The inscription shows the Turkish presence in Anatolia in the 10th century


KONYA – Demiroren News Agency

An inscription belonging to an undetermined period before the 1071 Battle of Manzikert, known as the victory that led the Turks to first enter Anatolia, has been found in the central Anatolian province of Konya, the head of the excavation informs that it is “proof of the Turkish presence in the tenth century.

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The inscription was found during the excavations carried out in the ancient city of Savatra in Konya.

Noting that the inscription reads “Türkopol” in the runic alphabet, which literally means “son of Turk”, İlker Işık, associate professor at Selçuk University, said: “This is the first inscription found that reads Turkish in Anatolia, while this is proof of the existence of Christianized Turks before 1071.

“It indicates the presence of Turkish soldiers in the legion units of the Byzantine armies,” he said, adding that the inscription is estimated to date from the 10th or 11th century.

The inscription, found in a castle in the ancient city, was part of a Byzantine templon pier, which is an architectural element found in religious buildings, according to Işık.

Reiterating that they have carried out surface analyzes for six years in the area, a military garrison area of ​​Altınekin district on the borders of Karatay, Işık said: “It is an area which includes the eastern border of Konya and acts as a buffer”.

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“It’s a place where different cultures come together because it was built to ensure both public order and the safety of passing trade convoys. The region is also important because it allows to discover roads and military headquarters of strategic importance.

Furthering the work, the excavation team also came across two runic inscriptions in the area. “We consider these writings as prayer and healing texts,” Işık said.

To advance these studies, one must first develop studies in the epigraphic sense, according to Işık. “It is very important to us that trained scientists in this field participate in these studies for the advancement of Turkology.”

On August 26, 1071, the armies of the Seljuk Turks and the Byzantine Empire clashed on the plain of Manzikert (Malazgirt) in what is now Muş in eastern Turkey. The battle ended with a victory for the Seljuks.

The Battle of Manzikert was one of the most important turning points in medieval history, as the gates of Anatolia were fully opened to the Turks, paving the way for both the Ottoman Empire and Türkiye modern.

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