Jim McMahon

Turkey wants the world to call it a new name: Türkiye (pronounced tur-KEE-yeh). The country officially switched to its Turkish language name at the United Nations (U.N.) in June. The name isn’t new to the Turkish people, who have used it since they established their nation in 1923. But the Anglicized version of the name is equally commmon, and for some, that brings the negative connotations associated with a certain bird often served on holidays. The change at the U.N. was set in motion by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose popularity has sagged since his 2018 reelection. Some experts think he’s using this opportunity to highlight his political power. “The name change may seem silly to some,” says Mustafa Aksakal, a professor of history at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., “but it puts Erdogan in the role of protector, of safeguarding international respect for the country.”