Workshop organized on Altaic languages

Workshop organized on Altaic languages

Özgen Acar
Workshop organized on Altaic languages

In collaboration with bilimdili, the Erimtan Archaeology and Arts Museum in Ankara have recently organized a workshop on Altaic languages, titled “Linguistic and Historic Origin Problems.” Bilimdili is a website that aims to make scientific thought known to the public through its articles.

The workshop, organized by archeologist Sergen Çirkin, is a first in Turkey since it has brought together scientists of various fields, from archaeology to Sumerology.

During the event, which covered various topics, Çirkin presented his paper on the latest excavations in Siberia. Archaeology professor Yüzel Şenyurt also shared information on excavations he had taken part in, at the cairns in the Altai Mountains of Kazakhstan.

Some professors focused on other areas regarding the origin of mankind. Problems like clan cultures and the formation of society were brought up by anthropology professor Okşan Başoğlu and ethnology professor Özkul Çobanoğlu.

Meanwhile, Turkology professor Tuncer Gülensoy, associate professor Feyzi Ersoy and Saffet Yılmaz focused on the age of the Turkish language. According to Sumerology professors Cahit Günbattı and İrfan Albayrak, there had been big gap of about 2,500 years between when Turkish and Sumerian documents had been written. Gunbattı and Albayrak said the Sumerian language had similarities with Altaic languages in terms of structure but not in words. The professors also said a Sumerian word might have thousands of meanings, which might be misleading.

Furthermore, they said words that are believed to be Sumerian have nothing to do with the Sumerians. Therefore, grammar should be the focus in studying the Sumerian language and not the similarity of the words.

Sinology associate professors Gürhan Kırilen and Gökçen Kapusuzoğlu, Hungarology associate professor Erdal Çoban, and Turkish history professors Erkin Ekrem and Konuralp Ercilasun were also among the attendees of the five-hour workshop.