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10.03.2005

Coin discovery sheds light on Turkic civilization

Göktürk find refutes claims that the Turkic peoples were merely plunderers and barbarians


Ancient coins from the first known Turkic culture, the Göktürks, have been discovered during archeological excavations in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, reported the Doğan News Agency.

Associate Professor Yavuz Daloğlu, an instructor at Dokuz Eylül University who presented the findings of historian Dr. Babayar Gaybullah to the public, stated that claims asserting that the Göktürk people did not have any structure of governance have been proven wrong by this discovery. He commented that this discovery refutes claims that the Turkic peoples were merely plunderers and barbarians.

Daloğlu, who attended the Second International Turkish Civilization Congress sponsored by Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Menas University in Bishkek on Oct. 4-6 2004, met with Uzbek historian Gaybullah. Daloğlu began studying coins from ancient Turkic civilization brought to the congress by Gaybullah and came across the Göktürk pieces, which he had never seen before. He said these were an important discovery in the history of Turkic civilization. Stating that he was familiar with coins from the Selcuk and Ottoman eras, he said he had never heard nor read that the Göktürks had minted coins of their own. On one face of the coin was the likeness of a khan in the center with three stars and a moon on the edges.

Coins belonging to the Türgiş of the eighth century, after the Göktürks, had previously been discovered, but the Göktürk coins date from approximately 150 to 200 years earlier, around A.D. 576-600. This discovery is as important as the discovery of Orhun script. Money is used where social trade and economy exist, indicating an important contribution to world civilization.

The coins are believed to be in Sogd, Baktri and Pehlevi script with titles such as Kağan, Hatun, Yabgu, Tegin Tudun, Tarhan and Elteber. The various levels of authority can be understood from observing these coins, as the names of state officials are engraved beside the khans' names. Daloğlu stated that important information has come to light with the studies conducted on these ancient coins.