Turkic Peoples

CKM 2017-18 / Aziz Yardımlı


Turkic Peoples

  📹 Migrations Across The Globe

Map of Asia and Europe circa 1200 C.E.

Map of Asia and Europe circa 1200 C.E.

📹 How Humans Migrated Across The Globe (VİDEO)

How Humans Migrated Across The Globe (LINK)

It's tough to know what happened on Earth thousands of years before anyone started writing anything down. But thanks to the amazing work of anthropologists and paleontologists like those working on National Geographic's Genographic Project, we can begin to piece together the story of our ancestors. Here's how early humans spread from East Africa all around the world.


📹 The Khanates of Asia Every Year (VİDEO)

The Khanates of Asia Every Year (LINK)

The evolution of the states in Northwest Asia during the Khanate era.


  Turkic Ethnic Groups (Historical List)

🗺️ Turkic Ethnic Groups (MAP)


  🕑 Timeline of the Turkic peoples (500-1300)

🕑 Timeline of the Turkic peoples (500-1300)

Timeline of the Turkic peoples (500-1300) (W)

Below is the identified timeline of the History of the Turkic peoples between 6th and 14th centuries.


6th century

Year Event
545 A Western Wei envoy to the Altai mountains. First mention of Bumin, as the leader of the Ashina clan (the aristocrats of Turks).
551 Bumin declares independence of the Turks around Altai mountains, conquers Ötüken in Mongolian Plateau and takes the title khagan (qaghan). His empire is known as Göktürk (Celestial Turk).
552 Shortly after sending his brother Istemi to the Western Regions as his yabgu (vassal), Bumin Qaghan dies. His elder son Issık becomes the khagan
554 Muqan Qaghan becomes the qaghan. After a series of successful campaigns the Göktürks begin to control the silk road.
558 In alliance with Sassanid Persia, Istemi defeats the Hephthalites and conquers Transoxania.
568 An alliance with the Byzantine Empire under Justin II is formed after a delegation of the Turks led by Sogdian Maniah arrive in Constantinople to trade silk with the Byzantines.
576 The alliance with the Byzantines ceases after the Byzantines (contrary to their agreement) accept a treaty with Avars, enemies of the Göktürks. The Göktürks seize a Byzantine stronghold in the Crimea.
580 Agathias identifies Burgunds (Βουρουγουνδοι) and Ultizurs as Bulgaric people of Hunnic circle tribes, near relatives of Turkic Cotrigurs and Utigurs.
581 Tardush, the second yabgu in the west lay siege to Tauric Chersonesus in Crimea.
581 Two rival states in China begin to pay annual tribute to the Turkic Khaganate.
584 Taspar Qaghan dies, civil war breaks out. (Ishbara Qaghan vs. Apa Qaghan) Tardush interferes.
587 Tardush de facto ruler of the west. Period of dual khaganates. From now on the west khaganate is also called Onok.
588 First Perso-Turkic War. An attempt of the Turkic Khaganate to invade Afghanistan. But Bahram Chobin of Persia defeats the Turkic Khaganate.
593 End of Turkic interregnum.


7th century

Year Event
609 Shibi Khan becomes the khagan of the Eastern Turkic Khaganate.
615 Shibi Khan's advisor is executed by Pei Ju at a negotiation in Mayi; the khan retaliates by invading Yanmen Commandery during a visit there by Emperor Yang, besieging him and his court at the commandery seat (present-day Daixian, Shanxi). He lifts the siege following a false report from his wife, the Sui princess Yicheng, that the khaganate is under attack from the north.
618 Tong Yabghu Qaghan becomes the khagan of the Western Turkic Khaganate. He is also known as Ziebel the founder of Khazar state (or Khazaria) in Caucasus as a part of Onok.
619 Second Perso-Turkic War. Tong Yabghu Qaghan raids as far as to Isfahan; but is repelled.
625 Alliance with the Byzantine Empire under Heraclius when the emperor requests military aid from the Turks under Tong Yabghu.
626 Illig Qaghan takes advantage of the Incident at Xuanwu Gate and charges to Wei River.
627 Third Perso-Turkic War. Böri Shad conquers Derbend in Caucasus and raids Azerbaijan.
628 Xueyantuo (under the command of Yi'nan) and Toquz Oghuz defeats Yukuk Shad (shad of northern side) and Ashina She'er (shad of western side) of the Eastern Turkic Khaganate.
630 Tang China supports a revolt of vassals of eastern khaganate. Tang army under the command of Li Jing defeats the Eastern Turkic Khaganate at Battle of Yinshan. Emperor Taizong says It's enough for me to compensate my dishonor at Wei River (626). East khaganate becomes vassal of China.
632 Khan Kubrat based Old Great Bulgaria
638 Ili River Treaty between the two wings of the Western Turkic Kaganate. (Nushibi) vs (Tulo) Ili river becomes the boundary.
639 Ashina Jiesheshuai's unsuccessful raid against Jiucheng Palace. (In popular Turkish culture, Ashina Jiesheshuai is identified as Kürşat )
640 Yukuk Shad tries to unite the Onok tribes, but soon escapes to Kunduz in Afghanistan.
642 Western Turkic soldiers retreat from Gaochang and the kingdom is captured by Tang Dynasty forces. Military conflicts against the Tang Dynasty continue for the next few decades.
644 Western Turks defeated in a battle against the Tang Dynasty in Karasahr.
648 Western Turks lose a battle against the Tang Dynasty in Kucha.
650 Khazars defeat Abd ar-Rahman ibn Rabiah of Rashidun Arabs in Caucasus.
657 China dispatches a military campaign that defeats the western khaganate. Western khaganate becomes vassal of China. During power vacuum, Turgesh tribe emerges as the leading power of Onok.
664 Peace treaty between Caucasian Albania King Javanshir (636-669) and Caucasian Huns Elteber Alp Ilitver with conditions of dynastic marriage union, Huns' takeover of all Albanian fortresses, annual tribute to the Huns, and Huns obligation to defend Albania from Arab aggression.
679 Ashide Wenfu and Ashide Fengzhi who were Turkic liders of Danyu Da Douhufu made Ashina Nishu Beg a Turkic qaghan and revolts against Tang dynasty.
680 Pei Xingjian defeated Ashina Nishu Beg and his army. Ashina Nishu Beg was killed by his men.
680 Ashide Wenfu made Ashina Funian a qaghan and revolted against Tang dynasty.
681 Treaty of 681 was concluded between Bulgar Khan Asparukh and Byzantine Emperor Constantine IV Pogonatus. The peace treaty recognized Asparukh's control over captured Byzantine territories
681 Ashide Wenfu and Ashina Funian surrendered to Pei Xingjian. 54 Turks (including Ashide Wenfu, Ashina Funian) were publicly executed in the Eastern Market of Chang'an.
681 Ashina Kutlug revolts with the remnants of Ashina Funian's men.
682 Ashina Kutlug becomes Ilterish Qaghan and establishes the Second Eastern Turkic Khaganate.
685 Ilterish Qaghan defeats the Chinese in Hin Chu.
694 Death of Ilterish Qaghan. Qapaghan Qaghan becomes the second khagan.
698 Qapagan annexes Turkestan (On Oq territory). gainst Turgesh.


8th century

Year Event
704 Umayyad governor Qutaibah bin Muslim invades Transoxiana.
713 Turco-Arab wars in Transoxiana. Arab victory leads to shift of power in Turkestan from Turkic Khaganate to their Turgesh vassals again.
716 First treaty with known terms between Byzantine Emperor Theodosios III and Danube Bulgaria Khan Tervel delineating borders, fixing the size of Byzantine annual tribute to the Khan at 30 lb. of gold, exchange of prisoners, return of refugees, and unimpeded trade between the two countries
716 Qapaghan Qaghan was killed in his campaign against Toquz Oghuz and his head was sent to Changan. Kul Tigin carried out a coup d'état. They killed Qapaghan's son and brothers and made Bilge Qaghan a Kaghan.
716 (?) 🛑 The first written records in Old Turkic language. Bain Tsokto inscriptions of Tonyukuk. (These monuments have been erected by himself, a few years before his death.)
717 Suluk becomes Turgesh Khaghan.
718 A short period of stability in Turkic Empire. Bilge and his triumvirate (Kültiğin and Tonyukuk) suppress all revolts.
723 Governor Al-Kharashi of Umayyad Arabs massacres Turks and Sogdian refugees for the second time in Khujand
724 Turgesh Kaghan Suluk defeats superior Umayyad Arab armies by his hit and run tactics so called "The Day of Thirst" (Yawm al-'Atash)
728 Turgesh Qaghan Suluk defeats Umayyad Arab armies for the second time.
730 Khazars defeat Umayyad Arab armies in southern Caucasus. But victorious general Barjik dies in the battle.
734 Death of 🛑 Bilge Khagan.
735 Khöshöö Tsaidam Monuments of Bilge Khagan and his brother Kül Tigin. (Bilge has already erected Kül Tigin's monument and Bilge's son erects Bilge's monument.) Together with Bain Tsokto monument of Tonyukuk, these monuments are called Orkhon monuments. (In 2004 the monuments are included in List of World Heritage Sites in Asia and Australasia)
737 Umayyad Arabs defeat Khazars and capture Khazar capital Balanjar. Khazars soon after drive Arabs back. But the capital is shifted to Atil.
738 Suluk is assassinated.
740 Khazar khan Bulan embraces Judaism. But the subjects are free to choose their religion.
744 Turkic subjects like Basmyl, Uyghur and Karluk who are not the members of Ashina clan stage a coup. End of Ashina clan. (except in Khazaria)
745 First Uyghur khan Kutluk Bilge. Uygurs replace Turkic Khaganate in the east and their vassal Karluks begin to conquer the former On Oq territory in the west.
747 Second Uyghur khan Bayanchur Khan who begins the construction of a big capital city Ordu Baliq
750 In Arab Empire Umayyad dynasty ends. Abbasid policy more tolerant to Turks.
751 Arabs defeat Chinese in the Battle of Talas during which 20,000 Karluk mercenaries switch to the Arab side in the middle of the battle.
753 Tariat inscriptions of Bayanchor Khan of Uyghurs. (probable date)
755 After the battle of Talas civil war in China. Bayanchor supports Chinese empreror against rebellious general An Lushan.
756 Peace treaty between Byzantine Emperor Constantine V and Danube Bulgaria Khan Kormisosh ending long period of military conflict
765 Third Uyghur khan Bogu embraces Manicheism.
766 Karluks defeat Turgesh. Most of Turkestan (former Onak territory) under Karluk rule. But in the west of Lake Aral a loose confederation named Oghuz Yabgu State emerges.
789 Ediz house replaces Yaglakar house in Uigur Kaganate.


9th century

Year Event
815 Thirty Years’ Peace Treaty of 815 was signed in Constantinople between the Bulgarian Khan Omurtag and the Byzantine Emperor Leo V the Armenian about 30-years peace
821 Uyghurs repulse Tibetians
836 The capital of the Caliphate (Arabic Empire) is moved from Baghdad to the new city of Samarra by Caliph Al-Mu'tasim because of unrest caused by Turkic slave soldiers (named Mameluk). (Mameluk practice has begun shortly after battle of Talas .)
840 Yenisei Kirghiz (north) defeat Uyghurs. End of the main khaganate. But Uyghurs flee to south west.
848 Some Uyghur refuges establish a small state in Gansu, north China.
850 Supported by Uyghur refuges Karluks establish the state of Karakhanids in Transoxiana.
856 A third group of Uyghur refuges establish another state in Turpan, present day Xinjiang, west China.
868 Ahmad ibn Tulun, a Turkic mameluk general in Arab army founds Tulunid dynasty in Egypt.
881 Three Khazar tribes collectively named Kabar diverge from the main body and move westwards together with the seven tribes of Magyars.
892 Khazars force Pechenegs to west who in turn force Magyars to Hungary.
898 Treaty of 898 between the Bulgarian Tsar Simeon and the Byzantine Emperor Leo Choerosphactus after a devastating unprovoked war on Bulgaria from two sides and final Bulgarian victory resumes Byzantine payment of annual tribute to Danube Bulgaria


10th century

Year Event
914 Treaty of 914 was a peace treaty concluded between Pechenegs and a prince of Rus principality Igor
924 Mongols of Khitan drive Kyrgyz out of Mongolia. Some Kyrgyz return to Yenisei region and some flee to present day Kyrgyzstan.
932 Saltuk Buğra Khan of Karakhanids embrace Islam. The first Turkic monarch to do so.
940 Byzantine-Kievan Rus' alliance against Khazars. Khazar Khannate loses Crimea.
941 Gansu state (Sari Uyghurs) becomes vassal of China.
960 Khazar Correspondence between Hasdai ibn Shaprut (of Córdoba) and Khagan Joseph of Khazars.
963 Alp Tigin a Turkic general establishes Ghaznavids as a vassal state of Samanids
969 Rus-Kyiv capture Khazar capital Atil.
977 Under Sebük Tekin Ghaznavids become a Muslim sultanate (empire).
985 A big Turkic tribe (Kinik) under the leadership of Selçuk migrates from Khazar (Oguz ?) territory to suburbs of the city Jend (which is now in South Kazakhstan).
999 Dissolution of Oguz confederation by Kipchaks.


