Languages of Turkey

Turkish language The Republic of Turkey is a country full of history, architecture, flavors, and culture.

The Turkish lifestyle is a colorful mosaic connecting the modern and ancient worlds of Eastern and Western cultures and traditions. It is a place where you feel you are constantly walking through history, following in the footsteps of Ottoman Sultans and historical legends such as Alexander, Constantine and Genghis Khan. In the vibrant and beautiful city of Istanbul, once known of course, as Constantinople, you are one moment at the cutting edge of modernity, glamour and fine dining, the next in the shadow of the Blue Mosque or wandering through palace gardens. There is truly nowhere like it in the world.

Turkey is the only secular country in the Islamic world. Secularism is enshrined in the constitution which states that religion has no place in governing political affairs. For many centuries, people of different faiths lived together in peace and harmony, and this diversity has been preserved through the modern, ever evolving, laws of today. People wear modern dress as in any other western country: from the ubiquitous jeans and t-shirt, to hip-hop inspired urban streetwear. You will see punks and Goths, side by side with traditional country folk in their colorful head scarves and caps. But you will also see the high society and jet set in their evening dress and designer clothes, worn with a panache and elegance, even on the beach.

Visitors are mostly surprised by the friendliness, warmth and hospitality of the Turkish people. Also most Turks enjoy meeting foreign visitors, learning about different ways of life and practicing their language skills. Hospitality is the cornerstone of Turkish culture.

Turkish language

Turkish, also referred to as Istanbul Turkish, is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 10–15 million native speakers in Southeast Europe (mostly in East and Western Thrace) and 60–65 million native speakers in Western Asia (mostly in Anatolia). Outside Turkey, significant smaller groups of speakers exist in Germany, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, Greece, the Caucasus, and other parts of Europe and Central Asia. Cyprus has requested that the European Union add Turkish as an official EU language, even though Turkey is not a member state

Ottoman Turkish

Following the adoption of Islam c. 950 by the Kara-Khanid Khanate and the Seljuq Turks, who are both regarded as the ethnic and cultural ancestors of the Ottomans, the administrative language of these states acquired a large collection of loanwords from Arabic and Persian. Turkish literature during the Ottoman period, particularly Divan poetry, was heavily influenced by Persian, including the adoption of poetic meters and a great quantity of imported words.

Languages of Turkey

The languages of Turkey, apart from the only official language Turkish, include the widespread Kurmanji, the moderately prevalent minority languages Arabic and Zazaki and a number of less common minority languages, some of which are guaranteed by the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne.

Official Language Of Turkey

Turkish language is established as the official language of the country. The language is also the most spoken in the country. More than 30 ethnic languages exist in Turkey, but only small numbers of people speak a few of the ethnic languages.

Ethnic Languages Of Turkey

Turkey is an ethnically diverse country with different ethnic languages spoken in the country. The common ethnic languages spoken in Turkey are Turkish, Kurmanji, Arabic and Zazaki. Other ethnic languages have very few speakers including Turkish dialects, Balkan, Laz, Armenian and Circassian languages.

Immigrant Languages Spoken In Turkey

Modern immigration and settlement patterns in Turkey have led to the introduction of ethnic languages spoken by the immigrants. The most spoken immigrant languages in Turkey include Crimean, Georgian, Kabardian, Bosnian, Albanian, Adyghe, and Tatar.

Foreign Languages Spoken In Turkey

Interactions with the western world and foreigners have led to the development of foreign languages in Turkey. Changing times and modern interactions also necessitate the growth of these languages. English, German, and French are the common foreign languages used in Turkey.

Sign Languages Of Turkey

With more than 50,000 Turkish citizens with hearing impairments, sign languages have developed in the country. Turkey has two main sign languages, the Mardin sign language, and the Turkish sign language. Mardin is an old sign language that originated in the town of Mardin. Only the older people mostly in villages use the language. More users have adopted the Turkish sign language that probably developed from the Ottoman sign language. It is the most commonly used language by the deaf community in Turkey.

Impact Of Language In Turkey

The use of various languages has had its effects on Turkey. The vast use of Turkish has, for example, led to the reduced use of local ethnic languages. This reduction in usage threatens the continuity of languages as very few people (especially the older generation) communicate in the language. The introduction of foreign language in the curriculum puts the country in a better position when relating with foreign organizations and nations.


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