In the Republic of Turkey, an early history text provided the definition of being a Turk as "any individual within the Republic of Turkey, whatever his faith who speaks Turkish, grows up with Turkish culture and adopts the Turkish ideal is a Turk." This ideal came from the beliefs of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Today the word is primarily used for the inhabitants of Turkey, but may also refer to the members of sizeable Turkish-speaking populations of the former lands of the Ottoman Empire and large Turkish communities which been established in Europe (particularly in Germany, France, and the Netherlands), as well as North America, and Australia.
The House of Seljuk was a branch of the Oğuz Turks who in the 9th century resided on the periphery of the Muslim world, north of the Caspian and Aral Seas in the Yabghu Khaganate of the Oğuz confederacy. In the 10th century, the Seljuks started migrating from their ancestral homelands towards the eastern regions of Anatolia, which eventually became the new homeland of Oğuz Turkic tribes following the Battle of Manzikert (Malazgirt) in 1071. The victory of the Seljuks gave rise to the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate; which developed as a separate branch of the larger Seljuk Empire that covered parts of Central Asia, Iran, Anatolia and the Middle East.
In 1243, the Seljuk armies were defeated by the Mongols and the power of the empire slowly disintegrated. In its wake, one of the Turkish principalities governed by Osman I was to evolve into the Ottoman Empire, thus filling the void left by the collapsed Seljuks and Byzantines.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Ottoman Empire was among the world's most powerful political entities. At the height of its power (16th–17th century), it spanned three continents, controlling much of Southeastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Following years of decline, the Ottoman Empire entered World War I through the Ottoman-German Alliance in 1914, and was ultimately defeated. After the war, the victorious Allied Powers sought the dismemberment of the Ottoman state through the Treaty of Sèvres.
The occupation of İstanbul and İzmir by the Allies in the aftermath of World War I prompted the establishment of the Turkish national movement. Under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Pasha, a military commander who had distinguished himself during the Battle of Gallipoli, the Turkish War of Independence was waged with the aim of revoking the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres. By September 18, 1922, the occupying armies were repelled and the country saw the birth of the new Turkish state.
During the 14th century, the Turkomans, who made up the western Turks, started to re-establish their previous political sovereignty in the Islamic world. Rapid developments in the Turkish language and culture took place during the time of the Anatolian principalities. In this period, the Turkish language began to be used in the sciences and in literature, and became the official language of the principalities. New medreses were established and progress was made in the medical sciences during this period.
The Ottoman Empire (Old Ottoman Turkish: دولت عالیه عثمانیه Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye, Late Ottoman and Modern Turkish: Osmanlı Devleti or Osmanlı İmparatorluğu), was a Turkish state. The state was known as the Turkish Empire or Turkey by its contemporaries. (See the other names of the Ottoman State.) Starting as a small tribe whose territory bordered on the Byzantine frontier, the Ottoman Turks built an empire that at the height of its power (16th–17th century), spanned three continents, controlling much of Southeastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
As the power of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum weakened in the late 1200s, warrior chieftains claimed the lands of Northwestern Anatolia, along the Byzantine Empire's borders. Ertuğrul gazi ruled the lands around Söğüt, a town between Bursa and Eskisehir. Upon his death in 1281, his son, Osman, from whom the Ottoman dynasty and the Empire took its name, expanded the territory to 16,000 square kilometers. Osman I, who was given the nickname "Kara" (Turkish for black) for his courage, extended the frontiers of Ottoman settlement towards the edge of the Byzantine Empire. He shaped the early political development of the state and moved the Ottoman capital to Bursa.
By 1452 the Ottomans controlled almost all of the former Byzantine lands except Constantinople. On May 29, 1453, Mehmet the Conqueror captured Constantinople after a 53-day siege and proclaimed that the city was now the new capital of his Ottoman Empire. Sultan Mehmed's first duty was to rejuvenate the city economically, creating the Grand Bazaar and inviting the fleeing Orthodox and Catholic inhabitants to return. Captured prisoners were freed to settle in the city whilst provincial governors in Rumelia and Anatolia were ordered to send four thousand families to settle in the city, whether Muslim, Christian or Jew, to form a unique cosmopolitan society.
During the growth of the Ottoman Empire (also known as the Pax Ottomana), Selim I extended Ottoman sovereignty southward, conquering Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. He also gained recognition as guardian of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina; he accepted pious the title of The Servant of The Two Holy Shrines.
