The Biden administration on Thursday said it will now refer to Turkey as “Türkiye,” bowing to the Asiatic country’s request that the United States use Ankara’s preferred spelling.
“We will begin to refer to Türkiye and Republic of Türkiye accordingly in most formal, diplomatic, and bilateral contexts, including in public communications,” the State Department said in a statement. “The Turkish embassy requested that the U.S. government use the name ‘Republic of Türkiye’ in communications.”
The name change comes as the Biden administration hopes to win Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s support for admitting Sweden and Finland into NATO. The move requires unanimous agreement among NATO members, and Turkey is the lone holdout.
Turkish officials have said the name change is intended to eliminate associations with the large North American bird. The change will “increase our country’s brand value,” Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
NATO and other international organizations changed the spelling last year. Several U.S. agencies, including the Treasury Department, had also switched previously.
Admitting the two northern European countries to NATO would expand the organization’s border with Russia. Turkey is complicating this goal and could reject the plan altogether, the New York Times reported:
But one holdout remains: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who has raised objections to the plan and, Western officials fear, may be willing to delay it for several more months. In a nightmare scenario, he might block the expansion entirely — all member countries must approve of additions to the bloc.
Either way, they say, the Turkish strongman is cynically complicating a major step in the showdown with Russia, looking to extract concessions from NATO and the United States before Turkish elections planned for next spring.
Meeting with his Swedish and Finnish counterparts in Washington on Thursday, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said he was confident that the two nations would be admitted, vastly expanding NATO’s border with Russia and giving Mr. Putin, as Mr. Biden has put it, “exactly what he did not want” in his confrontation with the West over the war in Ukraine.
The State Department last changed the way it referred to a country in 2019 with North Macedonia, formerly known as Macedonia. The agency, however, still refuses to refer to Burma as Myanmar, where the military government changed the name in 1989.
Editor’s Note: The Washington Free Beacon will continue to use the Anglicized “Turkey.”
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