Erhan Aydın

Keywords: The name Turk, Inscriptions of Uighur Khanate, Yenisei Inscriptions, Old Turkic Inscriptions


Old Turkic inscriptions hold a remarkable importance in that they are scattered over various areas and they were written on stones, rocks and some other objects or things, and that they are the oldest written documents of the Turkish language. Apart from researches on Turkish language, a range of scientific branches, too, benefit from these inscriptions. In this study, an emphasis will be laid on the name Turk mentioned in the Uighur Khanate and Yenisei inscriptions; and what tribe or tribes are referred to with the usage of the name Turk will be discussed. The word Turk was used to describe the Kok Turks. This usage was also preferred in the inscriptions after the period of the Kok Turks. Especially in the inscriptions of the Uighur Khanate it is obvious that the word Turk refers to the Kök Turks. This is also apparent in the Yenisei inscriptions. Peoples of Turkic origins in the Yenisei region used the name Turk for Kök Turks, and the name Uighur for the Uighurs. As this subject is being discussed in this article, sentences where the word Turk is mentioned in the Uighur Khanate and Yenisei inscriptions will be presented both in old and modern Turkish, which will give the reader the opportunity to compare them. The antiquity of the name Turk, its meaning and spreading areas are not to be included in this article. However, the usage of the word Turk in the first period Turkish texts will help to provide new insights especially for the researchers not specialized in the Turkish language.