Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

Turks, Kurds and Armenians

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 11, 2015



At the hands of the Turks were killed the following number of people:
1822 – on the island of Chios – 50,000 Greeks
1823 – in Misolungii – 8750 Greek
1826 – in Constantinople – 25000 Janissaries
1850 – in Mosul – 10000 Aissors
1860 – in Lebanon – 12000 Maronites
1876 – in Bulgaria – 14700 Bulgarians
1877 – in Bayazet – 1400 Armenians
1879 – in Alashkert – 1250 Armenians
1881 – in Alexandria – 2000 Christians
1892 – in Mosul – 3500 Janissaries
1894 – in Sasun – 12,000 Armenians
1895 – in Western Armenia – 300000 Armenians
1896 – in Constantinople – 9570 Armenians
1896 – in the area of Van – 8000 Armenians
1903-1904 – in Macedonia – Macedonians 14,667
1904 – in Sasun – 5640 Armenians
1909 – in Adana – 30,000 Armenians
1915 – in Western Armenia – 1.5 million Armenians
1918 – in Kars, Ardahan and Alexandropol – 100,000 Armenians
1919 – in Cilicia – 50,000 Armenians
1922 – in Smyrna – 200,000 Armenians, Greeks and Jews
1917-1925 – in Turkey – 2000000 Kurds killed and evicted
1988-1990 – in Sumgait, Baku, Kirovabad hundreds of Armenians were killed (official),more than 200,000 evicted.
However note that there is no list of people,like Syrians and Kurds,killed by the Turks in the last 20 years.
– Hands away frozen

I would like to add in addition to the murders, atrocities, rape, kidnaping, stealing of women and children, stealing of Armenian homes, business establishments, and churches….Even Eerdogan’s Palace belonged to an Armenian Family…Stealing Western Armenia which has been part of Armenia Legally for thousands of years…criminal attempt to ‘rewrite’ history, bribing of academia ‘scholars’ and politicians, AND now CULTURAL GENOCIDE….Destroying Thousands of Armenian Cultural Monuments & ancient Armenian Cemetaries with the Authentic Armenian CROSS-STONES on them….Forcefully converting Christians to Islam or Death…not giving proper credit for Armenian artifacts, buildings, and ‘selling’ precious church artifacts, and converting churches into mosques.

Robert Nigoghossian sitt bilde.

The mixing and historical relations between the Kurds and the Armenians

Armenians in Turkey: 1915-1918 – 1.5 million deaths

To my Turkish friends

To my Turkish friends

The Facts, Ideology, Founders and Objectives of Pan-Turkism

Turkic Peoples – Name Etymology

R1b is the most common haplogroup in Western Europe, reaching over 80% of the population in Ireland, the Scottish Highlands, Western Wales, the Atlantic fringe of France, the Basque country and Catalonia. It is also common in Anatolia and around the Caucasus, in parts of Russia and in Central and South Asia.

It has been hypothetised that R1b people (perhaps alongside neighbouring J2 tribes) were the first to domesticate cattle in northern Mesopotamia some 10,500 years ago. R1b tribes descended from mammoth hunters, and when mammoths went extinct, they started hunting other large game such as bisons and aurochs.

R1b-M269 (the most common form in Europe) is closely associated with the diffusion of Indo-European languages, as attested by its presence in all regions of the world where Indo-European languages were spoken in ancient times. The history of R1b and R1a are intricately connected to each others.

Like its northern counterpart (R1b-M269), R1b-V88 is associated with the domestication of cattle in northern Mesopotamia. Both branches of R1b probably split soon after cattle were domesticated, approximately 10,500 years ago (8,500 BCE). R1b-V88 migrated south towards the Levant and Egypt.

The migration of R1b people can be followed archeologically through the presence of domesticated cattle, which appear in central Syria around 8,000-7,500 BCE (late Mureybet period), then in the Southern Levant and Egypt around 7,000-6,500 BCE (e.g. at Nabta Playa and Bir Kiseiba).

Cattle herders subsequently spread across most of northern and eastern Africa. The Sahara desert would have been more humid during the Neolithic Subpluvial period (c. 7250-3250 BCE), and would have been a vast savannah full of grass, an ideal environment for cattle herding.

Haplogroup J2 is thought to have appeared somewhere in the Middle East towards the end of the last glaciation, between 15,000 and 22,000 years ago. Its present geographic distribution argue in favour of a Neolithic expansion from the Fertile Crescent. This expansion probably correlated with the diffusion of domesticated of cattle and goats (starting c. 8000-9000 BCE) from the Zagros mountains and northern Mesopotamia.

A second expansion of J2 could have occured with the advent of metallurgy, notably copper working (from the Lower Danube valley, central Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia), and the rise of some of the oldest civilisations.

Quite a few ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern civilisations flourished in territories where J2 lineages were preponderant. This is the case of the Hattians, the Hurrians, the Etruscans, the Minoans, the Greeks, the Phoenicians (and their Carthaginian offshoot), the Israelites, and to a lower extent also the Romans, the Assyrians and the Persians. All the great seafaring civilisations from the middle Bronze Age to the Iron Age were dominated by J2 men.

