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    * Turkestan *

    Turkistan

    ترکستان


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    Turkestan is a historical region in Central Asia situated between Siberia to the north and Tibet, India, Afghanistan, and Iran to the south. Turkestan derived its name from its inhabitants, who were predominantly of Turkic ancestry. Turkestan has a rich history, dating back to the third millennium BC. Many artifacts were produced in that period, and much trade was conducted. The region was a focal point for cultural diffusion, as the Silk Road traversed it. Turkestan covers the area of Central Asia and acquired its "Turkic" character from the 4th to 6th centuries AD with the incipient Turkic expansion.Turkic sagas, such as the Ergenekon legend, and written sources such as the Orkhon Inscriptions state that Turkic peoples originated in the nearby Altay Mountains, and, through nomadic settlement, started their long journey westwards. Huns conquered the area after they conquered Kashgaria in the early 2nd century BC. With the dissolution of the Huns' empire, Chinese rulers took over Eastern Turkestan. Arab forces captured it in the 8th century. The Persian Samanid dynasty subsequently conquered it and the area experienced economic success. The entire territory was held at various times by Turkic forces, such as the Göktürks until the conquest by Chengiz Khan and the Mongols in 1220. Khan gave the territory to his son, Chagatai and the area became the Chagatai Khanate. Teimur took over the area in 1369 and the area became part of the Teimurid Empire.The total area of more than 2,600,000 sq km was bisected by the Pamir and Tien Shan ranges, forming West and East Turkestan. West Turkestan, which included what is now Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and southern Kazakhstan, came under Russian rule in the 19th century. East Turkestan was annexed by China in the 8th century; it included what is now the Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang. (Wikipedia) - Turkestan This article is about the area. For the town in Kazakhstan, see Turkistan (city). Not to be confused with Turkey or Turkmenistan.
    This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (July 2011)
    Map from Mahmud al-Kashgari''s Diwanu Lughat at-Turk, showing the 11th century distribution of Turkic tribes.

    Turkestan, also spelt as Turkistan, literally means "Land of the Turks".

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    Etymology

    The term Turkestan is of Persian (ترکستان) origin and was believed to have never been in use to denote a single nation although it was at one time ruled by an Emperor. It was first used by Persian geographers to describe the place of Turkish peoples. After Persia had been considerably weakened by its defeat in 1857, Imperial Russia stepped up its campaign to wrest full control over the Central Asian region from Persian dominance and on their way southward, the Russians took the city of Turkestan (in present day Kazakhstan) in 1864. Mistaking its name for that of the entire region, they adopted the appellation of "Turkestan" for their new territory. Today the term is used to describe a region which is inhabited mainly by Turkic peoples in Central Asia. It includes present-day Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Xinjiang. Many would also include Turkic regions of Russia (Tatarstan & parts of Siberia) as well.

    HistoryMap of Turkistan with modern state bordersFurther information: History of Central Asia

    Turkestan was at one time ruled by Emperor Gustasp (believed to be either Hystaspes (father of Darius I) or Darius I). Additional documents indicate that Turkestan''s history dates back to at least the third millennium BC. Many artifacts were produced in that period, and much trade was conducted. The region was a focal point for cultural diffusion, as the Silk Road traversed it. Turkestan covers the area of Central Asia and acquired its "Turkic" character from the 4th to 6th centuries AD with the incipient Turkic expansion.

    Turkic sagas, such as the Ergenekon legend, and written sources such as the Orkhon Inscriptions state that Turkic peoples originated in the nearby Altay Mountains, and, through nomadic settlement, started their long journey westwards. Huns conquered the area after they conquered Kashgaria in the early 2nd century BC. With the dissolution of the Huns'' empire, Chinese rulers took over Eastern Turkestan. Arab forces captured it in the 8th century. The Persian Samanid dynasty subsequently conquered it and the area experienced economic success. The entire territory was held at various times by Turkic forces, such as the Göktürks until the conquest by Genghis Khan and the Mongols in 1220. Genghis Khan gave the territory to his son, Chagatai and the area became the Chagatai Khanate. Timur took over the area in 1369 and the area became the Timurid Empire.

    OverviewFlag of Turkestan.

    Known as Turan to the Persians, western Turkestan has also been known historically as Sogdiana, Ma wara''u''n-nahr (by its Arab conquerors), and Transoxiana by Western travellers. The latter two names refer to its position beyond the River Oxus when approached from the south, emphasizing Turkestan''s long-standing relationship with Iran, the Persian Empires and the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates.

    The regions of Central Asia lying between Siberia on the north; Tibet, British India (now Pakistan), Afghanistan, and Iran on the south; the Gobi Desert on the east; and the Caspian Sea on the west. Oghuz Turks (also known as Turkmens), Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Khazars, Kyrgyz, Hazara and Uyghurs are some of the Turkic inhabitants of the region who, as history progressed, have spread further into Eurasia forming such Turkic nations as Turkey and Azerbaijan, and subnational regions like Tatarstan in Russia and Crimea in Russia. Tajiks and Russians form sizable non-Turkic minorities.

    It is subdivided into Afghan Turkestan and Russian Turkestan in the West, and Xinjiang (previously Chinese Turkestan) in the East.

    Russian and Chinese influenceRestaurant of an East Turkestani expat in Istanbul, Turkey

    A summary of Classical sources on the Seres (Greek and Roman name of China) (essentially Pliny and Ptolemy) gives the following account:

    The region of the Seres is a vast and populous country, touching on the east the Ocean and the limits of the habitable world, and extending west nearly to Imaus and the confines of Bactria. The people are civilised men, of mild, just, and frugal temper, eschewing collisions with their neighbours, and even shy of close intercourse, but not averse to dispose of their own products, of which raw silk is the staple, but which include also silk stuffs, furs, and iron of remarkable quality.

    — Henry Yule, Cathay and the Way Thither

    Tags:Abbasid, Afghan, Afghanistan, Arab, Asia, Azerbaijan, Bactria, British, Caspian, Caspian Sea, Central Asia, Chengiz Khan, China, Chinese, Classical, Crimea, Darius I, Genghis Khan, Gobi Desert, Greek, Huns, Hystaspes, India, Iran, Istanbul, Kazakhstan, Khan, Khanate, Khazars, Kyrgyzstan, Oxus, Pakistan, Persia, Persian, Ptolemy, Roman, Russia, Russian, Samanid, Silk Road, Sogdiana, Tajikistan, Tatarstan, Teimurid, Tibet, Timur, Timurid, Transoxiana, Turan, Turk, Turkestan, Turkey, Turkish, Turkmenistan, Turks, Umayyad, Uzbekistan, Wikipedia


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