Turkish is one of several Turkic languages. Other Turkic languages are Uzbek, Azerbaijani and Kazakh. The Turkic languages are a subfamily of languageswithin the Altaic language family. The two other subfamilies are Mongolian and Manchu-Tungus.

 About 220 million people around the world speak Turkish, although there are only 61 million people in Turkey. The remainder live in Iran, Iraq and the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Modern Turkish, as spoken by more than 90% of the population, has its roots in Ottoman Turkish. The Turkish language once contained many Arabic and Persian words and expressions. There was an intensive campaign to rid the language of these elements and to introduce new words to describe modern matters during the early Republican period.
 Did you know? 
Gule gule, a good-bye wish, can be literally translated as "Go smiling."

Kurdish and Arabic are also spoken in Turkey. Kurds, who make up nearly 20% of the population, live mainly in rural areas in the east and southeast part of the country. Arabic is spoken by about 1% of the population, mainly in the southeastern part of the country close to the borders with Iran, Iraq and Syria. There are small pockets of Greek and Armenian speakers in large cities such as Istanbul. Many of the Jews in Turkey are descendants of the Sephardic Jews exiled from Spain in the late 15th century. They speak a language called Ladino, which is a form of Spanish, but written using Hebrew script.

 In the 1920s, the Latin alphabet was introduced by government decree. It replaced the Arabic script. People were given three months to learn and start using the new alphabet. Because most historical documents written before the 1920s were in Arabic, many Turks cannot read them.

English                          Turkish
Yes Evet
No Hayir
Please Lutfen
Thank you Tesekkur ederim
Hello Merhaba
Good morning Gunaydin
How are you? Nasilsiniz?
I'm fine, thank you Iyiyim, tesekkur ederim
What is your name? Adiniz ne?
My name is.... Adim...
Excuse me Affedersiniz