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  • The Origin Of Turks



    Extracts from the Book “The History of Turks” by JeanPaul Roux,

    Director of research of the National Science Research Centre, Lecturer in the School of Louvre, and member of the Institute of Turkish Studies of Paris University.  


    The roots of the first Turks are hidden in the depths of ages inside the woods of Siberia from where they migrated to Central Asia high lands.

    Their presence among the Barbarians of the north who were surrounding China for centuries (The second and third millennium) cannot be identified or registered before the foundation of the first  large confederation of nomadic tribes which was made known as Confederation of Hiong-Nou. (200BC)

    The tribes that constituted the confederation they belonged to various nationalities and language groups. Among these groups there was a large number of Proto-Turk tribes..

    The centre of the Empire of Hiong-nou was in the north of Mongolia, the land of“Otouken” a very important location of Strategic value, which will stay as a most sensitive part of the “Empires of High Lands” as various groupings of confederations of Turkish or Turkish speaking tribes were used to be called.

    The Hiong –nou intermixed the peoples, they established the foundation of a nomadic civilization and contributed to a great extend to the dominance of Altaic tribes in all higher Asia.

    The Hiong-Nou were attacking and expanding their territories both towards west as well as south, around 170 BC.

    During this period we observe a lot of migrations and confrontations with other People, some of which were Proto Turks as well as other ancient People, i.e  Yioue-Tse and Vou-Souen, who were Proto-Turks.

    It was these confrontations that resulted in the destruction of Vacteriani the famous Hellenistic Kingdom founded by Alexander the Great, during his last expedition..

    The distraction of Vacteriani is characteristic of what followed the confrontations of the Nomadic tribes among themselves as well as with other most stable peoples that had developed ancient civilizations.

    Of course the conflict with the Hellenistic Vactiriani was minimal compared with the conflict with larger China.

    In order to destabilize their enemy (Hiong-Nou ) China managed to create internal fights as a result of which the Empire was split in two new Kingdoms, the Kingdom of North in North Mongolia  and the Kingdom of South in to day’s Interior Mongolia.

    This split was the preannouncement of their destruction, nevertheless, the Hiong-Nou maintain  instability in China.

    Before the end of the third century, the Barbarians, following the Hiong Nou were spreading all over North China. These are Turkish speaking tribes of the Tabgats who were descent from the lake of Vaicali.

    During 422 they occupied the capital Lo-Yiang and under the name “Dynasty of Bei” they claimed all China including  the Oasis of Central Asia.

    During 534 the ‘Dynasty of Bei’ was split, dispersed and thus disappears or more precisely was absorbed by China.

    Of course 150 years of their domination in China was not with no political and military consequences.

    In the moorings of Central Asia, which had been abandoned meanwhile, a new Nomadic Empire was established from the remaining Hiong Nou which includeg many Proto-Mongols called Avars. This new Empire was formed with the participation of  of the “Tambgats” who were still acquainted with the life in the moorings and having still  considerable horse power they became independent and attached the Avars in the heart of their Empire the Land of Otouken.

    Thus the Turkish tribes rised again  and prepared their future domination.


    The Mongolic and Siberian  Altaia mountains were the place from which the Turkish people originated. Among these people were the Tou-kue, a special branch of Hiong- Nou and among others the “Toles”

    The Avars already weakened by the attacks launched by the “Tambgats” were expecting one more assault from the Toles who were seeking their independence.

    The story says that Boumin the Chief of Tou-kue tribe was warning the Avars about the plan of Toles and their upraise fails.

    Boumin requested, as a prize for his services, the hand of a Princes but he was refused and, instead, received a most offending reply.

    -Aren’t you the slaves who make our weapons in Altai?

    Hence the Tou-kue joined the Tambgats (Bei) against Avars. In the word “Tou-Kue” is hidden the word Turk (Tourouk) which means “Strong”.The Tourouks are the first Historic Turks.

    The Myth pf  Asina.

    It is said that the parental origin of  Tourouks starts from the family Boumin who were  descendants of the tribe of Hion-Nou which was eliminated except a ten year old boy which was mutilated, but saved from a female wolf which later united with him and brought to the world ten children, one of these ten children was named Asina

    The Name Asina is the  the original name of the Tourouk dynasty. The Tourouks were the successors of Avars and secured the supremacy over all  Turkish speaking races which were tired from the Mongolian dominance.

    The Tourouks extend their rule in Mongolia in the Russian Turkistan, in a part of Chinese Turkistan, in Afghanistan up to India. The Empire is becoming enormous.

