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10 Nisan 2016 Pazar

Turkish Hungarian Relations in Military Culture Entities






Our aim in this research is to put forward the interactions and relations between Turkish and Hungarian communities’ military culture entities in terms of Art History. Military culture entities mean the equipment with the horse racing supplies used by armies and soldiers such as, bows, arrows, swords, daggers, maces, armours, clothes and harnesses. During the determination of interactions and relations the work of both cultures were examined. The examined samples were especially chosen from the museums in Turkey, Hungary and some Eastern European countries. When we compare these works in terms of construction materials, ornamentation and functionality, they are called attention in first point of sight with the similarities to Turk weapons. However, the reason of those similarities are not true completely to be connected to Ottoman – Hungarian relations only in Ottoman era.



Quiver, Ottoman period - Magyar Nemzeti Muzeum
with Cintemani




Through out the history, influence of the expansion and acquiring new land policies between Asia and Europe resulted in cultural interaction. As a result of those conquests and expansions the arsenals of countries changed hands occasionally, in chaos situations important workshops and skilled masters worked for other strong employers. The usable quality objects found in spoils changing hands were put into use again. All these changes laid the ground work for the interaction of nations’ cultural entities from each other. Another dimension of the cultural interaction was being sent valuable works of important masters to other countries for friendship or political reasons. Many times strong countries employed important artists with high wages without considering their nationalities. In this situation artists transferred their knowledge and experience on their works made for their new employers. (3)


Those relations are valid for Turkish and Hungarian cultures interaction. But for both cultures, the roots of cultural relations start from the earliest migrations from Asia to the west. From early ages some of Turkish Tribes or related Steppe Tribes carried Steppe Art to North Black Sea region and Eastern Europe. The presence of proto – Turkish people is accepted in Scythian community which lived as confederation largely in the North of Black Sea region starting from the VIII th century B.C. (4)  So, starting from Scythians; Bulgarians, European Huns, Avars, Pechenegs and the followers of Turkish style Cuman – Lasians made contribution to the joining of East European region of Turkish art before Ottomans. Later the Ottoman art influence was added onto the layer which they had. (5)




Quiver, Scythian



Steppe zone(generation) lies from Central Asia to the Caucasus and North Black Sea region, including Turkey (especially east, north central, central west Anatolia and Thrace), together with many west European countries to Poland. Turkish tribes being a member of steppe culture carried their national characteristics to new geographies during their immigration from Asia to the west and sometimes they created synthesis with the new cultures they met. At the same time those communities did not reach to the west immediately.


Some of those migrations took a century or more. Inside this common culture called steppe zone there were also non Turk original communities. Since this zone presented similar opportunities to all nations living on it they easily got used to each other. For example small differences between the Hun art and Alan community living inside the European Hun State could only be identified with experts. (6)


There are many important researches of Hungarian scientists for cultural relations of Turkish – Hungarian cultures. Hungarian researcher Geza Feher stated the obvious effect of Turkish communities, such as Bulgarian Turks, Huns, Caspian Turks, Pecheneg Turks and Ottomans on Hungarian life style and defined the start of this influence hundreds years before the arrival of Hungarians to Europe and also stated that the influence continued in Ottoman Turks. The same researcher expressed the obvious effect of Turks either on simple works used by public or on valuable objects used by the rich and the rulers and sometimes the characteristics of both cultures were mixed. The Turk concept expressed here was only limited to Ottoman Turks but excluding the others before Ottoman. So, in his book “Hungarian History III” Hungarian historian Gyula Szekfu expressed that; ”The magnificent life style of Turks effected the lifestyles of Hungarian rulers and increased their glitter. The Turkish influence valuable stones like turquoise and ruby were used in clothes, weapons, even on table ornaments, on capes, buttons, hairpins and badges, by doing so the magnificence of 1001 nights tales were represented. Even the Christian Hungarians tried to stay away the Turkish culture since they were coming from a different religion they submitted the Turks in the field of magnificence…” (7)




