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The Turkish people, or simply the Turks, ( tr, Türkler) are the world's largest
Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambiguation) ** Turkish language, the most widely spoken Turkic language * T ...
ethnic group; they speak various dialects of the
Turkish language Turkish ( , ), also referred to as Istanbul Turkish (''İstanbul Türkçesi'') or Turkey Turkish (''Türkiye Türkçesi''), is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 70 to 80 million speakers. It is the national language o ...

Turkish language
and form a majority in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
and
Northern Cyprus Northern Cyprus ( tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs), officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC; tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti, ''KKTC''), is a ''de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, eve ...
. In addition, centuries-old ethnic Turkish communities still live across other former territories of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
. The ethnic Turks can therefore be distinguished by a number of cultural and regional variants, but do not function as separate ethnic groups. In particular, the culture of the Anatolian Turks in
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...

Asia Minor
underlies the
Turkish nationalist Turkish nationalism is a political ideology that promotes and glorifies the Turkish people, as either a Turkey#Demographics, national, Turkish people, ethnic, or Turkic languages, linguistic group. History After the Historiography of the fall ...
ideology. Other Turkish groups include the Rumelian Turks in the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
;
Turkish Cypriots Turkish Cypriots or Cypriot Turks ( tr, Kıbrıs Türkleri or ''Kıbrıslı Türkler''; el, Τουρκοκύπριοι, Tourkokýprioi) are mostly ethnic Turks originating from Cyprus. Following the Ottoman conquest of the island in 1571, about ...
on the island of Cyprus (in addition to recent "mainland Turks"); Turkish Meskhetians originally based in
Meskheti Meskheti ( ka, მესხეთი) or Samtskhe ( ka, სამცხე) (Moschia in ancient sources), is a mountainous area in southwestern Georgia (country), Georgia. History Ancient tribes known as the Mushki (or Moschi) and Mossynoeci, Mosi ...
,
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia (, ; ) is a country located at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of the Caucasus region, bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north and east by ...
; and ethnic Turkish people across the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
, where they are also called "Turkmen" or "Turkoman" in the
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
(e.g.
Iraqi Turkmen The Iraqi Turkmen (also spelled as Turkoman and Turcoman; ar, تركمان العراق: tr, Irak Türkmenleri), also referred to as Iraqi Turks, ( tr, Irak Türkleri) are Iraq, Iraq's third largest ethnic group. Whilst Turkic migration to Iraq ...
,
Syrian Turkmen Syrian Turkmen (also referred to as Syrian Turkomans, Turkish Syrians, or simply Syrian Turks or Turks of Syria) ( ar, تركمان سوريا, tr, Suriye Türkmenleri or ), are Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِي ...
, Lebanese Turkmen, etc.). Consequently, the Turks form the largest minority group in
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
, the second largest minority group in
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
,
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, th ...

Libya
,
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A sub ...
, and
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
, and the third largest minority group in
Kosovo Kosovo, or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово officially the Republic of Kosovo,; sr, / is a partially recognised state in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a ...

Kosovo
. They also form substantial communities in the
Western Thrace Western Thrace or West Thrace ( el, υτικήΘράκη, '' ytikíThráki'' ; tr, Batı Trakya; bg, Западна/Беломорска Тракия, ''Zapadna/Belomorska Trakiya''), also known as Greek Thrace, is a Geography, geograp ...
region of
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
, the
Dobruja Dobruja or Dobrudja (; bg, Добруджа, Dobrudzha or ''Dobrudža''; ro, Dobrogea, or ; tr, Dobruca) is a historical region in the Balkans that has been divided since the 19th century between the territories of Bulgaria and Romania. I ...

Dobruja
region of
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
, the
Akkar Akkar District ( ar, قضاء عكار) is the only district in Akkar Governorate Akkar Governorate ( ar, محافظة عكار) is the northernmost governorate A governorate is an administrative division of a country. It is headed by a governo ...
region in
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part ...

Lebanon
, as well as minority groups in other post-Ottoman Balkan and Middle Eastern countries. Due to mass migrations from the 19th century onward, these Turkish communities have all contributed to the formation of a
Turkish diaspora The Turkish diaspora ( tr, Türk diasporası or ''Türk gurbetçiler'') refers to ethnic Turkish people who have migrated from, or are the descendants of migrants from, the Republic of Turkey or other modern nation-states that were once part of th ...
outside the former Ottoman lands. Thus, the Turks also form the largest ethnic minority group in
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
,
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
,
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
, and the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
. There are also Turkish communities in other parts of Europe as well as in
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

North America
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
, and the
Post-Soviet states The post-Soviet states, also known as the former Soviet Union (FSU), the former Soviet Republics and in Russia as the near abroad (russian: links=no, ближнее зарубежье, blizhneye zarubezhye), are the 15 sovereign state A sovere ...
. Turks from
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sov ...

Central Asia
settled in
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
in the 11th century, through the conquests of the
Seljuk Turks The Seljuk dynasty, or Seljuks ( ; fa, آل سلجوق ''Al-e Saljuq''), was an Oghuz Turkic Sunni Muslim dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford Un ...
. This began the transformation of the region, which had been a largely Greek-speaking region after previously being Hellenized, into a Turkish Muslim one. The Ottoman Empire came to rule much of the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
, the
South Caucasus The South Caucasus, also known as Transcaucasia, is a geographical region on the border of Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Gen ...
, the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
(excluding Iran, even though they controlled parts of it), and
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
over the course of several centuries. The empire lasted until the end of the First World War, when it was defeated by the
Allies An alliance is a relationship among people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying ...
and partitioned. Following the
Turkish War of Independence The Turkish War of Independence "War of Liberation", also known figuratively as ''İstiklâl Harbi'' "Independence War" or ''Millî Mücadele'' "National Struggle" (19 May 1919 – 24 July 1923) was a series of military campaigns waged by t ...
that ended with the
Turkish National Movement The Turkish National Movement ( tr, Türk Ulusal Hareketi) encompasses the political and military activities of the Turkish revolutionaries that resulted in the creation and shaping of the modern Republic of Turkey, as a consequence of the defeat ...
retaking much of the territory lost to the Allies, the Movement ended the Ottoman Empire on 1 November 1922 and proclaimed the
Republic of Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...
on 29 October 1923. Article 66 of the
Turkish Constitution The Constitution of the Republic of Turkey ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Anayasası), also known as the Constitution of 1982, is Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia ...
defines a "Turk" as: "Anyone who is bound to the Turkish state through the bond of citizenship." While the legal use of the term "Turrekish" as it pertains to a
citizen Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its citizens, and t ...

citizen
of Turkey is different from the term's ethnic definition, the majority of the Turkish population (an estimated 70-75 percent) are of Turkish ethnicity. The vast majority of Turks are
Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...
.


Etymology and definition

The first definite references to the "Turks" mainly come from
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
sources which date back to the sixth century. In these sources, "Turk" appears as "Tujue" (), which referred to the
Göktürks The Göktürks, Celestial Turks or Blue Turks ( otk, 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, Türük Bodun; zh, 突厥 ''Tūjué''; Wade-Giles: ''T'u-chüeh'') were a nomadic confederation of Turkic peoples in medieval Inner Asia. The Göktürks, un ...
. There are several theories regarding the origin of the ethnonym "Turk". There is a claim that it may be connected to
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
's (c. 484–425 BC) reference to Targitaos, a king of the
Scythians The Scythians (from grc, Σκύθης , ) or Scyths, also known as Saka and Sakae ( ; egy, 𓋴𓎝𓎡𓈉 The ancient Egyptian Hill-country or "Foreign land" hieroglyph (𓈉) is a member of the sky, earth, and water hieroglyphs. A ...
; however, Mayrhofer (apud Lincoln) assigned Iranian etymology for Ταργιτάος ''Targitaos'' from
Old Iranian The Iranian languages or Iranic languages are a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages The Indo-Iranian languages (also Indo-Iranic languages or Aryan languages) constitute the largest and southeasternmost extant branch of the Indo-European l ...
*''darga-tavah-'', meaning "he whose strength is long-lasting". During the first century AD.,
Pomponius Mela Pomponius Mela, who wrote around AD 43, was the earliest Roman geographer ;Pre-Hellenistic Classical Greece *Homer *Anaximander *Hecataeus of Miletus *Massaliote Periplus *Scylax of Caryanda (6th century BC) *Herodotus ;Hellenistic period *Pyt ...
refers to the "Turcae" in the forests north of the
Sea of Azov The Sea of Azov ( la, Palus Maeotis ; gr, Μαιῶτις λίμνη or Propontis or now la, mare Asoviense; russian: Азовское море, Azovskoye more; uk, Азовське море, Озівське море, Azovske more, Ozivske ...

Sea of Azov
, and
Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder#REDIRECT Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, includi ...

