From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Coat of Arms of Turkey proposed in 1925 depicting Asena.

Asena is the name of a she-wolf[1][2][3] associated with the Oghuz Turkic foundation myth.[4][5]


The legend of Asena tells of a young boy who survived a battle; a female wolf finds the injured child and nurses him back to health. The she-wolf, impregnated by the boy, escapes her enemies by crossing the Western Sea to a cave near the Qocho mountains and a city of the Tocharians, giving birth to ten half-wolf, half-human boys. Of these, Ashina becomes their leader and establishes the Ashina clan, which ruled over the Göktürk and other Turkic nomadic empires.[6][7]

These first Turks migrated to the Altai region[verification needed][clarification needed], where they were known as expert blacksmiths, akin to the Scythians.[8]

Modern era[edit]

With the rise of Turkish ethnic nationalism in the 1930s, the veneration of figures of Turkic Mythology, such as Bozkurt, Asena and Ergenekon was resurgent.[9] The symbol of Asena is embossed on the stage of the personal theater of the first President of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, at his residence in Ankara.[9] He also referenced the motif in his speeches, such as that of 13 February 1931 in Malatya titled Türk Ocağı.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Book of Zhou, Vo. 50. (in Chinese)
  2. ^ History of Northern Dynasties, Vo. 99. (in Chinese)
  3. ^ Book of Sui, Vol. 84. (in Chinese)
  4. ^ André Wink. Al-Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World. Brill Academic Publishers, 2002. ISBN 0-391-04173-8. Page 65.
  5. ^ Ziya Gökalp, transcription: Şahin Filiz, "Türk devletinin tekâmülü 12: Hakanlık Teşkilatı",Küçük Mecmua -II-, Bu da Çinlilere göre (Asena=Kurt) manasındadır (in Turkish)
  6. ^ Findley, Carter Vaughin. The Turks in World History. Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-19-517726-6. Page 38.
  7. ^ Roxburgh, D. J. (ed.) Turks, A Journey of a Thousand Years. Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2005. Page 20.
  8. ^ Christopher I. Beckwith, Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present, Princeton University Press, 2011, p.9
  9. ^ a b Murat Arman, "The Sources of Banality In Transforming Turkish Nationalism", CEU Political Science Journal, issue: 2 (2007), p. 136.
  10. ^ Atatürk'ün Söylev ve Demeçleri II, Atatürk Kültür, Dil ve Tarih Yüksek Kurumu Atatürk Araştırma Merkezi, 1989, p. 301, Turkish text: Demiryollarını kullanacak olan Türk milleti menşeindeki ilk sanatkarlığına, demirciliğinin eserini tekrar göstermiş olmakla müftehir olacaktır. (in Turkish)
  11. ^ Mehmet Önder, Atatürk'ün Yurt Gezileri, Türkiye İş Bankası, 1975, p. 268.