ...
, known as the " Cyprus conflict", the Greek Cypriot government conducted a census in 1973, albeit without the Turkish Cypriot populace. A year later, in 1974, the Cypriot government's Department of Statistics and Research estimated the Turkish Cypriot population was 118,000 (or 18.4%). A
coup d'état A coup d'état (; French for 'stroke of state'), also known as a coup or overthrow, is a seizure and removal of a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In ...
in Cyprus on 15 July 1974 by Greeks and Greek Cypriots favoring union with
Greece Greece,, or , romanized: ', officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with ...
(also known as "
Enosis ''Enosis'' ( el, Ένωσις, , "union") is the movement of various Greeks, Greek communities that live outside Greece for incorporation of the regions that they inhabit into the Greek state. The idea is related to the Megali Idea, an irredent ...
") was followed by
military intervention Interventionism refers to a political practice of intervention, particularly to the practice of governments to interfere in political affairs of other countries, staging Intervention (international law), military or trade interventions. Economic ...
by
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a East Thrace, small portion on th ...
whose troops established Turkish Cypriot control over the northern part of the island. Hence, census's conducted by the Republic of Cyprus have excluded the Turkish Cypriot population that had settled in the unrecognized
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Northern Cyprus ( tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs), officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC; tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti, ''KKTC''), is a ''de facto'' state that comprises the northeastern portion of the Geography of Cyprus, isl ...
. Between 1975 and 1981,
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a East Thrace, small portion on th ...
encouraged its own citizens to settle in Northern Cyprus; a report by
CIA The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA ), known informally as the Agency and historically as the Company, is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States The federal government of the United ...
suggests that 200,000 of the residents of Cyprus are Turkish.


Balkans

Ethnic Turks continue to inhabit certain regions of
Greece Greece,, or , romanized: ', officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with ...
,
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in 1991 as one of the successor states of Socialist Feder ...
,
Kosovo Kosovo ( sq, Kosova or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово ), officially the Republic of Kosovo ( sq, Republika e Kosovës, links=no; sr, Република Косово, Republika Kosovo, links=no), is a international recognition of Kosovo, partiall ...
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
, and
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedon ...
since they first settled there during the Ottoman period. As of 2019, the Turkish population in the Balkans is over 1 million. Majority of Balkan Turks were killed or deported in the Muslim Persecution during Ottoman Contraction and arrived to Turkey as
Muhacir Muhacir or Muhajir (from ar, مهاجر, translit=muhājir, lit=migrant) are the estimated 10 million Ottoman Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is ...
s. The majority of the Rumelian/Balkan Turks are the descendants of Ottoman settlers. However, the first significant wave of Anatolian Turkish settlement to the Balkans dates back to the mass migration of sedentary and nomadic subjects of the Seljuk sultan
Kaykaus II Kaykaus ibn Kaykhusraw or Kayka'us II ( fa, عز الدين كيكاوس بن كيخسرو, ''ʿIzz ad-Dīn Kaykāwus ibn Kaykhusraw'') was the sultan of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm, Seljuqs of Rûm from 1246 until 1262. Life Kaykaus was the elde ...
(b. 1237 – d. 1279/80) who had fled to the court of
Michael VIII Palaiologos Michael VIII Palaiologos or Palaeologus ( el, Μιχαὴλ Δούκας Ἄγγελος Κομνηνὸς Παλαιολόγος, Mikhaēl Doukas Angelos Komnēnos Palaiologos; 1224 – 11 December 1282) reigned as the co-emperor of the Empire ...
in 1262.


=Albania

= The Turkish Albanians are one of the smallest Turkish communities in the Balkans. Once Albania came under Ottoman rule, Turkish colonization was scarce there; however, some Anatolian Turkish settlers did arrive in 1415–30 and were given ''
timar A timar was a land grant by the List of sultans of the Ottoman Empire, sultans of the Ottoman Empire between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, with an annual tax revenue of less than 20,000 akçes. The revenues produced from the land acted a ...
'' estates. According to the 2011 census, the
Turkish language Turkish ( , ), also referred to as Turkish of Turkey (''Türkiye Türkçesi''), is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 80 to 90 million speakers. It is the national language of Turkey and Northern Cyprus. Significant smal ...
was the sixth most spoken language in the country (after Albanian,
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
, Macedonian, Romani, and Aromanian).


=Bosnia and Herzegovina

= The Turkish Bosnians have lived in the region since the Ottoman rule of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thus, the Turks form the oldest
ethnic minority The term 'minority group' has different usages depending on the context. According to its common usage, a minority group can simply be understood in terms of demographic sizes within a population: i.e. a group in society with the least number o ...
in the country. The Turkish Bosnian community decreased dramatically due to mass emigration to
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a East Thrace, small portion on th ...
when Bosnia and Herzegovina came under
Austro-Hungarian Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire,, the Dual Monarchy, or Austria, was a constitutional monarchy and great power in Central Europe#Before World War I, Central Europe between 1867 and 1918. It was formed with t ...
rule. In 2003 the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted the "Law on the Protection of Rights of Members of National Minorities" which officially protected the Turkish minority's cultural, religious, educational, social, economic, and political freedoms.


=Bulgaria

= The Turks of Bulgaria form the largest Turkish community in the Balkans as well as the largest ethnic minority group in
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedon ...
. According to the 2011 census, they form a majority in the
Kardzhali Province Kardzhali Province ( bg, Област Кърджали, Oblast Kărdžali, tr, Kırcaali ili) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancien ...
(66.2%) and the
Razgrad Province Razgrad Province ( bg, Област Разград (''Oblast Razgrad''), former name Okrug, Razgrad okrug) is a province in Northeastern Bulgaria, geographically part of the Ludogorie region. It is named after its administrative and industrial c ...
(50.02%), as well as substantial communities in the
Silistra Province Silistra Province ( bg, Област Силистра, transliterated ''Oblast Silistra'', former name Silistra okrug) is a provinces of Bulgaria, province of Bulgaria, named after its main city - Silistra. It is divided into seven municipalitie ...
(36.09%), the
Targovishte Province Targovishte Province ( bg, Област Търговище, transliterated ''Oblast Tǎrgovište'', former name Targovishte okrug) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, st ...
(35.80%), and the
Shumen Province Shumen Province ( bg, Област Шумен, transliterated Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one writing system, script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans- ...
(30.29%). They were ethnically cleansed during the Muslim Persecution during Ottoman Contraction and subsequently targeted during the Revival Process that aimed to assimilate them into a Bulgarian identity.


=Croatia

= The Turkish Croatians began to settle in the region during the various Croatian–Ottoman wars. Despite being a small minority, the Turks are among the 22 officially recognized national minorities in Croatia.


=Greece

=


=Kosovo

= The Turkish Kosovars are the third largest ethnic minority in Kosovo (after the
Serbs The Serbs ( sr-Cyr, Срби, Srbi, ) are the most numerous South Slavs, South Slavic ethnic group native to the Balkans in Southeastern Europe, who share a common Serbian Cultural heritage, ancestry, Culture of Serbia, culture, History of ...
and
Bosniaks The Bosniaks ( bs, Bošnjaci, Cyrillic script, Cyrillic: Бошњаци, ; , ) are a South Slavs, South Slavic ethnic group native to the Southeast European historical region of Bosnia (region), Bosnia, which is today part of Bosnia and Herzeg ...
). They form a majority in the town and municipality of Mamuša.


=Montenegro

= The Turkish Montenegrins form the smallest Turkish minority group in the Balkans. They began to settle in the region following the Ottoman rule of Montenegro. A historical event took place in 1707 which involved the killing of the Turks in Montenegro as well as the murder of all Muslims. This early example of ethnic cleaning features in the epic poem ''
The Mountain Wreath ''The Mountain Wreath'' ( sr, Горски вијенац / Gorski vijenac) is a poem and a play written by Prince-Bishopric of Montenegro, Prince-Bishop and poet Petar II Petrović-Njegoš. Njegoš wrote ''The Mountain Wreath'' during 1846 in Ce ...
'' (1846). After the Ottoman withdrawal, the majority of the remaining Turks emigrated to
Istanbul Istanbul ( , ; tr, İstanbul ), formerly known as Constantinople ( grc-gre, Κωνσταντινούπολις; la, Constantinopolis), is the List of largest cities and towns in Turkey, largest city in Turkey, serving as the country's economic, ...
and Izmir. Today, the remaining Turkish Montenegrins predominately live in the coastal town of Bar.


=North Macedonia

= The Turkish Macedonians form the second largest Turkish community in the Balkans as well as the second largest minority ethnic group in
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in 1991 as one of the successor states of Socialist Feder ...
. They form a majority in the Centar Župa Municipality and the Plasnica Municipality as well as substantial communities in the Mavrovo and Rostuša Municipality, the Studeničani Municipality, the
Dolneni Municipality Dolneni (, sq, Dollnen) is a municipality in the central part of North Macedonia. ''Dolneni'' is also the name of the village where the municipal seat is found. The municipality is part of the Pelagonia Statistical Region. Geography The municip ...
, the
Karbinci Municipality Karbinci ( mk, ) is a municipality in the eastern part of North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It ...
, and the
Vasilevo Municipality Vasilevo ( mk, ) is a municipality in the eastern part of North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It ...
.


=Romania

= The Turkish Romanians are centered in the
Northern Dobruja Northern Dobruja ( ro, Dobrogea de Nord or simply ; bg, Северна Добруджа, ''Severna Dobrudzha'') is the part of Dobruja within the borders of Romania. It lies between the lower Danube river and the Black Sea, bordered in the south ...
region. The only settlement which still has a Turkish majority population is in Dobromir located in the
Constanța County Constanța () is a Counties of Romania, county (județ) of Romania on the Bulgaria–Romania border, border with Bulgaria, in the Dobruja region. Its capital city is also named Constanța. Demographics In 2011, it had a population of 684,082 ...
. Historically, Turkish Romanians also formed a majority in other regions, such as the island of
Ada Kaleh Ada Kaleh (; from tr, Adakale, meaning "Island Fortress"; hu, Újorsova or ; Serbian and Bulgarian: Адакале, ''Adakale'') was a small island on the Danube The Danube ( ; ) is a river that was once a long-standing frontier of t ...
which was destroyed and flooded by the Romanian government for the construction of the
Iron Gate I Hydroelectric Power Station The Iron Gate I Hydroelectric Power Station ( ro, Porțile de Fier I, sr, Ђердап I/Đerdap I) is the largest dam on the Danube The Danube ( ; ) is a river that was once a long-standing frontier of the Roman Empire and today connects ...
.