Süleyman I, known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the East, as the Lawgiver (in Turkish Kanuni; القانونى, al‐Qānūnī), for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system. The reign of Süleyman the Magnificent is known as the Ottoman golden age. The brilliance of the Sultan's court and the might of his armies outshone those of England's Henry VIII, France's François I, and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. When Süleyman died in 1566, the Ottoman Empire was a world power. Most of the great cities of Islam--Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Damascus, Cairo, Tunis, and Baghdad were under the sultan's crescent flag. After Süleyman, however, the empire declined rapidly due to poor leadership; many successive Sultans largely depended upon their Grand Viziers to run the empire.
The Ottoman sultanate lasted for 624 years, but its last three centuries were marked by stagnation and eventual decline. By the 19th century, the Ottomans had fallen well behind the rest of Europe in science, technology, and industry. Reformist Sultans such as Selim III and Mahmud II succeeded in pushing Ottoman bureaucracy, society and culture ahead, but were unable to cure all of the empire's ills. Despite its collapse, the Ottoman empire has left an indelible mark on Turkish culture and architecture. Ottoman culture has given the Turkish people a splendid legacy of art, architecture and domestic refinement, as a visit to Istanbul's Topkapi Palace readily shows.
The Republic of Turkey was born from the disastrous World War I defeat of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman war hero, Mustafa Kemal Pasha (later called Atatürk), fled Istanbul to Anatolia in 1919; he organized the remnants of the Ottoman army into an effective fighting force, and rallied the people to the nationalist cause. Under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Pasha, a military commander who had distinguished himself during the Battle of Gallipoli; the Turkish War of Independence was waged with the aim of revoking the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres. By 1923 the nationalist government had driven out the invading armies, abolished the Ottoman Empire, promulgated a republican constitution, and established Turkey's new capital in Ankara.
During a meeting in the early days of the new republic, Atatürk proclaimed:
Chronology of Major Kemalist Reforms:
|November 1, 1922||Abolition of the office of the Ottoman Sultan.|
|October 29, 1923||Proclamation of the Republic of Turkey.|
|March 3, 1924||Abolition of the office of Caliphate held by the Ottoman Caliphate.|
|November 25, 1925||Change of headgear and dress|
|November 30, 1925||Closure of religious convents and dervish lodges.|
|March 1, 1926||Introduction of the new penal law.|
|October 4, 1926||Introduction of the new civil code.|
|November 1, 1928||Adoption of the new Turkish alphabet|
|June 21, 1934||Law on family names.|
|November 26, 1934||Abolition of titles and by-names.|
|December 5, 1934||Full political rights, to vote and be elected, to women.|
|February 5, 1937||The inclusion of the principle of laïcité in the constitution.|
The Kemalist revolution aimed to create a nation state (Ulus) from the Turkish remnants of the Ottoman Empire. The meaning of Turkishness "Türküm" is frequently misunderstood by those who fail to realize that it is not a description of ethnicity [the Turkic ethnicity] but a commitment to an 'imagined' nationhood of people living within the National Pact (Misak-ı Milli) borders. "Turkishness" (citizenship of Turkey) is the cornerstone of the Republic of Turkey. Kemalist ideology defines the "Turkish People" as "those who protect and promote the moral, spiritual, cultural and humanistic values of the Turkish Nation." Kemalist ideology defines the "Turkish Nation" as a nation of Turkish People who always love and seek to exalt their family, country and nation, who know their duties and responsibilities towards the democratic, secular and social state governed by the rule of law, founded on human rights, and on the tenets laid down in the preamble to the constitution of the Republic of Turkey.
Upon the founder's death, his place at the head of the party and the nation was taken by his comrade-in-arms General Ismet Inönü, another hero of the War of Independence. Following Atatürk's advice, Inönü preserved Turkey's precarious neutrality during World War II, figuring that the war could only end in disaster for Turkey.
Turks primarily live in Turkey; however, when the borders of the Ottoman Empire became smaller after World War I and the foundation of the new Republic; many Turkish people chose to stay outside Turkey's borders. Since then, some of them have migrated to Turkey but there are still significant minorities of Turks living in different countries such as in Northern Cyprus (Turkish Cypriots), Greece, Bulgaria, Syria, Iraq, the Republic of Macedonia, the Dobruja region of Romania and Kosovo, especially in Prizren.
The three most important Turkish groups are the Anatolian Turks, the Rumelian Turks (primarily immigrants from former Ottoman territories in the Balkans and their descendants), and the Central Asian Turks (Turkic-speaking immigrants from the Caucasus region, southern Russia, and Central Asia and their descendants).
