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Oghuz Turks, Turcoman and Turkmen. During Turkic mass-migrations in the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th centuries, the Oguz were among the indigenous Turks of Central Asia who migrated towards western Asia and eastern Europe via Transoxiana. From the 5th century onwards, the Oguz were the founders and rulers of several important Turkic kingdoms and empires, the most notable of them being the Gokturks, Seljuks, Safavids and Ottomans. Although also settled and urbanized, the nomadic way of life bred in them a combative spirit, sense in leadership, the habit of mobility, elegant equestrian skill, and an unusual dexterity as archers on horseback.
Since early times in their history, they were noted for such moral virtues as endurance, loyalty, self-discipline and foresight. In the later centuries, they adapted and implied their own Turkic traditions and institutions to the ends of the Islamic world and emerged as empire-builders with a constructive sense of statecraft, making a positive contribution to history as the vastful regions in which they ruled evolved into new phases of social, economic, religious and intellectual advancement.
Throughout history, the Oguz Turks have founded different nations that have developed political and geographical identities of their own, yet share Oguz ancestry, culture, history, language and literature. The designation of "Oguz" was given to a series of Turkic tribes in Central Asia who had united into a new confederation. This socio-political union lead to the emergence of a new larger Turkic tribe and community, known as the Oguz.
The Oguz community gradually grew larger as various other Turkic tribes united during the Gokturk empire 6th, 7th century. Oguz is not an ethnic name, and it can be simply translated into "Turkic tribes".
The "Oguz Turk branch" or "western Turk branch" is one of the traditional six branches of the modern Turkic peoples. The "Oguz branch" is a geographical and historical designation, yet not a separate ethnic term since the Turkic peoples of the world share the same ethnic roots.
They are referred to as "western Turks" because they moved west from other Turkic peoples after the Gokturk empire collapsed, and because the majority of the areas in which they inhabit today except Turkmenistan and the Turkmen Sahra are west of the Caspian Sea, while those reffered to as "eastern Turks" live east of the Caspian Sea. Their history as kings, statesmen, warriors, as well as an enormous tribal union and large communal branch begins in the pre-Islamic period, yet their achievements and progression in the centuries after Islam has left its mark on history and civilization.
The original homeland of the Oguz, like other Turks, was the general Ural-Altay region of Central Asia known as Turkistan or Turan, which has been the domain of Turkic peoples since antiquity. Although their mass-migrations from Central Asia occurred from the 9th century onwards, they were present in areas west of the Caspian Sea centuries prior, although smaller in numbers and perhaps living with other Turks.
For example, the Book of Dede Korkut which is the historic epic of the Oguz Turks was written in Azerbaijan in the 6th and 7th century. According to many historians, the usage of the word "Oguz" is dated back to the advent of the Huns BC. The title of "Oguz" Oguz Khan was given to Mete, the founder of the Hun empire, which is often considered the first Turkic political entity in Central Asia.
Also in the 2nd century BC, a Turkic tribe called "O-kut" who were described as Huns referred to as Hsiung-Nu or "colored-eyed people" in Chinese sources were mentioned in the area of Tarbogatain, in present-day southern Kazakstan. It must be noted that the Greek sources used the name Oufi or Ouvvi to describe the Oguz Turks, a name they had also used to describe the Huns centuries earlier. A number of tribal groupings bearing the name Oguz, often with a numeral representing the number of united tribes in the union are noted.
The mention of the "six Oguz tribal union" in the Turkic Orhun inscriptions 6th century pertains to the unification of the six Turkic tribes which became known as the Oguz. This was the first written reference to Oguz, and was dated to the period of the Gokturk empire. The Oguz community gradually grew larger, uniting more Turkic tribes prior and during the Gokturk establishment.
During the establishment of the Gokturk state, Oguz tribes inhabited the Altay mountain region and also lived in northeastern areas of the Altay mountains along the Tula River.
They were also present as a community near the Barlik river in present-day northern Mongolia. Their main homeland and domain in the ensuing centuries was the area of Transoxiana, in western Turkistan. This land became known as the "Oguz steppe" which is an area between the Caspian and Aral Seas. Ibnul Asir, an Arab historian, declared that the Oguz Turks had come to Transoxiana in the period of the caliph Al-Mehdi in the years between and In the period of the Abasid caliph al-Mamum - , the name Oguz starts to appear in the works of Islamic writers.
By , the eastern parts of the Syr Darya were ruled by the Karluk Turks and the western region Oguz steppe was ruled by the Oguz Turks. According to Lev Gumilev in his accredited work entitled 1, years around the Caspian, the Oguz in the anthropological racial category were Caucasoid Europoid. Elements of both Caucasoid and Mongoloid strains are evident in some. Like most of the other Turkic peoples, the Oguz have a round skull formation, high cheek bones and straight hair.