=Serbia

= The Turkish Serbians have lived in Serbia since the Ottoman conquests in the region. They have traditionally lived in the urban areas of Serbia. In 1830, when the
Principality of Serbia The Principality of Serbia ( sr-Cyrl, Књажество Србија, Knjažestvo Srbija) was an autonomous state in the Balkans that came into existence as a result of the Serbian Revolution, which lasted between 1804 and 1817. Its creation was ...
was granted autonomy, most Turks emigrated as "
muhacir Muhacir or Muhajir (from ar, مهاجر, translit=muhājir, lit=migrant) are the estimated 10 million Ottoman Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is ...
s" (refugees) to
Ottoman Turkey 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) ...
, and by 1862 almost all of the remaining Turks left
Central Serbia Central Serbia ( sr, централна Србија / centralna Srbija), also referred to as Serbia proper ( sr, link=no, ужа Србија / uža Srbija), is the region In geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geog ...
, including 3,000 from
Belgrade Belgrade ( , ;, ; names in other languages) is the capital and largest city in Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian language, Serbian: , , ), officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian language, Serbian: , , ), is a landlocked country in So ...
. Today, the remaining community mostly live in
Belgrade Belgrade ( , ;, ; names in other languages) is the capital and largest city in Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian language, Serbian: , , ), officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian language, Serbian: , , ), is a landlocked country in So ...
and
Sandžak Sandžak (; sh, / , ; sq, Sanxhaku; ota, سنجاق, Sancak), also known as Sanjak, is a historical geo-political region in Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian language, Serbian: , , ), officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian language, S ...
.


Caucasus


=Azerbaijan

= The Turkish Azerbaijanis began to settle in the region during the Ottoman rule, which lasted between 1578 and 1603. By 1615, the Safavid ruler,
Shah Abbas I Abbas I ( fa, ; 27 January 157119 January 1629), commonly known as Abbas the Great (), was the 5th Safavid dynasty, Safavid Shah (king) of Safavid Iran, Iran, and is generally considered one of the greatest rulers of Iranian history and the Safavi ...
, solidified control of the region and then deported thousands of people from Azerbaijan. In 1998, there was still approximately 19,000 Turks living in Azerbaijan who descended from the original Ottoman settlers; they are distinguishable from the rest of Azeri society because they practice Sunni Islam (rather than the dominant Shia sect in the country). Since the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
, the Turkish Azerbaijani community has increased significantly due to the mass wave of Turkish Meskhetian refugees who arrived during the Soviet rule.


=Georgia

=


Abkhazia

The Turkish Abkhazians began to live in
Abkhazia Abkhazia, ka, აფხაზეთი, tr, , xmf, აბჟუა, abzhua, or ( or ), officially the Republic of Abkhazia, is a partially recognised State (polity), state in the South Caucasus, International recognition of Abkhazia and ...
during the sixteenth century under Ottoman rule. Today, there are still Turks who continue to live in the region.


Meskheti

Prior to the Ottoman conquest of
Meskheti Meskheti ( ka, მესხეთი) or Samtskhe ( ka, სამცხე) (Moschia Moschia (Meskheti, possibly related to Mushki) is a mountainous region of Georgia (country), Georgia between Kingdom of Iberia, Iberia, Armenia, and Colchis. The ...
in Georgia, hundreds of thousands of Turkic invaders had settled in the region from the thirteenth century. At this time, the main town,
Akhaltsikhe Akhaltsikhe ( ka, ახალციხე ), formerly known as Lomsia ( ka, ლომსია), is a small city in Georgia (country), Georgia's southwestern region (''mkhare'') of Samtskhe–Javakheti. It is situated on both banks of a small rive ...
, was mentioned in sources by the Turkish name "Ak-sika", or "White Fortress". Thus, this accounts for the present day Turkish designation of the region as "Ahıska". Local leaders were given the Turkish title "Atabek" from which came the fifteenth century name of one of the four kingdoms of what had been Georgia,
Samtskhe-Saatabago The Samtskhe-Saatabago or Samtskhe Atabegate ( ka, სამცხე-საათაბაგო), also called the Principality of Samtskhe (სამცხის სამთავრო), was a Georgian feudal principality in Zemo Kartli, rul ...
, "the land of the Atabek called Samtskhe eskhetia. In 1555 the Ottomans gained the western part of Meskheti after the
Peace of Amasya The Peace of Amasya ( fa, پیمان آماسیه ("Peymān-e Amasiyeh"); tr, Amasya Antlaşması) was a treaty agreed to on May 29, 1555, between Shah Tahmasp of Safavid Iran and Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire at the cit ...
treaty, whilst the
Safavids Safavid Iran or Safavid Persia (), also referred to as the Safavid Empire, '. was one of the greatest Iranian empires after the 7th-century Muslim conquest of Persia, which was ruled from 1501 to 1736 by the Safavid dynasty. It is often conside ...
took the eastern part. Then in 1578 the Ottomans attacked the Safavid controlled area which initiated the
Ottoman–Safavid War (1578–1590) The Ottoman–Safavid War (1578–1590) was one of the many wars between the neighboring arch rivals of Safavid Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Starting with several years prior to the war and up to including most of the war itself, the Safavid ...
. Meskheti was fully secured into the Ottoman Empire in 1639 after a treaty signed with Iran brought an end to Iranian attempts to take the region. With the arrival of more Turkish colonizers, the Turkish Meskhetian community increased significantly. However, once the Ottomans lost control of the region in 1883, many Turkish Meskhetians migrated from Georgia to Turkey. Migrations to Turkey continued after the
Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 ( tr, 93 Harbi, lit=War of ’93, named for the year 1293 in the Islamic calendar; russian: Русско-турецкая война, Russko-turetskaya voyna, "Russian–Turkish war") was a conflict between th ...
followed by the
Bolshevik Revolution The October Revolution,. officially known as the Great October Socialist Revolution. in the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countri ...
(1917), and then after Georgia was incorporated into 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, ...
. During this period, some members of the community also relocated to other Soviet borders, and those who remained in Georgia were targeted by the Sovietisation campaigns. Thereafter, during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
, the Soviet administration initiated a mass deportation of the remaining 115,000 Turkish Meskhetians in 1944, forcing them to resettle in the Caucasus and the Central Asian Soviet republics. Thus, today hundreds of thousands of Turkish Meskhetians are scattered throughout the Post Soviet states (especially 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 ...
,
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 ...
,
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 ...
,
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 ...
,
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
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 ...
). Moreover, many have settled in Turkey and the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
. Attempts to repatriate them back to Georgia saw Georgian authorities receive applications covering 9,350 individuals within the a two-year application period (up until 1 January 2010).


