Discover Turkey, home of language
Turkish is spoken by over 200 million people and is the world's 7th most widely used language, out of over 4000. Some 70 other languages and dialects are also spoken in Turkey.
Turkish has evolved from dialects known since the 11th century and is one of the group of languages known as Ural-Altaic which includes Finnish and Hungarian.
It can be quite difficult to get to grips with Turkish. Words sound unfamiliar and even the way they are written appears strange. The key, however, is the Turkish version of the Latin alphabet, the same one which is used for English with the addition of 6 different characters.
Turkish is unusual in that it is completely phonetic, each letter of the alphabet has only one sound, so each word sounds exactly how it is written.
During Ottoman times Turkish was written in Arabic script, which few people could write, so in 1928, Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic decided to switch to the new alphabet to improve levels of literacy.
No, but if you can speak a little bit Turkish probably Turkish people will be so happy and friendly.
Learn some basic Turkish words and phrases before you travel.
English is Turkey's second widest spoken language and you will easily find English speakers in the major cities and holiday resorts.
Restaurant menus and other information for foreigners are often printed in English.
Buyukada, Princes' Islands, Istanbul
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