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Turkish language

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Native toAlbania, Azerbaijan,[1] Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Northern Cyprus, Palestine, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Syria,[2] Turkey, Uzbekistan,
and by immigrant communities in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States and other countries of the Turkish diaspora
RegionAnatolia, Cyprus, Balkans, Caucasus, Central Europe, Western Europe
Native speakersover 77 million worldwide  (date missing)
Language family
Writing systemLatin alphabet (Turkish variant)
Official status
Official language in Turkey,
 Northern Cyprus
Recognised minority language in Bosnia and Herzegovina
 North Macedonia
Regulated byTurkish Language Association
Language codes
ISO 639-1tr
ISO 639-2tur
ISO 639-3tur
Countries with significant Turkish-speaking populations

Turkish (Türkçe) is a language spoken in Turkey, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Greece and other countries of the former Ottoman Empire as well as by several million ethnic Turkish immigrants in Europe. File:WIKITONGUES- Ela speaking Turkish.webm Turkish is a Turkic language. Like Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian, Turkish uses vowel harmony. Word order is usually subject-object-verb.

Turkish used to be written with the Arabic alphabet from about 900 to 1928. However, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk changed it to the Latin alphabet. The Turkish government justified the move as making Turkish much easier to learn to increase literacy. The literacy rate indeed increased greatly after the reform, from around 10.5% (in 1927)[3] to over 90% (today). However, some say that the move was also to distance the country from the Ottoman Empire, whose documents can no longer be read except by a few scholars.

Turkish is a majority language in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus but it has a distinct dialect. It can be known as Cypriot Turkish.

The Latin alphabet was made to reflect the actual sounds of spoken Turkish, rather than simply transcribing the old Ottoman script into a new form. The Turkish alphabet has 29 letters, seven of which (Ç, Ğ, I, İ, Ö, Ş, and Ü) have been modified from their Latin originals for the phonetic requirements of the language. It represents modern Turkish pronunciation with a high degree of accuracy and specificity. It is the current official alphabet and the latest in a series of distinct alphabets used in different eras.

Turkish is most closely related to other Turkic languages, including Azerbaijani, Turkmen, Uzbek and Kazakh. Another theory is that it is one of the many Altaic languages, which also include Japanese, Mongolian, and Korean.

Simple phrases

  • Merhaba = Hello (formal)
  • Selam = Hello
  • Nasılsın? = How are you?
  • İyiyim = I'm fine
  • Teşekkür ederim = Thank you (formal)
  • Teşekkürler = Thanks
  • Sağ ol = Thank you
  • Benim adım ... = My name is ...
  • Türkçe bilmiyorum. = I don't speak Turkish.
  • İngilizce biliyor musunuz? = Do you speak English?
  • Tekrarlar mısınız? = Can you repeat?
  • Evet = Yes
  • Hayır = No
  • Belki = Maybe
  • Biraz = A little
  • Acıktım. = I'm hungry.
  • Dur! = Stop!
  • Yapma! = Don't do it!
  • İstemiyorum. = I don't want it.
  • Tabii = Sure
  • Bekledim. = I waited.


  1. Taylor & Francis Group (2003) (in English). Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia 2004. Routledge. pp. p. 114. ISBN 978-1857431872 . Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  2. "Syrian Turks". 
  3. "Cumhuriyetten sonra kadınların okur yazarlık oranı nedir?"