Sultan Palace Merv

Oguz (Oghuz or Ghuzz) Turkic Group! Who Were They And Where They Come From?

The scholars dispute the meaning of Oguz word. The most probable etymology at its start was <Union of Tribes> what later became the collective ethnic name for certain tribal groups of Turks.

The Turks's homeland was Altai Mountains, since prehistory. Accordingly, to Chinese sources, in II century B.C, one of steppe tribal confederation known as Xiongnu had been pushed out of western China, and to Central Asia. Many scholars connect Xiongnu to Turkic tribes or the Huns.

The beginning of Oghuz group formation geographically refer western Zhetysu (Semirechye – Seven Rivers around Balkhash lake in modern Kazakhstan. Oghuz tribes together with Toguz- Oghuz, Kimeks, Karluks Turkic tribes had the kings' status (malik) and had been revered and respected by other Turkic tribes. As the result of different wars with each other, leadership come to Karluk tribes. Oghuz tribes moved to Karatau mountains and Issyk Kul basin, 8th century.

Later, Oghuz in alliance with Karluks and Kimaks Turkic tribes destroyed Kangar Tribal Union around Syr Darya and Aral steppes and moved their capital to Yangikent (Meant - New Town, present day Kazakhstan, 45 33 N – 61 52 E) what became known as Oghuz Yabgu State. The east from Caspian Sea and up to around Aral Sea (Transoxiana), known also as Oghuz Steppe, the period of this nomadic state cover 750 - 1055 A.D.

Leader of the Oghuz Turks ruled all tribes under title Yabgu, what was equal to Khan or Kagan. Commander of army called Subashi. Around last decade of 10th century, one of the Oghuz army commander Seljuk split off his tribe to become independent and founded new tribal union known as Seljuks. In the beginning, they have been defeated and moved to Khorasan and Kopet Dag area. Later in 1043 Seljuks defeated Oguz Shanmalik Yabgu and started to form their own empire what became Great Seljuk Empire. One part of Oghuz tribes joined Seljuks, another moved to Eastern Europe, some tribes remained and been dissolved between the Turkic tribes.

Great Seljuk Empire stretched in Central Asia, Caucasus, Persia and Asia Minor. After Seljuk Empire perished, various Turkic tribes remained on their territories founding new states or become the parts of new armies. One of them Ottoman dynasty (descendants of Oghuz Turkic tribe Kayi) gradually took control of Anatolia, proved to a leader of the other Oghuz Turkic Tribes. They founded new Ottoman Empire. Where the new Turkish term appeared.

At the start, Turkic tribes had the Tengrism as the main belief. For example from the first Turk Khaganate – Gokturk Khaganate, Tengri (SKY) is the God of Turks. Later, Turkic tribes started the process of conversion from Tengrism to Islam, mainly it concerned Oghuz Turkic tribes what step by step (a tribe after tribe during long period) became Muslims and adapted Arabic script. Oghuz name appeared in the works of Arabic writers as Turkic tribes in Transoxiana. Thus, in the 10th century, in the Islamic sources appeared the term <Turkmen> (Turkoman/ Turcomannus - one who resembles a Turk. Meaning at the origin that these tribes come into Islam and become Muslims and later the term applied as collective name for certain ethnic groups.

There have been also different Turkic tribes under Oghuz name – for example Toguz-Oghuz who had been different from Oghuz in Transoxiana and later became the founders of Uyghur Khaganate.

The Oghuz listed together with Kimaks, Old Kipchaks, and the modern Kyrgyz in one particular linguistic Turkic group. Oghuz Turkic tribes served in Byzantine cavalry starting from 8th century. Islamic army 10th century, 11th-12th centuries in Eastern Europe.

Steppe space from Altay Mountains to Eastern Europe was for centuries like a steaming cauldron, throwing out the different great nomadic states and empires. They influenced and invaded China, Central Asia, Caucasus, Persia, Asia Minor, Eastern Europe. Played important role in creating new empires together with the settled people of this part of the world.