People who identify themselves as ethnic Turks comprise 80-88% of Turkey's population. Regions of Turkey with the largest populations are İstanbul (+12 million), Ankara (+4.4 million), İzmir (+3.7 million), Bursa (+2.4 million), Adana (+2.0 million) and Konya (+1.9 million).
The biggest city and the pre-Republican capital İstanbul is the financial, economic and cultural heart of the country. Other important cities include İzmir, Bursa, Adana, Trabzon, Malatya, Gaziantep, Erzurum, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Konya, Mersin, Eskişehir, Diyarbakır, Antalya and Samsun. An estimated 70.5% of the Turkish population live in urban centers. In all, 18 provinces have populations that exceed 1 million inhabitants, and 21 provinces have populations between 1 million and 500,000 inhabitants. Only two provinces have populations less than 100,000. Age structure:
Population growth rate:
(Figures are given according to the 2008 Central Intelligence Agency)
As a legacy of the Ottoman Turkish Empire there are significant Turkish minorities in Europe such as the Turks in Bulgaria, Turks in the Republic of Macedonia, Turks in Kosovo and the Turks of Western Thrace.
The post-war migration of Turks to Europe began with ‘guest workers’ who arrived under the terms of a Labour Export Agreement with Germany in October 1961, followed by a similar agreement with the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria in 1964; France in 1965 and Sweden in 1967. As one Turkish observer noted, ‘it has now been over 40 years and a Turk who went to Europe at the age of 25 has nearly reached the age of 70. His children have reached the age of 45 and their children have reached the age of 20’.
Despite the United Kingdom not being part of the Labour Export Agreement, it is still a major hub for Turkish emmigrants, and with a population of almost half a million Turks (an estimated 100,000 Turkish nationals and 130,000 nationals of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus currently live in the UK. These figures, however, do not include the much larger numbers of Turkish speakers who have been born or have obtained British nationality ), it is home to Europe's third largest Turkish community. High immigration has resulted in the Turkish language being the seventh most commonly spoken language in the United Kingdom.
Due to the high rate of Turks in Europe, the Turkish language is also now home to one of the largest group of pupils after the German-speakers. Turkish in Germany is often used not only by members of its own community but also by people with a non-Turkish background. Especially in urban areas, it functions as a peer group vernacular for children and adolescents.
Turkish people have a very diverse culture that is a blend of various elements of the Oğuz Turkic and Anatolian, Ottoman, and Western culture and traditions which started with the Westernization of the Ottoman Empire and continues today. This mix is a result of the encounter of Turks and their culture with those of the peoples who were in their path during their migration from Central Asia to the West. 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 methods 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, and architecture. Because of different historical factors playing an important role in defining the modern Turkish identity, Turkish culture is a product of efforts to be "modern" and Western, combined with the necessity felt to maintain traditional religious and historical values.
The Turkish language is a member of the ancient Oghuz subdivision of Turkic languages, which in turn is a branch of the proposed Altaic language family. About 40% of Turkic language speakers are Turkish speakers. Turkish is for the most part, mutually intelligible with other Oghuz languages like Azeri, Crimean Tatar, Gagauz, Turkmen and Urum, and to a lesser extent with other Turkic languages.
With the Turkic expansion during Early Middle Ages (c. 6th–11th centuries), peoples speaking Turkic languages spread across Central Asia, covering a vast geographical region stretching from Siberia to Europe and the Mediterranean. The Seljuqs of the Oghuz Turks, in particular, brought their language, Oghuz Turkic—the direct ancestor of today's Turkish language—into Anatolia during the 11th century. Also during the 11th century, an early linguist of the Turkic languages, Kaşgarlı Mahmud from the Kara-Khanid Khanate, published the first comprehensive Turkic language dictionary and map of the geographical distribution of Turkic speakers in the Compendium of the Turkic Dialects (Ottoman Turkish: Divânü Lügati't-Türk).
|Old Turkic (Göktürkçe/Köktürkçe)|
|Türk Oğuz beğleri, budun, eşidin; üze Kök Tengri basmasar, asra yir telinmeser, Türk budun, ilinin, törünün kim artatı(r)?|
|Modern Turkish (Türkçe)|
|Türk Oğuz beyleri, ulus, işitin; üzeride Gök Tanrı basmasa, altta yer delinmese, Türk ulusu, ülkeni, töreni kim atar?|
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.
