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Why Has Turkey Changed Name at the United Nations?

Turkey wrote a formal letter to United Nations, requesting to change its name to Turkiye. UN confirmed that the name change became effective as soon as they received the letter. The authority also mentioned that it was not a unique request. The new name is pronounced as tur-key-yay; the same way it was pronounced and spelled in the Turkish language. It was also the country’s first name in 1923 after the Turkish War of Independence.

Turkey Changed Name in a Rebranding Move

According to reports, Turkey changed name to disassociate itself from the bird of the same name and all the “negative connotations” that came with it. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been pushing the name change for a while. In December 2021, he ordered to use “Turkiye” to correctly represent Turkish values and culture.

The President also demanded to use “Made in Turkiye” on exported products. Ministers already started to use Turkiye on official documents. Earlier this year, the government also released a promotional video in an attempt to make everyone aware of its name change. The video showed several tourists at famous destinations saying “Hello Turkiye”. 

The Word Turkey Causes Confusion

Turkish Communication Directorate also launched a campaign for promoting the “effective use” of Turkiye on international forums. However, the media is still getting used to the change since the majority knows it as “Turkey” at the moment.

Turkish media elaborated on the concerns regarding the former name due to which Turkey changed name. They said it shared the name with a large bird called Turkey or Meleagris (scientific name) which is native to North America and famous for being consumed during Christmas and Thanksgiving events. They also highlighted that googling “Turkey” also returned results of images, videos, and other data associated with that bird. Another thing they pointed out was the definition of “Turkey” in Cambridge Dictionary. It was defined as “something that fails badly” and a “Stupid” or “Silly” person.

Other Countries with New Names

Before Turkey changed name, a few other countries also did the same. Examples include Ceylon to Sri Lanka, Czech Republic to Czechia, Macedonia to North Macedonia, and Holland to the Netherlands.

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