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Gktrks

The Gktrks, Celestial Turks, Blue Turks or Kok Turks (Old Turkic:
Gktrks
: , Kk Trk Chinese: / ;pinyin: Tju, Dungan: ;
Khotanese Saka Ttrka, Ttrka,[1] Old Tibetan Drugu[1]), were a nomadic
confederation of Turkic peoples in medieval Inner Asia. The Gktrks, under the
leadership of Bumin Qaghan (d. 552) and his sons, succeeded the Rouran Khaganate
as the main power in the region and established theTurkic Khaganate, one of several
nomadic dynasties which would shape the future geolocation, culture, and dominant
beliefs of Turkic peoples.

Gktrk petroglyphs from Mongolia


(6th to 8th century)
Contents Total population

1 Etymology Ancestral to Uyghurs, Yugurs, and


2 Origins other Turkic population
3 Expansion Regions with significant
4 Rulers populations
5 See also Central Asia
6 References Languages
6.1 Bibliography
Old Turkic
Religion

Etymology Tengrism, Buddhism

Strictly speaking, the common


name Gktrk is the Anatolian
Turkish form of the ethnonym.
The Old Turkic name for the
Gktrks was
Trk,[2][3] : Kk
Trk,[2][3] or Trk.[4]
They were known in Middle
Chinese historical sources as
the tutkyat[1] (Chinese: ;
pinyin: Tju). According to
Chinese sources, the meaning
of the word Tujue was "combat
helmet" (Chinese: ;
pinyin: Dumu; WadeGiles:
Tou1-mou2), reportedly Map of the Tujue Khanate (Ashina clan of Gktrks) at its greatest extent in 570
because the shape of the Altai
Mountains where they lived,
was similar to a combat helmet.[5][6][7]
Gktrk means "Celestial Turks",[8] or sometimes "Blue Turks" (i.e. because sky blue is associated with celestial realms). This is
consistent with "the cult of heavenly ordained rule" which was a recurrent element of Altaic political culture and as such may have
been imbibed by the Gktrks from their predecessors in Mongolia.[9] The name of the ruling Ashina clan may derive from the
Khotanese Saka term for "deep blue",na.[10]

The word Trk meant "strong" in Old Turkic.[11]

Origins
The Gktrk rulers originated from the Ashina clan, who were first attested to 439.
The Book of Sui reports that in that year, on October 18, the Tuoba ruler Emperor
Taiwu of Northern Wei overthrew Juqu Mujian of the Northern Liang in eastern
Gansu,[12][13][14] whence 500 Ashina families fled northwest to the Rouran
Khaganate in the vicinity of Gaochang.[6][15] Peter Benjamin Golden points out the
possibility that the khaghans of the Turkic Khaganate, the Ashina, were themselves
originally Indo-Europeans (possibly Iranian peoples) who later adopted the Turkic
language but continued to use titles from their earlier Indo-European languages.[16]
German Turkologist W.-E. Scharlipp points out that many common terms in Turkic
are Iranian in origin.[17]

According to the Book of Zhou and the History of the Northern Dynasties, the
Ashina clan was a component of theXiongnu confederation,[5][7] but this connection
is disputed,[18] and according to the Book of Sui and the Tongdian, they were "mixed
Hu (barbarians)" () from Pingliang.[6][19] Indeed, Chinese sources linked the
Hu on their northern borders to the Xiongnu just as Graeco-Roman historiographers
called the Pannonian Avars, Huns and Hungarians "Scythians". Such archaizing was
a common literary topos, and implied similar geographic origins and nomadic Kl Tigin
lifestyle but not direct filiation.[20]

As part of the heterogeneous Rouran Khaganate, the Trks lived for generations north of the Altai Mountains, where they 'engaged in
metal working for the Rouran'.[6][21] According to Denis Sinor, the rise to power of the Ashina clan represented an 'internal
revolution' in the Rouran Khaganate rather than an external conquest.[22] According to Charles Holcombe, the early Tujue population
was rather heterogeneous and many of the names of Trk rulers, including the two founding members, are not even Turkic.[23] This
is supported by evidence from theOrkhon inscriptions, which include several non-Turkic lexemes, possibly representing Finno-Ugric
or Samoyedic words.[24]

