Türkmenler, Түркменлер
Independence Day Parade - Flickr - Kerri-Jo (215).jpg
Turkmens in folk costume at the 20th Independence Day parade, 27 October 2011
Total population
c. 6.4 million[a]
Regions with significant populations
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan4,948,000[1]
Iran Iran719,000[2]
Afghanistan Afghanistan200,000[3]
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan152,000[4]
Russia Russia46,885[5]
Tajikistan Tajikistan15,171[6]
Ukraine Ukraine7,709[7]
Pakistan Pakistan6,000[8]
United States United States5,000
Australia Australia80
Predominantly Sunni Islam
Related ethnic groups
Salar, Yörük, and other Turkic peoples

a. ^ The total figure is merely an estimation; a sum of all the referenced populations.

Turkmens (Turkmen: Türkmenler, Түркменлер, IPA: [tʏɾkmɛnˈlɛɾ]; historically also the Turkmen) are a nation and Turkic ethnic group native to Central Asia, primarily the Turkmen nation state of Turkmenistan. Smaller communities are also found in Iran, Afghanistan and North Caucasus (Stavropol Krai). They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Eastern Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages. Examples of other Oghuz languages are Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai, Gagauz, Khorasani, and Salar.[9]


Originally, all Turkic tribes that were part of the Turkic dynastic mythological system (for example, Uigurs, Karluks, and a number of other tribes) were designated "Turkmens". Only later did this word come to refer to a specific ethnonym. The term derives from Türk plus the Sogdian affix of similarity -myn, -men, and means "resembling a Türk" or "co-Türk".[10] A prominent Turkic scholar, Mahmud Kashgari, also mentions the etymology Türk manand (like Turks). The language and ethnicity of the Turkmen were much influenced by their migration to the west. Kashgari calls the Karluks Turkmen as well, but the first time the etymology Turkmen was used was by Makdisi in the second half of the 10th century AD. Like Kashgari, he wrote that the Karluks and Oghuz Turks were called Turkmen. Some modern scholars have proposed that the element -man/-men acts as an intensifier, and have translated the word as "pure Turk" or "most Turk-like of the Turks".[11] Among Muslim chroniclers such as Ibn Kathir, the etymology was attributed to the mass conversion of two hundred thousand households in 971 AD, causing them to be named Turk Iman, which is a combination of "Turk" and "Iman" إيمان (faith, belief), meaning "believing Turks", with the term later dropping the hard-to-pronounce hamza.[12]

Historically, all of the Western or Oghuz Turks have been called Türkmen or Turkoman;[13] however, today the terms are usually restricted to two Turkic groups: the Turkmen people of Turkmenistan and adjacent parts of Central Asia, and the Turkomans of Iraq and Syria.

The modern Turkmen people descend, at least in part, from the Oghuz Turks of Transoxiana, the western portion of Turkestan, a region that largely corresponds to much of Central Asia as far east as Xinjiang. Oghuz tribes had moved westward from the Altay mountains in the 7th century AD, through the Siberian steppes, and settled in this region. They also penetrated as far west as the Volga basin and the Balkans. These early Turkmens are believed to have mixed with native Sogdian peoples and lived as pastoral nomads until the Russian invasion of the 19th century.[14]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Turkmene
العربية: تركمان
asturianu: Etnia turcomana
azərbaycanca: Türkmənlər
تۆرکجه: تورکمن
башҡортса: Төркмәндәр
беларуская: Туркмены
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Туркмэны
български: Туркмени
bosanski: Turkmeni
català: Turcmans
Чӑвашла: Туркменсем
čeština: Turkméni
dansk: Turkmenere
Ελληνικά: Τουρκομάνοι
español: Turcomanos
Esperanto: Turkmenoj
euskara: Turkmen
فارسی: ترکمن‌ها
français: Turkmènes
Gaeilge: Turcamánaigh
한국어: 튀르크멘인
հայերեն: Թուրքմեններ
hrvatski: Turkmeni
Bahasa Indonesia: Turkmen
italiano: Turkmeni
עברית: טורקמנים
ქართული: თურქმენები
Кыргызча: Түркмөндөр
latviešu: Turkmēņi
lietuvių: Turkmėnai
magyar: Türkmének
македонски: Туркмени
മലയാളം: ടർക് മെൻ
მარგალური: თურქმენეფი
Nederlands: Turkmenen
нохчийн: Туркменаш
norsk: Turkmenere
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Turkmanlar
پنجابی: ترکمن لوک
polski: Turkmeni
português: Turcomenos
română: Turkmeni
русский: Туркмены
Scots: Turkmens
Simple English: Turkmen people
slovenčina: Turkméni
کوردی: تورکمان
српски / srpski: Туркмени
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Turkmeni
suomi: Turkmeenit
svenska: Turkmener
татарча/tatarça: Төрекмәннәр
Türkçe: Türkmenler
Türkmençe: Türkmenler
українська: Туркмени
Tiếng Việt: Người Turkmen
中文: 土庫曼人