The Appearance of the Word "Turk", Its Meaning and Its Pervasion

Durmus I.

GAZI AKADEMIK BAKIS-GAZI ACADEMIC VIEW, cilt.10, sa.20, ss.37-47, 2017 (ESCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 10 Konu: 20
  • Basım Tarihi: 2017
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.37-47


The word "Turk" had appeared in the written documents from the Kok-Turk period. In those documents the word was written either in one-syllabic form as "Turk" or in two-syllabic form as "Turuk." But in time the one-syllabic form has become popular. The word "Tu-kue" in the Chinese sources had been used to denote "Turk" and the words " Thrak", "Targita" or "Tyrkae" in the Grek sources; the words " Turukka" or " Turuska" in the Indian sources; the word "Turki" as a country name in the pro-Asian cuneiform sources; the word " Turukku" in the Asyrian cuneiform sources and even with the word " Togharma" in the Old Testament. It has been put forth that the word " Turk" was produced from the verb " turemek" which means to reproduce and that it is connected with the words " ture" which means justice and " ture" which means ethical principles. It was used to mean " yaratilmis" (=created) and " yaratik" (=creature). The common belief of the ancient Turkish cultural environment that the Turks had descended from the wolf confirms the above mentioned meaning. Besides, the archeological description that a wolf lactating a human child also supports this meaning. At first the word " Turk" had been used both in singular and plural forms. It is thought that in time it gained the meanings such as " sound", "powerful" and "strong". Today the word " Turk" is used both to describe a person and nation.