The Republic of Turkey is a country that belongs to Europe and Asia, and whose capital is Istanbul. It has a population of more than 82 million inhabitants (19th) and an area of 783,356 km 2 (36th). Its human development index is high (64th) and its official currency is the Turkish lira. And what language is spoken in Turkey?
What language do they speak in Turkey?
Turkey has one official language, Turkish. Furthermore, Northern Kurdish is the second most widely spoken language in the country.
However, Turkey is home to various minority languages, including Zaza (1,344,000 speakers), North Levantine Arabic (1,130,000), Kabardian (1,000,000), Standard Arabic (686,000), Azeri (540,000), Northern Mesopotamian Arabic (520,000), Bulgarian (358,000), Balkan Turkish (327,000), Adyghe (316,000) and Georgian (151,000).
The most common immigrant languages are Persian (618,000 speakers), Chechen (101,000), Bosnian (101,000), Karakalpak (74,000) and English (42,600). There are only 1,000 Spanish-speaking immigrants.
Turkey is one of the European countries that least learn foreign languages. The most learned are English (17%), German (4%) and French (3%). Since 2016, Arabic has also been offered as an optional subject in public schools.
The Turkish language
Turkish (Türkçe) is spoken by 93% of the population and is the most widely spoken Turkic language in the world. From the 18th century it was written with Arabic characters until 1920, when the acclaimed Atatürk reformed, among other things, the orthography and it began to be written with the Latin alphabet (with some modifications). Atatürk undertook several more reforms to modernize the country, in a process of westernization.
With this, the Turkish language has been “purifying” itself for many years, changing the large number of loanwords from Arabic to words with Turkish roots, albeit at a slow pace.
The Kurmanji language
Kumanji or Northern Kurdish (کورمانجی) is a dialect of Kurdish and is spoken by 10% of the population (37% of them are monolingual). Since 2009 they have a 24-hour TV broadcast in Kurdish (TRT Kurdi). It is written with Arabic characters. Since 2012 Kurdish is an optional subject in public schools (until then it could only be studied in private schools).
In addition, since 2010, municipalities in areas with a predominant Kurdish language (southeastern Turkey) can issue, in Kurdish, marriage certificates, water bills, traffic signs, cultural, social and emergency news, among others.
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