Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk

The Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk (Arabic: ديوان لغات الترك‎ , i.e., "Compendium of the languages of the Turks") is the first comprehensive dictionary of Turkic languages, compiled in 1072–74 by the Turkic scholar Mahmud Kashgari who extensively studied the Turkic languages of his time.[2][5]

Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk
ديوان لغات الترك
Presidential Library[1]
Kashgari map.jpg
Map from Mahmud al-Kashgari's Dīwān (11th century)
Place of originBaghdad
Language(s)Middle Turkic, Arabic
Scribe(s)Muhammed al-Dameshqi[citation needed]
Author(s)Mahmud al-Kashgari
Materialfirst comprehensive dictionary of Turkic languages
Previously keptNational Library of Turkey[3]
DiscoveredAli Amiri[4]


Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk is the first book written in a Turkic language, and was intended for use by the Caliphs of Baghdad, who were controlled by the Seljuk Turks. It has a map that shows countries and regions from Japan to Egypt. The book also included the first known map of the areas inhabited by Turkic peoples.[6]

The compendium documented evidence of Turkic migration and the expansion of the Turkic tribes and Turkic languages into Central Asia, Eastern Europe and West Asia, mainly between the 6th and 11th centuries. The region of origin of the Turkic people is suggested to be somewhere in Siberia and Mongolia. Identified Turkic tribes were known by the 6th century, and by the 10th century most of Central Asia was settled by Turkic tribes such as Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Tatar, Kipchak, Kazakh, Türkmen, Uygur, Ajare, Coucas and 28 other tribes. The Seljuq dynasty settled in Anatolia starting in the 11th century, ultimately resulting in permanent Turkic settlement and presence there. Meanwhile, other Turkic tribes either ultimately formed independent nations, such as Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and others new enclaves within other nations, such as Chuvashia, Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, the Crimean Tatars, the Uyghurs in China, and the Sakha Republic in Siberia. [7][8]


Mahmud al-Kashgari's comprehensive dictionary, later edited by the Turkish historian, Ali Amiri,[4] contains specimens of old Turkic poetry in the typical form of quatrains of Persian literature (Azerbaijani: dördəm, Persian رباعیات ruba'i; Turkish: dörtlük), representing all the principal genres: epic, pastoral, didactic, lyric, and elegiac.


It has been previously housed at the National Library in Istanbul,[3] but as of February 2020 is in display at the Presidential Library in Ankara.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Başkan Erdoğan Millet Kütüphanesinin açılışını yaptı ve duyurdu! Önemli eserler burada görülebilecek". Sabah. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  2. ^ a b Kemal H. Karpat, Studies on Turkish Politics and Society:Selected Articles and Essays, (Brill, 2004), 441.
  3. ^ a b Roudik, Peter, The History of the Central Asian Republics, (Greenwood Press, 2007), 175.
  4. ^ a b Ali Amiri, R. Mantran, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. I, ed. H.A.R. Gibb, J.H. Kramers, E. Levi-Provencal and J. Schacht, (E.J. Brill, 1986), 391.
  5. ^ Heming Yong; Jing Peng (14 August 2008). Chinese Lexicography : A History from 1046 BC to AD 1911: A History from 1046 BC to AD 1911. OUP Oxford. pp. 379–80. ISBN 978-0-19-156167-2.
  6. ^ DÎVÂNÜ LUGĀTİ’t-TÜRK (Turkish) TDV Islam Ansiklopedisi. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  7. ^ https://dergipark.org.tr/tr/download/article-file/696830
  8. ^ "The Oldest Map of Japan Drawn by Mahmud of Kashgar". 3 January 2007.

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