Language policy in Turkey: Turkey renames 'divisive' animals

Stacy Churchill schurchill at
Tue Mar 22 02:38:26 UTC 2005

It is interesting that some Turkish officials should wish to deny "
>that Armenians or
>Kurds had lived in the areas where the animals were found
" while other Turkish officials hotly contest the exact numbers of
indigenous Armenians who were killed in those same areas. Last summer I
saw for myself that ancient Armenian churches, monuments and cities in
Anatolia - dating back several hundred years before the estalishment of
Ottoman rule --  have official Turkish government placards that studiously
avoid mentioning the word "Armenian" (or "Ermeni" in Turkish); ditto for
Greek Orthodox monuments (labelled "Byzantine"). The proposed entry of
Turkey into the European Union remains highly problematic when the schools
teach a version of history that is different from that in all other
countries located between Lisbon and Vladivostok, and when the Turkish
population at large is imbued with an ultranationalist viewpoint that
reflects dogma erected in the 1930s.

Stacy Churchill
University of Toronto

lgpolicy-list at writes:
>>>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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