Pliny the Elder
lists the "Tyrcae" among the people of the same area.; yet English archaeologist
Ellis Minns Sir Ellis Hovell Minns, FBA (16 July 1874 – 13 June 1953) was a British academic and archaeologist Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often consi ...
contended that ''Tyrcae'' Τῦρκαι is "a false correction" for Ἱύρκαι ''Iyrcae''/''Iyrkai'', a people who dwelt beyond the
Thyssagetae The Thyssagetae ( grc, Θυσσαγέται) were an ancient tribe described by Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek ci ...
, according to
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
(
Histories Histories or, in Latin, Historiae may refer to: * the plural of history * Histories (Herodotus), ''Histories'' (Herodotus), by Herodotus * ''The Histories'', by Timaeus (historian), Timaeus * The Histories (Polybius), ''The Histories'' (Polybius), ...
, iv. 22) There are references to certain groups in antiquity whose names might have been foreign transcriptions of ''Tür(ü)k'' such as ''Togarma'', ''Turukha''/''Turuška'', ''Turukku'' and so on; but the information gap is so substantial that any connection of these ancient people to the modern Turks is not possible. In the 19th century, the word ''Türk'' referred to
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
n peasants. The Ottoman ruling class identified themselves as
Ottomans The Ottoman Turks or Osmanlı Turks ( tr, Osmanlı Türkleri), were the Turkic people The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethnic groups of Central Asia, Central, East Asia, East, North Asia, North and West Asia as well as parts of Europe an ...
, not as Turks. In the late 19th century, as the Ottoman upper classes adopted European ideas of
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target ...
, the term ''Türk'' took on a more positive connotation. During Ottoman times, the
millet Millets () are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food. Millets are important crops in the semiarid tropics of Asia and Africa (especially in Indi ...
system defined communities on a religious basis, and today some Turks regard only those who profess the
Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) is a woody structural member connected to but not part o ...
faith as true Turks.
Turkish Jews The history of the Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are members of an ethnoreligious group and a nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first a ...
,
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...
, and
Alevis Alevism (; tr, Alevilik, ''Anadolu Aleviliği'' or ''Kızılbaşlık''; ku, Elewîtî) is a local Islamic Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "o ...

Alevis
are not considered Turks by some. In the early 20th century, the
Young Turks Young Turks ( tr, Jön Türkler or ) was a political reform movement in the early 20th century that favored the replacement of the Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CIT ...
abandoned
Ottoman nationalism Ottomanism (Turkish language, Turkish: ''Osmanlılık'' or ''Osmanlıcılık'') was a concept which developed prior to the 1876-1878 First Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire. Its proponents believed that it could create the social cohesion ...
in favor of
Turkish nationalism Turkish nationalism is a political ideology that promotes and glorifies the Turkish people, as either a national National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, histor ...
, while adopting the name ''Turks'', which was finally used in the name of the new Turkish Republic. Article 66 of the
Turkish Constitution The Constitution of the Republic of Turkey ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Anayasası), also known as the Constitution of 1982, is Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia ...
defines a "''Turk''" as anyone who is "bound to the Turkish state through the bond of
citizenship Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its citizens, and t ...

citizenship
."


History


Prehistory, Ancient era and Early Middle Ages

Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
was first inhabited by hunter-gatherers during the
Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history ...
era, and in antiquity was inhabited by various ancient Anatolian peoples. After
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
's conquest in 334 BC, the area was
Hellenized Hellenization (other British spelling Hellenisation) or Hellenism is the adoption of Greek culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as ...
, and by the first century BC it is generally thought that the native
Anatolian languages The Anatolian languages are an extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism or of a group of kinds (taxon), usually a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the endling, last individual of ...
, themselves earlier newcomers to the area, as a result of the
Indo-European migrations The Indo-European migrations were the migrations of Proto-Indo-European language Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family ...

Indo-European migrations
, became extinct. The early
Turkic peoples The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethnic groups of Central Asia, Central, East Asia, East, North Asia, North and West Asia as well as parts of Europe and North Africa, who speak Turkic languages.. "Turkic peoples, any of various peoples w ...
descended from agricultural communities in
Northeast Asia Northeast Asia or Northeastern Asia is a geographical subregion of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Eart ...
who moved westwards into
Mongolia Mongolia (, mn, Монгол Улс, Mongol Uls, Mongolian script, Traditional Mongolian: '; literal translation, lit. "Mongol Nation" or "State of Mongolia") is a landlocked country in East Asia. It is bordered by Russia Mongolia–Russia ...

Mongolia
in the late 3rd millennium BC, where they adopted a pastoral lifestyle. By the early 1st millennium BC, these peoples had become
equestrian nomads The Eurasian nomads were a large group of nomad A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherer ...
. In subsequent centuries, the steppe populations of
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sov ...

Central Asia
appear to have been progressively replaced and
Turkified Turkification, Turkization, or Turkicization ( tr, Türkleştirme), describes both a cultural and language shift whereby populations or states were forcefully assimilated or adopted a historical Turkic people, Turkic culture, such as in the Ottom ...
by
East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment ( ...
nomadic Turks, moving out of Mongolia. In Central Asia, the earliest surviving texts, found on the eighth-century Orkhon inscription monuments, were erected by the
Göktürks The Göktürks, Celestial Turks or Blue Turks ( otk, 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, Türük Bodun; zh, 突厥 ''Tūjué''; Wade-Giles: ''T'u-chüeh'') were a nomadic confederation of Turkic peoples in medieval Inner Asia. The Göktürks, un ...
in the sixth century CE, and include words not common to Turkic but found in unrelated Inner Asian languages. Although the ancient Turks were
nomad A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo ...

nomad
ic, they traded wool, leather, carpets, and horses for wood, silk, vegetables and grain, as well as having large ironworking stations in the south of the
Altai Mountains The Altai Mountains (), also spelled Altay Mountains, are a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with simil ...

Altai Mountains
during the 600s CE. Most of the Turkic peoples were followers of
Tengrism Tengrism (also known as Tengriism, Tengerism, or Tengrianism) is an ancient ethnic and state Turko- Mongolic religion originating in the Eurasian steppes The Eurasian Steppe, also simply called the Great Steppe or the steppes, is the vast ste ...
, sharing the cult of the sky god
Tengri Tengri ( otk, 𐰚𐰇𐰚:𐱅𐰭𐰼𐰃, Kök Teŋri/Тeŋiri, lit=Blue Heaven; Middle Turkic Middle Turkic (''Türki'' or ''Türkçe'') refers to a phase in the development of the Turkic language family, covering much of the Middle Ages ...
, although there were also adherents of
Manichaeism Manichaeism (; in New Persian New Persian ( fa, فارسی نو), also known as Modern Persian () and Dari (), is the final stage of the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to ...
,
Nestorian Christianity The Church of the East ( syc, , ''ʿĒḏtā d-Maḏenḥā''), also called the Persian Church, East Syrian Church, Babylonian Church, Seleucian Church, Edessan Church, Chaldean Church, or the Nestorian Church, was an Eastern Christian Ea ...
and
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
. However, during the
Muslim conquests History of Islam, The history of the spread of Islam spans about 1,400 years. Muslim conquests following Muhammad's death led to the creation of the caliphates, occupying a vast geographical area; conversion to Islam was boosted by Islamic missio ...
, the Turks entered the
Muslim world The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the Islamic Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodne ...

Muslim world
proper as
slaves Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property. Slavery typically involves the enslaved per ...
, the booty of Arab raids and conquests. The Turks began converting to
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
after the
Muslim conquest of Transoxiana The Muslim conquest of Transoxiana or Arab conquest of Transoxiana were the 7th and 8th century Muslim conquests, conquests, by Umayyad and Abbasid Arab peoples, Arabs, of Transoxiana, the land between the Amu Darya, Oxus (Amu Darya) and Syr ...
through the efforts of
missionaries A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to promote their faith or provide services, such as education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), ...

missionaries
,
Sufis Sufism ( ar, ٱلصُّوفِيَّة), also known as Tasawwuf (), is mysticism Mysticism is popularly known as becoming one with God or the Absolute, but may refer to any kind of Religious ecstasy, ecstasy or altered state of consciousne ...
, and merchants. Although initiated by the
Arabs The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technica ...

Arabs
, the
conversion Conversion or convert may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Conversion (Doctor Who audio), "Conversion" (''Doctor Who'' audio), an episode of the audio drama ''Cyberman'' * Conversion (Stargate Atlantis), "Conversion" (''Stargate Atlantis ...
of the Turks to Islam was filtered through
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...

Persian
and Central Asian culture. Under the
Umayyads The Umayyad dynasty ( ar, بَنُو أُمَيَّةَ, Banū Umayya, Sons of Umayya) or Umayyads () were the ruling family of the Muslim Umayyad Caliphate, caliphate between 661 and 750 and later of Al-Andalus, Islamic Iberia in Europe between 7 ...
, most were domestic servants, whilst under the
Abbasid Caliphate The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the tit ...

Abbasid Caliphate
, increasing numbers were trained as soldiers. By the ninth century, Turkish commanders were leading the
caliphs A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state An Islamic state is a form of government based on Islamic law. As a term, it has been used to describe various historical Polity, polities and theories of governance in the Islami ...
’ Turkish troops into battle. As the Abbasid Caliphate declined, Turkish officers assumed more military and political power by taking over or establishing provincial dynasties with their own corps of Turkish troops.


Seljuk era

During the 11th century, the
Seljuk Turks The Seljuk dynasty, or Seljuks ( ; fa, آل سلجوق ''Al-e Saljuq''), was an Oghuz Turkic Sunni Muslim dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford Un ...
, who were influenced by Persian civilization in many ways, grew in strength and succeeded in taking the eastern province of the
Abbasid Empire The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islam Islam (;There ar ...
. By 1055, the
Seljuks The Seljuk dynasty, or Seljuks ( ; fa, آل سلجوق ''Al-e Saljuq'', alternatively spelled as Seljuqs or Saljuqs), also known as Seljuk Turks, Seljuk Turkomans "The defeat in August 1071 of the Byzantine emperor Romanos Diogenes by the Turko ...

Seljuks
captured
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, ...