In general they were a herding society with its military advantages that other societies did not have, which was mobility. Their social organization had a family-like structure which included statuses and roles. Alliances by marriage and kinship, and their systems of "social distance" based on family relationships were the connective tissues of their society. In Oguz traditions, society was simply the result of the growth of individual families. But such a society also grew by alliances and the expansion of different groups normally through marriages.
The shelter of the Oguz tribes was a tent-like dwelling, erected on wooden poles and covered with skin, felt, or hand-woven textiles, which is called a yurt. Their cuisine included yahni stew , kebabs, togya corbasi a soup made from wheat flour and yogurt , kimis traditional drink of the Turks , pekmez a syrup made of boiled of grape juice and helva made with cornflour , tutmac noodle soup , yufka flattened bread , katmer layered pastry , chorek ring-shaped bun , bread, clotted cream, cheese, milk and ayran, as well as wine.
Social order was maintained by emphasizing correctness in conduct as well as ritual and ceremony. Ceremonies brought together the scattered members of the society to celebrate birth, puberty, marriage, and death. Such ceremonies had the effect of minimizing social dangers and also of adjusting persons to each other under controlled emotional conditions. Patrilineally related men and their families were regarded as a group with rights over a particular territory and were distinguished from neighbors on a territorial basis.
Marriages were often arranged among territorial groups so that neighboring groups could become related. But this was the only organizing principle that extended territorial unity. Each community of the Oguz Turks was thought of as part of a larger society composed of distant as well as close relatives.
This signified tribal allegiance. Wealth and materialistic objects were not commonly emphasized in Oguz society, and most remained herders and when settled, they would be active in agriculture. Status within the family was based on age, gender, relationships by blood, or marriageability. Males as well as females were active in society, yet men were the backbones of leadership and organization.
According to the Book of Dede Korkut which demonstrates the culture of the Oguz Turks, women were expert horse riders, archers, and athletes. The elders were respected as repositories of both secular and spiritual wisdom.
They had moved westward from the Altay mountains through the Siberian steppes and settled in this region, and also penetrated into southern Russia and the Volga. The extension from the Karacuk Mountains towards the Caspian Sea Transoxiana was called "Oguz Steppe Lands" from where the Oguz Turks established trading, religious and cultural contacts with the Abbasid Arab caliphate which was ruling lands to the south. This is around the same time that they first converted to Islam and renounced their Shamanist belief system.
The Arab historians mentioned that the Oguz Turks in their domain in Transoxiana were ruled by a number of kings and chieftains. It was in this area that they later founded the Seljuk empire, and it was from this area that they spread west into western Asia and eastern Europe during Turkic migrations from the 9th until the 12th century.
Although a term most commonly used for the Oghuz of central Asia, the name "Turkmen" or "Turcoman" once applied to Azerbaijanis and the Turks of Turkey as well, distinguishing between other Turks and non-Muslim Turks. Some western books which were written prior to the modern age use the terms "Turcoman" for the descendants of the Oghuz Turks who were not from the Turkmen nationality of central Asia which is one of the branches of the Oguz.
For example, it is written in many sources prior to the modern age that the largest component of the population of Azerbaijan is composed of "Turcoman tribes. In Turkey the word Turkmen refers to nomadic Turkish tribes all muslims some of whom still continue this lifestyle.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica the name Turkmen is a synonym of Oguz which includes all the Turkish Turkic population who live to the southwest of Central Asia: 1. Turkey 2. Azerbaijan Republic 3. Azerbaijan of Iran 4. Turkmenistan 5. Afghanistan b. Iraq, Syria and other Arab countries c. The Turkish historian Y. Oztuna presents almost the same definition to the name Turkmen.
He calls Turkmen Oghuz or western Turkish populations: 1. Ottomans 2. Azerbaijan 3. The modern and classical literature of Azerbaijan, Turkey and central Asia are also considered the Oghuz literature, since it has been produced by their descendants. The Book of Dede Korkut is an invaluable collection of epics and stories, bearing witness to the language, the way of life, religions, traditions and social norms of the Oguz Turks in Azerbaijan, Turkey and central Asia.
The Oghuz Steppe.
ISBN 13: 9789751628374
His book also included the first known map of the areas inhabited by Turkic peoples. It has been previously housed at the National Library in Istanbul,  but as of February is in display at the Presidential Library in Ankara. This historical book documented evidence of Turkic migration and the expansion of the Turkic tribes and Turkic languages into Central Asia, Eastern Europe and West Asia, mainly between the 6th and 11th centuries. The region of origin of the Turkic people is suggested to be somewhere in Siberia and Mongolia. The Seljuq, Mamluk, dynasty settled in Anatolia starting in the 11th century, ultimately resulting in permanent Turkic settlement and presence there.
Catalog Record: Dîvânü lûgati't-Türk : tıpkıbasım-facsimile | HathiTrust Digital Library
DÎVÂNU LUGATI'T-TÜRK'TE İNSANLAR İÇİN KULLANILAN NİTELEYİCİLER