Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Torn Ethnicities

Kaya Genç
Google Images

Kaya Genç , writing "Who Is a Turk? It’s Complicated" (NYT, April 1, 2018), notes that new means of genetic analysis are wreaking havoc with ethnic nationalisms and ideologies of ethnic purity. The results in Turkey are quite interesting, for there has been a:
. . . debunking [of] the imaginary ethnic purity of Turkish nationalism. Indeed, a 2012 study in the journal Annals of Human Genetics found that Turkey’s paternal ancestry was 38 percent European, 35 percent Middle Eastern, 18 percent South Asian and 9 percent Central Asian.
So much for the romantic myth of the Turk storming down on thundering hooves from Central Asia!

Turkey has also recently opened its population register, whose archives go back to Ottoman times, and people are finding many surprising things:
One Turkish nationalist learned that his great-grandmother was of Kurdish origin . . .

A writer friend was surprised to discover her great-grandfather’s name was Isaac . . .

One of my neighbors found out she had European roots and decided to apply for dual citizenship . . .

Many Turks discovered they had Armenian family ties just recently . . .
That part about Armenian ancestry will be very interesting to pick up on. I would, in turn, like to see what a genetic analysis of various European countries would uncover, particularly in such ethnically 'pure' states as Hungary and Poland.



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