Turkmenistan was washed by several cultural waves. Indo-European languages show how our tongues are linked, even if our ears hide behind alternative words and accents. The area was once inhabited by Indo-Iranians. Written history starts with its annexation into the Achaemenid Empire of Cyrus the Great. In the 8th Century, Oghuz Tribes moved there, and those who converted to Islam rather than Christianity or Shamanism were known as Turkmen. Like the Romans who converted to, and (temporarily) took control of, Christianity (till the Germanic people stepped in...), westward-moving Turkmen later led the Ottoman Empire. The languages spoken in Turkey, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan belong to the Oghuz family of the Turkic language group.