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Origin of Türks-Contents Introduction First chapter Second chapter Third chapter Fourth chapter Fifth chapter ORIGIN OF TATARS
Part 2 - ORIGIN OF TATARS First chapter Second chapter Third chapter Fourth chapter Conclusion Name and Ethnic Index Literature

Mirfatyh Zakiev
Origin of Türks and Tatars

Part two
ORIGIN OF TATARS

 
<=Previous Contents Next=>

Third Chapter
Linguo-ethnical distinction of the Itil Bulgars

Continued

346

109. Bulgars are a part of Sakaliba people, and Sakaliba are Kypchaks.

In the 921 AD Sakaliba Khan from the tribe of the Bulgars by the name Almas (Almush is a distorted transliteration) a son of Shilka asked the Baghdad Caliph to send to the Sakaliba country an embassy for an official acceptance of Islam,  to be freed from a submission to the Khazars, who accepted the Judaic religion. In the 922 AD to the Sakaliba country, the Bulgar, arrived the Arabian embassy headed by Susan ar-Rasi. A secretary of the embassy was Ahmed Ibn-Fadlan, who was penning detailed traveling notes and the description of the country and Sakaliba people, the Bulgars. In his records, which were now published under the title "Book of Ahmed Ibn-Fadlan", mostly the country and people are called with the term Sakaliba, and the Khan Almas a son of Shilka is also represented, mainly, as the Sakaliba Khan. Only after their arrival, after a personal acquaintance with Almas Shilka, and after he had found out that even before their arrival from the minbar was made a hutba for Almas: "Oh, Allah! Save the Khan Yiyltuar (per A.Hayri: Belekir) - the Khan of the Bulgars!", and after Almas Shilka took the Arabian name Djagfar, and gave his father a name Abdulla, Ibn-Fadlan at last made a hutba himself: "Oh, Alla! Keep [in well-being] your slave Djagfar Ibn-Abdallah, the ruler [emir] of Bulgars, a client of the ruler of the devout" [Kovalevsky A.P., 1956, 132-133], and only after all these ceremonies Ibn-Fadlan declared Almas Shilka a Khan of the Bulgars. And then, in the description of the country, Ibn-Fadlan again applies the term "Sakaliba Malik".

So, for Ibn-Fadlan there are two equal names of the same country, of the same malik: Sakaliba and Bulgar. And it is clear that in fact the Bulgars are one of the Sakaliba tribes, the Kypchaks. Therefore we can ascertain without doubts that Bulgars (and proto-Bulgars) spoke a common Kypchak language.

In the Arabian and Persian Middle Age sources we find rich information about many peoples of the Eastern Europe: about the Burtases, Khazars, Bulgars, Sakaliba, Badjanaks, Madjars, Ruses, Visu, Üra, and others. All of the ethnonyms, except for Sakaliba, are taken by the Arabs and Persians from the peoples of the Eastern Europe, only the ethnonym Sakaliba is in this respect not too clear.

Per the V.V.Bartold's supposition, the ethnonym Sakaliba (singular saklab) is probably borrowed by the Arabs from the Greek sklaboi or sklabenoi, which means Slavs [Bartold V.V., 1963, 870], he also gives a probable another etymology: it is from the Persian sek 'dog' + leb 'lip' (Gardizi), this etymology is also comes because the son of Japhet Saklab was suckled by the dog milk [Ibid, 871]. And then V.V.Bartold notes that Kirgizes for their "red hair and a white skin" are called "offsprings of Sakaliba" apparently, the Slavs (i.e. Sakaliba) were subjects of the Bulgars [Ibid]. It is difficult to imagine that Ibn-Fadlan calls Almas Shilka, the malik of the Bulgars, also the malik of the Bulgars' subjects, i.e. the Slavs. Therefore the opinion propagated in the traditional Türkology that Sakaliba are Slavs does not sustain a criticism.

