Turkey no more, Erdogan country changes name to Turkiye
- Turkey has changed its name to Turkiye
- The UN has accepted Turkey’s request
- Turkiye is preferred by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkey is the American thanksgiving bird, and its just that and not a nation anymore. The ‘Land of the Turks’ has changed its name to Turkiye in an apparent bid to stay closer to its cultural roots and also steer clear of being confused with the guineafowl. On Thursday, June 2, the United Nations accepted Turkey’s request for a name change. The new name is the official English-language and internationally recognised name of the country.
What’s the difference?
While both Turkey and Turkiye seem to have proximate pronunciations, the second name has an extra syllable that is pronounced ‘yay’.
Why the name change?
Turkiye is the preferred name of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, even though many among the citizenry agree with Turkey. The decision to change the name was taken in December 2021. Since then, the Turkish government has been using the new name in all official correspondence. All exported products from the country now come with ‘Made in Turkiye’ tags. The government also launched a ‘Hello Turkiye’ tourism campaign in January.
Among several reasons for the name change, one significant reason is to dissociate the country’s name from the turkey bird, according to Turkish state media channel TRT News. It further said that a Google search for turkey brings up “a muddled set of images, articles, and dictionary definitions that conflate the country with Meleagris – otherwise known as the turkey, a large native bird to North America – which is famous for being served on Christmas menus or Thanksgiving dinners.”
“Flip through the Cambridge Dictionary and ‘turkey’ is defined as ‘something that fails badly’ or ‘a stupid or silly person’,” the network said.
The turkey bird was discovered by European settlers when they were imported via the Ottoman empire.
Other countries that have changed names
In the last four years, four countries have changed their names. Swaziland changed its name to Eswatini in 2018. Netherlands removed the name Holland from its internationally recognised name in 2020 and North Macedonia changed its name from “Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia” owing to a political dispute.