Dyneper (Dnieper) was called Özü and Dynester, as Turla by Turks. Was called by Saka Oar (Var). The Turks named İdil (Atil), Fin-Ugors Volga. And Yayık river where only Turks settled was renamed by Russians, after 1785 as Ural.
Then, we can ask ourselves : " The Turks in the 5th c BC in Black Sea, how?
Saka/Sacae or Scythians, with all their culture and language as the Hun Turks...
"Jordanes of the 6th century relates that the Huns used to call the river Dnieperas ‘Ver’. This name is etymologised by linguists as connected with the name ‘Özü’ given by the Turks of near ages to the same river. Al-Bîrûnî of the 11th century tells about the ‘Vâr’ steppes, where the Pečeneg Turks lived in his days. This word is associated with the name given by Jordanes for the Dnieper, which was in the mid of the Pečeneg country. No other source gives this name and it seems to be reserved only to Turks. A similar word occurs in Herodotus of the 5th century BC in the form ‘Oares’. This name, used by only Turks for awide time interval, may indicate the very antiquity of settlement of the Turks in the region.
Without no evidence to be said that Sakas are speaking İranian; İndo (Sanskrit and İran (Avesta), the same stock of language; when in those days can easily understand each other, why was it then by Persians excepted as foreign nation and could not understand each other?..."
Yrd.Doç.Dr.Osman Karatay, 2010
more in Turkish:
Dnieper river, watering the part of the territory of Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
After the Volga and the Danube is Europe's third longest river.
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The geographical toponyms preserved in the immense territories of Turkic nations are considered in this work. The author speaks about the parallels, twins of Azerbaijani toponyms distributed in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Altay, the Ural, Western Siberia, Armenia, Iran, Turkey, the Crimea, Chinese Turkistan, etc. Besides, the geographical names concerned to other Turkic language nations are elucidated in this book.
Present-day Turkic peoples dispose their own ethnic name, traditional economic life, material and spiritual culture, developed language. Historically any nation which populates specific geographical dimensions may be regarded either local, autochtonous or alien. The same is true about Turkic peoples. For example, Yakuts, Altaians, Kazakhs, Shors, Tuvinians, other Turkic-language peoples are autochtonous population of their present-day territories. Worthy of note is the following phrase of Gapagan ruler (Turkic runic writing of the VI century): 'The Eilm (concerned Turkic kingdom - B.B.) has been established by Yabga oglu Sobra Tamganchur, his junior brother Hoja together with Sabra Tamgan Tarkhan, and generally by sixty five forefathers".
In emergency Uigurs migrated to neighbouring regions; despite this fact they had historically recognized the Chinese Turkistan as their original and final native land. Yakuts inhabited littorals of Arctic Ocean - Kamchatka, Chukotka and even Alyaska (North American continent). However, Turk-Seljuks migrated to the West-Asia Minor by laying the foundation of the modern Turkish language. So the majority of Turkic-language peoples had primarily populated their present places of residence. As distinguished from IndoEuropean peoples - the English, Spanish, French, German, etc. Who have settled in North, Central and South America, Australia, Africa and Asia - Turks reside historically on their primary lands. This area mostly covers a certain part of Asian continent and south-east of Europe, including North Caucasus, Transcaucasia and South Azerbaijan.
There has been spread an idea that the Turkic-origin Azebaijanese living in Transcaucasia and in both parts of Azerbaijan settled there in the Middle Ages. However, it is currently evident that the ancestors of Azerbaijani nation were originally autochtonous. It is a matter of current interest to study the thousand-year history of the Turkic world, its commonly-rooted culture, ethnography and toponymy.
To some linguists' thinking, all the languages of the world are, one way or another, interrelated, they enrich, extend and develop each other. True, this does not mean that one linguistic family arose at the expence of another. This relationship ("nostratic languages", as linguists used to say) reaffirms that, besides community of their origin, the tribes who spoke different languages maintained mutual contacts. Thus, Altaic-origin toponyms (Turkic toponyms are widely spread on the Asian part of the former USSR, to the east of Europe - the Ural mountains system, in the basin of the Volga river, Crimean peninsula, south of Ukraine, in Bulgaria, Hungary, North Caucasus, Transcaucasia, Iran) turned out spread far from compact settlement of Turkic peoples.
