For today's topic let's consider the cultural influence from the West. In fact, this culture was already there when the Turkmen began to move onto the desert oases in late antiquity, some time after 400 A.D. There they found the remnants of the Greco-Persian kingdom of Bactria in Afghanistan and in Turkmenistan the Turkmen might have found a few people left from the ruins of the Indo-Iranian Margiana settlement that was closely related to the Bactrians. Once the Turkoman herders settled in watered areas, they would have begun to find the ritual objects of the early Greek, Persian and Indian cultures. In Bactria, there was still an Indo-Iranian-Buddhist culture that had reigned as the Kushans, or at least they would have found the huge amounts of cultural remains of it. The monumental statues of Buddha in Bamiyan come to mind here. But there was much, much more. So much more that both archeologists and 'prospectors' are still finding the relics of that culture constantly.
But let's see what I mean when I say that the Bactria-Margiana culture that came from at least as far West as Anatolia (now Turkey, another home of the Turkmen). But the Turks did not conquer as far West as Turkey until after 1200 A.D. So when the first Mongol Turks came out of the Altai mountains in the Northern Steppes of Central Asia, they found the successor societies to Bactria and Margiana still steeped in much of the culture of the former residents.
Let us compare a cultural symbol of modern Afghan Turkomans, descended through the Kazakhs of Afghanistan. It is inscribed on the back of a pendant made in the early part of the twentieth century, around 1930 or 40, I estimate. Here is the photo and the link to the page that shows the front panel of the pendant:
You will see that the figure is a circle of rhomboid shapes with a very faint circle in the middle. The rhombus circle is so arranged that the eight shapes allow a straight line horizontally and vertically, making the + sign. Then their arrangement allows one to make a diametrical X along the lines of the rhomboid shapes. This suggests the symbols on the Bactrian stamp seals on which I find what I believe are meditation images that the Indo-Iranian, especially the Hindi culture, adopted as early as the Late Bronze Age, around 1,500 B. C. and evn earlier. In the Hindi cultures, they are now called mandalas. I have a collection of many of them.
Here is an example with just a slight difference in appearance, but a very important difference when understanding that the Mongol Turks never became much like Bactrians. I believe they only assumed a few acculturations such as making certain images in wood, clay and metal.
Here is the photo and the link to more information on the Bactrian stamp seal