Miniature detail showing Mohac Campaign (1526), Bali Pasha and his military persons
(E. Atıl, Suleymanname, New York 1986, s.134)



Turkish – Hungarian relations is a thesis put forward long before contemporary researchers. On his work “Hungaria” in 1536 Miklos Olah expressed the possibility of Hungarians belonging to the same origin as Huns and also stated that Turks are related to Huns with respect of origin. In his work in 1667 Laurentis Toppeltinus de Medgyes searched the origins of many Hungarian words in Turkish language. In 1761 György Pray claimed that Hungarian and Turkish languages are relatives. (8) At the beginning of the 20th century Hungarian Turcologist Aurel Stein who made important researches also stated that the origins of Hungarians are related to Asia and consequently to Turks. (9)


The most important evidence supporting these theories are the Art History objects enriching the museums in Hungary and west European countries’ museums which were found in archaeological excavation sites. Among these findings especially military culture entities attract attention. These findings show that pre – Ottoman Turks communities used military objects such as bows, arrows, arrowheads, swords, daggers, axes, spears, helmets, armours, shields, maces (Bozdoğan) (10), stirrups, bits, saddles, horse covers, horse armours, various helmets, helmets and clothing accessories. Works found European Hungarian graves also show that jewellery and iron arts were developed among those communities. Undoubtedly the most improved examples of those works were found in the Ottoman era. Especially scratched, embossed, filigreed kurgans and stone/bone/nacre inlay work clearly represents the point the Ottoman jewellery reached. Thus, this richness also showed itself in Hungarian art.


Iron and smithery or mineral workmanship had great importance in old Turkish culture. Old Chinese references tell about neighbouring Turkish communities as “blacksmiths of Altai”. In “Ergenekon Epic”, which is a breeding legend in Turkish mythology, iron and smithery have the main priority. Since iron is regarded holy according to Sky (Gök) beliefs Sky Iron (Gök Demir/Kök Temur) adjective is used in some Turkish communities, like Yakuts, blacksmiths had protective gods. All these examples show that iron kept its importance in Turkish culture for thousands of years especially in relation with weapons. (11)


It is accepted by some European researchers that bows, arrows, harnesses and saddles found in Hungarian kurgans were came to Europe with Attilla’s army. (12) The date is certain to 4-5 th century A.C, but according to us, this can take us back to early eras, to 7th century B.C to Scythians. Bow and arrow use in central asia and Altai goes back to Neolithic era. (13) We can see examples of this bow – arrow portray petrography on a Ivolga tribe stone (14), Etrüsk [Etruscan-SB] Vase (6th century B.C) showing Kimmerian knights with bows and arrows (15), golden wall fixture panel (4th century B.C) showing a knight with bow and arrow found in Huniyka kurgan (16), Scythian Vase found in Kuloba village kurgan, displayed in Kiev Museum (4th century B.C) with bow and arrow on it (17), a golden panel showing warriors with bows and arrows (1st – 2nd century A.D) found in Kuban findings in Caucasus region show us how steppe arrow and bow reached to the west before Ak Huns (Western Huns) [White Huns / Hephthalite - SB](18).


Objects such as saddle, horse cover, bit, and stirrup are related to steppe culture and horse breeding. Those objects mainly reached Europe from Central Asia (19). The well kept saddle found in a Hun era kurgan in Borodayevski village located on the left side of Itil River is important. The pommel of the wooden saddle is curved in front and rounded at back, with a length of 60 cm. The saddle is supported with belts passing through holes opened from the tips and middle sections of the pommel. This saddle type is an example of a very common Turkish saddle type (20).