Turning to the Arabian sources, the Arabian word Saklab (singular) or Sakaliba (plural) designates blond or red-haired people, it is invariably emphasized Sakaliba red (or reddish) color of hair or red (reddish) coloring of their skin [Ibid, 870]. The dictionary by Ashraf ibn Sharaf al-Muzakkir Alfarug, composed in the 1404-1405 in India under a title "Danish-name-yi Kadar-Khan" ("Kadar-Khan Book of knowledge") noted that Saklab

 

Saklab

is an area in Turkestan, people there are white [Baevsky S.I., 1980, 87]. All aforesaid about the Sakaliba that are blond gave the Russian Arabists and Orientalists an opportunity to identify Sakaliba with the Slavs, presumably also blond. In the Russian-speaking research of the Middle Age eastern geographical sources the ethnonym Sakaliba is not being mentioned at all, it is rendered by the word Slavs. That Sakaliba are the Slavs is doubted by many, and many note that in the Arabian and Persian sources Sakaliba are quite often identified with the Türks, Bulgars, etc.

 One point is clear: Sakaliba is the Arabian name for the white, red-haired people. The people which calls themselves white-faced should also have dark-faced relatives. They can be white-faced only in comparison with the not white-faced related tribes. The Slavs, apparently, never were divided onto white-faced and not white-faced. As all of them were white-faced and red-haired, they did not have the need to call themselves red-haired, for there was no appreciable group of the not red-haired people. As to the name of the Byelorussians, this name appeared during the feudal fragmentation of the old Rus nation (provided that they were a part of the Ruses, which they were not - Translator's Note).  Besides, the ancestors of the Byelorussians could not be so widely dispersed next to the various Türkic-speaking nations in the extensive territories of the Eastern Europe, Asia Minor and Middle Asia, Eastern Siberia and Kazakhstan. Also is notable that in the Arabian and Persian sources the eastern Slavs are described under the name of Ruses. When the eastern Slavs started to be called Ruses, the other part called Slavs did not exist any more (except for the northern Slavs until their annexation by Ruses in late Middle Ages, unless the author renders them as western Slavs - Translator's Note). All eastern Slavs were already Ruses. Therefore, if the Arabs wrote about Ruses, they meant eastern Slavs who at that time were not called any more as Slavs, but Ruses or Uruses (in the pronunciation of the Türko-Tatars).

To adequately disclose the meaning of the Arabic ethnonym Sakaliba, denoting white-faced red-haired people, it is necessary to determine the people who at that time called themselves and introduced to the others as white-faced or red-haired, and at the same time lived together with the known Türkic-speaking peoples in such a close contact that the visiting Arabs and Persians regarded Sakaliba and Türks the same people, or believed that one was a part of the other. Naturally, these people were then the Kypchaks.

The word Kypchak etymologically goes back to the Türkic k'uchak, which consists of two roots: k'u (k'u/k'ub/k'uba) 'red', 'pale', 'white-red', 'light', and chak, meaning Sak/Chak, the ancient name of the Türks (and not of the Persian-lingual, as wrongly assert some Indo-Europeists). K'uchak is white Sakas, -chak can also be identified with a respective-diminutive affix -chyk. The word k'u is also applied in a sense 'swan', with a synonym ak kosh white bird. Kuu is 'white', white bird makes another ethnonym with the word kiji/keshe 'person', Kuukiji is White People, 'Lebeds' ("lebed" is "swan" in Slavic, "Lebeds/Lebedinets" was the Slavic translation of Kuukiji, the name for Magyars in the N.Azov in the 8th c. - Translator's Note). The word k'u/kuu is applied with a primary ethnonym man as Kuman/Kumandy. Compare too: men in the word Türkmen. In the Western Europe instead of the ethnonym Kypchak was used the word Kuman.

That k'u in the ethnonym of the K'uchak/Kypchak (K'uman) has a meaning white, reddish, blond-haired is also evidenced by that among the multitude of the Türkic peoples we observe the white (yellow) and non-white (not yellow) peoples. So, in the 5th-6th centuries formed their state in the territory of the Middle Asia, Afghanistan, Northwestern India and a part of the Eastern Turkestan the White Huns, who were also called Ephtalites. In the history are known the White Tatars and Black Tatars, White Khazars and Black Khazars, White Kirgiz and other Kirgizes, Sary Uigurs, etc.

