Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Greek and Turkish named places)

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This discussion concerns the names of places in the Greek language and the Turkish language. No other languages.

Statement of the dispute[edit]

There is a dispute over whether Greek and Turkish placenames should be added in articles regarding Turkish and Greek places (cities, islands, etc) respectively.

Pages involved[edit]

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Applicable policies and guidelines[edit]


These are summaries written by users who would like to add a view of the dispute. Copy and paste the stanza below.

===View by ~~~==

<Your view here>

'''Users who endorse this summary'''

View by Future Perfect at Sunrise[edit]

I've outed myself repeatedly as a rather strong "inclusionist" on the matter of foreign placenames, so I'm going to present a sketch of a maximum inclusionist solution, as a reference for further discussion, knowing that probably not all of this is going to find consensus.

  1. In principle, we should stick to the proposed guideline at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names). That guideline isn't currently binding, but it is the most comprehensive and best worked-out package so far and therefore the best available basis for a solution. It gives guidance for how to present alternative names, but not very detailed guidance on when to include them – that still remains for us to work out here.[1]
  2. The issue we need to solve is threefold:
    1. Which alternative names should be included in the article?
    2. Which alternative names should be present as redirects?
    3. Where in the text should the names be included?
  3. We need to bear in mind that we are not just dealing with one alternative Greek or Turkish name in many cases, but often also with Italian (in the case of Greek islands), Slavic (northern Greek towns), Ancient Greek (Turkish cities), and possibly other languages.
  4. What names to include. So far, the following criteria have been named as possible reasons for including a foreign placename:
    1. Criteria that justify the presence of a redirect and a prominent placement of the name in the article:
      1. Current presence of a significant linguistic minority population. I think this is the least controversial criterion. It applies to Istanbul, Tenedos, Imbros (in the latter cases the Greek name is actually the primary article name, because of preferential use in English); and a well-defined group of towns in northwest Greece (Xanthi etc.). Possibly also Rhodes but not many others.
      2. Historical currency of an alternate name in English or other western languages. That applies primarily to Istanbul, Izmir, Thessaloniki, and perhaps to the Italian names of a few islands (Zante, Negroponte, Istanco, Castelrosso...)
      3. Great historical/symbolic importance of a place for the other side. Applies to Istanbul, Izmir and Thessaloniki.
      4. Name of the historical foundation of a city, if the ancient/medieval place was of some importance or connected to some important/well-known historical event. Applies to the Ancient Greek (but not necessarily Modern Greek) names of many places in Turkey (Iznik/Nicea etc.)
    2. Criteria that justify the presence of a name in an article, but not necessarily a redirect:
      1. Historical (but no longer current) presence of a significant minority population. Here, I'd propose a somewhat arbitrary cutoff-point at around 1900. That means inclusion of Turkish in the eastern Aegean / Dodecanese islands, and inclusion of Greek in Turkish places that had a strong Greek element before 1923.
      2. Name of historical foundation of a city, if not already covered above (i.e. where the historical place was not of great importance or isn't connected to some significant and well-known historical event). E.g. Ankara/Ankyra
      3. Change of national sovereignty during recent times. Again, I'd put a cutoff point somewhere at around 1900, which would lead to inclusion of Turkish in most of the eastern Aegean, and possibly Italian in the Dodecanese.
      4. Existance of a foreign name that is linguistically interesting, i.e. non-trivial: not just a predictable phonological/morphological adaptation of a foreign name or a mere transcription of it (Misiros/Miziros, Chalki/Kalki), but something like Chios/Sakız, Kos/İstanköy/Istanco, etc. I would personally actually tend to make this the most prominent criterion, even overriding those above in some cases: It's plain boring to state that Rhodes is "Rodos" in Turkish – even if Rhodes still has a significant Turkish minority.
  5. Where to place the name.
    1. Possibilities include:
      1. In the lead sentence, in parentheses behind the main article title;
      2. At the end of the lead paragraph, in a sentence like "It is also known as A in X, and as B in Y"
      3. Somewhere further down in the text, but with a prominent pointer/hyperlink from the lead paragraph (e.g. "see below for alternate names")
      4. Simply somewhere down in the text, typically in the history section if there is one.
    2. Possible solutions:
      1. My favourite one: Make it a simple matter of quantity. If the statement of alternate names can be short and light (just one or two alternate names without further comment), put them in the lead sentence. If it's heavy (larger number of names, necessary comments, etymological explanations etc.), put it further down, using technique 2 or 3.
      2. Alternative solution: Make it a matter of quality. Reserve the lead sentence for cases where there is a particularly strong "claim" for inclusion (e.g. 4.1.1-4.1.3 above), use techniques 2-4 for less prominent cases. Personally, I'd wish people would stop evaluating the lead sentence as a magical badge of "laying claim" to territories in this way, but I see the tendency among readers and editors to interpret it in this way is strong. Incidentally, my solution would have a beautiful competitive side effect: If you hate to see something like "Chios (Turkish: Sakız)" in the lead sentence, you can buy your way out by writing an interesting, well-sourced paragraph about the etymology and history of the name Sakız, and voilà, you have a legitimate pretext for moving it down from the lead sentence and everybody wins.
      3. In any case, I take it as self-evident that whenever by the criteria under 4.1 above there is reason for a redirect, the name of the redirect should be easily recoverable for the reader, i.e. at least one of techniques 1-3 should be used and the name should be typographically highlighted.

