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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[3]*
 Republic of Macedonia**
*See Cyprus Dispute.
**In municipalities with more than 20% Turkish speakers.
***Turkish is one of regional languages.
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 is spoken natively in Republic of Turkey, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Greece, and other countries of the former Ottoman Empire, as well as by several million emigrants in Europe.

Turkish is a Turkic language and in Altaic language family. Turkish has vowel harmony, like Finnish and Hungarian. Word order is usually Subject Object Verb (SOV).

Turkish used to be written with the Arabic alphabet from about 900 AD to 1928. However, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk changed it to the Latin alphabet. The Turkish government justified the move to the Latin script as being necessary to increase literacy, as the Arabic script was much more difficult to learn. The literacy rate did indeed increase greatly after the alphabet reform, from around 20% to over 90%.

The resulting Latin alphabet was designed to reflect the actual sounds of spoken Turkish, rather than simply transcribing the old Ottoman script into a new form. The Turkish alphabet is a Latin alphabet used for writing the Turkish language, consisting of 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. This alphabet 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.

This language is most closely related to other Turkic languages, including Uzbek, Turkmen, and Kazakh. There is another theory that Turkish is part of a larger Altaic family of languages, which also includes Japanese, Mongolian, and Korean.


Basic phrases

  • Merhaba = Hello (formal)
  • Selam = Hello
  • Nasılsın? = How are you?
  • İyiyim = I'm fine
  • Teşekkür ederim = Thank you (formal)
  • Teşekkürler = Thanks
  • Sağol = Thank you
  • Benim adım .... = My name is ...
  • Türkçe bilmiyorum. = I don't know Turkish
  • İngilizce biliyor musunuz? = Do you know English?
  • Tekrarlar mısınız? = Can you repeat it again?
  • 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.


  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. name="Turkish Weekly Aksiyon">"Syrian Turks".
  3. "Introductory Survey".