Albans and Gargars (the first article)


Antique historian Strabo mentioned 26 local tribes in Albania, however the number which was cited by Musa Kalankatli was comparatively less: Albans, gargars, masagets, eptals (abdals), kergils, kidans, huns  and khazars. According to “Albanian history” it is clear that the main roles were played by Albans and gargars. This article is devoted to these two Turkish tribes.    Alban tribes which participated in formation the Azerbaijan turks’ ethnogenesis lived in the northern shores of Kur river, and gathered the Turkish rooted tribes like gargars, utis, massagets, donddars, and etc., furthermore Caucasian speaking tribes like udins, chibles, gats, ubyches and established the country which was mentioned in historical sources like Albania. In Kitabi-Dede-Korkud epos there is data about Albans and one of the main heroes Kazan khan is depicted as a leader of alpans (Albans) and the Orientalist researcher Suleyman Alyarov mentioned this issue and wrote:  “ Researches of Dede Korkud  book determined a novel, unexpected stream of Azerbaijan’s long ethno historical development. In the Dresden edition of this epos there is a scene where the spy of enemies informs his troops when Kazan khan was involved to hunting : Hey, why are you sitting? The powerful alpan Kazan is drunk with his son and sleeping.” It is a very interesting fact that they utilized the name of Alpan in the place of the leader. We read a valuable moment in the 7th chapter :” I saw black white horses rode by alpans, I took with myself white and grey sparkling alps.” All scientists could not believe in their eyes and substituted the word alpan with alp. In the Russian translated book we can see that they utilized the synonym of alp like “vityazi”. Turkish researcher Engin also juxtaposed the name of alpans with the name of alps, however he also mentioned in appropriate places of the book that in Dresden edition there are two section which uttered about alpans. “Alpan” ethnos found in the book is the real evidence that they are related to events in Azerbaijan and they actually grew in these lands. This nation lived in Azerbaijan from the fourth century B.C till the tenth century, which comprises 1500 years. The name of ancient Albans is living in the name of Guba’s village “Alpan”. The citizens of this village are the direct successors of Albans, and they are turks. These people are speaking in Turkish. Considering that all tribes and nations protected their languages in Guba region, even those whose numbers are calculated with thousands too, it is ridiculous to think that Alban people were made to speak in Turkish. They are Turkish tribes.” Albans crossed the borders in the early medieval ages and went to Turkey. The 6th century’s author mentioned that iskits are living in very vast lands that huns, sirs and Albans could reach and cross these borders. It discloses that Albans, iskits, generally could reach the last borders of Turkish lands, they went till Chinese boundaries. one tribe of gunkazaks which Is called Albans are living now in Uygur Autonomous Province, in other words in Eastern Turkistan or n the borders of Kazakhstan. We can find information about the formation of kazak and kyrgyz nations and the role of Albans there, in the fourth edition of Chokan Valikhov’s “Chosen works” page 326 and “The archeological and ethnographic expedition of Kyrgyzstan”  article, which was published in 1960 and comprised the information about the consistency of Kyrgyz ethnos. There is very valuable data about albans’ role in the formation of ozbek turks’ nation in Kamishiyev’s “Tajikistan’s ozbek-lokay nation” book’s second table where was indicated that ozbeks belonged to alban nation. Jdanko’s book about the history of garagalpags revealed the fact that this nation also is related to Albans. Giyasaddin Geybullayev’s researches clarified the data that gargars from alban tribes also were turks and their language was gipchag Turkish. It seems that gipchag Turkish was as popular as oguz Turkish in ancient Azerbaijan. It is known a competition between these two tribes according to Kitabi Dede Korkud. It is also a fact that Alban alphabet was formed basing to kipchak- gagar language  and this language played the literature and state functions. Though many people utter that gargars’ language is prone to Caucasian language group, these people are indicating the previous Russian-soviet traditions. However the realities show us another fact. The fact is related to the ancient Kyrgyz-turkish epos Manas, where was described the personage with the name of Gargar, and he was the father of main hero Manas. The tribe which Manas belonged was expressed sometimes kipchak or gargar. This fact was confirmed in the books of academic Bartold, on the page of 541, 55th item. In the book “Kyrgyzs and their ethnographic and historical-cultural relations” of Abramzon there is a fact about kipchak-gargar nation and their intrusion into the events happened in 16th century in Karakishlak.                        Nizami Jafarov said: “The most strained tensions between kipchak and oguz tribes were between 9-10thcenturies. Kitabi Dede Korkud epos generally comprised these 

