Turkey Top 10 Concepts: Tengri-God

The first word identified in Turkish is Tengri (God). It is seen that Turks have strong beliefs and the conceptual framework is ancient and strong. Atheism would later jump to the Americas over the Yakut Turks. The Turks have also transformed the belief world of the Chinese with their belief in the Gods of Heaven.

Tengri is the old way of saying God in today’s Turkish. It is the first deciphered word in the Orkhon Inscriptions. Source: Issues of Göktürk history-Osman Fikri Sertkaya-page 130, Turkish Culture Research Institute, 1995 Ankara, 360 pages. Adnan Binyazar- 25 famous works in Turkish language (page 8), Varlık Publications, 263 pages, 1982

According to this belief, the supreme spirit of Heaven was Tengri. People used to feel safe among the spirits of Tengri, the sky father, Ötüken, the earth mother, and their ancestors who were protecting people, and prayed to them and other nature spirits.

Turks embraced the universe with their understanding of Tengri, or god. From the earliest times, they had a great belief that man was created. Again, as it is written in the Bilge Kagan Inscription, “God lives time, man was created mortal.” The first word Tengri, which was used for the first time in the Huns, later continued as “sky Tengri” in the Gök Turks. One of our living thinkers, Dr. Sait Başer published a study book on the similarity of Gök Tanrı and Allah’s attributes and identified many similarities in this regard. Here are the inscriptions on which it is based, the Göktürk Inscriptions.

The creation of Turks in Asia Minor and their expression of God as love is an important indicator of how comprehensive and inclusive Turkish theology is.

Ahmed Yasawi whispered from Turkistan:

“The carefree person is not the person; understand that.
Lightless human, animal species, listen to this.”

Âşık Pasha, who gave a voice from Anatolia:

Become Adami so that there is light in the moment.
[They say man, the one who is light]

The Turkish state gets its power by creation. The trinity of heaven, earth and man was first and foremost being created. The statements in the Bilge Kagan inscription “the man whose time lives are God is created and he is mortal” and the mention of the earth and the sky are the proofs of the advanced theology of the Turks. In addition, expressions such as “I won because God wanted” in the Bilge Tonyukuk inscription are indicators of the dominance attributed to the will of God.

Turks have had a deep belief that they were created since their existence. The first identified word of the Turks is the concept of tengri, it was determined from the Huns and they were extremely insistent on the subject of god, belief and theology. The Creator also showed himself as a soul in the person. The Turks described the soul as kut, it is bestowed on the person by the creator. Man is mortal and created. The level of divine awareness in Turks has always been high. The soul of the Turk has a wandering and nomadic character as a result of the constraints of the steppe geography. It is not dependent on the earth, but it is always connected with the sky.

In the 7K1N system, which we have identified as seven criteria, the concept of sky is in the first place and the concept of person is in the second place as the most frequently used criterion.

Thus, the message given by the Turks through epics, inscriptions and manuscripts is the inseparability of the creator and the created. The frequency of use of the words sky and god is at the forefront by far. The inscription, which includes the phrase “God lives time”, also includes the phrase “man is mortal”. The difference between man and god is the acts of being subject to time and living time. The importance that the Turks give to the person is like a divine concept. After Root (God), the concept of Person is used the most. It is understood that the theology of the Turks is very deep and powerful.

Copyright of Photo by Levent Ağaoğlu, 2003, Pecs, Hungary

Copyright by Levent Ağaoğlu,


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