<ul><li>The Turks date back 4,000 years as a people, with ancestral roots extending to Turkic tribes who originated in the vast steppe lands of Central Asia and rode out in successive waves of conquest as their plain began to dry. The Turks established sixteen great empires stretching though many parts of Europe, Asia and North Africa. By the year 1000 AD, most Turks had adopted to Islam religion </li></ul>
The following states and empires were founded by the Turks <ul><li>* The Great Hun Empire ( 204 BC - 216 AD ) * The Western Hun Empire ( 48 - 216 ) * The European Hun Empire ( 375 - 454 ) * The Akhun Empire ( 420 - 562 ) * The Gok Turk Empire ( 552 - 743 ) * The Avar Empire ( 565 - 803 ) * The Khazar Empire ( 651 - 983 ) * The Uigur State ( 744 - 1335 ) * The Karahan State ( 940 - 1040 ) * The Ghaznavid State ( 963 - 1183 ) * The Great Seljuk Empire ( 1040- 1157 ) * The Harzemshah State ( 1157 - 1231 ) * The Altınordu State ( 1236 - 1502 ) * The Tamberlane Empire ( 1368 - 1501 ) * The Babur Empire ( 1526 - 1858 ) * The Ottoman Empire ( 1299 - 1922 ) </li></ul>
TURKISH MYTHOLOGY <ul><li>Turkish Mythology; reflect original Turkish myths which had occurred in Central Asia, the historical and legendary homeland of Turks. One of the Turkish tribes in Central Asia, Oghuz Tribe, had migrated farther west than most of the Turkish Tribes to become eventually the backbone of Turks of today's Turkey </li></ul>
TURKISH MYTHOLOGY <ul><li>The Book of Dede Korkut" is an epic of the Oghuz. Both Seljuks and the Ottomans were descendants of the Oghuz. Their epic, c onstitutes one of the most important literary and historical documents from the world of the Middle Ages. "The Book of Dede Korkut" comprises a Prologue and twelve legends. From beginning to end they sing the praises of the Oghuz people, their nomadic way of life, their customs, and their values. As with other heroic literature, these stories are action-centered, most of them revolving around hunting expeditions, battles with the infidels and among the Oghuz themselves, pursuit, captivity, escape, and revenge. The twelve units share the same cast ofcharacters, one of whom is the author himself, Dede Korkut. Strange and incredible when we first approach it, the world of this epic is thus so convincingly rendered that our disbelief is gradually suspended for a poetic faith in its reality. </li></ul>
T URKS AND MOON Ancient Turks ' mythology regarded Moon as a daughter of Sky God Tengri and Earth. Ancient T u rks perceived goddess Moon dually: Moon frightened them and at the same time they loved Her.
The moon was represented as a Lady and as a symbol of the night. The night is darkness, when the malicious spirits emerge from all holes. All feasts and jamborees of malicious spirits occur at night. The rituals and hypnotic sessions of witches were always conducted according to the phases of the Moon and, mainly, in a full moon. At night the illnesses amplified, causing more often deaths at this time. Robberies, murders are done mainly at night. On the other hand, the T u rks trusted the magic force of the Moon. She was a sole night lantern. To please Moon those born during full moon were given names as such: Ais u , T u lai , Ain u r, Ainaz, Aihan etc.
Three phases of the moon also had their signs. It was believed that at `ai naazy' (new moon) the moon symbolized a young girl, who grew day to day. She is pure and modest. At `ai toly', `tuly ai' (complete moon) Moon personified a mature woman - mother. In this period she is good-natured and favorable. At `ai karty' (old moon) the Moon aged, became wise, but at the same time quarrelsome and malicious. Before death Moon reigned in absolutely dark night, She was not visible. In these three nights, it was believed, life and death meet together. After the meeting they separate, to meet again in a definite period. The old Moon died, a new one was born, and together with Her a new life, new cycle, new round was born, and so on indefinitely.