Istanbul Turkish is established as the official standard language of Turkey. Turkish is the official language of Turkey and is one of the official languages of Cyprus. It also has official (but not primary) status in the Prizren District of Kosovo and several municipalities of Republic of Macedonia, depending on the concentration of Turkish-speaking local population.
Turkish architecture reached its peak during the Ottoman period. Ottoman architecture, influenced by 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.
The years 1300–1453 constitute the early or first Ottoman period, when Ottoman art was in search of new ideas. During this period we encounter three types of mosque: tiered single-domed and sub line-angled mosques. The Junior Haci Özbek Mosque (1333) in Iznik, the first important centre of Ottoman art, is the first example of Ottoman single-domed mosques.
The architectural style which was to take on classical form after the conquest of Istanbul, was born in Bursa and in Edirne. The Great Mosque (Ulu Cami) in Bursa was the first Seljuk mosque to be converted into a domed one. Edirne was the last Ottoman capital before Istanbul, and it is here that we witness the final stages in the architectural development that culminated in the construction of the great mosques of Istanbul. The buildings constructed in Istanbul between the capture of the city and the construction of the mosque of Sultan Bayezit are also considered works of the early period. Among these are the mosques of Fatih (1470), the mosque of Mahmutpasa, Tiled Pavilion and Topkapi Palace.
In Ottoman times the mosque did not exist by itself. It was looked on by society as being very much interconnected with city planning and communal life. Beside the mosque there were soup kitchens, theological schools, hospitals, Turkish baths and tombs.
Examples of Ottoman architecture of the classical period, aside from Istanbul and Edirne, can also be seen in Egypt, Tunisia, Algiers, the Balkans and Hungary, where mosques, bridges, fountains and schools were built.
During the years 1720–1890, Ottoman art deviated from the principles of classical times. In the 18th century, during the Lale (Tulip) period, Ottoman art came under the influence of the excessive decorations of the west; Baroque, Rococo, Ampir and other styles intermingled with Ottoman art. Fountains became the characteristic structures of this period. An eclecticism set in. The Aksaray Valide mosque in Istanbul is an example of the mixture of Turkish art and Gothic style.
The roots of traditional music in Turkey span centuries to a time when the Seljuk Turks colonized Anatolia and Persia in the 11th century and contains elements of both Turkic and pre-Turkic influences. Much of its modern popular music can trace its roots to the emergence in the early 1930s drive for Westernization.
Traditional music in Turkey falls into two main genres; classical art music and folk music. Turkish classical music is characterized by an Ottoman elite culture and influenced lyrically by neighbouring regions and Ottoman provinces. Earlier forms are sometimes termed as saray music in Turkish, meaning royal court music, indicating the source of the genre comes from Ottoman royalty as patronage and composer. Neo-classical or postmodern versions of this traditional genre are termed as art music or sanat musikisi, though often it is unofficially termed as alla turca. In addition, from the saray or royal courts came the Ottoman military band, Mehter takımı in Turkish, considered to be the oldest type of military marching band in the world. It was also the forefather of modern Western percussion bands and has been described as the father of Western military music .
Turkish folk music is the music of Turkish-speaking rural communities of Anatolia, the Balkans, and Middle East. While Turkish folk music contains definitive traces of the Central Asian Turkic cultures, it has also strongly influenced and been influenced by many other indigenous cultures. Religious music in Turkey is sometimes grouped with folk music due to the tradition of the wandering minstrel or aşık (pronounced ashuk), but its influences on Sufism due to the spritiual Mevlevi sect arguably grants it special status. It has been suggested the distinction between the two major genres comes during the Tanzîmat period of Ottoman era, when Turkish classical music was the music played in the Ottoman palaces and folk music was played in the villages.
Musical relations between the Turks and the rest of Europe can be traced back many centuries, and the first type of musical Orientalism was the Turkish Style. European classical composers in the 18th century were fascinated by Turkish music, particularly the strong role given to the brass and percussion instruments in Janissary bands. Joseph Haydn wrote his Military Symphony to include Turkish instruments, as well as some of his operas. Turkish instruments were also included in Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony Number 9. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote the "Ronda alla turca" in his Sonata in A major and also used Turkish themes in his operas, such as the Chorus of Janissaries from his Die Entführung aus dem Serail (1782). This Turkish influence introduced the cymbals, bass drum, and bells into the symphony orchestra, where they remain. Jazz musician Dave Brubeck wrote his "Blue Rondo á la Turk" as a tribute to Mozart and Turkish music.
Turkish literature (Türk edebiyatı or Türk yazını) is the collection of written and oral texts composed in the Turkish language, either in its Ottoman form or in less exclusively literary forms, such as that spoken in the Republic of Turkey today.