Hungarian Saddle, second half of 17th century, Karlsruhe Museum 
(E. Petrasch et al., Die Karlsruher Türkenbeute, München 1991, s. 124)



Old Turkish communities travelling long distances on horses used horse covers to take the sweat of their horses, made their saddles with high pommels to carry their quivers, holsters and various armours easily and covered them with leather or felt. In time those Turkish saddles and horse cover turned into magnificently decorated objects showing ceremonial richness (21). It is also important that European Hun findings show us Turkish style saddles supported with leather and metal plates over wooden skeleton came to Europe with Huns. The portrayals on Trayan [Trajan's Column-SB] column (92 – 117 A.D) displayed in Bucharest National History Museum are important from the point of horse and bow. In general on the work on which the war between the Romans and nomadic tribes fought, in the scene where the Trayan army seize control of Dacians (communities living on mountains), Dacians are represented as nomadic tribe wearing boots up to their ankles, trousers different from Romans and carrying their bows on their on shoulders. Also imprisoned Dacian horses carrying spoils and horses’ handwork covers is the document of steppe culture passing to the Roman culture.



Left: Turkish Helmet , 16th century, Topkapi Palace Museum, Inventory: 2/1192) 
(D.J. Roxburgh (Edit.), Turks, London 2005, p.338)
Right: Hungarian Helmet, 16th century, Istanbul Military Museum , Inventory: 5575) 
(T. Çoruhlu, Türk ve Avrupa Silahlari Arasindaki Etkileşim, Sanatta Etkileşim, Ankara 2000, p.93)




Researcher Artomov accepts that bows used by Huns were developed by themselves and came to Eastern Europe from Asia through north of Black Sea by Huns as well (22). The maximum length of these bows called Hun bows is 165 cm. Those bows were prepared suitable for the use of cavalry and supported with bone materials on handle while the arrow was being thrown. Also on two ends of bows notches are opened to tie the bowstring made from lamb intestine and supported with bone materials. These bows seem like a united eyebrow when they are stretched and when the bowstring is loosened, they take a circular shape turning to opposite directions. This bow type used in Hun era was also the one used by Ottoman cavalries. (23) Even Turkish bow has a single design to be used on horse by cavalry, the dimensions and the specifications of arrows vary. There are different samples used in trainings, in hunting for different types of animals, in wars for attack and defence positions. The size, technical specifications, type of wood used in production of bow and arrow showed little difference. Arrow heads, called as a” temren/tir” in Ottoman documents used in Ottomans were made of metal, bone or wood according to the size and strength of the bow. Metal arrow heads could be slim, long, sharply pointed with two, three or four wings. Also the rear of the arrow was grooved notched in order to place the arrow easily to bowstring. Feathers were placed on the rear of the arrow to throw it balanced in air depending on the distance. With the help of the feather and arrow tip wings, arrow creates an effective sound while travelling to its target.



Left: Turkish Sword, 16th century, Istanbul Military Museum 
(S. Tekeli – T. Çoruhlu et al., Military Museum Collections, Istanbul 1995)
Right: Hungarian Swords, National Museum of Budapest, 
16th century, decorated in Turkish animal style and embellished with turquoise inlay work. (Lugasi – Temesvary, p. 42 – 44)



Similar relations are available for Turkish swords. Two types of swords can be seen from the beginning of proto – Turks petrography, kurgan findings and other pictured descriptions. In both types of swords, sheaths were used and hung on belts with hook rings. One type of the sword has double edges, straight body, blood channel, hilt and a guard for the hilt. Daggers and machetes are developed from this type of sword. In these samples hilt and hilt guards are decorated with animal motives and display rich jewellery workmanship. In the second type the sword the body is lightly inclined one side is half the other is fully sharp. The classical Ottoman sword was derived from this sword. Yataghans, which are single edged and lightly inclined, developed from the knives in ages and turned into a weapon. Two important examples of European Huns’ swords, which can be found around north Black Sea and Hungaria (24), were found in Kerc and Dimitrievka,in Crimea Peninsula.. On the sword’s golden hilt, found in Kerc, there are rings on the sheath and embossment technique was used on the edge. The sword mentioned in the second center is also a double edged weapon as the first one (25). From the Pecheneg kurgans and Pecheneg nobles’ kurgans in old Bajcs – Farkasd village located in Bajc-Vlkanovo ‘ da Komarom region of Slovakia gem stone pieces, a stirrup and two swords were found together with various objects dated back to the 10th century. On one of the swords, which were used as a sign of nobility, we can see the hilt and the guard for the hilt and also on its body there is a brass embossment and a decoration. However without their hilt covers both swords were the example of typical inclined body swords showing the changes in the 11th century. (26)


Sharp cone shaped helmets with neck and ear covers, chain knitted shoulder capes and especially chain knitted Turkish armours are the typical Turkish military clothing reached to Europe in early ages.