So, between the Türks were the tribes that called themselves fair-haired, white. Further we shall see that these were the Kypchaks. That the ethnonym Kypchak designates a white, light (in Türkic: sary chechle 'yellow-haired'), the Türkologist scientists noted a long time ago. So, the Hungarian scientist Ü.Nemeth as early as at the end of the 30es came to this conclusion. He wrote that pale yellow names of the Kypchaks are a copy of their Türkic names of Kuman and Kun, which go back to the Türkic adjective k'u (from the older k'uba) 'pale', 'yellow' [Dobrodomov I.G., 1978, 116; Nemet Ü., 1941, 99].

In the Türkic languages a blond person is frequently also called sary chechle 'yellow-haired'. Therefore it is no wonder that the Kypchaks also had another ethnonym from the word sary 'yellow'. "The western Kypchaks in the ancient Rus sources were called Sorochinetses, in that name was reflected the name of the Sary people, which went ahead of the Kun people. (Subsequently this name converged and merged with the European name for the Moslems Saracens)" [Dobrodomov I.G., 1978, 123].

Cosequently, a very large group of the Türks in the Eastern Europe, Western Siberia, Kazakhstan, Minor, Middle and Central Asia, Afghanistan, Eastern Turkestan, North-Eastern India, while having their own local ethnonyms, called themselves with a more general ethnonym with a meaning "white-faced", "light yellow". As such ethnonyms were used, first of all, the words Kukiji, Kuman, Kumandy, Kuchak/Kyfchak/Kypchak.

The most important fact requiring attention is that these peoples knew perfectly the meaning of their common ethnonym, and presented themselves to other peoples as white faced, red haired. In turn, the representatives of other peoples copied the ethnonym 'pale'. On this occasion Dobrodomov I.G. writes the following: 'It was already noted for a long time that the Kipchaks in many languages are designated by the words composed of the roots with the meaning "yellow", "pale": the Rus Polovets (compare: polovyi, obsolete: polovoi); Polish. (from Czech.) lvi (lw, lui, lwci); from here also comes the Hungarian lz(k), taken from the Eastern Slavs; the German Val(e)we(n) (compare present Germ. fahl and falb 'pale', 'whitish', 'light', Latinized Slavic forms Falones, Phalagi. The Armenian author Matvei Edessian mentioned the same meaning under year 1050/51 in the 75th chapter of his "History" the name of the people Khartesh (Literary, 'Light', whitish', fair')" [Dobrodomov I.G., 1978, 108].

From this quotation it is clear that Kipchaks presented themselves to the Ruses, Poles, Germans, Hungarians, Italians and Armenians as blond people, and consequently these peoples in their languages named Kipchaks "fair". Kipchaks also presented themselves to Chinese and Persians as "fair" [Bartold V.V., 1968, 408].

For our theme is very important that the Kipchaks also presented themselves as "fair" to the Arabs, and therefore the Arabs called Kipchaks Sakaliba, i.e white faced, fair haired.

The Sakaliba cannot be Slavs, for the Arabo-Persian travelers noted their belonging to the Türks. So, Abu Hamid al-Garnati informs that in the country Sakaliba he has visited the city of Gur Kuman, where the people look like Türks, speak in Türkic, even shoot the arrow in the Türkic fashion [Dobrodomov I.G., 1978, 128]. The Türkic-speaking of the Sakaliba is also confirmed by the facts given by Zaki Validi Togan [Validi A. Z., 1981, 34.

Thus, in the Arabian and Persian sources the ethnonym Sakaliba is the Arabian copy of the ethnonym Kuman or Kipchak (Kuchak). It means "Kipchaks", and not "Slavs".

110. Were the Slavs Sakaliba?

The leading Russian scientists-Arabists - V.V.Bartold, I.Ü.Krachkovsky, B.N.Zakhoder etc. note that the Arabian geographers frequently were mistaken, mixing Sakaliba (in Russian Arabists' opinion, Slavs) with the Türks, Kirghizes, Bulgars, or Khazars. If we accept that in Arabian Sakaliba means Kipchaks instead of the Slavs, it becomes clear that not the Arabian and Persian eyewitness geographers were mistaken, but the Russian researchers of the Arabian and Persian sources, who are translating the Arabian word Sakaliba as "Slavs". The translation "Kipchaks" removes all perceived contradictions.

