|Turan is the ancient Iranian name
for Central Asia, literally meaning "the land of the Tur". According to
Ferdowsi's Persian epic, "the Book of Kings" (the Shahnameh) account,
the nomadic tribes who inhabited these lands, were ruled by Tur who was
the emperor Fereydun's elder son. Since early 20th century, the word Turan
was borrowed by the western languages as a general word for Central Asia.
Accordingly, the phrase Turan Plain or Turan Depression is a geographical
term referring to a part of Central Asia.
In modern discourse, it is primarily an ideological term designating Turkic, Mongolic and Ugric languages and people more or less indiscriminately, implying a common ancestry and common culture of the various ethnicities in question (see Turanian). The association with Turkic cultures is also primarily based on the Shahnameh accounts referring to inhabitants of Turan as Turks.
Turanism, or Pan-Turanism, is a political movement for the union of all Turanian peoples. It implies not merely the unity of all Turks (as in Pan-Turkism), but also the unity of Turks with Hungarians, Finns, Mongols, Tungus, Japanese, Estonians, Koreans, and Ryukyuans. Therefore, Turanism is the collective inclusion of all Altaic and Finno-Ugric peoples, and so can be understood as a form of "pan-Altaicism".
In the declining days of the Ottoman Empire, the word Turanian was adopted by some Turkish nationalists to express a pan-Turkic ideology, also called Turanism. Presently, Turanism forms an important aspect of the ideology of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), whose members are also known as Grey Wolves (Bozkurtlar in Turkish).Grey Wolf (the mother wolf Asena) was the main symbol of the ancient Altaic people.
Among some nationalist groupings in Hungary and Finland, the idea of Turanism (a.k.a Turjalaisuus) has taken into use in last years. Because of recent genetic research, unlike the Turkish nationalists, Finnish and Hungarian ethnocentrics see the idea more related to Finno-Ugric, Baltic and Siberian hemisphere that to Turkey and Turkic peoples, although Turks are not excluded.
In recent times, the word Turanian is sometimes used to express a pan-Altaic nationalism (theoretically including Manchus and Mongols in addition to Turks - and potentially Japanese and Koreans), though no political organization seems to have adopted such an ambitious platform.
Modern DNA research has given a new insight into the concept of the Turan idea, at least insofar as it relates to Northern Eurasian populations, especially Finno-Ugric, Baltic, Altaic, and Northeast Siberian peoples. According to the DNA researchat least 70% of Finnish, 49% of Sami, 53% of Udmurt, 35% of Latvian, 41% of Lithuanian, 20% of Eastern Evenk, 80% of Yakut, 47% of Buryat, 40% of Chukchi and some 60% of western Inuit a.k.a Eskimo males carry the so-called N3 haploid in their Y-chromosome DNA.
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