Thursday, February 11, 2021

Turkic Uyghur people in history

The Uyghurs are a Turkic-Muslim minority in the People`s Republic of China (PRC), their native language belongs to a Turkic language family and is written on the basis of Arabic graphics, and regard themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations.

The Uyghurs living in the Uyghur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang, closely related in language, culture and ethnicity to their Kazakh, Uzbek, and Turkmen neighbors. They are a small group in terms of China’s population of 1.3 billion, numbering 8.3 million.

The Uyghurs and their forebears are an ancient people who have lived in Central Asia since the first millennium BC.

The Uyghurs and their ancestors established their reign under the rule of the Huns (2nd century BC to 2nd century AD), the Jurjan (3rd century to 5th century AD), and the Turkish empires (522 to 744 AD).

The medieval Uyghurs became a political entity in the mid-8th century when they established their steppe empire as the inheritors of the ancient Türk steppe tribal confederation.

Since as early as 10th century they have been following the moderate form of Sunni Islam which is organically mingled with their local traditions and ancient worldviews.

They ruled their empire for a century from their capital city in the heart of the Mongol steppe. Their empire ended when rival Kirgiz tribes attacked it, and the Uyghur aristocracy fled south into the borderland areas between China and the steppe.

The Uyghurs established their own states throughout history; these included the Uyghur Äli (744 to 840 AD), the Ïdïqut Uyghur (605-840 to 1250), the Uyghur Qarakhan (10th to 13th century), the Uyghur Chaghatay (13th to 16th century), the Yärkänt Uyghur Khanate (1514-1678), the Qumul and Turpan Uyghur Baks (from the end of the seventeenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth century), and finally the Yakup Bak (1820-1877), which lasted until the Qing invasion.

Two groups of diaspora Uyghurs built new states in Gansu and the Tarim Basin. The Gansu Uyghurs stayed in that region but never exerted any real power as a state. The Uyghurs who migrated to the Tarim Basin were more successful, building an independent kingdom that maintained a stable rule over the mixed population of city dwellers and nomads who lived in the far-flung oases of the area.

Medieval Uyghur life and culture flourished until the Mongol invasion, at which time Uyghur-land underwent two hundred years of war and division.

When Khubilai lost control of the Tarim Basin, most of the Uyghur aristocracy moved to China. The Uyghur diaspora refashioned their identity a third time in China as members of the conquest government and the cultural literati.

The Uyghur minority attempted to secede from China with the establishment of the East Turkestan Republic in 1945, but the People’s Liberation Army (the military force of the Chinese Communist Party or CCP) re-gained power over the region of Xinjiang following WWII.
Turkic Uyghur people in history

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