Users who endorse this summary

  1. FrancisTyers · 20:22, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
  2. Behemoth 20:33, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
  3. Awiseman 21:23, 8 August 2006 (UTC) - I'd also prefer the alternate names in the lead
  4. I'd prefer it if the alternate names could stay in the lead, however. —Khoikhoi 00:41, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
  5. I'd also like the most important alternate name in the lead, but feel those names of historical or etymological value should stay in the history sections, making a possible exception for the founding name of the city, that should stay in the lead when there aren't more than one-two alternative names already occupying the place.--Aldux 17:26, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
  6. As i said below, i do not disagree (thus i also agree) --Hectorian 20:02, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
  7. Mywayyy. Unbelievable but finally we agree. Well done,FPS, PERFECT at last. Some points though. See discussion. 11:26, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
  8. Telex 15:48, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
  9. --Michalis Famelis (talk) 04:07, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

View by Politis[edit]

I am against including other appelations in the opening line or opening paragraph, and this is right across Wikipedia. In other words, we either make it a stupid Wikipedia Policy, or we leave it out. Other appelations can be included only if historically necessary and in the history and or etimology section. In other words, point 4 in FPS overview: "Simply somewhere down in the text, typically in the history section if there is one". Politis 11:58, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Users who endorse this summary

  1. I Also agree with you Politis. Under no circumstances must we add Turkish names in Greek articles and vice versa in the opening line or opening paragraph, but only in history or etymology section. I would only propose that in special articles for instance Xanthi where there is a Muslim population so Turkish name might be still used. Of course places like Istanbul, Izmir and other Turkish cities that were founded by Greeks should contain the Greek name in the opening line.Mywayyy88.218.55.194 12:16, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
  2. Osmanaral 02:44, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
  1. i agree to Politis. the writing of opening paragraph of a place must write in offical language of the place who belongs country. simply example: if we sent a post card which language we choose? and the other names are 'other names'.--Xsara 12:01, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

View by Hectorian[edit]

<In the beginning I have to state that I do not disagree with the view by Future Perfect at Sunrise. However, since the whole issue broke out when Greek and Turkish placenames begun to be removed from the lead, from the first line of the opening paragraph, I'd like to present my view, concerning when an alternative name should be listed in the first line. The principles bellow are not "product" of the current dispute, but I have settled down (more or less) to them a long time ago[1]. So, the alternative name should be included in the opening paragraph's first line when the place meets one or more of the following criteria:

1. When the specific place is close to the borders of another country (we have to specify what we mean when saying 'close')
2. When it has a minority population, whose rights are recognised by international treaties (Treaty of Lausanne in this case), whether the community is still flourishing (Turks in Western Thrace) or its largest portion was expelled (Greeks in Eastern Thrace)
3. When that place is of major historic importance for the other nation
4. When the place is of major current importance for the other nation (Ecumenical Patriarchate for example)
5. When the city was founded by the other nation (that gave to it its original name): Izmir founded as Smyrni, and Alexandroupoli founded as Dedeağaç fit perfectly in this category
6. When the modern name of the city is a corruption of its original one (for example Trabzon or Iznik from the original Greek Trepezounta and Nicaea and Kastelorizo or Santorini from the original Italian Castelrosso and Santa Irene or Chania from the original Arabic Al Khanum
7. When the place was under control of the other nation recently or/and for a long time (this may prove to be rather obscure criterio)>

Users who endorse this summary

  1. This sounds good as well. —Khoikhoi 01:52, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
  2. --Hattusili 06:09, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
  3. Nice. I only have doubts regarding the point 7, as it would be adding the Greek name to all Turkish cities, and the Turkish name to all Greek cities except the Ionian islands.--Aldux 16:57, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
  4. No fundamental disagreement here, although I share Aldux' concern that this would overreach a bit if applied slavishly. For yet another, more flexible approach, see below. Fut.Perf. 17:40, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Another way of putting it (Fut.Perf., 2)[edit]

As this survey is currently moving fairly smoothly, it occurred to me, on second thought, I might try to simplify it all a bit more. I call this version of the proposal the Don't-Be-A-Dick Solution ;-)