Levant


=Iraq

= Commonly referred to as the
Iraqi Turkmens The Iraqi Turkmens (also spelled as Turkoman and Turcoman; tr, Irak Türkmenleri), also referred to as Iraqi Turks, Turkish-Iraqis, the Turkish minority in Iraq, and the Iraqi-Turkish minority ( ar, تركمان العراق; tr, Irak Türkleri ...
, the Turks are the second largest ethnic minority group in
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to Iraq–Turkey border, the north, Iran to Iran–Iraq ...
(i.e. after the
Kurds ug:كۇردلار Kurds ( ku, کورد ,Kurd, italic=yes, rtl=yes) or Kurdish people are an Iranian peoples, Iranian ethnic group native to the mountainous region of Kurdistan in Western Asia, which spans southeastern Turkey, northwestern Ir ...
). The majority are the descendants of Ottoman settlers (e.g. soldiers, traders and civil servants) who were brought into Iraq from
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 ...
. Today, most Iraqi Turkmen live in a region they refer to as "
Turkmeneli Turkmeneli, also known as Turkmenland, and historically as Turcomania, ( tr, Türkmeneli, lit=Land of the Turkmens) is a political term used to define the vast swath of territory in which the Iraqi Turkmens historically have had a dominant popula ...
" which stretches from the northwest to the east at the middle of Iraq with
Kirkuk Kirkuk ( ar, كركوك, ku, کەرکووک, translit=Kerkûk, , tr, Kerkük) is a city in Iraq, serving as the capital of the Kirkuk Governorate, located north of Baghdad. The city is home to a diverse population of Iraqi Turkmen, Turkmens ...
placed as their cultural capital. Historically, Turkic migrations to Iraq date back to the 7th century when Turks were recruited in the
Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institut ...
armies of Ubayd-Allah ibn Ziyad followed by thousands more Turkmen warriors arriving under 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 ...
rule. However, most of these Turks became assimilated into the local Arab population. The next large scale migration occurred under the
Great Seljuq 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 ...
after Sultan Tuğrul Bey's invasion in 1055. For the next 150 years, the Seljuk Turks placed large Turkmen communities along the most valuable routes of northern Iraq. Yet, the largest wave of Turkish migrations occurred under the four centuries of Ottoman rule (1535–1919). In 1534,
Suleiman the Magnificent Suleiman I ( ota, سليمان اول, Süleyman-ı Evvel; tr, I. Süleyman; 6 November 14946 September 1566), commonly known as Suleiman the Magnificent in Western world, the West and Suleiman the Lawgiver ( ota, قانونى سلطان س ...
secured
Mosul Mosul ( ar, الموصل, al-Mawṣil, ku, مووسڵ, translit=Mûsil, Turkish language, Turkish: ''Musul'', syr, ܡܘܨܠ, Māwṣil) is a major city in northern Iraq, serving as the capital of Nineveh Governorate. The city is considered ...
within the Ottoman Empire and it became the chief province (
eyalet Eyalets (Ottoman Turkish: ایالت, , English: State), also known as beylerbeyliks or pashaliks, were a primary administrative division of the Ottoman Empire. From Fall of Constantinople, 1453 to the beginning of the nineteenth century the O ...
) responsible for administrative districts in the region. The Ottomans encouraged migration from Anatolia and the settlement of Turks along northern Iraq. After 89 years of peace, the
Ottoman–Safavid War (1623–1639) The Ottoman–Safavid War of 1623–1639 was the last of a series of conflicts fought between the Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανι ...
saw
Murad IV Murad IV ( ota, مراد رابع, ''Murād-ı Rābiʿ''; tr, IV. Murad, 27 July 1612 – 8 February 1640) was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1623 to 1640, known both for restoring the authority of the state and for the brutality of his m ...
recapturing
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد , ) is the capital of Iraq and the list of largest cities in the Arab world, second-largest city in the Arab world after Cairo. It is located on the Tigris near the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon and the ...
and taking permanent control over Iraq which resulted in the influx of continuous Turkish settlers until Ottoman rule came to an end in 1919. After the establishment of the
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 ...
in 1923, the Iraqi Turkmens initially sought for Turkey to annex the Mosul Vilayet. However, they participated in elections for the
Constituent Assembly A constituent assembly (also known as a constitutional convention, constitutional congress, or constitutional assembly) is a body assembled for the purpose of drafting or revising a constitution. Members of a constituent assembly may be elected b ...
with the condition of preserving the Turkish character in Kirkuk's administration and the recognition of Turkish as the liwa's official language. Although they were recognized as a constitutive entity of Iraq, alongside the
Arabs The Arabs (singular: Arab; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, DIN 31635: , , plural ar, عَرَب, DIN 31635: , Arabic pronunciation: ), also known as the Arab people, are an ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping o ...
and
Kurds ug:كۇردلار Kurds ( ku, کورد ,Kurd, italic=yes, rtl=yes) or Kurdish people are an Iranian peoples, Iranian ethnic group native to the mountainous region of Kurdistan in Western Asia, which spans southeastern Turkey, northwestern Ir ...
, in the constitution of 1925, the Iraqi Turkmen were later denied this status. Thereafter, the Iraqi Turkmen found themselves increasingly discriminated against from the policies of successive regimes, such as the Kirkuk Massacre of 1923, 1947, 1959 and in 1979 when the
Ba'th Party The Arab Socialist Baʿath Party ( ar, حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي ' ) was a political party founded in Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, translit=Sūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Repu ...
discriminated against the community. Thus, the position of the Iraqi Turkmens has changed from historically being administrative and business classes of the Ottoman Empire to an increasingly discriminated minority.
Arabization Arabization or Arabisation ( ar, تعريب, ') describes both the process of growing Arabs, Arab influence on non-Arab populations, causing a language shift by the latter's gradual adoption of the Arabic, Arabic language and incorporation of Ar ...
and
Kurdification Kurdification is a cultural change in which people, territory, or language become Kurds, Kurdish. This can happen both naturally (as in Turkish Kurdistan) or as a deliberate government policy (as in Iraq after History of Iraq (2003–2011), the 2 ...
policies have seen Iraqi Turkmens pushed out of their homeland and thus various degrees of suppression and assimilation have ranged from political persecution and exile to terror and
ethnic cleansing Ethnic cleansing is the systematic forced removal of ethnic, racial, and religious groups from a given area, with the intent of making a region ethnically homogeneous. Along with direct removal, extermination, deportation or population transfer ...
. Many Iraqi Turkmen have consequently sought refuge in Turkey whilst there has also been increasing migration to Western Europe (especially
Denmark ) , song = ( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast") , song_type = National and royal anthem , image_map = EU-Denmark.svg , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Danish Realm, Kingdom of Denmark ...
,
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
, the
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Neth ...
,
Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden./ref> is a Nordic countries, Nordic c ...
and the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ...
) as well as
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world ...
, the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country by ...
and
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and over 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands. It is the ...
.


=Egypt

= The Turkish Egyptians are mostly the descendants of Turkish settlers who arrived during the Ottoman rule of Egypt (1517–1867 and 1867–1914). However, with the exception of the
Fatimid The Fatimid Caliphate was an Isma'ilism, Ismaili Shia Islam, Shi'a caliphate extant from the tenth to the twelfth centuries AD. Spanning a large area of North Africa, it ranged from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the ea ...
rule of Egypt, the region was ruled from the Tulunid period (868–905) until 1952 by a succession of individuals who were either of Turkish origin or who had been raised according to the traditions of the Turkish state. Hence, during the
Mamluk Sultanate The Mamluk Sultanate ( ar, سلطنة المماليك, translit=Salṭanat al-Mamālīk), also known as Mamluk Egypt or the Mamluk Empire, was a state that ruled medieval Egypt, Egypt, the Levant and the Hejaz (western Arabia) from the mid-13 ...
, Arabic sources show that the Bahri period referred to its dynasty as the State of the Turks ( ar, دولة الاتراك, ''Dawlat al-Atrāk''; , ''Dawlat al-Turk'') or the State of Turkey (, ''al-Dawla al-Turkiyya''). Nonetheless, the Ottoman legacy has been the most significance in the preservation of the Turkish culture in Egypt which still remains visible today.


=Jordan

=


=Lebanon

= The Lebanese Turkmen are the ethnic Turks who constitute one of the ethnic groups in
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue ...
. The historic rule of several Turkic dynasties in the region saw continuous Turkish migration waves to Lebanon during the Tulunid rule (868–905),
Ikhshidid The Ikhshidid dynasty (, ) was a 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, tra ...
rule (935–969), Seljuk rule (1037–1194),
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 ...
rule (1291–1515), and Ottoman rule (1516–1918). Today, most of the Turkish Lebanese community are the descendants of the Ottoman Turkish settlers to Lebanon from
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 ...
. However, with the declining territories of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century, ethnic
Turkish minorities The Turkish minorities/communities in the former Ottoman Empire refers to ethnic Turkish people, Turks, who are the descendants of Ottoman-Turkish settlers from Anatolia and Eastern Thrace, living outside of the modern borders of the Republic of Tu ...
from other parts of the former Ottoman territories found refuge in Ottoman Lebanon, especially
Algerian Turks The Turks in Algeria, also commonly referred to as Algerian Turks, Algerian-Turkish Algero-Turkish and Turkish-Algerians were the ethnic Turkish and renegades who emigrated to Algeria during the Ottoman period. A significant number of Turks inter ...
after the French colonization of North Africa in 1830, and
Cretan Turks The Cretan Muslims ( el, Τουρκοκρητικοί or , or ; tr, Giritli, , or ; ar, أتراك كريت) or Cretan Turks were the Muslim inhabitants of the island of Crete. Their descendants settled principally in Turkey, the Dodecanese ...
in 1897 due to unrest in Greece.


=Palestine

= Palestine was under Ottoman rule for over four centuries, from 1517 until 1922. Consequently, many Palestinian families have Turkish origins. However, Turkish migration did not simply come to a halt after the Ottoman period. Rather, during the British rule of Cyprus (1878-1960), many
Turkish Cypriot Turkish Cypriots or Cypriot Turks ( tr, Kıbrıs Türkleri or ''Kıbrıslı Türkler''; el, Τουρκοκύπριοι, Tourkokýprioi) are ethnic Turkish people, Turks originating from Cyprus. Following the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman conquest of ...
families struggling during the
Great Depression The Great Depression (19291939) was an economic shock that impacted most countries across the world. It was a period of economic depression that became evident after a major fall in stock prices in the United States. The Financial contagion, ...
and its aftermath were forced to marry off their daughters to
Arabs The Arabs (singular: Arab; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, DIN 31635: , , plural ar, عَرَب, DIN 31635: , Arabic pronunciation: ), also known as the Arab people, are an ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping o ...
in British Palestine with hopes that they would have a better life there. Thousands of Turkish Cypriot women and girls were thus sent to Palestine until the late 1950s. Turkish family surnames in Palestine often end with the letter's "ji" (e.g, al-Batniji and al-Shorbaji) whilst other common names include al-Gharbawi, Tarzi, Turk, Birkdar, Jukmadar, Radwan, Jasir and al-Jamasi. As of 2022, there are still thousands of Palestinian families in Gaza who are of Turkish origin.


