Why Did Turkey Change Their Name to Türkiye?

(Last Updated On: June 10, 2022)
Why Did Turkey Change Their Name to Türkiye?

The countries of the world are getting an update today. The United Nations has officially accepted a request made by the government of Turkey to change their name to Türkiye.

Why Did Turkey Change Their Name to Türkiye?

It’s no secret that the country formerly known as Turkey shared its name with a large North American bird. In an effort to dissociate themselves from said animal, and some of the negative connotations around the word “turkey,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government has been pressing for international recognition of the name Türkiye. 

Türkiye is how the name is spelled in Turkish, and is pronounced tur-key-AY. The country has called itself Türkiye since 1923, after they declared independence.

Calls to officially change the country’s English-language name began back in December 2021, when President Erdoğan decreed the use of Türkiye better represents Turkish culture and values.

When Did the Change Go Into Effect?

The United Nations officially accepted Türkiye’s name change on Wednesday, June 1, 2022. This was after the UN received the formal request via letter, and had time to verify the document’s legitimacy. The United Nations website updated the name change the following Friday, when news of the update became widespread.

It will take some time to see how well the new name catches on abroad. We saw a similar country rebrand in 2016, when the Czech Republic officially changed their name to Czechia. While some international institutions and many trivia buffs use it, many still seem to prefer the longer version. The same seems to be true with another recent example, the Ivory Coast, which has stated their preferred international name is Côte d’Ivoire. 

Sporcle, for one, hopes the new name does catch on, as it better reflects Turkish identity. It will also spare us from all those fowl puns.

About the Author:

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Mark Heald is the Managing Editor of Sporcle.com. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and bemoaning the fact the Sonics left Seattle.

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