The Turkish leader is changing his mind again on a new name for the airline

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkey’s President on Wednesday changed his mind on what Turkish Airlines should now be called in order to recast Turkey’s key assets to avoid possible derogatory associations.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told lawmakers from the ruling party on Wednesday that Turkey’s national airline will now be known internationally by its Turkish name Türk Hava Yolları (pronounced tuerk hah-VAH yole-lah-RUH).

A day earlier, the Turkish leader had announced that his country would be renaming the national airline Türkiye Hava Yolları, as part of his push for his country to be called Türkiye (pronounced door-key-YAY) instead of Turkey. “Hava yolları” is Turkish for airlines.

However, this decision sparked opposition, particularly from Turkish nationalists, who suggested that deleting the word Türk (‘Turk’ or ‘Turk’) would constitute a concession to Kurdish nationalists and others opposed to the use of the word for descriptive purposes defy their nationality and want to be called “Türkiyeli” (a person from Turkey) instead.

The country officially registered its name as “Türkiye” — its Turkish spelling and pronunciation — with the United Nations earlier this month.


Erdogan’s government says Türkiye better represents Turkish culture and values. Observers say the move is part of an effort to distinguish the country from the species of bird called a turkey, or implications of the English word for something very unsuccessful.

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