The present study deals mainly with Turkic toponyms spread on afore-said areas. A branch of onomastics - toponymy examines geographycal names. On the whole, onomastics includes, in addition to toponymy, patronyms, cosmonyms, anthroponyms, etc. 'Topos" is a Greek word, signifies "place, area, relief, while "onoma" means "name". Combination of these words gave rise to "toponymies". Toponymy investigates the geographical names of separate areas (for example, Azerbaijan), toponymies is a science which studies toponymy. Considering the use of "General toponymy" word-combination to be meaningless, Y.M.Murzayev (1973) gives preference to " General and regional toponymies" word-combination. The latter deals with theoretical and practical aspects of the science, prevalence of geographical names in space and time, their stratification, etc.
V.A.Nikonov (1966) attaches great importance to historical, linguistic and geographical aspects of geographical names: 'The towns turned into ruins, states destroyed, languages and related peoples lost but it is names that survived. Fragile words proved firmer than granite". This remark is very much to the point.
You'd better pay attention to the words related to Azerbaijan: Caspiy (name of sea), the Caucasus, passage of Caspiy (later Derbend), Khazar, Gazakh, Gazanchy.
According to the latest investigations,these toponyms go back to ancient times springing from Turkic origin Kas ethnos. The mid - II millenium B.C. Assyrian sources mention the tribe of Kas on the territory of South Azerbaijan. At present no people with this name exists in the world, though there are still, and ever be, toponyms and ethnonyms of the same name. As the toponymies develops, these ancient evidences are becoming clear.
The toponymies is founded on three sciences - history, geography and linguistics. It is precisely because of this fact that in the course of toponymic investigation one should be guided by these three sources, otherwise, one-sidedness would yield no desirable results. Many errors found in toponymic investigations carried out in Azerbaijan occur through preference given to one source only.
Toponymics without geography is spaceless, without linguistics is dumb, without history is rootless. Being investigated one-sidely, toponyms are kept aloof from creative synthesis of two remaining sciences. For this reason researches engaged in studying toponyms should know all three sciences thoroughly, offer their synthesis and achieve practical scientific results. A joint research carried out by the representatives of three sciences may be a great success.
In V.A.Nikonov's opinion (1966), a person to deal with toponymy must be a toponymist, not geographer, linguist or historian. It is not worth speaking of scientific importance of geographical names' examination. The point is that geographical names imply grandfathers' breath, nation's spirit, historical and temporal dimensions. To delete geographical names is to tear pages out of rare manuscript. If we try to study the geographical names from a language or linguistic system standpoint, we succeed in establishing both "hypocentre" and "epicentre" of geographic names used in said linguistic system.
As is known, north-east part of Asia (Yakuts, Tuvinians, Altaians), Central Asia, including Chinese Turkistan, Kazakhstan, Middle Asia, Turkestan on the whole, North Caucasus, East Transcaucasus, Asia Minor, North Iran are identified as historical motherland of Turkic-language peoples. At the same time they resided compactly in the east and south-east of Europe. Traces of Turkic language peoples - geographical names are found in Alyaska (North America), north and west of India, in Arabian countries (Kirkuk region of Irag).
Proper names embrace celestial bodies as well. Wandering all over the world, the man paid attention to the sky, stars scattered in the firmament, their motion, Sun and Moon, gave them names arising from their distinctive features (Sun, Moon, Venus, Pleiads, Scales, the Milky Way, the Mecca Way, the Profet's Girdle, Seven Brothers, etc.). In onomastics the names of celestial bodies are traditionally entitled as cosmonyms. As time flew, people were becoming dissatisfied with the names of celestial bodies. Objects on their surfaces got names as well.
Since the XVII century natural objects on lunar surface were entitled like ones on terrestrial surface. These names repeated ones of wellknown geographical objects - seas, gulfs, lakes, ranges, craters found on the Earth. For example, some lunar objects, and among them ranges and seas, are called the Alps, Apennines, Caucasus, Sea of Crisis, Sea of Tranquillity, etc. With the purpose of bringing geographical names of celestial bodies into line with international norms, the International Union of Astronomers has assumed responsibility for setting nomenclature of non-earthly objects in order. "The Atlas of the Back of Moon" (publ. 1960) recorded the names of objects by common consent.
In the article entitled "Geography of Cosmonyms and the Ethnic Relations" (1973, p. 33-37) V.A. Nikonov, proceeding from comparative analysis of various geographical names of celestial bodies spread among different peoples, traces back ethnic relations between them, makes interesting conclusions. He points out that names of cosmic objects go back to the Earth. Ancient cattle-breeders and hunters translated names of earthly objects to the sky: "The Maiden", "The Swan", "The Scorpion", 'The Scales", etc. Kirghizes call 'The Great Bear" constellation as "Seven Arkars", Mordvinians and a part of Russians as "The Big Scoop", northern peoples as "The Great Deer" or "Elk".
