Are contemporary Turks Armenian?

A number of studies of genetics, in the past decade, including several by Armenian scientists, have concluded that the DNA of modern Turks has an extremely high percentage of Armenian DNA. Other geneticists say that less than 10% of Turkey’s population has Central Asian/Mongol origins and that 90% of Turkish ancestry is a genetic cocktail. Others have gone so far as to wonder whether most Turks of Turkey are acculturated Armenians (same genetic structure) and that Turks of Turkey are the only people in the world who have completely changed their genetic pool from Turkic to that of Asia Minor and the Balkans.

Are Contemporary Turks Armenian?

This is a rather comprehensive overview of the issue of Turkish origins from an archaeological/anthropological/historical and genetic perspective. It should serve as a nice overview of the literature on the subject for anyone interested in the topic.

The authors don’t estimate a % estimate of the impact of incoming Turkic speakers vs. pre-Turkic Anatolians, but marshall enough evidence to show that massive migration into Anatolia from the east was not responsible for the linguistic Turkicization of the peninsula.

A minor observation on the genetic aspects of the paper is that the authors reference the old claim that Y-haplogroups G and J share common ancestry; this is not our current understanding of the Y-chromosome phylogeny which puts haplogroup J with haplogroup I in the IJ clade and more generally the IJK clade at the exclusion of G.

In any case, this does not materially affect the paper’s conclusions as both G and J originated in West Eurasia and may only have entered Anatolia with Turkic speakers as back-migration together with haplogroups typical of East Eurasia.

Who Are the Anatolian Turks? A Reappraisal of the Anthropological Genetic Evidence (Yardumian & Schurr 2011)

Anatolian Turkish Genetics: Abstracts and Summaries

Turks, Armenians share similar genes, say scientists

Are Turks acculturated Armenians?

Archaeogenetics of the Near East

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