Baghdad
and began to make their first incursions into
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
. When they won the Battle of Manzikert against the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
in 1071, it opened the gates of Anatolia to them. Although ethnically Turkish, the Seljuk Turks appreciated and became carriers of
Persian culture The Culture of Iran (Persian language, Persian: فرهنگ ایران) or Culture of PersiaYarshater, EhsaPersia or Iran, Persian or Farsi, ''Iranian Studies'', vol. XXII no. 1 (1989) is one of the most influential cultures in the world. Iran (Nam ...
rather than
Turkish culture The culture of Turkey ( tr, Türkiye Kültürü) combines a heavily diverse and heterogeneous Homogeneity and heterogeneity are concepts often used in the sciences and statistics Statistics is the discipline that concerns the collection, ...
. Nonetheless, the
Turkish language Turkish ( , ), also referred to as Istanbul Turkish (''İstanbul Türkçesi'') or Turkey Turkish (''Türkiye Türkçesi''), is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 70 to 80 million speakers. It is the national language o ...

Turkish language
and
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
were introduced and gradually spread over the region and the slow transition from a predominantly
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
and
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
-speaking Anatolia to a predominantly
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
and Turkish-speaking one was underway. In dire straits, the Byzantine Empire turned to the West for help, setting in motion the pleas that led to the
First Crusade The First Crusade (1096–1099) was the first of a series of religious wars, or Crusades, initiated, supported and at times directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The objective was the recovery of the Holy Land from Muslim conqu ...
. Once the
Crusaders The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern Mediterranean campaigns in the period between 1095 and 1271 that h ...

Crusaders
took , the Seljuk Turks established the
Sultanate of Rum The Sultanate of Rum) or Seljuks of Turkey ( tr, Türkiye Selçukluları) or Rum Seljuk Sultanate ( fa, سلجوقیان روم, Saljuqiyān-e Rum, lit=Seljuks of Rome) was a Turko-Persian The composite Turco-Persian tradition
from their new capital,
Konya Konya (), historically known as Iconium (), is a major city in south-central Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and ...

Konya
, in 1097. By the 12th century, Europeans had begun to call the Anatolian region "Turchia" or "Turkey", the land of the Turks. The Turkish society in Anatolia was divided into urban, rural and nomadic populations; other Turkoman (Turkmen) tribes who had arrived into Anatolia at the same time as the Seljuks kept their nomadic ways. These tribes were more numerous than the Seljuks, and rejecting the sedentary lifestyle, adhered to an Islam impregnated with
animism Animism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Rom ...

animism
and
shamanism Shamanism is a religious practice that involves a practitioner (shaman) interacting with what they believe to be a spirit world through Altered state of consciousness, altered states of consciousness, such as trance. The goal of this is usually ...

shamanism
from their
central Asian Central Asia is a region in Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area ...
steppeland origins, which then mixed with new Christian influences. From this popular and syncretist Islam, with its mystical and revolutionary aspects, sects such as the
Alevis Alevism (; tr, Alevilik, ''Anadolu Aleviliği'' or ''Kızılbaşlık''; ku, Elewîtî) is a local Islamic Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "o ...

Alevis
and
Bektashis The Bektashi Order ( sq, Tarikati Bektashi; tr, Bektaşi Tarîkatı), short for Shī‘ah Imāmī Alevi, Alevī-Bektashism and folk religion, Bektāshī Ṭarīqah, is an unorthodox Sufism, Sufi dervish order (''tariqat'') named after the 13th ...
emerged. Furthermore, intermarriage between the Turks and local inhabitants, as well as the
conversion Conversion or convert may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Conversion (Doctor Who audio), "Conversion" (''Doctor Who'' audio), an episode of the audio drama ''Cyberman'' * Conversion (Stargate Atlantis), "Conversion" (''Stargate Atlantis ...
of many to Islam, also increased the Turkish-speaking Muslim population in Anatolia. By 1243, at the
Battle of Köse Dağ The Battle of Köse Dağ was fought between the Sultanate of Rum The Sultanate of Rum) or Seljuk Turkey ( tr, Türkiye Selçukluları) or Rum Seljuk Sultanate ( fa, سلجوقیان روم, Saljuqiyān-e Rum, lit=Seljuks of Rome) was a Turko-Pe ...
, the
Mongols The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian people, East Asian ethnic group indigenous peoples, native to the Inner Mongolia, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China, Mongolia an ...

Mongols
defeated the Seljuk Turks and became the new rulers of Anatolia, and in 1256, the second Mongol invasion of Anatolia caused widespread destruction. Particularly after 1277, political stability within the Seljuk territories rapidly disintegrated, leading to the strengthening of Turkoman principalities in the western and southern parts of Anatolia called the " beyliks".


Beyliks era

When the Mongols defeated the Seljuk Turks and Mongol conquest of Anatolia, conquered Anatolia, the Turks became the vassals of the Ilkhanate, Ilkhans who established their own empire in the vast area which stretched from present-day Afghanistan to present-day
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
. As the Mongols occupied more lands in Asia Minor, the Turks moved further into western Anatolia and settled in the Seljuk-Byzantine frontier. By the last decades of the 13th century, the Ilkhans and their Seljuk vassals lost control over much of Anatolia to these Turkoman (ethnonym), Turkoman peoples. A number of Turkish lords managed to establish themselves as rulers of various principalities, known as "Beyliks" or emirates. Amongst these beyliks, along the Aegean Region, Aegean coast, from north to south, stretched the beyliks of Karasids, Karasi, Sarukhanids, Saruhan, Aydinids, Aydin, Beylik of Menteşe, Menteşe and Beylik of Teke, Teke. Inland from Teke was Hamidids, Hamid and east of Karasi was the beylik of Germiyanids, Germiyan. To the north-west of Anatolia, around Söğüt, was the small and, at this stage, insignificant, Ottoman beylik. It was hemmed into the east by other more substantial powers like Karamanids, Karaman on Iconium, which ruled from the Kızılırmak River to the Mediterranean. Although the Ottomans was only a small principality among the numerous Turkish beyliks, and thus posed the smallest threat to the Byzantine authority, their location in north-western Anatolia, in the former Byzantine province of Bithynia, became a fortunate position for their future conquests. The Italic peoples, Latins, who had conquered the city of Constantinople in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade, established a Latin Empire (1204–61), divided the former Byzantine territories in the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
and the Aegean Region, Aegean among themselves, and forced the Byzantine Emperors into exile at Nicaea (present-day ). From 1261 onwards, the Byzantines were largely preoccupied with regaining their control in the Balkans. Toward the end of the 13th century, as Mongol power began to decline, the Turcoman chiefs assumed greater independence.


Ottoman Empire

Under its founder, Osman I, the nomadic Ottoman beylik expanded along the Sakarya River and westward towards the Sea of Marmara. Thus, the population of western
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...

Asia Minor
had largely become Turkish language, Turkish-speaking and
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
in religion. It was under his son, Orhan I, who had attacked and conquered the important urban center of Bursa in 1326, proclaiming it as the Ottoman capital, that the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
developed considerably. In 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe and established a foothold on the Gallipoli Peninsula while at the same time pushing east and taking Ankara. Many Turks from Anatolia began to settle in the region which had been abandoned by the inhabitants who had fled Thrace before the Ottoman invasion. However, the Byzantines were not the only ones to suffer from the Ottoman advance for, in the mid-1330s, Orhan annexed the Turkish beylik of Karasids, Karasi. This advancement was maintained by Murad I who more than tripled the territories under his direct rule, reaching some , evenly distributed in Europe and
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...

Asia Minor
. Gains in Anatolia were matched by those in Europe; once the Ottoman forces took Edirne (Adrianople), which became the capital of the Ottoman Empire in 1365, they opened their way into
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
and Macedonia (region), Macedonia in 1371 at the Battle of Maritsa. With the conquests of Thrace, Macedonia, and Bulgaria, significant numbers of Turkish emigrants settled in these regions. This form of Ottoman-Turkish colonization became a very effective method to consolidate their position and power in the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
. The settlers consisted of soldiers, nomads, farmers, artisans and merchants, dervishes, preachers and other religious functionaries, and administrative personnel. In 1453, Ottoman armies, under Sultan Mehmed II, conquered Constantinople. Mehmed reconstructed and repopulated the city, and made it the new Ottoman capital. After the Fall of Constantinople, the Ottoman Empire entered a long period of Growth of the Ottoman Empire, conquest and expansion with its borders eventually going deep into Europe, the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
, and
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
. Selim I dramatically expanded the empire's eastern and southern frontiers in the Battle of Chaldiran and gained recognition as the guardian of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. His successor, Suleiman the Magnificent, further expanded the conquests after capturing Belgrade in 1521 and using its territorial base to conquer Kingdom of Hungary, Hungary, and other Central European territories, after his victory in the Battle of Mohács as well as also pushing the frontiers of the empire to the east. Following Suleiman's death, Ottoman victories continued, albeit less frequently than before. The island of Cyprus was conquered, in 1571, bolstering Ottoman dominance over the sea routes of the eastern Mediterranean. However, after its defeat at the Battle of Vienna, in 1683, the Ottoman army was met by ambushes and further defeats; the 1699 Treaty of Karlowitz, which granted Austria the provinces of Hungary and Transylvania, marked the first time in history that the Ottoman Empire actually relinquished territory. By the 19th century, the empire began to Decline of the Ottoman Empire, decline when Ethnic nationalism, ethno-nationalist uprisings occurred across the empire. Thus, the last quarter of the 19th and the early part of the 20th century saw some 7–9 million Muslim refugees (Turks and some Circassians, Bosnians, Georgians, etc.) from the lost territories of the Caucasus, Crimea,
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
, and the Mediterranean islands migrate to
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
and Eastern Thrace. By 1913, the government of the Committee of Union and Progress started a program of forcible Turkification of non-Turkish minorities. By 1914, the World War I broke out, and the Turks scored some success in Gallipoli during the Naval operations in the Dardanelles Campaign, Battle of the Dardanelles in 1915. During World War I, the government of the Committee of Union and Progress continued to implement its Turkification policies, which affected non-Turkish minorities, such as the Armenians during the Armenian genocide and the Greeks during Greek genocide, various campaigns of ethnic cleansing and expulsion. In 1918, the Ottoman Government agreed to the Mudros Armistice with the
Allies An alliance is a relationship among people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying ...
. The Treaty of Sèvres —signed in 1920 by the government of Mehmet VI— dismantled the Ottoman Empire. The Turks, under Mustafa Kemal, rejected the treaty and fought the
Turkish War of Independence The Turkish War of Independence "War of Liberation", also known figuratively as ''İstiklâl Harbi'' "Independence War" or ''Millî Mücadele'' "National Struggle" (19 May 1919 – 24 July 1923) was a series of military campaigns waged by t ...
, resulting in the abortion of that text, never ratified, and the Abolition of the Ottoman sultanate, abolition of the Sultanate. Thus, the 623-year-old Ottoman Empire ended.


