|Variously estimated at 200,000, 750,000-1,500,000, or 3,500,000|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Aleppo · Damascus · Jazira · Hama · Homs · Latakia|
|Turkish · Arabic  · Azerbaijani|
|Predominately Sunni Islam|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Oghuz Turks (Turks · Azerbaijanis · Iraqi Turkmens · Egyptian Turkmens)|
Syrian Turkmen (also referred to as Turks in Syria, Syrian Turkoman or Syrian Turks) (Turkish: Suriye Türkleri) are Syrian citizens of Turkish descent. They and their ancestors have lived in present-day Syria since Ottoman times.
During the Syrian Civil War, the Turkmen population of Syria were mainly involved in military actions against the Syrian Government Forces and have looked to Turkey for support and protection. And more recently, uniting under one official governing body; Syrian Turkmen Assembly and creating the military wing of the assembly; Syrian Turkmen Brigades which is aiming to protect Turkmen regions and population and prevent demographical changes in the Turkmen populated areas.
In the late 11th century, Syria was first conquered by the Seljuk Turks. After Seljuk Empire was separated into four parts, Malikshah's brother, Tutush, established the Syrian Seljuk State in 1079. Syria was ruled by the Seljuks of Syria till 1117, following which Artuqids, Zengids, Ayyubids and Mamluk Sultanate governed the region. Syria was conquered in 1516 by the Ottoman Sultan Selim I, who defeated the Mamlukes at the Battle of Marj Dabiq near Aleppo in northern Syria. According to the population records of Ottoman Empire in 1518, the total population of Aleppo province was 54,276, of whom 36,217 belonged to the Turkmen population.
Turkmen Settlements and Regions
Turkmen came to Syria in several migration waves. Sometimes the Seljuks and the Mamelukes living in the area adopted the Turkmen in their armies, and some Turkmen became aristocrats. Linda Cichlr wrote about these Turkmen aristocratic families in her book about the city of Damascus.
Turkmen villagers were resettled by the Ottoman Empire out of fear of unrest and riots that were caused by the Bedouin tribes during droughts. The instability of the Ottoman Empire made it difficult to control the tribes. Aelkezl Bash was a prominent anti-Ottoman leader. After the Ottomans returned from conquests in Europe however, they were able to put down revolutionary activities in the area and resettled the Turkmen to villages in the provinces of Latakia, Aleppo, Homs, and Hama, and in the Golan. Today, there are 523 Turkmen villages in Syria.
There are no clear estimates on the number of Turkmen in Syria. Several sources put them at around 100,000 to 200,000. Some Syrian Turkmen on the other hand have claimed to number between 750,000 and 1,500,000, while the Turkmen National Council announced 3.5 million as the number of Turkmen in Syria.
Interior view of Khan As'ad Pasha
References and notes
- AFP (31 January 2013). "Turkmen in joint battle 'for Syria democracy'". NOW. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
- World Population Review, Syrian Population 2013, "Other major groups in Syria are Kurds (2 million), Syrian Turkmen (0.75-1.5 million) and Assyrians (0.9 to 1.2 million)."
- ORSAM Report No: 150, Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies
- ORSAM Report No: 83, The Turkmens of Syria, Quoted from page 16 (in Turkish): "Değişik kaynaklar ve saha çalışmasında elde edilen verilerden yola çıkarak Suriye Türkmenlerinin toplam nüfusu 3,5 milyon civarındadır."
- Commins 2004, 268.
- Galié & Yildiz 2005, 18.
- Karpat 2004, 436.
- Shora 2008, 236.
- Özkaya 2007, 112.
- Dispossessed Turkomans in Syria wait for Turkey’s support
- Gábor Ágoston, Bruce Alan Masters, (2009), Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire, InfoBase Publishing, Google Books, p.516
- Sigfried J. de Laet, (2000), History of Humanity: From the seventh to the sixteenth century, p.828, UNESCO, Google Books p.828
- Öztürk Mustafa, 1616 Tarihli Halep Avarız-Hane Defteri, Read Online, p.255 (in Turkish).
- The Turkmen of Syria: exposed early to assimilation and deportation policies, Page: 4-5, Iraqi Turkmen Human Rights Foundation, February 15, 2012, Paper No: Art.1-A1512, http://www.turkmen.nl/1A_soitm/Art.1-A1512.pdf
- Hartmann, 2012, p. 54.
- Phillips, David J. (1 January 2001). Peoples on the Move: Introducing the Nomads of the World. William Carey Library. p. 301. ISBN 978-0-87808-352-7. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- Commins, David Dean (2004), Historical dictionary of Syria, Scarecrow Press, ISBN 0-8108-4934-8.
- Galié, Alessandra; Yildiz, Kerim (2005), Development in Syria: a gender and minority perspective, Kurdish Human Rights Project, ISBN 1-900175-88-6.
- Hartmann, Martin (2012). Reisebriefe aus Syrien (in German). Books on Demand. ISBN 3864448018.
- Özkaya, Abdi Noyan (2007), "Suriye Kürtleri: Siyasi Etkisizlik ve Suriye Devleti’nin Politikaları" (PDF), Review of International Law and Politics 2 (8), retrieved 2010-09-10
- Scott, John; Taylor, John (1828), The London magazine, University of Michigan.
- Karpat, Kemal H. (2004), Studies on Turkish politics and society: selected articles and essays, BRILL, ISBN 90-04-13322-4.
- Shora, Nawar (2008), The Arab-American Handbook: A Guide to the Arab, Arab-American & Muslim Worlds, Cune Press, ISBN 1-885942-47-8.