=Syria

= The Turkish-speaking
Syrian Turkmen Syrian Turkmen, also referred to as Syrian Turkomans, Turkish Syrians, or simply Syrian Turks or Turks of Syria, ( ar, تركمان سوريا; tr, Suriye Türkmenleri or ) are Syrian citizens of Turkish people, Turkish origin who mainly trace ...
form the second largest ethnic minority group in Syria (i.e., after the
Kurds ug:كۇردلار Kurds ( ku, کورد ,Kurd, italic=yes, rtl=yes) or Kurdish people are an Iranian peoples, Iranian ethnic group native to the mountainous region of Kurdistan in Western Asia, which spans southeastern Turkey, northwestern Ir ...
); however, some estimates indicated that if
Arabized Arabization or Arabisation ( ar, تعريب, ') describes both the process of growing Arabs, Arab influence on non-Arab populations, causing a language shift by the latter's gradual adoption of the Arabic, Arabic language and incorporation of Ar ...
Turks who no longer speaking Turkish are taken into account then they collectively form the largest ethnic minority in the country. The majority of Syrian Turkmen are the descendants of Anatolian Turkish settlers who arrived in the region during the Ottoman rule (1516–1918). Today, they mostly live near the
Syria–Turkey border The border between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Turkey ( ar, الحدود السورية التركية, translit=alhudud alsuwriat alturkia; tr, Suriye–Türkiye sınırı) is about long, and runs from the Mediterranean Sea ...
, stretching from the northwestern governorates of
Idlib ar, إدلبي, Idlibi , coordinates = , elevation_m = 500 , area_code = 23 , geocode = C3871 , blank_name = Köppen climate classifi ...
and
Aleppo )), is an adjective which means "white-colored mixed with black". , motto = , image_map = , mapsize = , map_caption = , image_map1 = ...
to the
Raqqa Governorate Raqqa Governorate ( ar, مُحافظة الرقة, Muḥāfaẓat ar-Raqqah) is one of the fourteen Governorates of Syria, governorates of Syria. It is situated in the north of the country and covers an area of 19,618 km2. The capital is Raqq ...
. Many also reside in the
Turkmen Mountain Turkmen Mountain ( ar, جبل تركمان; ''Jabal Turkman'', tr, Türkmen Dağı) is a mountain range in the north of the Latakia region of Syria, in the area called Bayirbucak, Bayırbucak locally in Turkish, neighboring the Turkey, Turkish bo ...
near
Latakia Latakia or Lattakia ( ar, ٱللَّاذْقِيَّة/ ٱللَّاذِقِيَّة, '; Syrian Arabic, Syrian pronunciation: ) is the principal port city of Syria and capital city of the Latakia Governorate located on the Mediterranean coast. Hi ...
, the city of
Homs Homs ( , , , ; ar, حِمْص / ALA-LC: ; Levantine Arabic: / ''Ḥomṣ'' ), known in pre-Islamic Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, translit=Sūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, الجمهور ...
and its vicinity until
Hama Hama ( ar, حَمَاة ', ; syr, ܚܡܬ, ħ(ə)mɑθ, lit=fortress; Biblical Hebrew: ''Ḥamāṯ'') is a city on the banks of the Orontes River in west-central Syria. It is located north of Damascus and north of Homs. It is the provincial ca ...
,
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , map_caption = , ...
, and the southwestern governorates of Dera'a (bordering
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; Romanization of Arabic, tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; Romanization of Arabic, tr. ' is a country in Western Asia. It is situated at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, within the Levan ...
) and
Quneitra Quneitra (also Al Qunaytirah, Qunaitira, or Kuneitra; ar, ٱلْقُنَيْطِرَة or ٱلْقُنَيطْرَة, ''al-Qunayṭrah'' or ''al-Qunayṭirah'' ) is the largely destroyed and abandoned Capital (political), capital of the Quneitra ...
(bordering
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
). Turkic migrations to Syria began in the 11th century, especially after the
Seljuk Turks 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 ...
opened the way for mass migration of Turkish nomads once they entered northern Syria in 1071 and after they took
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , map_caption = , ...
in 1078 and Aleppo in 1086. By the 12th century the Turkic
Zengid dynasty The Zengid dynasty was a List of Muslim states and dynasties, Muslim dynasty of Oghuz Turks, Oghuz Turkic origin, which ruled parts of the Levant and Upper Mesopotamia on behalf of the Seljuk Empire and eventually seized control of Egypt in 1169. ...
continued to settle Turkmes in
Aleppo )), is an adjective which means "white-colored mixed with black". , motto = , image_map = , mapsize = , map_caption = , image_map1 = ...
to confront attacks from the
Crusaders 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 ...
. Further migrations occurred once the Mamluks entered Syria in 1260. However, the largest Turkmen migrations occurred after the Ottoman sultan
Selim I Selim I ( ota, سليم الأول; tr, I. Selim; 10 October 1470 – 22 September 1520), known as Selim the Grim or Selim the Resolute ( tr, links=no, Yavuz Sultan Selim), was the List of sultans of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan of the Ottoman ...
conquered Syria in 1516. Turkish migration from
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 ...
to
Ottoman Syria Ottoman Syria ( ar, سوريا العثمانية) refers to divisions of the Ottoman Empire within the Syria (region), region of Syria, usually defined as being east of the Mediterranean Sea, west of the Euphrates River, north of the Arabian D ...
was continuous for almost 400 years, until Ottoman rule ended in 1918. In 1921 the Treaty of Ankara established Alexandretta (present-day Hatay) under an autonomous regime under
French Mandate of Syria The Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon (french: Mandat pour la Syrie et le Liban; ar, الانتداب الفرنسي على سوريا ولبنان, al-intidāb al-fransi 'ala suriya wa-lubnān) (1923−1946) was a League of Nations mandate foun ...
. Article 7 declared that the
Turkish language Turkish ( , ), also referred to as Turkish of Turkey (''Türkiye Türkçesi''), is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 80 to 90 million speakers. It is the national language of Turkey and Northern Cyprus. Significant smal ...
would be an officially recognized language. However, once France announced that it would grant full independence to Syria, Mustafa Kemal demanded that Alexandretta be given its independence. Consequently, the
Hatay State Hatay State ( tr, Hatay Devleti; french: État du Hatay; ar , دولة هاتاي ''Dawlat Hatāy''), also known informally as the Republic of Hatay ( ar , جمهورية هاتاي ''Jumhūriyya Hatāy''), was a transitional political entity t ...
was established in 1938 and then petitioned for
Ankara Ankara ( , ; ), historically known as Ancyra and Angora, is the list of national capitals, capital of Turkey. Located in the Central Anatolia Region, central part of Anatolia, the city has a population of 5.1 million in its urban center ...
to unify Hatay with the Republic of Turkey. France agreed to the Turkish annexation on 23 July 1939. Thereafter,
Arabization Arabization or Arabisation ( ar, تعريب, ') describes both the process of growing Arabs, Arab influence on non-Arab populations, causing a language shift by the latter's gradual adoption of the Arabic, Arabic language and incorporation of Ar ...
policies saw the names of Turkish villages in Syria renamed with Arabic names and some Turkmen lands were nationalized and resettled with Arabs near the Turkish border. A mass exodus of Syrian Turkmen took place between 1945 and 1953, many of which settled in southern Turkey. Since the Syrian Civil War (2011–present), many Syrian Turkmen have been internally displaced and many have sought asylum in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a East Thrace, small portion on th ...
,
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; Romanization of Arabic, tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; Romanization of Arabic, tr. ' is a country in Western Asia. It is situated at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, within the Levan ...
,
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue ...
and northern
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to Iraq–Turkey border, the north, Iran to Iran–Iraq ...
, as well as several
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on context. The concept of "the West" appeared in Europe in juxtaposition to "the East" and originally applied to the ancient Mediterranean ...
an countries and
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country by ...
.


Maghreb

The Ottomans took control of Algeria in 1515 and Tunisia in 1534 (but took full control of the latter in 1574) which lead to the settlement of Turks in the region, particularly around the coastal towns. Once these regions came under French colonialism, the French classified the populations under their rule as either "Arab" or "Berber", despite the fact that these countries had diverse populations, which were also composed of ethnic Turks and
Kouloughlis Kouloughlis, also spelled Koulouglis, Cologhlis and Qulaughlis (from Turkish ''Kuloğlu'' "Children of The Empire Servants" from ''Kul'' "soldier" or "servant/slave" + ''Oğlu'' "son of"), but the translation of the word "kul" as slave is misleadin ...
(i.e., people of partial Turkish origin). Jane E Goodman has said that:


=Algeria

= According to the
U.S. Department of State The United States Department of State (DOS), or State Department, is an executive department The Executive, also referred as the Executive branch or Executive power, is the term commonly used to describe that part of government ...
"Algeria's population, sa mixture of Arab, Berber, and Turkish in origin"; meanwhile, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs has reported that the demographics of Algeria (as well as that of
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa , image_map2 = , capital = Tunis , largest_city = capital , ...
) includes a "strong Turkish admixture". Today, Turkish descended families in Algeria continue to practice the
Hanafi school The Hanafi school ( ar, حَنَفِية, translit=Ḥanafiyah; also called Hanafite in English language, English), Hanafism, or the Hanafi fiqh, is the oldest and one of the four traditional major Sunni Islam, Sunni schools (Madhhab, maddhab) ...
of
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 ...
(in contrast to the ethnic
Arabs The Arabs (singular: Arab; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, DIN 31635: , , plural ar, عَرَب, DIN 31635: , Arabic pronunciation: ), also known as the Arab people, are an ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping o ...
and
Berbers , image = File:Berber_flag.svg , caption = The Berber flag, Berber ethnic flag , population = 36 million , region1 = Morocco , pop1 = 14 million to 18 million , region2 = Algeria , p ...
who practice the
Maliki school The ( ar, مَالِكِي) school is one of the four major schools of Fiqh, Islamic jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. It was founded by Malik ibn Anas in the 8th century. The Maliki school of jurisprudence relies on the Quran and hadiths as pri ...
); moreover, many retain their Turkish-origin surnames — which mostly expresses a provenance or ethnic Turkish origin from Anatolia.


=Libya

= The Turkish Libyans form the second largest ethnic minority group in
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya bo ...
(i.e. after the
Berbers , image = File:Berber_flag.svg , caption = The Berber flag, Berber ethnic flag , population = 36 million , region1 = Morocco , pop1 = 14 million to 18 million , region2 = Algeria , p ...
) and mostly live in
Misrata Misrata ( ; also spelled Misurata or Misratah; ar, مصراتة, Miṣrāta ) is a city in the Misrata District in northwestern Libya, situated to the east of Tripoli, Libya, Tripoli and west of Benghazi on the Mediterranean coast near Cape ...
, Tripoli, Zawiya,
Benghazi Benghazi () , ; it, Bengasi; tr, Bingazi; ber, Bernîk, script=Latn; also: ''Bengasi'', ''Benghasi'', ''Banghāzī'', ''Binghāzī'', ''Bengazi''; grc, Βερενίκη (''Berenice'') and ''Hesperides''., group=note (''lit. Son of heGha ...
and Derna. Some Turkish Libyans also live in more remote areas of the country, such as the Turkish neighborhood of Hay al-Atrak in the town of Awbari. They are the descendants of Turkish settlers who were encouraged to migrate from Anatolia to Libya during the Ottoman rule which lasted between 1555 and 1911. Today, the city of
Misrata Misrata ( ; also spelled Misurata or Misratah; ar, مصراتة, Miṣrāta ) is a city in the Misrata District in northwestern Libya, situated to the east of Tripoli, Libya, Tripoli and west of Benghazi on the Mediterranean coast near Cape ...
is considered to be the "main center of the Turkish-origin community in Libya"; in total, the Turks form approximately two-thirds (est. 270,000) of Misrata's 400,000 inhabitants. Consequently, since the
Libyan Civil War Demographics of Libya is the demography of Libya, specifically covering population density, Ethnic group, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, and Religion in Libya, religious affiliations, as well as other aspec ...
erupted in 2011, Misrata became "the bastion of resistance" and Turkish Libyans figured prominently in the war. In 2014 a former
Gaddafi Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, . Due to the lack of standardization of transcribing written and regionally pronounced Arabic, Gaddafi's name has been romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics, is the conversion of ...
officer reported to the ''
New York Times ''The New York Times'' (''the Times'', ''NYT'', or the Gray Lady) is a daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership reported in 2020 to comprise a declining 840,000 paid print subscribers, and a growing 6 million paid d ...
'' that the civil war was now an "ethnic struggle" between Arab tribes (like the Zintanis) against those of Turkish ancestry (like the Misuratis), as well as against the Berbers and Circassians.


