UN Accepts Ankara’s Request For Rebranding The Country’s Name
The United Nation (UN) has accepted the formal request from Ankara to rebrand the country’s name Turkey as “Türkiye”. Numerous international bodies have been asked to change the name as the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a rebranding campaign and wanted to distinguish the country’s name dissociated with some negative connotations. Erdogan enunciates that the word Turkiye is the represention and expression of the culture, civilisation, and values of the Turkish nation in the best way. The local people of the country call the name Türkiye, but Turkey is an anglicised version adopted internationally.
The Medieval Latin term "Turcus" gives Turkey its name. There is uncertainity of its origin, however it is thought to signify "strong." According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the Persian term "turk" can imply "a lovely youngster," "a barbarian," or "a robber." "Turkey" is pronounced tuh-kee, whereas "Türkiye" is pronounced tur-key-YAY. It was unclear if the name, with a letter that doesn’t exist in the English alphabet, will catch on widely abroad. In 2016, Czechia was officially registered as its short-form name by the Czech Republic, and while some international institutions use it, many still refer to the country by its longer name.
Since Independence in 1923, the country has been calling itself “Türkiye”. However, Turkey has been emphasizing for the internationally recognised official name in English to Türkiye in December after Turkish President Erdogan released a memorandum and asked the public that they can use the word Türkiye to describe the country in all languages. The govt. has recently been attempting to shift the labelling of its products from "made in Turkey" to "made in Turkiye" on all exported products. “Türkiye” is being used in official documents by Turkish ministries. The govt has also been running the promotional campaign for the name change with videos like this one from Turkish Airlines featuring people saying the new name over and over. In January, a tourism campaign has been launched with The catch-phrase "Hello Türkiye"
There are multiple reasons/justifications to consider for the name change. Apparently, the country’s government was displeased with the Google search results that came up for the word ‘Turkey’, For, some of these results included the large bird that is associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas meals in North America. The government was objectionable to Cambridge Dictionary’s definition of the term “turkey”; that means “something that fails badly” or “a stupid or silly person”.
There are some countries that changed their names either to drop colonial legacies or rebrand, as is the case with Turkey. Some examples include The Netherlands, which was changed from Holland in 2020; Macedonia, which changed its name to North Macedonia due to political disputes with Greece; Iran, which changed its name from Persia in 1935; Siam, which changed its name to Thailand; and Rhodesia, which changed to Zimbabwe to drop its colonial legacy and Swaziland became Eswatini in 2018.
Turkey has been reeling under possibly the biggest financial crisis since the World War II. while supporters of the government are backing the move, it has found little takers outside that circle given the economic crisis. Some argue that it may also be a distraction while the country has to go through the elections next year. Many social media users criticise the Turkish government's move, while others agree that it was a necessary rebranding. It’s riveting to see whether people around the world will accept Türkiye instead of Turkey, Turquie or Twrci.
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