Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization, Occidental culture, the Western world, Western society, European civilization, is a term used broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems and specific artifacts and technologies that have some origin or association with Europe. The term applies beyond Europe to countries and cultures whose histories are connected to Europe by immigration, colonization, or influence. For example, Western culture includes countries in the Americas and Australasia, whose language and demographic ethnicity majorities are European; the development of western culture has been influenced by Christianity. Western culture is characterized by a host of artistic, philosophic and legal themes and traditions; these include Judeo-Christian traditions. Christianity, including the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, has played a prominent role in the shaping of Western civilization since at least the 4th century as did Judaism.
Before the Cold War era, the traditional English viewpoint identified Western civilization with the Western Christian countries and culture. A cornerstone of Western thought, beginning in ancient Greece and continuing through the Middle Ages and Renaissance, is the idea of rationalism in various spheres of life religion, developed by Hellenistic philosophy and humanism; the Catholic Church was for centuries at the center of the development of the values, science and institutions which constitute Western civilization. Empiricism gave rise to the scientific method, the scientific revolution, the Age of Enlightenment. Influenced by earlier Ancient Near Eastern civilizations, Ancient Greece is considered the birthplace of many elements of Western culture, including the development of a democratic system of government and major advances in philosophy and mathematics; the expansion of Greek culture into the Hellenistic world of the eastern Mediterranean led to a synthesis between Greek and Near-Eastern cultures, major advances in literature and science, provided the culture for the expansion of early Christianity and the Greek New Testament.
This period overlapped with and was followed by Rome, which made key contributions in law, government and political organization. After the fall of the Roman Empire, many of the classical Greek texts were translated into Arabic and preserved in the medieval Islamic world, from where the Greek classics along with Arabic advances were transmitted to Western Europe and translated into Latin during the Renaissance of the 12th century and 13th century. Western culture continued to develop with the Christianisation of Europe during the Middle Ages and the reform and modernization triggered by the Renaissance, as Greek scholars fleeing the fall of the Byzantine Empire brought classical traditions and philosophy to Western Europe. Medieval Christianity is credited with creating the modern university, the modern hospital system, scientific economics, natural law and numerous other innovations across all intellectual fields. Christianity played a role in ending practices common among pagan societies, such as human sacrifice, slavery and polygamy.
The globalization by successive European colonial empires spread European ways of life and European educational methods around the world between the 16th and 20th centuries. European culture developed with a complex range of philosophy, medieval scholasticism and mysticism and Christian and secular humanism. Rational thinking developed through a long age of change and formation, with the experiments of the Enlightenment and breakthroughs in the sciences. Tendencies that have come to define modern Western societies include the concept of political pluralism, prominent subcultures or countercultures and increasing cultural syncretism resulting from globalization and human migration; the West as a geographical area is undefined. More a country's ideology is what will be used to categorize it as a Western society. There is some disagreement about what nations should or should not be included in the category and at what times. Many parts of the Eastern Roman Empire are considered Western today but were considered Eastern in the past.
However, in the past it was the Eastern Roman Empire that had many features now seen as "Western," preserving Roman law, first codified by Justinian in the east, as well as the traditions of scholarship around Plato and Euclid that were introduced to Italy during the Renaissance by Greek scholars fleeing the fall of Constantinople. Thus, the culture identified with West itself interchanges with time and place. Geographically, the "West" of today would include Europe together with extra-European territories belonging to the English-speaking world, the Hispanidad, the Lusosphere. Since the context is biased and context-dependent, there is no agreed definition what the "West" is, it is difficult to determine which individuals fit into which category and the East–West contrast is sometimes criticized as relativistic and arbitrary. Globalism has spread Western ideas so that all modern cultures are, to some extent, influenced by aspects of Western culture. Stereotyped views of "the West" have been labeled Occidentalism, paralleling Orienta
Nestorianism is a Christian theological doctrine that upholds several distinctive teachings in the fields of Christology and Mariology. It opposes the concept of hypostatic union and emphasizes a radical distinction between two natures of Jesus Christ; this Christological position is defined as radical dyophisitism. Nestorianism was named after Christian theologian Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople from 428 to 431, influenced by Christological teachings of Theodore of Mopsuestia at the School of Antioch. Nestorius' teachings brought him into conflict with other prominent church leaders, most notably Cyril of Alexandria, who criticized his rejection of the title Theotokos for Mary, the mother of Jesus. Nestorius and his teachings were condemned as heretical at the Council of Ephesus in 431, again at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, which led to the Nestorian Schism. Following that, many of Nestorius's supporters relocated to the Sasanian Empire, where they affiliated with the local Christian community, known as the Church of the East.
