Iranian Turkmen

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Iranian Turkmens
ایران ترکمنلری
Eýran türkmenleri
Iranian turkmen in Bandar Torkman.jpg
Turkmens of Bandar-e Torkaman, Iran
Total population
500,000 - 1,000,000 [1]
790,000 - 1,600,000 [2] [3]
1-2% of the total population
Regions with significant populations
Golestan Province, Razavi Khorasan Province and North Khorasan Province
Turkmen, Persian
predominantly Sunni Islam

Iranian Turkmens (Persian : ترکمن‌های ایران, Turkmen : Eýran Türkmenleri) are a Turkmen diaspora living mainly in northern and northeastern regions of Iran. Their region is called Turkmen Sahra and includes substantial parts of Golestan province of Iran.


The number of Turkmens in Iran is estimated at about 1 million people or roughly 1-2% of the population of Iran. [1]


Iranian Turkmens have represented a group of semi-nomadic tribes who retained a more traditional way for a long time. The following Turkmen tribes live in Iran — Yomut, Goklen, Īgdīr, Saryk, Salar and Teke.

Ethnic history

Iranian Turkmens of Ashuradeh island, Iran Iranian muslim turkmen of Ashuradeh island.jpg
Iranian Turkmens of Ashuradeh island, Iran
A Turkmen woman of Bandar-e Torkaman, Iran A Turkmen woman in Bandar Torkaman.jpg
A Turkmen woman of Bandar-e Torkaman, Iran

Representatives of such modern Turkmen tribes as Yomut, Goklen, Īgdīr, Saryk, Salar and Teke have lived in Iran since the 16th century, [4] though ethnic history of Turkmens in Iran starts with the Seljuk conquest of the region in the 11th century. [5]

Throughout the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century, a process of resettlement of the Turkmen tribes took place in Iran. In the 17th century, it was associated with the intensified exploitation of Turkmens by the Khanate of Khiva and the raids of the Kalmyk feudal lords. [6]

After what Iranian ruler Nader Shah, himself an ethnic Turkmen, defeated Turkmens and Kurds in 1728, he drove part of the Teke and Imreli tribes out and settled them in Khorasan, specifically in the steppe of Astrabad. In the 1740s, Nader Shah conquered the Bukhara and Khiva Khanates. Subsequently, most of the Turkmen Yomuds were forced to move from the Khiva Khanate to the coast of the Caspian Sea and to Astrabad. [6]

Until the Russian conquest of Central Asia, the situation in the areas of residence of Turkmens was turbulent. Under the pretext of jihad, the Khiva Khan repeatedly raided Iranian territory. As an Iranian writer Reza Qoli Khan wrote, he (the Khiva Khan) "at times led troops against Serakhs and Merv, and sometimes ordered Turkmens to raid the regions of Khorasan". In turn, Iranian troops attacked the Khwarazm, mainly the Turkmen lands, robbing and taking people into captivity. [7]

The movement of the Turkmen tribes was also affected by intertribal contradictions, which quite often turned into serious conflicts. In 1855, Teke Turkmens captured the Merv oasis. The Saryks who lived there, were expelled to the Iolotan and Panjdeh oases, and they, in turn, drove the Salurs out of Iolotan. The latter were initially located in the area of ​​present-day Serhetabat, Turkmenistan, and then migrated to Iran, and finally settled 120 km above Serakhs. Later, Iran exploited the struggle between the Saryks and Tekes to organize a campaign to the Merv oasis in 1861. However, it ended in a crushing defeat for the Iranian troops. [8]

Modern Turkmen tribes in present-day Iran

Nearly two million Turkmens can be found living along the northern edges of Iran, just south of the Turkmenistan-Iran border. For centuries, Turkmens lived as nomadic herdsmen. In more recent years, however, many of them have changed to a "semi-nomadic lifestyle," living in permanent homes as well as in tents. Today, most of them are farmers and cattle breeders. Turkmens still live in extended families where various generations can be found under the same roof, especially in rural areas. Many tribal customs still survive among the modern Turkmens.

Famous Iranian Turkmen

See also

Related Research Articles

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Turkmen language Turkic language

Turkmen, also referred to as Turkmen Turkic or Turkmen Turkish, is a Turkic language spoken by the Turkmens of Central Asia, mainly of Turkmenistan, Iran and Afghanistan. It has an estimated five million native speakers in Turkmenistan, a further 719,000 speakers in Northeastern Iran and 1.5 million people in Northwestern Afghanistan. Turkmen has official status in Turkmenistan, but it does not have official status in Iran or Afghanistan, where big communities of ethnic Turkmens live. Turkmen is also spoken to lesser varying degrees in Turkmen communities of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and by diaspora communities, primarily in Turkey and Russia.

