The Turkmen are a Turkic people located primarily in the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, northeastern Iran, Syria, Iraq and North Caucasus (Stavropol Krai). They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Western Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages family together with Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai, Gagauz and Salar. Originally, all Turkic tribes that were not part of the Turkic dynastic mythological system (for example, Uigurs, Karluks, Kalaches and a number of other tribes) were designated "Turkmens". Only later did this word come to refer to a specific ethnonym. The etymology of the term derives from Turk plus the Sogdian affix of similarity -myn ,-men, and means "resembling a Turk" or "co-Turk". A prominent Turkic scholar, Mahmud Kashgari, also mentions the etymology Turk manand (like Turks). The language and ethnicity of the Turkmen were much influenced by their migration to the west.
Contributions by Tombseye, Khoikhoi, and Abdulnr.