By Mehmet Kurtkaya
Published online on November 12, 2016 (Updated on June 22, 2017)
Dingir in Sumerian Cuneiform sign
Tengri in Turkic Orhun script
Religious or spiritual beliefs go back a long time in human history, tens of thousands of years at least. However, the belief in a sky god is a major change, and its existence was first recorded in Sumer some 6,000 years ago, though archaeological evidence indicates that the belief in sky god goes many thousands of years in hunter-gatherer societies.
The Sumerian Sky god is called An.
An is also the highest god in the Sumerian civilization.
Dingir is the word for god in Sumerian.
The Turkic Sky god is Tingir/Tengri, the same as Dingir. Only Turks, Hungarians, Mongolians, Huns (Xiong Nu) and Sumerians believe(d) in Tengri/Dingir. This had helped British researcher Henry Rawlinson to easily classify Sumerian as Turkish in the 1860s.
Tengri (dingir) is also the highest god in ancient Turkic peoples' religion and is still considered as such by many Turks.
Can one word really prove that Sumerians are Turkic people?
At least, it is a very strong indication regarding the origins of Sumerians. The Sumerian word Dingir characterizes major aspects of one civilization, an entire system of beliefs, hence it is not a word that can be loaned!
Moreover Dingir is used as the name for god and there are many gods in Sumerian mythology. Tengriism has/had the same feature: one Tengri, the highest sky god and other gods. Tengriism had the features of both monotheism (One Tengri, sky god) and polytheism (Ulgen, Od Fire Goddess and many more gods). There is no question that only Turkish and other Central Asian people listed above had/have the Sumerian name for god (Dingir/tengri) and corresponding beliefs in the entire history of humanity.
The similarities between Sumerian and ancient Turkish beliefs are immense and undeniable: Sumerian Tree of Life and Turkic World Tree, Sumerian Shamanism, Comparison of Sumerian and Turkic Mythologies. Moreover, linguistic similarities go beyond the agglutinative nature of these two languages. (For linguistic proofs please see 160 years of Sumerian Language Turkish comparisons).
Unfortunately, Western academics never touch any of these subjects and wilfully ignore them all without giving any reason. This proves beyond any doubt how regressive West has become since the 19th century! Western academics avoid all discussions, mindlessly repeat the "Sumerian is an isolate civilization" lie.
In modern Turkic cultures, Tengri is the only god, while back then in Sumerian culture it was used as the name of a god in general and they had many gods, An, the Sky god being the highest.
Above all, it is the most important concept in their civilization. In both Sumerian and Turkish, An has a dual meaning for both the Sky and the Highest Sky god. An meant sky in Turkish, too. In today's Turkish, tan is used for dawn. As a side note consider the similarity of the words dawn and tan.
Tengri/Dingir unifies the Sky Heaven and this world as well as the spirits of humans, animals, and things. It may or may not have elements of Shamanism, though it is often accompanied with shamanistic rituals.
All the above exist both in Turkish and Sumerian civilizations!
The Sumerian sun god is Ut. In Turkic languages, the words Ot and Od mean fire.
Od Ana means Fire Mother, who is the Fire goddess in Turkish mythology. Note the word for mother in Turkish is Ana, and in Sumerian it is Ama.
This belief system still lives in parts of Central Asia, Siberia, and to a lesser extent in Turkey. (See more info on Shamanism in Sumerian and Turkic civilizations and the Sumerian and Turkic Tree of Life.)
In the 19th century, a politicized word Turan (Tur-An) was used to refer to Central Asian and Siberian mostly-Turkic people. This Turkish word from many thousands of years ago meant the land of the Turks, but at the time of its use in the 19th century by German Max Muller and Hungarian scholars it was used politically, mostly against Russia by the Western powers even though it was not invented for that purpose. Nowadays, Ural-Altaic classification is used to mean Turanid/Turkic.
Hungarians and Mongols, too, were part of the so-called Turan family, but they were relatively small in both geographic area and population size. Many different Turkic languages were spread over millions of kilometer squares throughout history and still are today.
The Turkic civilizations of Central Asia had been brought to the attention of European intellectuals during the 18th century Enlightenment period.
Both French, De Guignes and Jean Sylvain Bailly did work that stand out among others. They proposed Central Asia and Siberia as potential birthplaces of civilizations including the European civilization. Amazingly, at their time, Sumerians had not yet been discovered.
So Hincks was not shooting in the dark when he classified Sumerian as Turkic in mid 19th century. Rawlinson was more inclined to classify it as Mongolian but later agreed with Hincks, notes Professor Kevin J. Cathcart in 2011.
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Discover groundbreaking revelations on the roots of modern civilization. How did we arrive to where we are? How ancient civilizations a world apart, Sumer and Maya were connected. An overview that covers a wide range of topics from human migrations 50000 years ago to Gobeklitepe, the first temple in history, the first matriarchal society with written records, Elam, and to the Sun Cult of the Hattis. Their origins and influence on other ancient civilizations including their neighbors, distant relatives: Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Hurrian, Scythian, Oguz, Kassite, Gutian, Hyksos and more. (And all my articles on this website included.)