Turkey Changes Its Name to Turkiye: A Rebranding Effort to Convey Culture, Civilization, and Values
Turkey is officially rebranding itself as "Türkiye" to better reflect the nation's culture, values, and civilization. This move has been spearheaded by President Erdogan, who claims that the new name will provide a more accurate representation of Turkey and its people.
The "Hello Türkiye" campaign launched by the Turkish government last month is a significant step towards the country's rebranding. However, some critics have speculated that the change is an attempt to distance the country from its association with the same-named bird, which is alleged to irritate Erdogan. In addition, the term "turkey" is often used in North America to describe something that is unsuccessful, which may have contributed to the name change.
Turkey offers an electronic travel authorization, commonly known as the Turkey e-Visa or Turkey Visa Online, to facilitate the travel of foreign nationals visiting the country for up to 30 days or 90 days. To streamline the process and ensure a hassle-free experience, the Turkish government advises international visitors to apply for this visa online at least three days prior to their scheduled arrival. The Turkey Visa application system is automated, user-friendly, and entirely web-based, enabling foreign citizens to complete the process within a matter of minutes, without the need for in-person appointments or lengthy paperwork.
United Nations Grants Approval for Turkey's Name Change to Türkiye?
According to reports, Turkey is preparing to register its new official name, Türkiye, with the United Nations in the near future. However, there could be a potential obstacle in the form of the Turkish letter "ü," which is not part of the standard Latin alphabet.
The United Nations has granted Turkey's formal request to change its name from Ankara to Türkiye, and the change has been officially implemented. The request was made by Ankara and was approved by the UN earlier this week. The UN's approval of the name change sets in motion a similar process for adoption by other international agencies and organizations.
The process of changing the country's name began last year, and in December 2021, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan released a statement stating that the word "Turkiye" more accurately reflects the culture, civilization, and values of the Turkish nation.
While "Türkiye" is the local name, the globally recognized name for the country has become "Turkey."
What is the reason behind Turkey's insistence on being called "Türkiye"?
In a study conducted by Turkey's state broadcaster TRT last year, it was revealed that the name "Turkey" was adopted following the country's independence in 1923. Over the years, Europeans have used a variety of names to refer to the Ottoman state and later Turkiye. The Latin "Turquia" and the more common "Turkey" are the ones that have endured the longest, according to the survey.
However, the Turkish government had additional reasons for advocating the use of "Türkiye" over "Turkey." It was reportedly unhappy with the search results that Google yielded for the term "Turkey," which included the large bird commonly consumed during Thanksgiving and Christmas in some regions of North America.
Moreover, the government objected to the Cambridge Dictionary's definitions of "turkey" as "anything that fails miserably" or "a dumb or foolish person." This uncomplimentary connotation dates back to the time when European colonizers encountered wild turkeys in North America, which they mistook for the guinea fowl, native to eastern Africa and imported to Europe via the Ottoman Empire.
Eventually, turkeys became a staple of colonizers' tables and celebrations, and the association has persisted to this day.
What approach is Turkey taking to manage the change?
As per the BBC, the government has initiated an extensive rebranding campaign that involves labelling all exported goods with the phrase "Made in Turkey." Additionally, a tourism campaign with the catchphrase "Hello Türkiye" was launched in January this year.
However, the BBC notes that despite the initiative's support from government loyalists, it has failed to gain much traction outside of that circle, given the country's economic challenges. Furthermore, it may also be a diversionary tactic as the country prepares for next year's elections.
Have any other countries undergone a name change?
Several other countries have altered their names for various reasons. The Netherlands was renamed Holland, while Macedonia was renamed North Macedonia owing to political issues with Greece. Iran was renamed Persia in 1935, and Siam was renamed Thailand. Rhodesia was renamed Zimbabwe to shed its colonial past. These changes reflect the evolving political and cultural landscape of the countries and their people.
In conclusion, Turkey's decision to rebrand itself as Türkiye reflects the country's desire to present a more accurate representation of its culture, values, and civilization. While the change has been met with some criticism, it is a significant step towards Turkey's global identity and may have far-reaching implications in the future.