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Say "Turkey" not "Turkey": Turkey changes its international name

Say “Turkey” not “Turkey”: Turkey changes its international name

“Di Türkiye” repeats an advertisement on social media to raise awareness of the change of the international name of Turkey, which until now was in English: “Turkey”. The new name in Turkish avoids annoying confusions because the word “turkey” in English also means “turkey”.

The Republic of Turkey, “Türkei” in German, “Turquie” in French, or “Turkey” in English, originated in 1923 from the Ottoman Empire. Almost a century later, its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, decided that his country’s international name was nothing but its Turkish version: “Turkish.”

The presidential decree of December 3, 2021 ensures that Turkey “represents and expresses the culture, civilization and values ​​of the Turkish nation in the best way.”

The Turkish Islamic government intends to submit a report in the coming weeks on changing its international name to the United Nations, to formalize this decision.

An international name change is not uncommon, as the Netherlands recently ceased to be the Netherlands, while North Macedonia gave up its formerly long official name “Old Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” after settling a Byzantine conflict with Greece.

The problem with Ü

However, some in Turkey warn that the change may encounter problems, as the letter “ü” is not present in the alphabet of many languages.

Although Ankara has not discussed this matter with the United Nations yet, the Turkish executive is optimistic about the matter, which can be resolved by using the simple “u” instead of “ü”, meaning “Turkish” instead of “Turkish”. .

At the same time, Erdogan seeks to strengthen the state’s position in international relations, institutions and trade.

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made in Turkey

Thus, Turkish products will abandon the traditional “Made in Turkey” and go to “Made in Turkey”, which according to Erdogan himself is a sign of the country’s “pride in international trade.”

The plan to change the name is not new, since in 2000 the Turkish Exporters Association asked its members to sell products under the “Turkey” label, although the request was never fulfilled.

At the moment, the only ones who constantly use the new name are the public broadcaster TRT in English as well as the various services of the official Anadolu News Agency, as well as embassies and official bodies.

TRT, which represents the official position of the government, highlights that in the same Cambridge dictionary of the word “Turkey” there are definitions such as “something seriously failed” or “stupid or foolish person”.

And a Google search for “turkey,” TRT highlights, returns a confusing array of photos, articles, and definitions that confuse the country with the turkey served at Thanksgiving dinner in the United States.

Turkey as a shock

But there is another, more psychological explanation: the Turkish government hopes to put an end to the confusion and ridicule over the English name of Turkey.

“There is psychological disorder in Turkey or even some kind of trauma caused by the meaning of the word ‘turkey’ in the English language,” explains Selcuk Kandansayar, professor at the Department of Psychiatry at Gazi University Hospital in Ankara.

As Kandansayer recalls to Efe, British tabloids played a role in this trauma in their sports coverage, specifically when they recalled the Turkish team’s biggest win, 0-8 at home against England in 1984.

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“Then the tabloids had the headline ‘Stuff Turkey’ (“Stuff Turkey” in Spanish), which offended us very much,” says the expert, noting that use of irony by the Turks.

Any English speaking Turkish student knows the meaning of the word “turkey” in English, and more so at the time this language has become widely known and used internationally.

Jokes, ironies, and xenophobic attacks against the turkey are often based on comparisons with the turkey, a large bird native to America.

Kandansayar also believes that the Turkish government wanted to use the issue of the new name for “local propaganda”, directed above all to nationalist circles.

However, with “accelerating inflation” – close to 50% year-on-year in January – it has, for now, had “little effect”.