There is a distinct association of ancient J2 civilisations with bull worship. The oldest evidence of a cult of the bull can be traced back to Neolithic central Anatolia, notably at the sites of Çatalhöyük and Alaca Höyük. Bull depictions are omnipresent in Minoan frescos and ceramics in Crete.

Bull-masked terracotta figurines and bull-horned stone altars have been found in Cyprus (dating back as far as the Neolithic, the first presumed expansion of J2 from West Asia). The Hattians, Sumerians, Babylonians, Canaaites, and Carthaginians all had bull deities (in contrast with Indo-European or East Asian religions).

The sacred bull of Hinduism, Nandi, present in all temples dedicated to Shiva or Parvati, does not have an Indo-European origin, but can be traced back to Indus Valley civilisation. Minoan Crete, Hittite Anatolia, the Levant, Bactria and the Indus Valley also shared a tradition of bull leaping, the ritual of dodging the charge of a bull. It survives today in the traditional bullfighting of Andalusia in Spain and Provence in France, two regions with a high percentage of J2 lineages.

The Armenian Highland lies in the highlands surrounding Mount Ararat, the highest peak of the region. The history of Şanlıurfa is recorded from the 4th century BC, but may date back at least to 9000 BC, when there is ample evidence for the surrounding sites at Duru, Harran and Nevali Cori.

Within the further area of the city are three neolithic sites known: Portasar (Armenian), also known as Göbekli Tepe (Turkish), Gürcütepe and the city itself, where the life-sized limestone “Urfa statue” was found during an excavation in Balıklıgöl. The city was one of several in the upper Euphrates-Tigris basin, the fertile crescent, where agriculture began.

Portasar is an archaeological site at the top of a mountain ridge approximately 12 km (7 mi) northeast of the city of Şanlıurfa. Radiocarbon dating as well as comparative, stylistic analysis indicate that it is the oldest religious site yet discovered anywhere.

Since the 1930s, numerous archaeological excavations and surveys have been carried out in the Khabur Valley, indicating that the region has been occupied since the Lower Palaeolithic period. Important sites that have been excavated include Tell Halaf, Tell Brak, Tell Leilan, Tell Mashnaqa, Tell Mozan and Tell Barri.

The region has given its name to a distinctive painted ware found in northern Mesopotamia and Syria in the early 2nd millennium BCE, called Khabur ware. The region of the Khabur River is also associated with the rise of the Kingdom of the Mitanni that flourished c.1500-1300 BC.

Around 5500 BC a distinctive style of pottery spread across the whole of northern Mesopotamia. They were made by hand (the potter’s wheel had not yet been invented) and decorated with very fine geometric designs in one or two colours. The painted pottery was then fired, and generally to a high standard.

It is not yet understood how this style spread over such an enormous area. It was made locally in many places, but may also have been exchanged because of its beauty and prestige value. Perhaps itinerant potters may have moved across the region producing examples and starting a fashion in different areas.

The high quality of the firing means that many examples of Halaf pottery have survived and have been found by archaeologists. This plate and bowl, typical examples of the Halaf style, come from Arpachiyah in northern Mesopotamia, one of the most important sites for understanding the period and its pottery. Arpachiyah was excavated by Max Mallowan in 1933.

The Ubaid period (ca. 6500 to 3800 BC) is a prehistoric period of Mesopotamia. Ubaid 1, sometimes called Eridu (5300–4700 BC), is a phase limited to the extreme south of Iraq, on what was then the shores of the Persian Gulf.

Ubaid culture originated in the south, but still has clear connections to earlier cultures in the region of middle Iraq. The appearance of the Ubaid folk has sometimes been linked to the so-called Sumerian problem, related to the origins of Sumerian civilisation.

Whatever the ethnic origins of this group, this culture saw for the first time a clear tripartite social division between intensive subsistence peasant farmers, with crops and animals coming from the north, tent-dwelling nomadic pastoralists dependent upon their herds, and hunter-fisher folk of the Arabian littoral, living in reed huts.

This phase, showing clear connection to the Samarra culture to the north, saw the establishment of the first permanent settlement south of the 5 inch rainfall isohyet. These people pioneered the growing of grains in the extreme conditions of aridity, thanks to the high water tables of Southern Iraq.

In South Mesopotamia the period is the earliest known period on the alluvium although it is likely earlier periods exist obscured under the alluvium. In the south it has a very long duration between about 6500 and 3800 BC when it is replaced by the Uruk period.

The Ubaid house is a dwelling used by the Ubaid culture of the Neolithic era. The Ubaid house is the predecessor of the Ubaid temple as well as Sumerian domestic and temple architecture.

The archaeological record shows that Arabian Bifacial/Ubaid period came to an abrupt end in eastern Arabia and the Oman peninsula at 3800 BC, just after the phase of lake lowering and onset of dune reactivation.