Expansion
On May 19, 639[25] Ashina Jiesheshuai and his tribesmen assaultedEmperor Taizong of Tang at Jiucheng Palace (, in present-
day Linyou County, Baoji, Shaanxi). However, they did not succeed and fled to the north, but were caught by pursuers near the Wei
River and were killed.Ashina Hexiangu was exiled to Lingbiao.[26] After the unsuccessful raid of Ashina Jiesheshuai, on August 13,
639[27] Taizong installed Qilibi Khan and ordered the settled Turkic people to follow him north of the Yellow River to settle between
the Great Wall of China and the Gobi Desert.[28]

In 679, Ashide Wenfu and Ashide Fengzhi, who were Turkic leaders of the Chanyu Protectorate (), declared Ashina
Nishufu as qaghan and revolted against the Tang dynasty.[29] In 680, Pei Xingjian defeated Ashina Nishufu and his army. Ashina
Nishufu was killed by his men.[29] Ashide Wenfu made Ashina Funian a qaghan and again revolted against the Tang dynasty.[29]
Ashide Wenfu and Ashina Funian surrendered to Pei Xingjian. On December 5, 681[30] 54 Gktrks including Ashide Wenfu and
Ashina Funian were publicly executed in the Eastern Market of Chang'an.[29] In 682, Ilterish Qaghan and Tonyukuk revolted and
occupied Heisha Castle (northwest of present-dayHohhot, Inner Mongolia) with the remnants of Ashina Funian's men.[31]
Rulers

See also
Ethnic groups in Chinese history
Gktrk family tree
Turkmens (on the Y-DNA of Turkmens)
Horses in East Asian warfare
Kankalis
Khazars
Krat (hero)
Timeline of the Turkic peoples (5001300)
Turkic peoples
Temir Kapig
Xiongnu

References
1. Golden 2011, p. 20.
2. Kultegin's Memorial Complex, Trik Bitig(http://irq.kaznpu.kz/?lang=e&mod=1&tid=1&oid=15&m=1)Orkhon
inscriptions
3. Bilge Kagan's Memorial Complex, Trik Bitig(http://irq.kaznpu.kz/?lang=e&mod=1&tid=1&oid=16&m=1)
4. Tonyukuk's Memorial Complex, Trik Bitig(http://irq.kaznpu.kz/?lang=e&mod=1&tid=1&oid=17&m=1)Bain Tsokto
inscriptions
5. Linghu Defen et al., Book of Zhou, Vol. 50. (in Chinese)
6. Wei Zheng et al., Book of Sui, Vol. 84. (in Chinese)
7. Li Yanshou (), History of the Northern Dynasties, Vol. 99. (in Chinese)
8. Marshall Cavendish Corporation 2006, p. 545.
9. Wink 64.
10. Findley 2004, p. 39.
11. American Heritage Dictionary(2000). "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition -
"Turk" " (http://www.bartleby.com/61/92/T0419200.html). bartleby.com. Retrieved 2006-12-07.
12. Wei Shou, Book of Wei, Vol. 4-I. (in Chinese)
13. Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian, Vol. 123. (in Chinese)
14. () Academia Sinica (http://sinocal.sinica.edu.tw/)(in Chinese)
15. Christian, p. 249.
16. Peter B. Golden, An Introduction to the History of the Turkic Peoples, O. Harrassowitz, 1992, p. 121122
17. (...) ber die Ethnogenese dieses Stammes ist viel gertselt worden. Auf fallend ist, dass viele zentrale Begriffe
iranischen Ursprungs sind. Dies betrifft fast alle Titel (...). Einige Gelehrte wollen auch die Eigenbezeichnung trk auf
einen iranischen Ursprung zurckfhren und ihn mit dem W ort Turan, der persischen Bezeichnung fr das Land
jeneseits des Oxus, in Verbindung bringen. Wolfgang-Ekkehard Scharlipp inDie frhen Trken in Zentralasien, p.
18
18. Christian, p. 249
19. , , : , (Du You, Tongdian, Vol.197), 13 4 , 1988, ISBN 7-101-00258-7,
p. 5401. (in Chinese)
20. Sinor 1990.
21. Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian, Vol. 159. (in Chinese)
22. Sinor 1990, p. 295.
23. Holcombe 2001, p. 114.
24. Sinor 1990, p. 291.
25. Academia Sinica (http://db1x.sinica.edu.tw/sinocal/)Archived (https://web.archive.org/web/201
00522200011/http://db1x.sinica.edu.tw/sinocal/)2010-05-22 at the Wayback Machine. (in Chinese)
26. Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian, Vol. 195. (in Chinese)
27. Academia Sinica (http://db1x.sinica.edu.tw/sinocal/)Archived (https://web.archive.org/web/201
00522200011/http://db1x.sinica.edu.tw/sinocal/)2010-05-22 at the Wayback Machine. (in Chinese)
28. Ouyang Xiu et al., New Book of Tang, Vol. 215-I.
29. Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian, Vol. 202 (in Chinese)
30. Academia Sinica (http://db1x.sinica.edu.tw/sinocal/)Archived (https://web.archive.org/web/20100
522200011/http://db1x.sinica.edu.tw/sinocal/)2010-05-22 at the Wayback Machine. (in Chinese)
31. Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian, Vol. 203 (in Chinese)

