Infidel in Turkish Islamic Sources of the Turkish Khaqani Milieu TÜRK HAKANLIĞI MUHİTİ TÜRK İSLÂM KAYNAKLARINDA KÂFİR*


Milli Folklor, vol.137, pp.123-133, 2023 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 137
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.58242/millifolklor.1183087
  • Journal Name: Milli Folklor
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.123-133
  • Keywords: Dîvânu Lugâti’t-Türk, Early Turkish Islamic sources, Infidel-image and symbolic regime, Kutadgu Bilig, The First Interlinear Literal Translation of the Qoran TİEM 73, the Turkish Khaqani (Karakhanid) Milieu
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


This paper explains firstly the Qur'anic meaning of the kâfir. Early Turkish-Islamic historical sources, such as The First Interlinear Literal Translation of the Qoran TİEM 73, Dîvânu Lugâti't-Türk and Kutadgu Bilig were the analytical tools of this loan-word for early or Old Turkish and the conceptually religious, sociopolitical and cultural, and metaphoric dimensions of this term. These two masterpieces and TİEM 73 selected from the powerful and rich intellectual and scientific sources of the Turkish medieval world to evaluate the early, pre-thirteenth Turkish-Islamic religious texts translation tradition which contain old Turkish religious and non-religious concepts and terms. The socio-cultural historical and metaphoric cosmos of the Dede Korkut epics represent and mention also that the Early or New Muslims had passed through the ages to interpret the infidel (kafir) in terms of the explicit and implicit meanings. The Early Muslim Turks were engaged and played for the connotative development and socio-cultural semantic attribution of this sharp, heavy and symbolic and imaginative marker of kafir, infidel. Along with this and many other concepts, as a result of Islamization, the Turkish language, civilization, social and cultural historical processes have been attributed to its metaphoric geography of the term. Infidel (Kafir) is a foreign loan-word, one of the important with its equivalent terms (such as munkir, munafık, fasık) from Arabic Qu’ranic religious term for Turkish originally. Infidel (Kafir) is perhaps one of the strongest and sharpest words for the modern languages and their historical vocabularies, or glossaries of the monotheistic nations. Mosaic, Christian and Islamic religions born in the Near East and the actual or historical believers of these monotheistic religions also describe each other as infidels along with their historical politico-religious encounters and conflicts. Especially the 11th-13th centuries should be considered for the Turkish Islamic cognitive mapping and evaluation of infidel (kafir) and other monotheistic and Islamic religious loan-words and concepts to Turkish language. The first interlinear Turkish translations of Qur'an, which emerged in the Eastern Turkish and Western Turkish dating back to the 16th century constitute a fluffy corpus. TİEM 73 presents a dual feature for the word infidel (kafir), rarely in a few verses its original form has been preserved or it has been met with two original Turkish words. The first of these, kėrtgünmägliler for the "non-believers" by deriving the verb "to believe, to believe in something". Another etymologically Turkish word to refer is tanıġlı which is also derived from the verb, as synonymous and equivalent with "infidel". Emphasizing on Jews and Christians TİEM 73 is also the source of the first images of the later historical and layered evolution of the thoughts and feelings of Muslims and Early Muslim Turks toward these biblical nations and others, first image-maker of the infidel referring Qur'anic anecdotes, and even with the influence of the folkloric elements of the Dede Korkut Epics. Competence and proficiency of Old Turkish can be seen both in the preference of the Turkish vocabulary and glossary of the Qur’anic anecdotes in TİEM 73. Early Turkish translators preferred non-copy or loan-words from Arabic or Persian baggage words for these anecdotes’ word or conceptual list to construct semantic and cultural space. The Sabbath Breakers (or Companions of Sabbath) (Ashab-ı Sebt) biblical story with Qu’ranic equivalence are such typical examples. The infidel (kafir) has also created his own conceptual space in Dîvânu Lugâti't-Türk and Kutadgu Bilig.