  1. What to include: If some editors have requested the introduction of some foreign name, this probably indicates that there is some good reason for having it. Let them have it.
  2. Where to include it: The purpose of having alternate names is to make them easily visible. The reader should find either the alternate names or an easily visible pointer to where they are, on first skimming the lead paragraph.
  3. This can be achieved through different techniques:
    1. Lead sentence (the Gdansk solution). Default solution for simple cases.
    2. Separate sentence at end of lead paragraph (the Ankara solution).
    3. Link from first sentence to paragraph further down (the proposed guideline solution).
    4. Link from first sentence to external list (the Lviv solution).
    5. Link from first sentence to separate article (the Istanbul solution).
  4. All these techniques should be considered as equally valid in principle, and none of them should be construed as unduly emphasizing or deemphasizing the significance of a given name.
  5. There is no need for uniformity, let alone reciprocity, across articles about the use of these techniques. The choice between them should be made on a case-by-case basis, based on the textual requirements of each article alone (e.g., size of article, prominence of a name in English usage, number of names required, amount of explanatory comments required, amount of unrelated material competing for a place in the lead sentence...)
  1. Don't edit-war between the various options above. If an article already has one and it works for that article, leave it as is.
  2. WP:POINT clause 1: If you don't like the inclusion of one name, don't try to counteract it by asking for the inclusion of twenty other names from additional languages that nobody really wants.
  3. WP:POINT clause 2: If you want to use presentation techique A in article X, don't try to force it by threatening to boycott technique A in article Y.
  4. WP:BEANS clause 1: Don't be a pedant stuffing boring names ("Rhodos, Turkish Rodos) into articles just for the sake of completeness if nobody really wants them.
  5. WP:BEANS clause 2: If you don't get Your Wayyy on a given article, don't climb the Reichstag dressed as Spider-Man in protest.
  6. Instead, go to a library, find some interesting historical story to tell about each of the names in question, and write an informative paragraph about it to make it a better article.

Fut.Perf. 17:40, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Users who endorse this summary:

  1. FrancisTyers · 17:52, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
  2. --Michalis Famelis (talk) 04:07, 24 September 2006 (UTC) (I don't think there is any problem if I say I agree with this one also, is there?)

View by Kertenkelebek[edit]

I would like to present a policy as simple as possible, including a priority among names to be used. I agree with the inclusionist idea that all the alternate names (as depicted above) should be included. However in my opinion, the order is of utmost importance, for that you can't continue calling a city with is medieval name after hundreds of years since the name has been changed, however the ancient name should be included no matter.(e.g. İstanbul-Constantinople)

Policy in a nutshell:Greek administrated places should be refered to as with their Greek names and Turkish administrated places should be referred to as with their Turkish names in the first place.

  1. The primary name (and the title) should be the official name as used in the country, in latin alphabet of course, to which the city, island, administrative region belongs and the referral should be done with that name at all times. All geographical atlases and distinctive publications (National Geographic etc...) in English follow this criterion. The ancient names to places which ceased to exist under the current rule of their respective authorities should be included but never be used as primary reference ("Bozcaada and Gökçeada" should not be called as "Imbros and Tenedos" as "Thessaloniki" is not called as "Selanik" and "Alexandropouli" is not called as "Dedeağaç"). Otherwise things get messy.
  2. The secondary name could be the non-latin spelling of the original name in the native language if exists.
  3. The names given by the civilizations which have ruled over the territory should also be included. The possible ways to include alternate names is best listed by "Future Perfect at Sunrise 2" to which I agree.
  4. Alternate name given by another nation due to its major historic, religious whatsoever importance for that nation should also be included in the last place.

But what should not be included:

  1. Imaginary names to a part of a sovereign state, reflecting some people's political and ideological fantasies should be exluded from the article at all times for that they may be considered as insults (e.g. referring to "Western Thrace" as "Greek occupied Turkey" or referring to "South-eastern Turkey" as "Kurdistan").
  2. The alternate name(s) should not be included in every sentence containing the original name for it is highly disturbing to the reader.

Users who endorse this summary

View by Telex[edit]

Personally, I have nothing against Turkish names (note: only Turkish names), and would have no problem with seeing them on every article on locations in Greece on the understanding that a similar practice is adhered to regarding Greek toponyms (note: only Greek names) for Turkish places. Essentially, I believe that a free license should exist to add Greek and Turkish placenames in any place (introduction or main text etc) in articles on places in Greece and Turkey. Other names (Armenian, Kurdish, Arabic etc) should not be relevant to this convention and require their own conventions suited to the historical background of each case: Greek names can be relevant for almost the whole of Turkey and Turkish names can be relevant for almost the whole of Greece - license to add Greek and Turkish names will be a concession from both sides in return for a benefit for both sides. The same convention could not apply for Kurdish names as the Kurds don't have a state - they can't make a "if we add the Turkish name to Thessaloniki and Chios, then we should also add the Greek name to Istanbul and Izmir" arrangement. Regarding Kurdistan, which Kertenkelebek mentioned above; if you believe you have a case, take it to WP:WTA - it is not relevant here.