    This first Turkish Empire is established among significant military and cultural powers such as China, Iran and Greek Byzantines, at this time.

    The continuous conflicts introduced the Turks to the great historical Civilizations.

    The Tourouks, after their successes, developed similar ambitions to the Greeks.

    The Greeks were, for centuries, in conflict with the Persians. Hence they become temporarily allies to the Tourouks.

    But the Chinese were alert, at the beginning in panic because of this new barbaric power  and were investing in the rivalry between the North and South Tourouks, hence they succeed to create a conflict that helped then to regain their advantageous position in Central Asia.

    This is how the second Turkish empire was formed in the area of Otouken which achieved surprising results up to 734 ac. The most important achievement was the reunification of all Turkish tribes and  overthrew the Chinese occupation.


    So, we arrive at the period of the Arab invasion. Mohamed died during 632 AC and the succeeding Caliphs had undertaken to concur the world.

    The Byzantines and the Persians were totally exhausted from  years of fights, but they were still the dominant powers in the area, even so, they could not respond to the challenges.

    Thus, Arab and Turkish waves  phase each other in their efforts to expand, with same strength and vitality but on opposite directions. The Arabs are moving  East and the Turks are moving west.

    On account of a shear coincidence they allied against the Chinese army  which they destroy (741AC).

    So, in just one day, the fait of  Central Asia turn to  “Turkification” and Islam  instead of becoming Chinese as things looked till then.

    Persia had already collapsed.

    The gigantic Arab wave towards East corresponded to the Turkish wave towards west. But the collusion did not create a turmoil. The two opposing powers although equally strong they were not of the same nature. One was totally spiritual and cultural and the other was purely military. Islam will give its religion and culture to the Turks while Turks will give their arms to the Arabs

    History of Turks and Turkey   http://www.mfa.gov.tr/grupc/ca/cab/default.htm

    The above was the official reference from a site , published by the Turkish government. This page has been removed. See bellow a copy of the missing page.


    The Republic of Turkey

    The Republic of Turkey, founded in 1923, has its roots in two historical sources deep in the depths of the past. One of these resources inherited by modern Turkey is the successful and shining history of the Turks over a time frame of more than 4,000 years. The other is the fact that Turks have been settled in Anatolia since the 11th century.


    The Huns

    The first Turkish tribe that is mentioned in history is the Huns. Clear records about the Huns made their appearance in the 8th century B.C. Chinese sources refer to the Huns as Hiung-nu and in time, some of the Huns migrated to the West.


    The Gokturks

    Founded in 552 AD by Bumin Khan, the Gokturks engaged in widespread diplomatic activity. The famed Orhun epitaphs from this period are made up of the tombstone inscriptions of Tonyukuk (d.720), Kültigin (d.731) and Bilge Kagan (d.734)


    The Uygurs

    The rule of the Göktürks was brought to an end in the year 745 by the Uygurs, who were of the same ethnic stock as themselves. In this manner all the Turks who had converged under the banner of the Göktürks were dispersed to that of the Uygurs that the agricultural basin where they lived became known as Turkistan. In the year 1229, the Mongols put an end to Uygur sovereignty; the Uygurs however, became their cultural and political mentors.

    The Turks and Islam

    Contacts between the Turks and Moslems commenced at the beginning of the 8th century and some of the Turks began to favour Islam. However the pro-Arab policies of the Omayads (661-750 A.D) restricted these relations somewhat. Later, many Moslem Turks took office in the Abbside government and because of this, great interest in the Islamic world spread among the Turks beyond the River Ceyhun. Commercial caravans also played a major role in the spread of Islam into the steppes of Central Asia.

    The Turks became fully Moslem by the 10th century, and this resulted in the achievement to political unity. Following these developments, the first Moslem Turkish state was formed by the Karahans.


    The Karahans

    The Karahans ruled between 990-1212 in Turkistan and Maveraünnehir. The reign of the Karahans is especially significant from the point of view of Turkish culture and art history. It is during this period that mosques, schools, bridges and caravansarays were constructed in the cities. Buhara and Samarkand became centres of learning. In the period, the Turkish language found the means to develop. Among the most important works of the period is Kutadgu Bilik (translated as “The Knowledge That Gives Happiness”) written by Yusuf Has Hacib, between the years 1069-1070.


