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Turkish is the mother tongue of 90 percent of the population of the country. Some 70 other languages and dialects are also spoken, including various dialects of Caucasian and Kurdish as well as Arabic, Greek, Ladino and Armenian. The Turkish language of Turkey represents the southwestern arm of the community of Turkic languages within the Ural-Altay linguistic family that slowly evolved over time. Groups speaking these languages spread to the east and northeast out of Central Asia, and particularly to the west. Ever since the very earliest times, Turkish has influenced various dialects of Middle Persian, and turned the Caucasus and Anatolia away from the Indo-European group of languages.

With the acceptance of Islam, Arabic on the one hand and Persian on the other had a clear influence on the Turkish language. Since the end of the 19th century such modern Turkic written languages as the Turkish of Turkey itself, Azerbaijan and Kazakh Turkish, based on Turkish dialects, have emerged. Of the 4,000 or so languages currently spoken in the world, Turkish ranks seventh in terms of numbers of speakers and area, being used by around 200 million people.

 

For more information you can visit

Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism Web site

   
       
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