The Turkic people
(Turkish: Türk, pl. Türkler) are an ethnic group, in the sense of sharing a common Turkish culture, descent, and speaking the languages of the Turkish language family as a mother tongue. Within suzerain Turkish states, Turkish people are defined by citizenship (Azerbaijan
, etc.), distinguished from people of Turkish ancestry. Within non-Turkish states, Turkish people are defined by their ethnicity, and may constitute a recognized organized political body (China
, etc.). Historically, the Turkish people tended to stay together, reassembling and recombining as a community after every cataclysm in their history, and be open to other ethnicities, easily absorbing and incorporating people of other ethnicities.
The terms Turk and Turkish arose and gained wide circulation in the 6th c. AD, with an ascend and political expansion of the Turkic Kaganate
, but even then most of the Turkic people did not adopt these super-ethnic terms, and some remained unaware of their Turkish affiliation until the 18th and 19th centuries, when the modern nationalism made them cognizant of their distinct ethnicity. Historically, any Turkish community was poly-ethnic, and people were differentiated by the name of their tribe, clan, tribal union, or geographical location. One of the general terms, used before the term "Türk", was the term "Hun". "Significantly, in the written sources all or nearly all ancient Turkish tribes (Turks, Kirkuns,... Read More