11th century

Year Event
1016 Khazar Kaganate dissolves under pressure from Rus-Kyiv and Kipchaks.
1037 Rus-Kyiv defeat Pechenegs.
1038 Seljuk's grandsons Tugrul and Chaghri conquer the historical city of Merv in present-day Turkmenistan and declare independence. Beginning of the Great Seljuk Empire.
1040 Tugrul and Chagri of Seljuk Turks defeat a Ghaznavid army at the battle of Dandanaqan and begin to settle in eastern Persia.
1042 Civil war in Karakhanid teriitory. East and west Karakhanids.
1048 Ibrahim Yinal (Tugrul's uterine brother) of Seljuk Turks defeat a Byzantine-Sakartvelobantustan army at Battle of Pasinler (also called battle of Kapetrou). Turks in East Anatolia.
1050 Pechenegs raid Byzantine territories.
1055 After a series of victories Tughrul is declared sultan (of Great Seljuk Sultanate) by the caliph.
1071 Alp Arslan of Seljuk Turks defeat Romanos Diogenes of Byzantine in the battle of Manzikert.
1072 Death of Alp Arslan. Malik Shah becomes the sultan.
1072 Danishmend Gazi who is the hero of epic tales Danishmendname founds a principality around Sivas, central Anatolia (i.e., Asatic side of present Turkey).
1072 Divan'ı Lügat'ı Türk. A book written by 🛑 Kaşgarlı Mahmut of Karakhanids to be presented to Caliph, about Turks.
1077 Süleyman I (a cousin of Melik Shah) founds a state in what is now west Turkey. Although a vassal of Great Seljuk Empire it soon becomes totally independent. (Seljuks of Rum, Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, Sultanate of Rum, Seljuks of Turkey, Seljuks of Anatolia, Sultanate of Iconium are among the many names used for this state)
1077 Emergence of Khwarezm dynasty as a vassal of Great Seljuk Empire.
1081 Tzachas of Smyrna founds a beylik (principality) in İzmir, Western Anatolia and emerges as the first sea power in Turkish history.
1085 Tutush I, Malik Shah's brother founds a short lived principality in Syria.
1089 Hungarians defeat the Kipchaks.
1091 Kipchacks defeat the Pechenegs.
1093 Kipchacks defeat Sviatopolk II of Kyivian Rus in the Battle of the Stugna River,
1096 Kılıç Arslan I of Seljuks defeats People's Crusade.
1097 During First Crusade Crusades defeat Seljuks at the Battle of Dorylaeum. Capital İznik captured by Crusades (New capıital Konya)


12th century

Year Event
1101 Kılıç Arslan I of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm defeats Stephen of Blois and Hugh of Vermandois, of the second wave of First Crusades.
1104 Tuğtekin, atabeg of Damascus founds a short lived principality in Syria. First example of a series of Seljukid atabeg dynasties.
1121 A Seljuq army led by the Artuqid Ilghazi of Mardin is defeated by the Georgians near Tiflis.
1128 Zangi, atabeg of Mosul and Aleppo founds Zengid dynasty.
1141 Mongols of Khitan defeat Great Seljuk Sultan Sanjar in the Battle of Qatwan.
1146 Ildeniz, atabeg of Azerbaijan founds a dynasty, being the first independent Turkic dynasty of Azerbaijan.
1147 During Second Crusade, Mesud I of Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm defeats Holy Roman Emperor Conrad III in the second battle of Dorylaeum and French king Louis VII at battle of Laodicea.
1153 Great Seljuk sultan Sanjar is defeated by his Oguz vassals.
1154 Oghuz Turks destroy Library of Nishapur
1176 Kılıç Arslan II of Seljuks defeats Manuel I Komnenos of Byzantine Empire in the battle of Myriokephalon.
1178 End of Danishmends. Their territory is annexed by Kılıç Arslan II.
1190 German Holy Roman emperor Frederick I Barbarossa and a contingent of the Third Crusade defeat the Turks at the Battle of Konya (Iconium) in Southern Anatolia. He subsequently drowns whilst crossing the Göksu River, near Silifke.

13th century

Year Event
1202 Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm defeat Saltukid principality and annex north eastern Anatolia.
1205 After the disintegration of Great Seljuk Sultanate, Kharzem shahs declare independence and conquer most of former Seljuk territory.
1206 Slave dynasty of Delhi established by Qutb-ud-din Aybak in India.
1209 Turpan Uyghurs become vassals of the Mongols.
1209 Birth of Nasreddin a satirical Sufi figure in Akşehir, Western Anatolia. His anecdotes and jokes, especially those involving Mongol overlords after 1243, are always very popular in all Turkish-speaking countries.
1211 Mongolic Khitans end East Karakhanids.
1212 Khwarezm shahs end West Karakhanids.
1220 Alaaddin Keykubat I becomes the Seljuk Sultan of Rûm.
1220 Mongols end Khwarezm Shāh.
1224 The Qarlughids of Bamyan and Kurraman is establish their kingdom.
1230 Alaaddin Keykubat I of Seljuks defeats Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu in the battle of Yassıçemen
1236 Razia Sultana of Delhi sultanate, the first female ruler in Islamic countries.
1239 Revolt of Baba Ishak. A revolt of Turkmen (Oguz) and Khwarzem refuges who have recently arrived in Anatolia. (The revolt is bloodily suppressed. But the sultanate loses power.)
1241 Mongols defeat Kipchacks.
1243 Mongols defeat the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm in the battle of Kösedağ
1250 Aybek, a member of a cast of Kıpchack soldiers establishes Mameluk dynasty in Egypt
1260 Mameluk general (later sultan) Baybars defeats Ilkhanate leader Hulagu in Battle of Ayn Jalut.
1277 Karamanoğlu Mehmet Bey a semi independent bey (prince) in Anatolia (also a short term vizier of Seljuks) declares Turkish as the official language in his reign.
1293 Codex Cumanicus A Kipchack dictionary written for Latins.
1299 Ottoman Empire was founded by Osman I



  Turkic Peoples
Ethnic groups

The historical list

The modern list

Turkic peoples

Turkic peoples (W)

The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethno-linguistic groups of Central, Eastern, Northern and Western Asia as well as parts of Europe and North Africa. They speak related languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits, common ancestry and historical backgrounds. In time, different Turkic groups came in contact with other ethnicities, absorbing them, leaving some Turkic groups more diverse than the others. Many vastly differing ethnic groups have throughout history become part of the Turkic peoples through language shift, acculturation, intermixing, adoption and religious conversion. In their genetic compositions, therefore, most Turkic groups differ significantly in origins from one group to the next. Despite this, many do share, to varying degrees, non-linguistic characteristics, including certain cultural traits, some ancestry from a common gene pool, and historical experiences. The most notable modern Turkic-speaking ethnic groups include Turkish people, Azerbaijanis, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Turkmen and Kyrgyz people.


The first known mention of the term Turk (Old Turkic: 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰 Türük or 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰:𐰜𐰇𐰛 Kök Türük Chinese: 突厥, Old Tibetan: duruggu/durgu (meaning "origin"), Pinyin: Tūjué, Middle Chinese (Guangyun): [tʰuot-küot]) applied to a Turkic group was in reference to the Göktürks in the 6th century. A letter by Ishbara Qaghan to Emperor Wen of Sui in 585 described him as "the Great Turk Khan." The Orhun inscriptions (735 CE) use the terms Turk and Turuk.

Previous use of similar terms are of unknown significance, although some strongly feel that they are evidence of the historical continuity of the term and the people as a linguistic unit since early times. This includes Chinese records Spring and Autumn Annals referring to a neighbouring people as Beidi. During the first century CE, Pomponius Mela refers to the “Turcae” in the forests north of the Sea of Azov, and Pliny the Elder lists the “Tyrcae” among the people of the same area. There are references to certain groups in antiquity whose names could be the original form of "Türk/Türük" such as Togarma, Turukha/Turuška, Turukku and so on. But the information gap is so substantial that we cannot firmly connect these ancient people to the modern Turks. Turkologist András Róna-Tas posits that the term Turk could be rooted in the East Iranian Saka language or in Turkic. However, it is generally accepted that the term "Türk" is ultimately derived from the Old-Turkic migration-term 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰 Türük/Törük, which means "created", "born", or "strong", from the Old Turkic word root *türi-/töri- ("tribal root, (mythic) ancestry; take shape, to be born, be created, arise, spring up") and conjugated with Old Turkic suffix 𐰰 (-ik), perhaps from Proto-Turkic *türi-k ("lineage, ancestry"), from the Proto-Turkic word root *töŕ ("foundation, root; origin, ancestors"), possibly from a Proto-Altaic source *t`ŏ̀ŕe ("law, regulation"). This etymological concept is also related to Old Turkic word stems 'tür' ("root, ancestry, race, kind of, sort of"), 'türi-' ("to bring together, to collect"), 'törü' ("law, custom") and 'töz' ("substance").

The earliest Turkic-speaking peoples identifiable in Chinese sources are the Dingling, Gekun (Jiankun), and Xinli, located in South Siberia. The Chinese Book of Zhou (7th century) presents an etymology of the name Turk as derived from "helmet", explaining that this name comes from the shape of a mountain where they worked in the Altai Mountains. According to Persian tradition, as reported by 11th-century ethnographer Mahmud of Kashgar and various other traditional Islamic scholars and historians, the name “Turk” stems from Tur, one of the sons of Japheth (see Turan).

During the Middle Ages, various Turkic peoples of the Eurasian steppe were subsumed under the identity of the "Scythians". Between 400 CE and the 16th century, Byzantine sources use the name Σκύθαι (Skuthai) in reference to twelve different Turkic peoples.

In the modern Turkish language as used in the Republic of Turkey, a distinction is made between “Turks” and the “Turkic peoples” in loosely speaking: the term Türk corresponds specifically to the "Turkish-speaking" people (in this context, "Turkish-speaking" is considered the same as "Turkic-speaking"), while the term Türki refers generally to the people of modern "Turkic Republics" (Türki Cumhuriyetler or Türk Cumhuriyetleri). However, the proper usage of the term is based on the linguistic classification in order to avoid any political sense. In short, the term Türki can be used for Türk or vice versa.


History of the Turkic Peoples

History of the Turkic Peoples (W)

The top of Belukha in the Altay Mountains in Russia is shown here. The mountain range is thought to be the birthplace of the Turkic people.

It is generally agreed that the first Turkic people lived in a region extending from Central Asia to Siberia, with the majority of them living in China. Historically they were established after the 6th century BCE. The earliest separate Turkic peoples appeared on the peripheries of the late Xiongnu confederation about 200 BCE (contemporaneous with the Chinese Han Dynasty). Turkic people may be related to the Xiongnu, Dingling and Tiele people. According to the Book of Wei, the Tiele people were the remnants of the Chidi (赤狄), the red Di people competing with the Jin in the Spring and Autumn period. Turkic tribes such as the Khazars and Pechenegs probably lived as nomads for many years before establishing the Turkic Khaganate or Göktürk Empire in the 6th century. These were herdsmen and nobles who were searching for new pastures and wealth. The first mention of Turks was in a Chinesetext that mentioned trade between Turk tribes and the Sogdians along the Silk Road. The first recorded use of "Turk" as a political name appears as a 6th-century reference to the word pronounced in Modern Chinese as Tujue. The Ashina clan migrated from Li-jien (modern Zhelai Zhai) to the Juan Juan seeking inclusion in their confederacy and protection from the prevalent dynasty. The tribe were famed metalsmiths and were granted land near a mountain quarry which looked like a helmet, from which they were said to have gotten their name 突厥 (tūjué). A century later their power had increased such that they conquered the Juan Juan and established the Gök Empire.


  Turkic Migrations
  • The region of origin of the Turkic peoples is southern Siberia (North Asia) and the northern parts of modern-day Xinjiang, Mongolia and Kazakhstan.

The ethnic groups in Central Asia (demographic data)

The ethnic groups in Central Asia (demographic data) (W)

Ethnic Group Center of population in Central Asia Total roughly estimated population in Central Asia
Uzbek Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan 29,000,000
Tajik Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Northern Afghanistan. It includes the Pamiri people, who are officially categorized as Tajiks in Tajikistan. 25,000,000
Kazakh Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan 16,500,000
Kyrgyz Kyrgyzstan 4,100,000
Russians Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan 4,000,000
Ukrainian Northern Kazakhstan 250,000
Turkmen Turkmenistan 6,500,000
Volga German Kazakhstan 200,000
Uyghur Northwest China, Eastern Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan 13,000,000
Dungan or Hui Northwest China, Kyrgyzstan 10,500,000
Bukharian Jew Uzbekistan 1,000
British People Afghanistan or perhaps Kazakhstan, possibly a few in Uzbekistan 1,500-2,000
Tatar Uzbekistan 700,000
Karakalpaks North western Uzbekistan 500,000
Bashkirs Kazakhstan 30,000
Meskhetian Turks Kazakhstan 200,000
Armenians Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan 100,000
Altai Northern Kazakhstan 10,000
Pashtun Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan 12,500,000
Hazara Central Afghanistan 3,500,000
Aimak Central and Northwest Afghanistan 1,500,000
Nuristani Far eastern and northern Afghanistan 200,000+
Belarusians Northern Kazakhstan 100,000-200,000
Romanians Kazakhstan 20,000
Greeks Kazakhstan 30,000
Mordvins Kazakhstan 20,000
Moldovans Kazakhstan 25,000
Chechens Kazakhstan 40,000
Poles Northern Kazakhstan 50,000-100,000
Azeri Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan 100,000
Chuvash's Northern Kazakhstan 35,000


Turkic migration

Turkic migration (W)

The Pontic steppe, c. 650, showing the early territories of the Khazars, Bulgars, and Avars.

Turkic migration refers to the expansion of the Turkic tribes and Turkic languages into Central Asia, Eastern Europe and West Asia, mainly between the 6th and 11th centuries.

The region of origin of the Turkic peoples is southern Siberia (North Asia) and the northern parts of modern-day Xinjiang, Mongolia and Kazakhstan.

Identified Turkic tribes were known by the 6th century, and by the 10th century most of Central Asia was settled by Turkic tribes. The Seljuq dynasty settled in Anatoliastarting in the 11th century, ultimately resulting in permanent Turkic settlement and presence there. Meanwhile, other Turkic tribes either ultimately formed independent nations, such as Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and others now enclaves within other nations, such as Chuvashia, Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, the Crimean Tatars, the Uyghurs in China, and the Sakha Republic Siberia.

Ancestral populations

The earliest documented Turkic peoples appear as nomadic tribes on the plains of the Far East north of the Great Wall of China, which was constructed as a fortified border essentially between Han dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE) China (though started earlier) and the Xiongnu.

Map from Mahmud al-Kashgari's Divanu Lughat at-Turk, showing the 11th century distribution of Turkic tribes


  Turkic Expansion AD 300-600

Map of Central Asia — Turkic expansion AD 300-600

Map of Central Asia — Turkic expansion AD 300-600 (LINK)

Turkic expansion AD 300-600

(LINK) Turkic origins are hard to pin down precisely, but the region around the Altai Mountains would seem to have served as a general incubator during their development, probably in the millennium prior to their appearances from the fourth century onwards. Historical accounts of groups such as the Wusun provide clear clues to those origins.


This would have allowed them — potentially — to pick up a proto-Mongol or Tungusic influence while also leaving then extremely open to the heavy Indo-Iranian influences that can be seen in their personal and tribal names.

Next to them, and on the northern edges of the civilised zone of eastern Iran, was the probable incubator zone for the proto-Bulgaro-Turks. This group, even more heavily influenced by Indo-Iranians, included Onogur-Bulgars and the many other tribes that could be found on the Pontic steppe in the seventh century AD, plus it almost certainly included the Kidarites who would lead the nearby Hephthalites down into eastern Iran to conquer much of it.

