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16 Great Turkic Empires
The 16 Great Turkic Empires (Turkish: 16 Büyük Türk Devleti, which translates as "16 Great Turkish States") is a concept in Turkish ethnic nationalism, introduced in 1969 by Akib Özbek, map officer and widely invoked by Turkish authorities during the 1980s, under the government of Kenan Evren. Prior to this assertion, the 16 stars had been taken as representing sixteen medieval beyliks which succeeded the Seljuk Empire.
According to the concept the "16 Great Turkic Empires" are the following:[Note 1]
|Name||Turkish name||Leader||Dates (Gregorian)|
|Great Hunnic Empire||Büyük Hun İmparatorluğu||Mete Han||220 BC-46 BC|
|Western Hunnic Empire||Batı Hun İmparatorluğu||Panu||48-216|
|European Hunnic Empire||Avrupa Hun İmparatorluğu||Attila||375-469|
|White Hunnic Empire||Akhun İmparatorluğu||Aksunvar||390-577|
|Göktürk Empire||Göktürk İmparatorluğu||Bumin Kağan||552-745|
|Avar Khaganate||Avar İmparatorluğu||Bayan Kağan||565-835|
|Khazar Khaganate||Hazar İmparatorluğu||Tun Yabgu Kağan||651-983|
|Uyghur Khaganate||Uygur Devleti||Kutluğ Kül Bilge Kağan||745-1369|
|Kara-Khanids||Karahanlılar||Kül Bilge Kadir Han||840-1212|
|Great Seljuq Empire||Büyük Selçuklu İmparatorluğu||Selçuk Bey||1040–1157|
|Khwarazmids||Harzemşahlar||Muhammed Harzem Şah||1097–1231|
|Golden Horde||Altınordu Devleti||Batu Han||1236–1502|
|Timurid Empire||Büyük Timur İmparatorluğu||Timur||1368–1501|
|Mughal Empire||Babür İmparatorluğu||Babür Şah||1526-1858|
|Ottoman Empire||Osmanlı İmparatorluğu||Osman Bey||1299-1922|
Turkish nationalist writer, novelist, poet and philosopher, Hüseyin Nihâl Atsız, supporter of the pan-Turkist or Turanism ideology, had noted that while some states with questionable Turkic identity were included in the list (like Mungal), some ostensibly Turkic states (such as Akkoyunlu) were left out, and labeled the list a "fabrication."
In spite of Atsız' criticism, the concept was made a mainstream topos in Turkish national symbolism in the wake of the 1980 Turkish coup d'état, under the presidency of Kenan Evren, when "Turkish-Islamic synthesis" was declared the official nature of Turkish national identity. The Turkish Postal administration issued a series of stamps dedicated to the 16 Empires in 1984, showing portraits of their respective founders as well as attributed flags. In 1985, Özbek's 16 Empires were invoked as a retrospective explanation of the 16 stars in the presidential seal of Turkey (introduced in 1936).
Several municipal buildings and public parks in Turkey have collections of busts or statues of the founders of the "16 Empires" alongside a statue of Kemal Atatürk, including the municipal buildings of Keçiören (Ankara), Mamak, Ankara, Etimesgut, Niğde, Nevşehir, Pınarbaşı, Kayseri, etc.
In January 2015, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in the Turkish Presidential Palace with a guard of 16 "warriors", actors wearing loosely historical armour and costume, intended to symbolise the 16 empires. The costumes were ridiculed in secular Turkish media outlets, and one of the costumes in particular was mocked as a "bathrobe", becoming a trend on social media under the name of Duşakabinoğulları (as it were "son of the shower cabin").
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