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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 March 8, 2018

Tur and Turuk

The word Tur-ki first appear in Mesopotamian cuneiform records in Southeast Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria some 4200 years ago. The people of Tur / Turuk / Turukku / Turukkum are first known during that same time.

I have dedicated one of the chapters of my book Sumerian Turks: Civilization's Journey from Siberia to Mesopotamia to Turuk people. More info on Turuk kaganligi (kingdom) can be found in my articles the Origins of the Etruscans! and Etruscans' Journey from Anatolia to Italy and their Origins in Southeastern Turkey, Northwestern Iran, Assyria and Mesopotamia .

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 two words used for the people name, "Tur" and "Turuk". "Uk"/"Ok"/"Ug" 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, formed 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 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 formed as Oğ+Uz.

Oğ/Og/Ug/Uk means Kinship, union, family, kind (as in humankind). This is known from written records starting with Sumerian cuneiform from 4500 uears ago till present day. There is no confusion about the meaning of this very important sound which is used as the root of many other basic Turkish words including the word for son (previously children in general) in Turkish.

Scholars say "UZ" is used for plural but it has dual meaning due to T>Z transformation as in Sumerian word for bull gud. Not coincidentally, Oğuz is also said to be derived from Öküz (note how similar the words are) to mean cattle. Turkish Okuz and English Ox sound very much alike and mean the same thing.

Both interpretations for UZ have some truth but they are both incorrect as a whole. Some see downstream values (derived terms) as the original sounds/meanings, like describing a parent through his/her child.

Uğut= Uğ+Ut (People/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 the 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 Turkish 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. For some words it is a cause for confusion in establishing the correct sound values when transliterating Sumerian Turkish such as Qu-ti, Qu-tu, Gu-ti(um) Gudea (Kutay) for Ğut/Gut/Kut.

Now the sound change is known to occur in time but in some cases it could also be due to the scholar who is doing the reading. It could also be the fault of the Afroasiatic scribes rendering sounds in a foreign language (Turkish).

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 were used interchangeably in Orhun (Orğun) inscriptions so we know Turuk and Turk are the same people.

We see city names established as Tur (and sometimes as Tar) in Eastern Mediterranean and Western Mediterranean. Note the Ter in the mediterranean is Tur, using "e" a softer vowel instead of "u".

From Tur to Turs (Turusa / Turuse)

etruscan sumerian


etruscan sumerian
(Click on the images to see then bigger)
Map from my book "Sun Language Theory Proven: The Birth of Civilizations and Languages"

In the above maps, you can see 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 written records of Turuk appear in the famed Shemshara letters, for the second time.

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 Egyptian source of the 13th c. B.C.); Trosiya, Trusiya – Troy, Truse – Trojans; 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" has been identified as Etruscan by the Dutch researcher Fred Woudhizen which is Hurrian as well. That is to be expected, as Etruscans were Hurrians.

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 about 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 (Greek Augeas). "As Turks" and "Uz Turks" are Turkish people names known in Iran from a much later period. The name As is related to Kas as in Kassite kingdom in Mesopotamia. In Turkish the s sound is most probably a late-comer, after z>s transformation.

Etymology of the word Etruscan

See Etruscan Origins page for more info.


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 Hyksos, 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 as Tyrsenians / Etruscans . 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)

Manifestation of Mythology, Religion, State and Empire Founding in Languages From Sumerian and modern Turkish Ug/Ag/Aug/Og, to Etruscan Augur, Latin Augeo, and the First Roman Emperor Augustus

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