Tatars

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Tatar, Russian

Mostly Sunni Islam with a minority professing Orthodox Christianity[6]

Tatars (Tatar: Tatarlar/Татарлар), sometimes spelled Tartars, are a Turkic [7] ethnic group numbering 10 million in the late 20th Century, including all subgroups of Tatars, such as Volga Tatars, Astrakhan Tatars or Lipka Tatars.

Russia is home to the majority of ethnic Tatars, with a population of around 5,500,000. Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan also each have populations greater than 30,000.[3]

The original Tatars inhabited the north-eastern Gobi in the 5th century and, after subjugation in the 9th century by the Khitans, migrated southward. In the 13th century, they were subjugated by the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan. Under the leadership of his grandson Batu Khan, they moved westwards, driving with them many stems of the Turkic Ural-Altayans towards the plains of Russia.

In Europe, they were assimilated by the local populations or their name spread to the conquered peoples: Kipchaks, Kimaks and others; and elsewhere with Finno-Ugric speaking peoples, as well as with remnants of the ancient Greek colonies in the Crimea and Caucasians in the Caucasus.

Siberian Tatars are survivors of the Turkic population of the Ural-Altaic region, mixed to some extent with the speakers of Uralic languages, as well as with Mongols. Later, each group adopted Turkic languages and many adopted Islam. The three ethnic descendants of the original 13th-century westward migration are Volga Tatars, Lipka Tatars and Crimean Tatars.

Tatars comprise a spectrum of physical appearance, ranging from Mongoloid and Caucasoid or a mixture of both and have an Asian origin.

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