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Who are the inheritors of Korkyt’s legacy?

It was widely assumed that history is written by the victors. But this is apparently not always the case. We would like to tell one of those stories which could be considered as exceptions to the above-mentioned unwritten rule.
Aina-Zerkalo, an Azerbaijani newspaper, in an article by Emil Agayev entitled «Наш Отец Коркуд, или Кто такие азербайджанцы» – «Our Father Korkud, or who are Azerbaijanis?» said: «It is not Azerbaijani habit to dwell upon history. My father only remembered – at my request, and even then not without difficulty – his great-grandfather and great-grandmother, no further up the patrilineal basis.
Here’s the thing: Not all Azerbaijanis know the origin of their families – but «all of them» know from whom they drive their origin in the long run: from Proto-Turks, of course. Who else would it be?!
Yes, if we consider the original dominant, the consolidating factor of the ethnicity, its language, as well as the events-based and household-based signs of times gone-by, Kitabi–Dede Korkud (the Book of Dede Korkud), an Oguz epic is such a dominant for the Azerbaijanis. 1300th anniversary of which was celebrated at the end of the last century.
It is no accident that the author of the epic’s Russian language version, (which is, by the way, brilliantly made!), Alla Akhundova, has translated the word «Dede» not literally, i.e. not as «grandfather», but as «FATHER», meaning – the father of the Turks, spiritual father. It is similarly no accident that the pioneer in the study of Azerbaijani mentality, philosopher and publicist Gassan Guliyev has entitled his first book on this topic «Genotypes of Korkud’s family»
After conducting a thorough research of this epic, Muharrem Ergin, a Turkish scientist has made an unambiguous conclusion: it is «a wholly Azerbaijani creation», because each of its lines «brings us to the Azerbaijani Turkic language».
According to the Turkish and Azerbaijani science’s understanding, what Kazakhs know as «Korkyt ata kitaby» («The Book of My Grandfather Korkyt») turns out to be «a wholly Azerbaijani creation». What tends to be ignored is Korkyt (Korkut, Korcud) was and still is believed to have lived in the steppes region where the Syr Darya River flows.
And also, from what the Turkish and Azerbaijani scientists are saying, it sounds like Kazakhs, who have erected a monument to Korkyt’s kobyz (a bow instrument with two strings) in the Kyzylorda region and named after him an university in Kyzylorda city and a folk music ensemble in Astana, are actually glorifying not one of the figures of their own culture, but the author of «a wholly Azerbaijani creation». But we don’t think they are. For Kazakhs, Korkyt was and still is one of the figures of their own history and culture. Here is just one example to illustrate such a conclusion.
Gulf Times, a Qatari newspaper, in a report entitled «Kazakhstan’s folk music ensemble Korkyt to perform at Katara», said: «Kazakhstan’s folk music ensemble Korkyt will perform in Doha on Friday and Saturday as part of the 3rd Cultural Diversity Festival, organised by Katara – the Cultural Village, the Kazakhstan embassy has announced. Scheduled from 7pm to 8.45pm at the Katara Amphitheatre, the ensemble’s performance aims to popularise and promote traditional Kazakh music. Apart from preserving Kazakhstan’s rich heritage, the embassy noted that Korkyt’s performance also aims to teach and inculcate values such as respect, love and understanding to Kazakh youths. The group includes laureates of national and international competitions. They perform using Kazach folk instruments such as kobyz, kul-kobyz, shan kobyz, saz-syrnay, sybyzgy, dauylpaz, dabyl,and ytigen.
Korkyt works in various traditional musical genres, including folk and Kazakh varieties of traditional kuis, zhyr and terme. The ensemble was established in November 2015 by Saken Abdrakhmanov, the director and chief artistic director of the State Academic Philharmonic of Astana. On February 25, 2016, a presentation of the ensemble was successfully held in Kazakhstan, which was highly appreciated by the audience. Renowned Kazakh artist Mayra Ilyasova, famous musician Edil Kusainov, and dance ensemble Shalkyma also performed in the genre of Terme as part of this concert named ‘Kasyrlar tolgauy’, which means ‘Poem of the Centuries’ when translated from the Kazakh language.Moreover, Shalkyma artistic director Sholpan Korganbek was awarded with the medal ‘Madeniet Gairatkeri’ of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In a short time the ensemble became winners of prestigious international competitions such as ‘Shabyt’ and Jazz Festival. The group also performed in the US, Russia, China, Serbia and in some European countries, as well as in the Middle East, including Jordan».
Yet Azerbaijanis tend to completely appropriate the legacy of Korkyt (Korkut, Korkud), leaving Kazakhs out in the cold
That’s what’s interesting about such contradictions as well. Kazakhs have always readily accept and promote the version that such creations as Kitabi–Dede Korkut («The Book of Grandfather Korkyt») should be considered common written epic monuments of the Turkic peoples.
But Turks, Azerbaijanis and other Caucasian peoples speaking Turkic languages cannot seem to convince themselves that they might have something in common with the peoples of Turkic-Mongolian origin. And they, figuratively speaking, begin to claim exclusive rights to the outstanding historical examples and concepts of creativity, associated with the Turks as a whole. In such cases, the contradictions were often connected, as we see it, with the differences between the Mongoloid (East Asian) and Caucasoid (European) physical types.

Who – Asians or Caucasians – were the Kipchaks?

The answer seems to be clear, and for a long time already. The Kipchaks were Turks. And the genuine Turks have been and still are the people of Far Eastern origin.
Turkic languages, on the one hand, and Japanese and Korean languages, on the other, share considerable similarity in typological features of their syntax. According to archaeological evidence, the ancestors of Koreans settled the Korean peninsula five thousand years ago. Before that, they are now considered to have been a nomadic people of Mongol origin. Modern Korea is located to the east of China. Japan is located further to the east. There is no clear information about when those Japanese ancestors, who brought their native language, also belonging to the Altaic group, to Japan, set foot on the Japanese islands.
But it is an obvious fact that both modern Korean language and modern Japanese language are much closer to the majority of modern Turkic languages on syntax and gender than modern German language to Russian.
Subsequently, there are serious grounds for presuming that in prehistoric times, the distant ancestors of modern Koreans, Japanese and those who later brought the Turkic language to Central and Middle Asia, as well as to Eastern Europe, had lived side by side and had a common origin.
In other words, as such Turks originally, just like the Korean and Japanese peoples, belonged to the Mongoloid race.
Since the largest Turkic ethnic groups are now racially identified as Caucasians, there is an assiduously cultivated myth that both the Turks and the Kipchaks had already in the early Middle Ages nothing in common with the Mongoloid racial type. And it has being most ardently championed by historians who represent the Caucasian Turkic peoples.
Murad Adji, a popular author (particularly in Kazakhstan), who as a Kumyk by nationality undertook to study the topic of Kipchaks, or Polovtsy in his search of deep ancestral roots, at first imperatively considered that «Kipchaks» or «Polovtsy» had been blond people. Like, the etymology (Russian word «Polovtsy» is related to the adjective «polovyi» which in its literal translation means «yellow») speaks for itself.

(To be continued)

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