=Tunisia

= Tunisia's population is made up "mostly of people of Arab, Berber, and Turkish descent". The Turkish Tunisians began to settle in the region in 1534, with about 10,000 Turkish soldiers, when 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) ...
answered the calls of Tunisia's inhabitants who sought the help of the Turks due to fears that the
Spanish Spanish might refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards are a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language, spoken in Spain and many Latin American countries **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Cana ...
would invade the country. During the Ottoman rule, the Turkish community dominated the political life of the region for centuries; as a result, the ethnic mix of Tunisia changed considerably with the continuous migration of Turks from
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 ...
, as well as other parts of the Ottoman territories, for over 300 years. In addition, some Turks intermarried with the local population and their male offspring were called "
Kouloughlis Kouloughlis, also spelled Koulouglis, Cologhlis and Qulaughlis (from Turkish ''Kuloğlu'' "Children of The Empire Servants" from ''Kul'' "soldier" or "servant/slave" + ''Oğlu'' "son of"), but the translation of the word "kul" as slave is misleadin ...
".


Modern diaspora


Europe

Modern immigration of Turks to
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on context. The concept of "the West" appeared in Europe in juxtaposition to "the East" and originally applied to the ancient Mediterranean ...
began with
Turkish Cypriots Turkish Cypriots or Cypriot Turks ( tr, Kıbrıs Türkleri or ''Kıbrıslı Türkler''; el, Τουρκοκύπριοι, Tourkokýprioi) are ethnic Turkish people, Turks originating from Cyprus. Following the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman conquest of ...
migrating to the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ...
in the early 1920s when the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. I ...
annexed
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country located south of the Anatolian Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its continental position is disputed; while it is geo ...
in 1914 and the residents of Cyprus became subjects of the Crown. However, Turkish Cypriot migration increased significantly in the 1940s and 1950s due to the Cyprus conflict. Conversely, in 1944, Turks who were forcefully deported from
Meskheti Meskheti ( ka, მესხეთი) or Samtskhe ( ka, სამცხე) (Moschia Moschia (Meskheti, possibly related to Mushki) is a mountainous region of Georgia (country), Georgia between Kingdom of Iberia, Iberia, Armenia, and Colchis. The ...
in Georgia during the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
, known as the
Meskhetian Turks Meskhetian Turks, also referred to as Turkish Meskhetians, Ahiska Turks, and Turkish Ahiskans, ( ka, მესხეთის თურქები ''Meskhetis turk'ebi'') are an ethnic subgroup of Turkish people, Turks formerly inhabiting th ...
, settled in
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 ...
(especially in
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 ...
and
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 ...
). By the early 1960s, migration to Western and
Northern Europe The northern region of Europe has several definitions. A restrictive definition may describe Northern Europe as being roughly north of the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, which is about 54th parallel north, 54°N, or may be based on other g ...
increased significantly from
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a East Thrace, small portion on th ...
when Turkish "
guest workers Foreign workers or guest workers are people who work in a country other than one of which they are a citizen. Some foreign workers use a guest worker program in a country with more preferred job prospects than in their home country. Guest worker ...
" arrived under a "Labour Export Agreement" with
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
in 1961, followed by a similar agreement with the
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Neth ...
,
Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Northwestern Europe. The country is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the ...
and
Austria The Republic of Austria, commonly just Austria, , bar, Östareich is a country in the southern part of Central Europe, lying in the Eastern Alps. It is a federation of nine States of Austria, states, one of which is the capital, Vienna, ...
in 1964;
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
in 1965; and
Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden./ref> is a Nordic countries, Nordic c ...
in 1967. More recently,
Bulgarian Turks Bulgarian Turks ( bg, български турци, bŭlgarski turtsi, tr, Bulgaristan Türkleri) are a Turkish people, Turkish ethnic group from Bulgaria. According to the 2021 census, there were 508,375 Bulgarians of Turkish descent, ro ...
, Romanian Turks, and
Western Thrace Turks Turks of Western Thrace ( tr, , el, Τούρκοι της Δυτικής Θράκης, Toúrkoi tis Dytikís Thrákis) are ethnic Turks who live in Western Thrace Western Thrace or West Thrace ( el, υτικήΘράκη, '' ytikíThrá ...
have also migrated to
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on context. The concept of "the West" appeared in Europe in juxtaposition to "the East" and originally applied to the ancient Mediterranean ...
. In 1997 Professor Servet Bayram and Professor Barbara Seels said that there was 10 million Turks living in Western Europe and the Balkans (excluding Cyprus and Turkey). By 2010, Boris Kharkovsky from the Center for Ethnic and Political Science Studies said that there was up to 15 million Turks living in the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
. According to Dr Araks Pashayan 10 million "Euro-Turks" alone were living in
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
,
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
, the
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Neth ...
and
Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Northwestern Europe. The country is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the ...
in 2012. Yet, there are also significant Turkish communities living in
Austria The Republic of Austria, commonly just Austria, , bar, Östareich is a country in the southern part of Central Europe, lying in the Eastern Alps. It is a federation of nine States of Austria, states, one of which is the capital, Vienna, ...
, the UK,
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel, St. Gall ...
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
,
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein (), officially the Principality of Liechtenstein (german: link=no, Fürstentum Liechtenstein), is a German language, German-speaking microstate located in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland. Liechtenstein is a semi-constit ...
, the
Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sámi languages: /. ( ) is a subregion#Europe, subregion in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties between its constituent peoples. In English usage, ''Scandinavia'' most commonly refers to Denmark, ...
n countries, and the
Post-Soviet states The post-Soviet states, also known as the former Soviet Union (FSU), the former Soviet Republics and in Russia as the near abroad (russian: links=no, ближнее зарубежье, blizhneye zarubezhye), are the 15 sovereign states that wer ...
.


North America

In the
2000 United States Census The United States census of 2000, conducted by the United States Census Bureau, Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, to be 281,421,906, an increase of 13.2 percent over the 248,709,873 people en ...
117,575 Americans voluntarily declared their ethnicity as Turkish. However, the actual number of
Turkish Americans Turkish Americans ( tr, Türk Amerikalılar) or American Turks are Americans of ethnic Turkish people, Turkish origin. The term "Turkish Americans" can therefore refer to ethnic Turkish immigrants to the United States, as well as their Americ ...
is considerably larger with most choosing not to declare their ethnicity. Thus, Turkish Americans have been considered to be a "hard to count" community. In 1996 Professor John J. Grabowski had estimated the number of Turks to be 500,000. By 2009, official institutions placed the number between 850,000 and 900,000; however, Turkish non-governmental organizations in the USA had claimed at least 3 million Turks in the USA. More recently, in 2012, the US Commerce Secretary, John Bryson, stated that the Turkish American community was over 1,000,000. Meanwhile, in 2021, Senator Brian Feldman said that there was "over 2 million Turkish Americans". The largest concentration of Turkish Americans are in
New York City New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over , New York City is also the L ...
, and
Rochester, New York Rochester () is a City (New York), city in the U.S. state of New York (state), New York, the county seat, seat of Monroe County, New York, Monroe County, and the fourth-most populous in the state after New York City, Buffalo, New York, Buffalo, ...
;
Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk shaped building within the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate Geor ...
; and
Detroit, Michigan Detroit ( , ; , ) is the List of municipalities in Michigan, largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is also the largest U.S. city on the Canada–United States border, United States–Canada border, and the County seat, seat of gov ...
. In addition, the Turks of South Carolina, are an Anglicized and isolated community identifying as Turkish in Sumter County were they have lived for over 200 years. Regarding the Turkish Canadian community,
Statistics Canada Statistics Canada (StatCan; french: Statistique Canada), formed in 1971, is the government agency, agency of the Government of Canada commissioned with producing statistics to help better understand Canada, its population, resources, Economy of ...
reports that 63,955 Canadians in the 2016 census listed "Turk" as an ethnic origin, including those who listed more than one origin. However, the Canadian Ambassador to Turkey, Chris Cooter, said that there was over 100,000 Turkish Canadians in 2018. The majority live in
Ontario Ontario ( ; ) is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada.Ontario is located in the geographic Eastern Canada, eastern half of Canada, but it has historically and politically been considered to be part of Central Canada. Located ...
, mostly in
Toronto Toronto ( ; or ) is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,794,356 in 2021, it is the List of the largest municipalities in Canada by population, most pop ...
, and there is also a sizable Turkish community in
Montreal, Quebec Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the List of the largest municipalities in Canada by population, second-most populous city in Canada and List of towns in Quebec, most populous city in the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian ...
.


