World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Turkish name

Article Id: WHEBN0018781548
Reproduction Date:

Title: Turkish name  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: A'isha (name), Turkish language, Birsen, Meral, Işıl
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Turkish name

A Turkish name consists of an ad or an isim (given name; plural adlar and isimler) and a soyadı or soyisim (surname).[1] Turkish names exist in a "full name" format. While there is only one soyadı (surname) in the full name, for men, there may be more than one ad (given name) for all. Married women may carry both their maiden and husband's surnames. The soyadı is written as the last element of the full name, after all given names (except that official documents often use the format "Soyadı, Adı").

Given names

At least one name, often two and very rarely more, are given to a person at birth. Most names are gender-specific (e.g. Oğuz strictly for males, Tuğçe only for females) but many modern given names (e.g. Deniz, "sea"; or Ülkü, "ideal") are meaningful and are given to newborns of either sex.

Among the common examples of the many unisex names in Turkey include Aytaç, Deniz, Derya, Evren, Evrim, Özgür, and Yücel. Unlike English unisex names, most Turkish unisex names have been traditionally used for both genders. However, some unisex names are used more for one gender (e.g. Derya is used more for girls, whereas Özgür is used more for boys). Names are given to babies by their parents and then registered in "The Central Civil Registration System" (MERNIS)[2] while preparing the baby's identity document at the birth registration office of the district's governorship.

Turkish names are often words which have specific meanings in the Turkish language.[3] These names are almost always pure Turkish names that derive from Turkish words. These names may either be modern names or be derived from Turkic mythology.

Most Turkish names can easily be differentiated from others,[4] except those of other Turkic nations, particularly Azerbaijan,[5] especially if they are of pure Turkic origin. The Law on the Adoption and Implementation of the Turkish Alphabet of 1928, in force as decreed by article 174 of the Constitution of Turkey, prescribes that only Turkish letters may be used on birth certificates. As the Turkish alphabet has no Q, W, or X, many common Kurdish names cannot be officially given unless they are transliterated into Turkish.

Giving a second name in (Romanized) Arabic to signify religion is distinguishable in Turkey. Ideological concerns of the families can also affect naming behaviour.[6] Those Arabic names are the names of important figures in the religion of Islam such as Muhammed and Ali. Some of these names have evolved in time, differentiating from the Arabic original, as in the case of Mehmet, although the original name (Muhammed) is also used a lot. Another change is for linguistic reasons such as in the case of Vahdettin (Vahideddin), Sadettin (Saadeddin) or Nurettin (Nureddin).


Until the introduction of the Law on Family Names in 1934, as part of Atatürk's Reforms, Turkish citizens had no surname. The law required all citizens of Turkey to adopt an official surname. Before that, male Turks often used their father's name followed by -oğlu ("son of"), or a nickname of the family, before their given name (e.g. Mustafa-oğlu Mehmet, Köselerin Hasan) before the modern era. The Turks who descended from a ruling house used -zade ("descendant in the male line"), e.g. Sami Paşazade Mehmet Bey ("Mehmet Bey, descendant/son of Sami Pasha").

The surname (soyad, literally "lineage name" or "family name") is an ancestry-based name following a person's given names, used for addressing people or the family.[7] The surname (soyadı) is a single word according to Turkish law. It is not gender-specific and has no gender-dependent modifications. The soyadı is neither patronymic nor matronymic. Surnames in Turkey are patrilineal: they pass in the male line from father to his legal children without any change in form. Turkey has abolished all notions of nobility; thus, there is no noble form or type of surname.

