Moldova is an Eastern European nation which is seldom mentioned in the Western World. Formerly a part of Romania, it was subjected to Russian control on multiple occasions. In the early 1940s for example,
(being under Romania), it was annexed by the Soviet Union. As history tells us, the Soviet Union ceased to exist in 1991. It was at this point in time that Moldova became an independent nation. Today, Moldova neighbours Romania to the west, and Ukraine to the east and the north. Due to close proximity with Romania, Ukraine and other Eastern European nations, it is not surprising that the demographics are predominantly of ethnic Romanian, Ukrainian, Gagauz, Russian, Bulgarian and Roma populations. In the past, we have dissected the roots of multiple Eastern European ethnicities including Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian and Roma populations. This blog will examine the genes of the Turkic speaking Gagauz populations, predominantly residing in Moldova. Like Romanian, (the official languages of Moldova and Romania) while it exists primarily in Eastern Europe, it does not belong to the most populous language family, being Slavic. From this, one would not be making irrational assumptions if one assumed that the Gagauz people (like Romanians and most Moldovans), house ancestral origins distinct from their Slavic geographic neighbours. As it turns out, a vast array of theories with regards to the potential origins of this ethnic group have been cited throughout history. While some proposed the notion that their roots stemmed from present-day Turkey, others thought that they may have been a part of the tribes known as Cumans and Bulgars. According to genetic studies, it was found that Gagauz individuals tend to share more similarities to Balkan Southeastern Europeans than to other present-day Turkic populations. Some examples of populations which share genetic similarity include: Bulgarians, Macedonians, Romanians, Greeks, etc. This suggests that the ethnic Gagauz populations possess a linguistic identity which is not indicative of their early ancestral origins. The question now becomes, how did an originally Southeastern European ethnic group adopt cultural attributes (including language) which contain Turkic elements?