History of the Turkish people


Vahid Rashidvash

Department of Social Sciences, Payam Noor University of Maragheh,

Maragheh, Iran



The Turkish people also known asTurks (Türkler) are defined mainly as being speakers of Turkish as a first language. In the Republic of Turkey an early history text provided the definition of being a Turk as any individual within the Republic of Turkey, whatever his faith, who speaks Turkish, grows up with Turkish culture and adopts the Turkish ideal is a Turk. Today the word is primarily used for the inhabitants of Turkey, but may also refer to the members of sizeable Turkish-speaking populations of the former lands of the Ottoman Empire and large Turkish communities which been established in Europe (particularly in Germany, France, and the Netherlands) as well as North America, and Australia.


KEY WORDS: Turkish people, History, Culture, Language, Genetic, Racial characteristics of Turkish people.



The Turks (Turkish people) whose name was first used in history in the 6th century by the Chinese, are a society whose language belongs to the Turkic language family which in turn some classify as a sub branch of Altaic linguistic family. They identify themselves as being descended of Oghuz Turks who migrated to Anatolia in 11th century. Throughout history, the Turkic peoples have established numerous states in various geographical regions on the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa. Turks brought their culture to the places to which they had migrated and were also affected by the cultures of these regions. Country between the Black Sea to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, bounded to the east by Armenia, Georgia, and Iran, to the southeast by Iraq and Syria, to the west by Greece and the Aegean Sea and to the northwest by Bulgaria[2].Turkey is a unitary centralized state. It has a multiparty political system, with a dual prime ministerial and presidential political executive. The constitution of 1982 provides for a single-chamber legislature, the 550-member Grand National Assembly, elected by a party-list system of proportional representation in 85 electoral districts for a five-year term. To gain representation, a party must win at least 10% of the national vote. The assembly elects the president, to serve as head of state, for a seven-year term. The president appoints a prime minister who is able to command a majority in the assembly. The prime minister works with the president in a somewhat diluted version of the French ‘dual executive’. The president is obliged to work in conjunction with the prime minister[10].



The word Turk was first documented in the 6th century in Central Asia. The Oghuz Turks were the main Turkic people that moved into Anatolia. Many Turks began their migration after the victory of the Seljuks against the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert on August 26, 1071. The victory, led by Alp Arslan, paved the way for Turkish hegemony in Anatolia. In the centuries after Manzikert local populations began to assimilate to the emerging Turkish population. .


Over time as word spread regarding the victory of the Turks in Anatolia, more Turkic ghazis arrived from the Caucasus, Persia, and Central Asia. Turkish migrants began to intermingle with the local inhabitants, which helped to bolster the Turkish-speaking population. The Ottoman Empire, originally based in the Söğüt region of western Anatolia, was also founded by the Oghuz Turks. Following the Balkan Wars and the Russian conquest of the Caucasus and annexation of Crimea many Turkic speaking Muslims in the North Caucasus, Balkans and Crimea emigrated to the territory of present-day Turkey. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire and formation of the Republic of Turkey these various cultures and languages melded into one supra identity and culture. The modern Turks of Turkey thus are composed of various Turkic groups from various regions. By the late 19th century Turks were evenly spread throughout Eastern Europe and most noticeably the Balkans however, territorial losses in the Balkans sparked a large scale exodus from that region. This was finalized by a population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923.



Turks are the principal descendants of large bands of nomads who roamed in the Altai Mountains and thus are also called the Altaic peoples in northern Mongolia and on the steppes of Central Asia. The original Central Asian Turkic nomads established their first great empire in the 551 AD a nomadic confederation that they called Göktürks meaning Sky Turk. A confederation of tribes under a dynasty of Khans whose influences extended during the sixth to eighth centuries from the Aral Sea to the Hindu Kush in the land bridge known as Transoxania. The Göktürks are known to have been enlisted by a Byzantine emperor in the seventh century as allies against the Sassanians. In the eighth century some Turkish tribes, among them the Oghuz, moved south of the Oxus River, while others migrated west to the northern shore of the Black Sea[3].