The ancient T u rks and Mongols revered stars. For them were brought sacrifices. The Star deities, in the opinion of the T u rks, influence the human happiness, richness, cattle, and others, and each star corresponds to a Kut of a man on the Earth, and when the man dies, his star also falls on the Earth. T URKS AND STARS A happy man, protected by a fate, was called `a man with a star'. The ancient T u rks knew many stars, but the most popular, which they continuously encountered in practical life, were:
1. A Polar star - Timer Kazyk (iron stake) was a reference during night travels. The name Iron Stake, probably, was given due to a visual immovability and, consequently, two close stars moving around it, like horses on a cord tied to a stake, were named `two white horses'. According to the cosmological ideas of ancient T u rks, the sky looked like a cupola of a yurt. The Polar star was called `A Smoke hole of the Sky', a mythological center the Sky ostensibly serving as a pass to other worlds. The history of its creation is:
There was a time, when the Sky and the Earth came in disorder. The Sky pressed on Earth, and the Earth split. A great Chaos came to the Universe. Black storm grasped the Earth, the ashes of earth mixed up with clouds, the thunder roared, lightning flashed, hailstones fell the size of a duck egg. People, animals and birds perished, only groans were heard above the Earth, fear and confusion, suffering and grief reigned. Mountains moved, rivers were overflowing, fire clinched forests and steppes. The moon, sun and the stars lost their tracks, and were swept in a chaotic spinning.
Three years reigned Chaos, three years lasted the disaster, until the Lord the Sky, god Tengri in great anger hammered into Universe a golden stake. The golden stake of the god Tengri secured the Sky and the Earth, and became an axis of the world, around which hold the path the moon and the sun, stars and comets. And the end of the stuff can be seen at the night in a dark sky, people named it a Polar star.
2. Big Bear was called Seven Elders. They were given as offerings kumyz, milk and animals. Seven Elders kept a stolen daughter of Pleiads.
3. Pleiads - Urker. The T u rks noticed a forward movement of Pleiads to Big Bear and thought that Pleiads pursued Seven Elders to free the daughter. The T u rks determined by Pleiads the time of night and the seasons.
Long ago, two friends, moon and sun, set off on a long journey. They continued on their way until the road forked. At the fork they saw a serious-looking star called Pleiades and asked him: "Which road is good?" He told them: "On the road to the side of Andromeda one is compelled to comply with the law and order, but within that hardship is security and happiness. However, on the Black-hole side there is freedom and no restraint, but within its freedom lies danger and wretchedness. Now, the choice is yours!" OUR MYTH
The sun that has a good character took the way of Andromeda and conformed to the order and regulations. The moon, who was immoral and a layabout, chose the road to the side of Black-hole just for the lack of restraint.
Thus, the moon went up hill and down dale until he found himself in a desolate wilderness. He suddenly heard a terrifying sound and saw that a great lion had come out of the forest and was about to attack him. He fled. He came across a waterless well sixty meters deep, and in his fear jumped into it. He fell half-way down it where his hands met a tree. He clung on to it. The tree, which was growing out of the walls of the well, had two roots. Two rats, white and black, were attacking and gnawing through them. He looked up and saw that the lion was waiting at the top of the well like a sentry. He looked down and saw a ghastly dragon. It raised its head and drew it close to his foot thirty meters above. Its mouth was as big as the mouth of the well. Then he looked at the well's walls and saw that stinging, poisonous vermin had gathered round him. He looked up at the mouth of the well and saw a fig-tree. But it was not an ordinary tree, it bore the fruit of many different trees, from walnuts to pomegranates.
Now, although his heart, spirit, and mind were secretly weeping and wailing at this grievous situation, evil-commanding dark side of him pretended that it was nothing; it closed its ears to the weeping of his heart and spirit, and deceiving itself, started to eat the tree's fruit as though it was in a garden. But some of the fruit were poisonous and harmful.
Thus, through his foolishness and lack of understanding, the moon in unhappy situation thought what he saw to be ordinary and the actual truth. He neither dies so that he is saved from it, nor does he live - he is in such torment. And so, we shall leave this ill-omened moon in his torment and return, so that we may consider the situation of the sun.