Turkmen, Türkmen, Turkoman, or Turkman may refer to:

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Turkmens Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia

Turkmens, also known as Turkmen Turks, are a Turkic ethnic group native to Central Asia, living mainly in Turkmenistan, northern and northeastern regions of Iran and Afghanistan. Sizeable groups of Turkmens are found also in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and the North Caucasus. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Eastern Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages. Examples of other Oghuz languages are Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai, Gagauz, Khorasani, and Salar.

Muhammad Shaybani Uzbek leader and warrior

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Salur (tribe)

Salur, Salyr or Salgur were an ancient Oghuz Turkic people and a sub-branch of the Üçok tribal federation. The medieval Karamanid principality in Anatolia belonged to the Karaman branch of the Salur. The Salghurids of Fars, were a dynasty of Turkoman Salur origin. The patriarchs of the modern Turkmen tribe of Salyr in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, as well as the Salar nationality in China claim descent from the Salur.

The Chowdur or Choudor are one of the ten major groups of people who merged after 1920 to form the modern Turkmen Republic. They live primarily in and around the Khorezm Oasis.

Index of Turkmenistan-related articles Wikipedia index

The list of Turkmenistan-related articles is below

Turkmen tribes Major modern Turkmen tribes

The major modern Turkmen tribes are Teke, Yomut, Ersari, Chowdur, Gokleng and Saryk. The most numerous are the Teke.


The Yomut or Yomud are a Turkmen tribe that lives from Gorgan to Turkmenbashi and eastern Caspian shores and Khiva and Dashoguz.

Bayat (tribe) Surname list

The Bayat tribe is one of the Oghuz tribes in Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. When Oghuz Turks started to migrate from the Aral steppes to Khorasan in the 11th and 13th centuries, Bayat people spread throughout the region. They are sub-ethnic groups of Turkmens, Turkish and Azerbaijanis. Bayats are Muslim and speak a southern dialect of Azerbaijani language in Azerbaijan and Iran, or their own dialect of Turkish in Turkey, and Ersari dialect of Turkmen in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The ancient Turkmen proverb says: "Kayi and Bayat tribes shall lead the people".

Teke (Turkmen tribe)

Teke is a major and politically influential tribe of Turkmens in Turkmenistan.

Begdili Oghuz-Turkmen tribe

Begdili were an Oghuz Turkic people and a sub-branch of the Bozok tribal federation. Currently, the descendants of Begdili tribe and those who identify themselves as such are part of the Geklen Turkmens living in the Balkan velayat of Turkmenistan. They also can be found among Ersari Turkmens, who live predominantly in the Lebap velayat (region) of Turkmenistan and northern provinces of Afghanistan.

Shajara-i Tarākima is a Chagatai-language historical work completed in 1659 by Khan of Khiva and historian Abu al-Ghazi Bahadur.

Turkoman (ethnonym) Term used during the Middle Ages for the people of Oghuz Turkic origin

Turkoman, also called Turcoman and Turkman is a term that was widely used during the Middle Ages for the people of Oghuz Turkic origin. Oghuz Turks were a western Turkic people that in the 8th century A.D formed a tribal confederation in an area between the Aral and Caspian seas in Central Asia, and spoke the Oghuz branch of the Turkic language family.

Afghan Turkmens Turkmen diaspora living mostly in the north-west of Aghanistan

Afghan Turkmens or Turkmens of Afghanistan are the second largest and most important group of the Turkmen diaspora after the Iranian Turkmens. They live in the north-west of Afghanistan along the border with Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, surrounded by a larger group of Afghan Uzbeks. The number of Turkmens in Afghanistan is estimated at about 1 million people or roughly 2-3% of the population of Afghanistan.


  1. 1 2 Arakelova, Victoria (2015). "On the Number of Iranian Turkophones". Iran and the Caucasus. 19 (3): 279. doi:10.1163/1573384X-20150306. The main body of the Iranian Turkophone mass generally consists of two parts: proper Turkic groups—the Turkmen (from 0,5 to 1 million), partially the Qashqays (around 300,000), as well as Khalajes (currently Persian-speakers living in Save, near Tehran); and the Turkic-speaking population of the Iranian origin, predominantly the Azaris, inhabiting the north-west provinces of Iran roughly covering historical Aturpātakān.
  2. "Ethnologue" . Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  3. CIA World Factbook Iran
  4. Logashova, Bibi (1976). Turkmens of Iran (historical and ethnographic study). Nauka (Science). p. 14.
  5. Golden, Peter (1996). Ronald G. Suny (ed.). The Turkic peoples and Caucasia, Transcaucasia, Nationalism and Social Change: Essays in the History of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Michigan. pp. 45–67.
  6. 1 2 Logashova 1976, pp. 15—16.
  7. Mannanov 1964, p. 25.
  8. Mannanov, B (1964). From the stories of the Perso-Russian relations of the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries (in Russian). Tashkent: Nauka, Uzbek SSR. pp. 26–27.