History of the Turkic peoples

History of the Turkic peoples

:"This article refers to the history of Turkic peoples. For the history of Turkish people, see History of the Turkish people."

The history of the Turkic peoples (Turkic speaking peoples).


It is generally believed that the first Turkic people were native to a region extending from Central Asia to Siberia. Some scholars contend that the Huns were one of the earlier Turkic tribes, while others support either a Mongolic or Finno-Ugric origin for the Huns. [ [http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/FeaturesEurope/BarbarianHuns.htm The Origins of the Huns] ] Otto Maenchen-Helfen's linguistic studies also support a Turkic origin for the Huns. [Otto J. Maenchen-Helfen. The World of the Huns: Studies in Their History and Culture. University of California Press, 1973] [ [http://www.kroraina.com/huns/mh/mh_6.html Otto Maenchen-Helfen, Language of Huns] ]


The main migration of Turkic peoples occurred between the fifth and tenth centuries AD, when they spread across most of Central Asia and into Europe and the Middle East.Carter V. Findley, The Turks in World History, (Oxford University Press, October 2004) ISBN 0-19-517726-6]

The precise date of the initial expansion from the early homeland remains unknown. The first state known as "Turk", giving its name to the many states and peoples afterwards, was that of the Göktürks ("gog" = "blue" or "celestial") in the 6th century AD. The head of the "Asena" clan led his people from Liqian (in modern Yongchang County, China) to the Rouran seeking inclusion in their confederacy and protection from China. His tribe were famed metal smiths and were granted land near a mountain quarry which looked like a helmet from which they got their name 突厥(tūjué). A century later their power had increased such that they conquered the Rouran and set about establishing their "Gök Empire".

Later Turkic peoples include the Karluks (mainly 8th century), Uyghurs, Kyrgyz, Oghuz (or Ğuz) Turks, and Turkmens. As these peoples were founding states in the area between Mongolia and Transoxiana, they came into contact with Muslims, and most gradually adopted Islam. However, there were also (and still are) small groups of Turkic people belonging to other religions, including Christians, Jews (see Khazars), Buddhists, and Zoroastrians.

Middle Ages

Turkic soldiers in the army of the Abbasid caliphs emerged as the "de facto" rulers of most of the Muslim Middle East (apart from Syria and Egypt), particularly after the 10th century. The Oghuz and other tribes captured and dominated various countries under the leadership of the Seljuk dynasty, and eventually captured the territories of the Abbasid dynasty and the Byzantine Empire.

Meanwhile, the Kyrgyz and Uyghurs were struggling with one another and with the Chinese Empire. The Kyrgyz people ultimately settled in the region now referred to as Kyrgyzstan. The Tatar peoples conquered the Volga Bulgars in what is today Tatarstan, following the westward sweep of the Mongols under Genghis Khan in the 13th century. The Bulgars were thus mistakenly called "Tatars" by the Russians. Native Tatars live only in Asia; European "Tatars" are in fact Bulgars. Other Bulgars settled in Europe in the 7–8th centuries, exchanging their original Turkic tongue for what eventually became the Slavic Bulgarian language. Everywhere, Turkic groups mixed with the local populations to varying degrees.

As the Seljuk Empire declined following the Mongol invasion, the Ottoman Empire emerged as the new important Turkic state, that came to dominate not only the Middle East, but even southeastern Europe, parts of southwestern Russia, and northern Africa.

The Ottoman Empire gradually grew weaker in the face of maladministration, repeated wars with Russia and Austro-Hungary, and the emergence of nationalist movements in the Balkans, and it finally gave way after World War I to the present-day republic of Turkey.

Mughal Empire

The Mughal Empire (Turkish:Babür İmparatorluğu) was a Muslim dynasty that at its greatest territorial extent ruled most of the Indian subcontinent, then known as Hindustan, and parts of what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan from the early 16th to the mid-18th century. The Mughal dynasty was founded by a Chagatai Turkic prince named Babur (reigned 1526–30), who was descended from the Turkic conqueror Timur (Tamerlane) on his father's side and from Chagatai, second son of the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan, on his mother's side. The Mughal dynasty was notable for the ability of its rulers, who through seven generations maintained a record of unusual talent, and for its administrative organization. A further distinction was the attempt of the Mughals to integrate Hindus and Muslims into a united Indian state. [ [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9054153 Encyclopædia Britannica] ] [ [http://www.pbs.org/treasuresoftheworld/taj_mahal/tlevel_1/t1_mughal.html the Mughal dynasty] ] [ [http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/mogul/ When the Moguls Ruled India...] ]

ee also

*History of the Turks
*Turkic languages
*Turkic mythology
*List of Turkic states and empires

References and notes

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