For additional clarification of the question who were Sakaliba, Slavs or Kipchaks, we shall cite the information about Sakaliba assembled by B.N.Zakhoder in the second volume of his book "Caspian collection of accounts about the Eastern Europe". We have replaced here the word "Slavs" with the original word "Sakaliba".

1) "From Besenyos (Badjinaks) to Sakaliba ten days of travel by forests and difficult roads. Sakaliba are numerous people, they live in the forests of the plains. Sakaliba have a city V.b.nit" [Zakhoder B.N., 1967, 109]. This distinctive feature of the Sakaliba habitation can be attributed both to the Kipchaks and to the Slavs. The name of city is spelled differently:

VA.I VABNIT VANTIT

 and it is clear that the name of the city had not been deciphered from the standpoint of the Slavic languages. A needed attempt  should be made to read it as a Türkic word. The name of the second city Khurdab or Khudud also had not been deciphered. As to the opinion that some Sakaliba resemble Russes, it is possible to say the following: in appearance, Kipchaks really quite often resembled the Ruses, and other Slavs already did not exist there any more (Gumilev, citing Chronist Nestor, says: "Ruses are ethnically different from Slavs: they shave their heads, leaving a braid on top, they wash before dinner in a basin. Slavs cut their hair in a circle, and wash under running water". In this description, Ruses have a Türkic ethnology, and the similarity between Kipchaks and Ruses would be congenial, especially if the Ruses were a branch of the Kipchaks - Translator's Note).

2) "Sakaliba use honey instead of grapes, they have a developed beekeeping" [Ibis, 110]. This detail is typical both to the Slavs and to the Kipchaks. But the specific contents in the reports of the Eastern geographers allow identifying Sakaliba with the Kipchaks. In this case, the Sakaliba make a drink of honey, "which they call sudjuv" [Kovalevsky A.P., 1956, 132] (see discourse above, Para 102.4, for the honey drink "sudjuv" = "water sweet" - Translator's Note).

Even D.A.Khvolson, analyzing this word, transcribed as AS-SJ

AS-SJ

 tried to explain it, using Croatian ulisce for 'beehive', A.P.Kovalevsky and B.N.Zakhoder identify it with a word "soty" (Russ. "beehive"- Translator's Note) [Zakhoder B.N.; 1967, 110-111]. In reality, this is the Türkic word sudjy (sédje/töche), which was used in Old Türkic texts as "vine" or "sweet drink" and is still used now in the Tatar and Bashkir languages in the meaning "sweet", "luscious".

3) "Sakaliba have pigs as numerous as Moslems have sheep" [Zakhoder B.N., 1967, 112]. Here B.N.Zakhoder consciously amended the text, adding the word "Moslems". Actually it was said that Sakaliba have herds of pigs and herds of sheep, or herd of pigs similar to sheep herds. It is known that Kipchaks originally bred both pigs and sheep. The Kipchaks-Christians continued this tradition, and Kipchaks-Moslems, naturally, have abandoned the pig breeding.

4) "When Sakaliba dies, his corpse is burned, his wife is thrown into the fire together with the deceased, and they have a memorial feast and rejoice" [Ibis, 112]. It is known that the Guzes and a part of Burtases incinerated their deseased, and nobody doubts their native Türkic tongue.

5) "Sakaliba worship fire (or bull) " [Ibis, 114]. Here B.N.Zakhoder for some reason has neglected to note that Sakaliba are also idolaters. This connects Sakaliba with the Kipchaks more than with the Slavs.

6) "Sakaliba sow millet; at the approach of the harvest time they put grain in a sieve and pray, addressing the sky" [Ibis, 115]. Both Slavs and Kipchaks could do this. But facing the sky (Tengre) relates Sakaliba with the Kipchaks.

7) "Sakaliba have various musical instruments: lutes, tambours, flutes" [Ibis, 116]. This detail possibly links Sakaliba with both Kipchaks and Slavs.

