A new paper on Turkey, The genetic structure of the Turkish population reveals high levels of variation and admixture:
We delineated the fine-scale genetic structure of the Turkish population by using sequencing data of 3,362 unrelated Turkish individuals from different geographical origins and demonstrated the position of Turkey in terms of human migration and genetic drift. The results show that the genetic structure of present-day Anatolia was shaped by historical and modern-day migrations, high levels of admixture, and inbreeding. We observed that modern-day Turkey has close genetic relationships with the neighboring Balkan and Caucasus populations. We generated a Turkish Variome which defines the extent of variation observed in Turkey, listed homozygous loss-of-function variants and clinically relevant variants in the cohort, and generated an imputation panel for future genome-wide association studies.
First, I’m surprised how inbred the Turks are in this paper. They need to get more secular quickly and stop marrying their cousins. Second, there’s the classic issue of assuming East Asian ancestry = Turkic ancestry. The reality is that by the time the Turkic tribes arrived in Anatolia they’d already mixed with Iranian peoples in Central Asia, so they may have been 50% non-East Asian by that time. Here’s the relevant section: “Paternal gene flow based on Y chromosome haplogroups C-RPS4Y and O3-M122, which were previously implicated as Central Asian specific, ranged from 8.5 to 15.6%. Maternal gene flow based on mtDNA haplogroups D4c and G2a, which were previously suggested as Central Asian specific, was 8.13%.” For what it’s worth, 4% of the Y’s are R1a of the Slavic variant and 8% are R1a’s of the Indo-Iranian variant. The main issue with the latter is that some of this might be Turkified Kurds.
But what I’m really interested in is which populations modern Turks are genetically close to. In the argument of whether Turks are Greek or Armenian, these pooled Turks seem more Armenian in the heatmap. I pulled the Turk subgroups and created a table of Fst values. Nothing super surprising.