Oceania

A notable scale of Turkish migration to
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country by ...
began in the late 1940s when
Turkish Cypriots Turkish Cypriots or Cypriot Turks ( tr, Kıbrıs Türkleri or ''Kıbrıslı Türkler''; el, Τουρκοκύπριοι, Tourkokýprioi) are ethnic Turkish people, Turks originating from Cyprus. Following the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman conquest of ...
began to leave the island of
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country located south of the Anatolian Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its continental position is disputed; while it is geo ...
for economic reasons, and then, during the Cyprus conflict, for political reasons, marking the beginning of a Turkish Cypriot immigration trend to Australia. The Turkish Cypriot community were the only
Muslims 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 ...
acceptable under the
White Australia Policy The White Australia policy is a term encapsulating a set of historical policies that aimed to forbid people of non-European ethnic origin, especially Asians (primarily Chinese people, Chinese) and Pacific Islanders, from immigration to Austral ...
; many of these early immigrants found jobs working in factories, out in the fields, or building national infrastructure. In 1967, the governments of Australia and Turkey signed an agreement to allow Turkish citizens to immigrate to Australia. Prior to this recruitment agreement, there were fewer than 3,000 people of Turkish origin in Australia. According to the
Australian Bureau of Statistics The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is the independent statutory agency of the Australian Government responsible for statistical collection and analysis and for giving evidence-based advice to federal, state and territory governments ...
, nearly 19,000 Turkish immigrants arrived from 1968 to 1974. They came largely from
rural In general, a rural area or a countryside is a geographic area that is located outside towns and city, cities. Typical rural areas have a low population density and small settlements. Agriculture, Agricultural areas and areas with forestry ty ...
areas of Turkey, approximately 30% were skilled and 70% were unskilled workers. However, this changed in the 1980s when the number of skilled Turks applying to enter Australia had increased considerably. Over the next 35 years the Turkish population rose to almost 100,000. More than half of the Turkish community settled in Victoria, mostly in the north-western suburbs of
Melbourne Melbourne ( ; Boonwurrung language, Boonwurrung/Woiwurrung–Taungurung language, Woiwurrung: ''Narrm'' or ''Naarm'') is the List of Australian capital cities, capital and List of cities in Australia by population, most populous city of the St ...
. According to the 2006 Australian Census, 59,402 people claimed Turkish ancestry; however, this does not show a true reflection of the Turkish Australian community as it is estimated that between 40,000 and 120,000 Turkish Cypriots and 150,000 to 200,000 mainland Turks live in Australia. Furthermore, there has also been ethnic Turks who have migrated to Australia from
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedon ...
,
Greece Greece,, or , romanized: ', officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with ...
,
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to Iraq–Turkey border, the north, Iran to Iran–Iraq ...
, and
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in 1991 as one of the successor states of Socialist Feder ...
.


Post-Soviet states

Due to the ordered deportation of over 115,000
Meskhetian Turks Meskhetian Turks, also referred to as Turkish Meskhetians, Ahiska Turks, and Turkish Ahiskans, ( ka, მესხეთის თურქები ''Meskhetis turk'ebi'') are an ethnic subgroup of Turkish people, Turks formerly inhabiting th ...
from their homeland in 1944, during the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
, the majority were settled in the
Post-Soviet states The post-Soviet states, also known as the former Soviet Union (FSU), the former Soviet Republics and in Russia as the near abroad (russian: links=no, ближнее зарубежье, blizhneye zarubezhye), are the 15 sovereign states that wer ...
in 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 ...
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 ...
. According to the 1989 Soviet Census, which was the last Soviet Census, 106,000 Meskhetian Turks lived in
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 ...
, 50,000 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 ...
, and 21,000 in
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 ...
. However, in 1989, the Meshetian Turks who had settled in Uzbekistan became the target of a
pogrom A pogrom () is a violent riot incited with the aim of Massacre, massacring or expelling an ethnic or religious group, particularly Jews. The term entered the English language from Russian to describe 19th- and 20th-century Anti-Jewish pogroms in ...
in the
Fergana valley The Fergana Valley (; ; ) in Central Asia lies mainly in eastern Uzbekistan Uzbekistan (, ; uz, Ozbekiston, italic=yes / , ; russian: Узбекистан), officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( uz, Ozbekiston Respublikasi, italic=yes / ; ...
, which was the principal destination for Meskhetian Turkish deportees, after an uprising of nationalism by the
Uzbeks 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 ...
. The riots had left hundreds of Turks dead or injured and nearly 1,000 properties were destroyed; thus, thousands of Meskhetian Turks were forced into renewed
exile Exile is primarily penal expulsion from one's native country A country is a distinct part of the world, such as a state (polity), state, nation, or other polity, political entity. It may be a sovereign state or make up one part of a la ...
. Soviet authorities recorded many Meskhetian Turks as belonging to other nationalities such as "
Azeri Azerbaijanis (; az, Azərbaycanlılar, ), Azeris ( az, Azərilər, ), or Azerbaijani Turks ( az, Azərbaycan Türkləri, ) are a Turkic peoples, Turkic people living mainly in Azerbaijan (Iran), northwestern Iran and the Azerbaijan, Republi ...
", " Kazakh", " Kyrgyz", and " Uzbek".


Culture


Language

Based on geographic variants, the ethnic Turks speak various dialects of the
Turkish language Turkish ( , ), also referred to as Turkish of Turkey (''Türkiye Türkçesi''), is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 80 to 90 million speakers. It is the national language of Turkey and Northern Cyprus. Significant smal ...
. As of 2021, Turkish remains "the largest and most vigorous
Turkic language The Turkic languages are a language family of over 35 documented languages, spoken by the Turkic peoples The Turkic peoples are a collection of diverse ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identi ...
, spoken by over 80 million people". Historically,
Ottoman Turkish Ottoman Turkish ( ota, لِسانِ عُثمانى, Lisân-ı Osmânî, ; tr, Osmanlı Türkçesi) was the standardized register (sociolinguistics), register of the Turkish language used by the citizens of the Ottoman Empire (14th to 20th cent ...
was the official language and ''
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a Natural language, language systematically used to make communication possib ...
'' throughout the Ottoman territories and the
Ottoman Turkish alphabet The Ottoman Turkish alphabet ( ota, الفبا, ') is a version of the Arabic script used to write Ottoman Turkish language, Ottoman Turkish until 1928, when it was replaced by the Latin-based modern Turkish alphabet. Though Ottoman Turkish was ...
used the Perso-Arabic script. However, Turkish intellectuals sought to simplify the written language during the rise of Turkish nationalism in the nineteenth century. By the twentieth century, intensive language reforms were thoroughly practiced; most importantly, Mustafa Kemal changed the written script to a
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-day Rome, but through ...
-based modern
Turkish alphabet The Turkish alphabet ( tr, ) is a Latin-script alphabet used for writing the Turkish language, consisting of 29 letters, seven of which (Ç, Ğ, Dotless I, I, İ, Ö, Ş and Ü) have been modified from their Latin originals for the phonetic requ ...
in 1928. Since then, the regulatory body leading the reform activities has been the
Turkish Language Association The Turkish Language Association ( tr, Türk Dil Kurumu, TDK) is the List of language regulators, regulatory body for the Turkish language, founded on 12 July 1932 by the initiative of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and headquartered in Ankara, Turkey. Th ...
which was founded in 1932. The modern standard Turkish is based on the dialect of
Istanbul Istanbul ( , ; tr, İstanbul ), formerly known as Constantinople ( grc-gre, Κωνσταντινούπολις; la, Constantinopolis), is the List of largest cities and towns in Turkey, largest city in Turkey, serving as the country's economic, ...
. However, dialectal variation persists, in spite of the
levelling Levelling or leveling (American English; American and British English spelling differences#Doubled in British English, see spelling differences) is a branch of surveying, the object of which is to establish or verify or measure the height of sp ...
influence of the standard used in mass media and the Turkish education system since the 1930s. The terms ''ağız'' or ''şive'' often refer to the different types of Turkish dialects.


Official status

Today, the modern Turkish language is used as the official language of
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a East Thrace, small portion on th ...
and
Northern Cyprus Northern Cyprus ( tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs), officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC; tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti, ''KKTC''), is a ''de facto'' state that comprises the northeastern portion of the Geography of Cyprus, isl ...
. It is also an official language in the
Republic of Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country located south of the Anatolian Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its continental position is disputed; while it is geo ...
(alongside
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
). In
Kosovo Kosovo ( sq, Kosova or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово ), officially the Republic of Kosovo ( sq, Republika e Kosovës, links=no; sr, Република Косово, Republika Kosovo, links=no), is a international recognition of Kosovo, partiall ...
, Turkish is recognized as an official language in the municipalities of
Prizren ) , settlement_type = Municipalities of Kosovo, Municipality and List of cities and towns in Kosovo, city , image_skyline = Prizren Collage.jpg , imagesize = 290px , image_caption = View of Prizre ...
, Mamuša,
Gjilan Gjilan, or Gnjilane ( sr-cyr, Гњилане) is the eighth largest city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''Th ...
, Mitrovica,
Pristina Pristina, ; sr, / (, ) is the capital and largest city of Kosovo. The city's municipal boundaries in District of Pristina, Pristina District form the largest urban center in Kosovo. After Tirana, Pristina has the second largest population o ...
, and
Vučitrn Vushtrri ( sq-definite, Vushtrria) or Vučitrn ( sr-Cyrl, Вучитрн), is a city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds ( ...
, whilst elsewhere in the country it is recognized as a
minority language A minority language is a language spoken by a minority group, minority of the population of a territory. Such people are termed linguistic minorities or language minorities. With a total number of 196 sovereign states recognized internationally ( ...
. Similarly, in
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in 1991 as one of the successor states of Socialist Feder ...
Turkish is an official language where they form at least 20% of the population (which includes the Plasnica Municipality, the Centar Župa Municipality, and the Mavrovo and Rostuša Municipality), whilst elsewhere in the country it remains a minority language only.
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to Iraq–Turkey border, the north, Iran to Iran–Iraq ...
recognizes Turkish as an official language in all regions where Turks constitute the majority of the population, and as a minority language elsewhere. In several countries, Turkish is officially recognized as a
minority language A minority language is a language spoken by a minority group, minority of the population of a territory. Such people are termed linguistic minorities or language minorities. With a total number of 196 sovereign states recognized internationally ( ...
only, including in
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina ( sh, / , ), abbreviated BiH () or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and Pars pro toto#Geography, often known informally as Bosnia, is a country at the crossroads of Southern Europe, south and southeast Euro ...
,
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = " Lijepa naša domovino"("Our Beautiful Homeland") , image_map = , map_caption = , capi ...
, and
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
. However, in
Greece Greece,, or , romanized: ', officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with ...
the right to use the Turkish language is only recognized in
Western Thrace Western Thrace or West Thrace ( el, υτικήΘράκη, '' ytikíThráki'' ; tr, Batı Trakya; bg, Западна/Беломорска Тракия, ''Zapadna/Belomorska Trakiya''), also known as Greek Thrace, is a Geography, geograp ...
; the sizable and longstanding minorities elsewhere in the country (i.e.
Rhodes Rhodes (; el, Ρόδος , translit=Ródos ) is the largest and the historical capital of the Dodecanese islands of Greece. Administratively, the island forms a separate municipality within the Rhodes (regional unit), Rhodes regional unit, w ...
and
Kos Kos or Cos (; el, Κως ) is a Greece, Greek island, part of the Dodecanese island chain in the southeastern Aegean Sea. Kos is the third largest island of the Dodecanese by area, after Rhodes and Karpathos; it has a population of 36,986 (2021 ...
) do not benefit from this same recognition. There are also several post-Ottoman nations which do not officially recognize the Turkish language but give rights to Turkish minorities to study in their own language (alongside the compulsory study of the official language of the country); this is practiced in
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedon ...
and
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa , image_map2 = , capital = Tunis , largest_city = capital , ...
. Various variants of Turkish are also used by millions of Turkish immigrants and their descendants in
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on context. The concept of "the West" appeared in Europe in juxtaposition to "the East" and originally applied to the ancient Mediterranean ...
, however, there is no official recognition in these countries.


