Armeno-Turkish alphabet

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Armeno-Turkish alphabet
Armeno-Turkish Old Testament.png
Fron page of Old Testament written in Armeno-Turkish alphabet
LanguagesOttoman Turkish language
CreatorMesrop Mashtots
Parent systems
Armenian alphabet
  • Armeno-Turkish alphabet
Sister systems

The Armeno-Turkish alphabet is a version of the Armenian alphabet sometimes used to write Ottoman Turkish until 1928, when the Latin-based modern Turkish alphabet was introduced. The Armenian script was not just used by ethnic Armenians to write the Turkish language, but also by the non-Armenian Ottoman Turkish elite.

An American correspondent in Marash in 1864 calls the alphabet "Armeno-Turkish", describing it as consisting of 31 Armenian letters and "infinitely superior" to the Arabic or Greek alphabets for rendering Turkish.[1]

This Armenian script was used alongside the Arabic script on official documents of the Ottoman Empire written in Ottoman Turkish. For instance, the first novel to be written in Turkish in the Ottoman Empire was Vartan Pasha's 1851 Akabi Hikayesi, written in the Armenian script.


Letter[1] Name[2] Additional information[1] Ottoman Turkish (Arabic) alphabet Modern Latin alphabet IPA
Ա ա այբ ayp ا a /a/
(Բ բ) բեն pen not used in Turkish words (p)
Գ գ գիմ kım used before hard vowels ق k (before a, ı, o, u) /k/
(Դ դ) դա ta not used in Turkish words (t)
Ե ե եչ yeç not used in diphtongs ی y /j/
Զ զ զա za ز, ذ,



z /z/
Է է է e ا e /e/
Ը ը ըթ ıt ی ı /ɯ/
Թ թ թօ to ط, ت t /t/
Ժ ժ ժէ je ژ j /ʒ/
Ի ի ինի ini ی i /i/
Լ լ լիւն liyun ل l /ɫ/, /l/
Խ խ խէ ha only used for Arabic kha خ h /h/
(Ծ ծ) not used in Turkish words (dz)
Կ կ կեն gen گ g or ğ (before e, i, ö, ü) /ɟ/, /ː/
Հ հ հօ ho ه, ح h /h/
(Ձ ձ) not used in Turkish words (ts)
Ղ ղ ղատ gat غ g or ğ (before a, ı, o, u) /ɡ/, /ː/
Ճ ճ ճէ ce ج c /d͡ʒ/
Մ մ մեն men م m /m/
Յ յ յի hi only used in diphtongs ی y /j/
Ն ն նու nu ن n /n/
Շ շ շա şa ش ş /ʃ/
Ո ո ո vo only used in digraphs
Չ չ չա ça چ ç /t͡ʃ/
Պ պ պէ be ب b /b/
(Ջ ջ) ջէ çe not used in Turkish words (ç)
(Ռ ռ) ռա ra not used in Turkish words (r)
Ս ս սէ se س, ث, ص s /s/
Վ վ վեւ vev و v /v/
Տ տ տիւն diyun د, ط d /d/
Ր ր րէ re ر r /ɾ/
(Ց ց) not used in Turkish words (ts)
Ւ ւ հիւն hiyun only used in digraphs
Փ փ փիւր püyur پ p /p/
Ք ք քէ ke ك k (before e, i, ö, ü) /c/
Օ օ օ o و o /o/
Ֆ ֆ ֆէ fe ف f /f/


Although the Armenian alphabet fits the Turkish phonology very well, a few digraphs are needed to write all Turkish sounds, especially vowels. Some of them are also present in Armenian orthography.

Digraph Additional information Ottoman Turkish (Arabic) alphabet Modern Latin alphabet IPA
Ու ու و u /u/
Իւ իւ و ü /y/
Էօ էօ و ö /ø/
Նկ նկ not present in modern Turkish ڭ (n) /n/, (/ŋ/)


  1. ^ a b c Andrew T. Pratt, "On the Armeno-Turkish Alphabet", in Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 8 (1866), pp. 374–376.
  2. ^ Demir, Muhammet A. "Osmanlıca Bilenlere Dört Günde Ermenice Okumanın Usulü". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)