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Turkish

Article 26 


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Native Name
Türkçe

Official Language: Turkey, Cyprus
Home Speakers: Former USSR

Background
It belongs to the Altaic family, Turkic group, and is spoken by nearly 60 million people, in all countries. It is also an important immigrant language in Germany. To various degrees, Turkish is intelligible with other major languages of Central Asia, like Turkmen, Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Kazakh and in particular Azeri, as all belong to the "Turkic" family. Turkish is the most important member of the Turkic group of languages. It was originally written in the Arabic script which had been in use since the conversion of the Turks to Islam. In 1928 President Mustafa Kemal Ataturk decreed the introduction of a slightly modified version of the Roman alphabet. The English words "caviar", "yogurt", and "shish kebab" are of Turkish origin. The word "tulip" comes from a Turkish word for "turban", because its flower was thought to resemble a turban.

Reprinted from www.unhchr.ch/udhr/