Users who endorse this summary

  1. Telex 16:12, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
  2. Baristarim 15:40, 22 September 2006 (UTC) having second thoughts..


Discussion should be added below.

I am posting 3 comments about things that i think should be cleared up:

  • Statement number 3. by Future Perfect at Sunrise above: by saying possibly other languages I guess we are also referring to Armenian, Assyrian, Kurdish, Arab, etc placenames in Turkey.
  • Statement 4.1.4. concerning Ancient, Medieval or Modern Greek placenames: personally, i think that the ancient greek name should be placed in the main body of the article, and the modern in the lead. If we accept placing in the lead the ancient/medieval greek name (and thus in the polytonic system and the word-endings of Attic, Koine or Byzantine Greek, we will also have to include the turkish name in the respective articles in Ottoman Turkish, and thus in the Arabic script.
  • A general comment: apart from Mywayyy (who all know what he has done and as a punishment has been indefinately banned for this), Greek users have not gone on a large scale removal of turkish placenames from greek articles. Quite the contrary, many of them have reverted Mywayyy... U may check the recent history of the article Izmir or Trabzon, for example, to see what is going on there. Allow me to find what is going on there pathetic. The greek name is also in articles like Naples, Alexandria, Lattakia, and no Italian or Egyptian or Syrian user has removed it...!--Hectorian 02:14, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Before I support your view, could you clarify what you mean by "3. When that place is of major historic importance for the other nation"? - FrancisTyers · 17:04, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

For example: I mean when a city has served as a capital (e.g. Istanbul for the Greeks and Didymoteicho for the Turks-even though for a short period of time), when it was a major center of the civilisation of that nation (e.g. Izmir as birhplace of Homerus and as a general place of the creation of the greek alphabet). I am not sure if we can discuss in including more criteria concerning major historic importance, but i think i have explained what i mean (and i am willing to discuss further, if asked to). --Hectorian 17:40, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
My concern is that Thessaloniki is of major historical importance to you know who. Presumably you would rule out having the name of the city in !!!DISAMBIGUATION MODE ON!!! Macedonian !!!DISAMBIGUATION MODE OFF!!! or Bulgarian? Basically, how do we define "major historical importance" in an NPOV manner? The !!!DISAMBIGUATION MODE ON!!! Macedonians !!!DISAMBIGUATION MODE OFF!!! will say that it is majorly historically important for them, and the Greeks (I'm taking a wild stab in the dark here) will say that it isn't at all historically important for those guys. I can sense edit wars a brewing. - FrancisTyers · 17:49, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually, are we discussing all names here, or just Greek/Turkish? I saw mention of Assyrian etc. - FrancisTyers · 17:57, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I was not thinking of Macedonian Slavs right now... I was thinking on how to stop the revert-wars between greek and turkish users. And i am not sure if i have understood the DISAMBIGUATION MODE ON!!! or OFF or whatever u have added. what do u suggest then? Thessaloniki (Greek: Θεσσαλονίκη, Bulgarian: Solun, Macedonian Solun, Slavic Solun ... Wow!what a marvelous leading! can someone notice any similarity?:p. We are talking of alternative names in all languages and countries in the region, i guess (but have in mind that this applies to all). the example u brought though, is irrelevant enough: it merely meets 1 criterio (which is disputed as far as it can be...). --Hectorian 18:15, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I sometimes use the DISAMBIGUATION thing when I suspect that the person I'm attempting to communicate with might have a problem choosing the correct option from the large list of possible meanings for a word. It alerts the other participant to be on their guard for ambiguous words and to consider the meaning of a word using the context surrounding it carefully. I'm glad you managed to do that. Had I not included it you may have said something along the lines of, "Oh my! But which kind of Macedonian did he mean?! I'm terribly stumped!" — then you may have asked for confirmation of something that was clear from the context. Anyway — I would probably suggest something along the lines of: "Thessaloniki (Greek: Θεσσαλονίκη, Slavic languages: Solun)". Actually it meets between 1 and 3 of your criteria depending on how you look at it, and other cities and towns in Greece may meet more. - FrancisTyers · 18:32, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind having it the way u said, although i would prefer Bulgarian Solun, since Bulgarian is the only of the 3 languages i listed, whose status as separate is not disputed+historically the name Solun has been always referred to as a Bulgarian one... btw, it meets only the 3rd criterio (which i consider as a very important one) (there is no minority in the city-not even as nominally recognised-, and in addition the geographic proximity is not specified yet-if we accept it for Thessaloniki, we will have to add the Serbian name in Sofia and in Skopje and the Bulgarian in Bucharest and Constantinoupoli as well. So, i do not mind including it, if this was what u wanted to say with your previous edit. --Hectorian 18:51, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I probably wouldn't accept only "Bulgarian", "Slavic languages" is nice because it is a catchall, and then the situation can be explained in more detail in the names section. We are talking about Greek/Turkish places here, not Serbian or Bulgarian ones. Consistency is good, but if we want to make up a unified policy for all place names it will take us until eternity ;) If the Serbs want to include the name of Sofia in Serbian, let them debate it with the Bulgarians themselves. If it is to work, your proposal will need to be more specific. Remember, its better we debate it here than on countless other talk pages ;) - FrancisTyers · 19:13, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
As i said, i do not mind to accept "Slavic languages" in general. Since we are talking about Greek/Turkish places here, there is no need to talk about that (let it be discussed some other time, in a debate that is meant to go on till... eternity;)...). at the moment, i' like to see Greek and Turkish users weighing in... --Hectorian 19:24, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
To Aldux: I also think that point 7. can be rather "tricky" (as it would allow the inclusion of the greek name as deep in Anatolia as Van, where the greeks hardly ever settled!), that's why i commented about it in the parenthesis, i wouldn't mind if it would be removed or defined further. --Hectorian 17:40, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

