Report finds Ashkinazi Jews descended from Turks. Persian Jews converted Turks to Judaism to create the rump of what would become today’s Jewish population, DNA research has revealed.
Persian Jews converted Turks to Judaism to create the rump of what would become today’s Jewish population, DNA research has revealed.
The fascinating insight, which shows that most Ashkenazi Jews descend from Turkey, was made possible by state-of-the-art computer modelling and genetic techniques.
The project, led by Israeli-born Dr Eran Elhaik, even pinpointed Iskenaz, Eskenaz and Ashanaz – three Turkish villages an ancient Silk Road route which still exist today – as part of the original Ashkenazi homeland.
It is the largest genomic study ever carried out on Ashkenazi Jews, and shows that most of today’s population are the descendants of Greeks, Iranians and others who colonised what is now northern Turkey more than 2,000 years ago.
Elhaik shows that locals were converted to Judaism by Jews from Persia, whose empire then home to the world’s largest Jewish communities.