Name of Turkey
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|Look up Türk in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
The English name Turkey, now applied to the modern Republic of Turkey, is historically derived via Old French Turquie from the Medieval Latin Turchia, Turquia, Greek Τουρκία. It is first recorded in Middle English (as turkye, torke, later Turkie, Turky), attested in Chaucer, ca. 1369.
The medieval Greek and Latin terms did not designate the same geographic area now known as Turkey. Instead, they were mostly synonymous with Tartary, a term including Khazaria and the other khaganates of the Central Asian steppe, until the appearance of the Seljuks and the rise of the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century, reflecting the progress of the Turkic expansion.
By contrast, the Persian derivation Turkestan remains mostly applied to Central Asia.
The name is derived from the ethnic self-designation türk, Turkestan being a Persian or Persianate term meaning "abode of the Turks". Modern Persian itself with ترکیه chooses a derivation with the Arabic nisba suffix. The name for Turkey in the Turkish language, Türkiye also contains the nisba, as -iye. Icelandic with Tyrkland and Hungarian with Törökország "Turk-land" use native forms of derivation.
The Turkic self-designation türk is first attested in reference to the Göktürks in the 6th century. A letter by Ishbara Qaghan to Emperor Wen of Sui in 585 described him as "the Great Turk Khan." The Orhun inscriptions (735 CE) use the terms Turk and Turuk. The first recorded direct use of the term "Türk" or "Türük" as an autonym is attested in the Orkhon inscriptions of the Köktürks (Blue Turks) of Central Asia (early 8th century). An early form of the same name may be reflected in the form of "tie-le" (铁勒) or "tu-jue" (突厥), name given by the Chinese to the people living south of the Altay Mountains of Central Asia as early as 177 BC.
- Harper, Douglas. "Turk". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2006-12-07.
- American Heritage Dictionary (2000). "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition - "Turk"". bartleby.com. Retrieved 2006-12-07.
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