The Turkic languages are a language family of at least thirty-five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples from Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are proposed to be part of the controversial Altaic language family. Turkic languages are spoken as a native language by some 170 million people and the total number of Turkic speakers, including second-language speakers, is over 200 million. The Turkic language with the greatest number of speakers is Turkish proper, spoken mainly in Anatolia and the Balkans, the native speakers of which account for about 40% of all Turkic speakers. Characteristic features of Turkish, such as vowel harmony, agglutination, and lack of grammatical gender, are universal within the Turkic family. There is also a high degree of mutual intelligibility among the various Oghuz languages, which include Turkish, Azerbaijani, Turkmen, Qashqai, Gagauz, Balkan Gagauz Turkish and Oghuz-influenced Crimean Tatar.
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