I Agree with FPS view. But I would like to share some thoughts on WHERE to place any possible names. I believe that for the Greek articles, where there is a significant present Muslim population then the name should go at the first sentence like: in Greek Ξανθη, Turkish: XXX. That would apply to Xanthi for instance and maybe Rhodes or Kos. For the rest articles I would propose the name to go somewhere else, instead of the first line, for instance somewhere in the text or as paragraph explaining the etymology as FPS noted. But defenately not like the Xanthi example. Now for the Turkish articles cities that were founded by Greeks and have particular importance to Greece like Istanbul, Izmir, Efes Trabzon etc etc the name should defenately go at the start of the article like: in Turkish: Istanbul, in Greek: Κωνσταντινούπολη. Let me know about your thoughts. Mywayyy88.218.55.194 11:23, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Good word Mywayyy: 'founded' (but take it easy). For instance, the city was founded by the [...] as [...]; was later also called [...] by the [...]. But I stick by my initial position. Some people have sound reasons for alternative appelation but that should be further down the paragraphs. Anything else is begging for trouble (unless one is a voyeur for such clashes or, to use a to use a Greco-Turkish word, is a wikipedia banistiri. Politis 12:30, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I'd stick to the minimum demand of at least a pointer to the existence of alternate names in the lead. It's really no use having them if the reader needs to read through a whole long article to find them. Also, even though the criterion of historical priority might be an argument, I find strict application of Mywayyy's criteria would lead to something that would be perceived as imbalance in favour of the Greek side. I know this is difficult to swallow for many Greeks, but we should treat the historical presence of Greek in Turkey and the historical presence of Turkish in Greece as strictly equal in terms of historical legitimacy and claim to representation, no matter if the one is a few centuries older than the other. As for the general legitimacy of foreign names in the lead sentence, I find lots of precedence cases like "Kos (Ital. Coo, Turk. İstanköy)" in top-level encyclopedias, such as the German Brockhaus of 2006 (I think Britannica doesn't do it though). Fut.Perf. 12:49, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

FPS, each civilization whether Greek or Turkish is respected. The main difference here is that out of 100 Turkish cities lets say 90 were founded by Greeks, which lived there for hundreds or thousands years and Turks then came changed the name( sometimes taking it right from the Greek original name), while for the Greeks places (which obviously were founded by Greeks), Turks conquered it for 400 years changed the name for 400 years and then Greeks re-named. So you see its not quite the same. But in any case a reader, if not blind, would be able to read a sentence for instance in the History section that says: In ottoman times the island was called XXX (Turkish). Again special places like Xanthi deserve the name to be writen at the opening line just like Istanbul, Izmir and other places with significant historical value to Greeks.Mywayyy88.218.55.194 13:00, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

To Hectorian: I must express a disagreement concerning using Modern Greek for the lead in Turkish cities; unless these have surviving Greek minorities or great symbolic importance, the only (important) reason for keeping Greek in the lead would be to remember the foundation name of the city; to put it clearly, I believe ancient Greek should be before modern Greek, not after.--Aldux 14:44, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Aldux, you circumnavigated my point by stating, "unless these have surviving Greek minorities", I would add, or any other minority. There is a Greek song after the 1922 Asia Minor disaster, 'the earth turned black and erased my name'. This means that if genocide has eliminated that minority (or even majority, as was often the case), then the name will not appear in wiki. So, genocide wins by eliminating the people and the name. I do not think we can find an appropriat formula for this discussion - and for me, it affects all place names in Wikipedia; there will always be unhappy controversies. Politis 14:59, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm... I wouldn't say that putting the original Greek name is an attempt to remove Greek origins; unless modern Greeks don't recognize themselves in the ancient Greeks, which would shock me quite a lot, and from my knowledge would have very great difficulties believing.--Aldux 15:29, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Ancient Greece belongs equally to the West, if not to the world; if it is was a 'Greek secret', then it would have disappeared long ago and the world would have been a radically different place. No, I have no particular interest in what appears first, the ancient or koine form. The articles are about current places, not historical overviews. I just think that any other name should appear only if strrrictly necessary (and I am quite strrrict about this), otherwise we have controversies across all countries and places. Politis 15:37, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