Modern era

Once Mustafa Kemal Atatürk led the
Turkish War of Independence The Turkish War of Independence "War of Liberation", also known figuratively as ''İstiklâl Harbi'' "Independence War" or ''Millî Mücadele'' "National Struggle" (19 May 1919 – 24 July 1923) was a series of military campaigns waged by t ...
against the Allies of World War I, Allied forces that occupied the former
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
, he united the Turkish Muslim majority and successfully led them from 1919 to 1922 in overthrowing the occupying forces out of what the
Turkish National Movement The Turkish National Movement ( tr, Türk Ulusal Hareketi) encompasses the political and military activities of the Turkish revolutionaries that resulted in the creation and shaping of the modern Republic of Turkey, as a consequence of the defeat ...
considered the Turkish homeland. The Turkish identity became the unifying force when, in 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne was signed and the newly founded
Republic of Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...
was formally established. Atatürk's presidency was marked by a series of Atatürk's Reforms, radical political and social reforms that transformed Turkey into a Secularism in Turkey, secular, modern republic with civil and political equality for sectarian minorities and women. Throughout the 1920s and the 1930s, Turks, as well as other
Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...
, from the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
, the Black Sea, the Aegean islands, the island of Cyprus, the Sanjak of Alexandretta (Hatay Province, Hatay), the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
, and the Soviet Union continued to arrive in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
, most of whom settled in urban north-western Anatolia. The bulk of these immigrants, known as "Muhacirs", were the Balkan Turks who faced harassment and discrimination in their homelands. However, there were still remnants of a Turkish population in many of these countries because the Turkish government wanted to preserve these communities so that the Turkish character of these neighbouring territories could be maintained. One of the last stages of ethnic Turks immigrating to Turkey was between 1940 and 1990 when about 700,000 Turks arrived from Bulgaria. Today, between a third and a quarter of Turkey's population are the descendants of these immigrants.


Geographic distribution


Traditional areas of Turkish settlement


Turkey

The ethnic Turks are the largest ethnic group in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
and number approximately 60 million to 65 million. Due to differing historical Turkish migrations to the region, dating from the Seljuk conquests in the 11th century to the continuous Turkish migrations which have persisted to the present day (especially Turkish refugees from neighboring countries), there are various accents and customs which can distinguish the ethnic Turks by geographic sub-groups. For example, the most significant are the Anatolian Turks in the central core of Anatolia, Asiatic Turkey whose culture was influential in underlining the roots of the Turkish nationalist ideology. There are also nomadic Turkic tribes who descend directly from
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sov ...

Central Asia
, such as the Yörüks; the Black Sea Turks in the north whose "speech largely lacks the vowel harmony valued elsewhere"; the descendants of ''muhacirs'' (Turkish refugees) who fled persecution from former Ottoman territories in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; and more recent refugees who have continued to flee discrimination and persecution since the mid-1900s. Initially, ''muhacirs'' who arrived in Eastern Thrace and
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
came fleeing from former Ottoman territories which had been annexed by History of colonialism, European colonial powers (such as French colonial empire, France in Algeria or Russian Empire, Russia in Crimea); however, the largest waves of ethnic Turkish migration came from the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the Balkan Wars led to most of the region becoming independent from Ottoman control. The largest waves of ''muhacirs'' came from the Balkans (especially
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
,
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
and Yugoslavia); however, substantial numbers also came from Cyprus, the Sanjak of Alexandretta, the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
(including Transjordan (region), Trans-Jordan and Yemen) North African (such as Algeria and
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, th ...

Libya
) and the Soviet Union (especially from
Meskheti Meskheti ( ka, მესხეთი) or Samtskhe ( ka, სამცხე) (Moschia in ancient sources), is a mountainous area in southwestern Georgia (country), Georgia. History Ancient tribes known as the Mushki (or Moschi) and Mossynoeci, Mosi ...
). The Turks who remained in the former Ottoman territories continued to face discrimination and persecution thereafter leading many to seek refuge in Turkey, especially Turkish Meskhetians deported by Joseph Stalin in 1944; Turkish minorities in Yugoslavia (i.e. Turks in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkish Bosnians, Turks in Croatia, Turkish Croatians, Turks in Kosovo, Turkish Kosovars, Turks in North Macedonia, Turkish Macedonians, Turks in Montenegro, Turkish Montenegrins and Turks in Serbia, Turkish Serbians) fleeing Josip Broz Tito's regime in the 1950s;
Turkish Cypriots Turkish Cypriots or Cypriot Turks ( tr, Kıbrıs Türkleri or ''Kıbrıslı Türkler''; el, Τουρκοκύπριοι, Tourkokýprioi) are mostly ethnic Turks originating from Cyprus. Following the Ottoman conquest of the island in 1571, about ...
fleeing the Cypriot intercommunal violence of 1955–74; Iraqi Turkmen, Turkish Iraqis fleeing discrimination during the rise of Arab nationalism in the 1950s and 1970s followed by the Iran-Iraq war of 1980–88; Turkish Bulgarians fleeing the Bulgarisation policies of the so-called "Revival Process" under the communist ruler Todor Zivkov in the 1980s; and Turks in Kosovo, Turkish Kosovars fleeing the Kosovo War of 1998–99. Today, approximately 15–20 million Turks living in Turkey are the descendants of refugees from the Balkans; there are also 1.5 million descendants from
Meskheti Meskheti ( ka, მესხეთი) or Samtskhe ( ka, სამცხე) (Moschia in ancient sources), is a mountainous area in southwestern Georgia (country), Georgia. History Ancient tribes known as the Mushki (or Moschi) and Mossynoeci, Mosi ...
and over 600,000 descendants from Cyprus. The Republic of Turkey continues to be a land of migration for ethnic Turkish people fleeing persecution and wars. For example, there are approximately 1 million
Syrian Turkmen Syrian Turkmen (also referred to as Syrian Turkomans, Turkish Syrians, or simply Syrian Turks or Turks of Syria) ( ar, تركمان سوريا, tr, Suriye Türkmenleri or ), are Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِي ...
living in Turkey due to the current Syrian civil war.


Cyprus

The
Turkish Cypriots Turkish Cypriots or Cypriot Turks ( tr, Kıbrıs Türkleri or ''Kıbrıslı Türkler''; el, Τουρκοκύπριοι, Tourkokýprioi) are mostly ethnic Turks originating from Cyprus. Following the Ottoman conquest of the island in 1571, about ...
are the ethnic Turks whose Ottoman Turkish forebears colonized the island of Cyprus in 1571. About 30,000 Turkish soldiers were given land once they settled in Cyprus, which bequeathed a significant Turkish community. In 1960, a census by the new Republic's government revealed that the Turkish Cypriots formed 18.2% of the island's population. However, once inter-communal fighting and ethnic tensions between 1963 and 1974 occurred between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots, known as the "Cyprus conflict", the Greek Cypriot government conducted a census in 1973, albeit without the Turkish Cypriot populace. A year later, in 1974, the Cypriot government's Department of Statistics and Research estimated the Turkish Cypriot population was 118,000 (or 18.4%). A coup d'état in Cyprus on 1974 Cypriot coup d'état, 15 July 1974 by Greeks and Greek Cypriots favoring union with
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
(also known as "Enosis") was followed by Turkish invasion of Cyprus, military intervention by
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
whose troops established Turkish Cypriot control over the northern part of the island. Hence, census's conducted by the Republic of Cyprus have excluded the Turkish Cypriot population that had settled in the unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Between 1975 and 1981,
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
encouraged its own citizens to settle in Northern Cyprus; a report by CIA suggests that 200,000 of the residents of Cyprus are Turkish.


Balkans

Ethnic Turks continue to inhabit certain regions of
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
,
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A sub ...
,
Kosovo Kosovo, or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово officially the Republic of Kosovo,; sr, / is a partially recognised state in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a ...

