The country of Turkey has changed its English name to Türkiye. Foreign Minister of Türkiye Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu signed the decree earlier this month. The European Broadcasting Union have now confirmed the name change on their website.
“Türkiye is the best representation”, says Erdoğan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has spoken about the name change for his country. He states that Türkiye is the best representation for the country, looking at culture, civilisation and values. Therefore, he and Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu requested a formal name change at the United Nations. The organisation immediately accepted the change and therefore, it was adapted for all other organisations linked to the UN. Among those is the International Telecommunications Union, which in itself has direct links with the EBU.
The requested name change originates from the Turkish name of the country. Turks themselves refer to the country as Türkiye. The name Turkey on the other hand has, according to government officials, some unfortunate extras. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a turkey is also someone who is ‘silly or stupid’ or ‘something that fails badly’. Of course, the link to the bird also played a clear role in the name change of Türkiye.
Türkiye are rolling their name out rapidly, with products now saying Made in Türkiye and the tourism slogan becoming Hello Türkiye.
Name changes at Eurovision
A country changing its name at the Eurovision Song Contest is not unique. Of course, Türkiye hasn’t participated since 2012, but if they were to return, they would do so under their new name. The EBU have updated their website and now list TRT as a member from Türkiye.
Previously, North Macedonia adapted its new name. This happened after the Prespes Agreements, in which Greece and North Macedonia agreed upon several points to solve the naming issue which had been hunting the former Yugoslav country since its independence.
The Netherlands have also undergone a name change, albeit less formal. In 2020, the country dropped Holland as its tourism name. In Eurovision, they had been referred to as The Netherlands since the late 1990s. This, however, was mainly due to Poland entering the contest: It was often hard to distinguish between Holland and Poland when spokespersons revealed their vote. Even in 2022, this led to confusion, when host Mika, in an improvised segment, announced Holland as the next act. He quickly corrected himself to Poland, though.
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