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Interesting facts about the Turkish language

Turkish is the official language in Turkey with a population of over 72 million and also in the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Turkish is spoken by small groups of ethnic Turks in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania and some other regions of Eastern Europe. Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and France also have large Turkish immigrant communities, the most populous Turkish community being in Germany. In Azerbaijan and in some ex-Soviet republics Turkish is spoken too.

Although Turkish was previously written using the Arabic script, it now makes use of the Western Latin alphabet. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, after founding modern Turkey, made the conversion into Latin script, although some letters were omitted or exchanged for different letters.

This similarity to European languages might make it a bit easier to learn, yet there are enough differences to indicate that Turkish has had a very distinctive history of its own. The absence of feminine or masculine forms of nouns and adjectives in Turkish also makes life easier for learners. But just like in French, you has two forms, the informal and formal. The verbs – which always come at the end of sentences - require suffixes according to the level of formality you choose when speaking. Suffixes in Turkish may well cause difficulty at first, but once you’ve got your head around the logic of conjugations, you’ll see that it’s not impossible to figure out all verbal conjugations.


 Directorate for Lifelong Learning & Early School Leavers
Ministry for Education and Employment
Great Siege Road

2598 2444