To Aldux: I have no such a problem if we decide to include the ancient or medieval greek in the lead, and not the modern one. afterall, in most (if not all) the cases, the names are either the same (e.g. Νίκαια, Τραπεζούντα, Αμάσεια, Σμύρνη) or almost the same (e.g. Κωνσταντινούπολις->Κωνσταντνούπολη, Ικόνιον->Ικόνιο). so, since modern greek is not a daughter, but the continuation of ancient greek, it is find by me, no matter what. but the same will apply to turkish placenames as well. for example, since Chios has no minority population and no particular importance in turkish history, the turkish name will appear in ottoman turkish. at least, this seems a bit more fair to me... --Hectorian 21:02, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

I would agree regards the Turkish Ottoman example, even if, honestly, I don't think that islands like Chios should have the Turkish name in the lead; after all, it wasn't founded by Turks, doesn't have a Turkish community, and hasn't have a symbolic importance for Turks or they didn't play a grat role there (differently from Thessaloniki); and Chios is only an example, it could be extended for example to Athens. For these cases, I propose the history section.--Aldux 23:23, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Honestly, i also do not think that islands like Chios should have the turkish name in the lead. If it was up to me, i would keep the turkish names in western Thrace, the Dodecanese, and perhaps in some cities like Thessaloniki... And i would include the greek (ancient, medieval or modern) in most of the cities of Turkey, for the reasons that they were founded, named, inhabited and have special importance for the Greeks for far too long, and cause their turkish name is a corruption of the greek... But i am not trying to push my POV here, and thus i choose to be a little been more "flexible"... apparently, in vain... I feel really sad (and sorry) for those who remove the greek names from turkish cities... U are Italian! u never removed the greek name from Naples or Syracuse, nor any other Italian wikipedian ever did...(u know i can list more examples, nor only from Italy!). It seems to me that this discussion is not gonna work (for the reason that turkish wikipedians-with only Kertenkelebek been a bright example-do not even take part in it (and i am sure they know of its existance, and i can also guess the reason of their absense...). among FPS's, mine, Kertenkelebek's, Politis's "nihilistic" (ie include none) and Telex's "pluralistic" (ie include all) versions, none is going to be accepted... I may be pessimistic, i don't know. but really, without a dialogue problems cannot be solved. --Hectorian 02:48, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Hectorian: First of all i do I agree with you that Greek names should be included in cities across Turkey for the reasons you stated. People here must understand that the situation is not the same when you try to add Greek names to Turkish places and Turkish names to Greek places. Most Turkish cities were founded by Greeks whereas very very few cities in Greece were founded by Turks. Now a place like Istanbul that was founded by Greeks, was inhabited by Greeks for 1000+ years and still has a Greek Minority dont you believe it deserves the Greek name to be added as well in opening line? Why should a place like Chios or Kalimnos have a Turkish name in the first place? Because it was conquered for 400 years by the Turks? Ok then. Lets add it at the History section. Pure and simple. But no way in the opening line. Personally the only place I would add the Turkish name in the opening line is Xanthi due to its Muslim population and maybe any few places that were founded by Turks. For the rest, I think a nice solution would be to add any name someone wishes (not just Turkish) at the History section as history progresses throughout the article. As for Greek names in Turkish articles, one would expect for the reasons described above, that most Turkish cities would have to have the Greek name at the opening line. But in order to keep a balance here I would suggest that only in Istanbul and Izmir to add the name in the opening line. The rest articles could have the Greek name at History section. Mywayyy88.218.46.83 08:28, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

  • The Chios example is, IMHO, a good one and shows the traps that one can easily fall into. That island was occupied by several other city/nation states - the recent drive-by censoring of names - located at end of a long lead paragraph - only picked off the Ottoman one and ignored the Genoese variants etc. The Ottoman moniker, Sakiz, was also their term for gum (which came from the island and was partly responsible for the development of the local shipping trade which the Greek diaspora promulgated) & there are various references to Sakiz all around the Meditteranean - WP even has an entry for a Sakiz house style. I feel that most comments here have perhaps unwittingly been getting drawn into the modern nationalism debate and overlooking that names have significance on many different levels. (talk) 22:46, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Comment on Kertenkelebek's view[edit]

I think as far as Kertenkelebek's proposal deals with the question of the actual title of the article itself, it falls outside the scope of this page, because that is an issue that has been solved elsewhere, across Wikipedia, in favour not of the official local name but of the most commonly used name in English. That's the sole reason why Gökceada and Bozcaada are now at Imbros and Tenedos, and I don't think we should call that long-established principle into question here. Yet another unrelated question is how to call places in running text, and here too I think there have been previous discussions leading to an established rule (must find the relevant Gdansk discussions). The only question we should be dealing with here are the so-called "relevant foreign language names". Fut.Perf. 12:49, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