Hungarian Sword, 16th century, National Museum Budapest (Lugasi – Temesvary, p.40)



The protective armour shirt samples with slashes on sleeves and collar came into light in archaeological excavations. Byzantium soldiers took these armour shirts from Turkish communities and Eastern European nomadic tribes. The samples of these shirts can be seen in Budapest National Museum and Bucharest Military museum belonging to Cumans, Lasians, Pechenegs and Tatars. Improved versions of these shirts were used by Seljuk and Ottoman soldiers. The most important art works claimed to belong to Pechenegs take place in the famous Nagy Szent Miklos treasure. (27) 



Pecheneg Vase, National Museum of Budapest 
(Laszlo – Racz, The Treasure of Nagyszentmiklos, Hungary 1985, p.38)




On some of the pots there are Turkish writings which are called “runic” as a result of false naming. One of the most important pieces of the treasure is the jug with number two . On the jug there are scenes showing a gryphon attacking a deer and a cavalry with slanting eyes and beard and moustache wearing a helmet and armour riding his horse. The cavalry is holding a spear with flag in one hand and dragging a prisoner, also a cut-off head can be seen on the back part of the saddle. An armour shirt with the same specification, a shoulder size short cape worn as a sign of nobility and a cone shaped sharp pointed Hungarian helmet can be seen in Istanbul Military Museum. (28) All these mentioned weapon forms were used not only in Anatolia and Eastern Europe but also were still in use in Central Asia. Weapons found in a Lasian kurgan belonging to 13th century, which were presented as treasure gift, in Kazakhstan are important. An iron armour shirt, cone shaped sharp pointed helmet and Turkish style supported bow are important foundlings. (29)


From the remaining works of Cuman – Lasians in Northern Black Sea and Eastern Europe rather light and mobile leather and chain knitted armours were found. From the Crimean samples it can be understood that armour workmanship is rather developed. (30) Besides, from the Central Asia tradition of stone statues (taş baba / balbal) and clothes accessories of these tribes are also important.


One of the most important signs for Ottomans accepting Eastern Europe as a permanent land was moved the capital to Edirne in 767/1366. But,by the conquest of Istanbul in 857/1453 the capital was moved here since the city was located on both sides of the empire. At the strongest era of the Ottoman empire the borders included the whole Balkan region. This region as we had mentioned above were the land of European Huns, Avars, Pechenegs, Cumans and Liasians. We do not know if the Ottomans were aware of that but not separating this region from their mother land could be seen as a sign that they might have known the earlier periods. (31)


In conclusion; when the Ottoman Turkish culture combined with the existing Turkish Culture in Hungarian and Eastern European culture important works of art created in military culture entities as well as in other fields.





Tülin ÇORUHLU 
ASKERİ KÜLTÜR VARLIKLARINDA TÜRK-MACAR İLİŞKİLERİ 
Sakarya Üniversitesi 
SAÜ Fen Edebiyat Dergisi (2009-II)
Tülin Çoruhlu, Bezeme ve Formları Açısından Türk ve Avrupa Silahları arasındaki Etkileşim‟, Sanatta Etkileşim, Ankara 2000, p.92-97