8) "Sakaliba have few of the burden livestock, burden horses; they wear shirts and morocco-leather boots on their feet; their arms are: lance, shield, spears, sword, mail chain armor; ... Sakaliba leader eats milk of burden animals (kumys)... " [Ibis, 119]. Kipchaks, as all other Türks, used horses for riding, therefore there were few burden horses. The morocco-leather boots were known at Türkic Bulgars, who collectively were called Kipchaks, kumys was the national Türkic drink. Sakaliba leader was called Subanych

and Suidj
SUBANJ   SUIJ

in Türkic Suchi, where su is the army, -chy is an affix of trade. It is possible that this is the word Subashi 'army head' distorted in the Arabic transcription.

Some Russian Arabists the transcription

would like to read as
SUIJ MLK   SUITPLK

  (i.e. Russian name "Svyatopolk"), and prove by that that the head of the Sakaliba was the Slavs' leader Svyatopolk. But, as notes B.N. Zakhoder himself,

is malik 'malik', as a whole it is Suchi Malik 'king head of the army'. The other words given there as the Sakaliba's toponyms require additional research from the standpoint of the Kipchak language.

9) "Sakaliba build underground buildings, in which they hide in the winter from a strong cold (or from the attacks of the Magyars)" [Zakhoder B.N., 1967, 121]. This neutral expression, given by B.N. Zakhoder, does not allow a determination of the ethnic attribution of the Sakaliba. But further in the text the narrative tells about the ancient bath-house (Eastern European sauna - Translator's Note), which was typical for the Kipchaks and the modern western Türks.

10) "Sakaliba Malik takes tribute by dresses" [Ibis, 124]. By this we cannot determine the ethnic affiliation of the Sakaliba.

11) "Sakaliba subject the guilty of larceny and adultery to a severe punishment" [Ibis, 124]. This custom, described by Ibn Fadlan, is typical for the Bulgars-Sakaliba, i.e. for the Kipchaks as a whole, and in particular for the Bulgars.

It should be noted that B.N. Zakhoder, apparently, was deliberately selecting the statements of the Eastern geographers. He skipped the data that gives reasons to consider Sakaliba as Kipchaks. Naturally, he could not fail to note that per Ibn Fadlan, Bulgars belong to the Sakaliba people. But he has noted this fact in his own way: that ostensibly Ibn Fadlan constantly confuses the Bulgars with the Sakaliba, i.e. with the "Slavs" [Ibis, 125].

As we have already noted, Ibn Fadlan calls Almas Shilki-Khan a Malik of Sakaliba, he was, apparently, of the Bulgar people, and therefore he is called Bulgarian Malik. It is clear that in the Middle Volga the Sakaliba country later was called a Bulgarian state. It should be noted that the historian Ahmed Zeki Validi Togan stated back in 1939 his opinion that Sakaliba designates light skinned Türks [Zeki Validi, 1939, 34]. But that received a sharp criticism by A.P. Kovalevsky [Kovalevsky A.P., 1956, 80].

V.V.Bartold notes that Sakaliba are noted by the red color of their hair, but "despite of this distinctive physical mark, Sakaliba as the descendants of Yaphet (Arab. Yafas) are united with the Türks" [Bartold V.V., 1963, 870]. Abu Khamid Al-Garnati, telling in the 1150 about his travel from the Bulgar to the Hungary, wrote, that he arrived to the city of the Sakaliba country, called Gur Kuman ("Gur Kuman" is akin to Kumanian Building/Kumanian Structure/Kumanian Walls in Türkic - Translator's Note), where the people look as Türks, speak Türkic language and shoot arrows as Türks [Dobrodomov I.G., 1978, 128]. Here it is needless to explain who were these Sakaliba.

So, Sakaliba are Kipchaks, the word Sakaliba (Saklab in singular) is a literal translation of the Türkic ethnonym Kipchak.

