The state-run news outlet claimed that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu addressed a letter to the United Nations formally requesting that his country be referred to as "Türkiye." The decision is part of Ankara's efforts to rebrand the country and disassociate its name from the turkey bird and any negative connotations linked with it.
Wednesday evening, Anadolu Agency reported that Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, confirmed receipt of the letter. The agency cited Dujarric claiming that the name change took effect "immediately" after the letter was received.
The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has advocated for the internationally recognized name Turkey to be changed to "Türkiye" (tur-key-YAY), as it is written and spoken in Turkish. After its independence was declared in 1923, the country adopted "Turkey."
Erdogan issued a decree in December mandating the use of "Türkiye" to represent better Turkish culture and values, including the substitution of "Made in Türkiye" for "Made in Turkey" on exported goods. The Turkish government started using "Türkiye" in official papers.
The administration created a promotional video earlier this year as part of its efforts to change its English name. The video depicts tourists worldwide greeting Turkey with "Hello, Turkey" in well-known locations.
The Turkish presidency's Directorate of Communications began the campaign "to promote more effectively on international platforms the use of 'Türkiye' as the country's national and international name."
It was unclear whether the name, a letter that does not exist in the English alphabet, would gain widespread acceptance abroad. In 2016, the Czech Republic formally registered its shortened name, Czechia; however, many international institutions continue to use the longer term.
TRT World, Turkey's English-language public broadcaster, has switched to using "Türkiye," although journalists still adjusting to the transition occasionally use "Turkey."
In an article published earlier this year, TRT World explained that Googling "Turkey" yields "a jumbled set of images, articles, and dictionary definitions that conflate the country with Meleagris – also known as the turkey, a large bird native to North America that is commonly served on Christmas and Thanksgiving menus."
The network said, "The Cambridge Dictionary defines "turkey" as "anything that fails miserably" or "a stupid or foolish person."
TRT World stated that Turks prefer their country to be called "Türkiye," citing the country's desire to determine how others refer to it.