At this time, increased aridity led to an end in semi-desert nomadism, and there is no evidence of human presence in the area for approximately 1000 years, the so-called “Dark Millennium”. This might be due to the 5.9 kiloyear event at the end of the Older Peron.

The Kish civilization or tradition is a term coined by Ignace Gelb to indicate the early East Semitic period in Mesopotamia and the Levant starting in the early 4th millennium BC and including the sites of Ebla and Mari in the Levant, Nagar in the north, and the proto-Akkadian sites of Abu Salabikh and Kish in central Mesopotamia which constituted the Uri region as it was known to the Sumerians.

The East-Semitic population migrated from what is now the Levant and spread into Mesopotamia, and the new population could have contributed to the collapse of the Uruk period c. 3100 BC. The Kish civlisation is considered to end with the rise of the Akkadian empire in the 24th century BC.

Ubaid 3/4, sometimes called Ubaid I and Ubaid II — In the period from 4500–4000 BC saw a period of intense and rapid urbanisation with the Ubaid culture spread into northern Mesopotamia and was adopted by the Halaf culture. Ubaid artifacts spread also all along the Arabian littoral, showing the growth of a trading system that stretched from the Mediterranean coast through to Oman.

In North Mesopotamia the period runs only between about 5300 and 4300 BC. It is preceded by the Halaf period and the Halaf-Ubaid Transitional period and succeeded by the Late Chalcolithic period.

The Leyla-Tepe culture is a culture of archaeological interest from the Chalcolithic era. Its population was distributed on the southern slopes of the Central Caucasus (modern Azerbaijan, Agdam District), from 4350 until 4000 B.C.

The Leyla-Tepe culture has been linked to the north Ubaid period monuments, in particular, with the settlements in the Eastern Anatolia Region (Arslan-tepe, Coruchu-tepe, Tepechik, etc.). The settlement is of a typical Western-Asian variety, with the dwellings packed closely together and made of mud bricks with smoke outlets.

It has been suggested that the Leyla-Tepe were the founders of the Maykop culture. An expedition to Syria by the Russian Academy of Sciences revealed the similarity of the Maykop and Leyla-Tepe artifacts with those found recently while excavating the ancient city of Tel Khazneh I, from the 4th millennium BC.

Aratta is a land that appears in Sumerian myths surrounding Enmerkar and Lugalbanda, two early and possibly mythical kings of Uruk also mentioned on the Sumerian king list. It is described in Sumerian literature as a fabulously wealthy place full of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and other precious materials, as well as the artisans to craft them. It is a remote place and difficult to reach, and the home to the goddess Inana, who transfers her allegiance from Aratta to Uruk after Enmerkar of Uruk conquered it.

There are certain Bronze Age records identified with the toponym in both Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources. The earliest is from an inscription which mentions Armânum together with Ibla (Ebla) as territories conquered by Naram-Sin of Akkad in ca. 2250 BC identified with an Akkadian colony in the Diarbekr region. However, many historians, such as Wayne Horowitz, identify Armanî which was conquered by Naram-Sin of Akkad, with the Syrian city of Aleppo and not with the Armenian Highland.

Shupria (Shubria) or Arme-Shupria was a Hurrian-speaking kingdom, known from Assyrian sources beginning in the 13th century BC, located in the Armenian Highland, to the southwest of Lake Van, bordering on Ararat proper. Scholars have linked the district in the area called Arme or Armani, to the name Armenia. The name Subartu (Sumerian: Shubur) for the region is attested much earlier, from the time of the earliest Mesopotamian records (mid 3rd millennium BC).

Together with Armani-Subartu (Hurri-Mitanni), Hayasa-Azzi and other populations of the region such as the Nairi fell under Urartian (Kingdom of Ararat) rule in the 9th century BC, and their descendants, according to most scholars, later contributed to the ethnogenesis of the Armenians.

Syria is known as Ḫrw (Ḫuru, referring to the Hurrian occupants prior to the Aramaean invasion) in the Amarna Period Egypt, and as Ărām in Biblical Hebrew. The name Syria has since the Roman Empire’s era historically referred to the region of Syria. It is the Latinized from the original Indo-Anatolian and later Greek.

Etymologically and historically, the name is accepted by majority mainstream academic opinion as having derived from Assuria/Assyria, from the Akkadian Aššur or Aššūrāyu, which is in fact located in Upper Mesopotamia (modern northern Iraq southeast Turkey and northeast Syria).

It is seen as a derivation from Subartu (a term which most modern scholars in fact accept is itself an early name for Assyria, and which was located in northern Mesopotamia), the Hurrian toponym Śu-ri, or Ṣūr (the Phoenician name of Tyre).

I. A. Tvedtnes had suggested that the Greek Suria is loaned from Coptic, and due to a regular Coptic development of Ḫrw to *Šuri. In this case, the name would directly derive from that of the Language Isolate speaking Hurrians.

