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Establishing the correct etymology of the word Turk (Tur+Uk=Turuk) using written Mesopotamian records

By Mehmet Kurtkaya, Published on January 2, 2018, Updated Janury 3, 2018

Tur and Turuk

The words Tur and Turuk first appear in Mesopotamian cuneiform records in Southeast Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria some 3800 years ago. The city of Turukkum is also known from that same time period in Turkey (Anatolia).

I have dedicated one of the chapters of my book Sumerian Turks: Civilization's Journey from Siberia to Mesopotamia to Turuk and in my the Origins of the Etruscans! article

Reading of the ethnonym Turuk from cuneiform tablets by Azerbaijani scholar F. Celilov – Baku, 2006 :


Celilov's readings are in line with Güterbock's "Tur-ki and here

Ki means land/people and all words have standart ki-i ending.

In the text, we can see the two words used as "Tur" and "Turuk". Uk/Ok means family, group in Turkish history regarding tribal unions, federations as seen in Bozok, Uçok from Oğuz Turks among many others.

So the second word Turuk is the derivative of the first by adding "UK" (meaning union) to Tur. Turkish is an additive (agglutinative) language and words are formed by adding suffixes (and prefixes in Sumerian Turkish) to a stem. At times, two words are added to form a new one.

There are currently two major historic Turkish groups with difference in dialects Uğur(Ugur, Oghur,Ogur) and Uğuz (Oguz,Oguz). There used to be a third major branch Uğut (Ugut/Kut/Guti/Gutium/Goth) too. In fact sumerian for bull "gud" is related:

Turkish word Oğuz is known to be Oğ+Uz (Oğ=Kinship+ and Uz is used for plural they say but it has dual meaning due to T>Z transformation). Not coincidentally, Oğuz is also said to be derived from Öküz (note how similar the words are) to mean cattle. Both interpretations have some truth but they are both incorrect as a whole. They see downstream values (derived terms) as the original sounds/meanings, like describing a parent through his/her child.

Uğut= Uğ+Ut (Kinship + Sun) > Gut/Kut/Goth also > Sumerian Gud (bull) which represented the sun/sky. Let us note the importance of the sun cult, the original cult of humanity.

So both Oğuz and Oğut Turks had sun cults represented with bull. I have shown how bull cult was widespread from Central Asia to Italy including Turkey and the Middle East in my latest book Sun Language Theory Proven: The Birth of Languages and Civilizations:

Uğ+ur=Uğur (Misnamed Huur=Hurrian) is the third major Turkish branch. Some info on them can be seen at From Sumerian and modern Turkish Ug/Ag/Aug/Og, to Etruscan Augur, Latin Augeo, and the First Roman Emperor Augustus
Rome Urum
(Click to see full sized image)

Note the historic sound change from "u" to "o" in words like "bodun/budun", "ug/og", "uk/ok", türe/töre etc. And also ğ>g>k sound changes and for some words the confusion in establishing the correct sound values in Sumerian Turkish too such as Qu-ti, Qu-tu, Gu-ti(um) Gudea (Kutay) for Ğut/Gut/Kut. Now the sound change is known to occur in history but at times readings differ for the same people. It could also be the fault of the Afroasiatic scribes rendering sounds in a foreign language.

Returning to the etymology of the word Turk we see that 3800 years ago it was not totally established as Turuk. Some people used Tur and others have used Turuk (Türk after the second "u" was dropped and the u became ü). Turuk and Turk are used interchangeably in Orhun (Orğun) inscriptions.

We see city names established as Tur (and sometimes as Tar) in Eastern Mediterranean.

From Tur to Turs (Tursa)

etruscan sumerian


etruscan sumerian
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Map from my book "Sun Language Theory Proven: The Birth of Civilizations and Languages"

As you can see in the above maps, the ancient city of Tursa (Turşa/Tursha) near Nuzi, one of the most important Ugur (Huur) Turkish cities to the north of Sumer lands conquered by the Afroasiatic Babylonians in 1800s BC. This is the same period the first written records of Turuk appear in the famed Shemshara letters.

The name Tursa could be the first occurence of the new root Turs (Tur+sa) appearing in history. It is also part of the general area latest genetic tests show as part of the original homeland of the Etruscans!

A user by the name Adyghe Chabadi cites some of the ancient etnonyms and suggests a root word:

Tyrsenoi, Turrhenioi (Attic Greek), Tursenoi (Ionic), Tursanoi (Doric), Tyrrheni (Latin), Tusci (Latin), *Tursci > Turskum (Umbrian), Etrusci (Latin) and Tursis (Greek) > Turris (Latin), Tyrannos (Greek), tyrannus (Latin), Turan (Etruscan goddess) are related then an Eastern identification can be educatedly set forward. The hypothetical root word is *turs-."