To V.A. Nikonov s thinking, "The Milky Way" called as "Sud Yolu" or "Mekke Yolu" by Azerbaijanese bears the name of 'The Star Dust", or "The Guard in the Night", or "The Way of Winners", etc. As termed by other peoples. There are also peoples who call "The Milky Way" as The Chaff Trace" or 'The Grass Floor". The latter is associated with the development of grain-growing and cattlebreeding. As for Finn-Ugors, they call 'The Milky Way" as "The Birds' Way". Thousand-years co-existence and mutual relations between different peoples account for semantic closeness of the names of celestial bodies. As viewed by V.A. Nikonov, the fact that Finn-Ugors, Turkic and Slav peoples had for thousand years been living next to each other accounts for semantic closeness between the names of celestial bodies. Mongols named "The Milky Way" as "The Celestial Pattern" (or etymologically "The Celestial Knot"); similar names are found in Kalmyk, Buyat, Tuva and Yakut. The time is ripe in Azerbaijan to start studying cosmonymics which is of interest from linguistic standpoint as well. The prof. A.Gurbanov's "Onomalogy of the Azerbaijan language" (Baku, 1988) contains interesting ideas on cosmonomy.
As stated above, geographical names have traditionally been recognized "sacred" and subjected to no alterations. No "bad" geographical names can be found, just "discordant, inharmonious" ones, distorted as time passed. When analysing an etymology of some -"discordant, inharmonious" - geographical names and tracing back their historical origin, one may ascertain that they allegedly clarify, get transparent and purified, find their primary shapes. Thus, the one encroaching upon the sovereignty of a geographical name deals the nation, its dignity and historical roots an appreciable blow. So it seems impermissible to arbitrarily change or fabricate new geographical names for the simple reason that it may result in destructive consequences and cause irretrievable damage to the toponymies as science.
As is known, as far back as in 1930s Turkic-origin toponyms on the territory of Armenia had totally been eliminated and Azerbaijanians forcibly driven out. So thousand years old geographical names witnessing life and history of local Azerbaijanians were fully obliterated. It is pressing demand to start carefully studying geographical names of Azerbaijan-Turkic origin. The last fifty years' official policy of Yerevan aimed at changing Turkic toponyms in Armenia witnesses official circles' aspiration to prove that Armenians have, from time immemorial, lived on this territory. As a matter of fact, by changing Turkic toponyms Armenians err from the truth, they ignore the fact that the history cannot be changed or remade, for it remains as it is. It is becoming imminent for the Azerbaijan scholars to resort to historical sources and publish atlas of places where Azerbaijanians lived and deported to within a century. The problem could be solved easily provided some organization or enterprise set financially about this work. It is vitally important to look after every toponym, including of Turkic origin one, and turn it over to future generation.
As is known, a cattle-breeding part of the Azerbaijanese were elats (nationality). They themselves created geographical names, especially microtoponyms while living in nomad camps or lowlands. In general, geographical names spring up during labour or economic activities of people. When the migration was over, elats started inventing toponyms on the places of their permanent residence. No doubt, as time passed, old geographical names were replaced new ones. In the period of collectivization some newly populated areas, kolkhozes had been called various names. Unfortunately, new geographical names distributed the structure of century-old toponyms; as a result, monotonous, meaningless and fictitious Word combinations cameup.
Based on toponym-forming words, such as "yeni" or "teze" ("new"), "shefeg" ("dawn"), etc., artificial geographical names - "Yenikend" or "Tezekend" ("Newvillage"), "Shurabad" ("Soviet populated area"), ’Yeni yoi" ("New-path"), "Komsomol", "Kommunizm Yolu" ("Path to Communizm"), "Gyzyl Shefeg" ("Red Dawn"). "Shen Heyat" ("Merry Life") emerged. Suffice it to say, some ancient toponyms had substituted for the names of revolutionaries, party and state officials. Following the 3-years measures, deformations in geographical names on the territory of the Republic have partly been removed.
When analysing geographical names it has to be kept in mind that among various kinds of toponyms (names of villages, rivers, mountains, etc.) there is both historical and genetical link. For example, a certain geographical object may either borrow its name from local itself may adopt its name from geographical objects. Persons giving names to geographical objects proceeded from economic reguirements of their epoch. However, owing to diversity of economic and social activities the name-giving process went on differently. In some cases ethnonym (name of tribe or kin) borrows its name from a toponym (oronym, hydronym, etc.). For example, during the 1918 Armenian-Turkish clashes the population of several villages situated along the river of Garasu (the Araz s tributary), former Vagarshapat region of Armenia (now Echmiadzin) fleeing to safety from Armenian bandits, had settled on populated areas in the east of Turkey. An overwhelming majority of those fleeing to safety from the villages along the river of Garasu chose family name of "Garasu', in full accord with appropriate Turkish tradition. Nowdays the population of various villages and kins enjoy a single family name of "Garasu".
