[lg policy] Make Turkish an official EU language, Cyprus tells EU

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Tue Mar 1 15:57:09 UTC 2016

Make Turkish an official EU language, Cyprus tells EU

By Samuel Morgan <http://www.euractiv.com/authors/samuel-morgan/> |
EurActiv.com <http://www.euractiv.com/content_providers/euractiv-com/>

0:01 (updated: 0:22)

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, known as the father of modern Turkey, implemented a
number of reforms intended to "Europeanise" the former Ottoman Empire,
including switching from Arabic to Latin script.

[Tony Woods/Flickr]

Languages: Deutsch

Greek-Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades has asked the Dutch EU
Presidency to add Turkish to the bloc’s 24 official languages, in order to
boost attempts to reach a reunification agreement on the Mediterranean

In a letter to the Dutch presidency, the existence of which was confirmed
on Monday (29 February), Anastasiades called upon the EU to lay the
groundwork that would enable the bloc to start using Turkish as one of its
official languages.

It is a request that Cyprus had already made back in 2002 when it was
negotiating its own accession to the EU. However, it was advised not to
pursue the matter too aggressively, given the inherent costs that come with
more language combinations and the delicate matter of EU-Turkey relations.

Nicosia’s renewed interest in seeing Turkish added to the EU’s language
roster suggests that a reunification settlement is in the offing and that
both sides are confident of a deal being struck soon.

Cyprus itself has both Greek and Turkish as its official languages, with
the majority of Turkish speakers living in the North. However, official
languages at a domestic level are not always granted the same status by the
EU. For example, Luxembourgish was made an official language of the Grand
Duchy in 1984, but it has never sought the same status for it at a European

Changes to the bloc’s language policy can only be made by a unanimous
decision from all 28 member states.
to be given full official EU language status

Although it has been an official language of the EU since 2007, Irish will
now be gradually upgraded to a full working language of the European


Each branch of the EU has its own translation service, with the
Commission’s DG Translation dealing with the largest workload. It operates
on a budget of roughly €330 million per year. In 2014, it processed 2.3
million pages. Estimates have put the total cost of translation for all the
institutions at around 1% of the EU’s annual budget, or €2 per EU citizen.

It is estimated that adding another language would incur an additional cost
of €37 million, as the number of language combinations would increase from
the current figure of 552 to 600. However, the implementation of Turkish
would likely not be too much of an upheaval, given that institutions such
as the Council already have Turkish language specialists, as the EU
frequently negotiates and is in dialogue with Ankara.


N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to its
and implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owner or
sponsor of the list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members who
disagree with a message are encouraged to post a rebuttal, and to write
directly to the original sender of any offensive message.  A copy of this
may be forwarded to this list as well.  (H. Schiffman, Moderator)

For more information about the lgpolicy-list, go to
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lgpolicy-list/attachments/20160301/953aee0d/attachment-0001.html>
-------------- next part --------------
This message came to you by way of the lgpolicy-list mailing list
lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu
To manage your subscription unsubscribe, or arrange digest format: https://groups.sas.upenn.edu/mailman/listinfo/lgpolicy-list

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list