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Turkey population’s genetic structure is closely linked to people of Italy’s Tuscany

Turkey population’s genetic structure is closely linked to people of Italy’s Tuscany

A study whose results were recently announced may rekindle the debate on whether ancient residents of Italy had migrated from Turkey or not. The decadelong study demonstrated a close link in the DNA of people from Italy’s Tuscany region and the people of Turkey. Moreover, it underlines the diverse mix in the genetic structure of society in a country sandwiched between Asia and Europe.

Research led by a Turkish university has concluded that Turkey is a bridge between the East and West with its genetic structure, just like its geography. The research was carried out with the participation of the Koç University Suna-Inan Kıraç Foundation, Health Sciences University of Turkey, along with Rockefeller University (New York), Yale University and Cardiff University and New York’s Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai under the leadership of Bilkent University’s molecular biology and genetics department in the Turkish capital Ankara. It examined the DNA of approximately 4,000 people from all 81 provinces of Turkey.

The project’s executive director, Bilkent University faculty member professor Tayfun Özçelik, shared the findings of the research with Anadolu Agency (AA). Özçelik said they obtained important data on the detailed genetic structure of Turkish society in the study, which lasted about 10 years and was carried out with a budget of $10 million (TL 84.43 billion).

“The results of our study showed that Turkey has a genetic integrity and contains a high level of genetic diversity,” he said. Noting that there are common genetic components between Turkish society and Balkan, Caucasian and Middle Eastern societies, Özçelik stressed that there is also a higher level of similarity with European societies than expected.

“Turkey, like its geographical location, is a bridge between the East and the West with its genetic structure,” he emphasized. He said the results point to the genetic effects of migration events that have occurred so far in Anatolian geography.