TODAY.AZ / Politics

Turkey officially changes its name to Turkiye

01 June 2022 [16:01] - TODAY.AZ

By Sabina Mammadli

Turkey has officially changed its global name into Turkiye, which is now registered by the United Nations, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted.

"The process we started under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to enhance the prestige of our country's brand is coming to an end. By a letter that I sent today to the UN Secretary-General, we register the name of our country in foreign languages with the UN as Turkiye," he wrote.

Changes on Google Maps, Apple Maps, and various other platforms are expected within the next weeks.

The name change drive was set off after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a memorandum in December and asked the public to use Turkiye to describe the country in all languages.

“Turkiye 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, civilization, and values,” Erdogan stated.

Further, in the same memorandum, the Turkish president advised companies to use “made in Turkiye” instead of “made in Turkey” for their exported goods. And he also instructed the state agencies to use Türkiye in their correspondence, especially with international organizations, instead of Turkey, Turkei, and Turquie.

In this regard, back in January 2020, the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (T?M) and umbrella organization of Turkish exports announced that it would use "Made in Turkiye" on all its labels in a bid to standardize branding and the identity of Turkish businesses on the international stage.

On January 13, this year the Turkish Presidency Communications Directorate launched a new campaign, titled “Hello, Türkiye” to bring the change to the wider public.

The reasoning behind the name change can be explained by the fact that often xenophobic, Islamophobic attacks are linked to the turkey bird. Going through the Cambridge Dictionary, one can see that "turkey" is defined as "something that fails badly" or "a stupid or silly person".

The name Türkiye has been adopted by the country after it declared independence in 1923 from the occupying Western powers.

Over the centuries, Europeans have referred to firstly the Ottoman state and then to Turkiye by many names. But the name that has stuck most is the Latin "Turquia'' and the more ubiquitous "Turkey".

Countries changing or tweaking their names is not that unusual, with the most recent case being the drop of “Holland” by the Netherlands in order to simplify its image to the world. Previously, "Macedonia" changed its name to North Macedonia due to a political dispute with Greece.

In 1935, Iran changed its name from Persia, a name that Westerners mainly used. The word Iran means Persian in Farsi, and at the time, it was felt that the country should call itself with the name used locally, not a name seemingly imposed from the outside.


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