To Kertenkelebek: could u give some examples please? Should the greek name be in the first line of Istanbul and the turkish in Alexandroupoli? what happens to the case when the ancient or medieval name is still in use? and what happens when the official name is not the one used primary in english? e.g. "Bozcaada and Gökçeada" or "Thera" to some extend? --Hectorian 12:39, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

I think the approaches on İstanbul and Alexandroupoli are just fine, no disagrrements. When the ancient, medieval or former name is still in use and it contrdicts with the current official name issued by the authority the official name should be used, the old name will be foregone in time. When the official name is not the one used primarily in English, still the official name should be used unless the English version is a translation or a mutated pronounciation of the original name. Kertenkelebek 13:39, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

London Solution (not)[edit]

40% of London consists of ethnic minorities, mostly Pakistani, Indian, Greek, Italian, Polish, Irish, etc... They have higher London populations than many of their own towns. So, according to a unfettered logic floating in this page, we include the London appelation in all those languages and in the first line/paragraph. Likewise for Munich (Monaho), and god knows how many others. No, of course not because these article are about current places, not a cross section of their history. Further down the paragraphs is OK for some cases. Politis 13:13, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

You're mixing the two issues (of "what" and "how"). As for "what": Nobody has yet proposed to take into account the languages of newly arrived immigrant communities, it's common practice to treat those differently from historically established local minorities (and all the other criteria we were discussing.) So this is a strawman, I think. As for "how", that's a totally independent question. Fut.Perf. 13:22, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
In colloquial Anglo-English the addition of 'not' after a proposal - as in, London Solution (not) - indicates that the person who articulates the proposal is, in fact, against it (i think it originates from a UK TV show called, Not the Nine O'clock News). So I assume FPS that your response is addressed to a linguistic mirage and based on an assumption (quite understandable and I will avoid colloquialisms). Even so, the Yiddish or Ladino speaker have been in London since 17th century; the Greeks were there, on-and-off, since before the Anglo-Saxons arrived. But, to spell it out, I still do not think we should include the Greek and Yiddish terms for London in the opening paragraph. If necessary, they can appear in a special section further down. Politis 13:55, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I fully understood this. You were arguing against an imaginary proposal, which I pointed out nobody had made, and which I therefore called a strawman. Fut.Perf. 14:03, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Good example Politis. I dont think he is mixing anything. What he want to stress is that for a specific place there might be like 100 different civilizations that influenced it. One could say why not add the Latin name too in Chios or the German name too in Athens or the Hebrew name too in Thessaloniki. I believe any name could be added but only in the History or Etymology section of each article. Most Encyclopedias would do that. It is totally silly, pointless and wrong to add a Turkish name(and vice versa) in the opening line (like: In Greek:XXX , in Turkish:XXX) of an article. It gives the wrong impression. Either it goes in History section or nowhere. Very special articles like Xanthi and Istanbul however could go with this.Mywayyy88.218.48.205 13:38, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. The Germans were in Athens for 6 years or something, whereas the Turks and Greeks have much, much longer residences in the places we're talking about. --Awiseman 14:52, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Modify Hectorian's view[edit]

Maybe points 1 and 7 from my view should be excluded, for the following reasons: 1. geographical proximity cannot be a good criterio, since Turkey is 7 times larger than Greece. so, what may be considered as a turkish place near Greece, may result in the inclusion of all Greece, in the pretext of proximity to Turkey. 2. similarly, the criterio of 'been under one nation's control for a long period', is also not fair, since the greeks had large parts of Anatolia under their control for almost 2 millenia, whereas the turks remained in most parts of Greece for less than 5 centuries... --Hectorian 21:18, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

We Need The Rules Without Any Exceptions[edit]

this pages article is wrong. a place named every language. some of them are different. I think the the rule: a place name must write that place who belongs countrys's official language and IPA writing . --Xsara 08:52, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

I call that Şovenizm. —Khoikhoi 08:56, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

please explain your idea. why it is Şovenizm. you are attacking the discussion --Xsara 09:01, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

I wouldn't call it chauvinism as long as it's followed through impartially on all sides. It's a logically tenable position, for sure, but I think it's rather extreme, and goes against previous consensus (not just here but elsewhere on wiki too). By the way, Xsara, I don't want to discourage you and I appreciate your efforts at contributing, but please consider if with your level of English you are really in a good position to influence a debate on language usage here in the English Wikipedia. Fut.Perf. 09:10, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

how we can choose a city important for a country. that choosing is variable. if we try to write scientific we need more clear rules!--Xsara 09:28, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Sure, it's a matter of degree and a matter of some subjective choice. Wikipedia editors make subjective judgments about what is "relevant" to any given article all the time, and negotiate these judgments with others. Where's the problem? It's no different for every other bit of content. Fut.Perf. 09:31, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

