Showing posts with label native names. Show all posts
Showing posts with label native names. Show all posts

Monday, April 29, 2024

About a Bird? Your Complete Guide to Turkey's 2021-2022 Name Change

Map of Türkiye, formerly known as Turkey, which officially changed its name in English and other languages in 2022 to match the Turkish-language version. Map is in green, brown, and blue natural style with terrain, showing that more or less the entire country is mountainous, with colors varying from dark green to beige, and most areas in some hue of yellow-green. Turkey is roughly shaped like a long, horizontal rectangle (if north is treated as up), with the Black Sea along its whole northern side and the Aegean Sea to its west, with a small portion of the country in the far northwest (Eastern Thrace) separated from the rectangle (Anatolia) by the rivers connecting those two seas. The southern side of the country is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea in the west and the more-arid land of the Levant and Mesopotamia in the east. East of the country are the mountainous Southern Caucasus region and the northwestern end of the Iranian Plateau. Capital city Ankara is a bit northwest of the country's geographic center, and the larger Istanbul much farther to the northwest, straddling the gap between Eastern Thrace and Anatolia. Other cities of over a million people each, including İzmir, Adana, Bursa, Gaziantep, and several more, are located along the country's western and southern margins. Surrounding countries include Greece and Bulgaria to the west; Cyprus (and disputed Northern Cyprus), Syria, and Iraq to the southeast; and Iran, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan to the east. Russia looms large just across the Black Sea to the northeast, Romania is across the sea to the northwest (plus Ukraine and disputed Crimea directly north), and Israel and Lebanon are not far off along the southward turn the Mediterranean coast, while the Aegean Sea to the west is dominated islands that are part of Greece.

Turkey's "New" Name

Over the last two years, PolGeoNow readers might have noticed us using the name "Türkiye" for the country more widely known in English as "Turkey". That's because the Turkish government officially changed the country's name in English (and two other languages) about two years ago, and our policy is to call countries by what their governments say they're called, except in certain special cases. 

Türkiye, a large and influential country traditionally considered to be partly in Europe and partly in Asia, comes up a lot in news about both European and Middle Eastern geopolitics. So that means a lot of people and organizations now have to make a choice: Keep using the name they're used to, or switch the official one chosen by the country's government.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Swaziland's New Name in All Six UN Languages

Topographic map of Eswatini (Swaziland), showing terrain, rivers, bordering countries, and capital cities.
Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland. Based on this map by Htonl and NordNordWest.

"Eswatini" Not Only For English

Last year, we told you about the small African Kingdom of Swaziland's name change to "Kingdom of Eswatini", which it turns out has caught on more quickly than usual in the media. Unlike Côte d'Ivoire, Cabo Verde, Timor-Leste, and Czechia, whose previous English names are still arguably dominant today, Wikipedia editors have found that most sources switched rapidly from Swaziland to Eswatini after the name change.

In our first article, we promised to let you know when the new name came through in the other official languages of the United Nations (since the UN acts as a sort of formal registry for countries' official names). Well, here they are:

Monday, July 16, 2018

All About Swaziland's Name Change (With Maps)

Topographic map of Eswatini (Swaziland), showing terrain, rivers, bordering countries, and capital cities.
Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland. Based on this map by Htonl and NordNordWest.

Swaziland's New Name

If you follow PolGeoNow on Twitter, you already know that the small, southern African country of Swaziland was renamed "Eswatini" this April. The full English name of the country, previously "Kingdom of Swaziland", has also been changed to "Kingdom of Eswatini".

The rename was first announced by the country's king on April 19 - his 50th birthday. (Some media incorrectly reported that April 19 was also Swaziland's 50th anniversary of independence. The country is indeed celebrating its 50th this year, but the actual day of the anniversary is September 6.)

The change was apparently effective immediately: A purported copy of the legal order making the new name official, also dated April 19, was posted on a Swaziland news blog in May, with some validation from other sources.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

ICYMI: Cape Verde's Name Change

In the following weeks, PolGeoNow will be publishing several short "in case you missed it (ICYMI)" articles on events from 2013. This is news that we weren't able to cover when it first broke, but that we thought our readers might still want to know about.

Premium members click here to view this article in the ad-free members area. Not a member yet? Subscribe now!

Topographic map of Cape Verde, now known officially as Cabo Verde
Cape Verde, now officially Cabo Verde (click to enlarge). Map by Oona Räisänen/Wikimedia (CC BY-SA) (source).
By Evan Centanni

Cape Verde Changes Official Name
If you read our article on the year 2013 in political geography changes, you've already heard about the change to Cape Verde's official English name. But since keeping track of country name changes is one of the primary missions of Political Geography Now, we are now presenting this in-depth report on the topic.

Friday, November 2, 2012

5 Countries You've Never Heard of (by Their Native Names)

Think you know your world geography? Maybe you know most or all of the world's their English names. But in their own official languages, many nation-states are called something completely different. Maybe you remember España, Deutschland, or Nippon from your high school language class - but there are a lot more than that! See if you can guess these five....

Also known in casual speech as Masr, this country is considered heir to the ancient kingdom of Kemet.  Locals trade in pounds, but drive on the right side of the road. As a country, Misr ranks 127th in GDP per capita, but boasts the world's 10th-largest active military. Bizarrely, its independence in 1922 was declared not by the nation's own people, but by another country. One of the world's oldest forms of Christianity is headquartered here, where it was founded by Saint Mark in the 1st century.