A minor observation on the genetic aspects of the paper is that the authors reference the old claim that Y-haplogroups G and J share common ancestry; this is not our current understanding of the Y-chromosome phylogeny which puts haplogroup J with haplogroup I in the IJ clade and more generally the IJK clade at the exclusion of G. In any case, this does not materially affect the paper's conclusions as both G and J originated in West Eurasia and may only have entered Anatolia with Turkic speakers as back-migration together with haplogroups typical of East Eurasia.
- The Central Asian element in Turks (part 3)
- Variation in four Central Anatolian settlements
- The Turkic cline
- Multidimensional scaling and ADMIXTURE across Northern Eurasia corresponds to geography and language
Issue: Volume 50, Number 1 / Summer 2011Pages: 6 - 42
Who Are the Anatolian Turks?A Reappraisal of the Anthropological Genetic Evidence
Aram Yardumian and Theodore G. Schurr
Abstract:Due to its long-term geographic position as gateway between Europe and Asia, the genetic constitution of Anatolia is highly complex. In spite of its overwhelming diversity, most citizens of the Republic of Turkey are firstlanguage Turkish-speakers and consider themselves ethnic Turks. This was not the case during the early Middle Ages and the time of the Byzantine Empire. Although we are able to identify four successive Turkic empires, Islamicization, and post-World War I nationalization as the essential steps toward ethnic homogenization, from historical texts alone we cannot determine to what extent mass migration from Central Asia and Siberia is responsible for Turkish dominance in Anatolia today. To assess the extent of gene flow from lands east of the Caspian, we examined the patterns of genetic variation in Turkic-speaking populations from Anatolia to Siberia. This analysis allows us to build the case for incommensurable, long-term, and continuing genetic signatures in both Anatolia and Siberia, and for significant mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome divergence between the regions, with minimal admixture. We supplement the case against mass migration with correlative archeological, historical, and linguistic data, and suggest that it was irregular punctuated migration events that engendered large-scale shifts in language and culture among Anatolia's diverse autochthonous inhabitants.