i agree you (Fut.Perf.). i hope this special rule can change (this page discussion). if we try to make free encyclopedia. this page's consensus gives a toy each other. :)--Xsara 09:45, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Ahem, sorry but I'm not sure you understood what I said. Because I didn't mean to agree with you... ;-) Or I didn't understand what you wanted to say. Fut.Perf. 09:48, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

i agree you: a page article can be subjective. but i think the consensus is not useful.--Xsara 09:56, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

view by Xsara: my suggestion is like Athens (Greek: Αθήνα, Athína IPA: /a'θina/). is it more useful?--Xsara 10:56, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

look at the wikipedia link in footnote (Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names)). that conventions dont say 'you can write other language orthography'. that about several alternative names (Volgograd or Stalingrad,Istanbul or Constantinople,Vilnius or Wilno). that DONT say 'you can write other language orthography'. according to that i can remove greek orthography.--Xsara 08:39, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

The proposed guideline (which is not binding) just says that "relevant foreign names" may be included. That is in fact intended for cases just as these. It's just our task here to work out what "relevant" means. Fut.Perf. 09:08, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

guideline says also collate the names under a link(G tab and number 2, sentence continuos 'alternatively'-See:(In this case, the redundant list of the names in the article's first line should be replaced with the following text: (known also by several alternative names)). and Istanbul pageinclude this sentence. and also greek orthography in it. different way. greek orthography also is not a different name. and thats not a relevant. Constantinople is the relevant against the Istanbul. and wikipedia answers that problem on (Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names)). it says 'Istanbul is the single widely accepted English name in modern context, but Constantinople is a widely accepted historical English name'. this rule should use every page that listed 'Pages involved' tab--Xsara 09:22, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

New guideline and proposal[edit]

Proposal following update and new guideline[edit]

There have been some new developments from Wikipedia (see box bellow). FuturePerfectSunrise proposed (top of this page) [2]: "In principle, we should stick to the proposed guideline at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names)".

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names) now says:

I suggest the following action:
  • In the first paragraph we only include only the name that existed prior to the current one; namely, the original name. Hence for Alexandroupoli we include Dedeagac (its original name). But for Kalymnos, Chios, etc... the subsequent Turkish, Italian and other variations go in the history section.
  • Just about no maps or atlases use other names.
  • The subsequent place names, in my opinion, can be included, though further down in the history section. But, based on precedent, I find that hard to justify; it seems a situation arrising uniquely from Wikipedia's modus operandi (I am open to suggestions).
  • There will probably be exeptions and some locations will generate intense disagreement; however, that should be the minority of cases and we can deal with them individually. Politis 14:05, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
  • My proposal is to use only English names in the English documents. Turkish language is not in use in Greece, never seen it in an official document or map. All Turkish names should be removed with no exception. Kavaliotaki
While making note of prior names somewhere seems reasonable... using only a single "prior name" creates all sorts of historical distortions. (e.g. Rome had its name for thousands of years. FYROM/RoM has had its name for 17 years) In addition, using Turkish names on main Greek articles only opens up a unnecessary can of political worms in an already sensitive situation. The Ottomans occupation of Greece lasted 400 years so the names are largely obscure relative to other names more historically notable names that lasted thousands of years (not to mention no one refers to the names of Nazi occupied regions of places in Europe in main articles).
I think what needs to be asked here is why all of a sudden is there a focus only on Greek articles with Turkish names? Why not provide Turkish names for FYROM places? Or former ancient Greek names of all Turkish cities? Former Indian names of areas populated in America? Or Italian/Roman names for Germany? Or Soviet Union names for the Ukraine? (I could go on and on). I'm going out on a limb here but I suspect Greece is currently being unfairly targeted here... by some of the same contributors to the FYROM naming dispute article trying to make a political statement. So like you Kavaliotak I whole heartedly protest any such endeavor. (at least on the main article pages)
However, if this suggestion is ignored, I suggest that all the names of the places in Bulgarian, FYROM, and other Ottoman occupied regions of the world also be given their Turkish occupation names as well (not to mention all their prior slavic ones), that Turkish cities all be given their ancient Greek names, and that other places/countries around the world all be also referred to by other names they have gone by that are historically insignificant. While I think it is bulky and highly irresponsible to stir the pot for ethnic conflicts around the globe, if Wikipedians want to go down the road then there should be consistency applied to all cultural groups.Crossthets (talk) 21:59, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
    • ^ The proposed guidelin at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names) currently states: "The lead: [...] Relevant foreign language names are permitted and should be listed in alphabetic order of their respective languages [...] Alternatively, all alternative names can be moved to and explained in a names section immediately following the lead. In this case, the redundant list of the names in the article's first line should be replaced with the following text: (known also by several alternative names) [...] A relevant foreign language name is the one used by at least 10% of sources in English language or is used by a group of people which used to inhabit this geographical place."