Turkey - Etymology

Etymology

The name of Turkey, Türkiye in the Turkish language, can be divided into two components: the ethnonym Türk and the abstract suffix –iye meaning "owner", "land of" or "related to" (derived from the Arabic suffix –iyya, which is similar to the Greek and Latin suffixes –ia). The first recorded use of the term "Türk" or "Türük" as an autonym is contained in the Orkhon inscriptions of the Göktürks (Celestial Turks) of Central Asia (c. 8th century). The English word "Turkey" is derived from the Medieval Latin Turchia (c. 1369). The Greek cognate of this name, Tourkia (Greek: Τουρκία) was originally used by the Byzantines to describe medieval Hungary (since pre-Magyar Hungary was occupied by proto-Turkic and Turkic tribes, such as the Huns, Avars, Bulgars, Kabars, Pechenegs and Cumans.) Similarly, the medieval Khazar Empire, a Turkic state on the northern shores of the Black and Caspian seas, was referred to as Tourkia (Land of the Turks) in Byzantine sources. However, the Byzantines later began using this name to define the Seljuk-controlled parts of Anatolia in the centuries that followed the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.

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