Turkey changes name to better reflect culture and values

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File this under Lost in the News During the Holidays: Turkey Is No More.

The Middle Eastern country officially changed its name in December to Türkiye (when the English spelling is used). The decision was made to better reflect the culture and traditions of the country.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a circular in early December making the change to preserve the values ​​stemming from the deep-rooted history of the Turkish nation, TRT World reported.

“The expression Türkiye best represents and expresses the culture, civilization and values ​​of the Turkish nation,” said the circular. “In this context, the expression ‘Made in Türkiye’ is now used instead of ‘Made in Turkey’ on our export products, which are the pride of our country in international trade.

The country’s tourism group has already renamed its website to goturkiye.com.

The circular said the change reflects thousands of years of experience. The English word means land of the Turks, and the expression Türkiye dates back to the 14th century.

“Another important step has been taken to strengthen the Turkish brand,” said the country’s communications director, Fahrettin Altun, of the name change.

This decision comes as no surprise since the Assembly of Turkish Exporters started using Made in Türkiye on its labels from January 2020.

There may be another reason for the change. Like TRT World points out, searches in English for information on “Turkey” provide a plethora of findings unrelated to the country.

“Type ‘Turkey’ into Google and you’ll get a confusing collection of images, articles, and dictionary definitions that mistake the country for Meleagris – otherwise known as the turkey, a large bird native to North America – which is famous for being served on Christmas menus or Thanksgiving dinners ”, TRT World reported.

When searching the dictionary, the turkey will also get results that include “a stupid or stupid person” or “something badly failing”.

Although not a common practice, name changes by country are not as rare as you might imagine.

More recently, the Netherlands abandoned Holland as an alternate name in 2019. In 2018 Macedonia became North Macedonia and in 2016 the Czech Republic announced the change to Czechia.

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