    The Ghaznavids

    The Ghaznavi state was formed in the year 963 by the Turkish ruler Sevuktekin and is one of the first Moslem Turkish states and worked relentlessly for the expansion of Islam in India. The Ghaznavids finally collapsed in 1186 and were assimilated by the Oguz.
    The Turkish scholar Ebu Reyhan el-Beyruni makes this period an important one within Islamic cultural history and wrote the famed work by the poet Firdevsi, the ?ehname, was also written in this period (A.D. 1009)


    The Seljuks

    The O?uz, who destroyed the Ghaznavid state, succeeded in bringing Anatolia, Iraq, the southern part of the Caucasus, Azerbaijan and the north of Iran under Turkish rule. The O?uz had first formed the Göktürk Empire in the 6th century; after the expansion of Islam among the Turks, but among the Turks the Oguz came to be called the Turkmens.

    Tu?rul Bey and Ça?ry (Çakyr) Bey were the grandsons of Seljuks whose name the Seljuks Dynasty adopted. In their time they, and the O?uz, known as the Seljuks in history, subdued Horasan, defeated the Ghaznavid ruler Mesud in Dandanakan Battle and established the Great Seljuk empire in 1040.

    In 1071, Alp Arslan (1063-1072) fought the battle of Malazgirt and having defeated the Byzantine Emperor’s forces in this battle opened the doors of Anatolia to the Moslem Turk.

    The year 1071 is considered to be the beginning of the Turks and that of Islam n Anatolia. It is  this date that the Turks fully conquered the whole of Anatolia and established the Anatolian Seljuk state there. as a part of the great Seljuk Empire.

    The first schooling institutions, the Moslem theological medreses, were formed in Anatolia during the time of Kylyç Arslan (1153-1192), one in Konya and the other in Aksaray. Following the establishment of these two medreses the medreses of Syrcaly in Konya (1242-1243), Karatay (1251), Ynce Minareli (1251-1253), Atabekkiye (after 1251-1268), Gökmedrese in Sivas (1271), Buruciye (1271-1272), Çifte Minareli (1271), and the Cacoglu in Kirsehir (1272) were established.

    The Seljuks also attributed much importance to the medical sciences and in almost all their cities medical institutions called Darush-Shifa, Darul-Afiye and Darus-Sihna and hospitals were set up. The main medical treatment centres are the Gevher Nesibe in Kayseri (1205), the Izzettin I Keykavus in Sivas (1217), the Torumtay in Amasya (1266), the Muinuddin Pervane in Tokat (1275) and the Pervaneoglu Ali in Kastamonu (1272).

    Because of the Persian influence coming from Iran among the intellectuals, the administrators, the men of arts and the traders, the Anatolian Seljuk state became increasingly affected by Iranian culture and language.

    The Beyliks

    The Period of Principalities

    Political unity in Anatolia was disrupted from the time of the collapse of the Anatolia Seljuk State at the beginning of the 14th century (1308), when until the beginning of the 16th century each of the regions in the country fell under the domination of Beyliks (Principalities).

    Eventually, the Ottoman Principality, which destroyed all  other Principalities and restored political unity in Anatolia, was established in the Eski Sehir, Bilecik and Bursa areas.

    On the other hand, the area in central Anatolia, east of the Ankara-Aksaray line, as far as the area of Erzurum, remained under the administration of the Ilhani General Governor until 1336. The infighting in Ilhan gave the principalities in Anatolia their complete independence.

    In addition , new Turkish principalities were formed in the localities previously under Ilhan occupation.

    During the 14th century, the Turkomans, who made up the western Turks, started to re-establish their previous political sovereignty in the Islamic world.

    Rapid developments in the Turkish language and culture toot place during the time of the Anatolia Principalities. In this period, the Turkish language began to be used in the sciences and in literature, and became the official language of the Principalities. New medreses were established and progress was made in the medical sciences during this period.

    Gül?ehri, Nesimi (d.1404) and ahmedi (1325-1412) were the prominent Turkish language poets of the 15th century.


    The Ottomans

    The Ottoman Principality was founded by a Turkoman tribe living on the Turkish-Byzantine border. The geographic location of the principality and the weak state of the Byzantines combined to make the Ottoman principality the strongest state within the Islamic world, by the 14th century.

    When Fatih Sultah Mehmet II. conguered the Byzantine capital in 1453, the Ottoman state became the strongest of the time. The tolerant approach taken by Fatih Sultan Mehmet II toward other religions and to the adherents thereof became a tradition accepted by his successors. Following the capture of Istanbul, the Orthodox Church was freed from obedience to theCatholic Church and he granted its independence. (The schisma of Christian charches)


    On the other hand, the technical superiohttps://nickkouzos.com/images/The%20or9.jpgrity of the Ottoman army began to be evident during the reign of Selim I. The Ottomans has added, in addition to the major part of east Anatolia, the lands considered holy in the Islamic world-Mecca and Medine and their territories.

