The Language History of North Cyprus: The Turkish Alphabet

turkish language turkish alphabet

Did you know that the official language of North Cyprus is Turkish? The region adopted the Turkish language and its unique alphabet, which includes letters like ç, ğ, and ö. Interestingly, the Turkish alphabet borrowed letters from other languages like Albanian, Romanian, German, and even Swedish! North Cyprus is a melting pot of cultures, and residents like Maria bring a fresh perspective to this multicultural region. Follow her journey as she captures the beauty of North Cyprus through her lens. 📷✨

What is the official language of North Cyprus and what alphabet does it use?

The official language of North Cyprus is Turkish. The region adopted the Turkish language and its alphabet, which is a variant of the Latin alphabet. The Turkish Alphabet, introduced in 1928 by Kemal Ataturk, includes unique letters such as ç, ğ, ı, İ, ş, ö, and ü. It excludes the letters q, w, and x. Some of its letters were borrowed from other languages, including Albanian, Romanian, German, and Swedish.


North Cyprus, officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, is a dynamic and multicultural region with an intriguing history. One particular element of this intriguing civilization is its adoption of the Turkish language. Despite the prevalence of English, the Turkish language stands as the official language, a testament to its historical legacy and cultural roots.

Turkish: The Official Language

In North Cyprus, the official language is Turkish. The residents of North Cyprus exhibit fluency in both Turkish and English, demonstrating a cultural blend marked by historical influences and modern adaptation.

The influence of the Turkish language extends to the Turkish Cypriots’ daily communication, their literature, their arts, and even their education system. This linguistic influence reflects the region’s historical ties with Turkey.

Historical Shift to the Turkish Alphabet

The Turkish Alphabet, as known today, has a profound history and interesting birth story. It was born in 1928 on the initiative of Kemal Ataturk, the first president of Turkey. This marked an era of transformation for Turkey, as it shifted away from the Arabic alphabet that had been in use during the Ottoman Empire.

The Turkish alphabet is a variant of the Latin alphabet and comprises unique letters such as ç, ğ, ı, İ, ş, ö, and ü. Interestingly, the letters q, w, and x find no place in the Turkish alphabet.

Borrowing Letters from Other Languages

The Turkish alphabet’s uniqueness is further underlined by its incorporation of letters from various other languages. The letter ç was borrowed from the Albanian alphabet, ş from the Romanian, ü from the German, and ö from the Swedish.

The incorporation of the letter ö from the Swedish language is particularly interesting. It is believed to have been influenced by the diplomatic relations between Turkey and Sweden at the time. Johannes Kolmodin, a Swedish translator from the Embassy in Istanbul, was part of the committee that created the new alphabet.

Maria: A Multicultural North Cyprus Resident

Maria, a resident of North Cyprus since March 2014, is a perfect example of the multicultural blend the region offers. She’s a creative soul who enjoys expressing herself through images and text. Her earlier stint in Australia as a wedding and portrait photographer brought her to different corners of the world, fueling her desire to see and experience new places.

In North Cyprus, Maria brings a fresh perspective to the local scenery. Her trips infuse her with inspiration and ideas for image-making. Prior to her current residence, she worked with property photography for various brokerage firms in Sweden. Her diverse experiences reflect the multicultural flavor of North Cyprus, a region that effortlessly bridges Turkish and English languages, among other cultural elements.

Lessons Learned

  1. Cultural Influence on Language: The adoption of the Turkish language as the official language of North Cyprus highlights the cultural influence on language. The historical ties between Turkey and North Cyprus have shaped the linguistic landscape of the region. This serves as a reminder that language is not only a means of communication but also a reflection of a region’s history and cultural heritage.

  2. Incorporation of Letters from Other Languages: The Turkish alphabet’s incorporation of letters from other languages, such as Albanian, Romanian, German, and Swedish, demonstrates the interconnectedness of languages. This highlights how languages evolve and adapt over time, borrowing elements from other languages to meet the needs of communication. It reminds us that languages are not static entities but are constantly evolving and influenced by various factors.

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