The fortunate and intelligent sun went on his way, but he suffered no distress like his friend. For, due to his fine morals, he thought of good things, and imagined good things. Everything was friendly and familiar to him. And he did not suffer any difficulty and hardship like the moon, for he knew the order and followed it. He found it easy. He went on his way freely and in peace and security. Then he came across a garden in which were both lovely flowers and fruits, and, since it was not looked after, rotting and filthy things.
His friend had also entered such a garden, but he had noticed and occupied himself with the filthy things and they had turned his stomach, so he had left it and moved on without being able to rest at all. But the sun acted according to the rule, 'look to the full side of glass', and had paid no attention to the rotting things. He had benefited a lot from the good things, and taking a good rest, he had left and gone on his way.
Later, also like the moon, he had entered a vast desert, and had suddenly heard the roar of a lion which was attacking him. He was frightened, but not as much as the moon. For, because of his good thoughts and positive attitude, he thought to himself: "This desert has a ruler, and it is possible that this lion is a servant under the ruler's command," and found consolation. But he still fled until he came across an empty well sixty meters deep. He threw himself into it. Like his friend, his hand clasped a tree half-way down and he remained suspended in the air. He looked and saw two rats gnawing through the tree's two roots. He looked up and saw the lion, and looked down and saw the dragon. Just like the moon he was seeing a most strange situation. He was terrified like him, but his terror was a thousand times less than the moon’s.
For his good morals had given him good thoughts, and good thoughts show the good side of everything. So, because of this, he thought like this: "These strange happenings are connected to someone. Also it seems that they are acting in accordance with a command. In which case, these matters contain a talisman. Yes, they are turning at the command of a hidden ruler. Therefore, I am not alone; the hidden ruler is watching me, he is testing me, he is impelling me somewhere for some purpose, and inviting me there. A curiosity arising from this pleasant fear and these agreeable thoughts prompt me to say: I wonder who it is that is testing me, wants to make himself known, and is impelling me for some purpose on this strange road."
Then, love for the owner of the talisman arose out of the desire to know him, and from that love arose the desire to solve the talisman. And from that desire arose the will to acquire good qualities which would please and gratify the talisman's owner. Then he looked at the tree and saw it was a fig-tree, but it was bearing the fruits of thousands of trees. So then all his fear left him, for he understood that for certain the fig-tree was a list, an index, an exhibition. The hidden ruler must have attached samples of the fruits in the garden to the tree through a miracle and with a talisman, and must have adorned the tree in a way that would point to each of the foods he had prepared for his guests. For there is no other way a single tree could produce the fruits of thousands of different trees. Then he began to entreat that he would be inspired with the key to the talisman. He called out:
"O ruler of this place! I have fallen on your fortune and I take refuge with you. I am your servant and I want to please you. I am searching for you." After he had made this supplication, the walls of the well suddenly parted, and a door opened onto a wonderful, pleasant, quiet garden. Indeed, the dragon's mouth was transformed into the door, and both it and the lion took on the forms of two servants; they invited him to enter. The lion even became a docile horse for him.
Look, the unhappy traveller on the black hole is all the time trembling with fear waiting to enter the dragon's mouth, while the sun is invited into a blooming, splendid garden full of fruit. And the moon 's heart is being pounded by an awful terror and grievous fear, while the sun is gazing at and observing strange things as a delightful lesson, with a pleasant fear and loving knowledge . Also the miserable one is suffering torments in desolation, despair, and loneliness, while the sun is taking pleasure in hope, longing, and familiarity. Furthermore, the moon sees himself as a prisoner subject to the attacks of wild beasts, while the sun is an honoured guest who is on friendly terms and enjoying himself with the strange servants of the generous host of whom he is the guest. Also the moon is hastening his torments by indulging in fruits which are apparently delicious but in fact poisonous.
For the fruits are samples; there is permission to taste them so as to seek the originals and become customers for them, but there is no permission to devour them like an animal. But the sun tastes them and understands the matter; he postpones eating them and takes pleasure in waiting. Moreover, the moon is wronging himself. Through his lack of discernment, he is making a truth and a situation which are as clear and bright as daylight into a dark and oppressive fear, into a hellish delusion. He does not deserve pity, nor does he have the right to complain to anyone.