Spoken by more than 90 million people all around the world, Turkish is part of the Turkic languages in the Ural-Altaic language family. When sorted by the number of people that speak it, it ranks the 22nd among most commonly spoken languages in the world. It is recognized as an official language in the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. At the same time, it is one of the regional languages recognized in Iraq, Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo and Romania.
There are thousands of Turkish speakers in Bulgaria and Romania even though it is not officially recognized. Turkish is commonly spoken by people of Turkish origin especially in the city of Kardzhali and area of Ludogori in Bulgaria and in the cities of Xanthi and Komotini in Greece. Furthermore, there are several accents in Turkish with different ways of pronunciation. These accents include the accents of Western Rumelia, Eastern Rumelia, Black Sea, Anatolia and Aegean regions. Even though the orthography is the same, Turkish has various phonetic and pronunciation styles.
Turkish is widely spoken in the below-mentioned countries:
- Turkey (Official Language)
- Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (Official Language)
- Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia
History of the Turkish language dates back to more than 8500 years ago according to several resources. The Turks used many different alphabets over thousands of years. The alphabets historically used by Turks are the following: Orkhon Alphabet, Uyghur Alphabet, Turkish alphabet of Arabic origin and Turkish alphabet of Latin origin. Orkhon Alphabet, one of these alphabets, is also known as Göktürk alphabet. After that, the alphabet used in the time of Uyghurs included the term 'Turk' for the first time in history. After the Uyghurs, Turks were introduced to the religion of Islam and the Turkish alphabet of Arabic origin was created upon influence from Arabic. This alphabet, which was intensively used in the Ottoman era, was replaced by the Turkish alphabet of Latin origin as Atatürk declared the republic and pioneered the Alphabet Reform in 1928.