Turkey Changes Its Name To Stop People Confusing It With The Bird

Claire Reid

| Last updated 

Turkey Changes Its Name To Stop People Confusing It With The Bird

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock/Alamy

Turkey is having a rebrand and has changed its name to Türkiye to avoid associations with the bird and a less than favourable slag term meaning a 'stupid or silly person'.

The United Nations has accepted a formal request from the country’s capital city of Ankara and has agreed to now call it Türkiye - pronounced tur-key-YAY.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu wrote to the UN to formally ask for the name change. 

He said: "Together with our Directorate of Communications, we have been successful in preparing a good ground for this.

"We have made it possible for the UN and other international organisations, countries to see this change to using Türkiye.”

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

In response, the UN says it made the change as soon as it received the request this week. 

A decision to rebrand was made last year, with president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan saying in December: “Türkiye is accepted as an umbrella brand for our country in national and international venues.

"Türkiye is the best representation and expression of the Turkish people's culture, civilisation, and values.”

The country’s state broadcaster TRT World explained the decision in an article earlier this year, saying that Googling the word ‘Turkey’ brings up a ‘a muddled set of images, articles, and dictionary definitions that conflate the country with Meleagris – otherwise known as the turkey, a large bird native to North America – which is famous for being served on Christmas menus or Thanksgiving dinners’. 

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

The piece went on: “Flip through the Cambridge Dictionary and ‘turkey’ is defined as ‘something that fails badly’ or ‘a stupid or silly person’.”

Selim Koru from the Foreign Policy Research Institute said: “The association with the bird genuinely annoys Erdogan and the people around him.”

TRT World claimed that Turks prefer their country to be called Türkiye, in keeping with ‘the country’s aims of determining how others should identify it’.

As part of its rebrand, exported products will now feature words ‘Made in Türkiye’.

The new name was also used in a tourism campaign, with one advert showing people from various different countries saying: "Hello Türkiye."

The country first called itself in Türkiye 1923 after its declaration of independence.

Most Turks are familiar with the name Türkiye, but the anglicised Turkey is also commonly used. 

According to TRT World, its journalists have switched to using the new name but admits that there have been the odd slip ups back to using Turkey as they attempt to get used to the change.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Topics: News, World News

Claire Reid
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