As of Thursday (2), the turkey It is now called Türkiye in English instead of Turkey.
The United Nations has approved a formal request by the Turkish government this week to change the name on the international stage.
Other international bodies will also be required to adopt the new English name as part of the rebranding campaign launched by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan late last year.
“Turkey is the best representation and expression of the culture, civilization and values of the Turkish people,” Erdogan said in December.
Why did the name change?
Most Turks actually refer to their country as Turkey.
However, the Anglo-Saxon form “turkey” – which in English also means turkey – is widely used.
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, known as Sultan Ahmet Camii in Turkish – Photo: Getty Images / Via BBC
State broadcaster TRT was quick to adopt the change as soon as it was announced last year, explaining that among the reasons was the association turkey With birds traditionally associated with Christmas, New Year or Thanksgiving.
He also cited another Cambridge English Dictionary definition as one of the reasons for the change, where the word also means “something seriously wrong” or “a stupid or foolish person”.
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As part of the rebranding, “Made in Türkiye” will appear on all exported products, and a tourism campaign with the slogan “Hello Türkiye” was launched in January.
The decision was divided opinion on social media.
While there are those who agree with the change, including government officials, others say it is a measure by the current president to distract the population – Erdogan is preparing for elections next year amid a deepening economic crisis.
It is not uncommon for countries to change their names.
In 2020, the Netherlands changed its name to Holland, and before that, Macedonia changed its name to North Macedonia due to a geopolitical dispute with Greece. The Czech Republic is now called the Czech Republic. Swaziland became an Eswatini in 2018, to name a few.
Onur Erim, BBC Turkish Service
Ü can be misleading to most international audiences who do not have this letter in their alphabet.
For an English speaker, changing the first vowel of Turkey to a Ü and adding an E at the end is enough to pronounce the new noun completely.
But why was this necessary?
President Erdogan has been pushing for this change for years, arguing that it would be better to represent the country by the Turkish name than to call it the same name as a bird in English.
‘Turkey’, the bird, is known as ‘Pavo’ in Spanish, ‘Peru’ in Portuguese or ‘Indian’ in Turkish.
On social media, many users described the Turkish government’s move as absurd, while others agreed it was a necessary rebranding.
We’ll have to wait and see if people all over the world will accept Turkish instead turkey.
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