In contemporary Turkish Civil Law, when a man and woman marry, the wife takes her (new) husband's surname, but if she wants, she may continue to use her maiden name in front of her new surname, which is the official family name.[8] When they divorce, the woman returns to her pre-marriage surname. The court may grant a woman the right to keep her ex-husband's surname after divorcing; the court's decision must consider both the man's and the woman's situations.[9] A woman may have only two surnames due to marriage. Thus, a woman who continues to use double surname after divorcing, cannot take a third surname by marrying again.[8] The child of a family takes the "family name", which is his or her father's surname. A child takes their mother's surname if the mother is not married, or if the father is unknown.[10]

Turkish citizens may change their surnames according to Turkish Civil Law[11] and Turkish Law on Population Services via court decision of "civil court of first instance".[12]

Most common names in Turkish


Year No. 1 No. 2 No. 3 No. 4 No. 5 No. 6 No. 7 No. 8 No. 9 No. 10
Babies born, 2013[13] Yusuf Berat Mustafa Emir Ahmet Ömer Mehmet Muhammed Emirhan Eymen
Overall, 2013[14] Mehmet Mustafa Ahmet Ali Hüseyin Hasan Ibrahim İsmail Osman Yusuf


Year No. 1 No. 2 No. 3 No. 4 No. 5 No. 6 No. 7 No. 8 No. 9 No. 10
Babies born, 2013[13] Zeynep Elif Ecrin Yağmur Azra Zehra Nisanur Ela Belinay Nehir
Overall, 2013[14] Fatma Ayşe Emine Hatice Zeynep Elif Meryem Şerife Zehra Sultan


Year No. 1 No. 2 No. 3 No. 4 No. 5 No. 6 No. 7 No. 8 No. 9 No. 10
Overall, 2013[15] Yılmaz Kaya Demir Şahin Çelik Yıldız Yıldırım Öztürk Aydın Özdemir

See also


  1. ^ Ad. (2009). In Güncel Türkçe Sözlük. Turkish Language Society. Retrieved April 19, 2009, from
  2. ^ "Mernis (2009)". Retrieved April 18, 2009. 
  3. ^ Razum, O., Zeeb, H., & Akgün, S. (2001). How useful is a name-based algorithm in health research among Turkish migrants in Germany? Tropical Medicine & International Health: TM & IH, 6(8), 654-61.
  4. ^ Bouwhuis, C. B., & Moll, H. A. (2003) Determination of Ethnicity in Children in the Netherlands: Two Methods Compared. European Journal of Epidemiology, 18(5), p. 385.
  5. ^ "Azerbaijani Baby Names". Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  6. ^ Kazancı, Metin. (2006). Althusser, Ideology And Final Word On Ideology. Istanbul University Faculty of Communication Journal. 24. Retrieved April 18, 2009, from
  7. ^ Soyadı. (2009). In Büyük Türkçe Sözlük. Turkish Language Society. Retrieved April 22, 2009, from
  8. ^ a b Turkish Grand National Assembly. (2001). Turkish Civil Law. Retrieved April 22, 2009, from (article 187)
  9. ^ Turkish Grand National Assembly. (2001). Turkish Civil Law. Retrieved April 22, 2009, from (article 173)
  10. ^ Turkish Grand National Assembly. (2001). Turkish Civil Law. Retrieved April 22, 2009, from (article 321)
  11. ^ Turkish Grand National Assembly. (2001). Turkish Civil Law. Retrieved April 22, 2009, from (articles 26, 27)
  12. ^ Turkish Grand National Assembly. (2001). Turkish Civil Law. Retrieved April 22, 2009, from (articles 35,36,37)
  13. ^ a b "Most Popular Given Names to Babies, 2013". Turkish General Directorate of Population and Citizenships. Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
  14. ^ a b "Most Popular Given Names, 2013". Turkish General Directorate of Population and Citizenships. Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
  15. ^ "Most Popular Surnames, 2013". Turkish General Directorate of Population and Citizenships. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 

External links

  • Turkish name,
  • A mapping of the Turkish digital Diaspora, from recognizing Turkish names on Twitter (2013)
  • Archive of names, date of last access: April 18, 2009 (Turkish)
  • Person Names Lexicon, date of last access: April 18, 2009 (Turkish)
  • Behind the Name: Turkish Names, date of last access: August 9, 2008
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.