Kosovo
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
, and
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
since they first settled there during the Ottoman period. As of 2019, the Turkish population in the Balkans is over 1 million. The majority of the Rumelian/Balkan Turks are the descendants of Ottoman settlers. However, the first significant wave of Anatolian Turkish settlement to the Balkans dates back to the mass migration of sedentary and nomadic subjects of the Seljuk sultan Kaykaus II (b. 1237–d. 1279/80) who had fled to the court of Michael VIII Palaiologos in 1262.


=Albania

= The Turkish Albanians are one of the smallest Turkish communities in the Balkans. Once Albania under the Ottoman Empire, Albania came under Ottoman rule, Turkish colonization was scarce there; however, some Anatolian Turkish settlers did arrive in 1415–30 and were given ''timar'' estates. According to the 2011 census, the
Turkish language Turkish ( , ), also referred to as Istanbul Turkish (''İstanbul Türkçesi'') or Turkey Turkish (''Türkiye Türkçesi''), is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 70 to 80 million speakers. It is the national language o ...

Turkish language
was the sixth most spoken language in the country (after Albanian language, Albanian,
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
, Macedonian language, Macedonian, Romani language, Romani, and Aromanian language, Aromanian).


=Bosnia and Herzegovina

= The Turks in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkish Bosnians have lived in the region since the Ottoman Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ottoman rule of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thus, the Turks form the oldest Demographics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ethnic minority in the country. The Turkish Bosnian community decreased dramatically due to mass emigration to
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
when Bosnia and Herzegovina came under Austro-Hungarian rule. In 2003 the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted the "Law on the Protection of Rights of Members of National Minorities" which officially protected the Turkish minority's cultural, religious, educational, social, economic, and political freedoms.


=Bulgaria

= The Bulgarian Turks, Turkish Bulgarians form the largest Turkish community in the Balkans as well as the largest ethnic minority group in
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
. According to the 2011 census, they form a majority in the Kardzhali Province (66.2%) and the Razgrad Province (50.02%), as well as substantial communities in the Silistra Province (36.09%), the Targovishte Province (35.80%), and the Shumen Province (30.29%).


=Croatia

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


=Greece

=


=Kosovo

= The Turks in Kosovo, Turkish Kosovars are the third largest ethnic minority in Kosovo (after the Kosovo Serbs, Serbs and Bosniaks in Kosovo, Bosniaks). They form a majority in the town and municipality of Mamuša.


=Montenegro

= The Turks in Montenegro, Turkish Montenegrins form the smallest Turkish minority group in the Balkans. They began to settle in the region following the Ottoman Montenegro, Ottoman rule of Montenegro. A historical event took place in 1707 which involved the killing of the Turks in Montenegro as well as the murder of all Muslims. This early example of ethnic cleaning features in the epic poem ''The Mountain Wreath'' (1846). After the Ottoman withdrawal, the majority of the remaining Turks emigrated to Istanbul and Izmir. Today, the remaining Turkish Montenegrins predominately live in the coastal town of Bar, Montenegro, Bar.


=North Macedonia

= The Turks in North Macedonia, Turkish Macedonians form the second largest Turkish community in the Balkans as well as the second largest minority ethnic group in
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A sub ...
. They form a majority in the Centar Župa Municipality and the Plasnica Municipality as well as substantial communities in the Mavrovo and Rostuša Municipality, the Studeničani Municipality, the Dolneni Municipality, the Karbinci Municipality, and the Vasilevo Municipality.


=Romania

= The Turks of Romania, Turkish Romanians are centered in the Northern Dobruja region. The only settlement which still has a Turkish majority population is in Dobromir, Constanța, Dobromir located in the Constanța County. Historically, Turkish Romanians also formed a majority in other regions, such as the island of Ada Kaleh which was destroyed and flooded by the Romanian government for the construction of the Iron Gate I Hydroelectric Power Station.


=Serbia

= The Turks in Serbia, Turkish Serbians have lived in Serbia since the Ottoman Serbia, Ottoman conquests in the region. They have traditionally lived in the urban areas of Serbia. In 1830, when the Principality of Serbia was granted autonomy, most Turks emigrated as "Muhacir, muhacirs" (refugees) to Ottoman Turkey, and by 1862 almost all of the remaining Turks left Central Serbia, including 3,000 from Belgrade. Today, the remaining community mostly live in Belgrade and Sandžak.


Caucasus


=Azerbaijan

= The Turks in Azerbaijan, Turkish Azerbaijanis began to settle in the region during the Ottoman rule, which lasted between 1578 and 1603. By 1615, the Safavid ruler, Shah Abbas I, solidified control of the region and then deported thousands of people from Azerbaijan. In 1998, there was still approximately 19,000 Turks living in Azerbaijan who descended from the original Ottoman settlers; they are distinguishable from the rest of Azeri society because they practice Sunni Islam (rather than the dominant Shia sect in the country). Since the Second World War, the Turkish Azerbaijani community has increased significantly due to the mass wave of Meskhetian Turks, Turkish Meskhetian refugees who arrived during the Soviet Union, Soviet rule.


=Georgia

=


Abkhazia

The Turkish Abkhazians began to live in Abkhazia during the sixteenth century under Ottoman rule. Today, there are still Turks who continue to live in the region.


Meskheti

Prior to the Ottoman conquest of
Meskheti Meskheti ( ka, მესხეთი) or Samtskhe ( ka, სამცხე) (Moschia in ancient sources), is a mountainous area in southwestern Georgia (country), Georgia. History Ancient tribes known as the Mushki (or Moschi) and Mossynoeci, Mosi ...
in Georgia, hundreds of thousands of Turkic invaders had settled in the region from the thirteenth century. At this time, the main town, Akhaltsikhe, was mentioned in sources by the Turkish name "Ak-sika", or ‘White Fortress’. Thus, this accounts for the present day Turkish designation of the region as "Ahıska". Local leaders were given the Turkish title "Atabek" from which came the fifteenth century name of one of the four kingdoms of what had been Georgia, Samtskhe-Saatabago, ‘the land of the Atabek called Samtskhe [Meskhetia]’. In 1555 the Ottomans gained the western part of Meskheti after the Peace of Amasya treaty, whilst the Safavids took the eastern part. Then in 1578 the Ottomans attacked the Safavid controlled area which initiated the Ottoman–Safavid War (1578–1590). Meskheti was fully secured into the Ottoman Empire in 1639 after a treaty signed with Iran brought an end to Iranian attempts to take the region. With the arrival of more Turkish colonizers, the Meskhetian Turks, Turkish Meskhetian community increased significantly. However, once the Ottomans lost control of the region in 1883, many Turkish Meskhetians migrated from Georgia to Turkey. Migrations to Turkey continued after the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) followed by the Bolshevik Revolution (1917), and then after Georgia was incorporated into the Soviet Union. During this period, some members of the community also relocated to other Soviet borders, and those who remained in Georgia were targeted by the Sovietisation campaigns. Thereafter, during World War II, the Soviet administration initiated a mass deportation of the remaining 115,000 Turkish Meskhetians in 1944, forcing them to resettle in the Caucasus and the Central Asian Soviet republics. Thus, today hundreds of thousands of Turkish Meskhetians are scattered throughout the Post Soviet states (especially in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine). Moreover, many have settled in Turkey and the United States. Attempts to repatriate them back to Georgia saw Georgian authorities receive applications covering 9,350 individuals within the a two-year application period (up until 1 January 2010).


Levant


=Iraq

= Commonly referred to as the Iraqi Turkmens, the Turks are the second largest ethnic minority group in
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
(i.e. after the Kurds). The majority are the descendants of Ottoman settlers (e.g. soldiers, traders and civil servants) who were brought into Iraq from
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
. Today, most Iraqi Turkmen live in a region they refer to as "Turkmeneli" which stretches from the northwest to the east at the middle of Iraq with Kirkuk placed as their cultural capital. Historically, Turkic migrations to Iraq date back to the 7th century when Turks were recruited in the Umayyad Caliphate, Umayyad armies of Ubayd-Allah ibn Ziyad followed by thousands more Turkmen warriors arriving under the Abbassid rule. However, most of these Turks became assimilated into the local Arab population. The next large scale migration occurred under the Great Seljuq Empire after Sultan Toğrül, Tuğrul Bey's invasion in 1055. For the next 150 years, the Seljuk Turks placed large Turkmen communities along the most valuable routes of northern Iraq. Yet, the largest wave of Turkish migrations occurred under the four centuries of Ottoman Empire, Ottoman rule (1535–1919). In 1534, Suleiman the Magnificent secured Mosul within the Ottoman Empire and it became the chief province (eyalet) responsible for administrative districts in the region. The Ottomans encouraged migration from Anatolia and the settlement of Turks along northern Iraq. After 89 years of peace, the Ottoman–Safavid War (1623–1639) saw Murad IV recapturing
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, ...

Baghdad
and taking permanent control over Iraq which resulted in the influx of continuous Turkish settlers until Ottoman rule came to an end in 1919. After the establishment of the
Republic of Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...
in 1923, the Iraqi Turkmens initially sought for Turkey to annex the Mosul Vilayet. However, they participated in elections for the Constituent Assembly with the condition of preserving the Turkish character in Kirkuk's administration and the recognition of Turkish language, Turkish as the liwa's official language. Although they were recognized as a constitutive entity of Iraq, alongside the
Arabs The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technica ...