The Seljuks were a Turkic tribe from Central Asia. In 1037, they entered Persia and established their first powerful state, called by historians the Empire of the Great Seljuks. They captured Baghdad in 1055 and a relatively small contingent of warriors (around 5000 by some estimates) moved into eastern Anatolia. In 1071, the Seljuks engaged the armies of the Byzantine Empire at Manzikert, north of Lake Van. The Byzantines experienced minor casualties despite the fact that Emperor Romanus IV Diogenes was captured. With no potent Byzantine force to stop them, the Seljuks took control of most of Eastern and Central Anatolia. They established their capital at Konya (ca. 1150) and ruled what would be known as the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum. The success of the Seljuk Turks stimulated a response from Latin Europe in the form of the First Crusade. A counteroffensive launched in 1097 by the Byzantines with the aid of the Crusaders dealt the Seljuks a decisive defeat. Konya fell to the Crusaders, and after a few years of campaigning, Byzantine rule was restored in the western third of Anatolia. Although a Turkish revival in the 1140s nullified much of the Christian gains, greater damage was done to Byzantine security by dynastic strife in Constantinople in which the largely French contingents of the Fourth Crusade and their Venetian allies intervened. In 1204, these Crusaders conquered Constantinople and installed Count Baldwin of Flanders in the Byzantine capital as emperor of the so-called Latin Empire of Constantinople, dismembering the old realm into tributary states where West European feudal institutions were transplanted intact. Independent Greek kingdoms were established at Nicaea (present-day Iznik), Trebizond (present-day Trabzon) and Epirus from remnant Byzantine provinces. Turks allied with Greeks in Anatolia against the Latins and Greeks with Turks against the Mongols. In 1261, Michael Palaeologus of Nicaea drove the Latins from Constantinople and restored the Byzantine Empire. Seljuk Rum survived in the late 13th century as a vassal state of the Mongols, who had already subjugated the Great Seljuk sultanate at Baghdad. Mongol influence in the region had disappeared by the 1330, leaving behind gazi emirates competing for supremacy. From the chaotic conditions that prevailed throughout the Middle East, however, a new power was to emerge in Anatolia, the Ottoman Turks[1].


2 .4. BEYLIKS Era:

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 subjugated the other principalities and restored political unity in the larger part of Anatolia, was established in the Eskişehir, 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 to this, 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 took place during the time of the Anatolian 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.



Starting as a small tribe whose territory bordered on the Byzantine frontier, the Ottoman Turks built an empire that would eventually stretch from Morocco to Iran, from the deserts of Iraq and Arabia to the gates of Vienna.As the power of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum weakened in the late 1200s, warrior chieftains claimed the lands of Northwestern Anatolia, along the Byzantine Empire's borders. ErtuğrulGazi ruled the lands around Söğüt, a town between Bursa and Eskisehir. Upon his death in 1281, his son, Osman, from whom the Ottoman dynasty and the Empire took its name, expanded the territory to 16,000 square kilometers. Osman I extended the frontiers of Ottoman settlement towards the edge of the Byzantine Empire. He moved the Ottoman capital to Bursa, and shaped the early political development of the nation. Given the nickname Kara (Turkish for black) for his courage, Osman's son, Orhan, conquered Iznik (Nicaea) and took his armies across the Dardanelles and into Thrace and Europe by 1362. By 1452 the Ottomans controlled almost all of the former Byzantine lands except Constantinople. In 1453, Mehmet the Conqueror took the city and made it his capital, extinguishing the 1100-year-old Byzantine Empire forever.



