Frequent commenter Tatyana sent me a link to this “Brief Dictionary of Medieval Bulgarian Geographical Names and Expressions”—something of a misnomer, since this long and detailed list can hardly be called “brief.” The question is, what is its status? It’s associated with the “Djagfar Tarihi,” about which this page says:
There is much controversy and resistance to the publication of the “Djagfar Tarihi” annals. The leading allegations are that the compilation was composed by an office of the Russian NKVD/KGB/FSB at an undefined time with a purpose of splitting the Türkic ethnic groups into opposing camps, that it was written by an unknown person claiming to be only a savior of the annals, that it is a false compilation with no historical merit, that Ibragim Mohammed-Karimovich Nigmatullin is an unknown fictional personality.
In support of these allegations there is no known systematic study addressing the authen[ti]city of the compilation, no known systematic review and study of the materials…
The site doesn’t refute any of these “allegations”; it simply goes on to take the validity of the document for granted:
“Djagfar Tarihi” (“History by Djagfar”) is the only known assembly of ancient Bulgarian annals that reached us. As many other Bulgarian sources, “Djagfar Tarihi” has a difficult and tragical history.
The collection [was] compiled in 1680 under the order of the leader of the Bulgarian liberation movement, seid Djagfar, by the secretary of his office in the eastern part of Bulgaria, Bashkorostan, by the name of Iman…, including in the collection the most valuable Bulgarian annals: “Gazi-Bardj Tarihi” (1229-1246) by Gazi-Bardj, “Rightful Way, or Pious acts of Bulgarian Sheikhs” (1483) by Mohammed-Amin, “Kazan Tarihi” (1551) by Mohamedyar Bu-Ürgan, “Sheikh-Gali Kitaby” (1605) by Ish-Mohammed and some others…
Does anybody know if this is true, or even plausible? Claire, you read medieval Turkic stuff—any enlightenment to shed? I don’t want to immerse myself too deeply in the geographical stuff (which I love) if it’s going to turn out to be a hoax.