Over the next decades the Church of the East became Nestorian in doctrine, leading to it becoming known alternatively as the Nestorian Church. Nestorianism is a radical form of dyophysitism, differing from the orthodox dyophysitism on several points by opposition to the concept of hypostatic union, it can be seen as the antithesis to monophysitism. Where Nestorianism holds that Christ had two loosely united natures and human, monophysitism holds that he had but a single nature, his human nature being absorbed into his divinity. A brief definition of Nestorian Christology can be given as: "Jesus Christ, not identical with the Son but united with the Son, who lives in him, is one hypostasis and one nature: human." This contrasts with Nestorius' own teaching that the Word, eternal, the Flesh, not, came together in a hypostatic union,'Jesus Christ', Jesus thus being both man and God, of two ousia but of one prosopon. Both Nestorianism and monophysitism were condemned as heretical at the Council of Chalcedon.
Monophysitism developed into the Miaphysitism of the Oriental Orthodoxy. Nestoranism was condemned as heresy at the Council of Ephesus; the Armenian Church rejected Council of Chalcedon because they believed Chalcedonian Definition was too similar to Nestorianism. The Persian Nestorian Church, on the other hand, supported the spread of Nestorianism in Persarmenia; the Armenian Church and other eastern churches saw the rise of Nestorianism as a threat to the independence of their Church. Peter the Iberian, a Georgian prince strongly opposed the Chalcedonian Creed. Thus, in 491, Catholicos Babken I of Armenia, along with the Albanian and Iberian bishops met in Vagharshapat and issued a condemnation of the Chalcedonian Definition. Nestorians held that the Council of Chalcedon proved the orthodoxy of their faith who had started persecuting non-Chalcedonian or monophysite Syrian Christians during the reign of Peroz I. In response to pleas for assistance from the Syrian Church, Armenian prelates issued a letter addressed to Persian Christians reaffirming their condemnation of the Nestorianism as heresy.
Following the exodus to Persia, scholars expanded on the teachings of Nestorius and his mentors after the relocation of the School of Edessa to the Persian city of Nisibis in 489, where it became known as the School of Nisibis. Nestorian monasteries propagating the teachings of the Nisbis school flourished in 6th century Persarmenia. Despite this initial Eastern expansion, the Nestorians' missionary success was deterred. David J. Bosch observes, "By the end of the fourteenth century, the Nestorian and other churches—which at one time had dotted the landscape of all of Central and parts of East Asia—were all but wiped out. Isolated pockets of Christianity survived only in India; the religious victors on the vast Central Asian mission field of the Nestorians were Islam and Buddhism". Nestorius developed his Christological views as an attempt to understand and explain rationally the incarnation of the divine Logos, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity as the man Jesus, he had studied at the School of Antioch.
Nestorius took his Antiochene leanings with him when he was appointed Patriarch of Constantinople by Byzantine emperor Theodosius II in 428. Nestorius's teachings became the root of controversy when he publicly challenged the long-used title Theotokos for Mary, he suggested that the title denied Christ's full humanity, arguing instead that Jesus had two persons, the divine Logos and the human Jesus. As a result of this prosopic duality, he proposed Christotokos as a more suitable title for Mary. Nestorius' opponents found his teaching too close to the heresy of adoptionism – the idea that Christ had been born a man, "adopted" as God's son. Nestorius was criticized by Cyril of Alexandria, Patriarch of Alexandria, who argued that Nestorius's teachings undermined the unity of Christ's divine and human natures at the Incarnation; some of Nestorius's opponents argued that he put too much emphasis on the human nature of Christ, others debated that the difference that Nestorius implied between the human nature and the divine nature created a fracture in the si
Turkic mythology embraces Tengriist and Shamanist and as well as all cultural and social subjects being a nomad folk. After Turkic migration some of the myths were decorated with Islamic symbols, it has numerous common points with Mongol mythology and both of them were originated in a proto syncretic Tibetan Buddhist and nationalist mythology. Turkic mythology was influenced by other local mythologies. For example, in Tatar mythology elements of Finnic and Indo-European myth co-exist. Subjects from Tatar mythology include Alara. Şüräle, Şekä, Pitsen and Zilant. Turks practised all major religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity and Manichaeism, before the majority of Turks confessed to Islam. Turks syncretised the other religion into their prevailing mythological understanding. Irk Bitig, a 10th-century manuscript found in Dunhuang is one of the most important sources for Turkic mythology and religion; this book is written in Old Turkic alphabet like the Orkhon inscriptions. Deities are impersonated creative and ruling powers.