Aššur is the name of the city, of the land ruled by the city, and of its tutelary deity. Archaeology reveals the site of the city was occupied by the middle of the third millennium BC. This was still the Sumerian period, before the Assyrian kingdom emerged in the 23rd to 21st century BC.

By the time the Neo-Sumerian Ur-III dynasty collapsed at the hands of the Elamites in ca. the 21st century BC, the local Akkadian kings, including those in Assur, had shaken off the Sumerian yoke.

An Assyrian king named Ushpia, a name regarded not as Semitic, but more likely Hurrian, who reigned in ca. the 21st century BC is credited with dedicating the first temple of the god Assur in his home city.

In the Bronze Age, several states flourished in the area of Greater Armenia, including the Hittite Empire (at the height of its power), Mitanni (South-Western historical Armenia), and Hayasa-Azzi (1600–1200 BC). Pharaoh Thutmose III of Egypt mention in the 33rd year of his reign (1446 BC) the people of Ermenen, and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”. There have been further speculations as to the existence of a Bronze Age tribe of the Armens (Armans, Armani; Armenian), either identical to or forming a subset of the Hayasa-Azzi. In this case, Armenia would be an ethnonym rather than a toponym. The name has also been claimed as a variant of Urmani (or Urmenu), attested epigraphically in an inscription of Menuas of Urartu.

Soon after Hayasa-Azzi were Arme-Shupria (1300s–1190 BC), the Nairi (1400–1000 BC) and the Kingdom of Urartu (1000–600 BC), corresponding to Aratta and the biblical Kingdom of Ararat or Kingdom of Van, who successively established their sovereignty over the Armenian Highland.

Each of the aforementioned nations and tribes participated in the ethnogenesis of the Armenian people. Yerevan, the modern capital of Armenia, was founded in 782 BC by king Argishti I. T. Gamkrelidze and V. Ivanov proposed the Indo-European homeland around the Armenian Highland.

Strictly speaking, Urartu, an Iron Age kingdom centred on Lake Van in the Armenian Highlands, is the Assyrian term for a geographical region, while “kingdom of Urartu” or “Biainili lands” are terms used in modern historiography for the Proto-Armenian (Hurro-Urartian) speaking Iron Age state that arose in that region. The heirs of Urartu are the Armenians and their successive kingdoms.

In the early 6th century BC, the Urartian Kingdom was replaced by the Armenian Orontid dynasty. In the trilingual Behistun inscription, carved in 521 or 520 BC by the order of Darius the Great of Persia, the country referred to as Urartu in Assyrian is called Arminiya in Old Persian and Harminuia in Elamite.

The name is connected to the Indo-European root Ar- meaning “assemble/create” which is vastly used in names of or regarding the Sun, light, or fire, found in Ararat, Aryan, Arta etc. Shivini or Artinis (the present form of the name is Artin, meaning “sun rising” or to “awake”, and it persists in Armenian names to this day) was a solar god in the mythology of the Urartu.

Ardini (likely from Armenian Artin), also known as Muṣaṣir (Akkadian for Exit of the Serpent/Snake) was an ancient city of Urartu, attested in Assyrian sources of the 9th and 8th centuries BC. The city’s tutelary deity was Khaldi (Ḫaldi, also known as Khaldi or Hayk), the patriarch of the Armenians.

Asha/Arta is the Avestan language term (corresponding to Vedic language ṛta) for a concept of cardinal importance to Zoroastrian theology and doctrine. Its Old Persian equivalent is arta-.[c] In Middle Iranian languages the term appears as ard-.

In the moral sphere, aša/arta represents what has been called “the decisive confessional concept of Zoroastrianism.” The word is also the proper name of the divinity Asha, the Amesha Spenta that is the hypostasis or “genius” of “Truth” or “Righteousness”. Later texts consistently use the ‘Best’ epithet when speaking of the Amesha Spenta, only once in the Gathas is ‘best’ an adjective of aša/arta. The opposite of Avestan aša is druj, “lie.”

The Iranian languages or Iranic languages form a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, which in turn are a branch of the Indo-European language family. The speakers of Iranian languages are known as Iranian peoples. The Kurdish languages belong to the northwestern sub‑group of the Iranian languages, which in turn belongs to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European family.

The most argued hypothesis on the localisation of the ethnic territory of the Kurds remains D.N. Mackenzie’s theory, proposed in the early 1960s (Mackenzie 1961).

According to Mackenzie’s theory, the Persians (or Proto-Persians) occupied the province of Fars in the southwest (proceeding from the assumption that the Achaemenids spoke Persian), the Baluchis (Proto-Baluchis) inhabited the central areas of Western Iran, and the Kurds (Proto-Kurds), in the wording of G. Windfuhr (1975: 459), lived either in northwestern Luristan or in the province of Isfahan.

The Kurdish people are believed to be of heterogeneous origins combining a number of earlier tribal or ethnic groups including Median, Lullubi, Guti, Cyrtians, and Carduchi.

