Published: 03rd June 2022
#WhatTheFAQ: It isn't Turkey anymore. Say hello to Türkiye! But why the name change?
The word "Turkey" when searched online resulted in a confusing set of entries with different meanings of the word at play
The country you knew as Turkey? Yes, the very same one which is partly in Europe and partly in Asia. It won't be the same anymore. We are referring to the matter of the name change, of course. It will now be known as Türkiye, as you might have read already.
But why this name change? Why now? What is its background? Who had to approve it? All these doubts will be cleared in this edition of What The FAQ.
Why did Turkey decide to change its name?
It was back in December last year that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan proposed the name change so that the country can resonate with the cultural roots of Turkish history. The country called itself Türkiye in 1923 after gaining independence. However, there was another reason for this as well, which had a lot to do with a certain species of bird.
Did the 'turkey' bird have a role to play?
The Turkey state-run TRT World reported that searching for "Turkey" online gives confusing results as it refers to both the country as well as the bird. The word is also used to refer to a person who is "stupid" or "silly" as well as something "that fails badly". The negative connotations attached to the word might have been a secondary factor in the move towards "Türkiye".
How was the process of name change carried out?
In December. President Erdogan directed that all exported goods carry the tag "Made in Türkiye" instead of "Made in Turkey". This was followed by Turkish ministries starting to use Türkiye in official communique and documents.
Who approved the name change?
As with most things global, the name change application to Türkiye had to be submitted to the United Nations (UN). Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson to UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that it was "not uncommon" for the UN to receive such requests. The UN on Wednesday, June 1, confirmed the name change and it is now expected that the new name will be in operation for all economic activities, international interactions and correspondences.