Turkish national airline to rebrand as Turkiye Hava Yollari

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Turkey has said its national airline will be rebranded as Turkiye Hava Yollari instead of Turkish Airlines as part of a push for the country to be known internationally as Turkiye.

Earlier this month, Ankara sent a letter to the United Nations formally registering the country’s name as Turkiye — as it is spelled and pronounced in Turkish.

The country called itself Turkiye in 1923 after its declaration of independence.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government said the name Turkiye better represents Turkish culture and values, although observers say the move is part of an effort to dissociate its name from the bird turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Burhan Ozbilici/AP)

He continued: “Turkiye Hava Yollari will be inscribed on the bodies of our planes instead of Turkish Airlines.”

“Hava Yollari” is Turkish for airlines.

The UN and Nato have formally begun using Turkiye. Some high-ranking foreign dignitaries visiting Ankara have also made the switch.

Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg referred to the country as Turkiye during visits to Helsinki and Stockholm this week, as did Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.

The two countries are trying to overcome a Turkish objection to their bid to join the military alliance.

As a Nato ally, Ankara has the power to block their membership bids. The country accuses the two Nordic nations of backing Kurdish militant groups.

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