The term “Kurd” is first encountered in Arabic sources of the seventh century. Books from the early Islamic era, including those containing legends like the Shahnameh and the Middle Persian Kar-Namag i Ardashir i Pabagan and other early Islamic sources provide early attestation of the name Kurd. The usage of the term Kurd during this time period most likely was a social term, designating Iranian nomads, rather than a concrete ethnic group.

Throughout Kurdish history after the Muslim conquests, there was a tendency for Kurdish tribes to move westwards as vassals of greater Muslim powers—from the Zagros to east Assyria and south-central Armenia, to west Assyria and west Armenia, to in modern times, migration of individuals into western Turkey, western Europe or even the Western Hemisphere.

Kurds and Armenians became increasingly distinct, both culturally and politically, as Armenians chose Christianity as their official religion while Kurds, later, chose Islam. Armenians in the Ottoman Empire (or Ottoman Armenians) mostly belonged to either the Armenian Apostolic Church or the Armenian Catholic Church.

Although most Armenians stayed Christian, some converted to Islam because of the favorable status given to Muslims under Turkish rule. The Armenians of Vaspurakan who converted to Islam, gradually assimilated into Kurdish culture over time.

This is likely to have occurred elsewhere as well, and probably accounts for the comparatively low census of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century, as compared to the Middle Ages, alongside other factors, such as selective recording, extermination and migration.

Toward the 11th century the nomadic Turkic tribes from Central Asia moved towards the Middle East and Anatolia and further altered the ethnic mix at the expense of the local populations of Kurds, Armenians, and other natives.

However, Kurds found some degree of friendship in these new immigrants from Central Asia. In some areas of Eastern Turkey the Kurds and Armenians did live together in the same villages and in other parts they remained separate.

Turkic peoples and related groups migrated west from Turkestan and what is now Mongolia towards Eastern Europe, Iranian plateau and Anatolia and modern Turkey in many waves.

The date of the initial expansion remains unknown. In the latter half of the 11th century, the Seljuks began penetrating into the eastern regions of Anatolia. In 1071, the Seljuk Turks defeated the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert, starting Turkification of the area; the Turkish language and Islam were introduced to Anatolia and gradually spread over the region.

The slow transition from a predominantly Christian and Greek-speaking Anatolia to a predominantly Muslim and Turkish-speaking one was underway. After many battles, they established their own state and later created the Ottoman Empire.

Historians generally agree that the first Turkic people lived in a region extending from Central Asia to Siberia. Historically they were established after the 6th century BCE. The earliest separate Turkic peoples appeared on the peripheries of the late Xiongnu confederation about 200 B.C (contemporaneous with the Chinese Han Dynasty). The first mention of Turks was in a Chinese text that mentioned trade of Turk tribes with the Sogdians along the Silk Road.

It has often been suggested that the Xiongnu, mentioned in Han Dynasty records, were Proto-Turkic speakers. The Hun hordes of Attila, who invaded and conquered much of Europe in the 5th century, may have been Turkic and descendants of the Xiongnu. Some scholars argue that the Huns were one of the earlier Turkic tribes, while others argue that they were of Mongolic origin.

In the 6th century, 400 years after the collapse of northern Xiongnu power in Inner Asia, leadership of the Turkic peoples was taken over by the Göktürks. Formerly in the Xiongnu nomadic confederation, the Göktürks inherited their traditions and administrative experience. From 552 to 745, Göktürk leadership united the nomadic Turkic tribes into the Göktürk Empire.

The Seljuqs originated from the Qynyk branch of the Oghuz Turks, who in the 9th century lived on the periphery of the Muslim world, north of the Caspian and Aral seas in their Yabghu Khaganate of the Oghuz confederacy, in the Kazakh Steppe of Turkestan. During the 10th century, due to various events, the Oghuz had come into close contact with Muslim cities.

When Seljuq, the leader of the Seljuq clan, had a falling out with Yabghu, the supreme chieftain of the Oghuz, he split his clan off from the bulk of the Tokuz-Oghuz and set up camp on the west bank of the lower Syr Darya (Jaxartes). Around 985, Seljuq converted to Islam.

In the 11th century the Seljuqs migrated from their ancestral homelands into mainland Persia, in the province of Khurasan, where they encountered the Ghaznavid empire. The Seljuqs defeated the Ghaznavids at the battle of Nasa plains in 1035. Toghril, Chaghri, and Yabghu received the insignias of governor, grants of land, and were given the title of dehqan.

At the battle of Dandanaqan they defeated a Ghaznavid army, and after a successful siege of Isfahan by Tughril in 1050/51, they established an empire later called the Great Seljuk Empire. The Seljuqs mixed with the local population and adopted the Persian culture and language in the following decades.

After arriving in Persia, the Seljuqs adopted the Persian culture and used the Persian language as the official language of the government, and played an important role in the development of the Turko-Persian tradition which features “Persian culture patronized by Turkic rulers.”

Ertuğrul, father of Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire, arrived in Anatolia from Merv (Turkmenistan) with 400 horsemen to aid the Seljuks of Rum against the Byzantines.