If they are anthropomorphised, the qualities of the deities are always in the foreground. In the Turkic belief system, there is no pantheon of deities as in Greek polytheism. Many deities could be thought of as angels in modern Western usage, who travel between humans or their settlement and the highest deity, such as Kayra.İye are guadrian spirits responsible for a specific natural element. They lack personal traits, since they are numerous. Although most entities can be identified as deities or İye, there are other entities such as Genien and demons. Kök Tengri is the first of primordial deities in the religion of the early Turkic people, he was known as yüce or yaratıcı tengri after the Turks started to migrate and leave middle Asia, see monotheistic religions Tengrism was changed from its pagan/politheistic origins. The religion was more like zoroastrianism after its change, with only two of the original gods remaining, representing the good god and Uçmag, while Erlik took the position of the bad god and hell.
The words Sky were synonyms. It is unknown, he rules the fates of entire acts freely. But he is fair as he punishes; the well-being of people depends on his will. Tengri worship is first attested in the Old Turkic Orkhon inscriptions of the early 8th century. Umay is the goddess of virginity. Umay resembles earth-mother goddesses found in various other world religions and is the daughter of Tengri. Öd Tengri Is the god of time being not well-known, as it states in the orhun stones, "Öd tengri is the ruler of time" and son of Kök Tengri. Boz Tengri Like Öd Tengri, he is not known much, he is a son of Kök Tengri. Kayra is the Spirit of God. Primordial god of highest sky, upper air, atmosphere, light and son of Kök Tengri. Ülgen is the son of Kayra and Umay is the god of goodness. The Aruğ denotes to "good spirits" in Altaic mythology, they are under the order of Ülgen. Erlik is the god of the underworld. Ay Dede is the moon god. Gün Ana is the sun goddess; as a result of the nomad culture, the horse is one of the main figures of Turkic mythology.
This might have led to or sourced from the term "at-beyi". The dragon expressed as a snake or lizard, is the symbol of might and power, it is believed in mountainous Central Asia, that dragons still live in the mountains of Tian Shan/Tengri Tagh and Altay. Dragons symbolize the god Tengri in ancient Turkic tradition, although dragons themselves are not worshiped as gods; the World Tree or Tree of Life is a central symbol in Turkic mythology. According to the Altai Turks, human beings are descended from trees. According to the Yakuts, White Mother sits at the base of the Tree of Life, whose branches reach to the heavens where it is occupied by various creatures that have come to life there; the blue sky around the tree reflects the peaceful nature of the country and the red ring that surrounds all of the elements symbolizes the ancient faith of rebirth and development of the Turkic peoples. The wolf symbolizes honor and is considered the mother of most Turkic peoples. Asena is the name of one of the ten sons who were given birth by a mythical wolf in Turkic mythology.
The legend tells of a young boy. A she-wolf nurses him back to health, he subsequently impregnates the wolf which gives birth to ten half-wolf, half-human boys. One of these, becomes their leader and establishes the Ashina clan which ruled the Göktürks and other Turkic nomadic empires; the wolf, pregnant with the boy's offspring, escaped her enemies by crossing the Western Sea to a cave near to the Qocho mountains, one of the cities of the Tocharians. The first Turks subsequently migrated to the Altai regions, where they are known as expert in ironworkers, as the Scythians are known to have been; the Ergenekon legend tells about a great crisis of the ancient Turks. Following a military defeat, the Turks took refuge in the legendary Ergenekon valley where they were trapped for four centuries, they were released when a blacksmith created a passage by melting rock, allowing the gray wolf Asena to lead them out. A New Year's ceremony commemorates the legendary ancestral escape from Ergenekon; the legend of Oghuz Khagan is a central politica
Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God, that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs; the primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, the teachings and normative example of Muhammad. Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith, revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Abraham and Jesus. Muslims consider the Quran in its original Arabic to be the final revelation of God. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam teaches a final judgment with the righteous rewarded paradise and unrighteous punished in hell. Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, following Islamic law, which touches on every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment.