The origins of the Göktürks, sometimes acclaimed as being the first true Turks, lies in their presence as the Ashina tribe in eastern Gansu in AD 439. This location is easily reached from the Turkic incubator zone via a corridor which was under Sui dynasty control by the seventh century. The Ashina were forced to return the way they had probably come so that, by AD 508 they could be found around Gaochang and under Rouran khaganate control. They would overthrow the Rouran in AD 552 to create an empire. (LINK)


Bain Tsokto inscriptions

Bain Tsokto inscriptions (W)

Bain Tsokto inscriptions are Turkic inscriptions of the 8th century in Mongolia. They are the oldest written attestations of the Turkic language family, predating the Orkhon inscriptions by several years.

Mongolia / Google Map

Tonyukuk Yazıtları (Bain Tsokto Inscriptions) / Google Map


Mahmud al-Kashgari

Mahmud al-Kashgari (W)

Mahmud ibn Hussayn ibn Muhammed al-Kashgari was an 11th-century Kara-Khanid scholar and lexicographer of the Turkic languages from Kashgar.

His father, Hussayn, was the mayor of Barsgan, a town in the southeastern part of the lake of Issyk-Kul (nowadays village of Barskoon in northern Kyrgyzstan's Issyk-Kul Region) and related to the ruling dynasty of Kara-Khanid Khanate.


Al-Kashgari studied the Turkic languages of his time and in Baghdad he composed the first comprehensive dictionary of Turkic languages, the Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk (Arabic: "Compendium of the languages of the Turks") in 1072-74. It was intended for use by the Abbasid Caliphate, the new Arab allies of the Turks. Mahmud Kashgari's comprehensive dictionary, later edited by the Turkish historian, Ali Amiri, contains specimens of old Turkic poetry in the typical form of quatrains (Persio-Arabic رباعیات rubā'iyāt; Turkish: dörtlük), representing all the principal genres: epic, pastoral, didactic, lyric, and elegiac. His book also included the first known map of the areas inhabited by Turkic peoples. This map is housed at the National Library in Istanbul.

He advocated monolingualism and the linguistic purism of the Turkic languages, and held a belief in the superiority of nomadic people (the Turkic tribes had traditionally been nomads) over urban populations. Most of his Turkic-speaking contemporaries were bilingual in Tajik (a Persian language), which was then the urban and literary language of Central Asia.

The most elegant of the dialects belongs to those who know only one language, who do not mix with Persians and who do not customarily settle in other lands. Those who have two languages and who mix with the populace of the cities have a certain slurring in their utterances.

One of al-Kashgari's most historically significant poems, tells of the Turko-Islamic conquest of the last of the renowned Central Asian Buddhist kingdoms, the Kingdom of Khotan of the Iranian Sakas:

We came down on them like a flood!
We went out among their cities!
We tore down the idol-temples,
We shat on the Buddha's head!

The Turkic Qarakhanid and Uyghur Qocho Kingdoms were both states founded by invaders while the native populations of the region were Iranic and Tocharian peoples along with some Chinese in Qocho and Indians, who married and mixed with the Turkic invaders, and prominent Qarakhanid people such as Mahmud Kashghari hold a high position among modern Uyghurs.

The Muslim Kara-Khanid Turks performed Jihad against Buddhist Uyghur Turks during the Islamicisation and Turkicisation of Xinjiang.

The non-Muslim Turks worship of Tengri was mocked and insulted by the Muslim Turk Mahmud al-Kashgari, who wrote a verse referring to them — The Infidels — May God destroy them!

Kashgari claimed that the Prophet assisted in a miraculous event where 700,000 Yabāqu "infidels" were defeated by 40,000 Muslims led by Arslān Tegīn claiming that fires shot sparks from gates located on a green mountain towards the Yabāqu. The Yabaqu were a Turkic people.

The Muslim Turk Mahmud Kashgari insulted the Uyghur Buddhists as "Uighur dogs" and called them "Tats", which referred to the "Uighur infidels" according to the Tuxsi and Taghma, while other Turks called Persians "tat". While Kashgari displayed a different attitude towards the Turks diviners beliefs and "national customs", he expressed towards Buddhism a hatred in his Diwan where he wrote the verse cycle on the war against Uighur Buddhists. Buddhist origin words like toyin (a cleric or priest) and Burxān or Furxan (meaning Buddha, acquiring the generic meaning of "idol" in the Turkic language of Kashgari) had negative connotations to Muslim Turks.

Kashghari viewed the least Persian mixed Turkic dialects as the "purest" and "the most elegant".

Muslim writers like Marwazī and Mahmud Kashghārī had more up to date information about China in their writings, Kashgari viewed Kashgar as part of China.

“Ṣīn [i.e., China] is originally three fold; Upper, in the east which is called Tawjāch; middle which is Khitāy, lower which is Barkhān in the vicinity of Kashgar. But know Tawjāch is known as Maṣīn and Khitai as Ṣīn. China was called after the Toba rulers of the Northern Wei by the Turks, pronounced by them as Tamghāj, Tabghāj, Tafghāj or Tawjāch. India introduced the name Maha Chin (greater China) which caused the two different names for China in Persian as chīn and māchīn (چين ماچين) and Arabic ṣīn and māṣīn (صين ماصين), Southern China at Canton was known as Chin while Northern China's Changan was known as Machin, but the definition switched and the south was referred to as Machin and the north as Chin after the Tang dynasty, Tang China had controlled Kashgar since of the Tang's Anxi protectorate's "Four Garrisons" seats, Kashgar was among them, and this was what led writers like Kashghārī to place Kashgar within the definition of China, Ṣīn, whose emperor was titled as Tafghāj or Tamghāj, Yugur (yellow Uighurs or Western Yugur) and Khitai or Qitai were all classified as "China" by Marwazī while he wrote that Ṣīnwas bordered by placed SNQU and Maṣīn. Machin, Mahachin, Chin, and Sin were all names of China.”

Muslim writers like Marwazī wrote that Transoxania was a former part of China, retaining the legacy of Tang Chinese rule over Transoxania in Muslim writings

“In ancient times all the districts of Transoxania had belonged to the kingdom of China [Ṣīn], with the district of Samarqand as its centre. When Islam appeared and God delivered the said district to the Muslims, the Chinese migrated to their [original] centers, but there remained in Samarqand, as a vestige of them, the art of making paper of high quality. And when they migrated to Eastern parts their lands became disjoined and their provinces divided, and there was a king in China and a king in Qitai and a king in Yugur. Muslim writers viewed the Khitai, the Gansu Uighur Kingdom and Kashgar as all part of "China" culturally and geographically with the Muslim Central Asians retaining the legacy of Chinese rule in Central Asia by using titles such as "Khan of China" (تمغاج خان) (Tamghaj Khan or Tawgach) in Turkic and "the King of the East and China" (ملك المشرق (أو الشرق) والصين) (malik al-mashriq (or al-sharq) wa'l-ṣīn) in Arabic which were titles of the Muslim Qarakhanid rulers and their Qarluq ancestors.”



  Oghuz Turks

Oghuz Turks

Oghuz Turks (W)

The Oghuz, Oguz or Ghuzz Turks were a western Turkic people who spoke the Oghuz languages from the Common branch of Turkic language family. In the 8th century, they formed a tribal confederation conventionally named the Oghuz Yabgu State in central Asia. The name Oghuz is a Common Turkic word for "tribe". Byzantine sources call the Oghuz the Uzes (Οὐ̑ζοι, Ouzoi). By the 10th century, Islamic sources were calling them Muslim Turkmens, as opposed to shamanist or Buddhist. By the 12th century this term had passed into Byzantine usage and the Oghuzes were overwhelmingly Muslim.

The Oghuz confederation migrated westward from the Jeti-su area after a conflict with the Karluk branch of Uigurs. The founders of the Ottoman Empire were descendants of the Oghuzes. Today, a percentage of the residents of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are descendants of Oghuz Turks and their language belongs to the Oghuz (also known as southwestern Turkic) group of the Turkic languages family.

(W) The Oghuz languages currently spoken have been classified into three categories based on their features and geography: western, eastern, and southern.

Proto-Turkic Common Turkic Oghuz

Two further languages, Crimean Tatar and Urum, are Kipchak languages, but have been heavily influenced by the Oghuz languages.

In the 9th century, the Oghuzes from the Aral steppes drove Bechens from the Emba and Ural River region toward the west. In the 10th century, they inhabited the steppe of the rivers Sari-su, Turgai, and Emba to the north of Lake Balkhash of modern-day Kazakhstan. A clan of this nation, the Seljuks, embraced Islam and in the 11th century entered Persia, where they founded the Great Seljuk Empire. Similarly in the 11th century, a Tengriist Oghuz clan — referred to as Uzes or Torks in the Russian chronicles — overthrew Pecheneg supremacy in the Russian steppe. Harried by another Turkic people, the Kipchaks, these Oghuz penetrated as far as the lower Danube, crossed it and invaded the Balkans, where they were struck down by an outbreak of plague, causing the survivors either to flee or to join the Byzantine imperial forces as mercenaries (1065).

The Oghuz seem to have been related to the Pechenegs, some of whom were clean-shaven and others of whom had small 'goatee' beards. According to the book Attila and the Nomad Hordes, "Like the Kimaks they set up many carved wooden funerary statues surrounded by simple stone balbal monoliths." The authors of the book go on to note that "Those Uzes or Torks who settled along the Russian frontier were gradually Slavicized, though they also played a leading role as cavalry in 1100- and early 1200-era Russian armies, where they were known as Black Hats. ... Oghuz warriors served in almost all Islamic armies of the Middle East from the 1000s onwards, in Byzantium from the 800's, and even in Spain and Morocco." In later centuries, they adapted and applied their own traditions and institutions to the ends of the Islamic world and emerged as empire-builders with a constructive sense of statecraft.

Linguistically, the Oghuz are listed together with the old Kimaks of the middle Yenisei of the Ob, the old Kipchaks who later emigrated to southern Russia, and the modern Kirghiz in one particular Turkic group, distinguished from the rest by the mutation of the initial y sound to j (dj).

"The term 'Oghuz' was gradually supplanted among the Turks themselves by Türkmen, 'Turcoman', from the mid 900's on, a process which was completed by the beginning of the 1200s."

"The Ottoman dynasty, who gradually took over Anatolia after the fall of the Seljuks, toward the end of the 13th century, led an army that was also predominantly Oghuz."


Oghuz Yabgu State

Oghuz Yabgu State (W)

The Oguz Yabgu State (Oguz il, meaning Oguz Land, Oguz Country, 750-1055) was a Turkic state, founded by Oghuz Turks in 766, located geographically in an area between the coasts of the Caspian and Aral Seas. Oguz tribes occupied a vast territory in Kazakhstan along the Irgiz, Yaik, Emba, and Uil rivers, the Aral Sea area, the Syr Darya valley, the foothills of the Karatau Mountains in Tien-Shan, and the Chui River valley (see map). The Oguz political association developed in the 9th and 10th centuries in the basin of the middle and lower course of the Syr Darya and adjoining the modern western Kazakhstan steppes.

(W) Yabghu or Yabgu was a state office in the early Turkic states, roughly equivalent to viceroy.
The position of Yabgu was traditionally given to the second highest member of a ruling clan (Ashina), with the first member being the Kagan himself.
Mahmud Kashgari defined the title Yabgu as "position two steps below Kagan", listing heir apparent Shad a step above Yabgu.

Early History

The first reference of the Oguz State is by the Arab geographer Yaqubi, who called Oguzes "kings". In Zhetysu the old Oguz capital was Guziya.

In 766, after Karluks overran the Türgesh Khaganate in Zhetysu (southeastern modern Kazakhstan), Karluk tribes formed a Khanate centered there under the rule of a Yabgu, and they occupied and transferred their capital to Suyab. By that time the bulk of the Uch-Karluk (Three Karluks) confederation had left the Altai, and the supremacy in Zhetysu passed to the Karluk tribes. After the Oguz confederation lost a struggle with the Karluks for leadership in the Turgesh Kaganate, a significant part of Zhetysu Oguzes migrated to the Karatau Mountains foothills and the valley of the Chu River in the Issyk Kul basin.

At the beginning of the 9th century the Oguz confederation, in alliance with Karluks and Kimaks destroyed the Kangar Union and captured the lower course of the Syr Darya river and the Aral steppes, displacing the Kangars and Pechenegs. The nomadic tribes of the Syr Darya Kangars were forced to join the Oguzes, and a part of them migrated to the west to the northern Black Sea region. The Oguzes moved their capital to Yangikent and became known as Oguz Yabgu State.

The state was founded in Eni-Kent which was an Oguz yayla (summer village). Oguz il extended from "Issyk Kul and Almalyk, in the south, to Sairam, in the west, to the city of Yangikent, which stands at the mouth of the river Syr (Syr-darya), and to the Kara-Kum (desert)". The capital of the Oguz il was variously spelled Eni-Kent, Yangikent, Djanikand, Yenikent, Yanikand, all meaning New City, and also in Arabic literature al-Kariya al-Hadisa and in Persian literature Deh-i Hay; presently it is a Central Asian ghost town Jankent.

The state was ruled by the leader of the Oguz Turks with the title Yabgu, which is similar to other Turkic ruling titles such as Khan and Kagan/Hakan, but initially with a status below Kagan/Hakan. The army was commanded by Subaşı. "Sü" (su) means "Soldier" in Turkish and "başı" (bashi) means "the head of" or "the ruler of".

Political history

The Oguz State played an important role in the military and political history of Eurasia.

In 965 the Oguz State allied with Kievan Rus in a war against the Khazar Kaganate. In 985 the alliance with Kievan Rus defeated Volga Bulgaria, which increased the political power of the Oguz State.

At the turn of the 10th–11th centuries, popular uprisings broke out against excessive taxation in the state. The revolts became especially strong in the second half of the 10th century, during the rule of Ali Yabgu. The split between the ruling Oguzes and Seljuk branch of Oguzes turned out to be detrimental to the state. The upheaval was used by the Seljuk branch, who led an uprising and took Jend, but soon they were forced to leave the Jend area.

During the reign of the last Oguz Yabgu Shahmalik the state rebounded. In 1041 Shahmalik Yabgu conquered Khorezm from the Ghaznavids, but two years later he was captured by the Seljuk forces and executed. Shahmalik Yabgu was the last ruler of the Oguz State.

Internal turmoil and conflict with the Seljuks weakened the Oguz State. The weakened state fell under attacks by the Kipchak tribes from the Kimak Kaganate. Under the pressure of the Kipchaks, the two branches of the Oguz people split, a significant part of the Oguzes went to Eastern Europe, and the Seljuk Oguzes left toward Asia Minor. Another part of the Oguzes fell under the rule of the Karahanids and Seljuk rulers of Khorasan. The remnants of those Oghuz defeated by the Kipchaks subsequently dissolved among the Turkic-speaking tribes of Dasht-e-Kipchak. The Oghuz tribes contributed to the formation of many of today's Turkic peoples.