After the demise of the Turkish Seljuk Sultanate of Rum in the 14th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent, mostly Turkish states, the so-called Ghazi emirates. One of the emirates was led by Osman I (1258–1326), from whom the name Ottoman is derived.

Osman I extended the frontiers of Turkish settlement toward the edge of the Byzantine Empire. It is not well understood how the Osmanli came to dominate their neighbours, as the history of medieval Anatolia is still little known.

European literature concerning the “Turanid race” was absorbed by the Ottoman elite, and was partly even translated into Ottoman Turkish, contributing to the idea of an essence of “Turkishness” (Türklük) the honour of which came to be protected under Turkish law until the revision of article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code in April 2008.

The most influential of these sources were Histoire Générale des Huns, des Turcs, des Mongoles, et autres Tartares Occidenteaux (1756–1758) by Joseph de Guignes (1721–1800), and Sketches of Central Asia (1867) by Ármin Vámbéry (1832–1913), which was on the common origins of Turkic groups as belonging to one race, but subdivided according to physical traits and customs, and l’histoire de l’Asie (1896) by Leon Cahun (1841–1900), which stressed the role of Turks in “carrying civilization to Europe”, as a part of the greater “Turanid race” that included the Uralic and Altaic speaking peoples more generally. There was also an ideology of Hungarian Turanism.

However, several studies have concluded that the historical and indigenous Anatolian groups are the primary source of the present-day Turkish population. Furthermore, various studies suggested that, although the early Turkic invaders carried out an invasion with cultural significance, including the introduction of the Turkish language (the predecessor to modern Turkish) and Islam, the genetic contribution from Central Asia may have been very small.

According to American Journal of Physical Anthropology (2008) today’s Turkish people are more closely related with the Balkan populations than to the Central Asian populations, and a study looking into allele frequencies suggested that there was a lack of genetic relationship between the Mongols and the Turks, despite the historical relationship of their languages (The Turks and Germans were equally distant to all three Mongolian populations).

Multiple studies suggested an elite cultural dominance-driven linguistic replacement model to explain the adoption of Turkish language by Anatolian indigenous inhabitants.

A study involving mitochondrial analysis of a Byzantine-era population, whose samples were gathered from excavations in the archaeological site of Sagalassos, found that the samples had close genetic affinity with modern Turkish and Balkan populations.

During their research on leukemia, a group of Armenian scientists observed high genetic matching between Turks, Kurds, and Armenians. Another studies found the Peoples of the Caucasus (Georgians, Circassians, Armenians) are closest to the Turkish population.

According to Cinnioglu et al., (2004) there are many Y-DNA haplogroups present in Turkey. The majority haplogroups are shared with their “West Asian” and “Caucasian’ neighbours. By contrast, “Central Asian” haplogroups are rarer, N and Q) – 5.7 % (but it rises to 36 % if K, R1a, R1b and L- which infrequently occur in Central Asia, but are notable in many other Western Turkic groups), India H, R2 – 1.5 % and Africa A, E3*, E3a – 1 %.

Armenia had come largely under Ottoman rule during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The vast majority of Armenians, grouped together under the name Armenian millet (community) and led by their spiritual head, the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, were concentrated in the eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire (commonly referred to as Turkish Armenia or Western Armenia), although large communities were also found in the western provinces, as well as in the capital Constantinople.

The Armenian community was made up of three religious denominations: the Armenian Apostolic to which the overwhelming majority of Armenians belonged, and the Armenian Catholic and Armenian Protestant communities. Through the millet system, the Armenian community were allowed to rule themselves under their own system of governance with fairly little interference from the Ottoman government.

With the exception of the empire’s urban centers and the extremely wealthy, Constantinople-based Amira class, a social elite whose members included the Duzians (Directors of the Imperial Mint), the Balyans (Chief Imperial Architects) and the Dadians (Superintendent of the Gunpowder Mills and manager of industrial factories), most Armenians – approximately 70% of their population – lived in poor and dangerous conditions in the rural countryside.

Ottoman census figures clash with the statistics collected by the Armenian Patriarchate. According to the latter, there were three million Armenians living in the empire in 1878 (400,000 in Constantinople and the Balkans, 600,000 in Asia Minor and Cilicia, 670,000 in Lesser Armenia and the area near Kayseri, and 1,300,000 in Western Armenia itself).

In the eastern provinces, the Armenians were subject to the whims of their Turkish and Kurdish neighbors, who would regularly overtax them, subject them to brigandage and kidnapping, force them to convert to Islam, and otherwise exploit them without interference from central or local authorities. In the Ottoman Empire, in accordance with the dhimmi system implemented in Muslim countries, they, like all other Christians and also Jews, were accorded certain freedoms.

The dhimmi system in the Ottoman Empire was largely based upon the Pact of Umar. The client status established the rights of the non-Muslims to property, livelihood and freedom of worship but they were in essence treated as second-class citizens in the empire and referred to in Turkish as gavours, a pejorative word meaning “infidel” or “unbeliever”.

