Turan: The Key to Understanding the Russian Logos

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translator: Jafe Arnold

From Ekspertiza Dugina #17. (The following is a partial transcript of Alexander Dugin’s video talk on his recent new Noomachy: Wars of the Mind volume: The Logos of Turan: The Indo-European Vertical Ideology (Moscow, 2017). 

The task of describing Turanian civilization in the recent volume of Noomakhia was inseparable from the fact that Turan is gone. The book was therefore a reconstruction of a past society, an archaeological volume, in which Turanian civilization had to be restored bit by bit on the basis of archaeological research, linguistic analysis, what we know about ethnology and ethnography, and essentially artificial methods.

A few Turanian peoples can be named. For example, the Ossetians are the last heirs of the Sarmatians, there are the various Pashtun tribes, and the direct descendants of the Indo-European nomads in the Great Steppe. There are also descendants in Nuristan, the Kalash in Pakistan and Afghanistan, enclaves of direct Turanian cultures and Indo-Europeans nomadic tribes. But, of course, this is largely a conditional reconstruction.

What is the importance of Turan? The very concept of Turan is sometimes misinterpreted. We know it from Suhrawardi and Shahnameh, which speaks of a confrontation between Iran and Turan. By Iran Shahnameh meant settled Iranian civilization, whereas by Turan was understood nomadic civilization.

Ferdowsi wrote this in a period when the Turkic peoples had already for several centuries largely taken over the role of nomads. Hence the impression that Turan is related to the Turks, ( [the names of] which are of the same or similar root), and as follows, the confrontation between Turan and Iran was between the Turkic and the Indo-European, particularly the Iranian world. But this is not true etymologically or historically, because Ferdowsi took the term Turan from the Avesta, from the oldest layers of pre-Islamic culture where this term existed since time immemorial, when there were still no Turks on the expanses of Eurasia and the Eurasian steppes.

When we begin to consider the term, this Indo-European term, it meant none other than “people.” It is very similar to the Lithuanian concept of Tauta (“nation” or “people”) and Deutschen and Teutonen. In fact, this [Turan] was the name of the very same ancestors of the Indo-Europeans, the very same Iranians, only the nomadic ones, who lived on the territory of the Great Eurasian Steppes. Some of them moved to Persia, closer to Elam, to Media, where they settled and came to be called Iran. Those who continued to live under the same conditions came to be called Turanians. In Iranian civilization, Turan is understood as the realm of the nomadic Iranians, whereas Iran is the area of the settled Iranians.

Thus immediately arises a completely different vision of Turan which has nothing to do with the Turks. If we look closely at where they came from and who the Iranian nomadic tribes in Eurasia were, then it turns out that they were always there – precisely in the Eurasian steppes. Regardless of whichever archaeological hypothesis we accept – that is, regardless of whether the Indo-Europeans originated closer to the Black Sea, the Azov Sea, the Caspian Sea, or in the Southern Urals – in any case we are dealing with the space of Turan, the space of the Great Eurasian Steppe.

The Turanian world was in all actuality represented by none other than the warlike nomadic tribes who domesticated the horse, built chariots, and began to use the wheel, who boasted colossal militancy, and began to spread across the whole Eurasian mainland, going all the way to the West, where their descendants became the Celts, Germans, Italic peoples, the Illyrians, Thracians, and to Greece (as the ancestors of the Hellenes), to Anatolia (one of the first Indo-European tribes, where they laid the basis for Serbian civilization). The Slavs and Balts are bearers of the Turanic element, because these are the same Indo-European peoples who moved together with the Kurgan culture, according to Gimbutas, to the West, at some point settling on different territories. There are the Iranians and Indians as well.

This Turanian world is the key, ancestral homeland and proto-matrix of all of Indo-European civilization.

By what means were they able to extend their influence to practically the whole of Eurasia? The wheel. We can see how this process of the Indo-Europeans’ expansion continued into the colonial period. Even today’s cars are part of the Turanian worldview, the new chariots. This is the line of the expansion of chariots, the expansion of martial style, the Indo-European languages, and the Indo-European political system – which is patriarchal, masculine, and androcratic.

Androcracy is the rule of men. The power of androcratic societies created the historical-political landscape of nearly all of Eurasia, with the exception of the Chinese, Southeast Asia, and perhaps some of the Semitic regions of the Middle East. Palestine was once inhabited by the Hittites, the chariots of the Hurrians, perhaps the Indo-Aryans, and the Mittani went to Egypt – hence the appearance of the chariot in Egypt.

In other words, Turan itself is a kind of paradigm. It is Indo-European nomadism, which most likely spread from the Southern Urals. I think that this is the most accurate hypothesis.

Later this initiative of the Indo-European, patriarchal, androcratic societies was taken on by other peoples, such as the Huns, Turks, and Mongols. And it was then that the space of Turan was brought a very similar nomadic culture by other – non-Indo-European and post-Indo-European – ethnoi.

If we put this all together, then we see a colossal picture of all Indo-European societies, their source model, and their differences, which are relative to degree of remoteness from the Indo-European homeland, which was the Turanian homeland. When the Indo-European peoples moved away from this homeland and mixed with more matriarchal, agricultural societies, they created a mixed type of culture. In the final analysis, Turan thus acquires an entirely different significance, another dimension. If we are not indifferent to our roots, then this Indo-European Turan, as the homeland of Indo-European cultures, is in my opinion an extremely important element for understanding ourselves, because our country is the territory of Turan.

After many centuries and millennia, after Turan had originally been the territory of the Indo-Europeans, after the Indo-European peoples had passed their initiatives to other non-Indo-European peoples, such as the Altaic and partially the Uralic, the heritage of Turan once again returned to Russia. We, the Russian Indo-European people, are the keepers of this gigantic territory of Turan. The mission of the Indo-Europeans has made a full circle, starting with Indo-Europeans and ending with Indo-Europeans, in coming to us.

Thus, Eurasianism acquires an entirely different dimension, and the notion of Turan is transformed radically. And, of course, if we are sensitive towards our own identity, and if we are not indifferent toward our roots, our past, and our future, then I think that this book would find very wide resonance in another state of society…

But we live in a world of some kind of pause. I look to the future with optimism, as the present time of dark mental illness in society will pass, and we will return to the search for ourselves, return to our Russian rebirth, to our roots. And then the idea of Turan, which allows us to look at all of our history in a completely different way, including the Mongol conquests, our relations with the Turks, the Turkic peoples, and projects such as the creation of the Eurasian Union, which has now been declared in policy or is being implemented (albeit in the form of a simulacrum). All of this will truly acquire meaning. 

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