What language do people speak in Turkey?

The official language in Turkey is Turkish. Almost 90% of the Turkish population only speaks Turkish. You can also use German and English in the big cities and at the Aegean and Mediterranean tourist centers.

English is the most important foreign language at Turkish schools, but German and French are also taught. Thanks to Atatürk, Turkish uses the Latin alphabet from the 1920s. Kurdish is also spoken in southeastern Turkey.

In total there are 3 forms of the Turkish language: the Turkish of Anatolia, the Ottoman Turkish and the modern Turkish. Anatolian Turkish was used from the 13th century to the 15th century and it was written in Arabic script.

Between the 15th and 20th centuries the language became known as Ottoman Turkish, because it began to change through the use of Islamic, Persian and Arabic vocabulary.

Turkish is also one of the official languages ​​of Cyprus and some municipalities of Macedonia.

Millions of people still speak Turkish in western China, in the Caucasus and in Central Asia.

Languages ​​such as Uzbek and Kazakh also have many similarities with Turkish.

A distant relative of Turkish is Mongolian.

written by ILBE staff

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