On May 29, 1453, Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror captured Constantinople after a 53-day siege and proclaimed that the city was now the new capital of his Ottoman Empire. Sultan Mehmed's first duty was to rejuvenate the city economically, creating the Grand Bazaar and inviting the fleeing Orthodox and Catholic inhabitants to return. Captured prisoners were freed to settle in the city whilst provincial governors in Rumelia and Anatolia were ordered to send four thousand families to settle in the city, whether Muslim, Christian or Jew, to form a unique cosmopolitan society.Selim I (r. 1512-20) extended Ottoman sovereignty southward, conquering Syria, Palestine and Egypt. He also gained recognition as guardian of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina; he accepted pious title of The Servant of The Two Holy Shrines. Süleyman I (r. 1520-66) is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the East, as the Lawgiver (in Turkish Kanuni; Arabic: القانونى, alQānūnī), for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system. The reign of Süleyman the Magnificent is known as the Ottoman golden age. The brilliance of the Sultan's court and the might of his armies outshone those of England's Henry VIII, France's François I, and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. When Süleyman died in 1566, the Ottoman Empire was a world power. Most of the great cities of Islam--Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Damascus, Cairo, Tunis, and Baghdad were under the sultan's crescent flag. After Süleyman, however, the empire declined rapidly due to poor leadership; many successive Sultans largely depended upon their Grand Viziers to run the empire. The Ottoman sultanate lasted for over 600 years, but its last three centuries were marked by stagnation and eventual decline. By the 19th century, the Ottomans had fallen well behind the rest of Europe in science, technology and industry. Reformist Sultans such as Selim III (1789-1807) and Mahmud II (1808-1839) succeeded in pushing Ottoman bureaucracy, society and culture ahead, but were unable to cure all of the empire's ills. Despite its collapse, the Ottoman empire has left an indelible mark on Turkish culture and architecture. Ottoman culture has given the Turkish people a splendid legacy of art, architecture and domestic refinement, as a visit to Istanbul's Topkapi Palace readily shows[11].



The Republic of Turkey was born from the disastrous World War I defeat of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman war hero, Mustafa Kemal Pasha (later called Atatürk) fled Istanbul to Anatolia in 1919 he organized the remnants of the Ottoman army into an effective fighting force, and rallied the people to the nationalist cause. Under the leadership of Mustafa KemalPasha, a military commander who had distinguished himself during the Battle of Gallipoli, the Turkish War of Independence was waged with the aim of revoking the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres. By 1923 the nationalist government had driven out the invading armies, abolished the Ottoman Empire, promulgated a republican constitution, and established Turkey's new capital in Ankara. The new government passed drastic reforms in order to reconstruct Ottoman social structure and politics. Polygamy was abolished, women were granted suffrage and equal legal rights, secularism was institutionalized, the Arabic alphabet was replaced by the Latin alphabet for written Turkish. The Fez and veil were outlawed, and European dress was encouraged. During a meeting in the early days of the newly proclaimed republic, addressing to the women, Atatürk declaimed:


To the women: Win for us the battle of education and you will do yet more for your country than we have been able to do. It is to you that I appeal.


To the men: If henceforward the women do not share in the social life of the nation, we shall never attain to our full development. We shall remain irremediably backward, incapable of treating on equal terms with the civilizations of the West[4].



Turks primarily live in Turkey however when the borders of the Ottoman Empire became smaller after World War I and the foundation of the new Republic; many Turkish people chose to stay outside Turkey's borders.

Country or Region

Turkish population

Total Population

% Turkish









including Turkey: 64,500,000



including Turkey: 8.8%

The majority of Turks

(3 million) live in germany



including Turkey: 63,000,000



including Turkey: 1.5%


Total of Eurasia




















World Total







Since then, some of them have migrated to Turkey but there are still significant minorities of Turks living in different countries such as in Northern Cyprus (Turkish Cypriots), Greece, Bulgaria, Syria, Iraq, the Republic of Macedonia, the Dobruja region of Romania and Kosovo, especially in Prizren. The three most important Turkish groups are the Anatolian Turks, the Rumelian Turks (primarily immigrants from former Ottoman territories in the Balkans and their descendants), and the Central Asian Turks (Turkic-speaking immigrants from the Caucasus region, southern Russia, and Central Asia and their descendants).