The cities of Mecca and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam. Aside from the theological narrative, Islam is believed to have originated in the early 7th century CE in Mecca, by the 8th century the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east; the Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century, during the Abbasid Caliphate, when much of the Muslim world was experiencing a scientific and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates, such as the Ottoman Empire and conversion to Islam by missionary activities. Most Muslims are of one of two denominations. About 13 % of Muslims live in the largest Muslim-majority country. Sizeable Muslim communities are found in the Americas, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe, Mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Russia. Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world. Islam is a verbal noun originating from the triliteral root S-L-M which forms a large class of words relating to concepts of wholeness, submission and peace.
In a religious context it means "voluntary submission to God". Islām is the verbal noun of Form IV of the root, means "submission" or "surrender". Muslim, the word for an adherent of Islam, is the active participle of the same verb form, means "submitter" or "one who surrenders"; the word sometimes has distinct connotations in its various occurrences in the Quran. In some verses, there is stress on the quality of Islam as an internal spiritual state: "Whomsoever God desires to guide, He opens his heart to Islam." Other verses connect Islam and religion together: "Today, I have perfected your religion for you. Still others describe Islam as an action of returning to God—more than just a verbal affirmation of faith. In the Hadith of Gabriel, islām is presented as one part of a triad that includes imān, ihsān. Islam was called Muhammadanism in Anglophone societies; this term has fallen out of use and is sometimes said to be offensive because it suggests that a human being rather than God is central to Muslims' religion, parallel to Buddha in Buddhism.
Some authors, continue to use the term Muhammadanism as a technical term for the religious system as opposed to the theological concept of Islam that exists within that system. Faith in the Islamic creed is represented as the six articles of faith, notably spelled out in the Hadith of Gabriel. Islam is seen as having the simplest doctrines of the major religions, its most fundamental concept is a rigorous monotheism, called tawḥīd. God is described in chapter 112 of the Quran as: "He is God, the One and Only. Muslims repudiate polytheism and idolatry, called Shirk, reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. In Islam, God is beyond all comprehension and thus. God is described and referred to by certain names or attributes, the most common being Al-Rahmān, meaning "The Compassionate" and Al-Rahīm, meaning "The Merciful". Muslims believe that the creation of everything in the universe was brought into being by God's sheer command, "Be, it is" and that the purpose of existence is to worship or to know God.
He is viewed as a personal god who responds whenever a person in distress calls him. There are no intermediaries, such as clergy, to contact God who states, "I am nearer to him than jugular vein." God consciousness is referred to as Taqwa. Allāh is the term with no plural or gender used by Muslims and Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews to reference God, while ʾilāh is the term used for a deity or a god in general. Other non-Arab Muslims might use different names as much as Allah, for instance "Tanrı" in Turkish, "Khodā" in Persian or "Ḵẖudā" in Urdu. Belief in angels is fundamental
Dunhuang is a county-level city in northwestern Gansu Province, Western China. The 2000 Chinese census reported a population of 187,578 in this city. Dunhuang is best known for the nearby Mogao Caves, it has been known at times as Shazhou and, in Uyghur, Dukhan. Dunhuang is situated in a oasis containing Crescent Lake and Mingsha Shan, named after the sound of the wind whipping off the dunes, the singing sand phenomenon. Dunhuang commands a strategic position at the crossroads of the ancient Southern Silk Route and the main road leading from India via Lhasa to Mongolia and Southern Siberia, as well as controlling the entrance to the narrow Hexi Corridor, which led straight to the heart of the north Chinese plains and the ancient capitals of Chang'an and Luoyang. Administratively, the county-level city of Dunhuang is part of the prefecture-level city of Jiuquan. There is evidence of habitation in the area as early as 2,000 BC by people recorded as the Qiang in Chinese history, its name was mentioned in relation to the homeland of the Yuezhi in the Records of the Grand Historian.
