Turks in India

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Turks in India
Total population
(126 (2001 census)[1]
est. 250 (2010)[2])
Turkish, Urdu, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam

Turks in India comprise Turkish expatriates and Turkish-origin people living in India. In the 1961 census, 58 people stated that their mother tongue was Turkish.[3] According to the 2001 census, 126 residents of India stated their place of birth as Turkey.[1] In a state visit during early 2010, Prime Minister Abdullah Gül of Turkey met Turkish expatriates living in India and handed out Hindi–Turkish dictionaries to Turkish students in New Delhi.[4] There is also a significant population of Turkic descendants who are known as Rowther. They are believed to have migrated to India at the time of the Ottoman Empire. They are a highly assimilated community and their gene pool is highly diversified. They are mostly found in Southern India, especially in present-day Kerala and Tamil Nadu.[5]


It is often believed that the Turks came to India during the Slave dynasty.[6] Qutb al-Din Aibak, the founder of the Slave dynasty, can be considered as the one who established the presence of the Turks in India.[7] The second king of this dynasty, Iltutmish (1211-36), was known by the title 'Saiyid as-salatin at-turk wa-l-ajam', meaning the 'Master of the kings of the Turks and the Persians'.[8] There were said to be numerous Turkish nobles (amirs) in Delhi during the Slave dynasty.[9] He conquered Rohilkhand, a region in modern day Uttar Pradesh, and Turks settled in this region in the time of Ghiyasuddin Balban (1266-86).


Urdu, which is said to have evolved in war camps, has many Turkish words, such as ustra (razor), lezzet (taste), din (faith), etc. A large number of Turkish-origin people reside in the rural parts of the Rohilkhand region in Uttar Pradesh. According to research conducted by historians, which includes collecting data on the basis of surnames and family genealogies, there are over 15 lakh descendants of Turks living in Rohilkhand, and their settlements are concentrated in around 900 villages of Amroha, Sambhal and Rampur districts.

The language, customs and practices of the Turkish-origin people in Rohilkhand bear significant resemblance to that of Turkey. These people frequently use numerous Turkish words in their daily speech, including words such as ziyafat (feast), vaba (plague), hacet (need) and fazilat (merit), which are not a part of Urdu. The practice of weaving reed baskets is still common among the Turkish-origin women in Rohilkhand, which bears great resemblance to the Turkish practice of weaving baskets known as Sepets. On festive occasions, families eat together from Rakavi, a large aluminium plate, which is also practiced in Turkey. Big-sized chapattis are also consumed by these people, which resemble the Turkish dish Lavash.[10]

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b Census India 2001. "POPULATION CLASSIFIED BY PLACE OF BIRTH AND SEX" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  2. ^ Mehmet Ozkan (2010). "Can the Rise of 'New' Turkey Lead to a 'New' Era in India-Turkey Relations?" (PDF). New Delhi: Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses. p. 10. 
  3. ^ Census India 1961. "MOTHER TONGUES OF INDIA ACCORDING TO THE 1961 CENSUS". Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  4. ^ "India Exclusive". Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  5. ^ ravuthar.blogspot.com/2011/10/rawther-history.html
  6. ^ "Istanbul opens its eyes to Rohilkhand's 11 lakh Turks - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
  7. ^ "T.Y.B.A History Paper- IV". p. 21. 
  8. ^ Wink, Andre (1997). AL-HIND The Making of the Indo-Islamic World, Volume II The Slave Kings and the Islamic Conquest 11th-13th Centuries. Brill. p. 155. 
  9. ^ "T.Y.B.A History Paper- IV". p. 24. 
  10. ^ "Istanbul opens its eyes to Rohilkhand's 11 lakh Turks - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-11-03. 
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Turks_in_India&oldid=817911077"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turks_in_India
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Turks in India"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA