Türkİye’s Name Change from Turkey

Türkiye is the new name that will be used instead of Turkey. 

In this post, you will find the relevant official documents as evidence of Turkey’s name change. I will also explain the reasons and implications of Türkiye’s name change, as well as the history and meaning of the name Türkiye.

I have also added my own voice to this page, where I pronounce “Türkiye” as a native Turkish.

The Official Name Change for Turkey

Türkiye is the country’s new and official name. It was formerly known as Turkey.

The Turkish Foreign Minister announced and requested the name change in a letter to the UN Secretary-General on May 26, 2022. The letter claimed that Türkiye was the country’s original and legitimate Turkish name and that it meant “the land of the Turks”. The letter further specified that Türkiye would be the country’s only official name in all languages and that any other names, such as Turkey, Türkei, Turquie, Turqua, and so on, would be considered outdated and incorrect. The full letter from Turkey’s Foreign Minister to the UN Secretary-General is below:

The letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Türkiye to the Secretary-General of the United Nations requesting the change of the country’s name from Turkey to Türkiye, dated 26 May 2022
The letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Türkiye to the Secretary-General of the United Nations requesting the change of the country’s name from Turkey to Türkiye, dated 26 May 2022

The UN’s Acceptance of the Name Change Request

Turkiye’s name change was first published by the United Nations Member States List.

United Nations Official name change of Turkey to Turkiye
United Nations Official name change of Turkey to Turkiye

“The United Nations Türkiye” page also announced the name change on June 3, 2022, with the headline: Turkey’s name changed to Türkiye.

Turkey's name changed to Türkiye
Turkey’s name changed to Türkiye

“Made in Türkİye” instead of “Made in Turkey”

As part of its branding plan to improve global awareness and reputation, Türkiye also uses “Made in Türkiye” instead of “Made in Turkey” on its exported products. As proof, I am attaching a screenshot of a random page from the World Trade Organization’s website. You can see on the right sidebar that the name change is also reflected as “Türkiye (formerly Turkey).”

World Trade Organization-Türkiye-formerly Turkey
World Trade Organization-Türkiye-formerly Turkey

Please note that when I use caps lock, I have difficulty with the letter “i” on my keyboard. Because it doesn’t type the dot on the “i,” I can’t write TÜRKiYE properly in the post. When I use lower case, though, I can write Türkiye without difficulty.

Pelotek Sourcing Agent

Correct Spelling of Türkiye from a Native Turkish

It might take some time for people to get used to the new name, Türkiye. However, I think it is important to respect the country’s choice and to use the correct spelling and pronunciation.

Why Did Turkey Change Its Name to Türkiye?

The official name change of Turkey to Türkiye was a historical and cultural decision that reflected the identity and values of the country and its people. The name change reflects Turkiye’s desire to rebrand itself while also avoiding confusion with the bird or insult of the same name. The majority of Turkish citizens, as well as some of Turkey’s allies and partners, supported the name change. However, it did face considerable backlash and criticism from commercial stakeholders.

The Cultural and Historical Significance of the Name Türkiye

For the Turkish people, the name Türkiye has significant cultural and historical significance.

Türkiye is derived from the word Türk, which is the ethnonym for the Turkic peoples who moved to Anatolia from Central Asia. In Old Turkic, the word Türk means “strong,” “brave,” or “noble,” and it was first employed by the Göktürks in the sixth century CE (Common Era). The Göktürks were a confederation of Turkic tribes that ruled a vast territory in Central Asia and beyond. They were the first Turkic people to use the name Türk as a political and ethnic identity. They also created the Orkhon script, which is one of the oldest Turkic alphabets. The Göktürks had a significant impact on the history and culture of the Turkic peoples and other neighboring civilizations.

Türkiye means “the land of the Turks” in Turkish and was first used by the Seljuks in the 11th century CE. The term Türkiye reflects the Turkish nation’s identity and legacy, as well as its linguistic and cultural variety.

Foreign powers, on the other hand, enforced the name Turkey during the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey eras. It was derived from the name Turki, which medieval Muslim geographers used to refer to the Turkic-speaking regions of Asia. It was also mistaken for the term turkey, which is the name of a North American bird. Turkey does not represent the country’s actual and authentic name in Turkish, nor does it capture its rich culture and history. As a result, many Turkish people prefer to refer to their country as Türkiye rather than Turkey.

The Name of the Bird Turkey and the Name of the Country TURKEY: Which Came First?

The turkey is a large and well-known bird native to North America. It is a popular Thanksgiving and Christmas dish, as well as the name of a country in Eurasia. But how was the turkey (bird) named? And what does it have to do with the country of TURKEY? Here are three probable theories for this strange link:

  • The turkey (bird) was named after TURKEY (Country) due to a mix-up with another bird

One theory is that the turkey was named after TURKEY due to a mix-up with another bird. Spanish explorers brought turkeys to Europe for the first time in the 16th century. They nicknamed it “pavo,” which translates to “peacock” in Spanish. In English, however, “pavo” was mistaken for “pava,” which means “guinea fowl” in Spanish. The guinea fowl was a bird introduced from Africa by Turkish merchants via TURKEY. As a result, the English called the turkey “turkey-cock” or “turkey-hen,” believing it was derived from TURKEY.

