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The Turkish authorities are planning to change the official English name of the country in Türkiye. A notification to the UN registry must be send by the government, but the letter “Ü”, which isn’t in the nominal Latin alphabet, could be a problem. Türkiye means Turkey in Turkish and the country adopted this name after it declared independence in 1923 from the occupying Western powers.

This action was announced by the Turkish president Erdogan in January, 2022, and will “primarily impact how foreign nations and publics address the country”.

With this action, the government from Ankara is “no longer trying to appease Britain” by altering its national title “for the ease of an English-dominated diplomatic landscape”.

The country has already made the switch domestically. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been renamed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of Türkiye.

The President Erdogan said the decision to change names “represents and expresses the culture, civilization and values of the Turkish nation in the best way”, the BBC reported. But some have said the change is part of an effort to “distance the country’s links to the bird”, reported the Daily Mail, as well as the “dictionary definition of ‘something that fails badly’”.

The name change drive began in December 2021, after Erdogan released a memorandum and asked the public to use Türkiye to describe the country in every language. “Türkiye is accepted as an umbrella brand for our country in national and international venues,” Erdogan said. “Türkiye is the best representation and expression of the Turkish people’s culture, civilization and values.”

In the same memorandum Erdogan, advised the companies to use “made in Türkiye” instead of “made in Turkey” for their exported goods. He also instructed the state agencies to use Türkiye in their correspondence, especially with international organizations.

Turkey is not the first country to change its name. For example, the Republic of Macedonia changed the name in 2019, to Republic of North Macedonia as a way to end a three-decade diplomatic dispute with Greece. The name change offers to the country the possibility to join NATO, “a long-held dream for the small, multi-ethnic country which only narrowly escaped civil war in 2001”. After the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1991, when Macedonia declared its independence, Greece had objected to the name of the new name of the neighbor country.

Persia” became “Iran” in 1935, when the Iranian government requested those countries which it had diplomatic relations with, to call Persia “Iran”, which is the name of the country in Persian. The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent out a circular to all foreign embassies in Tehran, requesting that the country thenceforth be called “Iran”. Diplomatic courtesy obliged, and by and by the name “Iran” began to appear in official correspondence and news items.

Czech Republic is still the country`s official name but “Czechia” became its shortened geographical name in July 2016. The Czech authorities chosen the name as a “one-word alternative name of their country” with the purpose of making it “easier for companies, politicians and sportsmen to use on products, name tags and sporting jerseys” said the Guardian.

In 2020, the Netherlands dropped the use of its more widely recognized name of Holland, officially rebranding under its original name as part of a move to update its global image and eliminate confusion created by the two different names.


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