Another case is possible as well a population area is "old" while a geographical name is "young". Hence, a geographical name may, officially or unofficially be changed within last 70 years by adopting a name of revolutionary, state or party official. Thus, to find out an age of geographical names or ethnonyms - names of tribe, kin or nation, it is necessary to judge from historical point of view. There is a great many ethnotoponyms in Altai, Kazakhstan and the Central Asia (Bayan, Gypchag, Garagashlar, Arbat, Chagan, Shagan, etc.). Ethnonym-users moved, at different historical times, to the west, to the present regions of Turkic language peoples' habitation, including Azerbaijan. It is no mere coincidence that presently in Azerbaijan there are villages called Bayan, Gypchag, Kangarly, Garagashly, Arbat, Shagan (Chagan), etc. The names of the said populated areas go back to ancient Turkic ethnonyms.
Hence, when analysing an origin of geographical names it is necessary, along with social, historical, economic, migrational factors, to base on linguistic principles as well. Geographical names spring up sometimes occasionally, sometimes in connection with an event. In October 1944 a 70-years old inhabitant of the village of Mehmandar Shollusu, Zangibasar region of Armenia, Hasan-Kishi, while moving on a donkey from Echmiadzin, was attacked by 2 Armenian cutthroats who had stabbed him. Luckily, the half-dead man contrived to reach the village of Boyuk Chobankere, Gara Irza's house. Surgeons saved his life. A place he was stabbed gained the name of "Hasanolen" (lit. "a place Hasan died in"). (in Turkey we have it to Hasan Boğuldu-Hasan in Drowned-SB)
Geographical names, conformably to linguistic laws, are subject to toponymic regulations, within the limits of certain time and place. Provided toponyms are examined with no due regard for time and place, vided toponyms are examined with no due regard for time and place, one cannot find out their etymoiogy and historical roots. It is a man who creates a toponym, this man can speak a certain language, lives in a certain place and time. This accounts for the fact toponymies is concidered a discipline which combines linguistics, history, geography and ethnography (Ch.KH.Mirzazade, 1988, p.5). There is a lot of works, historical essays and studies on geographical names of Azerbaijan. Some fragments of them are included in our bibliography. In view of the fact that these works are dealt with in the text of our research, we consider it unnecessary to take up this point.
As for research into Azerbaijani geographical names, it seems to be essential to point out special services of those who made a valuable contribution to this branch of science. They are as follows: A.A.Bakikhanov, M.Baharly, A.Demirchizade, Y.Yusifov, A.Huseynzade, G.Geybullayev, Sh.Sadiyev, A.Gurbanov, K.AIiyev, A.Akhundov, S.Mollazade, L.Guliyeva, Ch.Mirzade, G.Mashadiyev, Kh.Khanmammedov, E.Nuriyev, T.Ahmedov, S.Kerimov, A.Z.Gafarova, S.Mirmahmudova, N.Bandaliyev, R.Yuzbashov, B.Budagov, etc.
Significance of geographical names does not depend on their small (microtoponym) or large (macrotoponym) forms. The chief thing is a determination of place and part of a geographical name in economic and socio-political processes within the limits of space and time. To E.M.Murzayev's thinking (1964, p. 23-24), geographical names are subject to changes in from and content depending upon the historical period. This results from migrations of the population, wars, economic, cultural, and linguistic contacts, etc.
Some geographical names (Sankt-Petersbourg, Riga, Moscow, Petropavlovsk, Khabarovsk, Komsomolsk, etc.) may be identified easily. At the same time, there are ones which cannot - as yet – be identified and dated exactly. This is true about ancient geographical names. For example, dates of Tabriz, Baku, Shamakhy, Ganja, Nakhichevan, other geographical names' springing up are still obscure. It is easy, in particular, to date personal names or names of populated areas, holy places (pirs), etc. by Arabs' coming to Azerbaijan in the VII century, by the period of Islam religion's adoption. In other words, geographical names going back to Arabs may be dated by the VII-VIII centuries and later. It is natural that same Arabic origin names might have been created later as well. These may be exemplified by toponyms made of Arabic words and widely spread in Azerbaijan.