Turkish dialects

There are three major Anatolian Turkish dialect groups spoken in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a East Thrace, small portion on th ...
: the West Anatolian dialect (roughly to the west of the
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Tigris–Euphrates river system, Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia ( ''the land between the rivers'') ...
), the East Anatolian dialect (to the east of the Euphrates), and the North East Anatolian group, which comprises the dialects of the Eastern Black Sea coast, such as
Trabzon Trabzon (; Ancient Greek: Tραπεζοῦς (''Trapezous''), Pontic Greek#Ophitic, Ophitic Pontic Greek: Τραπεζούντα (''Trapezounta''); Georgian language, Georgian: ტრაპიზონი (''Trapizoni'')), historically known as T ...
,
Rize Rize (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last co ...
, and the littoral districts of
Artvin Artvin (Laz language, Laz and ; hy, Արտուին, translit=Artuin) is a List of cities in Turkey, city in northeastern Turkey about inland from the Black Sea. It is located on a hill overlooking the Çoruh, Çoruh River near the Deriner Dam ...
. The Balkan Turkish dialects, also called the Rumelian Turkish dialects, are divided into two main groups: "Western Rumelian Turkish" and "Eastern Rumelian Turkish". The Western dialects are spoken in
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in 1991 as one of the successor states of Socialist Feder ...
,
Kosovo Kosovo ( sq, Kosova or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово ), officially the Republic of Kosovo ( sq, Republika e Kosovës, links=no; sr, Република Косово, Republika Kosovo, links=no), is a international recognition of Kosovo, partiall ...
, western
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedon ...
, northern
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
,
Bosnia Bosnia and Herzegovina ( sh, / , ), abbreviated BiH () or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and Pars pro toto#Geography, often known informally as Bosnia, is a country at the crossroads of Southern Europe, south and southeast Euro ...
and
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or ), or , also or . officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic and Ionian Seas within the ...
. The Eastern dialects are spoken in
Greece Greece,, or , romanized: ', officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with ...
, northeastern/southern Bulgaria and southeastern Romania. This division roughly follows through a borderline between west and east Bulgaria, which starts east of Lom and proceeds southwards to the east of
Vratsa Vratsa ( bg, Враца ) is the largest city in northwestern Bulgaria and the administrative and economic centre of the municipality of Vratsa and Vratsa district. It is located about 112 km north of Sofia, 40 km southeast of Montana. ...
,
Sofia Sofia ( ; bg, София, Sofiya, ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities and towns in Bulgaria, largest city of Bulgaria. It is situated in the Sofia Valley at the foot of the Vitosha mountain in the western parts of the country. ...
and
Samokov Samokov ( bg, Самоков ) is a town in Sofia Province Sofia Province ( bg, Софийска област, translit=Sofiyska oblast) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or soverei ...
, and turns west reaching south of Kyustendil close to the Serbian and North Macedonian border. The eastern dialects lacks some of the phonetic peculiarities found in the western area; thus, its dialects are close to the central Anatolian dialects. The Turkish dialects spoken near the western
Black Sea The Black Sea is a marginal sea, marginal Mediterranean sea (oceanography), mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean lying between Europe and Asia, east of the Balkans, south of the East European Plain, west of the Caucasus, and north of An ...
region (e.g., Ludogorie,
Dobruja Dobruja or Dobrudja (; bg, Добруджа, Dobrudzha or ''Dobrudža''; ro, Dobrogea, or ; tr, Dobruca) is a historical region in the Balkans that has been divided since the 19th century between the territories of Bulgaria and Romania. I ...
, and Bessarabia) show analogies with northeastern Anatolian Black Sea dialects. The Cypriot Turkish, Cypriot Turkish dialect maintained features of the respective local varieties of the Ottoman settlers who mostly came from the Konya-Antalya-Adana region; furthermore, Cypriot Turkish was also influenced by Cypriot Greek. Today, the varieties spoken in Northern Cyprus are increasingly influenced by standard Turkish.The Cypriot Turkish dialect is being exposed to increasing standard Turkish through immigration from
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a East Thrace, small portion on th ...
, new mass media, and new educational institutions. The Iraqi Turkmen#Language, Iraqi Turkish dialects have similarities with certain Southeastern Anatolian dialects around the region of Urfa and Diyarbakır. Some linguists have described the Iraqi Turkish dialects as an "
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" or an "Eastern Anatolian dialect". Historically, Iraqi Turkish was influenced by Ottoman Turkish language, Ottoman Turkish and neighboring Azeri Turkic, Azerbaijani Turkic. However, Turkish language, Istanbul Turkish is now a prestige language which exerts a profound influence on their dialects. The syntax in Iraqi Turkish therefore ''differs sharply'' from neighboring Irano-Turkic varieties, and shares characteristics which are similar with Turkish dialects in Turkey. Collectively, the Iraqi Turkish dialects also show similarities with Cypriot Turkish and Balkan Turkish regarding Linguistic modality, modality. The written language of the Iraqi Turkmen is based on Istanbul Turkish using the modern
Turkish alphabet The Turkish alphabet ( tr, ) is a Latin-script alphabet used for writing the Turkish language, consisting of 29 letters, seven of which (Ç, Ğ, Dotless I, I, İ, Ö, Ş and Ü) have been modified from their Latin originals for the phonetic requ ...
. The Meskhetian Turkish dialect was originally spoken in Georgia until the Turkish Meskhetian community were forcefully deported and then dispersed throughout Turkey,
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 ...
,
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 ...
,
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 ...
,
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 ...
, and the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
. They speak an Eastern Anatolia Region, Eastern Anatolian dialect of Turkish, which hails from the regions of Kars Province, Kars, Ardahan, and
Artvin Artvin (Laz language, Laz and ; hy, Արտուին, translit=Artuin) is a List of cities in Turkey, city in northeastern Turkey about inland from the Black Sea. It is located on a hill overlooking the Çoruh, Çoruh River near the Deriner Dam ...
. The Meskhetian Turkish dialect has also borrowed from other languages (including Azerbaijani language, Azerbaijani, Georgian language, Georgian, Kazakh language, Kazakh, Kyrgyz language, Kyrgyz, Russian language, Russian, and Uzbek language, Uzbek), which the Meskhetian Turks have been in contact with during the Russian Empire, Russian and Soviet Union, Soviet rule. The Syrian Turkmen#Language, Syrian Turkish dialects are spoken throughout the country. In
Aleppo )), is an adjective which means "white-colored mixed with black". , motto = , image_map = , mapsize = , map_caption = , image_map1 = ...
, Tell Abyad, Raqqa and Bayırbucak they speak Southeastern Anatolian dialects (comparable to Kilis, Antep, Urfa, Hatay and Yayladağı). In
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , map_caption = , ...
they speak Turkish language with a Yörük dialect. Currently, Turkish is the third most widely used language in Syria (after Arabic language, Arabic and Kurdish language, Kurdish).