People who identify themselves as ethnic Turks comprise 80-88% of Turkey's population. Regions of Turkey with the largest populations are İstanbul (+12 million), Ankara (+4.4 million), İzmir (+3.7 million), Bursa (+2.4 million), Adana (+2.0 million) and Konya (+1.9 million). The biggest city and the pre-Republican capital İstanbul is the financial, economic and cultural heart of the country. Other important cities include İzmir, Bursa, Adana, Trabzon, Malatya, Gaziantep, Erzurum, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Konya, Mersin, Eskişehir, Diyarbakır, Antalya and Samsun. An estimated 70.5% of the Turkish population live in urban centers. In all, 18 provinces have populations that exceed 1 million inhabitants, and 21 provinces have populations between 1 million and 500,000 inhabitants. Only two provinces have populations less than 100,000.



Azerbaijani any member of a Turkic people living chiefly in the Republic of Azerbaijan and in the region of Azerbaijan in northwestern Iran. At the turn of the 21st century there were some 7.5 million Azerbaijani in the republic and neighbouring areas and more than 15 million in Iran. They are mainly sedentary farmers and herders, although some of those in the republic have found employment in various industries. Most Azerbaijani are Shīʿite Muslims. They speak Azerbaijani, a language belonging to the southwestern branch of Turkic languages. The Azerbaijani are of mixed ethnic origin, the oldest element deriving from the indigenous population of eastern Transcaucasia and possibly from the Medians of northern Persia. This population was Persianized during the period of the Sāsānian dynasty of Iran (3rd–7th century ce). Turkicization of the population can be dated from the region’s conquest by the Seljuq Turks in the 11th century and the continued influx of Turkic populations in subsequent centuries, including those groups that migrated during the Mongol conquests in the 13th century. The greater portion of the tribes that formed the Mongol forces or were stimulated by the Mongol conquest to migrate were Turkic. Parts of the region later passed variously under the Kara Koyunlu and the AkKoyunlu, rival Turkic tribal confederations and at the beginning of the 16th century, the turcophoneafavid dynasty[7].



The largest number of Turkish immigrant workers is found in Germany, followed by the Benelux countries, France, Austria, and Switzerland. Germany took in an influx of men alone between 1961 and 1973. This was followed by the massive arrival of their families up until about 1981. Elsewhere in Europe the purely male migration took place from 1965 to 1974. Family reunifications were likewise spread over the period up until and including the first half of the 1980s. As a result, Europe's Turkish population consists of a majority of families, with almost total malefemale parity. The Turkish diaspora in Europe is growing steadily. For Western Europe as a whole it rose from 1. 988 million in 1985 to 3. 034 million in 1996 (2. 944 million in the EU countries) this was a 52. 6% increase over one decade. Germany hosts 2. 5 million Turkish immigrants. It is followed by importance by the Benelux countries, and France, United Kingdom and Austria. Between 1961-1973 there was a big influx of Turkish men alone in Germany, which was followed by the arrival of their families up until 1981. Five years later the same phenomenon took also place in the rest of the countries. The increasing Turkish population of Europe can be explained by the continuation of migration through marriages and by the high birth rate of the Turkish population. This high rate has as a consequence that Turkish migrant population is very young (1/3 is under 18 years old) more than 80% of these young people have been born and schooled in Europe.



In the United States, the largest Turkish communities are found in Paterson, New York City, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles. Since the 1970s, the number of Turkish immigrants has risen to more than 2,000 per year. There is also a growing Turkish population in Canada, Turkish immigrants have settled mainly in Montreal and Toronto, although there are small Turkish communities in Calgary, Edmonton, London, Ottawa and Vancouver. The population of Turkish Canadians in Metropolitan Toronto may be as large as 5,000.