  • The turkey (bird) was named after TURKEY (country) due to its resemblance to another bird

Another theory is that the turkey was named after TURKEY due to its resemblance to another bird. The English also nicknamed the turkey “Indian fowl” or “Indian hen” because they assumed it came from India, which was a common name for the New World at the time. The helmeted guineafowl, on the other hand, was referred to as “Indian fowl” or “Indian hen” by the English. The helmeted guineafowl resembled the turkey in look and behavior, with a bald head, a wattle, and a loud call. Turkish merchants also brought the helmeted guineafowl from Africa via TURKEY. As a result, the English called both birds “turkey,” believing they were related.

  • The turkey (bird) was named after the sound it makes.

A third theory is that the turkey was named after the sound it makes. The turkey communicates with other turkeys by making a characteristic gobbling sound. Some people believe that this sound is similar to the term “turk-turk-turk,” which is how some people pronounce the country’s name, TURKEY. As a result, they named the bird “turkey” after its call.

These stories have not been proven or accepted by all authorities. They are merely theories that historians, linguists, and scientists have proposed. As a result, they should be regarded as views or speculations rather than facts.

The Rebranding and Image-Building Goals of the Name Change

Turkey’s name change to Türkiye is an important step toward rebranding the country and distancing it from the negative connotations associated with the bird of the same name. The Turkish government has been lobbying to change the internationally recognized name Turkey to Türkiye, as it is spelled and spoken in Turkish. Following its declaration of independence in 1923, the country adopted the name Türkiye.

The new name most accurately depicts and expresses the Turkish nation’s culture, civilization, and values. The decision is considered part of Ankara’s effort to rebrand the country and distance it from the bird of the same name and the bad connotations it carries. The government also required that “Made in Türkiye” be used instead of “Made in Turkey” on exported products. Turkish ministries started using Türkiye in official papers as well. As part of its efforts, the government created a promotional video this year. The film depicts travelers from all around the world exclaiming “Hello Türkiye” at well-known locations.

The name change’s rebranding and image-building goals are to create a new identity for Turkey that represents its rich history, culture, and values. The new name is supposed to boost Turkey’s image as a contemporary, vibrant, and forward-thinking country that is open to the rest of the globe. It is also expected to help attract more international investment, tourism, and trade by improving Turkey’s image.

What are the Effects of Türkiye’s Name Change on International Trade?

I summarized some potential benefits and challenges of Türkiye’s name change for international trade. Please note that I have a sourcing agent’s point of view.

The Potential Benefits of the Name Change for Türkiye’s Trade Partners

As a sourcing agent, we estimate that those Turkish manufacturers who adopt the new name in their international trade and use it abundantly in their product promotions will be a step ahead of the rest. They will look more professional and up-to-date, which may increase their sales. Türkish people will embrace all companies that have a “Made in Türkiye” label on their products.

Made in Turkiye
Made in Turkiye
Made in Türkiye -red
Made in Türkiye -red

Türkiye’s trading partners are expected to benefit from the name change from Turkey to Türkiye as well. The new name reflects the country’s culture, civilization, and ideals, which may encourage more foreign investment, tourism, and trade.

The name change is also intended to improve Turkey’s reputation in the international community, potentially leading to increased demand for Turkish goods and services.

The Possible Challenges of the Name Change for Türkiye’s Trade Competitors

The most important challenge will be the wording and pronunciation of Türkiye. Although the letter ü is not unique to Turkish and is also used in German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, Hungarian, and other languages, it does not exist in English. Remember that Türkiye has changed its name in almost all languages. Please check out the letter from the Turkish Ministry above. Therefore, this change will negatively affect all countries that don’t have the letter ü in their alphabet.

The letter ü signifies a specific sound distinct from u or ue. As a result, using Turcia was considered inappropriate. However, it would be better for Türkiye to select a word that is usable in all Latin languages.

Another challenge is the confusion. The new name could create confusion among consumers who are not familiar with the change, which could lead to a temporary decline in sales for some companies.

Moreover, some companies, like Pelotek Sourcing, may need to rebrand their products and services to better align with the new name. This could be a costly and time-consuming process that may not be feasible for all companies.

As a simple example of the chaos of this name change from Turkey to Türkiye, we had to make many changes on our website. The media files that Google has already indexed were not subject to change. However, we had to change some links to our services that included the name “Turkey”. As all SEO experts know, changes in permalinks and too many 301 redirects hurt SEO.

We still have difficulty rebranding some of our services, and it looks impossible to remove the word Turkey from all of our posts. From now on, we will be using Türkiye but we cannot make any more changes to the previous posts or media. We already lost some ranking in search results just because of this name change.

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