Bu araştırmada amacımız, Türk ve Macar topluluklarının askeri kültür varlıkları arasındaki etkileşimler ve ilişkileri Sanat Tarihi bilimi açısından ortaya koymaktır. Askeri kültür varlıkları ile kastedilen ifade, ordu ve askerin kullandığı ok-yay, kılıç, kama, topuz, gürz gibi her türlü silah, zırh ve miğfer gibi askeri giyim kuşamlar ile at koşum takımlarıdır. Bu ilişkileri ve etkileşimleri tespit ederken, her iki kültüre ait eserler incelenmiştir. İncelenen bu eserler özellikle Türk ve Macar müzeleri ile bazı doğu Avrupa müzelerinden seçilmiştir. Söz konusu eserleri, yapım malzemeleri, biçimleri, süslemeleri, işlevsel özellikleri açısından karşılaştırdığımızda Türk silahları ile benzerlikleri ilk bakışta dikkati çeker. Ancak bu benzerliğin nedenini yalnızca Osmanlı dönemi Osmanlı-Macar ilişkilerine bağlamak tam anlamı ile doğru olmaz. Tarih boyunca Asya ve Avrupa kıtaları arasında süregelen yeni yurtlar edinme ve toprak genişletme politikaları nedeniyle kültürler arası bir etkileşim söz konusu olmuştur.