In the 11th century, Oguz migration to Persia and the Near East began. The movement was led by the head of the Kınık tribe Tughril and Chaghri Beg, the grandchildren of Seljuk. This migrating group became, in time, the Seljuk Empire. In 1025 a part of the Seljuks settled in the territory of the modern Turkmenistan, centered on the city of Nysa. In 1034 – 1035, they were joined by Togrul bek's subjects. In 1038-1040, the Seljuks fought against Ghaznavids and captured Nishapur. Subsequently, they were able to create a huge state, which consisted of Asia Minor, Persia, and parts of the Caucasus and Central Asia.

The Oguz il state existed for three centuries. Another Turkic group, Kipchaks and Kimeks of the Kimek Kaganate, ended the state by the 12th century. By that time, Selçuk Bey and his Kınık (tribe) headed to Persia to found their own Muslim state, which in the future would become the Great Seljuq Empire, and a part of the state population moved eastward to the N.Pontic areas.


  Oghur (tribe)

Oghur (tribe)

Oghur (tribe) (W)

Map of Oghurs (Doulu) Union 570-620ths

The Oghurs were a group of Turkic-speaking nomads who moved west across the steppe from about 450 to 950 AD. They drove before them the Iranian-speaking Sarmatians and were followed westward by the Turkic-speaking Oghuz and Kipchaks. ‘Oghur’ strictly refers to speakers of the Oghur languages. It is not clear that they differed from other nomads in anything but language. The terms ‘Oghur,’ ‘Oghuz,’ ‘Onogur’ and others probably derive from a Turkic word meaning approximately ‘tribe.’ Since we depend on scattered reports from neighboring literate societies, our knowledge of their history is poor.


The Oghurs were the first wave of Turkic-speakers to move west across the steppe. They were followed westward by the Oghuz Turks and then the Kipchaks. Most of the Oghuz turned southwest and left their languages in Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey while the Kipchaks remained on the steppe and became the modern Kazakhs.

The Turkic languages seem to have originated near Mongolia and spread westward. Some time between the third and sixth centuries the Oghurs appear north of the Aral Sea. From about 376 the Huns moved west onto the western steppe, raided Europe and broke up after 453. They were a very mixed group and may have included Turkic-speakers. Around 450 the possibly Turkic Akatziri lived west of Crimea and fought the Huns. Around 463 the Turkic Saragurs attacked the Akatziri. Onogurs is probably a Turkic word meaning ‘ten tribes’. They are mentioned from 463 until the eighth century when they were absorbed by the Bulgars. They seem to have lived towards the Kuban. The Sabirs are first mentioned in 463. They were driven west by the Avars and in turn pushed Saragurs and Onogurs west. They lived in the Kuban area. In 500-600 they fought for and against the Persians and Byzantines and were later absorbed by the Bulgars and Khazars. Around 550 the Kutrigurs (west) and Utigurs (east) lived around the lower Don.

After 635 the Oghurs founded four states. About 635 the Bulgars seem to have broken off from the Onogurs, gained control of the surrounding tribes and formed Old Great Bulgaria north of the Black Sea. About 668 this state was destroyed by the Khazars. When the state fell a group of Bulgars fled southwest to the Balkans, adopted the local language and gave their name to Bulgaria. See First Bulgarian Empire. Another group went north up the Volga and later formed Volga Bulgaria. They adopted Islam in 922, paid tribute to the Khazars and were conquered by the Mongols in 1236. The Chuvash people continue to speak an Oghur language which is somehow connected to that of the Volga Bulgarians. The Khazars emerged east of the Bulgars around 630 and soon replaced them. They were a mixture of Bulgars, other Oghurs, Gokturks and others. They controlled the Volga trade with Persia and Byzantium and were destroyed by the Rus’ in 969. With the formation of the Bulgar and Khazar states the term 'Oghur' gradually disappears from the records, but the Oghur languages must have continued from some time.

Five non-Oghur peoples passed through the area. The Huns are mentioned above. The Gokturks formed in Mongolia in 552, reached the Volga about 588 and raided Crimea in 577. They formed the Western Turkic Khaganate. As it weakened its western part contributed to the Khazars. The Avars were driven west by the Gokturks, briefly ruled the western steppe and moved on to Hungary about 580. They were also a mixed people and absorbed many Oghurs. Some time around 800 the Oghuz Pechenegs moved to the area west of the Khazars and the ancestral Hungarians passed through the area. The Oghur lands were later inhabited by the Kipchaks.


Oghur languages

Oghur languages (W)

The Oghur or Oğuric languages (also known as Bulgar, Pre-Proto-Bulgaric, or Lir-Turkic and r-Turkic) are a branch of the Turkic language family. The only extant member of the group is the Chuvash language. Languages from this family were spoken in some nomadic tribal confederations, such as those of the Onogurs, Bulgars, and Khazars. Some scholars consider Hunnic a similar language and refer to this extended grouping as Hunno-Proto-Bulgarian.

The Oghuric languages are a distinct group of the Turkic languages, standing in contrast to Common Turkic. Today they are represented only by Chuvash. Extinct Oghuric languages include Bulgar and Khazar. There is no consensus among linguists on the relation between Oghuric and Common Turkic, and several questions remain unsolved:

  • Are they parallel branches of Proto-Turkic (3000-500 BC) and, if so, which branch is more archaic?
  • Does Oghuric represents Archaic Turkic before phonetic changes in 100-400 AD and was it a separate language?


The Oghuric languages are also known as "-r Turkic" because the final consonant in certain words is r, not z as in Common Turkic. Chuvash: вăкăр - Turkish: öküz - Tatar: үгез - English: ox. Hence the name Oghur corresponds Oghuz in Common Turkic. Other correspondences are Com. š : Oghur l (tâš : tâl, 'stone'); s > š; > ś; k/q > ğ; y > j, ś; d, δ > δ > z (10th cent.) > r (13th cent.)"; ğd > z > r (14th cent.); a > ı (after 9th cent.).

Denis Sinor believes that the difference means that those tribes could not have come from lands like Mongolia, which uses a -z language. However, there many loanwords in Mongolic from Oghuric, like Mong. ikere, Oghur. *ikir, Hung. iker, Comm. ikiz (twins). It is believed that they lived in the Mongolian borderlands before the 5th century.

The Oghuric tribes are often connected with the Hungarians whose ethnonym is usually derived from Onogurs (> (H)ungars). The Hungarians were mixed Finno-Ugric and Turkic, with strong Oghuric-Bulgar and Khazar influences. Hungarian has many borrowings from Turkic and Oghuric languages: Hung. tenger, Oghur. *tengir, Comm. tengiz (sea), Hung. gyűrű, Oghur. jürük, Comm. yüzük (ring), and terms of equestrian culture (horse), nyereg (saddle), fék (bridle), ostor (whip). A number of Hungarian loanwords were borrowed before the 9th century, shown by sz- (< Oğ. ś-) rather than Comm. gy- (< Oğ. ǰ-): example Hung. szél, Oghur. *śäl, Chuv. śil, Comm. yel (wind), Hung. szűcs (tailor), Hung. szőlő (grapes)




Onogurs (W)

The Onoğurs or Oğurs (Όνόγουροι, Οὒρωγοι; Onογurs, Ογurs; “ten tribes,” "tribes"), were Turkic nomadic equestrians who flourished in the Pontic-Caspian steppe and the Volga region between 5th and 7th century, and spoke Oğhuric language.

The name Onoğur is most often derived as On-Oğur "ten Oğurs (tribes)". Modern scholars consider Turkic tribal terms oğuz and oğur to be derived from Turkic *og/uq, meaning "kinship or being akin to". The terms initially were not the same, as oq/ogsiz meant "arrow", while oğul meant "offspring, child, son", oğuš/uğuš was "tribe, clan", and the verb oğša-/oqša meant "to be like, resemble".


The Onogurs were one of the first Oghuric Turkic tribes that entered the Ponto-Caspian steppes as the result of migrations set off in Inner Asia. The 10th century Movses Kaghankatvatsi recorded, considered late 4th century, certain Honagur, "a Hun from the Honk" who raided Persia, which were related to the Onoghurs, and located near Transcaucasia and the Sassanian Empire. Scholars also relate the Hyōn to this account.

According to Priscus, in 463 the representatives of Ernak's Saraghurs (Oghur. sara, "White Oghurs"), Oghurs and Onoghurs came to the Emperor in Constantinople, and explained they had been driven out of their homeland by the Sabirs, who had been attacked by the Avars in Inner Asia. This tangle of events indicates that the Oghuric tribes are related to the Ting-ling and Tiele people. It is considered they belonged to the westernmost Tiele tribes, which also included the Uyghurs-Toquz Oghuz and the Oghuz Turks, and were initially located in Western Siberia and Kazakhstan. Leo I the Thracian granted Ernak the lands of the treacherous Karadach's Akatziroi roughly corresponding to 20th century Ukraine. Later kings of the Onogur Huns included Grod, Mugel and Sandilch whose Utigurs were engaged in a civil war against the Kutrigurs of Khinialon.

The origin of the Kutrigurs and Utigurs, who lived in the vicinity of the Onoghurs and Bulgars, and their mutual relationship is considered obscure. Scholars consider unclear how the union between Onoghurs and Bulgars formed, viewing it as a long process in which a number of different groups merged. During that time, the Bulgars may have represented a large confederation of which the Onoghurs formed one of the core tribes, together with the remnants of the Utigurs and Kutrigurs, among others.

Jordanes in Getica (551) mentioned that the Hunuguri (believed to be the Onoghurs) were notable for the marten skin trade. In the Middle Ages, marten skin was used as a substitute for minted money. This also indicates they lived near forests and were in contact with Finno-Ugrian peoples.

The Syriac translation of the Pseudo-Zacharias Rhetor's Ecclesiastical History (c. 555) in Western Eurasia records the Avnagur (Aunagur; considered Onoghurs), wngwr (Onoğur), wgr (Oghur), described in typical phrases reserved for nomads in the ethnographic literature of the period, as people who "live in tents, earn their living on the meat of livestock and fish, of wild animals and by their weapons (plunder)".

The Onoghurs (Oghurs), in the 6th and 7th century sources, were mentioned mostly in connection with the Avar and Göktürk conquest of Western Eurasia. According to the 6th century Menander Protector, the "leader of the Οὐγούρων" had the authority of the Turk Yabgu Khagan in the region of Kuban River to the lower Don.

In early 7th century Theophylaktos Simokattes recorded that certain Onoghur city Βακάθ was destroyed by an earthquake before his lifetime. The Sogdian name indicates it was situated in the vicinity of Iranian Central Asia.

Simokattes in the Letter of the Turk Qaγan (Tamgan) to the Emperor Maurikios recorded a complex notice:

"...the Qaghan set off on another undertaking and subjugated all the Ὀγώρ. This people is (one) of the most powerful because of their numbers and their training for war in full battle-gear. They have made their abodes towards the East, whence flows the river Τίλ, which the Turks have the custom of calling the "Black". The oldest chieftains of this people are called Οὐάρ and Χουννί."

According to the Qaghan, part of those Ouar (Uar) and Khounni (Huns) who arrived to Eastern Europe were mistook by the Onoghurs, Barsils, Sabirs and other tribes for the original Avars, and as such the Uar and Huns took advantage of the situation and began call themselves Avars. Simokattes also recounts "when the Ogor, then, were brought completely to heel, the Qaγan gave over the chief of the Κὸλχ (Kolx) to the bite of the sword", shows Oghurs resistance toward Turkic authority. Scholars consider if the Til is Qara Itil (Black Itil) i.e. Volga (Atil/Itil), then the mentioned Ὀγώρ would be the Oghurs, while if it is in Inner Asia, then it could be the Uyghurs.



  • “Türk” ilk kez İS 552’de Çin kaynakları tarafından kullanıldı (“Aşina” Konfederasyonu).
  • Batı Türkleri Çin, Persia ve Doğu Roma İmparatorluğu sınırlarına erişen bir imparatorluk kurdular.
  • 563’te Doğu Roma İmparatorluğuna bir elçi gönderdiler.
  • Batı Türk konfederasyonunun çöküşü ile 620’de Hazar Türkleri bağımsız bir devlet kurdular.
  • Hazar Türkleri dil ve etnik köken açısından Batı Türkleri ile ilişkilidir.
  • Doğu Roma İmparatoru Heraclius ile 626-27’de Sassanian Persia’ya karşı bir bağlaşma kurdular.
  • Araplar ile çarpıştılar (642-652 ve 722-737).


Khazars (W)

Khazar Khaganate, 650-850

The Khazars (Persian: خزر‎, Azerbaijani: Xəzərlər; Turkish: Hazarlar; Bashkir: Хазарлар; Tatar: Хәзәрләр, Xäzärlär; Hebrew: כוזרים‎, Kuzarim; Xazar; Ukrainian: Хоза́ри, Khozáry; Russian: Хаза́ры, Khazáry; Hungarian: Kazárok; Greek: Χάζαροι, Házaroi; Latin: Gazari/Gasani) were a semi-nomadic Turkic people with a confederation of Turkic-speaking tribes that in the late 6th century CE established a major commercial empire covering the southeastern section of modern European Russia. The Khazars created what for its duration was the most powerful polity to emerge from the break-up of the Western Turkic Khaganate. Astride a major artery of commerce between Eastern Europe and Southwestern Asia, Khazaria became one of the foremost trading emporia of the medieval world, commanding the western marches of the Silk Road and playing a key commercial role as a crossroad between China, the Middle East and Kievan Rus'. For some three centuries (c. 650-965) the Khazars dominated the vast area extending from the Volga-Don steppes to the eastern Crimea and the northern Caucasus.


Tribal origins and early history

The tribes that were to comprise the Khazar empire were not an ethnic union, but a congeries of steppe nomads and peoples who came to be subordinated, and subscribed to a core Turkic leadership. Many Turkic groups, such as the Oğuric peoples, including Šarağurs, Oğurs, Onoğurs, and Bulğars who earlier formed part of the Tiĕlè (鐵勒) confederation, are attested quite early, having been driven West by the Sabirs, who in turn fled the Asian Avars, and began to flow into the Volga-Caspian-Pontic zone from as early as the 4th century CE and are recorded by Priscus to reside in the Western Eurasian steppelands as early as 463. They appear to stem from Mongolia and South Siberia in the aftermath of the fall of the Hunnic/Xiōngnú nomadic polities. A variegated tribal federation led by these Turks, probably comprising a complex assortment of Iranian,proto-Mongolic, Uralic, and Palaeo-Siberian clans, vanquished the Rouran Khaganate of the hegemonic central Asian Avars in 552 and swept westwards, taking in their train other steppe nomads and peoples from Sogdiana.