The culture of Turkish people is a diverse one, derived from various elements of the Ottoman Empire, European, and the Islamic traditions. Turkish culture is an immense mixture partly produced by the rich history. The original lands of Turks is Central Asia, bordering China. From this location, they were forced to move west for various reasons more than a thousand years ago. On the way to Anatolia they have interacted with Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, European and Anatolian civilizations, and today's Turkish culture carries motives from each one of these diverse cultures. Because of the different historical factors playing an important role in defining a Turkish identity, the culture of Turkey is an interesting combination of clear efforts to be modern and Western, alongside a desire to maintain traditional religious and historical values.



The Turkish language is a member of the ancient Oghuz subdivision of Turkic languages, which in turn is a branch of the proposed Altaic language family. Turkish is for the most part, mutually intelligible with other Oghuz languages like Azeri, Crimean Tatar, Gagauz, Turkmen and Urum, and to a lesser extent with other Turkic languages. Modern Turkish differs greatly from the Ottoman Turkish language, the administrative and literary language of the Ottoman Empire was influenced by Arabic and Persian. During the Ottoman period, the language was essentially a mixture of Turkish, Persian, and Arabic, differing considerably from the everyday language spoken by the empire's Turkish subjects, to the point that they had to hire arzıhâlcis (request-writers) to communicate with the state. After the proclamation of the Turkish Republic in early 20th century, many of the foreign borrowings in the language were replaced with Turkic equivalents in a language reform by the newly founded Turkish Language Association. Almost all government documents and literature from the Ottoman period and the early years of the Republic are thus unintelligible to today's Turkish-speaker without translation. Historically, there were many dialects of Turkish that were spoken throughout Anatolia and the Balkans that differed significantly from each other. After the proclamation of the Republic, the Istanbul dialect was adopted as the standard. There is no official effort to protect regional dialects, and some are currently under threat of disappearing as they face the standard language used in the media and educational system. Some 180 million people have a Turkic language as their native language an additional 20 million people speak a Turkic language as a second language. The Turkic language with the greatest number of speakers is Turkish proper, or Anatolian Turkish, the speakers of which account for about 40% of all Turkic speakers, dwelling predominantly in Turkey proper and formerly Ottoman-dominated areas of Eastern Europe and West Asia; as well as in Western Europe, Australia and the Americas as a result of immigration. The remainder of the Turkic peoples are concentrated in Central Asia, Russia, the Caucasus, China, and northern and northwestern Iran[5].



Contacts between the Turks and Islam commenced at the beginning of the 8th century and some of the Turks began to favour Islam. However the pro-Arab policies of the Umayyads (661-750 A. D. ) restricted these relations somewhat. Later, many Muslem 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. The Turks became fully Muslem by the 10th century, and this resulted in the achievement to political unity. Following these developments, the first Muslem Turkish state was formed by the Karahans. The vast majority of Turks are Muslim. The most popular sect is the Hanafite school of Sunni Islam, which was officially espoused by the Ottoman Empire. There is, however a significant number that adheres to the Alevi sect of Shia Islam. The presence of Alevis is estimated at 25-35% of the population, though some reports indicate only 10%.  Religion has taken a shift towards more of a cultural identity amongst Turks rather than a set of fixed, theological beliefs due to secularization. In addition, there are small groups that adhere to Christianity. Although they are primarily Eastern Orthodox, there are Roman Catholics and Protestants as well[11].



