The Turkic languages, belonging to the Altaic language family, may be classified
into four groupings linguistically and geographically:
I. Northwestern (Kipchak) group: Bashkir, Crimean Tatar, Karachay-Balkar, Karaim, Karakalpak, Kazakh, Kazan Tatar, Kumyk, Nogai.
II. Northeastern (Siberian) group: Altai, Kyrgyz, Khakass, Shor, Tofa, Tuvanian, Yakut, Yellow Uighur.
III. Southwestern (Oghuz) group: Azerbaijani, Gagauz, Turkish, Turkmen.
IV. Southeastern (Chagatai) group: Salar, Uighur, Uzbek.
The Turkic languages spoken farthest west are Turkish in Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus; Gagauz in Moldova, Bulgaria; Crimean Tatar in Romania, Crimean Tatars no longer live in the Crimea, but only a small number of them was able to return to their homeland within recent years; Karaim and Krymchak in southeastern Lithuania, West-Ukraine, and the Crimea. The area of Turkish proper, which is spoken in the Republic of Turkey, stretches from the Balkan Peninsula to Iran. Azerbaijani is spoken in the Republic of Azerbaijan and Iran. Afshar, Qashqai, Shahseven-Khamse, Qajar, Bayat, Pishakchi, Quchani, Inanli, Karagozlu, Tekke, Yomut, Salir are some of the Turkic-speaking communities, which speak various Azerbaijani and Turkmen dialects, in Iran. Khalaj is another Turkic language spoken in Iran and Afghanistan. Some Azerbaijani and Turkmen dialects are also spoken in northern Iraq (Irbil, Mosul, Kirkuk). Other Turkic peoples in the northern Caucasus are the Karachays, Balkars, Kumyks, Nogais, Karapapaks, and the Turkmens of Stavropol. The Meskhetian (Ahiska) Turks of the northern Caucasus do not live there any longer. The Kazan Tatars, Bashkirs, Teptiars, and the Mishars are found in scattered settlements in the Middle Volga-Ural area. The Chuvashes are the second largest Turkic-speaking unit in the Middle Volga-Ural area. East of the Caspian Sea begins the most homogeneous area of Turkic languages: Kazakh, Karakalpak, Kyrgyz, Turkmen, Uzbek, and Uighur. Yellow Uighur and Salar are spoken in the Chinese provinces of Gansu and Qinghai. The Yakuts are the most remote Turkic group in northeastern Siberia. The Altais, Tuvanians, Khakasses, Shors, Tofas, and the Teleuts are Turkic-speaking peoples of south Siberia.