The Book of Dede Korkut is an invaluable collection of epics and stories, bearing witness to the language, the way of life, religions, traditions and social norms of the Oguz Turks in Azerbaijan, Turkey and central Asia.
The Oghuz Turks, or Oguz Turks (Okuz, Oufoi, Guozz, Ghuzz) are regarded as one of the major branches of the Turks in history.
The Oguz Turks are the ancestors of today’s western Turks whose numbers are more than 100 millions and inhabit areas in western Asia and eastern Europe: Azerbaijanis of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the South Azerbaijan region of Iran, Turks of Turkey and Cyprus, Turkmens of Turkmenistan and northeastern Iran, Qashqay and Khurasani Turks of Iran, Balkan Turks of Greece, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia as well as Gauguz (Gokoguz) Turks of Moldova.
During Turkic mass-migrations in the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th centuries, the Oguz were among the indigenous Turks of Central Asia who migrated towards western Asia and eastern Europe via Transoxiana. From the 5th century onwards, the Oguz were the founders and rulers of several important Turkic kingdoms and empires, the most notable of them being the Gokturks, Seljuks, Safavids and Ottomans.
Although also settled and urbanized, the nomadic way of life bred in them a combative spirit, sense in leadership, the habit of mobility, elegant equestrian skill, and an unusual dexterity as archers on horseback. Since early times in their history, they were noted for such moral virtues as endurance, loyalty, self-discipline and foresight.
In the later centuries, they adapted and implied their own Turkic traditions and institutions to the ends of the Islamic world and emerged as empire-builders with a constructive sense of statecraft, making a positive contribution to history as the vastful regions in which they ruled evolved into new phases of social, economic, religious and intellectual advancement.
Throughout history, the Oguz Turks have founded different nations that have developed political and geographical identities of their own, yet share Oguz ancestry, culture, history, language and literature. The modern Turkic nations of Azerbaijanis, Turks of Turkey and Turkmens are the three most historical of Oguz Turk peoples.