Türkiye Name Change Differentiates Nation from Savory Bird

The government of Turkey recently announced that it's changing the English name of the country to Türkiye. The official reason given is that the new name better represents the 'culture' and 'values' of the nation. The prevailing belief is that the name change is intended to improve the country's image by distancing it from the large bird of the same name.

Türkiye flag"“Türkiye” is the name used for the country in Turkish, and the country now wants to carry that name over to international recognition", said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a statement.

So going forward, “Made in Türkiye” will now appear on all of the country's exports, and the country's tourism website, GoTurkiye.com, has also undergone the rebranding.

When you Google "turkey," your image results are filled with pictures of the popular Thanksgiving bird, either afield, with majestic plumage displayed, or roasted to a golden brown and plated for a holiday feast.

Turkish officials, no doubt, feel strongly that there are many images related to Türkiye that should appear instead of bird pictures.

For one thing, there's Istanbul, the most populous city in Europe and a very photogenic metropolis. Also, there are dozens of breathtaking sights dotting Türkiye's ancient landscape. For example, there's the amazing Hagia Sophia. When it was built in 537, it was the largest Christian church in the Byzantine Empire. In 1453, the Ottoman Empire transformed the Hagia Sophia into a mosque, and later a museum.

Consider Nemrut Dag. Located atop a mountain in southeastern Turkey, this picture-worthy locale showcases five giant limestone statues that were created by King Antiochos I of Commagene during the late Hellenistic period. Then there's the impressive archeological site of Catalhoyuk, first discovered by British archeologists in 1958; it contains fascinating evidence of human prehistory dating from 7,400 to 6,200 B.C.

When viewed through the eyes of patriotic Turkish officials, the name change from Turkey to Türkiye makes a lot of sense. After all, when you search the name of a nation that boasts twelve UNESCO World Heritage Sites, you should not get images of North American poultry!

At Seterra, we watch for national name changes like this, ready to spring into action and update our quizzes. In this case, we will wait until the UN ratifies the change, and if major news sources and Wikipedia make the change, we will update our quizzes to reflect the new name.