The Afghans

Review

“Vogelsang … has produced a valuable overview of Afghan history and archaeology…[his] book reminds readers that Afghanistan’s rich history and culture warrant far more attention than merely as a refuge for ‘evil-doers,’ and that its people deserve the interest and support Continue reading

Cultural History of Crimean Tatars: A Book Review and a Tribute

Oktay Aslanapa, ed. Sanatı, Tarihi, Edebiyatı ve Musikisiyle KIRIM [Crimea: Her Art, History, Literature and Music]. Ankara: Yeni Turkiye Yayinlari, 2003. 260 pp.

KIRIM is a collection of articles written by Turkish scholars and researchers on the cultural history of Crimean Tatars. It includes chapters on architecture, history, literature and music, and brings together information drawn from sources in Turkish, Crimean Tatar and Russian, Continue reading

Teach Yourself Turkish Complete Course

Turkish is the most widely spoken of the Altaic language family. Its usage is common in such current political hot spots as the Balkans, Central Asia, and the Near East. Among the highlights of Teach Yourself Turkish are:
An in-depth study of how the language was formed
A phonetic approach to the spoken language
The grammar and rules of written Turkish.
Vocabulary exercises to make learning easier. Continue reading

Turkestan and the Fate of the Russian Empire

The central argument of this book is that the half-century of Russian rule in Central Asia was shaped by traditions of authoritarian rule, by Russian national interests, and by a civic reform agenda that brought to Turkestan the principles that informed Alexander II’s reform policies. This civilizing mission sought to lay the foundations for a rejuvenated, ‘modern’ empire, unified by imperial citizenship, patriotism, and a shared secular culture. Evidence for Brower’s thesis is drawn from major archives in Uzbekistan Continue reading

The Duab of Turkestan

W. Rickmer Rickmers (1873–1965) was a German explorer and mountaineer who visited and explored central Asia five times between 1894 and 1906. This book provides an account of his travels in the area he calls Turkestan, which incorporates modern Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and south-west Kazakhstan, and was first published in 1913. The region, which contains the ancient cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, had not been previously described in so much detail by a western European traveller. Continue reading

Alpamysh: central Asian identity under Russian rule

Alpamysh is a Turkic dastan — ornate oral history — and prime representative of the Turkic oral literature of Central Asia. It is the principal repository of ethnic identity, history, customs, and the value systems of its owners and composers. Set mostly in verse, the Alpamysh dastan is known and recited from the eastern Altai to the western Ural mountain ranges and as far south as Band-e Turkestan. It commemorates the Turkic people’s struggles for freedom. The events leading to the composition Continue reading

Aryan Idols: Indo-European Mythology as Ideology and Science

Stefan Arvidsson is assistant professor at the University of Halmstad and a researcher at the University of Lund. Sonia Wichmann received a Ph.D. from the Department of Scandinavian at the University of California, Berkeley.
Critically examining the discourse of Indo-European scholarship over the past two hundred years, Aryan Idols demonstrates how the interconnected concepts of “Indo-European” and “Aryan” as ethnic categories have been shaped by, and used for, various ideologies. Continue reading