Some have argued that this may refer to the unrelated toponym Dunhong – the archaeologist Lin Meicun has suggested that Dunhuan may be a Chinese name for the Tukhara, a people believed to be a Central Asian offshoot of the Yuezhi. By the third century BC, the area became dominated by the Xiongnu, but came under Chinese rule during the Han dynasty after Emperor Wu defeated the Xiongnu in 121 BC. Dunhuang was one of the four frontier garrison towns established by the Emperor Wu after the defeat of the Xiongnu, the Chinese built fortifications at Dunhuang and sent settlers there; the name Dunhuang, meaning "Blazing Beacon", refers to the beacons lit to warn of attacks by marauding nomadic tribes. Dunhuang Commandery was established shortly after 104 BC. Located in the western end of the Hexi Corridor near the historic junction of the Northern and Southern Silk Roads, Dunhuang was a town of military importance."The Great Wall was extended to Dunhuang, a line of fortified beacon towers stretched westwards into the desert.
By the second century AD Dunhuang had a population of more than 76,000 and was a key supply base for caravans that passed through the city: those setting out for the arduous trek across the desert loaded up with water and food supplies, others arriving from the west gratefully looked upon the mirage-like sight of Dunhuang's walls, which signified safety and comfort. Dunhuang prospered on the heavy flow of traffic; the first Buddhist caves in the Dunhuang area were hewn in 353." During the Sui and Tang dynasties, it was the main stop of communication between ancient China and the rest of the world and a major hub of commerce of the Silk Road. Dunhuang was the intersection city of all three main silk routes during this time. From the West came early Buddhist monks who had arrived in China by the first century AD, a sizable Buddhist community developed in Dunhuang; the caves carved out by the monks used for meditation, developed into a place of worship and pilgrimage called the Mogao Caves or "Caves of a Thousand Buddhas."
A number of Christian and Manichaean artifacts have been found in the caves, testimony to the wide variety of people who made their way along the Silk Road. During the time of the Sixteen Kingdoms, Li Gao established the Western Liang here in 400 AD. In 405 the capital of the Western Liang was moved from Dunhuang to Jiuquan. In 421 the Western Liang was conquered by the Northern Liang; as a frontier town, Dunhuang occupied at various times by non-Han people. After the fall of Han Dynasty it came under the rule of various nomadic tribes, such as the Xiongnu during Northern Liang and the Turkic Tuoba during Northern Wei; the Tibetans occupied Dunhuang when the Tang empire became weakened after the An Lushan Rebellion. After the fall of Tang, Zhang's family formed the Kingdom of Golden Mountain in 910, but in 911 it came under the influence of the Uighurs; the Zhangs were succeeded by the Cao family who formed alliances with the Uighurs and the Kingdom of Khotan. During the Song dynasty, Dunhuang fell outside the Chinese borders.
In 1036 the Tanguts who founded the Western Xia dynasty captured Dunhuang. From the reconquest of 848 to about 1036, Dunhuang was a multicultural entrepot that contained one of the largest ethnic Sogdian communities in China following the An Lushan Rebellion; the Sogdians were Sinified to some extent and were bilingual in Chinese and Sogdian, wrote their documents in Chinese characters but written horizontally from left to right instead of the right to left vertical lines that Chinese was written at the time. Dunhuang was conquered in 1227 by the Mongols who sacked and destroyed the town, the rebuilt town became part of the Mongol Empire in the wake of Kublai Khan' s conquest of China under the Yuan dynasty. Dunhuang went into a steep decline after the Chinese trade with the outside world became dominated by Southern sea-routes, the Silk Road was abandoned during the Ming dynasty, it was occupied again by the Tibetans c. 1516, came under the influence of the Chagatai Khanate in the early sixteenth century.
It was retaken by China two centuries c. 1715 during the Qing dynasty, the present-day city of Dunhuang was established east of the ruined old city in 1725. In
Zilant is a legendary creature, something between a dragon and a wyvern. Since 1730, it has been the official symbol of Kazan; this winged snake is mentioned in legends about the foundation of Kazan. A Zilant is a legendary creature with the head of a dragon, the body of a bird, the legs of a chicken, the neck and tail of a snake, the ears of a canine, red wings, sharp teeth, dark-gray feathers and scaly dark-gray skin; the word Zilant is the English transcription of Russian Зилант, itself a rendering of Tatar yılan/елан, pronounced and meaning a snake. The Tatars themselves, on the other hand refer to this creature with the Persian word Ajdaha or Ajdaha-yılan. Tatars regarded it as corresponding to European and Persian dragons. According to Idel-Ural beliefs, any snake that survives for 100 years turns into an ajdaha; the Zilant/Ajdaha differs from Aq Yılan, the king of snakes. Aq Yılan or Şahmara (from Persian ts shah and mar advised and helped epic heroes by giving them gifts; as regards his beneficial influence on humans, Aq Yılan resembles Chinese dragons.
