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From Turkiye to Thailand: These countries changed their names

From Turkiye to Thailand: These countries changed their names

Countries changed their names; Turkey has changed its name to Turkey. A few other countries have also changed their names in recent years. Some countries for political reasons and some for historical reasons but some only for marketing.

These Countries changed their names


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree on renaming Turkey in December last year, saying that Turkey represents the best expression of the Turkish nation’s culture, civilization and values.

However, the name change may be due to the fact that the Turkish president may not like the resemblance to the country’s national bird, the turkey. Even so, Erdogan’s government is very sensitive about the statement of national identity.

It is said that the historical background of the bird called ‘Turkey’ is connected with European history. When European settlers arrived in North America, they saw wild birds resembling guinea fowl found in East Africa. During this period, European guinea fowl were imported from the Ottoman Empire. Based on these similarities, he named the North American wild bird the “turkey” which became popular

The Netherlands

The Dutch government renamed the Netherlands after the Netherlands. Since the year 2020, the Netherlands has been used by business professionals, the tourism board and the government instead of the Netherlands. Now the Northern Netherlands and the Southern Netherlands are only two of the 12 provinces of this European country.

Northern Macedonia

In 2019, the Republic of Macedonia officially changed its name to the Republic of Northern Macedonia. Unlike other countries, the name change was only political.


The Central European country Czech Republic changed its name in the context of marketing. The Czech government officially renamed the country Czechoslovakia in 2016 and recommended promoting the short name in light of international needs.

Just as the official name of France is the Republic of France, so can the Czech Republic. This name sounds even easier to say.

But some people also get confused between Czechs and the Russian republic of Chechnya. Perhaps that is why Czech Prime Minister Andreas Babis told the Wall Street Journal in 2020 that he did not like the Czech name.

Kabu Varde

Located in the Atlantic Ocean, it is about 700 km off the coast of Senegal. He applied to change his name in 2013.

It was formerly known as Cape Verde. But now his name is Kabu Verde. The name means in Portuguese: “green khaknaye”.

Although this is not a sketch and the collection is located on the far west coast of the Algerian continent, there have been other practical reasons for the name change. At the time, the country’s culture minister had said that his country needed a standard name that could not be translated.

Sri Lanka

Like Eswatini, Sri Lanka has adopted its name to end its colonial past. Although the renaming of the country took place after independence from Britain in 1972, the country’s old name salon continued to be used officially until 2011.

The salon tea, which is made in this country and is drunk with great enthusiasm, is still sold and exported internationally under the same name.


In April 2018, King Mswati III of Swaziland renamed his country Eswatini in an attempt to break ties with the colonial past. The king is said to have been unhappy with the fact that some people mistakenly thought of Swaziland as Switzerland.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its founding, the African country re-adopted its pre-colonial name Eswatini, meaning “Land of the Swazi”.


Initially called Burma, the country’s name was changed to Myanmar by the ruling military junta in 1989, after the slaughter of thousands of civilians in a popular rebellion.

The United Nations and countries such as France recognized the name change, however, the United States and the United Kingdom did not. The reason for the name change has always been presented as an attempt to break free from the chains of colonialism in favour of ethnic harmony.


Thailand was known as Siam for most of its history. The country’s name was changed to Thailand in 1939, transforming it from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. The name was changed back to Thailand in 1949 after reverting to Siam in 1945.

Other significant name changes:

Kingdom of Cambodia → Khmer Republic → Kampuchea → Cambodia (1991)

French Somaliland → Territory of the Afars and the Issas → Djibouti (1977)

Gilbert Islands → Kiribati (1979)

Portuguese Timor → East Timor → Timor-Leste (2002)

German Southwest Africa → Southwest Africa → Namibia (1990)

Upper Volta → Burkina Faso (1984)

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