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No canine genes in Turkish DNA?

Reader comment on item: Cyprus on the World Stage
in response to reader comment: Genetics of the people of Turkey

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Oct 26, 2011 at 09:20

Steven A. Adelman wrote :

" Here are the estimates of Central Asian ancestry among Turks. One is from an American group, which says 11%, and the other from a Turkish group which says 13%. This is nothing to brag about since all non-Africans have a 4% Neanderthal make up.

Other geneticists have different estimates. But they all agree that Turks are mainly of Anatolian descent.

It's interesting to see some valid genetic data on modern Turks. It's also funny to learn that with merely 11-13% of Turkic genes in their genetic code the Anatolian Turks pretend in earnest to be the purest representatives of the superior Turkic race which they are taught have created ALL civilization and which they aspire to unite again in accordance with their Pan-Turkic doctrine ! They also claim that they are not just direct descendents of the legendary Ashina the father of all Turkic peoples , the mother being a she-wolf whom Ashina impregnated. ( I wonder if no canine genes have been discovered in Turkish DNA material yet?) They do claim that their ancestors are the Hittites and the Sumerians themselves and that Turkish is the most ancient human language and the mother of all languages ! ;)

Anyway, I suspect that genetic data for today's Turkish realities poses a variety of problems if one tries to interpret them in the light of known history. What geneticists reveal has no doubt full relevance for today's Turkey but how is it related to the past ? I am not sure that seeing only the final result , i.e. today's Anatolian mongrel with little resemblance to other Turkic people, one is able to reconstruct the exact way this result was brought about. I mean that e.g. from Byzantine history we do hear of incessant invasions and settlements of Altaic peoples in or near Byzantine territories starting from the Huns, then the Avars, the Bulgars, the Khasars, the Pechenegs, the Cumans etc. and continuing long after Manzikert. These were not the Oguz and Turkmen nomad tribes that occupied and flooded Asia Minor after 1071. After the Ottoman conquests in Europe the descendants of these earlier Altaic populations were subjugated too and paid with their blood (harems and converts) the "right" to be left alive by the Ottoman master race. Yet can genetics distinguish them and/or subtract this non-Moslem Turkic elements from what was the main body of Moslem Turkic invaders in the 11th century ? Can it identify the later additions to this Turkic Moslem tribes of Alp Arslan , say- those Turkic tribes that ran away from Central Asia to Asia Minor out of fear for the Mongolians in the 13th and 14th century? The Turks of Ertogrul and his son Osman , i.e. the Ottomans, were such later refugees from what is now Afghanistan.

I heard of a Turkish speaking Christian community in Abkhasia/ Russia.It turns out that they are Turks who were expelled by Kemal from Pontus in 1920-1921 simply because they didn't want to convert to Islam. The fact that they were in all other respect Turks didn't save them at all ! If they have Central Asiatic ancestry as they say they do, then definitely they must belong to those pre-Islamic Turks integrated into the Byzantine society and converted to Christianity. But again can genetics without history explain such and other anomalies and facts ?


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