Arabs
and Kurds, in the constitution of 1925, the Iraqi Turkmen were later denied this status. Thereafter, the Iraqi Turkmen found themselves increasingly discriminated against from the policies of successive regimes, such as the Kirkuk Massacre of 1923, 1947, 1959 and in 1979 when the Ba'th Party discriminated against the community. Thus, the position of the Iraqi Turkmens has changed from historically being administrative and business classes of the Ottoman Empire to an increasingly discriminated minority. Arabization and Kurdification policies have seen Iraqi Turkmens pushed out of their homeland and thus various degrees of suppression and assimilation have ranged from political persecution and exile to terror and ethnic cleansing. Many Iraqi Turkmen have consequently sought refuge in Turkey whilst there has also been increasing migration to Western Europe (especially
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
,
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
, the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
, Sweden and the United Kingdom) as well as Canada, the United States,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
and New Zealand.


=Egypt

= The Turks in Egypt, Turkish Egyptians are mostly the descendants of Turkish settlers who arrived during the Ottoman rule of Egypt (1517–1867 and 1867–1914). However, with the exception of the Fatimids, Fatimid rule of Egypt, the region was ruled from the Tulunid period (868–905) until 1952 by a succession of individuals who were either of Turkish origin or who had been raised according to the traditions of the Turkish state. Hence, during the Mamluk Sultanate, Arabic sources show that the Bahri dynasty, Bahri period referred to its dynasty as the State of the Turks ( ar, دولة الاتراك, ''Dawlat al-Atrāk''; , ''Dawlat al-Turk'') or the State of Turkey (, ''al-Dawla al-Turkiyya''). Nonetheless, the Ottoman legacy has been the most significance in the preservation of the Turkish culture in Egypt which still remains visible today.


=Jordan

=


=Lebanon

= The Turks in Lebanon, Lebanese Turkmen are ethnic Turkmens who constitute one of the ethnic groups in
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part ...

Lebanon
. The historic rule of several Turkic dynasties in the region saw continuous Turkish migration waves to Lebanon during the Tulunids, Tulunid rule (868–905), Ikhshidid dynasty, Ikhshidid rule (935–969), Seljuk Empire, Seljuk rule (1037–1194), Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo), Mamluk rule (1291–1515), and Ottoman Empire, Ottoman rule (1516-1918). Today, most of the Turkish Lebanese community are the descendants of the Ottoman Turkish settlers to Lebanon from
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
. However, with the declining territories of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century, ethnic Turkish minorities from other parts of the former Ottoman territories found refuge in Ottoman Lebanon, especially Algerian Turks after the French North Africa, French colonization of North Africa in 1830, and Cretan Turks in 1897 due to unrest in Greece.


=Syria

= The Turkish-speaking
Syrian Turkmen Syrian Turkmen (also referred to as Syrian Turkomans, Turkish Syrians, or simply Syrian Turks or Turks of Syria) ( ar, تركمان سوريا, tr, Suriye Türkmenleri or ), are Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِي ...
form the second largest ethnic minority group in Syria (i.e. after the Kurds); however, some estimates indicated that if Arabized Turks who no longer speaking Turkish are taken into account then they collectively form the largest ethnic minority in the country. The majority of Syrian Turkmen are the descendants of Anatolian Turkish settlers who arrived in the region during the Ottoman rule (1516–1918). Today, they mostly live near the Syrian-Turkish border, stretching from the northwestern governorates of Idlib and Aleppo to the Raqqa Governorate. Many also reside in the Turkmen Mountain near Latakia, the city of Homs and its vicinity until Hama, Damascus, and the southwestern governorates of Dera'a (bordering Jordan) and Quneitra (bordering Israel). Turkic migrations to Syria began in the 11th century, especially after the
Seljuk Turks The Seljuk dynasty, or Seljuks ( ; fa, آل سلجوق ''Al-e Saljuq''), was an Oghuz Turkic Sunni Muslim dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford Un ...
opened the way for mass migration of Turkish nomads once they entered northern Syria in 1071 and after they took Damascus in 1078 and Aleppo in 1086. By the 12th century the Turkic Zengid dynasty continued to settle Turkmes in Aleppo to confront attacks from the Crusades, Crusaders. Further migrations occurred once the Mamluks entered Syria in 1260. However, the largest Turkmen migrations occurred after the Ottoman sultan Selim I conquered Syria in 1516. Turkish migration from
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
to Ottoman Syria was continuous for almost 400 years, until Ottoman rule ended in 1918. In 1921 the Treaty of Ankara (1921), Treaty of Ankara established Alexandretta (present-day Hatay) under an autonomous regime under French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon, French Mandate of Syria. Article 7 declared that the
Turkish language Turkish ( , ), also referred to as Istanbul Turkish (''İstanbul Türkçesi'') or Turkey Turkish (''Türkiye Türkçesi''), is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 70 to 80 million speakers. It is the national language o ...

Turkish language
would be an officially recognized language. However, once France announced that it would grant full independence to Syria, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk demanded that Alexandretta be given its independence. Consequently, the Hatay State was established in 1938 and then petitioned for Ankara to unify Hatay with the Republic of Turkey. France agreed to the Turkish annexation on 23 July 1939. Thereafter, Arabization policies saw the names of Turkish villages in Syria renamed with Arabic names and some Turkmen lands were nationalized and resettled with Arabs near the Turkish border. A mass exodus of Syrian Turkmen took place between 1945 and 1953, many of which settled in southern Turkey. Since the Syrian Civil War (2011–present), many Syrian Turkmen have been internally displaced and many have sought asylum in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
, Jordan,
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part ...

Lebanon
and northern
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
, as well as several Western European countries and
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
.


Maghreb

The Ottomans took control of Algeria in 1515 and Tunisia in 1534 (but took full control of the latter in 1574) which lead to the settlement of Turks in the region, particularly around the coastal towns. Once these regions came under French colonialism, the French classified the populations under their rule as either "Arab" or "Berber", despite the fact that these countries had diverse populations, which were also composed of ethnic Turks and Kouloughlis (i.e. people of partial Turkish origin). Jane E Goodman has said that:


=Algeria

= According to the U.S. Department of State "Algeria's population, [is] a mixture of Arab, Berber, and Turkish in origin"; meanwhile, Department of Foreign Affairs (Australia), Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs has reported that the demographics of Algeria (as well as that of Tunisia) includes a "strong Turkish admixture". Today, Turkish descended families in Algeria continue to practice the Hanafi school of
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
(in contrast to the ethnic
Arabs The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technica ...

Arabs
and Berbers who practice the Maliki school); moreover, many retain their Turks_in_Algeria#Common_surnames_used_by_the_Turkish_minority, Turkish-origin surnames — which mostly expresses a provenance or ethnic Turkish origin from Anatolia.


=Libya

= The Turks in Libya, Turkish Libyans form the second largest ethnic minority group in
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, th ...

Libya
(i.e. after the Berbers) and mostly live in Misrata, Tripoli, Zawiya, Libya, Zawiya, Benghazi and Derna, Libya, Derna. Some Turkish Libyans also live in more remote areas of the country, such as the Turkish neighborhood of Hay al-Atrak in the town of Awbari. They are the descendants of Turkish settlers who were encouraged to migrate from Anatolia to Libya during the Ottoman rule which lasted between 1555 and 1911. Today, the city of Misrata is considered to be the "main center of the Turkish-origin community in Libya"; in total, the Turks form approximately two-thirds (est.270,000) of Misrata's 400,000 inhabitants. Consequently, since the Libyan Civil War (2011), Libyan Civil War erupted in 2011, Misrata became “the bastion of resistance” and Turkish Libyans figured prominently in the war. In 2014 a former Muammar Gaddafi, Gaddafi officer reported to the ''New York Times'' that the civil war was now an "ethnic struggle" between Arab tribes (like the Zintan Brigades, Zintanis) against those of Turkish ancestry (like the Misuratis), as well as against the Berbers and Circassians.


=Tunisia

= Tunisia's population is made up "mostly of people of Arab, Berber, and Turkish descent". The Turks in Tunisia, Turkish Tunisians began to settle in the region in 1534, with about 10,000 Turkish soldiers, when the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
answered the calls of Tunisia's inhabitants who sought the help of the Turks due to fears that the Spanish Empire, Spanish would invade the country. During the Ottoman rule, the Turkish community dominated the political life of the region for centuries; as a result, the ethnic mix of Tunisia changed considerably with the continuous migration of Turks from
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
, as well as other parts of the Ottoman territories, for over 300 years. In addition, some Turks intermarried with the local population and their male offspring were called "Kouloughlis".


