Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Turan refers to the bulk of the Eurasian landmass including the Russian steppes, Central Asian Turkestan, Mongolia, the Caucasus and other regions where historical Hunnish, Avar, Turkic and Mongol powers held sway.
This name was initially established in Persian mythology as a contradictive to Iran, signifying a world which was bad fighting against a world which was good. In later literary tradition by Ferdowsi in his Shahnameh the term was used designating the Turkic hordes north of Iran.
However, the constructed historical name was revived by European (German, Hungarian and Slovak) ethnologists, linguists and Romantics to designate the vast Eurasian area belonging to populations speaking Uralic or Altaic languages. This area is often broadened into including Korea and Japan, whose languages are thought to share fundamental common features with Ural-Altaic languages. An idyllic image of the historical nomad Eurasian hordes and Shamanist/Tengri worship have been, and still are, exploited by ultra-right elements from Hungary to Turkey to Japan to galvanize a "Pan-Turanic" sentiment. Sometimes Pan-Turanism is used synonymously with the more popular Pan-Turkist movements, which in many ways exemplifies the symbolisms and dynamics of the Pan-Turanist culture.
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