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.
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.
“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.
Erdogan signaled his intention to change Turkey’s name to Türkiye
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 statement and asked the public to use Türkiye to describe the country in every language.
“The word ‘Turkiye’ represents and expresses the culture, civilization and values of the Turkish nation in the best way,” read the statement.
“Turkiye” is the name used for the country in Turkish, and the country now wants to carry that name over to international recognition.
The statement reads that: “In the context of strengthening the ‘Turkiye’ brand, in all types of activities and correspondence, especially in official relations with other countries and international institutions and organizations, the term ‘Turkiye’ will be used instead of terms such as ‘Turkey’, ‘Turkei’, ‘Turquie’ and so on.”
“Turkiye is accepted as an umbrella brand for our country in national and international venues,” Erdogan maintained. “Turkiye is the best representation and expression of the Turkish people’s culture, civilization and values.”
The BBC notes that most Turks already know their country as Türkiye. However, anglicized 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 or New Year or Thanksgiving.
TRT also pointed to 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.”