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Title: Asena  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Turkic mythology, Göktürks, Ergenekon, Ashina, Wolves in folklore, religion and mythology
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Proposed Coat of Arms of Turkey depicting Asena.

Asena is the name of a she-wolf [1][2][3] associated with a Göktürk ethnogenic myth "full of shamanic symbolism."[4][5]


  • The Grey Wolf Legend 1
  • Modern era 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4

The Grey Wolf Legend

Legend tells of a young boy who survived a battle; a female wolf finds the injured child and nurses him back to health. Ashina becomes their leader and instaures the Ashina clan, which ruled over the Göktürk and other Turkic nomadic empires.[6][7]

These first Turks migrated to the Altai region, where they were known as expert blacksmiths, akin to the Scythians.[8]

Modern era

With the rise of Turkish ethnic nationalism in the 1930s, the veneration of figures of Turkic Mythology, such as Bozkurt, Asena and Ergenekon was resurgent.[9] The symbol of Asena is embossed on the stage of the personal theater of the first President of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, at his residence in Ankara;[9] the Atatürk referenced the motif in speech, such as that of February 13, 1931,Türk Ocağı, in Malatya.'[10][11]

See also


  1. ^ Book of Zhou, Vo. 50. (Chinese)
  2. ^ History of Northern Dynasties, Vo. 99. (Chinese)
  3. ^ Book of Sui, Vol. 84. (Chinese)
  4. ^ André Wink. Al-Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World. Brill Academic Publishers, 2002. ISBN 0-391-04173-8. Page 65.
  5. ^ Ziya Gökalp, transcription: Şahin Filiz, "Türk devletinin tekâmülü 12: Hakanlık Teşkilatı",Küçük Mecmua -II-, Bu da Çinlilere göre (Asena=Kurt) manasındadır (Turkish)
  6. ^ Findley, Carter Vaughin. The Turks in World History. Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-19-517726-6. Page 38.
  7. ^ Roxburgh, D. J. (ed.) Turks, A Journey of a Thousand Years. Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2005. Page 20.
  8. ^ Christopher I. Beckwith, Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present, Princeton University Press, 2011, p.9
  9. ^ a b Murat Arman, "The Sources of Banality In Transforming Turkish Nationalism", CEU Political Science Journal, issue: 2 (2007), p. 136.
  10. ^ Atatürk'ün Söylev ve Demeçleri II, Atatürk Kültür, Dil ve Tarih Yüksek Kurumu Atatürk Araştırma Merkezi, 1989, p. 301, Turkish text: Demiryollarını kullanacak olan Türk milleti menşeindeki ilk sanatkarlığına, demirciliğinin eserini tekrar göstermiş olmakla müftehir olacaktır. (Turkish)
  11. ^ Mehmet Önder, Atatürk'ün Yurt Gezileri, Türkiye İş Bankası, 1975, p. 268.
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