The ruling family of this confederation may have hailed from the Āshǐnà (阿史那) clan of the West Türkic tribes, though Constantine Zuckerman regards Āshǐnà and their pivotal role in the formation of the Khazars with scepticism. Golden notes that Chinese and Arabic reports are almost identical, making the connection a strong one, and conjectures that their leader may have been Yǐpíshèkuì (Chinese:乙毗射匱), who lost power or was killed around 651. Moving west, the confederation reached the land of the Akatziroi, who had been important allies of Byzantium in fighting off Attila's army.

Ashina tribe (W)

The Ashina (Chinese: 阿史那; pinyin: Āshǐnà; Wade–Giles: A-shih-na; Middle Chinese: (Guangyun) [ʔɑʃi̯ə˥nɑ˩]), also known as Asen, Asena, or Açina, were a tribe and the ruling dynasty of the ancient Turkic peoples. It rose to prominence in the mid-6th century when the leader, Bumin Qaghan, revolted against the Rouran Khaganate. The two main branches of the family, one descended from Bumin and the other from his brother Istämi, ruled over the eastern and western parts of the Göktürk confederation, respectively.


Khazars 2

Khazars 2 (W)

Khazar Khaganate, 650-850.

Status Khazar Khaganate
Capital Balanjar (c. 650-720), Samandar (720s-750), Atil (750-c. 965-969)
Common languages Khazar
Religion Tengrism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Paganism, Religious syncretism
• 618-628 Tong Yabghu
• 9th century Bulan, Obadiah, Zachariah, Manasseh, Benjamin
• 10th century Aaron, Joseph, David
• 11th century Georgios
Historical era Middle Ages
• Established c. 650
• Disestablished 969
Area 850 est. 3,000,000 km2; 900 est. 1,000,000 km2
Population 7th century 1,400,000
Preceded by Turkic Khaganate, Old Great Bulgaria
Succeeded by Cumania, Pechenegs


Rise of the Khazar state

An embryonic state of Khazaria began to form sometime after 630, when it emerged from the breakdown of the larger Göktürk Qağanate. Göktürk armies had penetrated the Volga by 549, ejecting the Avars, who were then forced to flee to the sanctuary of the Hungarian plain. The Āshǐnà clan whose tribal name was 'Türk' (the strong one) appear on the scene by 552, when they overthrew the Rourans and established the Göktürk Qağanate. By 568, these Göktürks were probing for an alliance with Byzantium to attack Persia. An internecine war broke out between the senior eastern Göktürks and the junior West Turkic Qağanate some decades later, when on the death of Taspar Qağan, a succession dispute led to a dynastic crisis between Taspar's chosen heir, the Apa Qağan, and the ruler appointed by the tribal high council, Āshǐnà Shètú (阿史那摄图), the Ishbara Qağan.

By the first decades of the 7th century, the Āshǐnà yabgu Tong managed to stabilise the Western division, but upon his death, after providing crucial military assistance to Byzantium in routing the Sasanian army in the Persian heartland, the Western Turkic Qağanate dissolved under pressure from the encroaching Tang dynasty armies and split into two competing federations, each consisting of five tribes, collectively known as the “Ten Arrows” (On Oq). Both briefly challenged Tang hegemony in eastern Turkestan. To the West, two new nomadic states arose in the meantime, Old Great Bulgaria under Kubrat, the Duōlù clan leader, and the Nǔshībì subconfederation, also consisting of five tribes. The Duōlù challenged the Avars in the Kuban River-Sea of Azov area while the Khazar Qağanate consolidated further westwards, led apparently by an Āshǐnà dynasty. With a resounding victory over the tribes in 657, engineered by General Sū Dìngfāng (蘇定方), Chinese overlordship was imposed to their East after a final mop-up operation in 659, but the two confederations of Bulğars and Khazars fought for supremacy on the western steppeland, and with the ascendency of the latter, the former either succumbed to Khazar rule or, as under Asparukh, Kubrat's son, shifted even further west across the Danube to lay the foundations of the First Bulgarian Empire in the Balkans (c. 679).

The Qağanate of the Khazars thus took shape out of the ruins of this nomadic empire as it broke up under pressure from the Tang dynasty armies to the east sometime between 630-650. After their conquest of the lower Volga region to the East and an area westwards between the Danube and the Dniepr, and their subjugation of the Onoğur-Bulğar union, sometime around 670, a properly constituted Khazar Qağanate emerges, becoming the westernmost successor state of the formidable Göktürk Qağanate after its disintegration. According to Omeljan Pritsak, the language of the Onoğur-Bulğar federation was to become the lingua franca of Khazaria as it developed into what Lev Gumilev called a ‘steppe Atlantis’ (stepnaja Atlantida/ Степная Атлантида). Historians have often referred to this period of Khazar domination as the Pax Khazarica since the state became an international trading hub permitting Western Eurasian merchants safe transit across it to pursue their business without interference. The high status soon to be accorded this empire to the north is attested by Ibn al-Balḫî's Fârsnâma (c. 1100), which relates that the Sasanian Shah, Ḫusraw 1, Anûsîrvân, placed three thrones by his own, one for the King of China, a second for the King of Byzantium, and a third for the king of the Khazars. Though anachronistic in retrodating the Khazars to this period, the legend, in placing the Khazar qağan on a throne with equal status to kings of the other two superpowers, bears witness to the reputation won by the Khazars from early times.


Khazar language

Khazar language (W)

Khazar, also known as Khazaric or Khazaris, was the dialect spoken by the Khazars, a group of semi-nomadic Turkic peoples originating from Central Asia. There are few written records of the language, and it is regarded as extinct. Khazar was a Turkic language; however, there is a dispute among scholars as to which branch of the Turkic language family it belongs. One consideration believes it belongs to the Oghur (“lir”) branch of the Turkic language family, while another consideration is that it belongs to the Common Turkic branch.

There are many problems with exact classification of the Khazar language. One of the basic issues is the vague nature of the name Khazar itself. It has not yet been determined whether it refers to a specific Turkish tribe, or if it had a political and geographical origin that was not ethnolinguistic. The Khazar realm was a polyglot (multi lingual) and polyethnic (multicultural) state, with Iranian, Finnic, Ugric, Slavic, and North Caucasian languages. According to anthropological data, it was ruled by Inner Asian Mongoloid (with some Europoid somatic elements) core tribes that accompanied the dynasty. The Turkic tribes probably spoke a number of Turkic languages. Scholars considered it a possibility that the term Khazar denoted one or even several languages; however, the sources cannot determine the extent of its use.

Chronicles of the time are unclear on Khazar's linguistic affiliation. The tenth century Al-Istakhri wrote two conflicting notices: "the language of the Khazars is different than the language of the Turks and the Persians, nor does a tongue of (any) group of humanity have anything in common with it, and the language of the Bulgars is like the language of the Khazars but the Burtas have another language." Al-Istakhri mentioned that population of Darband spoke Khazar along with other languages of their mountains. Al-Masudi listed Khazars among types of the Turks, and noted they are called Sabir in Turkic and Xazar in Persian. Al-Biruni, while discussing the Volga Bulgars and Sawars (Sabirs), noted their language was a "mixture of Turkic and Khazar." Al-Muqaddasi described the Khazar language as "very incomprehensible."

Compared to the uniformity of Common Turkic, which Al-Istakhri mentioned "as for the Turks, all of them, from the Toquz Oghuz, Qirgiz, Kimek, Oguz, Qarluq, their language is one. They understand one another; even if Khazar belonged or was similar to Oghuro-Bulgaric languages, it was distinctly different.

The linguistic data consists of Khazar titles (Beg, Bolušči, Ishad, Il-teber/El-teber, Qağan, Kündü Qağan, Jâwšîġr, Tarxan, Tudun, Yabgu, Yilig/Yelig), anthroponyms (Itaq), and toponyms (Sarkel/Šarkil, Sarığšın/Sarığčın), mostly of Turkic origin. The interpretations do not indicate whether these are Common Turkic or Oghuric.



Turkic Khaganate 600

“Yukarıda mavi gök, aşağıda kara toprak yaratılırken, ikisi arasında insan oğulları yaratıldı. Ve insan oğullarının üstünde atalarım kağan Bumin ve İsthemi duruyordu. Türk halkının efendileri olunca, onun imparatorluğunu kurup yönettiler ve ülkenin yasasını belirlediler. Dünyanın dört bucağında çok sayıda düşmanları vardı, ama onlara karşı seferlere önderlik ederek dünyanın dört bucağında birçok ulusa boyun eğdirdiler ve barışı kabul ettirdiler. Onlara baş eğdirdiler ve diz çöktürdüler. Bunlar bilge kağanlar, yiğit kağanlar idiler; ve tüm subayları bilge ve yiğit idi; tüm soylular ve bütün bir halk türeli idi. Nasıl böyle büyük bir imparatorluğu yönetebilmiş olmalarının, ve nasıl imparatorluğu yönetirken yasaya bağlı kalabilmiş olalarının nedeni bu idi.”
The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia / Edited by DENIS SINOR
Chapter 11 The establishment and dissolution of the Turk empire



"When high above the blue sky and down below the brown earth had been created, betwixt the two were created the sons of men. And above the sons of men stood my ancestors, the kaghans Bumin and Ishtemi. Having become the masters of the Turk people, they installed and ruled its empire and fixed the law of the country. Many were their enemies in the four corners of the world, but, leading campaigns against them, they subjugated and pacified many nations in the four corners of the world. They caused them to bow their heads and to bend their knees. These were wise kaghans, these were valiant kaghans; all their officers were wise and valiant; the nobles, all of them, the entire people were just. This was the reason why they were able to rule an empire so great, why, governing the empire, they could uphold the law."*


It is a regrettable fact that no translation of the Orkhon inscriptions into idiomatic English exists. That given in Talat Tekin’s otherwise very valuable A Grammar of Orkhon Turkic, (1968) cannot lay such claim. The three translations given in this chapter are my own, of passages taken from the Köl tegin and Bilge kaghan inscriptions. They are based on the editions prepared by V. Thomsen, 1896, S.E. Malov, 1951, and Talat Tekin in the aforementioned book. I have attempted to convey the meaning of the text but did not consider philological problems which should be, and have been, treated elsewhere.


📙 The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia / Chapter 11: The establishment and dissolution of the Turk empire

The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia / Chapter 11: The establishment and dissolution of the Turk empire (LINK: KİTAPLAR)



Göktürks (W)

Situation of Interior Asia in Late 6th Century with approximate ranges of Eastern and Western Gokturks (Tujue)

The Göktürks, Celestial Turks, Blue Turks or Kok Turks (Old Turkic: 𐰜𐰇𐰛:𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰, Kök Türük; Chinese: 突厥/تُركِئ; pinyin: Tūjué, Middle Chinese: *duət̚-kʉɐt̚ (türkut), Dungan: Тўҗүә; Khotanese Saka: Ttūrka, Ttrūka; Old Tibetan: Drugu, tatar: kük törek, bashqurt: kük török) were a nomadic confederation of Turkic peoples in medieval Inner Asia. The Göktürks, under the leadership of Bumin Qaghan (d. 552) and his sons, succeeded the Rouran Khaganate as the main power in the region and established the Turkic Khaganate, one of several nomadic dynasties which would shape the future geolocation, culture, and dominant beliefs of Turkic peoples.

Map of the Tujue Khanate (Ashina clan of Göktürks) at its greatest extent in 570


Strictly speaking, the common name Göktürk is the Anatolian Turkish form of the ethnonym. The Old Turkic name for the Göktürks was 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰 Türük, 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰:𐰜𐰇𐰛 Kök Türük, or Türk. They were known in Middle Chinese historical sources as the tɦutkyat (Chinese: ; pinyin: Tūjué). According to Chinese sources, the meaning of the word Tujue was "combat helmet" (Chinese: ; pinyin: Dōumóu; Wade-Giles: Tou1-mou2), reportedly because the shape of the Altai Mountains where they lived, was similar to a combat helmet.

Göktürk means "Celestial Turks", or sometimes "Blue Turks" (i.e. because sky blue is associated with celestial realms). This is consistent with "the cult of heavenly ordained rule" which was a recurrent element of Altaic political culture and as such may have been imbibed by the Göktürks from their predecessors in Mongolia The name of the ruling Ashina clan may derive from the Khotanese Saka term for "deep blue", āššɪna.

According to American Heritage Dictionary The word Türk meant "strong" in Old Turkic.


Origin of Göktürks

Origin of Göktürks (W)

The Göktürk rulers originated from the Ashina clan, who were first attested to 439. The Book of Sui reports that in that year, on October 18, the Tuoba ruler Emperor Taiwu of Northern Wei overthrew Juqu Mujian of the Northern Liang in eastern Gansu, whence 500 Ashina families fled northwest to the Rouran Khaganate in the vicinity of Gaochang. Peter Benjamin Golden points out that the khaghans of the Turkic Khaganate, the Ashina, who were of an undetermined ethnic origin, adopted Iranian and Tokharian titles. German Turkologist W.-E. Scharlipp points out that many common terms in Turkic are Iranian in origin.

According to the Book of Zhou and the History of the Northern Dynasties, the Ashina clan was a component of the Xiongnu confederation, but this connection is disputed, and according to the Book of Sui and the Tongdian, they were "mixed Hu (barbarians)" (雜胡) from Pingliang. Indeed, Chinese sources linked the Hu on their northern borders to the Xiongnu just as Graeco-Roman historiographers called the Pannonian Avars, Huns and Hungarians "Scythians". Such archaizing was a common literary topos, and implied similar geographic origins and nomadic lifestyle but not direct filiation.

As part of the heterogeneous Rouran Khaganate, the Türks lived for generations north of the Altai Mountains, where they ‘engaged in metal working for the Rouran,’ According to Denis Sinor, the rise to power of the Ashina clan represented an 'internal revolution' in the Rouran Khaganate rather than an external conquest. According to Charles Holcombe, the early Tujue population was rather heterogeneous and many of the names of Türk rulers, including the two founding members, are not even Turkic. This is supported by evidence from the Orkhon inscriptions, which include several non-Turkic lexemes, possibly representing Finno-Ugric or Samoyedic words.


