Literature The written and verbal works of Turkish literature prior to Islam, carry the traces of nomadic culture. Nature, natural disasters, relations between nature and human beings, wars, victories and defeats, heroes, the love felt for a woman and for the country, are the main themes in the literature of this period. The first and the most important examples of the verbal tradition are legends such as the Alp Er Tunga Legend ,which tells the story of how Alp Er Tunga, the Saka Khan who is thought to have lived in the seventh century, prevailed against the Iranian armies. The Bozkurt (Grey Wolf) Legend which recites the myth of the creation of the Gokturks from a female wolf, and the Ergenekon Legend according to which the Gokturks came out of Ergenekon by melting an iron mountain. Eulogies, poems of nature and love, and proverbs, which are read out mostly in religious ceremonies or victory celebrations, are the other verbal examples of Turkish literature. Information on these verbal examples of the preliterate period are based on Chinese, Arabic and Iranian sources.

The first known written examples of Turkish literature are the Orhun Inscriptions, which were written in the Gokturk alphabet in the sixth and seventh centuries. The most important of these stone monuments, translated into various languages are the ones erected to the memory of Tonyukuk, Kultegin and Bilge Khan. These inscriptions which describe the events of that age, along with wars and victories are important, because they prove that the Turks had a rich written language at that time and because these inscriptions provide some clues regarding the lifestyle of the ancient Turks and their notable spirit for freedom.

  Conversion to Islam and Turkish Literature
  Divan Literature
  Folk Literature
  Orientation Towards the West
  National Literature Movement
  The Republic Period