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Turkey changes name to Türkiye to avoid confusion with bird and word for ‘something that fails badly’

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Turkey changes its name to Türkiye to avoid confusion with festive birds and derogatory English meanings, including ‘something that fails badly’

  • United Nations refer to country with new name after Ankara de-Anglicises
  • Spelling stands for Turkish ‘culture, civilization and values’: President Erdogan
  • Association with the bird ‘sincerely irritates Erdogan and advisers’, expert said
  • Cambridge dictionary lists ‘turkey’ as ‘something that fails badly’ or ‘foolish person’

Turkey will now be officially known as Türkiye after the country’s government avoided associations with the ground-feeding party bird and a term for failure.

At the request of Ankara, the United Nations will adopt the new name from this week.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the change was introduced “from the moment” in a letter from Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

President Erdogan ruled in November that goods produced in the country should now be labeled “Made in Türkiye.”

President Erdogan, pictured earlier today at a school in Ankara, said the changed spelling expresses Turkey’s “culture, civilization and values” – though critics argue it’s a distraction

The alternative spelling expresses the “culture, civilization and values” of the Turkish people, he said.

Türkiye is pronounced Turkish-yesin accordance with how Turks announce the name of the country.

The president and his advisers would be ashamed of their country’s association with the party bird and the slang term for “something that fails.”

“The association with the bird genuinely irritates Erdogan and the people around him,” said Selim Koru of the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, pictured yesterday, has made a request to the UN

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, pictured yesterday, has made a request to the UN

“Their claim is that Türkiye conveys the eternal spirit of Turkey more than the English word,” he told BBC news

President Erdogan would be 'annoyed' by the association of the current name with the bird

President Erdogan would be ‘annoyed’ by the association of the current name with the bird

The Cambridge English Dictionary lists “turkey” to describe not only the ground-feeding bird, but also “something that fails badly” and “a stupid or foolish person.”

Critics have accused Erdogan of using the plot to distract Turks from economic hardship.

Ankara is also launching a new military offensive in Syria, while simultaneously blocking Finland and Sweden’s attempts to join NATO.

Contrary to popular belief, the country gave its name to the bird.

During the Middle Ages, ground-feeding roosters and chickens were exported by the Ottoman Empire.

That led English speakers to refer to the birds as turkeys because they came from “the land of the Turks.”

Turkey has been known by its current name since about AD 750.

With the official spelling change coming into effect soon, it won’t be long.

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