Bibliography
Christian, David. A history of Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia, V ol. 1: Inner Eurasia from prehistory to the Mongol
Empire. Blackwell, 1998.
Findley, Carter Vaughn (2004). The Turks in World History. Oxford University Press.ISBN 978-0-19-988425-4.
Golden, Peter Benjamin(2011). "Ethnogenesis in the tribal zone: The Shaping of the urks". T Studies on the peoples
and cultures of the Eurasian steppes. Bucureti: Ed. Acad. Romne.ISBN 978-973-1871-96-7.
Great Soviet Encyclopaedia, 3rd ed. Article "Turkic Khaganate" (online).
Grousset, Ren. The Empire of the Steppes. Rutgers University Press, 1970. ISBN 0-8135-1304-9.
Gumilev, Lev (2007) (in Russian) The Gktrks ( ;Drevnietiurki). Moscow: AST, 2007. ISBN 5-17-
024793-1.
Skaff, Jonathan Karem (2009). Nicola Di Cosmo, ed. Military Culture in Imperial China. Harvard University Press.
ISBN 978-0-674-03109-8.
Yu. Zuev (IU. A. Zuev) (2002) (in Russian), "Early Trks: Essays on history and ideology"(Rannie tiurki: ocherki
istorii i ideologii), Almaty, Daik-Press, p. 233, ISBN 9985-4-4152-9
Wechsler, Howard J. (1979). "T'ai-Tsung (Reign 626-49): The Consolidator". In Denis T witchett; John Fairbank.The
Cambridge History of China, Volume 3: Sui and T'ang China Part I. Cambridge University Press.ISBN 978-0-521-
21446-9.
Wink, Andr. Al-Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World . Brill Academic Publishers, 2002. ISBN 0-391-04173-8.
Zhu, Xueyuan () (2004) (in Chinese) The Origins of the Ethnic Groups of Northern China(
). Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju () ISBN 7-101-03336-9
Xue, Zongzheng () (1992) (in Chinese) A History of the Turks (). Beijing: Chinese Social Sciences
Press () ISBN 7-5004-0432-8
Nechaeva, Ekaterina (2011). "The "Runaway" A vars and Late Antique Diplomacy". In Ralph W. Mathisen, Danuta
Shanzer. Romans, Barbarians, and the Transformation of the Roman World: Cultural Interaction and the Creation of
Identity in Late Antiquity. Ashgate. pp. 175181.ISBN 9780754668145.
Sinor, Denis (1990). The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia. Cambridge University Press.ISBN 978-0-521-
24304-9.

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