Why Turkey Changed Its Name To Turkiye

Congratulations Turkey on your new-old name, Türkiye.

Did you hear? Turkey has officially changed their name.

During my trip in April, I noticed most places already referring to it as Türkiye including a “Hello Türkiye” media push on Turkish Airlines.

Funnily, Turkiye always had this name in the Turkish language since it declared independence in 1923.

The Turks use it, and so do many other foreign languages like Germany and France. But in the English language, it has always been referred to as Turkey.

It’s not uncommon for countries to change names. Off the top of my head, my mother’s country the Netherlands dropped the name Holland. Iran changed its name from Persia, North Macedonia did it, and recently the Czech Republic also shortened its name to Chenzia.

Why Turkey Changed Its Name To Turkiye

What is Turkey’s new name?

Türkiye is Turkey’s new name.

Why Turkey changed its name to Turkiye?

The problem with Turkey boils down to a muddled mess of confusion between the country, the bird, and the not-so-flattering name-calling.

What is Turkey?

Turkey is a country in Europe, currently run by President Erdogan.

Turkey is also a large bird native to North America, famous for being served as Thanksgiving dinner.

Turkey is also a nickname given to “someone that fails badly” or “a stupid or silly person.”

What is Turkey‘s official name?

Türkiye Cumhuriyeti (Republic of Turkey).

Why Turkey Changed Its Name To Turkiye - bursa

Why is it called Turkey?

Turkey is the English name for the country, which means “land of the Turks”. This name dates back to a 15th-century book that refers to the ‘land of Torke’.

How did Turkey get its name, the country?

The country adopted its official name, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, or the Republic of Turkiye, after its founding in 1923. 

As discussed above the name refers to the Turkish people, who have lived in the region since at least the Middle Ages.

Is Turkey a nickname or a country?

Turkey is the English name for Türkiye, which is a country that forms part of Europe and Asia.

Why Turkey Changed Its Name To Turkiye - Grand mosque

What was Turkey called before it was a country?

The Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, led to the international recognition of the sovereignty of the newly formed “Republic of Turkey” as the successor state of the Ottoman Empire.

How did Turkey get its name?

Turkey was named after the Turks. So maybe the question is more about the origin of Turk. There are many stories about the origin of Turk, who is to say which one is the original?

Some believe the country was named after its first Turkish Republic leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. However, Mustafa didn’t have a surname until 1934 when he chose Ataturk (‘Father of the Turks’) for himself. We know the name came into being in 1923, so this story is amiss.

And before Ataturk, the country was named for the Osman Ottoman dynasty so it can’t have been anything to do with Turks then either.

Why Turkey Changed Its Name To Turkiye - Haiga sophia

Which Turkey came first? The bird or the country?

Some believe the English named the Turkish nation after the bird, like a taunt. However in text, the country was already called ‘Turki’ or ‘Turkeye’ in English as far back as 1275, hundreds of years before the bird was known or named.

What are you saying, Erin? You don’t know? Nobody does!


What is a turkey?

This odd-looking bird is originally believed to have originated in Mexico. So how did this bird get to be known in a country on the other side of the world?

Way back in the day, the Ottoman Empire imported guinea fowl into Europe. Guinea Fowl looks a lot like turkeys. Europeans then came to call the guinea fowl the turkey-cock or turkey-hen, because the bird came from the Turks.

When settlers in the New World began to send a similar-looking fowl back to Europe, they, out of familiarity, called them turkeys.


How do the Turks feel about the name change?

The vast majority of people in Turkiye feel that calling the country by its local variation only makes sense and is in keeping with the country‘s aims of determining how others should identify it.

Some believe President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish government are only now catching up on what has been a common occurrence for decades among the Turkish people and within many Turkish businesses.

Also several years ago in January 2020, the Turkish Exporter’ Assembly started using “Made in Türkiye” on all its labels.

What does Turk mean?

Turk is defined as a ‘citizen of the modern state of Turkey‘ or ‘an individual of the Turkic-speaking people.’

In the American Heritage Dictionary, the root meaning of Turk is ‘strong’ or ‘vigorous’. Encyclopedia Americana has an alternative meaning of ‘the people’.

Why Turkey Changed Its Name To Turkiye - Turks

Why did Istanbul change its name?

Side note did you know that Istanbul also had a name change at the same time the country name did?

During a siege, the last Byzantine emperor (Constantine XI) died defending the city. Upon his death, Constantinople was declared the capital of the Ottoman Empire and changed its name to Istanbul.

What is the UN?

The United Nations is an international organization established on 24 October 1945, after the Second World War, by 51 countries including Türkiye, to achieve a great vision for humanity: maintaining international peace and security, promoting sustainable development, and securing human rights.

What does the UN say about Turkey‘s new name?

The latest news that UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced on Thursday 2nd June 2022 that “Türkiye” is replacing “Turkey” following an official letter submitted 1st June 2022 to the United Nations by the Republic of Türkiye.

The UN secretary general said the countrys name change became effective from the moment the letter was received.


Get your own Turkish flag here. 

How to pronounce Turkey new name

Depending on what accent you have here in Australia we say Turk-e-yeah. Others may pronounce it Turk-yay.

What is an umlaut in Turkish?

This is the Ü in Türkiye. Ü or ü is not a letter we use in English. It is commonly used to represent the sound y.

What is the Ü sound?

The Ü umlaut is pronounced by making the sound “ee” and pursing your lips as if you were whistling, almost completely shut. Your tongue must stay in the same place as when you say the sound “ee” and you should only change the shape of your mouth as if we’re saying “oo”.

Turkey changed its name to Turkiye

So what do I call Turkey?

Officially Turkey is now Türkiye. You’ll find me referring to it as Turkey so people can still remember its name from the last century, but I will also be referring to it by its new name, Turkiye, and I suggest you do too. It’s a beautiful name.

Congratulations once again Türkiye.

Looking for more Turkish culture, please go and read our latest posts:




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