3) Yaşar Çoruhlu, Erken Devir Türk Sanatı, İstanbul 2007, p.327-328
4) Y.Çoruhlu, Erken Devir Türk Sanatı, İstanbul 2007, p.327-355/ T.Çoruhlu, Gora Halk Sanatları ( Part II: Osmanlılardan Önce Kuzey Karadeniz ve Doğu Avrupa‟da Türk Sanatı (Written by:Yaşar Çoruhlu), İstanbul 2007, p.34-35/Also see. I.Kovrig, Avar Finds in the Hungarian National Museum, Budapest 1975/A.Kiss, Avar Cemeteries in Country Baranya, Budapest 1977/Nikola Daskalov, Weaponary in the Past, Sofia 1989/ Andras Paloczi Horvath, Pechenegs, Cumans, Lasians, Hungary 1989/Gerhart Logthaler,Treasures on the Danube, Graz 1985/Gyula Laszlo -İstvan Racz, The Treasure of Nagyszentmiklos, Hungary 1985/Y.Çoruhlu, Türk Eserlerini Değerlendirmeleri Bakımından Macar Müzeleri, III.Müzecilik Sempozyumu Bildirileri, İstanbul 1997, p.126-137
5) T.Çoruhlu, Gora Halk Sanatları ( II. Bölüm : Osmanlılardan Önce Kuzey Karadeniz ve Doğu Avrupa‟da Türk Sanatı (yazan:Yaşar Çoruhlu), İstanbul 2007, p.43
6) Geza Feher, „Macar Sanatında Türk Etkisi‟, Türk Sanatı ve Tarihi araştırma ve İncelemeleri II, İstanbul 1969, p. 205, 208
7) Geza Feher, Macar Sanatında Türk Etkisi‟, Türk Sanatı ve Tarihi araştırma ve İncelemeleri II, İstanbul 1969., p.206
8) Ahmet Ali Arslan, Türk „Dünyasına Hoş Geldin Macaristan‟, Türk Dünyası Tarih Dergisi,April 1995, p.30-31
9) Bozdogan (mace) is a striking weapon. It takes its name from the bird with the same name. This weapon crossed into the European Culture. Today this weapon is displayed in Eastern European Museums without chancing its original name “Bozdogan”.
11) Y.Çoruhlu, Türk Mitolojisinin Anahatları, İstanbul 2006, p.36,181,189,193
11) Istvan Bona, Das Hunnen –Reich, Budapest 1991, p.68, f.23
12) A.P.Ocladnikov, Tarihin Şafağında İç Asya, Erken İç Asya Tarihi, (Translated by Deniz Sinor), İstanbul 2000, 90-91
13)A.P. Okladnikov, Ancient Population of Siberia and Its Cultura, Cambridge 1959 p:90,f.21,
14) D.N.Kozak, S.D.Kırjitsky, V.Yu. Murzin, Bıloe Ukraınskay Stepi, Nikolayev 2002, p .25
15) Newyork 2001, Ellen D. Reeder (Edit.), Scythian Gold. Treasures From Ancient Ukraine, p:254-255, f.123
16) Boris Piotrovsky-Ludmilla Galanina-Nonna Grach, Scythian Art, Oxford-Leningrad 1987 f:171-173
17) E.D.Philips. The Royal HordesNomad Peoples of The Steppes, London 1965, p.104.
18) Emel Esin, Türk Sanatında İkonografik Motifler, İstanbul 2004, p.291,293-94, 296-97
19) M. İ. Artamonov, Hazar Tarihi Türkler, Yahudiler, Ruslar ( Translated by D. Ahsen Batur), İstanbul 2004, s. 64-65, 135, 136
20) Selected examples of these Ottoman Era work art can be seen in Topkapi palace and Military Museum in Turkiye as well as in the collections of Karlsruhe Germany, National Museum, Ethnography Museum of Budapest, Bucharest National History Museum and Military Museum. See also. Grup, Askeri Müze Koleksiyonları, İstanbul 1995, Ernst Petrasch, vd., Die Karlsruher Turkenbeute, München 1991,Museum in The Budapest, Corvina, Budapest 1989, Lugası Jozsef-Frenc Temesvary, Kordok Zrınyı Katonai Kiado, Budapest 1988
22) M. İ. Artamonov, Hazar Tarihi Türkler, Yahudiler, Ruslar ( Translated by D. Ahsen Batur), İstanbul 2004, p. 64-65, 135, 136
22) See also Ünsal Yücel, Türk Okçuluğu, Ankara 1999,
23) Bahaeddin Ögel, Türk Kılıcının Menşe ve Tekamülü Hakkında, AÜ Dil ve Tarih Coğrafya Fakültesi Dergisi, C. VI, S.5, Ankara 1948, p.433-438.See the whole article in order to compare with other Turkish swords (p.431-460) .
24) Nandor Fettich, Hunların Arkeolojik Hatıraları, Atilla ve Hunlar, (Translated by:Şerif Baştav), Ankara 1982, p.219.
25) Andras Paloczi Horvath, Pechenegs, Cumans, Lasians, Hungary 1989, p.18-20, 22, 24, 34-35. Picture 21-22
27). Gyula Laszlo – Istvan Racz, The Treasure of Nagyszentmiklos ( Translated from Hungarian by. H. Tarnoy), Budapest 1977. See also Nejat Diyarbekirli, Peçenek hazinesi ve Türk sanatının çeşitli kıtalarda gelişen ortak nitelikleri, Tarih Enstitüsü Dergisi, p. 4-5, İstanbul 1974.
27) İstanbul Military Museum, Inventory: 16526(armoured shirt), 16527(shoulder size armoured cape), 5575(helmet).
28) K.M.Baypakov-Si Tanabayeva- M.N. Sdukov, Drevniye Sokravişa Zapatnogo Kazahstana, Batıs Kazakıstanın Arkeologyalıg Gazinaları, Almaatı 2001, p.138-139
29) Andras Paloczi Horvath, Pechenegs, Cumans, Lasians, Hungary 1989,
, s.44-45, 73, 88, 95-96.
30) T.Çoruhlu, Gora Halk Sanatları ( Part II : Osmanlılardan Önce Kuzey Karadeniz ve Doğu Avrupa‟da Türk Sanatı (written by:Yaşar Çoruhlu), İstanbul 2007, p.66-67




In Hungaria Cuman Turks are called Kunok



Cuman Turk - Warrior - Hungary

Scythian Turk Warrior 

Cuman Turk Warrior - Hungary


Ottoman Turk Warrior

Miniature showing an Ottoman Turk horse archer



Mamluk (Kipchak) Turk


Kipchak Turk on Ahtamar Church (which belongs to Christian Kipchak Turks)


Mamluk (Kipchak) Turks