In today’s world, there are currently 6912 languages spoken. Turkish is one of the most spoken language in the World. Today, around 250 million people speak Turkish and this number makes Turkish the fifth most spoken language among all languages. Turkey Turkish has the largest amount of people spoken the language among these 250 million people.

Even though Turkish language has their origins in Sumerian sources, first known written source of Turkish language was Göktürk Inscriptions. These inscriptions were written with first Turkish Alphabet by Göktürks. Bilge Kağan, Kül Tigin and Vezir Tonyukuk are the most 3 important ones among 6 inscriptions. They are the first texts where the word “Türk” is mentioned and give information about Göktürk state structure, independence war of Türks, how they get out of Chinese captivity and have started to grow as a state.

Like Göktürks, Uygur State who is another Turkish civilization left some texts about religion, medicine, astronomy, fortune telling and poetry which are written on stones and papers with Uygur Alphabet. In addition to Uygur and Göktürk inscriptions, there are important Old Turkish works belonging to the period of Karahanlı State, Kutadgu Bilig by Yusuf Has Hâcib, Dîvânü Lûgati’t-Türk by Kaşgarlı Mahmut, Atabetü’l-Hakâyık by Edib Ahmet Yükneki and Divân-ı Hikmet by Hodja Ahmet Yesevî. Dîvânü Lûgati’t-Türk is the first dictionary of Turkish language.

After Göktürk, Uygur and Karahanlı periods, Turkish language kept developing and changing from region to region in time. North-East Turkish and West Turkish has started to be spoken as separate subsections. After Old Turkish period, West Turkish is the largest and most efficient writing language and is divided into 3 categories as Old Anatolia Turkish, Ottoman Turkish and Turkey Turkish. Old Anatolia Turkish forms a basis for Turkey Turkish because it is not possible to see Arabic and Farsi elements in Old Anatolia Turkish. With the establishment of Ottoman Empire, a lot of words and grammar forms from Arabic and Farsi languages entered into Turkish language. This new language forming from 3 languages shortly named as “Osmanlıca”.

Today, in Turkey, we use Turkey Turkish as the third period of West Turkish. When it is said “Turkey Turkish”, it is understood that it is the official language and also Turkish writing language used in a wide area today. After Republic of Turkey has founded, many innovations and studies have been made to simplify Turkish and save it from foreign words in other languages. “New Language Movement” is considered the beginning of this period. New Language Movement has an important role in the simplification of Turkish language.

The most important work after New Language Movement is Alphabet and Language Reform. Today, with these reforms, Turkish is purified from grammatical rules and words of Arabic and Farsi and has become the writing and spoken language as the national language of Turkey Republic.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of Turkish Republic, introduces new Turkish Latin Alphabet.


On this article author is our EVS Volunteer Gulay Dedebas from Turkey.



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