The Turanid race was a sub-race of the greater Caucasian race. In racial anthropology, the type was traditionally held to be most common among the populations native to Central Asia. The name is taken from the phylum of Turanian languages, which are the combination of the Uralic and Altaic families, hence also referred to as the term Ural–Altaic race.
The latter usage implies the existence of a Turanid racial type or "minor race", subtype of the Caucasoid race with Mongoloid admixtures, situated at the boundary of the distribution of the Mongoloid and Caucasoid "great races". The idea of a Turanid race came to play a role of some significance in Pan-Turkism or "Turanism" in the late 19th to 20th century. A "Turkish race" was proposed as a Caucasoid subtype in European literature of the period.
This literature was absorbed by the Ottoman elite, and was partly even translated into Ottoman Turkish, contributing to the idea of an essence of "Turkishness" (Türklük) the honour of which came to be protected under Turkish law until the revision of article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code in April 2008. The most influential of these sources were Histoire Générale des Huns, des Turcs, des Mongoles, et autres Tartares Occidenteaux (1756–1758) by Joseph de Guignes (1721–1800), and Sketches of Central Asia (1867) by Ármin Vámbéry (1832–1913), which was on the common origins of Turkic groups as belonging to one race, but subdivided according to physical traits and customs, and l’histoire de l’Asie (1896) by Leon Cahun (1841–1900), which stressed the role of Turks in "carrying civilization to Europe", as a part of the greater "Turanid race" that included the Uralic and Altaic speaking peoples more generally. There was also an ideology of Hungarian Turanism in Hungarian fascism.
- The Races of Europe by Carleton S. Coon
- Racial and cultural minorities: an analysis of prejudice and discrimination, Environment, development, and public policy, George Eaton Simpson, John Milton Yinger, Springer, 1985, ISBN 0-306-41777-4, p.32.
- American anthropologist, American Anthropological Association, Anthropological Society of Washington (Washington, D.C,), 1984 v. 86, nos. 3-4, p. 741.
- Gülden z Kibris, Creating Turkishness: An Examination of Turkish Nationalism through Gök-Börü, Sabanci University (2005)
- Leon Cahun L’histoire de l’Asie (1896).
- Ilse Schwidetzky, Turaniden-Studien, Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, F. Steiner Verlag, Mainz, (1950).