News Turkey pushes UN for official name change to Türkiye
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Turkey pushes UN for official name change to Türkiye

Turkey has formally asked the United Nations to be officially known as Türkiye. Photo: EPA
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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has sent a letter to the United Nations formally requesting that his country be referred to as Türkiye, the state-run news agency reports.

The move is seen as part of a push by Ankara to rebrand the country and dissociate its name from the bird, turkey, and some negative connotations that are associated with it.

Anadolu Agency said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, confirmed receipt of the letter late on Wednesday.

The agency quoted Ms Dujarric as saying that the name change had become effective “from the moment” the letter was received.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has been pressing for the internationally recognised name Turkey to be changed to Türkiye (tur-key-YAY) as it is spelled and pronounced in Turkish.

The country called itself Türkiye in 1923 after its declaration of independence.

In December, Mr Erdogan ordered the use of Türkiye to better represent Turkish culture and values, including demanding that “Made in Türkiye” be used instead of “Made in Turkey” on exported products.

Turkish ministries began using Türkiye in official documents.

Earlier this year, the government also released a promotional video as part of its attempts to change its name in English. The video shows tourists from across the world saying “Hello Türkiye” at famous destinations.

The Turkish presidency’s Directorate of Communications said it launched the campaign “to promote more effectively the use of ‘Türkiye’ as the country’s national and international name on international platforms”.

Turkey’s English-language state broadcaster TRT World has switched to using Türkiye although the word “Turkey” slips in by anchors still trying to get used to the change.

TRT World explained the decision in an article earlier this year, saying Googling “Turkey” brings up a “a muddled set of images, articles, and dictionary definitions that conflate the country with 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.”

The network continued: “Flip through the Cambridge Dictionary and “turkey” is defined as “something that fails badly” or “a stupid or silly person”.

TRT World argued that Turks prefer their country to be called Türkiye, in “keeping with the country’s aims of determining how others should identify it”.