Religion

Most ethnic Turkish people are either practicing or non-practicing Muslims who follow the teachings of the
Hanafi school The Hanafi school ( ar, حَنَفِية, translit=Ḥanafiyah; also called Hanafite in English language, English), Hanafism, or the Hanafi fiqh, is the oldest and one of the four traditional major Sunni Islam, Sunni schools (Madhhab, maddhab) ...
of Sunni Islam. They form the largest Muslim community in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a East Thrace, small portion on th ...
and
Northern Cyprus Northern Cyprus ( tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs), officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC; tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti, ''KKTC''), is a ''de facto'' state that comprises the northeastern portion of the Geography of Cyprus, isl ...
as well as the largest Muslim groups in
Austria The Republic of Austria, commonly just Austria, , bar, Östareich is a country in the southern part of Central Europe, lying in the Eastern Alps. It is a federation of nine States of Austria, states, one of which is the capital, Vienna, ...
,
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedon ...
, Czech Republic,
Denmark ) , song = ( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast") , song_type = National and royal anthem , image_map = EU-Denmark.svg , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Danish Realm, Kingdom of Denmark ...
,
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
,
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein (), officially the Principality of Liechtenstein (german: link=no, Fürstentum Liechtenstein), is a German language, German-speaking microstate located in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland. Liechtenstein is a semi-constit ...
, the
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Neth ...
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
and
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel, St. Gall ...
. In addition to Sunni Turks, there are
Alevi Alevism or Anatolian Alevism (; tr, Alevilik, ''Anadolu Aleviliği'' or ''Kızılbaşlık''; ; az, Ələvilik) is a local Islamic tradition, whose adherents follow the mystical Alevi Islamic (Batin (Islam), ''bāṭenī'') teachings of Haji Be ...
Turks whose local Islamic traditions have been based in
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 ...
, as well as the Bektashi Order, Bektashis traditionally centered in Anatolia and the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographical area in southeastern Europe with various geographical and historical definitions. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the who ...
. In general, "Turkish Islam" is considered to be "more moderate and pluralistic" than in other Middle Eastern-Islamic societies. Historically, Turkish Sufi movements promoted liberal forms of Islam; for example, Turkish humanist groups and thinkers, such as the Mevlevi Order, Mevlevis (whirling dervishes who follow Rumi), the Bektashis, and Yunus Emre emphasized faith over practicing Islam. During this tolerant environment under the Seljuk Turks, more Turkish tribes arriving in Anatolia during the 13th century found the liberal Sufi version of Islam closer to their Shamanism, shamanists traditions and chose to preserve some of their culture (such as dance and music). During the late Ottoman period, the Tanzimat policies introduced by the Ottoman intelligentsia fused Islam with modernization reforms; this was followed by Atatürk's reforms, Atatürk's secularist reforms in the 20th century. Consequently, there are also many non-practicing Turkish Muslims who tend to be politically secular. For example, in Cyprus, the
Turkish Cypriots Turkish Cypriots or Cypriot Turks ( tr, Kıbrıs Türkleri or ''Kıbrıslı Türkler''; el, Τουρκοκύπριοι, Tourkokýprioi) are ethnic Turkish people, Turks originating from Cyprus. Following the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman conquest of ...
are generally very secular and only attend mosques on special occasions (such as for weddings, funerals, and community gatherings). Even so, the Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca, which is the resting place of Umm Haram, is considered to be one of the holiest sites in Islam and remains an important pilgrimage site for the secular Turkish Cypriot community too. Similarly, in other urban areas of 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 ...
, such as in
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to Iraq–Turkey border, the north, Iran to Iran–Iraq ...
, the Iraqi Turkmen, Turkish minority are mainly secular, having internalized the secularist interpretation of state–religion affairs practiced in the
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 ...
since its foundation in 1923. In
North Africa North Africa, or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in t ...
, the Turkish minorities have traditionally differentiated themselves from the Arab-Berber population who follow the
Maliki school The ( ar, مَالِكِي) school is one of the four major schools of Fiqh, Islamic jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. It was founded by Malik ibn Anas in the 8th century. The Maliki school of jurisprudence relies on the Quran and hadiths as pri ...
; this is because the Turks have continued to follow the teaching of the Hanafi school which was brought to the region by their ancestors during the Ottoman rule. Indeed, the Ottoman-Turkish mosques in the region are often distinguishable by pencil-like and octagonal minarets which were built in accordance with the traditions of the Hanafi rite. The tradition of building mosques in the Ottoman-style (i.e. either in the imperial style based on
Istanbul Istanbul ( , ; tr, İstanbul ), formerly known as Constantinople ( grc-gre, Κωνσταντινούπολις; la, Constantinopolis), is the List of largest cities and towns in Turkey, largest city in Turkey, serving as the country's economic, ...
mosques or the provincial styles) has continued into the present day, both in traditional areas of settlement (e.g. in Turkey, the Balkans, Cyprus, and other parts of the Levant) as well as in
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on context. The concept of "the West" appeared in Europe in juxtaposition to "the East" and originally applied to the ancient Mediterranean ...
and
North America North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Car ...
where there are substantial immigrant communities. Since the 1960s, "Turkish" was even seen as synonymous 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 ...
" in countries like Germany because Islam was considered to have a specific "Turkish character" and visual architectural style.


Arts and architecture

Turkish architecture reached its peak during the Ottoman period. Ottoman architecture, influenced by Seljuq dynasty, Seljuk, Byzantine and Islamic architecture, came to develop a style all of its own. Overall, Ottoman architecture has been described as a synthesis of the architectural traditions of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. As Turkey successfully transformed from the religion-based former Ottoman Empire into a modern nation-state with a very strong separation of state and religion, an increase in the modes of artistic expression followed. During the first years of the republic, the government invested a large amount of resources into fine arts; such as museums, theatres, opera houses and architecture. Diverse historical factors play important roles in defining the modern Turkish identity. Turkish culture is a product of efforts to be a "modern" Western state, while maintaining traditional religious and historical values. The mix of cultural influences is dramatized, for example, in the form of the "new symbols of the clash and interlacing of cultures" enacted in the works of Orhan Pamuk, recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. Traditional Turkish music include Turkish folk music (Halk müziği), Fasıl and Ottoman classical music (Sanat müziği) that originates from the Ottoman court. Turkish music#Popular music, Contemporary Turkish music include Turkish pop music, rock, and Turkish hip hop genres.


Notable people

Namık Kemal, İbrahim Şinasi, Hüseyin Avni Lifij, Faik Ali Ozansoy, Mimar Kemaleddin, Hüseyin Hilmi, İştirakçi Hilmi, Mustafa Suphi, Ethem Nejat, Halid Ziya Uşaklıgil, Rıza Tevfik Bölükbaşı, Latife Uşşaki, Feriha Tevfik, Fatma Aliye Topuz, Keriman Halis Ece, Zeki Rıza Sporel, Cahide Sonku, Süleyman Seyyid, Abdülhak Hâmid Tarhan, Besim Ömer Akalın, Orhan Veli Kanık, Abidin Dino, Ahmet Ziya Akbulut, Nazmi Ziya Güran, Tanburi Büyük Osman Bey, Vecihi Hürkuş, Bedriye Tahir, Halide Edib Adıvar, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Mehmet Emin Yurdakul, Tevfik Fikret, Nâzım Hikmet, Hulusi Behçet, Nuri Demirağ, Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid, Fahrelnissa Zeid, Leyla Gencer, Ahmet Ertegün, Metin Oktay, Fikri Alican, Feza Gürsey, Ismail Akbay, Oktay Sinanoğlu, Gazi Yaşargil, Behram Kurşunoğlu, Fethullah Gülen, Mehmet Oz, Mehmet Öz, Tansu Çiller, Cahit Arf, Muhtar Kent, Efe Aydan, Neslihan Demir, Orhan Pamuk and Aziz Sancar.


Genetics

Turkish genomic variation, along with several other Western Asian populations, looks most similar to genomic variation of South European populations such as southern Italians. Data from ancient DNA – covering the
Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek: παλαιός ''wikt:παλαιός, palaios'', "old" and λίθος ''wikt:λίθος, lithos'', "stone"), is a period in human prehistory that is distinguished by ...
, the Neolithic, and the Bronze Age periods – showed that Western Asian genomes, including Turkish ones, have been greatly influenced by early agricultural populations in the area; later population movements, such as those of Turkic speakers, also contributed. The only Whole genome sequencing, whole-genome sequencing study of Turkish genetics, conducted on 16 individuals, concluded that the Turkish population forms a cluster with Southern European and Mediterranean populations and that the predicted contribution from Central/South Asian populations is 21.7% (presumably reflecting a Central Asian Turkic origin). The authors note that Ancient Central Asian Turkic groups seem to have had affinity with Europeans and South Asians, show affinity for Ancient North Eurasian, Ancient North Eurasians, and that "this result implies that significant Ancient North Eurasian ancestry might also be found in Turkish genetic profiles; this requires further study". However, that is not a direct estimate of a migration rate, due to reasons such as unknown original contributing populations. Moreover, the genetic variation of various populations in Central Asia "has been poorly characterized"; Western Asian populations may also be "closely related to populations in the east". Meanwhile, Central Asia is home to numerous populations that “demonstrate an array of mixed anthropological features of East Eurasians (EEA) and West Eurasians (WEA)”; two studies showed Uyghurs have 40-53% ancestry classified as East Asian, with the rest being classified as European. A 2006 study suggested that the true Central Asian contributions to Anatolia was 13% for males and 22% for females (with wide ranges of confidence intervals), and the language replacement in Turkey and Azerbaijan might not have been in accordance with the elite dominance model. Another study in 2021, which looked at whole-genomes and Exome sequencing, whole-exomes of 3,362 unrelated Turkish samples, found "extensive admixture between Balkan, Caucasus, Middle Eastern, and European populations" in line with history of Turkey. Moreover, significant number of rare genome and exome variants were unique to modern-day Turkish population. Neighbouring populations in East and West, and Tuscan people in Italy were closest to Turkish population in terms of genetic similarity. Central Asian contribution to maternal, paternal, and autosomal genes were detected, consistent with the historical migration and expansion of Oghuz Turks from Central Asia. The authors speculated that the genetic similarity of the modern-day Turkish population with modern-day European populations might be due to Early European Farmers, spread of neolithic Anatolian farmers into Europe, which impacted the genetic makeup of modern-day European populations. Moreover, the study found no clear genetic separation between different regions of Turkey, leading authors to suggest that recent migration events within Turkey resulted in genetic homogenization.


See also

* Tahtacı *
Yörüks The Yörüks, also Yuruks or Yorouks ( tr, Yörükler; , ''Youroúkoi''; bg, юруци; mk, Јуруци, ''Juruci''), are a Turkish ethnic subgroup of Oghuz descent, some of whom are nomad A nomad is a member of a community without f ...
*Turkophilia *Anti-Turkish sentiment *Turquerie *Demographics of Turkey


Notes


References


Bibliography

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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Further reading

* . * . * * * * * .


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Turkish People Turkish people, Ethnic groups in Turkey Ethnic groups in Cyprus Ethnic groups in the Middle East Ethnic groups in the Balkans