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An Inquiry Into The Dilemma Of The Turkish Language

938 words - 4 pages

Turkish is one of the youngest and rapidly developing languages; furthermore approximately 80 million people speak Turkish as a mother language in the world. 1928 was a very crucial year for the development of the Modern Turkish language because Latin alphabet adopted instead of Arabic script and after this transition numerous events sequentially shape the Turkish language. On the other hand, the use of contemporary the Turkish language triggers some concerns. Although the Turkish language has been searching ways out for sophisticated dilemmas since 1920’s, it confronts historical, political, cultural issues and risk of losing originality, degeneration of quality and misuse in the media; as ...view middle of the document...

The Sun Language Theory was a nationalist, patriotic outcome of this period. On the contrary, Ahıska and Yenal emphasize that “certain foreign words that entered the language to replace banned Ottoman terms gradually caught on.” (44) We can deduce from that the Turkish language found other alternative pathways instead of refining the Ottoman words.
The following political policies led to marginalize official minorities such as Greeks, Armenians and Jews. They spoke different languages in the community and this situation conflicted with nationalist policies of government. Ahıska and Yenal note “Vatandaş Türkçe Konuş (Citizen Talk Turkish) campaign, posed a threat to minority groups and their native languages by attempting to marginalize them within the community.” (47) This analysis and these strict prohibitions show us the intensive political pressure on the minority groups. Another vital point is the Turkish government did not recognize even the Kurdish, Arabic, Circassian tongues because of the mainstream nationalist discourse persecuted to the community. Until the liberalization period, those kinds of pressures and attrition policies densely influenced the Turkish language’s evolution. In 1980’s, Turgut Özal introduced imported goods as a consequence Turkish people became familiar with foreign terms and brands. As the article stated “foreign brands entered common usage, Turkish products were also outfitted with brand names borrowing foreign word.”(Ahıska and Yenal 47) In the end, the Turkish language has accomplished the political interventions era.
When we consider last 20 years, we are encountering with degeneration of the language. Especially some foreign words harmonized with daily life and literature. Who speaks Turkish hardly ever pay attention for using Turkish words instead of foreign words. “This hybridization of the language is increasingly alarming to supporters of “pure” Turkish” pointed out by Ahıska and Yenal (48). Even though majority of community support or fall into this hybridized Turkish, “pure”...

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