Chuvash and Mari have legends relating to the foundation of Kazan, but none of them refer to the Kazan dragon. After the 16th century, Russians acquired the foundation legend from Tatars. For Kazan Russians, Zilant had negative connotations, as it was represented as a Slavic dragon rather than as a snake. Western culture has influenced the popular perception of Zilant among citizens of Kazan, many modern citizens imagine Zilant as a classically Western wyvern or dragon - as depicted in films. No strong evidence survives that an image of a dragon or snake with wings occurred in any coat-of-arms of Kazan city or of the Kazan khanate before the Russian invasion of 1552. Modern Tatar villages do not have any such thing as coats of arms nor symbols of towns.. Zilant is proper name in the Russian language and the role of Zilant as a symbol of Kazan functions as an element of Russian culture nowadays. Snakes with wings appear in legends in Tartar culture, a dragon - ajdaha - plays a role in fairy tales.
Most legends related to Kazan are contradictory and Zilant is no exception. There are several variations on the Zilant legend. According to one story, a beautiful damsel married a resident of Old Kazan, she had to get water from the Qazansu River and complained to the local khan his capital was poorly situated. She advised him to move the city to Zilantaw Hill, the khan agreed. However, the hill was infested with numerous snakes which were "stout as a log", their leader was i.e. Zilant. One head ate only grass, while the other swallowed youths. A wizard advised the khan to build a wood near the hill. In spring, the snakes crept into the pile of straw. A knight errant was sent out to set the pile of straw on fire, they were deadly in death, "killing people and horses with their stink". However, the gigantic two-headed snake-dragon escaped to the Qaban lakes. According to the story he still lives in the waters of the lake and, from time to time, takes vengeance on the citizens. According to other stories, the giant snake was transformed into Diü, a spirit who founded the underwater kingdom of the lake.
It is said that Zilant did not escape to the lake but instead tried get revenge upon the knight, who by that time had ridden some 50 çaqrım away from Kazan. During the fight that followed, Zilant cut the hero into six parts; the knight, had managed to stab the dragon with his poisoned pike, Zilant died. There is a legend about Zilant's return to Zilantaw, they say. The dragon would fly over the panic-stricken city and drink water from the Black Lake. At first the people of the city paid tribute to him, but they managed to kill him with a wizard's help. According to one legend, when Bulgars came to found the town of Bilär, they discovered a big snake, they decided to kill it. Once she had her wings the snake flew away from Bilär. Another great snake was said to live in a pagan tower temple at Alabuğa. Although the Bulgars adopted Islam as early as the 10th century, the snake survived until the time of Tamerlane's invasion after which it disappeared. Ibn Fadlan, who visited Volga Bulgaria in the 10th century, referred to numerous snakes in trees.
Ibn Fadlan wrote about a huge fallen tree, longer than hundred ells. He saw a big snake at the trunk of the tree as large as the tree itself; the Bulgars allayed his fears by assuring him. The popular historian Lev Gumilyov pointed out in his Ancient Turks that the Kypchaks, one of the ancestors of modern Tatars, came from the Zheliang Valley in the Altay Mountains. In his opinion, the nearby Zheliang Mountain and Zheliang settlement were named after Zilant the White Snake. If there is any truth in Lev Gumilyov's idea the dragon of Kazan should be regarded as a remnant of the once popular Turkic totem; these flying snakes were known in Bolghar, Bilär and the other cities of Volga Bulgaria. For the most part, these snakes were benevolent. However, in the boundary fortresses of Kazan, Alabuğa and Cükätaw, legends about flying monster
Media of Turkey
The media of Turkey includes a wide variety of domestic and foreign periodicals expressing disparate views, domestic newspapers are competitive. However, media ownership is concentrated in the hands of a few large private media groups which are part of wider conglomerates controlled by wealthy individuals, which limits the views that are presented. In addition, the companies are willing to use their influence to support their owners' wider business interests, including by trying to maintain friendly relations with the government; the media exert a strong influence on public opinion. Censorship in Turkey is an issue, in the 2000s Turkey has seen many journalists arrested and writers prosecuted. On Reporters Without Borders' Press Freedom Index it has fallen from being ranked around 100 in 2005 to around 150 in 2013. In reaction to the failed coup d'état on 15 July 2016, over 150 media organisations, including newspapers and radio channels, news agencies and publishing houses, have been closed by the government of Turkey, 160 journalists have been jailed.