While building new places of worship by non-Muslims was forbidden under Pact of Umar, this prohibition wasn’t followed in all regions of the Ottoman Empire and although some regions prohibited building new places of worship, it was ignored in some of the other regions. Although there were no law on religious ghettos, the prohibition on building new places of worship by non-Muslims led to them clustering near existing ones.

In addition to other legal limitations, Christians were not considered equals to Muslims and several prohibitions were placed on them. Their testimony against Muslims by Christians and Jews was inadmissible in courts of law wherein a Muslim could be punished; this meant that their testimony could only be considered in commercial cases. They were forbidden to carry weapons or ride atop horses and camels. Their houses could not overlook those of Muslims; and their religious practices were severely circumscribed (e.g. the ringing of church bells was strictly forbidden).

In the mid-19th century, the three major European powers, Great Britain, France and Russia, began to question the Empire’s treatment of its Christian minorities and pressure it to grant equal rights to all its subjects.

From 1839 to the declaration of a constitution in 1876, the Ottoman government instituted the Tanzimat, a series of reforms designed to improve the status of minorities. Nevertheless, most of the reforms were never implemented because the empire’s Muslim population rejected the principle of equality for Christians.

In the mid-1860s and early 1870s, things began to change as an intellectual class began to emerge among Armenian society. Educated in the European university system or in American missionary schools in the Ottoman Empire, these Armenians began to question their second-class status in society and initiated a movement that asked for better treatment from their government.

In one such instance, after amassing the signatures of peasants from Western Armenia, the Armenian Communal Council petitioned the Ottoman government to redress their principal grievances: “the looting and murder in Armenian towns by [Muslim] Kurds and Circassians, improprieties during tax collection, criminal behavior by government officials and the refusal to accept Christians as witnesses in trial”. The Ottoman government considered these grievances and promised to punish those responsible, though no meaningful steps were ever taken.

Following the violent suppression of Christians in the uprisings in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Serbia in 1875, the Great Powers invoked the 1856 Treaty of Paris by claiming that it gave them the right to intervene and protect the Ottoman Empire’s Christian minorities.

By the late 1870s, the Greeks, along with several other Christian nations in the Balkans, frustrated with their conditions, had, often with the help of the great powers, broken free of Ottoman rule. The Armenians remained, by and large, passive during these years, earning them the title of milleti sadika or “loyal nation”.

By the 19th century, the empire began to decline when 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 Turkish-Muslim refugees from the lost territories of the Caucasus, Crimea, Balkans, and the Mediterranean islands migrate to Anatolia and Eastern Thrace.

Under growing pressure, the government of Sultan Abdul Hamid II declared itself a constitutional monarchy with a parliament (which was almost immediately prorogued) and entered into negotiations with the powers. At the same time, the Armenian patriarch of Constantinople, Nerses II, forwarded Armenian complaints of widespread “forced land seizure … forced conversion of women and children, arson, protection extortion, rape, and murder” to the Powers.

After the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, the Armenians increasingly came to see the Russian Empire as the ultimate guarantor of their security. Nerses approached the Russian leadership during its negotiations with the Ottomans in San Stefano and in the eponymous treaty, convinced them to insert a clause, Article 16, stipulating that the Russian forces occupying the Armenian-populated provinces in the eastern Ottoman Empire would withdraw only with the full implementation of reforms.

Great Britain was troubled by Russia’s retention of so much Ottoman territory and forced it to enter into new negotiations with the convening of the Congress of Berlin in June 1878 in which all of the Great Powers were involved.

Armenians also entered into these negotiations and emphasized that they sought autonomy, not independence from the Ottoman Empire. They partially succeeded, as Article 61 of the Treaty of Berlin contained the same text as Article 16, but removed any mention that Russian forces would remain in the provinces; instead, the Ottoman government was periodically to inform the Great Powers of the progress of the reforms.

As it turned out, the reforms were not forthcoming. Upset with this turn of events, a number of disillusioned Armenian intellectuals living in Europe and Russia decided to form political parties and societies dedicated to the betterment of their compatriots living inside the Ottoman Empire.

In the last quarter of the 19th century, this movement came to be dominated by three parties: the Armenakan, whose influence was limited to Van, the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party, and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutiun). Ideological differences aside, all the parties had the common goal of achieving better social conditions for the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire through self-defense and advocating increased European pressure on the Ottoman government to implement the promised reforms.

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 Battle of the Dardanelles in 1915.

During World War I, the government of the Committee of Union and Progress continued with its Turkification policies, which effected non-Turkish minorities, such as the Armenians during the Armenian Genocide and the Greeks during various campaigns of ethnic cleansing and expulsion. In 1918, the Ottoman Government agreed to the Mudros Armistice with the Allies.

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, resulting in the abortion of that text, never ratified, and the abolition of the Sultanate. Thus, the 623-year old Ottoman Empire ended.

