The Asian country came to officially rebrand itself due to the negative connotation that comes forth from its original name.
Many leaders have not been getting well with the word “Turkey” as it is associated with “a stupid person” as defined in most English dictionaries.
In a letter addressed to the UN’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu asked that the country be known officially as ‘Türkiye’ instead of ‘Turkey’.
Cavusoglu wrote: “Together with our Directorate of Communications, we have been successful in preparing a good ground for this.”
According to Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for Guterres, the name change – which is pronounced tur-key-YAY – had become effective ‘from the moment’ the letter was received.
“We have made it possible for the UN and other international organisations, countries to see this change to using ‘Türkiye’,” stated Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan previously expressed that ‘Türkiye’ is the best representation of the Turkish people.
“Türkiye is accepted as an umbrella brand for our country in national and international venues. Türkiye is the best representation and expression of the Turkish people’s culture, civilisation and values,” expressed Erdogan.
In a latest campaign to promote the country’s new name, President Erdogan urged companies to use the term “made in Türkiye” in their exports and state institutions to use the new name in their correspondences.
Turkish government’s communications arm has launched a global campaign ‘to promote more effectively the use of ‘Türkiye’ as the country’s national and international name on international platforms’.
Turkish English-language television, TRT World indicated that the latest move by the government prevents the country’s name from being confused with the bird, turkey, a common delicacy during Christmas holidays.
There is a plethora of reasons as to why a country may opt to brand itself, it could be for political purposes or adopting a completely new image, but mostly it is about a country trying to express its own identity in tradition and heritage, far from the Western point of view.
In 2020, the Netherlands changed its name from “Holland” in a bid to simplify its image to the world.
In 2019, “Macedonia” changed its name to North Macedonia due to a political dispute with Greece.
In 1935, Iran changed its name from Persia, a name that Westerners mainly used. The word Iran means Persian in Farsi, and at the time, the Iranians felt that they should embrace their own identity and not an identifier imposed by an outsider.