Photo Credit: GCIS; Mariah OConnell
Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and a turkey (L)

Last December, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced he was changing his country’s name from Turkey to Turkiye because it “represents and expresses the culture, civilization, and values of the Turkish nation in the best way.” “Made in Turkiye” will appear on the country’s exports, and its official tourism website URL has been changed to GoTurkiye.com.

Turkey, on the other hand, remains the official name of Meleagris, a lovely and delicious bird native to North America but tasting just as good everywhere else.

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It has been suggested that the reason behind Erdogan’s move is not the positive stuff about the culture and civilization, blah blah, especially because the huge Asian ethnic group associated with Erdogan’s is called simply Turkmens, no unusual spelling there.

No, the real reason is the prevalence of very insulting synonyms for Turkey in the English language, and we all know tyrants are thin-skinned when it comes to public humiliation. For instance, thesaurus.com offered these synonyms for “Turkey,” not one of them a compliment:

ass
birdbrain
blockhead
bonehead
boob
buffoon
clod
clown
cretin
dimwit
dolt
dope
dunce
dunderhead
fathead
goose
idiot
ignoramus
imbecile
innocent
jackass
jerk
moron
nerd
nincompoop
ninny
nitwit
numskull
oaf
sap
schlemiel
simpleton
stooge
sucker
tomfool
twerp
twit
dumb ox
halfwit
lamebrain
mooncalf
softhead

Or, as the GoTurkiye.com website puts it: Make Room For Good New Memories in Türkiye in 2021.

Yes, they’ll get around to updating it at some point.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.