It is difficult to understand the complex cultural and demographic dynamics of the Turkic speaking groups that have shaped the Anatolian landscape for the last millennium. The region of Anatolia represents an extremely important area with respect to the ancient population, migration and expansion. During the Bronze Age the population of Anatolia expanded, reaching an estimated level of 12 million during the late Byzantine Empire period. Such a large pre-existing Anatolian population would have reduced the impact by the subsequent arrival of Turkic speaking groups from Central Asia. The Oghuz Turks were the main Turkic people that moved into Anatolia. Many Turks began their migration after the victory of the Seljuks against the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.Around 1,000,000 Turkic migrants settled in Anatolia in 12th and 13th centuries. The question of to what extent a gene flow from Central Asia to Anatolia has contributed to the current gene pool of the Turkish people, and the role of the 11th century invasion by Oghuz Turks, has been the subject of several studies. A factor that makes it difficult to give reliable estimates, is the problem of distinguishing between the effects of different migratory episodes. Research confirms the studies indicating that the Turkic peoples originated from Central Asia and therefore are possibly related with Xiongnu. Data of the DNA of Turkish people suggests that a human demographic expansion occurred sequentially in the Middle East, through Anatolia and finally to the rest of Europe. The estimated time of this expansion is roughly 50,000 years ago, which corresponds to the arrival of anatomically modern humans in Europe. It is concluded that aboriginal Anatolian groups may have given rise to present-day Turkish population. DNA results suggests the lack of strong genetic relationship between the Mongols and the Turks despite the close relationship of their languages and shared historical neighborhood. Anatolians do not significantly differ from other Mediterraneans, indicating that while the ancient Asian Turks carried out an invasion with cultural significance, it is not genetically detectable. Recent genetic research has also suggested that the local, Anatolian origins of the Turks and that genetic flow between Turks and Asiatic peoples might have been marginal[8].



The word of Turk has probably come into existence several thousand years before B.C. In those centuries, some Altani Turkish tribes emigrated from their mother land and made a great empire along with some Neighbor tribes. Their domain was between Mongolia and Black Sea. The word of Turk has different meanings including standing, stopping, being created, helmet, powerful, reproduction, etc. They have yellow race. Yellow race or Mongolia is divided into three groups: China or Tibet, Mogul or Manchu, Turk or Tatar. Their most important characteristics are: yellow skin, protuberant cheeks, black and bristles hair. Turkish peoples have these features, too. Turkish skin is dark or light brownish yellow. Turkish people have somewhat ellipsoid heads. It means that their skull, on the opposite of Aryans, is not round, but extended and smooth. The state of extension in skull is observed only among Turks and Moguls or those affected by ethnical intercourse with this people. Their heads are mostly strong and muscular for their body. Ellipsoid heads have changed the face, too. The face is small, smooth, round and to some extent pale. Their hair is straight, bristles, black and somewhat disheveled. The bear is yellow, separate and disorder.


In Turks, the most part of the bear grow in the chin. Moreover most of them have faces without bear. It means that there is not any bear in the face of Turks at all and their foreheads are wide, medium, Backward, small and somewhat in rectangle shape. Their eyebrows are separate, extended, thin and long. Eyes are oval, thin, extended, and more like Moguls. Eyelashes are longer and the color of eyes is greenish or grayish blue and a little brown. The distance of eyebrow with eye horizontally and also the distance between the two eyes vertically is a little much. These characteristics of eyes and eyebrows are observed only among Turks and Moguls. The cheeks are big, protuberant and wide. This bigness and much width are the most important features of Turks and Moguls, which are observable even on the face. The distance between two cheeks is small. Turks noses are small, smooth, extended and delicate. The tip of the nose is usual. Nose sides are to some extent big and clear. The width and the size of the nostrils are medium and small. Ears are big and lowly. Mouth is small and lips are delicate or medium. Chin is a little big or medium. Turks chins are bended forward.


Their medium height is 167cm (average). Most Turks and Moguls have a big spot on their skin called Mogul spot in medicine. They are congenital spots as brown or dark blue placed on the bottom of the waist or body in infants of Mongolian (Mongoloid). This spot usually disappears after 3 or 5 years of birth. It is mostly seen among yellow race, particularly Moguls, Turks and Uzbeks. These ethnical characteristics are special for Turk, Mogul and those who are from yellow race[9].



