By John Ikani
The United Nations (UN) on Wednesday said that it had registered “Türkiye” as the new country name for Turkey.
State-run news agency, Anadolu reports that the name change followed a letter sent by the European nation to the UN formally requesting that it be referred to as Türkiye.
Stephane Dujarric, the UN chief’s spokesperson noted that Ankara’s official letter requesting the change had been received at the UN’s New York headquarters on Wednesday.
“The change is immediate,” Dujarric told AFP by email.
The move is seen as part of a push by Ankara to rebrand the country and dissociate it from the bird of the same name and negative connotations associated with it.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’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 2021, Erdoğan 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 also began using Türkiye in official documents.
The Government this year 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”.
It was not clear whether the name, with a letter that doesn’t exist in the English alphabet, will catch on widely abroad. In 2016, the Czech Republic officially registered its short-form name, Czechia, and while some international institutions use it, many still refer to the country by its longer name.