Turkish alphabet history
The Turkish alphabet is a Latin alphabet used for writing the Turkish language, consisting of 29 letters, seven of which (Ç, Ğ, I, İ, Ö, Ş, and Ü) have been modified from their Latin originals for the phonetic requirements of the language. This alphabet represents modern Turkish pronunciation with a high degree of accuracy and specificity. It is the current official alphabet and the latest in a series of distinct alphabets used in different eras.
The letters of the Turkish alphabet are:
Of these 29 letters, eight are vowels (A, E, I, İ, O, Ö, U, Ü); the 21 others are consonants.
The letters Q, W, and X of the ISO basic Latin alphabet do not occur in the Turkish alphabet (replacements for these letters are , and KS), while dotted and dotless I are distinct letters in Turkish so that "i" does not become "I" when capitalized.
Turkish also uses a, i and u with the circumflex:
- â for /aː/ and/or to indicate that the consonant before â is palatalized
- î for /iː/ (no palatalization implied)
- û for /uː/ and/or to indicate palatalization.
The names of the vowel letters are the vowels themselves, whereas the names of the consonant letters are the consonant plus e.
The one exception is ("yumuşak ge"; i.e. "soft g"):
, be, c, ç, de, , fe, ge, yumuşak ge, he, , , je, ke, le, me, ne, , , pe, re, se, şe, te, , , ve, ye, ze
Turkish orthography is highly regular and a word's pronunciation is always completely identified by its spelling. The following table presents the Turkish letters, the sounds they correspond to in International Phonetic Alphabet and how these can be approximated more or less by an English speaker.
|/a/||As in father||/m/||As in man|
|/b/||As in boy||/n/||As in nice|
|/d͡ʒ/||As in joy||/o/||As in more|
|/t͡ʃ/||As ch in chair||/ø/||As in set, but with lips rounded|
|/d/||As in dog||/p/||As in pin|
|/e/||As in red||/ɾ/||As in rat|
|/f/||As in ar||/s/||As in song|
|/ɡ/, /ɟ/||As in got||/ʃ/||As sh in show|
|/ː/, /‿/, /ʲ/||As in git, but with tongue pressed against palate||/t/||As in tick|
|/h/||As in hot||/u/||As oo in zoo|
|/ɯ/||As in open||/y/||As in new|
|/i/||As ee in feet||/ʋ/, /v/||As in vaccine|
|/ʒ/||As in measure||/j/||As in yes|
|/k/, /c/||As in kit||/z/||As in zigzag|
|/ɫ/, /l/||As in love|
Early reform proposals
The earliest known Turkish alphabet is the Orkhon script. In general, Turkic languages have been written in a number of different alphabets including Cyrillic, Arabic, Greek, Latin, and some other Asiatic writing systems.