Some can object this conclusion because in the official Türkology, the "arrival" of the Kipchaks from Asia to the Eastern Europe ostensibly occurred in the 11 c. AD, and the Arabian and Persian geographers already knew about the Sakaliba in the 8 c. AD. In fact, many Türkologists happen to believe that the first Türks came to the Eastern Europe in the 4 c. under the name of Huns, that they "disappeared" approximately in one hundred years, that their place was taken by the Avars who arrived from Asia; that the Avars then "disappeared", that their place was taken by the arriving from the Asia Türks, that then in the 7 c. they were replaced by the Khazars, that in the 8 c. appeared Besenyos (Badjinaks) etc. Supposedly, Kipchaks (Kumans) came to the Eastern Europe in the 11 c. This is a "fairy tale for children", not for the serious scientists. The Türkic-speaking tribes lived in the Eastern Europe in the Cimmerian, Scythian, and Sarmatian times, and they continue to live there now. There was no change of the peoples, varied only the ethnonyms, for in the different periods of history among a multitude of the Türkic peoples the ruling group was at times this group, at times that group. That was precipitating the changes in the common ethnonym for the Türks.

The traces of Kipchaks (in Arabic: Sakaliba) are found in deep antiquity. So, the ethnonym Komanchies is found among the American Indians. [Thomas Mayne Reed, 1955, 32; Languages..., 1982, 162]. Considering that the ancestors of the American Indians crossed from Asia to the American continent 30-20 thousand years ago, there is a reason to assert that this ethnonym came to America from Asia at that time. Hence, the ethnonym Koman/Komanche existed in Asia 30-20 thousand years ago.

The Chinese sources of the 3-rd c. BC contain information about Kyueshe who spoke Türkic language. M.I.Artamonov thinks that this is the first mentioning of Kipchaks [Artamonov M.I., 1962, 420]. In our opinion, Kyueshe is a typical Chinese reduction of the ethnonym K'ukiji "White-Faced".

Before our era, per Chinese data, the Huns lived south of the Altai Mountains, north of the mountains lived So people. They then split into 4 tribes: K'uman or K'uban, Kyrgyz, Chu‑kshi and Türk [Aristov N.A., 1896, 279-280; Zakiev M.Z., 1977, 155-162].

In the opinion of some scientists, the ethnonym Kipchak (Kybchak~Kyfchak) appeared in the second half of the 8 c. as a designation of the people who before that were called with an ethnonym Sir, which represents, it seems, another Chinese rendering of the word Sarir (Sary Ir 'yellow people'). In the Tonyukuk monument (726 AD), the dominating tribes are described as Türks and Sirs, and in the monument of Eletmish Bilge Kagan in the Shine Usu (pronounced "Shee-n-e Usoo" - Translator's Note) (760 AD) the dominating peoples are called with the ethnonyms Türks and Kybchak [Klyashtorny S.G., 1986, 160]. It is important to note that the first Arabian list of the Türkic peoples, compiled in the 8-th c. AD, gives the ethnonym Khyfchak- Kybchak [Ibis, 160]. But later, in the compositions of Arabian and Persian geographers, instead of the ethnonym Kybchak /(Kuchak) started to be applied its Arabian reflection Saklab, and only from the 11 c. again appears the ethnonym Kypchak, and instead of the title the "steppe of the Guzes", used by the geographers of 10th c., appears the term "Kypchak steppe" (in Persian: Desht-i Kypchak) [Bartold V.V., 1968, 395].

It should be also said, that in the official historical science, and hence, both in the Russian, and in the West-European Türkology, the question about the appearance and origin of the Kipchaks (under self-names: K'ukiji, Kuman, K'uchak) is studied in connection with the idea of the alleged movement of the Türks from the Far East area to the Western Asia and Eastern Europe [Ibis, 393]. Such a viewdpoint is deeply flawed, there was no such movement. Since the prehistoric times, the Türks lived alongside the ancestors of other peoples in the Western and Eastern Europe, in the Near East, Middle East and Central Asia, in the Western Asia and in the Far East, i.e. in those regions, where they were recognized in the historically known times and where, basically, they continue to live now. That the Kumans (Kums, Kuns) lived in the Western Europe before our era is proved by the presence before our era of the cities Kum at the Etrusks (and later of the city Kuman in Hungary), and the city Kumanovo in Macedonia.

Thus, the Kypchaks (Kukiji, Kuman, Sary, Sir) from the most ancient times pictured their ethnonym as blond, fair haired people, therefore these neighbors also in their languages called them blonds: the Slavs - Polovets, Arabs and Persians - Sakaliba , the Armenians - Khartesh etc.