Göktürks (Blue Turks)

Göktürks (Blue Turks) (L-The History Files)

The Gök Türks (or Göktürks) were early Turks who lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle in Central Asia, principally in Mongolia, to the north and west of China. They emerged into history in the early sixth century AD from obscure tribal origins. The Chinese recorded more than one source for them during the sixth and seventh centuries but none provide entirely conclusive evidence. Even so, Chinese records are the best hope of pinning them down.

As can be expected with such an obscure group in a region that was almost entirely outside the reach of contemporary writers, Chinese records of the Göktürks offer a mixed bag of options. They could have been a division of the Hsiung-nu (Xiongnu) who were certainly recorded by the Chinese, and who may have given rise to the Huns who later terrorised Europe and the Xionites who plagued eastern Iran. While the Huns migrated west, possibly to escape population pressure on hunting grounds, the Göktürks clearly remained behind, perhaps supplying that very pressure on hunting grounds during their own rise. They could also have been the Turkified Xianbei who fled a massacre by the Northern Wei who ruled northern China in the fifth century. A third option is that they were Turkified Indo-Europeans, making them Tocharians who had intermarried with proto-Turkic groups in the three-and-a-half millennia since their split from the main body of Indo-Europeans of the Pontic-Caspian steppe (see link, right, for a more detailed examination of the Tocharians).

Whatever their origins, these were the first nomads in Mongolia (or anywhere) to refer to themselves as Turks. It is believed that this name was for a dynastic ancestor called Türük, of the Ashina tribe (which can also be shown as Asen, Asena, Ashinas (in Islamic texts), or Açina). All of these bear a marked Indo-Iranian influence. Türük (and by extension his tribe) was believed to have descended from the combination of a child and the Kök Böri ('Blue Wolf'), hence blue Turk. The story surrounding this descent is a more sophisticated version of the same myth that was used by the Wusun people some centuries before. The word 'kök' (the earlier form) or 'gök' (seemingly a later, Anatolian Turkish form) means 'blue', but also 'sky' or, in a more abstract sense, 'heavens'. Such an early name for an illiterate people was quite naturally rendered in a variety of different ways by different writers across several centuries, including Kök Türük, Tourkh, Tr’wk, Tujue, Turk, and Türük. They all mean the same thing.

Curiously, perhaps, in The Turks in World History, Carter Vaughn Findley points out that the Ashina name probably originates from one of the Indo-Iranian languages of Central Asia. Edward Dawson confirms this with the observation that the 'As-' or 'Ash-' verb, meaning 'to be', as seen in Asha, is also present among Germans. In this case, most uses of it were altered to 'is-', except in the word for the early Germanic gods, the Os or Aesir (see feature link, right, for more information). Blue is the colour that was used to identify the east — therefore 'gök' in Turkic — which provides a dual meaning for Göktürk, in that the blue Turks were also the 'Turks of the East'. Findley's observation is further supported by Peter Benjamin Golden and also by the Hungarian researcher, András Róna-Tas, who finds it highly plausible ‘that we are dealing with a royal family and clan [that is] of Iranian origin, almost certainly Saka.’ If that origin provided anything more than simple cultural influences then this would mean that the Ashina core tribe was almost certainly of Indo-European origin. To balance this, Zhu Xueyuan suggests that Ashina derived from the Manchu word 'Aisin' and the early Wusun (Asin or Osin), whom he considers to have been a Tungusic people.

İstemi and Bumin were two Göktürk brothers (notably bearing non-Turkic names — a common occurrence with Göktürk rulers which reveals a level of heterogeneity amongst the early Turks). Defeating the ruling Rouran, they managed to unite all Turkish-speaking peoples within a confederation. The empire they created was almost immediately divided in two, east and west. Each division maintained its own line of descent, although the two divisions frequently interacted.

(Information by Peter Kessler and Hayreddin Barbarossa (drawn from Turkish editions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and Grand Larousse), with additional information by Edward Dawson, from The Origin of the Turks and the Turkish Khanate, Gao Yang (Tenth Türk Tarih Kongresi, Ankara 1986), from Türkiye halkının kültür kökenleri: Giriş, beslenme teknikleri, Burhan Oğuz (1976), from The Turks in World History, Carter Vaughn Findley (Oxford University Press 2005), from The Origins of Northern China's Ethnicities, Zhu Xueyuan (Beijing 2004), from Ethnogenesis in the tribal zone: The Shaping of the Turks, Peter Benjamin Golden (2005), from The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade, Susan Wise Bauer (2010), and from External Link:Encyclopaedia Iranica.)


The Göktürks and the Khazaks

The Göktürks and the Khazaks (L)

The Göktürks and the Khazaks

On the steppes themselves, meanwhile, a Turkish confederacy, led by the Göktürks, rose to dominate a vast tract of central Asia, from the mid-6th century. They allied with the Sasanians to destroy the power of the White Huns in 560 CE, and their power soon came to stretch from the borders of China to the borders of the Byzantine Empire. Although the confederacy divided into western and eastern halves, these seem to have continued on friendly terms and to have co-operated with one another. Between them, the Göktürks controlled almost the entire length of the Silk Road.

The western Göktürks were replaced by the Khazaks in the 7th century, while the eastern Göktürks endured into the 8th. The histories of both the Khazaks and the Göktürks were disrupted by a major challenge from the two major agricultural-based powers of the day, the Tang empire of China and the Islamic Caliphate of the Arabs. Between them, they briefly dominated central Asia. For a time the Göktürks were absorbed into the Tang empire, and to the west the Kazakhs were forced northward by the Muslim armies of the Caliphate. However, both steppe confederacies recovered in the late 8th century, and the Khazaks reached the peak of their power in the late 8th century by bringing a region stretching from the Caspian Sea to the River Danube under their dominance.

The Khazaks had a more sedentary way of life than other steppe peoples, with an economy to some extent based on farming. They controlled the western sector of the Silk Road, and under their protection towns developed in favoured locations. The Khazak rulers achieved a unique distinction by adopting Judaism as their official religion, in the mid-8th century.

In the 9th and 10th centuries, the Khazaks faced a growing challenge to their power from the emerging Rus principalities, and their power was destroyed by another Turkic group, the nomadic Pechenegs, who in the 10th century occupied a huge band of territory between the Don and lower Danube rivers. From there the Pechenegs menaced the Rus states, the Bulgarian Khanate and the Byzantine Empire. Finally they were destroyed by Byzantine forces in 1122.


Another group of steppe people who came into prominence in the 10th century were the Oguz Turks. At that time these migrated from the eastern steppes, where their original homeland was, probably in Mongolia. They made their new homeland in the region east of the Caspian Sea. Like other Turkish groups in this area they converted to Islam. Then, taking advantage of the disintegrating power of the Caliphate, one of their leading clans, the Seljuqs, invaded southward and conquered a huge empire in the Middle East. When the Seljuq power declined, in the 12th century, other Turkish groups, such as the Karakhanids and the Khwarezm, who succeeded them in Iran and the Transoxus regions. The Khwarezm Shah were the dominant state in the region when the Mongols arrived, in the 13th century.


📹 The History of the Göktürks / Every Year (VİDEO)

The History of the Göktürks / Every Year (LINK)



📹 Göktürk Khaganate, The First Turkic Empire (VİDEO)

Göktürk Khaganate, The First Turkic Empire (LINK)

The First Turkic Empire, history of the Göktürk Khaganate explained in 5 minutes.




Karluks (W)

The Karluks (also Qarluqs, Qarluks, Karluqs; Persian: خَلُّخKhallokh, Arabic: قارلوقQarluq) were a prominent nomadic Turkic tribal confederacy residing in the regions of Kara-Irtysh (Black Irtysh) and the Tarbagatai Mountains west of the Altay Mountains in Central Asia. They were also known as the Gelolu (simplified Chinese: 葛逻禄; traditional Chinese: 葛邏祿; pinyin: Géluólù, customary phonetic: Gelu, Khololo, Khorlo or Harluut). They were closely related to the Uyghurs. Karluks gave their name to the distinct Karluk group of the Turkic languages, which also includes the Uyghur, Uzbek, and Ili Turki languages.

Karluks were known as a coherent ethnic group with autonomous status within the Göktürk kaganate and the independent states of the Karluk Yabgu, Karakhanids, and Qarlughids before being absorbed in the Chagatai Khanate of the Mongol empire.




🗺️ The migration of the Bulgars after the fall of Old Great Bulgaria in the 7th century.

The migration of the Bulgars after the fall of Old Great Bulgaria in the 7th century (W)

Bulgar migration map in the 7th century

The Bulgars, originally a nomadic group from Central Asia, had occupied the Pontic steppe north of Caucasus since the second century, but after, pushed by the Khazars, the majority of them migrated west and dominated Byzantine territories along the lower Danube in the seventh century. From this time and onward the demographic picture of the Balkans changed permanently becoming predominantly Slavic, while pockets of native people survived in the mountains of southwest Balkans, Albania and Greece.
LINK: Migration Period (W)



Bulgars (W)

Bulgars subsequent migrations from Central Asia and Western Eurasia to the Europe

The Bulgars (also Bulghars, Bulgari, Bolgars, Bolghars, Bolgari, Proto-Bulgarians) were Turkic semi-nomadic warrior tribes that flourished in the Pontic-Caspian steppe and the Volga region during the 7th century. Emerging as nomadic equestrians in the Volga-Ural region, according to some researchers their roots can be traced to Central Asia. During their westward migration across the Eurasian steppe the Bulgars absorbed other ethnic groups and cultural influences, including Hunnic and Indo-European peoples. Modern genetic research on Central Asian Turkic people and ethnic groups related to the Bulgars points to an affiliation with Western Eurasian populations. The Bulgars spoke a Turkic language, i.e. Bulgar language of Oghuric branch. They preserved the military titles, organization and customs of Eurasian steppes, as well as pagan shamanism and belief in the sky deity Tangra.

The Bulgars became semi-sedentary during the 7th century in the Pontic-Caspian steppe, establishing the polity of Old Great Bulgaria c. 635, which was absorbed by the Khazar Empire in 668 AD.

In c. 679, Khan Asparukh conquered Scythia Minor, opening access to Moesia, and established the First Bulgarian Empire, where the Bulgars became a political and military elite. They merged subsequently with established Byzantine populations, as well as with previously settled Slavic tribes, and were eventually Slavicized,thus forming the ancestors of modern Bulgarians.

The remaining Pontic Bulgars migrated in the 7th century to the Volga River, where they founded the Volga Bulgaria; they preserved their identity well into the 13th century. The Volga Tatars and Chuvash people claim to be originated from the Volga Bulgars.


Turkic migration

Turkic migration (W)

Turkic migration
Turkic migration

The origin of the early Bulgars is still unclear. Their homeland is believed to be situated in Kazakhstan and the North Caucasian steppes. Interaction with the Hunnic tribes, causing the migration, may have occurred there, but the Pontic-Caspian steppe seems a more likely location.

The first clear mention and evidence of the Bulgars was in the 480, when they served as the allies of the Byzantine Emperor Zeno (474-491) against the Ostrogoths. Anachronistic references about them can also be found in the 7th-century geography work Ashkharatsuyts by Anania Shirakatsi, where the Kup'i Bulgar, Duč'i Bulkar, Olxontor Błkar and immigrant Č'dar Bulkar tribes are mentioned as being in the North Caucasian-Kuban steppes. An obscure reference to Ziezi ex quo Vulgares, with Ziezi being an offspring of Biblical Shem, is in the Chronography of 354.

According to D. Dimitrov, the 5th-century History of Armenia by Movses Khorenatsi speaks about two migrations of the Bulgars, from Caucasus to Armenia. The first migration is mentioned in the association with the campaign of Armenian ruler Valarshak (probably Varazdat) to the lands "named Basen by the ancients... and which were afterwards populated by immigrants of the vh' ndur Bulgar Vund, after whose name they (the lands) were named Vanand". The second migration took place during the time of the ruler Arshak III, when "great disturbances occurred in the range of the great Caucasus mountain, in the land of the Bulgars, many of whom migrated and came to our lands and settled south of Kokh". Both migrations are dated to the second half of the 4th century AD. The "disturbances" which caused them are believed to be the expansion of the Huns in the East-European steppes. Dimitrov recorded that the toponyms of the Bolha and Vorotan rivers, tributaries of the Aras river, are known as Bolgaru-chaj and Vanand-chaj, and could confirm the Bulgar settlement of Armenia.

Around 463 AD, the Akatziroi and other tribes that had been part of the Hunnic union were attacked by the Šarağurs, one of the first Oğuric Turkic tribes that entered the Ponto-Caspian steppes as the result of migrations set off in Inner Asia. According to Priscus, in 463 the representatives of Šarağur, Oğur and Onoğur came to the Emperor in Constantinople, and explained they had been driven out of their homeland by the Sabirs, who had been attacked by the Avars. This tangle of events indicates that the Oğuric tribes are related to the Ting-ling and Tiele people. It seems that Kutrigurs and Unigurs arrived with the initial waves of Oğuric peoples entering the Pontic steppes. The Bulgars were not mentioned in 463.

The account by Paul the Deacon in his History of the Lombards (8th century) says that at the beginning of the 5th century in the North-Western slopes of the Carpathians the Vulgares killed the Lombard king Agelmund. Scholars attribute this account to the Huns, Avars or some Bulgar groups were probably carried away by the Huns to the Central Europe. The Lombards, led by their new king Laimicho, rose up and defeated the Bulgars with great slaughter, gaining great booty and confidence as they "became bolder in undertaking the toils of war." The defeated Bulgars then became subjects of the Lombards and later migrated in Italy with their king Alboin When the army of Ostrogoth chieftain Theodoric Strabo grew to 30,000-men strong, it was felt as a menace to Byzantine Emperor Zeno, who somehow managed to convince the Bulgars to attack the Thracian Goths. The Bulgars were eventually defeated by Strabo in 480/481. In 486 and 488 they fought against the Goths again, first as allies of the Byzantium, according to Magnus Felix Ennodius, and later as allies of the Gepids, according to Paul the Deacon. However, when Theoderic the Great with Ostrogoths parted for Italy in 489, the Illyricum and Thrace were open for Bulgar raids.

In 493, according to Marcellinus Comes, they defeated and killed magister militum Julian. In 499, crossed Danube and reached Thrace where on the banks of the river Tzurta (considered a tributary of Maritsa) defeated 15,000 men strong Roman army led by magister militum Aristus. In 502, Bulgars again devastated Thrace as reportedly there were no Roman soldiers to oppose them. In 528-529 again invaded the region and defeated Roman generals Justin and Baduarius. However, Gothic general, Mundus, offered allegiance to the Emperor Justinian I (527-565) in 530, and managed to kill 5,000 Bulgars plundering Thrace. John Malalas recorded that in the battle was captured Bulgar warlord. In 535, magister militum Sittas defeated the Bulgar army at the river Yantra.

