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Turkey will now be known as “Türkiye” after the United Nations approved the country’s request to formally change its name as part of a rebranding campaign launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year, Fox News reported.
Türkiye – pronounced “tur-key-YAY” – has been the country’s name since 1923 when the new nation was formed following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Most Turks have used Türkiye to refer to the country as well as the anglicized form, “Turkey.”
Erdogan pushed for the name change in December, saying the new name would better represent Turkish culture and values. The country’s state broadcaster had also noted that the rebranding was aimed at separating Turkey’s association with the bird traditionally linked with Christmas or Thanksgiving in the US, the BBC added.
As part of the rebranding, “Made in Türkiye” will appear on all exports. Meanwhile, a campaign promoting tourism the catchphrase “Hello Türkiye” has been running since January.
Changing a country’s name is not uncommon: In 2019, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia became the Republic of North Macedonia to resolve a dispute with neighboring Greece. A year later, the Netherlands dropped “Holland” as part of a rebranding move. Burma changed its name to Myanmar in 1989.
Still, the name change has received a mixed reception: While government officials support it, others called it a distraction by Erdogan, who is preparing for next year’s elections while handling an economic crisis.