Modern diaspora


Europe

Modern immigration of Turks to Western Europe began with
Turkish Cypriots Turkish Cypriots or Cypriot Turks ( tr, Kıbrıs Türkleri or ''Kıbrıslı Türkler''; el, Τουρκοκύπριοι, Tourkokýprioi) are mostly ethnic Turks originating from Cyprus. Following the Ottoman conquest of the island in 1571, about ...
migrating to the United Kingdom in the early 1920s when the British Empire annexed Cyprus in 1914 and the residents of Cyprus became subjects of the Crown. However, Turkish Cypriot migration increased significantly in the 1940s and 1950s due to the Cyprus conflict. Conversely, in 1944, Turks who were forcefully deported from
Meskheti Meskheti ( ka, მესხეთი) or Samtskhe ( ka, სამცხე) (Moschia in ancient sources), is a mountainous area in southwestern Georgia (country), Georgia. History Ancient tribes known as the Mushki (or Moschi) and Mossynoeci, Mosi ...
in
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia (, ; ) is a country located at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of the Caucasus region, bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north and east by ...
during the Second World War, known as the Meskhetian Turks, settled in Eastern Europe (especially in Russia and Ukraine). By the early 1960s, migration to Western and Northern Europe increased significantly from
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
when Turkish "guest workers" arrived under a "Labour Export Agreement" with
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
in 1961, followed by a similar agreement with the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
, Belgium and
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
in 1964; France in 1965; and Sweden in 1967. More recently, Bulgarian Turks, Romanian Turks, and Western Thrace Turks have also migrated to Western Europe. In 1997 Professor Servet Bayram and Professor Barbara Seels said that there was 10 million Turks living in Western Europe and the Balkans (excluding Cyprus and Turkey). By 2010, Boris Kharkovsky from the Center for Ethnic and Political Science Studies said that there was up to 15 million Turks living in the European Union. According to Dr Araks Pashayan 10 million "Euro-Turks" alone were living in
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
, France, the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
and Belgium in 2012. Yet, there are also significant Turkish communities living in
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
, the UK, Switzerland, Italy, Liechtenstein, the Scandinavia, Scandinavian countries, and the
Post-Soviet states The post-Soviet states, also known as the former Soviet Union (FSU), the former Soviet Republics and in Russia as the near abroad (russian: links=no, ближнее зарубежье, blizhneye zarubezhye), are the 15 sovereign state A sovere ...
.


North America

In the 2000 United States Census 117,575 Americans voluntarily declared their ethnicity as Turkish. However, the actual number of Turkish Americans is considerably larger with most choosing not to declare their ethnicity. Thus, Turkish Americans have been considered to be a "hard to count" community. In 1996 Professor John J. Grabowski had estimated the number of Turks to be 500,000. By 2009, they numbered approximately 850,000 to 900,000. More recently, in 2012, the United States Secretary of Commerce, US Commerce Secretary, John Bryson, stated that the Turkish American community was over 1,000,000. The largest concentration of Turkish Americans are in New York City, and Rochester, New York; Washington, D.C.; and Detroit, Michigan. In addition, the Turks of South Carolina, are an Anglicized and isolated community identifying as Turkish in Sumter County, South Carolina, Sumter County were they have lived for over 200 years. Regarding the Turkish Canadian community, Statistics Canada reports that 63,955 Canadians in the 2016 census listed "Turk" as an ethnic origin, including those who listed more than one origin. However, the Canadian Ambassador to Turkey, Chris Cooter, said that there was over 100,000 Turkish Canadians in 2018. The majority live in Ontario, mostly in Toronto, and there is also a sizable Turkish community in Montreal, Quebec.


Oceania

A notable scale of Turkish migration to
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
began in the late 1940s when
Turkish Cypriots Turkish Cypriots or Cypriot Turks ( tr, Kıbrıs Türkleri or ''Kıbrıslı Türkler''; el, Τουρκοκύπριοι, Tourkokýprioi) are mostly ethnic Turks originating from Cyprus. Following the Ottoman conquest of the island in 1571, about ...
began to leave the island of Cyprus for economic reasons, and then, during the Cyprus conflict, for political reasons, marking the beginning of a Turkish Cypriot immigration trend to Australia. The Turkish Cypriot community were the only
Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...
acceptable under the White Australia Policy; many of these early immigrants found jobs working in factories, out in the fields, or building national infrastructure. In 1967, the governments of Australia and Turkey signed an agreement to allow Turkish citizens to immigrate to Australia. Prior to this recruitment agreement, there were fewer than 3,000 people of Turkish origin in Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, nearly 19,000 Turkish immigrants arrived from 1968 to 1974. They came largely from rural areas of Turkey, approximately 30% were skilled and 70% were unskilled workers. However, this changed in the 1980s when the number of skilled Turks applying to enter Australia had increased considerably. Over the next 35 years the Turkish population rose to almost 100,000. More than half of the Turkish community settled in Victoria (Australia), Victoria, mostly in the north-western suburbs of Melbourne. According to the 2006 Australian Census, 59,402 people claimed Turkish ancestry; however, this does not show a true reflection of the Turkish Australian community as it is estimated that between 40,000 and 120,000 Turkish Cypriots and 150,000 to 200,000 mainland Turks live in Australia. Furthermore, there has also been ethnic Turks who have migrated to Australia from
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
,
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
,
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
, and
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A sub ...
.


Post-Soviet states

Due to the ordered deportation of over 115,000 Meskhetian Turks from their homeland in 1944, during the Second World War, the majority were settled in the
Post-Soviet states The post-Soviet states, also known as the former Soviet Union (FSU), the former Soviet Republics and in Russia as the near abroad (russian: links=no, ближнее зарубежье, blizhneye zarubezhye), are the 15 sovereign state A sovere ...
in the Caucasus and
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sov ...

Central Asia
. According to the Soviet Census (1989), 1989 Soviet Census, which was the last Soviet Census, 106,000 Meskhetian Turks lived in Uzbekistan, 50,000 in Kazakhstan, and 21,000 in Kyrgyzstan. However, in 1989, the Meshetian Turks who had settled in Uzbekistan became the target of a pogrom in the Fergana valley, which was the principal destination for Meskhetian Turkish deportees, after an uprising of nationalism by the Uzbeks. The riots had left hundreds of Turks dead or injured and nearly 1,000 properties were destroyed; thus, thousands of Meskhetian Turks were forced into renewed exile. Soviet authorities recorded many Meskhetian Turks as belonging to other nationalities such as "Azerbaijani people, Azeri", "Kazakhs, Kazakh", "Kyrgyz people, Kyrgyz", and "Uzbeks, Uzbek".


Culture


Language

Based on geographic variants, the ethnic Turks speak various dialects of the
Turkish language Turkish ( , ), also referred to as Istanbul Turkish (''İstanbul Türkçesi'') or Turkey Turkish (''Türkiye Türkçesi''), is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 70 to 80 million speakers. It is the national language o ...

Turkish language
. As of 2021, Turkish remains "the largest and most vigorous Turkic language, spoken by over 80 million people". Historically, Ottoman Turkish was the official language and ''lingua franca'' throughout the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman territories and the Ottoman Turkish alphabet used the Perso-Arabic script. However, Turkish intellectuals sought to simplify the written language during the rise of Turkish nationalism in the nineteenth century. By the twentieth century, intensive language reforms were thoroughly practiced; most importantly, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk changed the written script to a Latin alphabet, Latin-based modern Turkish alphabet in 1928. Since then, the regulatory body leading the reform activities has been the Turkish Language Association which was founded in 1932. The modern standard Turkish is based on the dialect of Istanbul. However, dialectal variation persists, in spite of the Dialect levelling, levelling influence of the standard used in mass media and the Education in Turkey, Turkish education system since the 1930s. The terms ''ağız'' or ''şive'' often refer to the different types of Turkish dialects.


Official status

Today, the modern Turkish language is used as the official language of
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
and
Northern Cyprus Northern Cyprus ( tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs), officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC; tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti, ''KKTC''), is a ''de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, eve ...
. It is also an official language in the Republic of Cyprus (alongside
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
). In
Kosovo Kosovo, or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово officially the Republic of Kosovo,; sr, / is a partially recognised state in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a ...

Kosovo
, Turkish is recognized as an official language in the municipalities of Prizren, Mamuša, Gjilan, Mitrovica, Kosovo, Mitrovica, Pristina, and Vučitrn, whilst elsewhere in the country it is recognized as a minority language. Similarly, in
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A sub ...
Turkish is an official language where they form at least 20% of the population (which includes the Plasnica Municipality, the Centar Župa Municipality, and the Mavrovo and Rostuša Municipality), whilst elsewhere in the country it remains a minority language only.
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
recognizes Turkish as an official language in all regions where Turks constitute the majority of the population, and as a minority language elsewhere. In several countries, Turkish is officially recognized as a minority language only, including in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
. However, in
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
the right to use the Turkish language is only recognized in
Western Thrace Western Thrace or West Thrace ( el, υτικήΘράκη, '' ytikíThráki'' ; tr, Batı Trakya; bg, Западна/Беломорска Тракия, ''Zapadna/Belomorska Trakiya''), also known as Greek Thrace, is a Geography, geograp ...
; the sizable and longstanding minorities elsewhere in the country (i.e. Rhodes and Kos) do not benefit from this same recognition. There are also several post-Ottoman nations which do not officially recognize the Turkish language but give rights to Turkish minorities to study in their own language (alongside the compulsory study of the official language of the country); this is practiced in
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
and Tunisia. Various variants of Turkish are also used by millions of Turkish immigrants and their descendants in Western Europe, however, there is no official recognition in these countries.


Turkish dialects

There are three major Anatolian Turkish dialect groups spoken in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
: the West Anatolian dialect (roughly to the west of the Euphrates), the East Anatolian dialect (to the east of the Euphrates), and the North East Anatolian group, which comprises the dialects of the Eastern Black Sea coast, such as Trabzon, Rize, and the littoral districts of Artvin. The Balkan Turkish dialects, also called the Rumelian Turkish dialects, are divided into two main groups: "Western Rumelian Turkish" and "Eastern Rumelian Turkish". The Western dialects are spoken in
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A sub ...
,
Kosovo Kosovo, or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово officially the Republic of Kosovo,; sr, / is a partially recognised state in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a ...

