Flag of Turkey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Flag of Turkey.svg
Use National flag and ensign
Proportion 2:3
Adopted 1844
Design A red field with a white crescent and star slightly left of centre.[1]
PAN: 186C
RGB: 227, 10, 23
HEX: #E30A17
Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Cumhurbaşkanlığı forsu.svg
Variant flag of Turkey
Name Presidential flag of Turkey
Use Other
Proportion 2:3
Flag of the Customs Administration of Turkey.svg
Variant flag of Turkey
Name Flag of the Customs Administration
Use Other
Proportion 2:3
Standard President of Turkey as Military Chief.png
Variant flag of Turkey
Name Flag of the Commander-in-Chief of the Turkish Armed Forces.
Use Other
Proportion 1:1

The flag of Turkey (Turkish: Türk bayrağı, meaning: Turkish flag) is a red flag including a crescent with a star moving centrally in front of the sun with reference to the meeting of the Turkic solar deity Gün Ana (Mother Sun) and the moon god Ay Ata (Father Moon) brought by the space god Khan Erkliğ. The event technically constitutes a solar eclipse when the moon partially occults the sun at times of syzygy. The flag is often called Al bayrak (the red flag) and referred to as Al sancak (the red banner) in the Turkish national anthem.

The current design of the Turkish flag is directly derived from the late Ottoman flag, which had acquired its final form in 1844. Its measures have passed by a law during the Republic period on May 29, 1936 which formed the shapes and measures of the current flag of the Republic of Turkey.[2]


Depiction of the Turkic Mamluk flag with a star and crescent symbol (14th-century illustration from a manuscript of the History of the Tatars)
Further information: Ottoman flag

The sun, star and the moon are all sky elements symbolizing the Tengriist beliefs of the sky-worshiping ancient Turks. In Turkic Mythology four colours are associated with four cardinal directions: blue (gök) with east, white (ak) with west, red (al) with south, black (kara) with north. These colours represent the direction towards the zenith where the Tengri is residing in the sky. The Black Sea (Karadeniz) is named for its position in the north, and the Turkish/Qırımtatar name of the Mediterranean, Akdeniz ('White Sea'), refers to its position in the west. The red and white colours on the flag of Turkey thus symbolize the south-western branch of Turks called Oghuzes who are the founders of present-day Turkey as well as Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Gagauzia and the historic Ottoman Empire. Turkestan's flag is the same of Turkey's, the only difference being the background is light blue instead of red.[3][4][5]

Standards and symbols were sacred objects to the people involved in Tengrism since these emblems represented their gods, kings, people and homelands in Central Asia or in their new homelands. For instance, flags of Turkic people would not only reveal their identity to the opposing sides, but would also bring along the representations of their gods to give them courage and moral help needed in their struggle with their enemies. The origin of the star, sun, eagle, moon and tree of life symbols used in the flags of Turkic people goes back to the Shamanistic culture that the ancient Central Asiatic peoples had developed during pre-historic times.

The Ottomans in the 18th and 19th centuries used several different designs, most of them featuring one or more crescents, for different purposes, such as the flag with green background signifying the caliphate. During the late imperial period, the distinctive use of the color red for secular and green for religious institutions became an established practice.[citation needed]

In 1844, the eight-pointed star was replaced with a five-pointed star and the flag reached the form of the present Turkish flag.

Legendary origin[edit]

According to a legend, the flag represents the reflection of the moon and a star in a pool of blood of Turkish warriors during Battle of Kosovo in 1389.[6]

Historically, in accounting for the crescent and star symbol, Ottomans sometimes[year needed] referred to a legendary dream of the eponymous founder of the Ottoman house, Osman I, in which he is reported to have seen a moon rising from the breast of a qadi whose daughter he sought to marry. "When full, it descended into his own breast. Then from his loins there sprang a tree, which as it grew came to cover the whole world with the shadow of its green and beautiful branches." Beneath it Osman saw the world spread out before him, surmounted by the crescent.[7]

Legal basis[edit]

Fundamentals of the Turkish flag during the Republic period of Turkey were laid down by Turkish Flag Law No. 2994 on May 29, 1936. Turkish Flag Regulation No. 2/7175 dated July 28, 1937, and Supplementary Regulation No. 11604/2 dated July 29, 1939, were enacted to describe how the flag law would be implemented. The Turkish Flag Law No. 2893 dated September 22, 1983, and Published in the Official Gazette on September 24, 1983, was promulgated six months after its publication. According to Article 9 of Law No. 2893, a statute including the fundamentals of the implementation was also published.

Technical info[edit]

In a RGB color space, the red color of the Turkish flag is composed of 89% red, 3.9% green and 9% blue. In a CMYK color space, it is composed of 0% cyan, 95.6% magenta, 89.9% yellow and 11% black. It has a hue angle of 356.4 degrees, a saturation of 91.6% and a lightness of 46.5%. The red color on the Turkish flag is vivid red and this color can be obtained by blending #FF142E with #C70000. Closest websafe color is: #CC0000.


Turkey flag construction.svg
Letter Measure Length
G Width
A Distance between the centre of the outer crescent and the seam of the white band 1/2 G
B Diameter of the outer circle of the crescent 1/2 G
C Distance between the centres of the inner and outer circles of the crescent 1/16 G
D Diameter of the inner circle of the crescent 2/5 G
E Distance between the inner circle of the crescent and the circle around the star 1/3 G
F diameter of the circle around the star 1/4 G
L Length 1 ½ G
M Width of the white hem at the hoist 1/30 L
  • The above specification is what is given by Turkish Flag Law. Note that this implies that the distance between (the left edge of) the inner circle of the crescent and a vertical line connecting the two pointed ends of the crescent is 279/800 G = 0.34875 G; thus, the left point of the star protrudes with about 0.0154 G beyond that line.

A common mistake in rendering the flag is to omit the white hem at the hoist (the left side).

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ http://mevzuat.meb.gov.tr/html/18171_0.html
  2. ^ Turkish Historical Society, "Türk Bayrağı Kanunu" (Law on Turkish Flag), http://www.ttk.org.tr/index.php?Page=Sayfa&No=81.
  3. ^ "Ahmet Yesevi Üniversitesi". Yayinlar.yesevi.edu.tr. 2010-07-19. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  4. ^ http://yayinlar.yesevi.edu.tr/view_file.php?file_id=408
  5. ^ Fevzi Kurtoğlu, Türk Bayrağı ve Ay Yıldız, Page 49
  6. ^ http://www.erepublik.com/mk/article/1-kosova-muhaberesi-ve-t-rk-bayra-efsanesi-2047489/1/20
  7. ^ Lord Kinross, The Ottoman Centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire, Morrow Quill Paperbacks, 1977, pp 23-24.

External links[edit]