The word Kypchak (Kuman, K'ukiji) was a more general ethnonym. In the Kipchak population were distinguishable smaller peoples or tribes, as noted by the Eastern geographers, the Kirghiz, Huns, Bulgar, Khazars etc. Per Ibn Fadlan, in the Middle Volga in the Sakaliba (Kipchak) population were distinguishable Bulgars, Barandjars, Suars, Suases, Skils (Scyths/Scyfs), Khazars.

So, Bulgars are one of the Kypchak tribes, therefore Arabs called them with the ethnonym Sakaliba. The objective analysis of the "Ahmed Ibn-Fadlan's Book" bears an eloquent testimony to it.

111. Classification characteristics of the Bulgarian language.

From the stated in the previous chapters follows also, evidently, a necessity to revise the existing classification system of the Türkic languages. As is known, in all existing nowadays systems of classification, the Bulgarian language is invariably considered as the rotacism type, and in this sense it is put in opposition with the other Türkic z-languages. For example, A.N.Samoilovich and N.N.Poppe in their time subdivided all Türkic languages into two groups:

1) the r-languages, including the ancient Bulgarian and the modern Chuvash languages, and

2) z-languages, including all other Türkic languages of the world.

Nowadays, in the classification of the modern Türkologists (Baskakov, Menges, Bentsing, Tekin, etc.), the same languages are usually subdivided onto the Oguz, Kypchak and Karluk groups, but the Bulgarian language all the same is separated as the rotacism type. In particular, in the classification of Menges, the ancient Bulgarian and the modern Chuvash languages are grouped as the 6-th, or the so-called "F", group of languages, destinguished by rotacism and lambdaizm. In the N.A.Baskakov's classification, nowadays considered to be a universally accepted system, these languages are also divided onto Oguz, Kypchak and Karluk groups, but in addition is also apportioned a fourth (in the Baskakov's numbering - the first), so-called "Bulgarian group" of r-languages, where are listed the ancient Bulgarian, ancient Khazarian and the modern Chuvash languages [Baskakov N.A., 1960, 231]. However, because the Bulgarian language, as was already shown, was not the rotacism type, but was a common Türkic z-language, in the new classification, naturally, it falls out of the fourth group and moves to the Oguz and Kypchak z-language groups.

As if to the fourth group, or the group of the r-languages, after the dismissal of the Bulgarian and Khazarian languages, it retains only one language, Chuvashian. The family of the Türkic languages did not and does not have another rotacism-type language. There is, however, an opinion about the existence of the Chuvash-speaking Khazars, formed by a merger of the Mongol-lingual and Türkic-speaking tribes, between the common Türkic Khazars. Some incidental cases of the rotacism phenomena in some Türkic languages, for example, in the Kraimian, Azerbaijani or the Kazan-Tatarian, tthey should be considered to be a result of the influence of the Finno-Ugrians upon the Türkic languages, or a result of the influence of the Chuvash r-language, or a result of the contacts with the Mongolian languages, which also have rotacism and lambdaizm as a distinguishing trait, but all Türkic languages without exception were initially z-languages, and they remain such until now.

Thus, by their linguistical and ethnological aspects, the Itil Bulgars were common Türkic-lingual, and not the Chuvashian-speaking. This does not reduce at all the role of the Chuvashes in the ethnic history of the Türkic-speaking tribes in the Ural-Itil region. The Itil Bulgars, who absorbed the other Türkic-speaking and Türkicized tribes of the Itil Bulgaria, lay in the substrate of the modern Bulgaro-Tatars. The Chuvashes, former the Veds, who were initially speaking a Finno-Ugric (ancient Mari language), closely commingled with the common Türkic Suases (one of the ancestors of the Kazan Tatars), and half assimilated among the Suases, they have received from  the Suases their ethnonym Suas, which changed its form to the Chuvash. Therefore the ancient neighbors of the Chuvashes, and of the Bulgaro-Tatars, i.e. the Mari, call the Bulgaro-Tatars Suases, and call the Chuvashes  Suaslamari.

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Origin of Türks-Contents Introduction First chapter Second chapter Third chapter Fourth chapter Fifth chapter ORIGIN OF TATARS
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