Ennodius, Jordanes and Procopius identified the Bulgars with the Huns in a 6th-century literary topos, in which Ennodius referred to a captured Bulgar horse as "equum Huniscum". In 505, the alleged 10,000 Hun horsemen in the Sabinian army, which was defeated by the Ostrogoths, are believed to be the Bulgars. In 515, Bulgar mercenaries were listed along with others from the Goths, Scythians and Hunnic tribes as part of the Vitalian army. In 539, two Hunnic "kinglets" defeated two Roman generals during the raid into Scythia Minor and Moesia. A Roman army led by magister militum Ascum and Constantiolus intercepted and defeated them in Thrace, however, another raiding party ambushed and captured two Roman generals. In 539 and 540, Procopius reported a powerful Hunnic army crossed the Danube, devastated Illyricum and reached up to the Anastasian Wall. Such large distances covered in short time indicate they were horsemen.

Jordanes described, in his work Getica (551), the Pontic steppe beyond the Acatziri, above the Pontic Sea, as the habitat of the Bulgari, "whom the evils of our sins have made famous". In this region, the Hunni divided into two tribes: the Altziagiri (who trade and live next to Cherson) and Saviri, while the Hunuguri (believed to be the Onoğurs) were notable for the marten skin trade. In the Middle Ages, marten skin was used as a substitute for minted money.

The Syriac translation of Pseudo-Zacharias Rhetor's Ecclesiastical History (c. 555) in Western Eurasia records:

"The land Bazgun... extends up to the Caspian Gates and to the sea, which are in the Hunnish lands. Beyond the gates live the Burgars (Bulgars), who have their language, and are people pagan and barbarian. They have towns. And the Alans - they have five towns... Avnagur (Aunagur, considered Onoğurs) are people, who live in tents".

Then he records 13 tribes, the wngwr (Onogur), wgr (Oğur), sbr (Sabir), bwrgr (Burğa, i.e. Bulgar), kwrtrgr (Kutriğurs), br (probably Vars, also known as the Avars), ksr (Kasr; possibly Akatziri), srwrgwr (Saragur), dyrmr (unknown), b'grsyq (Bagrasir, i.e. Barsil), kwls (unknown), bdl (probably Abdali), and ftlyt (Hephthalite). . They are described in typical phrases reserved for nomads in the ethnographic literature of the period, as people who "live in tents, earn their living on the meat of livestock and fish, of wild animals and by their weapons (plunder)."

Agathias (c. 579-582) wrote:

...all of them are called in general Scythians and Huns in particular according to their nation. Thus, some are Koutrigours or Outigours and yet others are Oultizurs and Bourougounds... the Oultizurs and Bourougounds were known up to the time of the Emperor Leo (457–474) and the Romans of that time and appeared to have been strong. We, however, in this day, neither know them, nor, I think, will we. Perhaps, they have perished or perhaps they have moved off to very far place.

According to D. Dimitrov, scholars partially managed to identify and locate the Bulgar groups mentioned in the Armenian Ashkharatsuyts. The Olxontor Błkar is one of the variations used for the Onoğurs Bulgars, while others could be related to the ancient river names, such as the Kup'i Bulgar and the Kuban (Kuphis). The Duč'i could read Kuchi Bulkar and as such could be related to the Dnieper (Kocho). However, the Č'dar Bulkar location is unclear. Dimitrov theorized that the differences in the Bulgar ethnonym could be due to the dialect differentiations in their language.

By the middle of the 6th century, the Bulgars momentarily fade from the sources and the Kutrigurs and Utigurs come to the front. Between 548 and 576, mostly due to Justinian I (527–565), through diplomatic persuasion and bribery the Kutrigurs and Utigurs were drawn into mutual warfare, decimating one another. In the end, the Kutrigurs were overwhelmed by the Avars, while the Utigurs came under the rule of the Western Turks.

The Oğurs and Onoğurs, in the 6th- and 7th-century sources, were mentioned mostly in connection with the Avar and Turk conquest of Western Eurasia. From the 8th century, the Byzantine sources often mention the Onoğurs in close connection with the Bulgars. Agathon (early 8th century) wrote about the nation of Onoğurs Bulğars. Nikephoros I (early 9th century) noted that Kubrat was the lord of the Onoğundurs; his contemporary Theophanes referred to them as Onoğundur–Bulğars. Constantine VII (mid-10th century) remarked that the Bulğars formerly called themselves Onoğundurs. This association was previously mirrored in Armenian sources, such as the Ashkharatsuyts, which refers to the Olxontor Błkar, and the 5th century History by Movses Khorenatsi, which includes an additional comment from a 9th-century writer about the colony of the Vłĕndur Bułkar. Marquart and Golden connected these forms with the Iġndr (*Uluġundur) of Ibn al-Kalbi (c. 820), the Vnndur (*Wunundur) of Hudud al-'Alam (982), the Wlndr (*Wulundur) of Al-Masudi (10th century) and Hungarian name for Belgrad Nándor Fejérvár, the nndr (*Nandur) of Gardīzī (11th century) and *Wununtur in the letter by the Khazar King Joseph. All the forms show the phonetic changes typical of later Oğuric (prothetic v-).

Scholars consider it unclear how this union came about, viewing it as a long process in which a number of different groups were merged. During that time, the Bulgars may have represented a large confederation including the remnants of Onoğurs, Utigurs and Kutrigurs among others.



Bulgarian empires (W)

First Bulgarian Empire, early 10th century (904).

The First Bulgarian Empire (681-1018) had a significant political influence in the Balkans. In the time of Tervel (700-721) the Bulgars helped Byzantines two times, in 705 the Emperor Justinian II to regain his throne, and 717-718 defeating the Arabs during the siege of Constantinople. Sevar (738-753) was the last ruler from the Dulo clan, and the period until c. 768-772 was characterized by the Byzantino-Bulgar conflict and internal crisis. In the short period followed seven rulers from the Uokil and Ugain clan. Telerig (768-777) managed to establish a pacific policy with Byzantium, and restore imperial power.

During the reign of Khan Krum (803-814), the Empire doubled its size, including new lands in Macedonia and Serbia. He also successfully repelled the invading force of the Byzantines, as well defeated the Pannonian Avars where additionally extended the Empire size. In 865, during the reign of Khan Boris I (852-889), the Bulgars accepted Christianity as the official religion, and Eastern Orthodoxy in 879. The greatest expansion of the Empire and prosperity during the time of Simeon I (893-927) is considered as the Bulgarian Golden Age. However, from the time of Peter I (927-969) their power declined. The Hungarians, Kievan Rus' Slavs, as well Pechenegs and Cumans held many raids into their territory, and so weakened were eventually conquered in 1018 by the Byzantine Empire.

Bulgaria under Ivan Asen II

In 1185, the Bulgarians and Vlachs held a revolt against the Byzantine Empire, and helped by the settled Cumans from Hungary, created the Second Bulgarian Empire (1186-1396) ruled by the Asen dynasty (1187-1280). From 1280 till 1322 periodically ruled the Terter dynasty, and from 1323 till 1396 the Shishman dynasty, all the three of Cuman origin. In 1396, the Bulgarians were conquered by the Ottoman Turks, and only in 1878 established an autonomous principality, while in 1908 declared independence.




A special film produced by Nu Boyana Film Studios and shown for the first time to the participants in the International Congress on World Civilizations and Creative Toursim (2016) hosted in Sofia by the Bulgarian government and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).


📹 History of Bulgaria / Every Year (VİDEO)

History of Bulgaria / Every Year (LINK)

The history of Bulgaria from its first state on the Ukrainian steppes to the modern-day Republic.

Nice video. However I feel obliged to mention some of the misstakes. 1.Great Old Bulgaria bordered the Caspian sea. 2. North eastern Pannonia was fully incorporated into the Bulgarian empire in 827 after the campaigns of Kan Omurtag against the Franks in 828. 3. The proto Bulgarians didn't use the title Khan but Kanasubigi probably comming from the Indo-European *su- andbaga-, i.e. *su-baga (an equivallent of the Greek phrase ὁ ἐκ Θεοῦ ἄρχων, ho ek Theou archon, which is common in Bulgar inscriptions.) We used the title untill 864, then it was replaced by Prince (knyaz) and later Tsar ( emperor) in 913. 4. The first empire probably controlled Transylvania untill the 960s. 5. Wallachia and what would later become the principality of Moldavia were vassals and controlled by the Second Bulgarian empire between 1190 - 1242 and 1280 and 1322. Epirus was also a Bulgarian vassal in the period 1230-1240s 6. You forgot to mention the Despotate of Dobrudza (1356-1395). 7. The last Bulgarian fortress which feel to the Turks was Lovech which fell in 1422. 8. Bulgaria was a tatar vassal in the period 1286-99 I can't say much about Volga Bulgaria as the sources about its borders are really few.




Tatars (W)

The Tatars are a Turkic-speaking people living mainly in Russia and other Post-Soviet countries. The name "Tatar" first appears in written form on the Kul Tigin monument as 𐱃𐱃𐰺(Ta-tar). Historically, the term "Tatars" was applied to anyone originating from the vast Northern and Central Asian landmass then known as the Tartary, which was dominated by various mostly Turco-Mongol semi-nomadic empires and kingdoms. More recently, however, the term refers more narrowly to people who speak one of the Turkic languages.

The Mongol Empire, established under Genghis Khan in 1206, allied with the Tatars. Under the leadership of Genghis Khan's grandson Batu Khan (c. 1207-1255), the Mongols moved westwards, driving with them many of the Mongol tribes toward the plains of Kievan Rus'. The "Tatar" clan still exists among the Mongols, Hazaras and Uzbeks.

The largest group by far that the Russians have called "Tatars" are the Volga Tatars, native to the Volga region (Tatarstan and Bashkortostan), who for this reason are often also simply known as "Tatars". They compose 53% of population in Tatarstan. Their language is known as the Tatar language. As of 2002 they had an estimated population around 5 million in Russia as a whole. There is a common belief that Russians and Tatars are closely intermingled, illustrated by the famous saying "scratch any Russian just a little and you will discover a Tatar underneath" and the fact that a number of noble families in Tsardom of Russia and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had Tatar origins; however, genetics show that majority of Russians form a cluster with Northern and Eastern Europeans (especially Belarusians, Ukrainians and Poles), and are relatively far from Tatar peoples. In modern-day Tatarstan, however, Russian-Tatar marriages are very common.

Current day Tatars comprise a range of physical appearances, from Mongoloid to Caucasoid.



Tartary (W)

Tartary (Latin: Tartaria) or Great Tartary (Latin: Tartaria Magna) was a historical region in northern and central Asia stretching eastwards from the Caspian Sea and from the Ural Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, inhabited mostly by Turkic peoples.

The vast region spanned much of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, Volga-Urals, the Caucasus, Siberia, Central Asia, Mongolia, and Manchuria.

Map of independent Tartary (in yellow) and Chinese Tartary (in violet), in 1806 (LINK)




Tatarstan (W)

Map of the Republic of Tatarstan

The Republic of Tatarstan (Russian: Респу́блика Татарста́н, tr. Respublika Tatarstan, IPA: [rʲɪsˈpublʲɪkə tətɐrˈstan]; Tatar: Татарстан Республикасы), or simply Tatarstan, is a federal subject (a republic) of the Russian Federation, located in the Volga Federal District. Its capital is the city of Kazan. The republic borders Kirov, Ulyanovsk, Samara, and Orenburg Oblasts, the Mari El, Udmurt, and Chuvash Republics, and the Republic of Bashkortostan. The area of the republic is 68,000 square kilometres (26,000 sq mi). The unofficial Tatarstan motto is Bez Buldırabız! (We can!). As of the 2010 Census, the population of Tatarstan was 3,786,488.

The state has strong cultural ties with its eastern neighbor, the Republic of Bashkortostan.

The state languages of the Republic of Tatarstan are Tatar and Russian.


📹 The origin of Tatars — Xiongnu, Huns, Göktürks, Great Bulgaria (VİDEO)

The origin of Tatars — Xiongnu, Huns, Göktürks, Great Bulgaria (LINK)

Montclair State University professor H. Mark Hubey (1998) concludes that ... "The common Turkic branch which includes all the rest can be split into the /c/j/y/ branch and the /x/ġ/w/ branches. Seeing that the 't' to 's' transition is already in Sumerian, and that the Uralic 't' to 's' shift is thought to have occurred 6,000 years ago, we can be reasonably sure that some of the words traced out here certainly belong to quite an ancient age and to the west. This means that the proto-Turks or at least one of their ancestors moved from the Euphrates area north through the Caucasus and then to the steppes, and then eastwards. The historical ‘Turks’ are those moving back towards the west. Since all the branches of Turkic seem to occur in the West (Chuvash, Oguz, Kipchak, Khalaj) there is no reason to look for Turkic homelands beyond the Altays. That was their second home."


Cumania in c. 1200.


Kipchaks (W)

Cumania in c. 1200.

The Kipchaks were a Turkic nomadic people and confederation that existed in the Middle Ages, inhabiting parts of the Eurasian Steppe. First mentioned in the 8th century as part of the Turkic Khaganate, they most likely inhabited the Altai region from where they expanded over the following centuries, first as part of the Kimek Khanate and later as part of a confederation with the Cumans. There were groups of Kipchaks in the Pontic–Caspian steppe, Syr Darya and Siberia. The Cuman–Kipchak confederation was conquered by the Mongols in the early 13th century.

In the Kipchak steppe, a complex ethnic assimilation and consolidation process took place between the 11th and 13th centuries. The western Kipchak tribes absorbed people of Oghuz, Pecheneg, ancient Bashkir, Bulgar and other origin; the eastern Kipchak merged with the Oghuz-Kimek, Karluk, Kara-Khitai and others. They were all identified by the ethnonym Kipchak.

According to Ukrainian anthropologists, Kipchaks had racial characteristics of Caucasians and Mongoloids, namely a broad flat face and protruding nose. Researcher E. P. Alekseeva drew attention to the fact that European Kipchak stone images have both Mongoloid and Caucasoid faces. However, in her opinion, most Kipchaks, who settled in Georgia in the first half of the 12th century, were predominantly Caucasoid in appearance with some admixture of Mongoloid traits. They were already joined by Cumans. In the course of the Turkic expansion they migrated into Siberia and further into the Trans-Volga region.