Albans and Gargars (the first article)tribes’ ethno-political, language-cultural affairs not in ambiguous territory, but in Azerbaijan. Kipchaks are presented as khazars in several historical sources. It was because of their locations, the territory in which kipchaks spread was in Northern Caucasus and surrounded regions. Kipchaks were named with various names from  the end of the first millennium till the early years of second millennium like bechenegs, kumans, polovets, khazars and etc.”  Unfortunately, Musa Kalankatli’s “Alban history” and Mkhitar Gosh’s “Albanian epos” could not reach our century in original version, we could read it from Armenian, Russian and English translations. We can obtain the information about these books in Azerbaijan Turkish in the translations of  Ziya Bunyadov. According to the renowned linguist scientist Firidun Aghasioglu’s writings, Armenians realized several serious distortions during translation. We should point out the main perversions in there: 1. Meshrop Mashtots made several symbols accordiging to several voices of gargars and it was called “nshangirs”. In the translation they uttered that he made a new alphabet for gargars. 2. Gargars’ language was equalized with the language of white khazars(akxazir). In the translation they utilized “ very appropriate language” word instead of akxasir. Therefore, according to Musa Kalankatli Mashtots tried to adjust the Armenian alphabet to kipchak nation, and there were several voices which needed some modifications. So, he made new symbols which expressed kipchak voices. Actually the same letters expressed one voice in alban alphabet, another in armenian’s alphabet. According to Moisey Khorenatsi and Musa Kalankatli’s words gargars had another names- white khazars. There are two books which devoted to khazars written by Russian scientists Artomonov Pletnava and Lev Gumilyov. Accordig to heir researches we can determine two branches of khazars: white and black. Certainly in this article we should talk about Albanian khazars – white khazars or gargars. Armenian historian Moisey Khorenatsi wrote that khazars lived in Azerbaijan territory in 3rdcentury, Georgian historian Leonti Mrovelli noted that they lived in these lands in 7th B.C. Khazar’s name is living in the villages of Lerik  Khazaryaylaq, in Ordubad Khazaryurd, in Hadrut and Fuzuli Khazardagh and of course in Khazar (Caspian) sea. Interestingly enough, kipchak language is called mistakenly Armenian kipchak, however several resources of Albanian literature, Bible’s pieces, prayer books and other Christian theme writings were preserved in the manuscript fund in Western Azerbaijan territory, which is now under invasion of Armenian aggressors.  Murad Aji wrote: “There were several holy books in Turkish language which were written with Armenian alphabet. If there were prayers in Turkish language in Armenia, it means that worship was in Turkish not in suryani. Who built the worship places for armenains? Why are their directions toward the east? We can find the answers to these questions on the walls of the temples – there are depicted Turkish people. There are Turkish writings in Zvartnos, Dvin, Cvari, Kotavank and other places.”  Undoubtedly, the churches in Western Azerbaijan which is named Armenia no were built by Albans. Armenians migrated there with the help of Russians from 19th century and obtained Albanian – turksih churches. The best sample for this issue is the church in Khpchak(Gipchag) village in Artik region of Shirak province which name was changed in 20th century’s 40s years to Arich ( it was built in 12th century). Even Armenian historian acknowledged that kipchak – gargars lived in Western Azerbaijan and their borders started from Armaniyya and Kilikya. For instance Akopyan wrote in his “ Albania – Alunak ancient greek-roman and Armenian sources” (Iravan 1987) book that there was Gargar region in Mox, Gargar forest in Tsopka and Western Kilikya and two villages in Lori and Parisos. Furthermore, we know that there is Gargar mountains next to Meghry. There is a church which belonged to gargars in Zangazur region of Western Azerbaijan. This complex was known firstly as “Gargavang” then Mary church adjacent to the building (1283 – the year). Theb it was known “Surb Zion” monaster rather than Mary church and this complex was remembered as (and Azerbaijan) one of the most interesting and precious examples of Albanian( Azerbaijan) architecture.

Albans and Gargars (the first article)There is some information about gargars’ residential area inthe ancient Armenian (hay) sources. For example, Moisey Khorenatsi (V century) uttered that Albans created their alphabet on the basis of language spoke talked about Gargars’ square. Gevond (Vlll century) talked about gargar Plain, Great Vartan (Xlll century) mentioned the name of the province Gargar. Artsruni Tovma wrote that the Arab commander of Turkish origin Bugha came to Gargar plain and  came into the city of Barda. In general, the ancient written sources had sufficient information about the gargars and their living area. For example, Strabo wrote that amazonkas were living in the neighborhood with gargars inrising over the mountains of Albania. This name of tribes is very familiar to topography of the Caucasus and Central Asia. In the meantime, the XIX century province of Dagestan Teymurkhanshura registered in the name of gargar, Gargar square in Tbilisi , gargar – Pelican, Mount Gargar, Gargaris and others. Furthermore places which existed in Gabala region Ruined – Gargari, as well as a few Qarqar villages located on the border of Karabakh (one of them today Gerger, and the other Kharkhar) and the village Kharkhar in Nakhchivan. The Arabian author Yagut Al-Hamavi mentioned the city beside Beylagan. Ibn Khordadbeh talked about the city next to Shabran and Darband. We can add two Gargar rivers within the Karabakh territory. There are also living places named with Gargar, Kharkhar or Gerger in Turkey and South Azerbaijan. We can note that gargars also lived in Central Asia. According to Dionis Perigeret gargars lived in the vast territory starting from Emod mountains till Gang river.

Bakhtiyar TUNJAY


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