Why Turkey Wants You to Say “Türkiye”: A Deep Dive into the Name Change

Ever since the Ottoman Empire crumbled in 1923, the nation that rose from its ashes has been known to the world as “Turkey.” But in recent years, the Turkish government has been pushing for a change, urging everyone to adopt the spelling “Türkiye” instead. What’s behind this seemingly simple name switch? Let’s dive into the reasons and implications of this linguistic shift.

More Than Just a Spelling Bee:

While some might dismiss it as mere nitpicking, the name change request from Türkiye goes beyond a simple spelling correction. It’s a multifaceted move with political, cultural, and even economic undertones.

Politics and Power Play:

The timing of the name change request coincides with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s consolidation of power and his vision for a stronger, more independent Türkiye. By reclaiming the original Turkish spelling, the government asserts its national identity and distances itself from the historical baggage associated with the English term “Turkey”

Cultural Identity and Authenticity:

“Türkiye” reflects the way Turkish people have always referred to their homeland. It’s a more accurate representation of their language and cultural heritage, free from the potential confusion or negative connotations associated with the English word “turkey,” which also refers to the poultry bird.

Economic Aspirations:

Some analysts believe the name change could also be a strategic move to boost Türkiye’s international image and attract foreign investment. By adopting a more distinct and modern-sounding name, the country hopes to shed its association with a developing nation and project an image of a rising economic power.

Beyond the Name Change:

The push for “Türkiye” is just one facet of a larger effort to rebrand the country on the global stage. The government has also been promoting Turkish culture and tourism, investing in infrastructure, and strengthening its international partnerships.

The World’s Response:

While the United Nations and some countries, including the United States, have officially adopted the new spelling, others remain hesitant. Some argue that changing a deeply ingrained name like “Turkey” is unnecessary and confusing. Others see it as a political maneuver by Erdoğan and his government.

The Future of “Türkiye”:

Whether the world fully embraces “Türkiye” or not, the name change has sparked a global conversation about language, identity, and the power of words. It’s a reminder that even seemingly minor changes can have significant cultural and political implications.

So, Should You Say “Türkiye”?

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to adopt the new spelling rests with each individual. However, understanding the motivations behind the name change and its potential impact can help you make an informed choice.


  • The Turkish people have always called their country “Türkiye.”
  • The name change is part of a larger effort to rebrand the country.
  • The world’s response to the name change has been mixed.

Whether you choose to say “Turkey” or “Türkiye,” it’s important to be respectful of the Turkish people and their culture.

Excellent Gestures Turks Use All The Time


What do the Turks call Turkey?

A number of news outlets have reported that Turkey has changed its name, but that’s not really true – Turks have called their country Türkiye since 1923, when Turkey became the successor state to the Ottoman Empire.

Why is Turkey now called Türkiye?

According to the state-run TRT World, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu sent letters to the UN and other international organisations on 31 May 2022, requesting that they use Türkiye. The UN agreed and implemented the name change.

What does Türkiye mean in English?

Türkiye” is the Turkish word for “Turkey“, which is a country located in Eurasia, with a population of around 80 million people. The word Türkiye is derived from the Turkish words “Türk” and “yurt”, which mean “Turkish” and “homeland” respectively.

What does Turkish ‘Turkiye’ mean?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, “The word Türkiye represents and expresses the culture, civilization, and values of the Turkish nation in the best way.” Erdoğan also ordered that “Made in Türkiye” be used instead of “Made in Turkey” on exported products. Turkish government agencies also began using “Türkiye” in official documents.

Is Turkey a ‘Turkiye’?

The State Department will start spelling Turkey as “Türkiye” in diplomatic and formal settings. The name change was approved by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names following a request from the Turkish embassy, State Department spokesperson Ned Price confirmed on Thursday.

Why is it called a turkey bird?

Despite popular beliefs, the name ‘Turkey’ has no direct relation to the bird. A fun case of mistaken identity, you might say! The wild turkey bird, originally from North America, was mistaken for the “turkey fowl” brought to England by the Turkish merchants, leading to the bird being named ‘turkey’. An interesting cross-continental mix-up indeed.

Where did the name Turk come from?

The Chinese Book of Zhou (7th century) presents an etymology of the name Turk as derived from “helmet” by explaining the name to come from the shape of a mountain on which the Chinese worked in the Altai Mountains.

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