Thursday, November 11, 2010

Native American-Turkish Trade

Nomadic View Native American in Turkey

According to the Associated Press, a delegation of 17 Native American tribes from 10 states have offered Turkish companies special tax incentives to operate in their lands in the United States.

Lincoln McCurdy, president of the Turkish Coalition of America which organized the trip, said Thursday that the Native American tribes belong to sovereign nations that can strike their own trade deals and offer special tax incentives.

Zafer Caglayan, the minister who oversees foreign trade, met the U.S. delegation in Istanbul earlier this week and discussed areas of possible cooperation in tourism and construction. Turkish constructors are active across the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa, building dams, stadiums and highways.

"Ten years from now, I hope that we will be meeting as business partners, not just people pursuing business opportunities," Michael Finley, chairman of the Tribes of Colville Reservation in eastern Washington state, said after meeting the minister in Istanbul.

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  1. My uncle (on my momma's side) is a part of this delegation. I can only say from my experiences and speak for people with whom I interact, but generally AmerIndians have an affinity for the Turkish people and culture. Partly this is because of linguistic similarities (~300 words in common), traditions, and Shamanism.( I'm actually moving to Turkey next year because to experience these first hand!)

    The more politically-inclined of us also find a connection with Turkey--Istanbul--being geographically a part of Europe, but finds itself being rendered as the other because of intrinsic cultural differences. As a people, AmerIndians have gone through this...ARE still going through this.

  2. How interesting! I am sure you will find Istanbul very exciting. Keep in touch or better yet, become a follower of the blog. There's lots of information about Turkey here.

  3. Unchecked other, that is SO interesting. I hear Turkish people say things like this all the time about American Indians, and I've always thought it was something they made up because they think Indians are cool from watching lots of cowboy movies Tom Mix. When you say linguistic similarities, what language group is similar to Turkish? I'm curious-- my husband cites this "300 words" thing all the time, and while I can see it as historically and geographically possible, I find it too vague to be believable. And the shamanism thing seems vague to me too-- don't most native religions worldwide have some kind of shamanism?

    Sorry to assume you're the one who knows everything about this. I've been telling my husband it's all a lie based on a shred of fact and a shared Turkish fantasy and propagated by the popular press, but I would love to be proven wrong on this one...

  4. It's a good question, Stranger. I was trying to find the Native American word for "welcome" for that post and I was staggered to find "There are approximately 296 spoken (or formerly spoken) indigenous languages north of Mexico, 269 of which are grouped into 29 families (the remaining 27 languages are either isolates or unclassified)."
    So I wonder which language exactly the similarities come from. Based on my limited knowledge, I would say that the cultural similarities are related to their nomadic lifestyles, rather than any direct connections.

    I ran through about twenty different languages and couldn't find anything particularly remarkable. (Then I gave up!) I would think important everyday words like, "Water" or "Man" or "sun" would have some kind of similar sound if that theory was correct.
    However, There was a consensus among anthropologists that the alleged migrants crossed the strait 12,000 years. Now it is thought too late a date. In any case, that's an awfully long time in terms of language. Even after 500 years, English- which has the benefits of being a written language and a generally agreed upon set of rules- has still changed to such a degree that it has to be translated in a modern form to be understood.

  6. My argument exactly, Nomad. That's why I find it so interesting Unchecked Other has heard the same story outside of Turkey...


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