Turkish mythology, all that has existed throughout history The myths, stories, epics and legends of Turkish tribes. it’s a pretty wide field. It is possible to come across different narratives and interpretations on many subjects in our mythology, both for this reason and due to the scarcity of resources on Turkish mythology.
However, thanks to the epics and foreign sources, mostly from China, Turkish mythology very rich in character
We know that . Gods, goddesses, guardian spirits, khans, khans appear as Turkish mythology characters in many sources throughout history. Let’s take a look at some of these characters together.
The Greatest of Gods: Sky God
The most basic character of Turkish mythology appears as the Sky God, although it is expressed in different ways in different sources. Sky God, according to some god of all gods, greatest of gods lives above the sky and he created all other gods and goddesses.
Another point of view states that the Sky God is directly associated with the sky and that he is only a ‘god’. Since there are expressions that can be attributed to both in different sources at such points, and the sources that directly describe these myths are almost non-existent. Unfortunately it is not possible to reach a single conclusion.
The creator of people and the world: Kayra Han
Image: Bartu Imamtorunu
Although Kayra Han is described in different ways, just like the Sky God, in different sources, it is basically the god who created the world and people
It appears as . His father is the Sky God, the greatest of the gods, and his mother is absent. However, since Kayra Han is mentioned as the creator of everything, just like the Sky God, in different sources, it is not possible to talk about a clear narrative at this point.
Kayra Han’s Ülgen, Kızagan and Mergen
He is said to have three sons named . Of these three sons, Ülgen appears as another important character in Turkish mythology.
The god in human form, sitting at the end of a road full of obstacles: Ülgen
Image: Bartu Imamtorunu
Ülgen is described as the son of Kayra Han, as we mentioned above, in some sources. Although this is one of the main stories, Kayra Han and Ülgen are the same god and they are called by different names; both are said to basically point to the Sky God.
According to these narratives, Ülgen sits seven floors above the ground and in order to reach it, it is necessary to overcome different obstacles on each floor. Only male shamans can overcome these obstacles during rituals, but even they can never reach the seventh floor; They can go up to the iron pile (golden pile) layer, which is the fifth floor and represents the pole star.
Ülgen, who has a human appearance, is also referred to as ‘white frosty’, ‘ayazkan’, ‘lightning breaker’, ‘lightning’ and ‘creator’ in shaman prayers. In some narratives, Ülgen also takes place as the creator of everything. Ülgen’s “Karakuş, Opposite, Buura-Kan, Burça Kan, Green Blood, Private Blood, Baktı Kan” seven sons and the so-called White Girls and Killers nine daughters exists. Ülgen’s daughters are also muses in Turkish mythology.
The goddess who inspired Ülgen to create and started life: Ak Ana
Ak Ana, when there was nothing yet in Turkish mythology The entity that gives Ülgen the power to create
It is located as . Ak Ana in Altai creation myths
“There was an Ak-Mother (Ak-Ene), she lived in water,
He said to Ülgen, it appeared on the water:
-If you want to create something, Ulgen,
As a creator, learn this scripture!
Always say, “I did it!” Don’t say anything else!
Especially while creating, “I did it, it didn’t happen!” Do not say!
White-Mother said this, then disappeared,
He dived into the sea and became unknown. It is explained with the words ” and ‘Goddess of the Sea’
Also referred to as . It has a form of light.
Representation of mind and knowledge: Mergen
Mergen, one of Ülgen’s two brothers, the omniscient god
It is referred to as . Having all the available information; This god, who is the symbol of reason, resides on the seventh floor of the sky. Struggling with evil spirits, Mergen is victorious in all his struggles thanks to his unlimited knowledge.
God of War: Kizagan
Another brother of Ülgen, Kızagan is known as the god of power, war and brute force. Kizagan, sitting on the ninth floor of the sky, is very strong and mighty; He is depicted on the back of a camel with a red halter.
The goddess who is the protector of women, children and animals: Umay
Image: Nazym Rakhimberdieva
Umay is one of the most important female characters in Turkish mythology; is a goddess. Umay, who is described as the protector of women, children and animals, is mentioned in some sources. Humay Bird and is depicted as a bird the size of a raven. It is said that he always lived in the sky and gave birth to his babies here.
