Asia, Countries, Culture, Europe

Turkiye yeah

And because I’ve been teased all my life about my name and because I love Turks today I’m saying Turkiye yeah.

The Turks have applied to the UN to have the name of their country accepted as Turkiye, pronounced Turkee yeah.

With Onur in Istanbul

And not Turkey as in the name of our favourite Christmas bird.

Or in its modern parlance, meaning a flop.

And I stand guilty of benefiting through riffing any number of headlines as a Travel editor.

The name change sounds reasonable.

And a regular request to the UN from countries, according to Stephane Dujarric.

What’s in a name?

Look at the head on that: Zatec, Czechia

The Czech Republic was born and Czechoslovakia laid to rest when Slovakia went their own way.

Though what happened to the O’s in the divide we never did learn.

The Czechs found too that it soon became long-winded for branding and asked the UN for the change to Czechia (hard k for ch).

And in doing so they are following the precedent of the French who use France instead of their official Samedi name ‘The French Republic’.

Dutch of class

žCan I be trusted on a bike? In Amsterdam

Now lazy titling becomes wearisome to those of us who have become victims of the bigger country syndrome.

And for those of a Scots, and Welsh, variety it is an occupational hazard to put up with being called English the further we travel.

Similarly in the Netherlands where the short hand of Holland had been used when that should only apply to the north and south of the country.

In 2020 while the rest of us were preoccupied by Covid the Dutch ditched the nickname Holland.

Whatever you call it, and since being alerted to the sensitivities while there for the first time 30 years ago, it’s still Edam good country.

North stars

Fly the flag: North Macedonia football fans

Now putting your place on the compass at the top of your name is always a good idea to differentiate yourself.

And we see it in South Sudan and also in North Macedonia, the latter to placate the Greeks where there is a region, Macedonia.

Throughout the post-imperialist world countries have reclaimed their countries and changed their names to their native tongue.

Shout of Africa

March to Freedom: Siseko and Mandela in SA

And so Swaziland became Eswatini, meaning ‘land of the Swazis’ in their language in 2018, the 50th anniversary of independence from the British throne.

Yes, blink and you can miss the changes and the Port Elizabeth I knew in South Africa’s Eastern Cape has become the Xhosa-clicking Gqeberha… as it should.

In these Celtic countries in which we live (Scotland, Wales, Ireland) there has been a move too to Gaelicise our towns and villages.

Gael force

Piping hot: Scots culture

And during Scotland’s march to freedom, the Gaelic name for Scotland, Alba has raised to prominence.

So here’s to all countries who reclaim their birthright, to Turkiye yeah… and Alba.

Or the Republic of Scotland as we’ll get back to striving for.

Just as soon as this forelock-tugging and curtsying deception, the Platinum Jubilee, is out of the way.


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