December 29, 2007

How Turkish are the Anatolians? (new Alu insertion polymorphism study)

In my 2005 blog post How Turkish are the Anatolians, I estimated, based on Y chromosome frequencies the Central Asian Turkic contribution to the modern-day Anatolians.
Using the figure of 38.5%, the paternal contribution of Turks to the Anatolian population is estimated to about 11%. In lieu of the approximation, allowing for 33% relative error in either direction for both the true frequency of Mongoloid lineages in Anatolia and in early Turks, we obtain a range of 6-22%. It would thus appear that the Turkish element is a minority one in the composition of the Anatolians, but it is by no means negligible.
In a subsequent post on Non-Caucasoid admixture in Turks I estimated that the combined (bi-parental) contribution of Mongoloids in Turks:
Based on these numbers, the non-Caucasoid admixture in Turks can be quantified as 1.87% Negroid, and 6.18% Mongoloid, total 8.05%.
Given that Central Asians, including the likely Turkic ancestors of modern-day Turkish-speaking Anatolians are partly Mongoloid, this later estimate is compatible with a genetic contribution similar to that quoted above.

So, I was pleased to see a new study based on a different set of autosomal Alu insertion polymorphisms from a group of Turkish scientists that arrived at a similar estimate of the Central Asian admixture in Anatolians. So, it appears that about 1/8 of ancestry of Anatolians (equivalent to one great grandparent) came from a Central Asian Turk.

It is very refreshing to see a paper by Turkish scientists who acknowledge what exactly that other 7/8 of the Anatolians' ancestry actually consists of:
Before Seljuks, Anatolia was under the rule of Eastern Romans but was mainly inhabited by people of Greek origin for nearly two millennia (Toynbee, 1970). The process of change of language and religion by the Seljuks that is assimilation of the residents but not the invaders in Anatolia, was one of the puzzles of history (Toynbee, 1970). As the part of puzzle, estimation of the relative size of arriving nomads was the concern of many studies.


American Journal of Physical Anthropology (online early) 10.1002/ajpa.20772

Alu insertion polymorphisms and an assessment of the genetic contribution of Central Asia to Anatolia with respect to the Balkans

Ceren Caner Berkman et al.

In the evolutionary history of modern humans, Anatolia acted as a bridge between the Caucasus, the Near East, and Europe. Because of its geographical location, Anatolia was subject to migrations from multiple different regions throughout time. The last, well-known migration was the movement of Turkic speaking, nomadic groups from Central Asia. They invaded Anatolia and then the language of the region was gradually replaced by the Turkic language. In the present study, insertion frequencies of 10 Alu loci (A25 = 0.07, APO = 0.96, TPA25 = 0.44, ACE = 0.37, B65 = 0.57, PV92 = 0.18, FXIIIB = 0.52, D1 = 0.40, HS4.32 = 0.66, and HS4.69 = 0.30) have been determined in the Anatolian population. Together with the data compiled from other databases, the similarity of the Anatolian population to that of the Balkans and Central Asia has been visualized by multidimensional scaling method. Analysis suggested that, genetically, Anatolia is more closely related with the Balkan populations than to the Central Asian populations. Central Asian contribution to Anatolia with respect to the Balkans was quantified with an admixture analysis. Furthermore, the association between the Central Asian contribution and the language replacement episode was examined by comparative analysis of the Central Asian contribution to Anatolia, Azerbaijan (another Turkic speaking country) and their neighbors. In the present study, the Central Asian contribution to Anatolia was estimated as 13%. This was the lowest value among the populations analyzed. This observation may be explained by Anatolia having the lowest migrant/resident ratio at the time of migrations.

Link

4 comments:

john said...

It's interesting how EB3 in Greeks has not been interpreted as "African", but some of the Asian-shared Markers in Turks are decisively 'mongoloid', even though they have their origins in the paleolithic.

Dienekes said...

It's interesting how EB3 in Greeks has not been interpreted as "African", but some of the Asian-shared Markers in Turks are decisively 'mongoloid', even though they have their origins in the paleolithic.

If the Mongoloid markers had their origin in the Paleolithic it would be peculiar that they ended up in one group (Turks) and not particularly in their neighbors (e.g., Armenians).

The simpler explanation is that the Mongoloid markers came to Turkey from Central Asia, as both history and linguistics tell us that is where Turks came from to reach Anatolia.

ÜNTAÇ GÜNER said...

Dienekes, why are we understanding Turkish Language much easily which are being spoken up in North of us more than East of us? The people in Turkey are able to communicate easily with the people speaking Turkish in Russia and Ukraine including Balkans but not the people in Middle or inner Asia who are speaking Turkic.

Onur said...

Dienekes, why are we understanding Turkish Language much easily which are being spoken up in North of us more than East of us? The people in Turkey are able to communicate easily with the people speaking Turkish in Russia and Ukraine including Balkans but not the people in Middle or inner Asia who are speaking Turkic.

I think you are referring to Crimean Tatars, and not to the other Tatar groups, whose language is as distinct from Turkish as the Central Asian Turkic languages in general are. The Crimean Tatar language is relatively closer to Turkish because of the centuries-long Ottoman rule (whether direct or indirect) in Crimea, which had a strong impact on the language of Crimean Tatars. As for Balkan Turkish, it is nothing but a dialect or rather a group of dialects of the same language (=Turkish) that includes Anatolian Turkish, as Turkish spread to the Balkans from Anatolia under the Ottoman rule.