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Syrian Turkmens

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Syrian Turkmens

Syrian Turks (Turks in Syria, Syrian Turkoman or Syrian Turkmen) (Turkish: Suriye Türkleri) are Syrian citizens of Turkish descent, who have been living in the Syrian provinces of the Ottoman Empire before its dissolution and continue to live in the modern country of Syria.[1]

During the 2011–2012 Syrian uprising the Turkmen population of Syria looks at Turkey for support and protection.[2]

History

Main articles: Zengid dynasty and Ottoman Syria

In the late 11th century, Syria was conquered first by the Seljuk Turks and then by the Ottoman Sultan Selim I in 1516 after defeating the Mamlukes at the Battle of Marj Dabiq near Aleppo in northern Syria.

Turkmen cities

Turkmen came to Syria in several migration waves. Sometimes, the Seljuks and the Mamelukes living in the area adopted the Turkmen in their armies, and some Turkmen became aristocrats. Linda Cichlr wrote about these Turkmen aristocratic families in her book about the city of Damascus.

Turkmen villages

Turkmen villagers were resettled by the Ottoman Empire because of fear of unrest and riots that were caused by the Bedouin tribes during droughts. The instability of the Ottoman Empire made it difficult to control the tribes. Aelkezl Bash was a prominent anti-Ottoman leader. After the Ottomans returned from conquests in Europe however, they were able to put down revolutionary activities in the area and resettled the Turkmen to the villages of Latakia, Aleppo, Homs, and Hama in the Golan. Today, there are 523 Turkmen villages in Syria.[3]

In the vicinity of Hama and Homs, there are a number of villages which have a majority Turkmen population, including Houla, Aqrab, Talaf and Kafr Ram.[4]

Population

There are no clear estimates on the number of Turkmen in Syria. Several sources put them at around 100,000[5] to 200,000 However, the official state reports reflect reality.[6] Syrian Turkmen on the other hand claim to be between 750,000 and 1,500,000.[1] Nevertheless, the Turkmen National Council announced 3.5 million as the number of Turkmen in Syria.[7]

Notable people

Gallery

See also

Syria portal
Turkey portal

References and notes

Bibliography

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