In many narratives, it is said that if a child laughs in his dream, he sees Umay and Umay protects him. If the child is crying, it gets tired of Umay’s absence and children are sick, It is associated with Umay leaving her alone for a long time.
The owner of the underground: Erlik
Image: Nazym Rakhimberdieva
Erlik, which we can call the Hades of Turkish mythology, the god of the underworld. Erlik, who is known as one of Ülgen’s sons, is punished and sent to the underground for disobeying Ülgen while the world was being created.
Here to yourself creating a deep red sun with very little light Erlik has a nine-saddle bull at his disposal.
A spirit that protects people from evil: With water
In Turkish mythology, besides gods and goddesses, guardian spirits also have an important place. With water, he is one of those spirits and appears as the spirit that protects people from evil. Created from the crumbs of the Sun and the Moon and Suyla, sent by Ülgen, prevents the evil spirits that come in front of shamans when they change realms during the ritual, that is, when they go underground or above. At the same time, he takes the souls of the victims to the sky together with another spirit, Yayık.
The messenger spirit: Churn
Yayık, who is also a spirit sent by Ülgen, is the messenger between Ülgen and people. Just like Suyla, Yayık, who also has duties to bring goodness to people and protect them, is referred to as Yayık Han in some sources. ‘Prince of the Flood’
It is depicted as .
Yayık also has an important place in the shamans’ journey during the ritual; one of the spirits that exalts the shaman it is said to be. In some narratives, it is said that some spirits, such as Yayık, were the first creatures created by God and that humans were also ancestors. These spirits living in heaven became demigods after a while and took on the task of protecting their relatives.
A spirit represented by smoke: Karlik
Karlık is also one of the divine guardian spirits and their duties are the same as Suyla. In some narratives, Suyla and Karlık are described as two very close friends and they fulfill their duties together. Karlık is seen together with Suyla and is said to be depicted with smoke in the sources.
Ülgen’s ambassador: Utkuçı
Utkuçı is a divine spirit like Suyla, Yayık and Karlık. He is the ambassador of Ülgen in the sky and he meets shamans in heaven carries messages between shamans and Ülgen. Utkuçı, who never descended to earth, ‘welcome’ stands for.
Mother of evils: Alkarisi
Alkarisi is a spirit that is referred to by many different names in different sources. She is usually depicted as a frightening looking woman with strong red hair, but in different sources. an ugly creature with one eye as ‘ a woman more beautiful than the most beautiful woman’, it is possible to come across with their depictions.
His alkarisi haunts postpartum women; to babies and mothers by casting spells, he sends them evil diseases.
An epic character: Oguz Kagan
Oğuz Kağan is the main character of one of the most important epics in Turkish mythology, especially telling the story of the Turkish ancestry. Oguz Kagan, who is known as the founder of the Ancient Oghuz Turkmen State. the ancestor of all Turkish tribes is believed to be.
By uniting with the ‘daughters of God’ who came from the epic from the sky, the children he brought to the world continue his lineage and his grandchildren form the Turkish tribes. He started eating raw meat as soon as he was born., depicted as a mighty character with a mouth like fire and blue skin, killed his father, Kara Khan.
Contrary to common misconception, many sources It is true that a character named Oğuz Kagan never existed. tells. Except for the Oguz Kagan Epic, there is no source in history that includes a character with this name.
by Oguz Kagan Gök Han, Ay Han, Yıldız Han, Gün Han, Dağ Han and Deniz Han
He has six sons named and these sons form the Oghuz tribes.
Mother wolf: Asena
Asena, who appears as another epic character, is a she-wolf told in the Türeyiş Epic. The descendants of the Göktürks are descended from one of the offspring of this female wolf. However, the term male wolf is also used in different sources regarding Asena.
in Turkish mythology There are many characters that do not fit into this list, but whose story is at least as important as these characters. The fact that the stories are told in different ways by different Turkish tribes is one of the factors that enrich our mythology. We tried to select some of the most essential characters for you. If you want to learn more about Turkish mythology, you can browse the articles in the resources section.
Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4, Source 5