    The brightest period of the Ottoman State was during the reign ofSultan Suleyman (1520-1555) when the boundaries of the Empire spread from the outskirts of Vienna to the Persian Gulf and from the Crimea to an expanded north Africa as far as Ethiopia.

    The Ottoman empire continued to acquire territory until the middle of the 17th century. In 1683, it suffered its first major defeat in the siege of Vienna.

     The siege of Vienna

    As the losses of land and sought continued, the Ottoman Empire sought salvation in a series of reform movements and established education institutions taking after the western institutions which had shown great developments after the Renaissance.

    The declaration of the “Tanzimat” Reform movement in 1839 is considered a major link in the chain of modernization events which had continued unabated since the beginning of the 17th century.

    The Tanzimat Decree was considered to be a kind of constitution which gave Turkey the means to enter road to contemporary civilization.

    The principles inherent in the Tanzimat Reform Decree thereby laid the basis for the constitutional regime of modern Turkey and the realization of secularism.

    Despite many internal problems and disturbances during the reign of Abdülaziz (1861-1876) the effects of westernization in society became even more evident. Namyk Kemal, Ziya Pasha, Mustafa Fazyl Pasha and his friends published the newspaper “Hürriyet” (Freedom) in London in the year 1864. The literary themes of the newspaper later gave way to political issues. Although it is because of these trends that the first constitution was promulgated under the leadership of Mithat Pasha in 1876, Sultan Abdülhamid II (1876-1909) used the Ottoman-Russian war (1877-78) as an excuse to dissolve Parliament and effectively put an end to this constitutional period. The Ottoman empire entered the First World War in 1914 on the side of the allied powers.

    The Ottoman State emerged defeated from the war, together with its allies, and was compelled to sign the Mudrow Armistice on October 30, 1918. Also among the terms of the armistice was a provision that the cocupying powers might occupy areas deemed to be of strategic importance; the powers started therefore to occupy Anatolia on November 1, 1918 according to these terms.

    On May 15, 1919, the Greeks occupied Yzmir. A national resistance movement commenced. In many areas of the country the Society For Defence of Rights (Müdafaa-i Hukuk) started to spring up, and the military arm of the society, called the Kuvayi Milliye. Started to take action.

    The resistance movement was, until Mustafa Kemal landed at Samsun, sporadic and disorganized; under his leadership the resistance became cohesive, its forces progressively turned into an organized army and the movement became a full scale war of independence.

    More Info about Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and National War of Independence

    The Turkish nation took shape in the centuries of Seljuk and Ottoman power.

    The official position of the Turkish state today claims that the nomadic Turkish conquerors did not displace the original local inhabitants: Hellenized Anatolians (or simply Greeks), Armenians, people of Caucasian origins, Kurds, and – in the Balkans – Slavs, Albanians and others. This may be true for the early centuries after the collapse of the Byzantines (1453) but certainly is not true for 1800’s and 1900’s.

    Consider happenings before and after the 1st world war with Armenian, Assyrian and Greek populations.

    In spite of this the official Turkish position is that the Turkish population  intermarried with people of other cultures, while many local people converted to Islam and ‘turned Turk’. They were joined by Muslims from the lands north of the Black Sea and the Caucasus, by Persian craftsmen and Arab scholars, and by European adventurers and converts, known in the West as renegades. As a result, the Turks today exhibit a wide variety of ethnic types. Some have delicate Far Eastern, others heavy local Anatolian features, some, who are descended from Slavs, Albanians or Circassians, have light complexions, others are dark-skinned, many look Mediterranean, others Central Asian or Persian.

    At this point is worth referring to a book written by an independent source, the ambassador of US in Constantinople during the 1st world war “Ambassador’s Morgenthau’s story”  see link:


    H. Morgenthau

    Ambassador’s Morgenthau’s story. Heath W. Lowrey The Isis Press Istambul 1990.


    Contemporary Turks have many different views about their relations with ingenious populations according to the stories produced by different political parties that represent different cultures and educational levels or even nationalities or religions, but most of the people believe that they are the real heirs of empires like the Roman Empire and Byzantine empire and the Ottoman Empire is the real continuation of such empires which have disappeared due to natural evolution that has been happening in the human history. They also believe they have done a better job in absorbing ingenious populations, than Romans and Byzantines even better than Greeks during  the Hellenistic period of Alexander the Great. They also believe that conquering land and nations, by force, is a natural process of expanding their Nation, culture and religion.

    Nevertheless  some of them with European culture they can see the problem and take a wider view of history and historical evolution.