As stated above, there are geographical names whose age is "old" but notion implied is "young". For example, the town of Sumgait had been under construction since 1945 while the toponym itself is much more ancient. This name goes back to Turkic language tribes (Kungut, Oriyat, Sarai, Jorat, Alar, Sunit, Tangyt, Sukait, etc.) who following the Mongolian invasion, settled in Azerbaijan in the XIII century.
As is seen, geographical names are created differently. There are quite different reasons, and among them those linked with natural conditions, ethnonyms, numerals, odours, taste, treatment effect, temperature, colours, profession, technological progress, natural resources, branches of agriculture, etc. It is people who create and bring life to microtponyms - names of small place. Toponyms unfixed in writing survive through people's memory. They are hardly to live provived they remain in people's memory only, not in writing. For instance, if the names of Agkol, Gorug, Gobu, Saz, Meshe, Mamedrza govsheni, Gultepe, Gyr, Agbulag, etc. scattered around the village of Boyuk Chobankere (Zangibasar region of Armenia) had not been fixed in written literature, they would have completely been consigned to oblivien. In some cases (caused by migration of the population) language disappears while toponyms are alive, or vice-versa, toponyms disappear while language is still alive. Latin is a dead language while Latin origin toponyms are alive. The Azerbaijanese are alive while Azerbaijan toponyms in Armenia are dead. Turkic (Azerbaijani) toponyms in Armenia have been wiped out in two ways: completely renamed or through deportation of the population. As is known, the Azerbaijanese were departed from their native lands in Armenia through the language and belief difference, and historical enimity. Traditionally geographical names related to the people forced to migrate are respected by the people who has replaced the former. In other words, previous geographical names remain invariable. For example, some toponyms (Uskiya, Gullar, Kharkhar, etc.) spread on the territory of South Azerbaijan and mentioned by ancient Assyrian sources (IV-VIII centuries B.C.) are living up to the present. However, the said is incompatible to Armenians who occupied ancient Azerbaijani lands guided by diehard nationalism. As far back as in the period preceding 1988, Turkic origin geographical names in Armenia had totally been changed (see The Armenian SSR, Administrative-territorial division. "Ayastan" Publishing House, Yerevan, 1971).
As G.A.Geybullayev writes, a number of acient toponyms of Armenia - Gudark, Sisyan, Shirak, Gumru, Gengerk, Katak, etc. – go back to old-Turkic tribal names. Among them there is an acient Turkic origin word of "Sevan"- "suv" ("lake", "water"). Armenians are unaware of it as yet. They tend to believe that, though the words of this kind are not of Armanian origin, they are not Turkic either. They are unaware of the fact that actively used words like Aran, Vachagan, Vasai, Mamikov, Urnayir, Ohan, Sanatruk, etc. are old Turkic origin personal names of the IY-Y c. Vachagan, Asai, Mamigun, Umar, Sanaturk. The manly character to refuse to acknowledge Azerbaijani origin words like Aganbekyan, Agayan, Balayan, Atayan, Babayan, Igityan, Demirchyan, Khanjanyan, Saryan, etc. as purely Armenian. The examples of this kind are innumerable.
After Crimean Tatars had been exiled from the peninsula, the century old Turkic origin toponyms were substituted for new artificial geographical names. A sort of toponymic assault have been launched against geographical names on the territory of the Crimean peninsula. However, the ancient Turkic origin toponym of the Crimea (to famous researcher M.Farsmer's thinking, the very word of "Kremlin" goes back to "Crimea") has not been renamed through absentmindedness.
The present work is based on author's observations, questioning of long standing, different research works in the field of the Azerbaijan toponymy. List of references and quotations used are enclosed. The work dealing with toponyms used on a certain territory, their parallelism from the Azerbaijan have been given as well. It is of great importance for toponymic study to find out an area of toponyms. The fact that the author used works related to toponyms of Turkic language peoples gave him a chance to reveal an etymology of these toponyms as compared with their toponymic parallels in Azerbaijani, to specify an etymology of this group. The work is intended for wide sections of readers and popularly presented. The author believes his work is likely to make a modest contribution to the study of national toponymies and thus, prolong the life of Azerbaijani toponyms. Arif Zeynalov is the person "guilty" of the publication of "Place Names of Turkic Nations". The author expresses his thanks to the Azerbaijan Inter-Sectoral Economic Association and its President.
Turkic Toponyms of Eurasia
BUDAG BUDAGOV Translated By ZAHID MAHAMMAD oglu AHMADOV , “Elm” Publishing House, 1997 - e-book: