The Development of Theological Studies in Turkey
Keywords: Turkey, Theology, Islam, Muslims, Kara-Khanid Khanate, Turks
By establishing firmly-based states in various places and regions the Turkish nation, has continued to exist uninterrupted since the 7th century B.C. up to the present day always looking for a religion befitting its both national and individual character. On the strength of this various Turkish clans and groups in different regions, have embraced religions such as Animism, Shamanism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism etc. For example, Khazar (Caspian) Turks, who founded a state on the coast of the Caspian Sea, to which they gave their name, accepted Christianity in 508. Furthermore, Islam began to spread amongst them when the Arabs attacked the Caucasus at the end of the 7th century A.D. This state of which Balanjar was the capital accepted Judaism as the offical religion. The Gagauz Turks who live in Rumania today are Orthodox Chirtians. They conduct services in their church in Turkish. Turkish states of Turkestan, began accepting Islam as their official religion towards the end of the 10th century A.D. The first Turkish Muslim state (Which existed from 840-1212) was that of the Karahanlis. The Turkish people, who set up this state, which was also called Ilek Hanlar, became Muslims collectively at the end of the 10th century. (in 940 A.D.) Turkish states after this date were all Muslim.