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Thursday, August 4, 2022

numerology - the name change ! - Turkey becomes Türkiye

Mankind is so unkind and cruel - killing other living things !  .. .. .. millions of Turkeys are at dinner tables every December 25th. This  reportedly only started to become a common tradition during the 1950s when the price of turkeys became affordable for more people, coinciding with the intensification of agriculture. Relentless Christmas advertising, including that from supermarkets, helped to further entrench the idea that turkey is an essential component of Christmas.  The other holiday strongly associated with turkey is, American Thanksgiving, which may have helped popularise it as a festive food.  It’s telling of how deeply disconnected people’s thoughts are in America, as elsewhere, about the meat on their plates and the sight of living animals that the tradition of the President ‘pardoning a turkey’ has so far gone largely unquestioned as a cute and harmless ritual. No post on the bird or on its killing !


Back home, in 1971, Trichinapoly was officially changed as Tiruchirapalli ~ many a cities have changed their names adopting back their old names.   Madras became Chennai, Baroda to Vadodara; Bombay to Mumbai; Trivandrum to Thiruvananthapuram;  Cochin to Kochi; Calcutta to Kolkata; Pondicherry to Puducherry; Bangalore became Bengaluru ~ the list has no full-stop – there could be more in the offing –  many Nations too have changed their names - and this is about Turkey.  

Turkey   is a country straddling Western Asia and Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece, Bulgaria, the Black Sea, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea. Istanbul, the largest city, is the financial centre, and Ankara is the capital. Turks form the vast majority of the nation's population, and Kurds are the largest minority.  

One of the world's earliest permanently settled regions, present-day Turkey was home to important Neolithic sites like Göbekli Tepe, and was inhabited by ancient civilisations including the Hattians, Anatolian peoples, Mycenaean Greeks and others.  Beginning in the late 13th century, the Ottomans united the principalities and conquered the Balkans, and the Turkification of Anatolia increased during the Ottoman period. After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, Ottoman expansion continued.   From the late 18th century onwards, the empire's power declined with a gradual loss of territories. Mahmud II started a period of modernisation in the early 19th century.  The Young Turk Revolution of 1908 restricted the authority of the Sultan and restored the Ottoman Parliament after a 30-year suspension, ushering the empire into a multi-party period. The 1913 coup d'état put the country under the control of the Three Pashas, who facilitated the Empire's entry into World War I as part of the Central Powers in 1914. During the war, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian, Greek and Assyrian subjects. After its defeat in the war, the Ottoman Empire was partitioned.  

A month or so ago,came the news of - Turkey changing  its name to Türkiye to stop confusion with festive bird and derogatory English meanings including ‘something that fails badly’   

          Cambridge dictionary lists 'turkey' as 'something that fails badly' or 'silly person'.   The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has asked the international community to recognise Turkey by its Turkish name Türkiye, dropping the long-standing anglicised version that was often confused with the famous Thanksgiving animal. "The word Türkiye represents and expresses the culture, civilisation, and values of the Turkish nation in the best way," Erdoğan said. International organisations like the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and NATO have already adopted Türkiye (roughly pronounced as "tur-key-yay"), following a formal request from the Turkish authorities.  

Critics, however, say the rebrand is another populist device that Erdoğan is exploiting to divert attention away from the country's persisting economic woes and to galvanise nationalist voters ahead of next year's crucial elections. Regardless of the true reasons behind the move, Türkiye is certainly not the first country to change its name. Iran, Thailand, Sri Lanka and North Macedonia are among those who at one point made the switch. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the change came into place 'from the moment' a letter sent by Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. 

President Erdogan ruled in November that goods manufactured in the country must now be labelled 'Made in Türkiye'. The president and his advisers are said to be embarrassed by their country's association with the festive bird and the slang term for 'something that fails'. 'Their claim is that Türkiye conveys Turkey's eternal spirit more than the English word', he told BBC News.  Contrary to popular belief, the country actually gave its name to the bird. Ground-feeding cocks and hens were exported by the Ottoman Empire during the Middle Ages. That led English-speakers to refer to the birds as Turkeys as they were from 'the land of the Turks'.  Turkey has been known by its current name since around 750AD. 

With the official spelling change to come into place shortly, it won't be for much longer. 

With regards - S. Sampathkumar
4th Aug 2022. 

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