ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has sent a letter to the United Nations with an official request to name his country “Türkiye”, according to the state news agency. The move is seen as part of Ankara’s push to rebrand the country and separate its name from birds, turkeys and some of the negative connotations associated with it.

Anadolu news agency reported that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ spokesman Stefan Dujarric confirmed receipt of the letter late Wednesday. The agency quotes Dujarric as saying that the name change came into force “from the moment” the letter was received.

The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists that the internationally recognized name Turkey be changed to “Türkiye” (tur-key-YAY), as it is spelled and pronounced in Turkish. In 1923, after the declaration of independence, the country called itself a “Turk”.

In December, Erdogan ordered the use of “Türkiye” to better represent Turkish culture and values, including demanding that “Made in Türkiye” be used instead of “Made in Turkey” on exported products. Turkish ministries have started using “Türkiye” in official documents.

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Earlier this year, the government also released a promotional video in an attempt to change the name to English. The video shows tourists from all over the world saying “Hello, Turkey” in famous places.

The Communications Directorate under the Turkish presidency said it had launched a campaign “to make more effective use of Türkiye as the country’s national and international name on international platforms.”

It was unclear whether this name with a letter that is not in the English alphabet would become widespread abroad. In 2016, the Czech Republic officially registered its short name Czech Republic, and although some international institutions use it, many still call the country a longer name.

Turkish English-language state-owned TRT World has switched to using Türkiye, although the word “Turkey” has penetrated journalists who are still trying to get used to the changes.

TRT World explained this decision in an article earlier this year, saying that a Google search for “Turkey” provides a “confusing set of images, articles and vocabulary that confuses the country with Meleagris – otherwise known as turkey, a large bird native to the North America is famous for being served on the Christmas menu or Thanksgiving dinner. ”

The network continued, “Flip through the Cambridge Dictionary, and“ turkey ”is defined as“ something that goes wrong ”or“ stupid or stupid person ”.

TRT World argued that the Turks preferred their country to be called “Türkiye”, “in line with the country’s goals to determine how others should identify it”.

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