Turkic peoples

Turkic people
Türk, 突厥
The countries and autonomous regions where a Turkic language has official status or is spoken by a majority.
Total population
Approx. 140–160 million[1][2] or over 170 million[3]
Regions with significant populations
 Turkey57,500,000–61,500,000[4][additional citation(s) needed]
 Uzbekistan25,200,000[5][additional citation(s) needed]
 Russia12,751,502[citation needed]
 Kazakhstan12,300,000[7][additional citation(s) needed]
 China11,647,000[8][additional citation(s) needed]
 Azerbaijan10,000,000[9][additional citation(s) needed]
European Union European Union5,876,318[citation needed]
 Turkmenistan4,500,000[10][additional citation(s) needed]
 Kyrgyzstan4,500,000[11][additional citation(s) needed]
 Afghanistan3,500,000[12][additional citation(s) needed]
 Iraq1,500,000[13][additional citation(s) needed]
 Tajikistan1,200,000[14][additional citation(s) needed]
 United States1,000,000+[15]
 Bulgaria590,661[citation needed]
Northern Cyprus North Cyprus313,626[18]
 Australia293,500[citation needed]
 Saudi Arabia224,460[citation needed]
 Mongolia202,086[19][additional citation(s) needed]
 Moldova154,461[24][additional citation(s) needed]
 North Macedonia81,900[25][additional citation(s) needed]
 Greece49,000 (official estimate)–130,000 g[›][26][27][28][29]
Turkic languages

(Sunni · Nondenominational Muslims · Cultural Muslim · Quranist Muslim · Alevi · Twelver Shia · Ja'fari)
(Eastern Orthodox Christianity)
(Djudios Turkos · Sabbataists · Karaites)
(Agnosticism · Atheism)

Buddhism, Animism, Tengrism, Shamanism, Mani

The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethno-linguistic groups of Central, Eastern, Northern and Western Asia as well as parts of Europe and North Africa. They speak related languages belonging to the Turkic language family.[30] They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits, common ancestry and historical backgrounds. In time, different Turkic groups came in contact with other ethnicities, absorbing them, leaving some Turkic groups more diverse than the others. Many vastly differing ethnic groups have throughout history become part of the Turkic peoples through language shift, acculturation, intermixing, adoption and religious conversion. In their genetic compositions, therefore, most Turkic groups differ significantly in origins from one group to the next.[citation needed]

Despite this, many do share, to varying degrees, non-linguistic characteristics like cultural traits, ancestry from a common gene pool, and historical experiences.[31] The most notable modern Turkic-speaking ethnic groups include Turkish people, Azerbaijanis, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Turkmens, Kyrgyz and Uyghur people.


Map from Kashgari's Diwan, showing the distribution of Turkic tribes.

The first known mention of the term Turk (Old Turkic: 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰 Türük[32][33][34] or 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰:𐰜𐰇𐰛 Kök Türük[32][33] Chinese: 突厥, Old Tibetan: duruggu/durgu (meaning "origin"),[35][36] Pinyin: Tūjué, Middle Chinese (Guangyun): [tʰuot-küot]) applied to a Turkic group was in reference to the Göktürks in the 6th century. A letter by Ishbara Qaghan to Emperor Wen of Sui in 585 described him as "the Great Turk Khan."[37] The Orhun inscriptions (735 CE) use the terms Turk and Turuk.

Previous use of similar terms are of unknown significance, although some strongly feel that they are evidence of the historical continuity of the term and the people as a linguistic unit since early times. This includes Chinese records Spring and Autumn Annals referring to a neighbouring people as Beidi.[38] During the first century CE, Pomponius Mela refers to the "Turcae" in the forests north of the Sea of Azov, and Pliny the Elder lists the "Tyrcae" among the people of the same area.[39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46] There are references to certain groups in antiquity whose names could be the original form of "Türk/Türük" such as Togarma, Turukha/Turuška, Turukku and so on. But the information gap is so substantial that a connect of these ancient people to the modern Turks is not possible.[47][48][49] Turkologist András Róna-Tas posits that the term Turk could be rooted in the East Iranian Saka language[50] or in Turkic.[51]

However, it is generally accepted that the term "Türk" is ultimately derived from the Old-Turkic migration-term[52] 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰 Türük/Törük,[53][54] which means "created", "born",[55] or "strong",[56] from the Old Turkic word root *türi-/töri- ("tribal root, (mythic) ancestry; take shape, to be born, be created, arise, spring up") and conjugated with Old Turkic suffix 𐰰 (-ik), perhaps from Proto-Turkic *türi-k ("lineage, ancestry"),[53] from the Proto-Turkic word root *töŕ ("foundation, root; origin, ancestors").[57][58]

The earliest Turkic-speaking peoples identifiable in Chinese sources are the Dingling, Gekun (Jiankun), and Xinli, located in South Siberia.[59][60] The Chinese Book of Zhou (7th century) presents an etymology of the name Turk as derived from "helmet", explaining that this name comes from the shape of a mountain where they worked in the Altai Mountains.[61]

During the Middle Ages, various Turkic peoples of the Eurasian steppe were subsumed under the identity of the "Scythians".[62] Between 400 CE and the 16th century, Byzantine sources use the name Σκύθαι (Skuthai) in reference to twelve different Turkic peoples.[62]

In the modern Turkish language as used in the Republic of Turkey, a distinction is made between "Turks" and the "Turkic peoples" in loosely speaking: the term Türk corresponds specifically to the "Turkish-speaking" people (in this context, "Turkish-speaking" is considered the same as "Turkic-speaking"), while the term Türki refers generally to the people of modern "Turkic Republics" (Türki Cumhuriyetler or Türk Cumhuriyetleri). However, the proper usage of the term is based on the linguistic classification in order to avoid any political sense. In short, the term Türki can be used for Türk or vice versa.[63]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Turkse volke
العربية: ترك
azərbaycanca: Türk xalqları
Bân-lâm-gú: Turk lâng
башҡортса: Төрки халыҡтар
беларуская: Цюркі
български: Тюркски народи
Чӑвашла: Тĕрĕксем
Deutsch: Turkvölker
Ελληνικά: Τουρκικά φύλα
Esperanto: Tjurkaj popoloj
français: Peuples turcs
galego: Pobos turcos
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Thu̍t-kiâ-ngìn
한국어: 튀르크족
հայերեն: Թյուրքեր
हिन्दी: तुर्क लोग
Bahasa Indonesia: Bangsa Turk
italiano: Turchi
Basa Jawa: Wong Turk
къарачай-малкъар: Тюркле
қазақша: Түркілер
Kiswahili: Waturuki
latviešu: Tjurki
lietuvių: Tiurkai
македонски: Туркиски народи
مصرى: ترك
монгол: Түрэг
Nederlands: Turkse volkeren
norsk: Tyrkere
norsk nynorsk: Tyrkiske folk
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Turkiy xalqlar
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਤੁਰਕ ਲੋਕ
پنجابی: ترک
português: Povos turcos
română: Popor turcic
русский: Тюрки
саха тыла: Түүр омуктар
Simple English: Turkic peoples
slovenčina: Turkické národy
slovenščina: Turška ljudstva
کوردی: تورک
српски / srpski: Туркијски народи
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Turkijski narodi
svenska: Turkfolk
татарча/tatarça: Төрки халыклар
тоҷикӣ: Туркҳо
Türkçe: Türk halkları
Türkmençe: Türki halklary
тыва дыл: Түрк
українська: Тюрки
اردو: ترک
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: تۈرك
Tiếng Việt: Các dân tộc Turk
粵語: 突厥人
中文: 突厥人