Kosovo
, western
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
, northern
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
, Bosnia and Albania. The Eastern dialects are spoken in
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
, northeastern/southern Bulgaria and southeastern Romania. This division roughly follows through a borderline between west and east Bulgaria, which starts east of Lom, Bulgaria, Lom and proceeds southwards to the east of Vratsa, Sofia and Samokov, and turns west reaching south of Kyustendil close to the Serbian and North Macedonian border. The eastern dialects lacks some of the phonetic peculiarities found in the western area; thus, its dialects are close to the central Anatolian dialects. The Turkish dialects spoken near the western Black Sea region (e.g. Ludogorie,
Dobruja Dobruja or Dobrudja (; bg, Добруджа, Dobrudzha or ''Dobrudža''; ro, Dobrogea, or ; tr, Dobruca) is a historical region in the Balkans that has been divided since the 19th century between the territories of Bulgaria and Romania. I ...

Dobruja
, and Bessarabia) show analogies with northeastern Anatolian Black Sea dialects. The Cypriot Turkish, Cypriot Turkish dialect maintained features of the respective local varieties of the Ottoman settlers who mostly came from the Konya-Antalya-Adana region; furthermore, Cypriot Turkish was also influenced by Cypriot Greek. Today, the varieties spoken in Northern Cyprus are increasingly influenced by standard Turkish.The Cypriot Turkish dialect is being exposed to increasing standard Turkish through immigration from
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
, new mass media, and new educational institutions. The Iraqi Turkmen#Language, Iraqi Turkish dialects have similarities with certain Southeastern Anatolian dialects around the region of Urfa and Diyarbakır. Some linguists have described the Iraqi Turkish dialects as an "
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
n" or an "Eastern Anatolian dialect". Historically, Iraqi Turkish was influenced by Ottoman Turkish language, Ottoman Turkish and neighboring Azeri Turkic, Azerbaijani Turkic. However, Turkish language, Istanbul Turkish is now a prestige language which exerts a profound influence on their dialects. The syntax in Iraqi Turkish therefore ''differs sharply'' from neighboring Irano-Turkic varieties, and shares characteristics which are similar with Turkish dialects in Turkey. Collectively, the Iraqi Turkish dialects also show similarities with Cypriot Turkish and Balkan Turkish regarding Linguistic modality, modality. The written language of the Iraqi Turkmen is based on Istanbul Turkish using the modern Turkish alphabet. The Meskhetian Turkish dialect was originally spoken in
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia (, ; ) is a country located at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of the Caucasus region, bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north and east by ...
until the Meskhetian Turks, Turkish Meskhetian community were forcefully deported and then dispersed throughout Turkey, Russia,
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sov ...

Central Asia
, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and the United States. They speak an Eastern Anatolia Region, Eastern Anatolian dialect of Turkish, which hails from the regions of Kars Province, Kars, Ardahan, and Artvin. The Meskhetian Turkish dialect has also borrowed from other languages (including Azerbaijani language, Azerbaijani, Georgian language, Georgian, Kazakh language, Kazakh, Kyrgyz language, Kyrgyz, Russian language, Russian, and Uzbek language, Uzbek), which the Meskhetian Turks have been in contact with during the Russian Empire, Russian and Soviet Union, Soviet rule. The Syrian_Turkmen#Language, Syrian Turkish dialects are spoken throughout the country. In Aleppo, Tell Abyad, Raqqa and Bayırbucak they speak Southeastern Anatolian dialects (comparable to Kilis, Antep, Urfa, Hatay and Yayladağı). In Damascus they speak Turkish language with a Yörük dialect. Currently, Turkish is the third most widely used language in Syria (after Arabic language, Arabic and Kurdish language, Kurdish).


Religion

Most ethnic Turkish people are either practicing or non-practicing Muslims who follow the teachings of the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam. They form the largest Muslim community in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
and
Northern Cyprus Northern Cyprus ( tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs), officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC; tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti, ''KKTC''), is a ''de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, eve ...
as well as the largest Muslim groups in
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
,
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
,
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
,
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
, Liechtenstein, the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
and Switzerland. In addition to Sunni Turks, there are Alevism, Alevi Turks whose local Islamic traditions have been based in
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
, as well as the Bektashi Order, Bektashis traditionally centered in Anatolia and the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
. In general, "Turkish Islam" is considered to be "more moderate and pluralistic" than in other Middle Eastern-Islamic societies. Historically, Turkish Sufi movements promoted liberal forms of Islam; for example, Turkish humanist groups and thinkers, such as the Mevlevi Order, Mevlevis (whirling dervishes who follow Rumi), the Bektashis, and Yunus Emre emphasized faith over practicing Islam. During this tolerant environment under the Seljuk Turks, more Turkish tribes arriving in Anatolia during the 13th century found the liberal Sufi version of Islam closer to their Shamanism, shamanists traditions and chose to preserve some of their culture (such as dance and music). During the late Ottoman period, the Tanzimat policies introduced by the Ottoman intelligentsia fused Islam with modernization reforms; this was followed by Atatürk's reforms, Atatürk's secularist reforms in the 20th century. Consequently, there are also many non-practicing Turkish Muslims who tend to be politically secular. For example, in Cyprus, the
Turkish Cypriots Turkish Cypriots or Cypriot Turks ( tr, Kıbrıs Türkleri or ''Kıbrıslı Türkler''; el, Τουρκοκύπριοι, Tourkokýprioi) are mostly ethnic Turks originating from Cyprus. Following the Ottoman conquest of the island in 1571, about ...
are generally very secular and only attend mosques on special occasions (such as for funerals). Even so, the Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca, which is the resting place of Umm Haram, is considered to be one of the holiest sites in Islam and remains an important pilgrimage site for the secular Turkish Cypriot community too. Similarly, in other urban areas of the
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
, such as in
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
, the Iraqi Turkmen, Turkish minority are mainly secular, having internalized the secularist interpretation of state–religion affairs practiced in the
Republic of Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...
since its foundation in 1923. In
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
, the Turkish minorities have traditionally differentiated themselves from the Arab-Berber population who follow the Maliki school; this is because the Turks have continued to follow the teaching of the Hanafi school which was brought to the region by their ancestors during the Ottoman rule. Indeed, the Ottoman-Turkish mosques in the region are often distinguishable by pencil-like and octagonal minarets which were built in accordance with the traditions of the Hanafi rite. The tradition of building mosques in the Ottoman-style (i.e. either in the imperial style based on Istanbul mosques or the provincial styles) has continued into the present day, both in traditional areas of settlement (e.g. in Turkey, the Balkans, Cyprus, and other parts of the Levant) as well as in Western Europe and
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

North America
where there are substantial immigrant communities. Since the 1960s, "Turkish" was even seen as synonymous with "
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
" in countries like Germany because Islam was considered to have a specific "Turkish character" and visual architectural style.


Arts and Architecture

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


Genetics

Turkish genomic variation, along with several other Western Asian populations, looks most similar to genomic variation of South European populations such as southern Italians. Data from ancient DNA – covering the
Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history ...
, the Neolithic, and the Bronze Age periods – showed that Western Asian genomes, including Turkish ones, have been greatly influenced by early agricultural populations in the area; later population movements, such as those of Turkic speakers, also contributed. The only whole genome sequencing study of Turkish genetics (on 16 individuals) concluded that the Turkish population forms a cluster with Southern European/Mediterranean populations, and the predicted contribution from ancestral East Asian populations (presumably Central Asian) is 21.7%. Meanwhile, East Asian impact on Kazakhs, Kazakh genome (another Turkic ethnic group) is 55%. However, that is not a direct estimate of a migration rate, due to reasons such as unknown original contributing populations. Moreover, the genetic variation of various populations in Central Asia "has been poorly characterized"; Western Asian populations may also be "closely related to populations in the east". A study in 2015 found "7.9% (±0.4) East Asian ancestry in Turks", and the authors suggested that Turks are "genetically shifted towards modern Central Asians" in line with historical mixture of populations from this region. A 2019 study found that Turkish people cluster with Southern and Mediterranean Europe populations along with groups in the northern part of West Asia, Southwest Asia (such as the populations from Caucasus, Northern Iraq, and Iranians). Another study found the Circassians are closest to the Turkish population among sampled European (French, Italian, Sardinian), Middle Eastern (Druze, Palestinian), and Central (Kyrgyz, Hazara, Uygur), South (Indian, Pakistani), and East Asian (Mongolian, Han) populations. Another 2019 study found that Turkish people have the lowest Fixation index, Fst distances with Caucasus population group and Iranian-Syrian group, compared to East-Central European, European (including Northern and Eastern European), Sardinian, Roma, and Turkmen groups or populations. Caucasus group in the study included samples from "Abkhazians, Adygey, Armenians, Balkars, Chechens, Georgians, Kumyks, Kurds, Lezgins, Nogays, and North Ossetia." A study involving mitochondrial analysis of a Byzantine, Byzantine-era population, whose samples were gathered from excavations in the archaeological site of Sagalassos, found that Sagalassos samples were closest to modern samples from "Turkey, Crimea, Iran and Italy (Campania and Puglia), Cyprus and the Balkans (Bulgaria, Croatia and Greece)." Modern-day samples from the nearby town of Ağlasun showed that lineages of East Eurasian descent assigned to macro-haplogroup M were found in the modern samples from Ağlasun. This haplogroup is significantly more frequent in Ağlasun (15%) than in Byzantine Sagalassos, but the study concluded that there is "no genetic discontinuity across two millennia in the region." Another study concluded that the true Central Asian contributions to Anatolia was 13% for males and 22% for females (with wide ranges of confidence intervals), and the language replacement in Turkey and Azerbaijan might not have been in accordance with the elite dominance model.


See also

* Tahtacı


Notes


References


Bibliography

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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Further reading

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External links

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