US changes to Türkiye's preferred spelling at ally's request

The State Department said on Jan. 5 it has adopted Turkey's preferred spelling for the name of the country, Türkiye, acceding to a request from the NATO ally after several months of hesitation.

The department has instructed that new official documents refer to Türkiye instead of Turkey, although the pronunciation will not change, officials said. But neither the State Department website nor the Foreign Affairs Manual, which guides U.S. diplomatic practices, had been revised to reflect the change as of midday Thursday.

"The Turkish embassy requested that the U.S. government use the name "Republic of Türkiye" in communications," the department said. "We will begin to refer to Türkiye and Republic of Türkiye accordingly in most formal, diplomatic, and bilateral contexts, including in public communications."

The move comes ahead of an expected visit to Washington later this month by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu during which Türkiye's position on Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its resistance to allowing Finland and Sweden to join NATO will be high on the agenda.

Several other federal agencies, including the Treasury Department, had already adopted the new spelling, which had led to inconsistencies in documents across the U.S. government.

Turkey asked last year for its name to be changed to Türkiye in international forums and most, including the United Nations and NATO, had switched to the new spelling.

The State Department, however, does not often change its style on the names of foreign countries and, in at least one notable case, has refused to do so for decades.

The U.S. still refuses to refer to Burma as Myanmar although the country's military rulers formally adopted Myanmar in 1989.

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