The Turks and Europe (Paperback)
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THE peoples who speak the various Turkish dialects and who bear the generic name of Turcomans, or Turco-Tatars, are distributed over huge territories occupying nearly half of Asia and an important part of Eastern Europe. But as we are only considering the Turkish question from the European point of view, no lengthy reference is needed to such Eastern groups as those of Turkish or Mongol descent who are connected with the Yenisseians of Northern Asia and the Altaians. The Russians call these peoples " Tatars ", and they, no doubt, constituted the " Tubbat " nation, referred to by the Chinese historians under the name of " Tou-Kiou " up to the seventh century after Christ. These very brief facts show the importance of the race and are also sufficient to emphasise the point that these people are akin to those Turks of Western Asia who are more closely connected with the Europeans.The Western Turkish group includes the Tmaunrcsoof Persia and Russian or Afghan Turkistan; the Azarbaijanians, who are probably Turkisised Iranians, living between the Caucasus Mountains and Persia; and, lastly, the Osmanli Turks, who are subjects of the Sultan, speak the, Turkish language, and profess Islam.Close to this group, but farther to the East, the central group also concerns us, for some of its representatives who now inhabit the boundaries of Europe made repeated incursions into Europe in various directions. In the plains lying between the River Irtish and the Caspian Sea live the Kirghiz-Kazaks, and in the Tien-Shien Mountains the Kara-Kirghiz, who have preserved many ancient Old Turkish customs, and seem to have been only slightly Mohammedanised.The Usbegs and the Sartis of Russian Turkistan, on the other hand, have been more or less Iranised. Finally, on the banks of the Volga are to be found the Tatars of European Russia. Among them the Tatars of Kazan, who are descended from the Kiptchaks, came to the banks of the Volga in the thirteenth century and mingled with the Bulgars. These Tatars differ from the Tatars of Astrakhan, who are descendants of the Turco-Mongols of the Golden Horde, and are connected with the Khazars, and from the Nogais of the Crimea, who are Tatars of the steppes who more or less intermarried with other races " the Tatars of the Tauris coast being the hybrid descendants of the Adriatic race and the Indo-Afghan race. They are to be found near Astrakhan and in the Caucasus Mountains, and even, perhaps, as far as Lithuania, " where, though still being Mohammedans, they have adopted the languageand costume of the Poles.