By circulation, the most popular daily newspapers are Hürriyet, Posta, Sözcü and Habertürk. The broadcast media have a high penetration as satellite dishes and cable systems are available; the "Radio and Television Supreme Council" is the government body overseeing the broadcast media. In 2003 a total of 257 television stations and 1,100 radio stations were licensed to operate, others operated without licenses. Of those licensed, 16 television and 36 radio stations reached national audiences. In 2003 some 22.9 million televisions and 11.3 million radios were in service. Aside from Turkish, the state television network offers some programs in Arabic, Circassian and Zaza. Turkish consumers are the second-most media illiterate when compared to countries in Europe, leaving them vulnerable to fake news, according to a 2018 study. A combination of low education levels, low reading scores, low media freedom and low societal trust went into making the score, which saw Turkey being placed second lowest only to Macedonia.
Conspiracy theories are a prevalent phenomenon in Turkish media. According to the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2018, Turkey with some distance is the country with most made-up news reports in the world; the Constitution of Turkey, at art. 28, states that the press is free and shall not be censored. Yet, Constitutional guarantees are undermined by restrictive provisions in the Criminal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, anti-terrorism laws leaving prosecutors and judges with ample discretion to repress ordinary journalistic activities; the Turkish judiciary can and do censore media outlets under other constitutional provisions and loosely interpreted laws, such as “protecting basic characteristics of the Republic” and “safeguarding the indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and nation.” Freedom of information principles have been introduced with the April 2004 Right to Information Act, affording to citizens and legal persons the right to request information from public institutions and private organizations that qualify as public institutions, although the implementation of the law is lacking.
The 2007 Press Law was coupled with a “Regulation of Publications on the Internet and Suppression of Crimes Committed Through Such Publications”, authorising the Telecommunications Communication Presidency to execute court orders to block websites and to issue blocking orders for the content providers in or outside Turkey for committing crimes such as child pornography, encouraging drug use and crimes against Atatürk. Between 2007 and 2010 around 3,700 websites and platforms including YouTube, MySpace, GeoCities have been blocked. Media professionals in Turkey face job insecurity and lack of social security, being forced to work without contract and outside the protection provided by the Law 212 on the rights of journalists. Without a contact under Law 212 media workers in Turkey cannot obtain a press badge and cannot take part in the Turkish Journalists Union Turkey's 2001 financial crisis further strengthened media owners' hands, as 3-5,000 journalists were fired, the most troublesome ones targeted first.
Some themes have long remained quasi-taboo in the Turkish media, including the role of the Army, the Cyprus issue and the rights of the Kurdish and Armenian minorities. The interests of media owners in the major media conglomerates cast a shadow over the objectivity and independence of the controlled media outlets. Ethics in Turkish journalism is based on a couple of documents: the “Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities” by Turkish Journalists Association and the “Code of Professional Ethics of the Press” by Turkish Press Council. In 2006 RTÜK introduced a voluntary ombudsman mechanism that media outlets can introduce in order to evaluate their audience's reactions. Yet, ombudsmen lack independence. Turkey hosts around 3,100 newspapers, including 180 national ones. Only 15% of these are daily newspapers. Turkish print outlets privilege columns and opinions over pure news, are politically polarised. Broadcast media include hundreds of TV stations and thousands of radio stationsm including some in minority languages.
The introduction of Kurdish-language media has been hailed as a big progress, although their quality remains poor. The main issues concerning mainstream media in Turkey are the heavy concentration of ownership, the widespread self-censorship of journalists and media professionals and the presence of nationalist rhetoric and hate speech. More than two thirds of the me