The Country Turkey Officially Changes Its Name to Türkiye


On Thursday (2 June), Turkey told the United Nations that it wishes to be called “Türkiye” in all languages, at the behest of its own President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

According to Stephane Dujarric, the United Nations’ chief spokesperson, the change will be implemented immediately.

Letter from Türkiye to the United Nations

For the record, the official letter requesting the name change was received by the UN’s New York Headquarters on Wednesday.

The day before, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevulut Cavasoglu tweeted a photo of himself signing the letter, addressing it to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and other international agencies.

The country will be registering its name in foreign languages at the UN as “Türkiye”, including an umlaut over the u.

“The process we started under the leadership of our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in order to increase our country’s brand value is to be finalised,” Casvusoglu wrote in the tweet on Tuesday, according to a translation from Balkan Insight.

The Rebranding Campaign

What the Turkish Foreign Minister is referring to in his tweet is the rebranding campaign that started back in last December, during a period of surging inflation and a worsening economic crisis.

In order to combat these problems, President Erdoğan issued a memorandum asking other countries to use the name Türkiye.

Within domestic borders, he also instructed export products to be labelled as “Made in Türkiye” and for state agencies to use the name in official documents, for the sake of increasing the country’s brand value. 

The Turkish president believes that Türkiye is the “best representation and expression of the Turkish people’s culture, civilisation and values”.

Furthermore, similar to how Thailand officialised its capital name from Bangkok to “Krung Thep Maha Nakhon” without much internal trouble, the Turkish people already recognise “Türkiye” as its country’s name in their own language, although the anglicised version is commonly used as well.

As far back as 1923, the year where the country declared its independence, it has always called itself Türkiye.

The world just… never got on with the programme, I suppose. 

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Most importantly, the update will distinguish the country from a freaking bird and its corresponding negative connotations.

For instance, Cambridge Dictionary defines Turkey as “something that fails badly” or “a stupid or silly person”, which are definitions you don’t ever want to be associated to.

Moreover, if you type Turkey in Google, you get mixed results of images, articles, and dictionary definitions that link the country with Meleagris, which is the actual species name of the large bird native to North America that is famously served on Christmas or Thanksgiving menus.


The best/worst part about that?

The largest religion in Türkiye is Islam, with 99% of their population being Sunni.

The disparity could not be greater, honestly.

The name change might seem redundant, but from Georgia University Professor Mustafa Asakal’s analysis, it will place President Erdoğan in the role of the protector, where he’s safeguarding the international respect for the country.

The New York Times also notes that this name change is just before the presidential election next year, as well the centenary of the nation’s founding after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.


Getting the Türkiye officially recognised bears a lot of significance and weightage. 

Truth to be told, it’s nice to finally be able to differentiate the bird and the country.

It’s kind of like Kentucky— like are you talking about the US State or the fast-food brand?

It does get confusing, and most of the time, you can blame it on the English for completely ignoring the nuances of different languages and standardising the anglicised version for their own convinience.

I mean, our country was named Singapura for Lion City, and it was rendered as “Singapore” in English.

Heck, sometimes Myanmar still gets referred to as “Burma” and they changed their name in 1989.


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Featured Image: Twitter (@MevlutCavusoglu)