The history of Turkish literature spans a period of nearly 1,500 years. The oldest extant records of written Turkic are the Orhon inscriptions, found in the Orhon River valley in central Mongolia and dating to the 8th century. Subsequent to this period, between the 9th and 11th centuries, there arose among the nomadic Turkic peoples of Central Asia a tradition of oral epics, such as the Book of Dede Korkut of the Oghuz Turks—the linguistic and cultural ancestors of the modern Turkish people.
Throughout most of its history, Turkish literature has been rather sharply divided into two different traditions, neither of which exercised much influence upon the other until the 19th century. The first of these two traditions is Turkish folk literature, and the second is Turkish written literature.
Turkish folk literature is an oral tradition deeply rooted, in its form, in Central Asian nomadic traditions. However, in its themes, Turkish folk literature reflects the problems peculiar to a settling (or settled) people who have abandoned the nomadic lifestyle. One example of this is the series of folktales surrounding the figure of Keloğlan, a young boy beset with the difficulties of finding a wife, helping his mother to keep the family house intact, and dealing with the problems caused by his neighbors. Another example is the rather mysterious figure of Nasreddin, a trickster who often plays jokes, of a sort, on his neighbors.
Most of the roots of modern Turkish literature were formed between the years 1896—when the first collective literary movement arose—and 1923, when the Republic of Turkey was officially founded. Broadly, there were three primary literary movements during this period:
The Turks first came in contact with the traditions of the Islamic world at the beginning of the 8th century and fully embraced Islam in the 10th century, establishing the Kara-Khanid Khanate (990–1212) in Central Asia as the first Muslim Turkic state.
The vast majority of the present-day Turkish people are Muslim and the most popular sect is the Hanafite school of Sunni Islam, which was officially espoused by the Ottoman Empire; according to a Eurobarometer Poll 2005:
Secularism in Turkey was introduced with the Turkish Constitution of 1924, and later the Atatürk's Reforms set the administrative and political requirements to create a modern, democratic, secular state aligned with the Kemalist ideology. Thirteen years after its introduction, laïcité (February 5, 1937) was explicitly stated as a property of the State in the second article of the Turkish constitution. The current Turkish constitution neither recognizes an official religion nor promotes any. This includes Islam, which at least nominally more than 95% of citizens subscribe to.
The crescent moon and star are sacred symbols for pre-Islamic Turkish tribes. In 2004 an archaeological excavations in Bishkek found that Gokturks used the crescent and star on their coins, long before coming in contact with the Byzantines.
|Turkish Republic and Independence war||1299-1922||1000–1300s|
It is difficult to understand the complex cultural and demographic dynamics of the Turkic speaking groups that have shaped the Anatolian landscape for the last millennium. The region of Anatolia represents an extremely important area with respect to the ancient population, migration and expansion. During the Bronze Age the population of Anatolia expanded, reaching an estimated level of 12 million during the late Byzantine Empire period. Such a large pre-existing Anatolian population would have reduced the impact by the subsequent arrival of Turkic speaking groups from Central Asia. The Oghuz Turks were the main Turkic people that moved into Anatolia. Many Turks began their migration after the victory of the Seljuks against the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. Around 1,000,000 Turkic migrants settled in Anatolia in 12th and 13th centuries.
The question of to what extent a gene flow from Central Asia to Anatolia has contributed to the current gene pool of the Turkish people, and the role of the 11th century invasion by Oghuz Turks, has been the subject of several studies. A factor that makes it difficult to give reliable estimates, is the problem of distinguishing between the effects of different migratory episodes. Research confirms the studies indicating that the Turkic peoples originated from Central Asia and therefore are possibly related with Xiongnu.
Data of the DNA of Turkish people suggests that a human demographic expansion occurred sequentially in the Middle East, through Anatolia, and finally to the rest of Europe. The estimated time of this expansion is roughly 50,000 years ago, which corresponds to the arrival of anatomically modern humans in Europe. It is concluded that aboriginal Anatolian groups may have given rise to present-day Turkish population. DNA results suggests the lack of strong genetic relationship between the Mongols and the Turks despite the close relationship of their languages and shared historical neighborhood. Anatolians do not significantly differ from other Mediterraneans, indicating that while the ancient Asian Turks carried out an invasion with cultural significance, it is not genetically detectable. Recent genetic research has also suggested that the local, Anatolian origins of the Turks and that genetic flow between Turks and Asiatic peoples might have been marginal.