Language policy in Turkey: Turkey renames 'divisive' animals

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Mar 21 18:57:07 UTC 2005

>>From the BBC News online

Turkey renames 'divisive' animals

Turkey has said it is changing the names of three animals found on its
territory to remove references to Kurdistan or Armenia.  The environment
ministry says the Latin names of the red fox, the wild sheep and the roe
deer will be altered. The red fox for instance, known as Vulpes Vulpes
Kurdistanica , will now be known as Vulpes Vulpes .

Turkey has uneasy relations with neighbouring Armenia and opposes Kurdish
separatists in Turkey. The ministry said the old names were contrary to
Turkish unity.

"Unfortunately there are many other species in Turkey which were named
this way with ill intentions. This ill intent is so obvious that even
species only found in our country were given names against Turkey's
unity," a ministry statement quoted by Reuters news agency said. Some
Turkish officials say the names are being used to argue that Armenians or
Kurds had lived in the areas where the animals were found.


Red fox known as Vulpes Vulpes Kurdistanica becomes Vulpes Vulpes Wild
sheep called Ovis Armeniana becomes Ovis Orientalis Anatolicus Roe deer
known as Capreolus Capreolus Armenus becomes Capreolus Cuprelus Capreolus
Turkey has tense ties with its eastern neighbour Armenia, which it does
not officially recognise.

Armenians accuse Turkey of genocide, saying 1.5 million of their people
died or were deported from their homelands under Turkish Ottoman rule.
Turkey denies the genocide and says the death count is inflated.

For the last two decades, Turkey has also been fighting Kurdish
separatists, who have sought an independent state in Turkey's south-east.

Story from BBC NEWS:

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