An important comment but it needs some small corrections and major additions. The root word one should actually look for is Tur. But later on it became Turuk and then Turs.

Also note the words Tur, Tar and Turs in Prof.Dr.Chingiz Garasharly's (of Philological sciences) 2011 book Turkic Civilization Lost in Mediterranean (Baku, 2011).

Tirsen – Etruscans (in Old Greek); Tursk – Etruscans (in Latin); Turushka – Turks (in Sanskrit); Turuska – Turks (in old Iranian sources); Tursi – Turks (in an Armenian source); Tursha – Trojans (in an old Egyptian source of the 13th c. B.C.); Trosiya, Trusiya – Troy, Truse – Trojans (in old sources); Trause, Trakes – Thracians (in old sources) Taruisha - Troy (in a Hittite source of the 13th c. B.C.);

Note that city names ending with -(s)sos/-(s)sa had already been identified as Pre-Greek and Pre-Indo-European along with with city names ending with -ndos, -nthos/-ntha, -sos, -na! Also note that -na has been identified as Etruscan by the Dutch researcher Fred Woudhizen.

We can also see a similar event happening in Tarsus in Southern Turkey. The ancient city god is named Tarku but the city Tarsus. (note the -sus/sos Pre-Greek ending)

Archibald Sayce mentions German researcher Fridrich Delitzch the co-occurence of "ku" and "su", "qutu" (kut) and"sutu", "qutum" and "sutum".

Why the -sa and -su endings?

These are Afroasiatic renderings of the Turkish -uz as in Oğuz and az- as in Oğaz. As Turks is a Turkish people name known in Iran from a much later period. The name As is related to Kas. In Turkish the s sound is most probably a late-comer, after z>s transformation.

Etymology of the word Etruscan

Afroasiatic people, Arabs, are known to call Turk, Etrak. This is known from a much later period, Ottoman records. Turk > Etrak

Turk > Etrak

We know that the word Tur had become Turs probably through Tur+Uz (Turz, Turs) and we have record of it in the name of the town of Tursa among others. Hence if we apply the same transformation (sound change) we will find

Turs > Etrus

And adding UK as the people union marker from the ancient Turks we arrive at:

Etrus+uk > Etrusuk > Etrusk> Etrusci

Note two sound changes (probably Afroasiatic but also similar transformation to Indo European) are necessary to arrive at this conclusion. Now, we know that Etruscan has more Indo-European elements than Afroasiatic. It means that with the arrival of the "Indo-European" founders of the Hittite empire based on Ugur Turks (Hurrian) and Hatti (Gat Turks) the language of the Turks have gone through some changes.

It is probable that Oguz Turks had Afroasiatic scribes and people with them, this can be derived from the 500 years Kassite (Ogaz) rule over Sumerian lands conquered by the Babylonian for 200 years.

Noting Tur > Turs / Tursh transformation in both India and Iran home to predominantly Indo Iranian European Languages two scenarios are possible. This transformation also happened with Indo European like it did with Afroasiatic languages or some of the Turkish people migrated back West from Mesopotamia to Iran and India after this tranformation occured in the Middle East.


I have also identified these people as Uguz Turks. Researchers had previously associated them with the Ugur Turks (Hurrians).

Note the -sos ending!

Tur and Tar are related

Tur and Tar and are related, as can be seen in both the Etruscans and the Turks from Siberia with Tarqan/Tarkan, Targut etc.

Mysterious Hurrians, Mysterious Etruscans, Mysterious Sea Peoples Teresh. Why so Mysterious?

The answer is two-fold. First, Western standards Oxford lies regarding Sumerian research, Case study: June 2017 twitter exchanges). Second, only a few people work on these civilizations in the world.

Teresh, who appear among other Sea Peoples in a number of Egyptian inscriptions from around 1200BC are the same people as identified since the ancient times Tyrsenians. The actual vowels are not known for sure, it is read as Trsh. Note it is identical to the consonants of the word Tursha (Tursa) town near Nuzi!


See the linguistic, genetic, artistic, mythological, archaeological proofs at the Origins of the Etruscans!

See more on Augustus, Augur and the word inauguration at: Sumerian Influence on Ancient Rome

Ugur Turks / Hurrians founders of Ancient Greece

Sumerian Influence on Ancient Greece

Rome Urum
(Click to see full sized image)

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