Asia continent as the largest and the most populous continent and the cradle of a developed civilization has different peoples with various races and with their special physical characteristics. On the other hand, it is the origin of different races, including yellow (Mogul), Siberia, northern and Mogul, central Mogul, Indonesia, Mediterranean, Transoxania (Kyrgyz, Turkman, Tatar, Anatolian Turk). Although there have been intercourse among these ethnical groups, but all of them have their own special characteristics on the view of color, the form of skull and face. turkish people, also known as the "Turks" (Turkish: singular: Türk, plural: Türkler), are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey, and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Algeria (Algerian Turks), Bulgaria (Bulgarian Turks), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnian Turks), Cyprus (Turkish Cypriots), Egypt (Egyptian Turks), Georgia (Meskhetian Turks), Greece (Cretan Turks, Dodecanese Turks, and Western Thrace Turks), Iraq (Iraqi Turkmens), Iran (Iranian Turks) , Kosovo (Kosovan Turks), Lebanon (Lebanese Turks), Libya (Libyan Turks), the Republic of Macedonia (Macedonian Turks), Montenegro (Montenegrin Turks), Romania (Romanian Turks), Syria (Syrian Turkmens), Tunisia (Tunisian Turks), and Yemen (Yemeni Turks). In addition, due to migration, a large Turkish diaspora has been established, particularly in Europe (see Turks in Europe) where large communities have been formed in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and Liechtenstein; there is also large Turkish communities living in Australia, the Middle East, North America and the former Soviet Union. The question of ethnicity in modern Turkey is a highly debated and difficult issue. Figures published in several different sources prove this difficulty by varying greatly. It is necessary to take into account all these difficulties and be cautious while evaluating the ethnic groups. Proving the difficulty of classifying the ethnicities of the population of Turkey, there are as many classifications as the number of scientific attempts to make these classifications. The immense variation observed in the published figures for the percentages of Turkish people living in Turkey (ranging from 75 to 97%) simply reflects differences in the methods used to classify the ethnicities, with a main factor being the choice of whether to exclude or include Kurds. A 2008 report prepared for the National Security Council of Turkey by academics of three Turkish universities in eastern Anatolia, has estimated approximately 55 million ethnic Turks living in Turkey.



1.       Bosworth, CE. (1968). The Political and Dynastic History of the Iranian World (A.D. 1000-1217). In: Boyle JA (ed) The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 5. The Saljuq and Mongol Periods. Cambridge University Press.

2.       Darvishzadeh, Ali. (2002). Geology of Iran. 1st edit, Tabriz:Niyapublishment.

3.       EghbalAshtiyani, A. (2001).  History of Iran. Tehran: Tehran University publication.

4.       Golden, P. B. (1992). An Introduction to the History of the Turkic Peoples:  Ethnogenesis  and State-formation in Medieval and Early Modern Eurasia and the Middle East, Otto Harrassowitz.

5.       Henning, W. B. (1954). The Ancient Language of Azerbaijan. Transactions of the Philological Society, London.

6.       Icker, M.  (2000). The Islamic World in Decline: From the Treaty of Karlowitz to the Disintegration of the Ottoman Empire. Praeger Publishers.

7.       Raiesniya, Rahim. (2007). Azerbaijan in the History of Iran, 1st edit, Tabriz: Nimapublishment.

8.       Rashidvash, Vahid. (2013).Comparative study of the race of people in Azerbaijan (Atropatene) and Turks and Turkman in Iran, International Journal of Advanced Research in Management and Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 8, India, 220-230.

9.       Rashidvash, Vahid. (2012). Anthropological and Genetic Characteristics of Atropatene population, International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, Vol. 2 No. 5,USA,139-147.

10.    Saidiyan, A. A. (1991). Peoples of the World, 4th edition. Tehran: Tehran sience and  life publishment.

11.    Sicker, M. (2000). The Islamic World in Decline from the Treaty of Karlowitz to the Disintegration of the Ottoman Empire. Praeger Publishers.


Received on 03.09.2014

Revised on 21.09.2014

Accepted on 28.09.2014     

© A&V Publication all right reserved

Research J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 5(3): July-September, 2014, 295-301