Turkey began the move to change its internationally recognized official name in English to Türkiye in December. Several international bodies will be asked to make the name change as part of a rebranding campaign launched by the Turkish president late last year.
The United Nations has changed the Republic of Turkey’s country name at the organization from “Turkey” to “Türkiye”, following a request from Ankara for the change.
The Turkish government wants the rest of the world to use the country’s own name for itself, and lose the association with a certain bird.
Why the Change in Name?
Based on the intentions expressed by the Turkish government, it looks like they wanted to associate their country’s name with a Turkish name instead of an English one. The rebranding exercise also shows a more confident country that has become an important international player on the military, and economic fronts.
But, will the name change also help the country to become a bigger economic power on the international stage?
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that a letter had been received on Wednesday from the Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu addressed to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, requesting the use of “Türkiye” instead of “Turkey” for all affairs.
The spokesman said the country name change became effective from the moment the letter was received.
Cavusoglu announced the letter’s official submission to the UN and other international organizations on Tuesday.
Most Turks already know their country as Türkiye. However, the anglicized form of Turkey is widely used, even within the country.
State broadcaster TRT was quick to make the change as soon as it was announced last year, explaining that among the reasons for the image rebrand was the association with the bird traditionally associated with Christmas, New Year, or Thanksgiving.
It also pointed out the Cambridge English Dictionary’s definition of one of the meanings of the word as “something that fails badly” or “a stupid or silly person”.
As part of the re-branding, “Made in Türkiye” will feature on all exported products, and in January a tourism campaign was launched with the catchphrase “Hello Türkiye”.
The move has been met with a mixed reaction online. While government officials support it, others say it is an ineffective distraction as the president gears up for elections next year, amid an economic crisis.
“Together with our Directorate of Communications, we have been successful in preparing a good ground for this,” said the letter.
“We have made it possible for the UN and other international organizations, countries to see this change to using ‘Türkiye’,” Cavusoglu told Anadolu Agency.
Turkey began the move to change its internationally recognized official name in English to Türkiye in December after Turkish President Recep Tayyip 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 at the time. “Türkiye is the best representation and expression of the Turkish people’s culture, civilization, and values.”
Erdogan also advised companies to use “made in Türkiye” for their exported goods, and instructed state agencies to use Türkiye in their correspondence.