The main languages of what is now Turkey had until then been Greek, Armenian and Kurdish. The long political and cultural dominance of Turkish, established by the 13th century, meant that it gradually became the language of the vast majority in the country; for all that, the other three languages were still spoken by millions at the beginning of the 20th century. Massacres and mass migrations have now transformed the picture: only the Kurdish minority is still numerically significant.

Following the adoption of Islam c. 950 by the Kara-Khanid Khanate and the Seljuq Turks, who are both regarded as the ethnic and cultural ancestors of the Ottomans, the administrative language of these states acquired a large collection of loanwords from Arabic and Persian. Turkish literature during the Ottoman period, particularly Ottoman Divan poetry, was heavily influenced by Persian, including the adoption of poetic meters and a great quantity of imported words.

The literary and official language during the Ottoman Empire period (c. 1299–1922) is termed Ottoman Turkish, which was a mixture of Turkish, Persian, and Arabic that differed considerably and was largely unintelligible to the period’s everyday Turkish known as kaba Türkçe or “rough Turkish”, spoken by the less-educated lower and also rural members of society, which contained a higher percentage of native vocabulary and served as basis for the modern Turkish language.

After the foundation of the Republic of Turkey and the script reform, the Turkish Language Association (TDK) was established in 1932 under the patronage of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, with the aim of conducting research on Turkish. One of the tasks of the newly established association was to initiate a language reform to replace loanwords of Arabic and Persian origin with Turkish equivalents.

By banning the usage of imported words in the press, the association succeeded in removing several hundred foreign words from the language. While most of the words introduced to the language by the TDK were newly derived from Turkic roots, it also opted for reviving Old Turkish words which had not been used for centuries.

Owing to this sudden change in the language, older and younger people in Turkey started to differ in their vocabularies. While the generations born before the 1940s tend to use the older terms of Arabic or Persian origin, the younger generations favor new expressions. It is considered particularly ironic that Atatürk himself, in his lengthy speech to the new Parliament in 1927, used a style of Ottoman which sounded so alien to later listeners that it had to be “translated” three times into modern Turkish: first in 1963, again in 1986, and most recently in 1995.

The past few decades have seen the continuing work of the TDK to coin new Turkish words to express new concepts and technologies as they enter the language, mostly from English. Many of these new words, particularly information technology terms, have received widespread acceptance.

However, the TDK is occasionally criticized for coining words which sound contrived and artificial. Some earlier changes—such as bölem to replace fırka, “political party”—also failed to meet with popular approval (fırka has been replaced by the French loanword parti). Some words restored from Old Turkic have taken on specialized meanings; for example betik (originally meaning “book”) is now used to mean “script” in computer science.

Many of the words derived by TDK coexist with their older counterparts.[citation needed] This usually happens when a loanword changes its original meaning. For instance, dert, derived from the Persian dard (درد “pain”), means “problem” or “trouble” in Turkish; whereas the native Turkish word ağrı is used for physical pain. Sometimes the loanword has a slightly different meaning from the native Turkish word, creating a situation similar to the coexistence of Germanic and Romance words in English.

The transition from Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic was one that took place not just in the context of war and bloodshed in Anatolia and Asia Minor, but also a revolution in every sense of the word – political and social, yes, and also cultural and economic, driven by the extreme modernising and progressive vision of Mustafa Kemal.

One of the elements of the new Turkey was a new language. The older, Ottoman Turkish was a rather rich language, having drawn heavily from Persian and Arabic, and being influenced by the multi-lingual subjects of the Empire, whether Greek or Armenian or Slavic-speaking. All of that changed starting in the 1920s, and it continues to undergo shifts today, following regulations by the Turkish Language Association.

The main languages spoken in Anatolia during those times were Greek and Armenian. There are some Greek and Armenian loanwords in Turkish, but not many. As for the low number of Greek and Armenian words in Turkish, perhaps it’s related to social and religious differences between Turks and Greeks/Armenians, which made the conquerors less receptive to borrow words from those languages, unlike prestigious Persian and Arabic.

Until the early years of this century there was a large population of Christian Turkish speakers of Armenian origin in parts of Asia Minor. Their literature, in a form of Turkish with Armenian loanwords, was written and printed in the Armenian alphabet. Armenian oral poets of this region were often skilled both in Armenian and in Turkish. This population was largely killed in the genocide of 1915.

Armenians in the Ottoman Empire

Ottoman Armenian population

The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire

Armenian national liberation movement

Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire

Ottoman Armenian casualties

Hamidian massacres

Adana massacre

Armenian Question

Young Turk Revolution

Middle Eastern theatre of World War I

Ottoman labour battalions

Armenian Genocide

Rape during the Armenian Genocide

Armenian Genocide survivors

Turkish–Armenian War

Turkish War of Independence

Confiscated Armenian property in Turkey

Armenian cultural heritage in Turkey

Armenian Genocide reparations

Denial of the Armenian Genocide

Insulting Turkishness

Armenian Genocide denial

100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Racism in Turkey

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