Teke (Turkmen tribe)

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Man from Khiva, Emir of Bukhara, Teke Turkmen, Girl from Samarkand, Police Soldier from Bukhara.JPG
Teke man (third from the left)
Total population
More than 1.6 million
Regions with significant populations
Sunni Islam
Related ethnic groups
Turkmen tribes

Teke is a major and politically influential tribe of Turkmens in Turkmenistan.


Teke people came under Russian colonial rule in the 1880s. Teke had held major influence on the other Turkmen tribes, as they were the largest and most powerful tribe. Teke had also militarily resisted Persian incursions in the 19th century.[1]

Historically each Turkmen tribe had their own unique carpet pattern, clothing, headgear and dialect.[2][3]

Soviet policy on nationalities managed to diminish tribal identities in Turkmenistan, but the identities are still important in contemporary social contexts. Teke, and especially its subdivision Ahal Teke, have traditionally dominated Turkmenistan's political structure. Presidents Saparmurat Niyazov and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow have their tribal background in Ahal Teke.[2]


Members of Teke tribe are predominantly present at the southeastern regions of Turkmenistan.[4] They represent over a third of Turkmenistan's population (more than 1.6 million, as of 2014).[5][6][4] Major tribes of Turkmenistan have mainly settled different parts of the country.[4]

Teke tribe can be divided in two subdivisions. They are Ahal Teke and Mary Teke. Official Turkmen language is based on Ahal Teke and Mary Teke dialects.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Adrienne Lynn Edgar (5 September 2006). Tribal Nation: The Making of Soviet Turkmenistan. Princeton University Press. p. 184. ISBN 978-1-4008-4429-6.
  2. ^ a b c Pike, John. "Turkmenistan - Tribes". Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b Larry Clark (1998). Turkmen Reference Grammar. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 17. ISBN 978-3-447-04019-8.
  4. ^ a b c Luca Anceschi (5 February 2014). Informal Power in the Greater Middle East: Hidden Geographies. Routledge. p. 194. ISBN 978-1-317-81647-8.
  5. ^ ""World Population prospects – Population division"". population.un.org. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  6. ^ ""Overall total population" – World Population Prospects: The 2019 Revision" (xslx). population.un.org (custom data acquired via website). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 9 November 2019.

External links[edit]