Altai Mountains

The Kipchaks appear in the 8th-century Moyun Chur inscription as Türk-Qïbchaq, mentioned as having been part of the Turkic Khaganate for fifty years. It is unclear if the Kipchaks could be identified as the Chueh-Yueh Shih (厥越失; pinyin: juéyuèshī) in Chinese sources or, according to Klyashtorny, the Syr in the Orkhon inscriptions (薛延陀; pinyin: Xuè-Yántuó in Chinese sources). The relationship between the Kipchaks and Cumans is unclear.

While part of the Turkic Khaganate, they most likely inhabited the Altai region. When the Khaganate collapsed, they became part of the Kimek confederation, with which they expanded to the Irtysh, Ishim and Tobol rivers. They then appeared in Islamic sources. In the 9th century Ibn Khordadbeh indicated that they held autonomy within the Kimek confederation. They entered the Kimek in the 8th- or beginning of 9th century, and were one of seven original tribes. In the 10th-century Hudud al-'Alam it is said that the Kimek appointed the Kipchak king. The Kimek confederation, probably spearheaded by the Kipchaks, moved into Oghuz lands, and Sighnaq in Syr Darya became the Kipchak urban centre. Kipchak remnants remained in Siberia, while others pushed westwards in the Qun migration. As a result, three Kipchak groups emerged:


The early 11th century saw a massive Turkic nomadic migration towards the Islamic world. The first waves were recorded in the Kara-Khanid Khanate in 1017-18. It is unknown whether the Cumans conquered the Kipchaks or were simply the leaders of the Kipchak-Turkic tribes. By the 12th century, the two separate confederations of Cumans and Kipchaks merged.


The Kipchak–Cuman confederation spoke a Turkic language. Mongolian ethno-linguistic elements in the Kipchak–Kimek remain unproven.

Kipchaks and Cumans spoke a Turkic language (Kipchak language, Cuman language) whose most important surviving record is the Codex Cumanicus, a late 13th-century dictionary of words in Kipchak, Cuman, and Latin. The presence in Egypt of Turkic-speaking Mamluks also stimulated the compilation of Kipchak/Cuman-Arabic dictionaries and grammars that are important in the study of several old Turkic languages.

When members of the Armenian diaspora moved from the Crimean peninsula to the Polish-Ukrainian borderland, at the end of the 13th century, they brought Kipchak, their adopted Turkic language, with them. During the 16th and the 17th centuries, the Turkic language among the Armenian communities of the Kipchak people was Armeno-Kipchak. They were settled in the Lviv and Kamianets-Podilskyi areas of what is now Ukraine.

Belukha Mountain (Russian: Белуха, lit. 'whitey'; Altai: Muztau or Üç Sümer) located in the Katun Mountains, is the highest peak of the Altai Mountains. It is part of the World Heritage Site entitled Golden Mountains of Altai.


The Kipchaks practiced Shamanism. Muslim conversion occurred near Islamic centres. Some Kipchaks and Cumans were known to have converted to Christianity around the 11th century, at the suggestion of the Georgians, as they allied in their conflicts against the Muslims. A great number were baptized at the request of Georgian King David IV, who also married a daughter of Kipchak Khan Otrok. From 1120, there was a Kipchak national Christian church and an important clergy. Following the Mongol conquest, Islam rose in popularity among the Kipchaks of the Golden Horde.



Cumania (W)

Cumania (Desht-i Qipchaq) c. 1200

Status Khanate
Common languages Turkic language (Kipchak), Cuman language
Religion Tengrism
• Established 10th century
• Disestablished 1241
Preceded by
Kimek Khanate, Khazaria
Succeeded by
Golden Horde

The name Cumania originated as the Latin exonym for the Cuman-Kipchak confederation, which was a Turkic confederation in the western part of the Eurasian Steppe, between the 10th and 13th centuries. The confederation was dominated by two Turkic nomadic tribes: the Cumans (also known as the Polovtsians or Folban) and the Kipchaks. Cumania was known in Islamic sources as Desht-i Qipchaq, which means "Steppe of the Kipchaks"; or "foreign land sheltering the Kipchaks", in the Turkic languages. Russian sources have referred to Cumania as the “Polovtsian Steppe” (Poloveckaja Step), or the “Polovcian Plain” (Pole Poloveckoe).

The Golden Horde was also referred to as "Comania" by Armenian chronicler Hethum (Hayton) of Korykos. "Cumania" was also the source of names, or alternate names, for several smaller areas – some of them unconnected geographically to the area of the federation – in which Cumans and/or Kipchaks settled, such as the historic region of Kunság in Hungary, and the former Roman Catholic Diocese of Cumania (in Romania and Hungary). Hethum of Korykos described Cumania as "wholly flat and with no trees". Ibn Battuta said of Cumania, "This wilderness is green and grassy with no trees, nor hills, high or low ... there is no means of travelling in this desert except in wagons." Battuta's contemporary, Hamdallah Mustawfi, eloborated, "This is of the Sixth Clime, its plains bear excellent pasturage ... but there are here few houses or towns or villages. Most of the inhabitants are nomads of the plain ... Most of the lands here are swamps ... The pasturage, however, being excellent, horses and cattle are numerous, and the population for the most part subsists on the produce thereof. The climate is cold, and their water comes from springs and wells."


  Turkic Ethnic Groups (Modern List)

Altai people

Altai people (W)

Lake Kucherlinskoe, Altai Republic.

The Altay or Altai are a Turkic people living in the Siberian Altai Republic and Altai Krai. For alternative ethnonyms see also Teleut, Tele, Telengit, Black Tatar, and Oirats. The Altaians are presented by two ethnographic groups:

The Northern and Southern Altayans formed in the Altay area on the basis of tribes of Kimek-Kipchaks.

Altai Republic (W)

The Altai Republic is a federal subject (a republic) of Russia. It is geographically located in the West Siberia region of Asian Russia, and is part of the Siberian Federal District. The Altai Republic covers an area of 92,600 square kilometers (35,800 sq mi) and has a population of 206,168 (2010 Census), the least-populous republic of Russia and federal subject in Siberia.

Gorno-Altaysk is the capital and the largest town of the Altai Republic.

The Altai Republic is one of Russia's ethnic republics, primarily representing the indigenous Altay people, a Turkic ethnic group that form 35% of the Republic's population, while ethnic Russians form a majority at 57%, and with minority populations of Kazakhs, other Central Asian ethnicities, and Germans. The official languages of the Altai Republic are Russian and the Altay language.

Altai Language (W)

Altai (also Gorno-Altai) is a Turkic language, spoken officially in the Altai Republic, Russia. The language was called Oyrot (ойрот) prior to 1948.

Due to its isolated position in the Altai Mountains and contact with surrounding languages, the classification of Altai within the Turkic languages has often been disputed. Because of its geographic proximity to the Shor and Khakas languages, some classifications place it in a Northern Turkic subgroup. Due to certain similarities with Kyrgyz, it has been grouped with the Kypchak languages which is within the Turkic language family. A more recent classification by Talat Tekin places Southern Altai in its own subgroup within Turkic and groups the Northern Altai dialects with Lower Chulym and the Kondoma dialect of Shor.



Azerbaijanis (W)

Map of Turkmenistan

or Azeris, also known as Azerbaijani Turks are a Turkic people living mainly in the Iranian region of Azerbaijan and the sovereign (former Soviet) Republic of Azerbaijan. They are the second-most numerous ethnic group among the Turkic peoples after Anatolian Turks. They are predominantly Shi’i Muslims, and have a mixed cultural heritage, including Turkic, Iranian. and Caucasian elements. They comprise the largest ethnic group in the Republic of Azerbaijan and the second-largest ethnic group in neighboring Iran and Georgia. The world's largest number of ethnic Azerbaijanis live in Iran, followed by the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan (W)

Current military situation in separatist Nagorno-Karabakh

In 1993, democratically elected president Abulfaz Elchibey was overthrown by a military insurrection led by Colonel Surat Huseynov, which resulted in the rise to power of the former leader of Soviet Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev. In 1994, Surat Huseynov, by that time the prime minister, attempted another military coup against Heydar Aliyev, but he was arrested and charged with treason. A year later, in 1995, another coup was attempted against Aliyev, this time by the commander of the OMON special unit, Rovshan Javadov. The coup was averted, resulting in the killing of the latter and disbanding of Azerbaijan's OMON units. At the same time, the country was tainted by rampant corruption in the governing bureaucracy. In October 1998, Aliyev was reelected for a second term. Despite the much improved economy, particularly with the exploitation of the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oil field and Shah Deniz gas field, Aliyev's presidency was criticized due to suspected election frauds and corruption.

Ilham Aliyev, Heydar Aliyev's son, became chairman of the New Azerbaijan Party as well as President of Azerbaijan when his father died in 2003. He was reelected to a third term as president in October 2013.

Although Azerbaijan has held several elections since regaining its independence and it has many of the formal institutions of democracy, it remains classified as “not free” (on border with "partly free") by Freedom House. In recent years, large numbers of Azerbaijani journalists, bloggers, lawyers, and human rights activists have been rounded up and jailed for their criticism of President Aliyev and government authorities. A resolution adopted by the European Parliament in September 2015 described Azerbaijan as “having suffered the greatest decline in democratic governance in all of Eurasia over the past ten years,” noting as well that its dialogue with the country on human rights has "not made any substantial progress." On 17 March 2016, the President of Azerbaijan signed a decree pardoning more than a dozen of the persons regarded as political prisoners by some NGOs. This decree was welcomed as a positive step by the US State Department. On 16 March 2017 another pardon decree was signed, which led to the release of additional persons regarded as political prisoners.

Azerbaijan has been harshly criticized for bribing foreign officials and diplomats in order to promote its causes abroad and legitimize its elections at home, a practice which has been termed as Caviar diplomacy. However, on 6 March 2017, ESISC (European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center) published a report called “The Armenian Connection,” in which it attacked human rights NGOs and research organisations criticising human rights violations and corruption in Azerbaijan. ESISC in that report asserted that the "Caviar diplomacy" report elaborated by ESI aimed to create a climate of suspicion based on slander to form a network of MPs that would engage in a political war against Azerbaijan, and that the network, composed of European PMs, Armenian officials, and some NGOs (Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, "Human Rights House Foundation", "Open Dialog, European Stability Initiative, and Helsinki Committee for Human Rights) was financed by the Soros Foundation. According to Robert Coalson (Radio Free Europe), ESISC is a part of Baku's lobbying efforts to extend the use of front think tanks to shift public opinion. Freedom Files Analytical Centre said that "The report is written in the worst traditions of authoritarian propaganda".



Turkmens (W)

Turkmens are a nation and Turkic ethnic group native to Central Asia, primarily the Turkmen nation state of Turkmenistan. Smaller communities are also found in Iran, Afghanistan, North Caucasus (Stavropol Krai), and northern Pakistan. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Eastern Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages. Examples of other Oghuz languages are Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai, Gagauz, Khorasani, and Salar.

Turkmenistan (W)

Map of Turkmenistan

Historically inhabited by the Indo-Iranians, the written history of Turkmenistan begins with its annexation by the Achaemenid Empire of Ancient Iran. In the 8th century AD, Turkic-speaking Oghuz tribes moved from Mongolia into present-day Central Asia. Part of a powerful confederation of tribes, these Oghuz formed the ethnic basis of the modern Turkmen population. In the 10th century, the name "Turkmen" was first applied to Oghuz groups that accepted Islam and began to occupy present-day Turkmenistan. There they were under the dominion of the Seljuk Empire, which was composed of Oghuz groups living in present-day Iran and Turkmenistan. Turkmen soldiers in the service of the empire played an important role in the spreading of Turkic culture when they migrated westward into present-day Azerbaijan and eastern Turkey.

📹 Video Captures Turkmen President Bullying Officials (VİDEO)

Video Captures Turkmen President Bullying Officials (LINK)

When Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov took over as Turkmenistan's leader in late 2006, he seemed timid and uneasy with his new role. But a recent video obtained by RFE/RL's Turkmen Service shows a very confident Berdymukhammedov barking orders at officials and deriding Turkish businesses, which are among the few companies active in the isolated nation. The once-humble dentist appears to be following firmly in the footsteps of his predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov. Full story: http://www.rferl.org/content/video_tu...

(LINK) Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, who once made a living as a dentist, gave outward signs of being distinctly uncomfortable in the megalomaniac's mantle after he took over for the late Saparmurat Niyazov.

Berdymukhammedov expended considerable effort to shed -- in the margins, at least, and within the limits of a decades-old system constructed to foster his predecessor's cult of personality -- his public image as successor to a man whose exuberant decrees permeated every fiber of a secluded society. He also removed some of the ubiquitous (and gold-plated) reminders of Niyazov's reign, including from much of the country's banknotes and coins, and lifted the obligation on every Turkmenistan citizen of fluency in the spiritual guidebook penned by Niyazov, "Ruhnama."

Critics would note that reforms have been modest beyond opening a few cinemas and rejuvenating the same health-care system that, as health minister under Niyazov, he'd been a party to gutting. Pledges of broad access to the Internet, improved transportation and communications networks, and, most importantly, participatory politics have gone unmet.

Meanwhile, signs of a new cult of personality have arisen that go beyond mounting titles, cloying imagery, and proliferating presidential palaces. They include (but are not limited to) the quiet adoption of new honorifics ("Arkadag," or protector), statues of and schools named after Berdymukhammedov's grandfather, and a pop-music performance that would have made Walter Mitty proud.

So a peek into eccentric imperiousness might not surprise the detractors. But these scenes of Berdymukhammedov -- scepter in hand -- berating officials like schoolchildren and bad-mouthing Turks in a manner that evokes memories of his notoriously capricious predecessor won't make his spinmasters' jobs any easier.

It's unclear precisely when this video was shot, but it appears to have been by an official chronicler. It was obtained by RFE/RL's Turkmen Service from the Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights in Vienna.

-- Andy Heil


📹 Turkmenbashi's Reign of Terror (VİDEO)

Turkmenbashi’s Reign of Terror (LINK)

President for Life (2005): President Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan was the dictator famous in the West for his crazy decrees and bizarre personality cult. But for his people, there was nothing comical about his rule.

In Ashgabat, capital of Turkemenistan, the sun always shine on Turkmenbashi. Literally. His statues rotate to face the sun. His image is everywhere -- from the vodka bottles to the national airline. He's even renamed the days of the week after his dead mother. "He's clearly a paranoid leader with very strange sorts of behavioural patterns," states political analyst David Lewis. "He is brutal and violent." Former foreign minister Avdy Kuliev agrees. "He's imprisoned many prominent people -- all of them subjected to tortures, horrendous tortures." Turkmenistan has one of the lowest life expectancy rates in region. Most of the people live in crushing poverty but an atmosphere of fear and intimidation prevents anyone speaking out.



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