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Why should Turkey be allowed to change its name?

Why should Turkey be allowed to change its name?
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Turkey has told the UN it wants to be called Türkiye. Even when it is written in capitals, it would still like the little dot over the i, thank you, as İ. Exports will now bear the label ‘Made in Türkiye’ instead of ‘Made in Turkey’.

Turkey is of course a name for a delicious bird – at first labelled the guinea fowl, until the New World creature was discovered. But the country’s state broadcaster TRT World complains that dictionaries also define turkey as ‘something that fails badly’. There’s worse. The Oxford English Dictionary (in an entry written in 1915, when Britain was at war against Turkey) records under Turk: ‘anyone having qualities historically attributed to Turks; a cruel, rigorous, or tyrannical person; any one behaving barbarically or savagely. Also: a bad-tempered or unmanageable person; a man who treats his wife harshly.’ The Church of England’s Book of Homilies (1563) speaks of the ‘cruelty of the enemy of our Lord Christ, the great Turk’, meaning the Ottoman Sultan, who no longer exists.

But unless we burn all old books, a change of spelling of Turkey won’t make much difference. It is less than 100 years since Turkey under Atatürk adopted the Roman alphabet in place of Arabic. And for all that time Turkey has called itself Türkiye. Other countries took no notice, for they express their own sounds by different conventions from Turkey’s.

The Turkish alphabet has 29 letters. A Turkish typewriter does not begin Qwerty but Fgğiod. Unless you can play the piano sitting on the floor and facing backwards, the Turkish typewriter is an impossible instrument.

One of the Turkish President’s names, Erdoğan, has a g with a breve over it, ğ, to separate the o and the a, but not standing for anything. In Türkiye, since the dotted i is like our i in fit, one need worry only about the ü. It’s like the vowel in English too followed by an untrilled r (not like the throaty French r).

And this suggests an obvious point: that we do not pronounce the country France anything like the way that the French do. Germany has an entirely different name, as does Greece. It is hardly reasonable for Turkey to expect an exception.