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Latin alphabet in Turkic countries facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Map-TurkicLanguages
The Turkic people geographical distribution. In dark blue the countries with Latin alphabet.

The Latin alphabet in Turkic countries is the common alphabet officially used in most countries with Turkic languages. Turkic languages can also be written in Arabic, Persian and Cyrillic.

History

After World War I, many Turkic countries implemented a policy of westernization, centered even on the use of the Latin alphabet. The first was Turkey in 1928, where Kemal Atatürk substituted the Arab alphabet with the Roman alphabet after ordering the end of the Ottoman Empire.

Soon all the Turkic-speaking countries of the Soviet Central Asia did the same and used the so-called "unified Turkish Latin alphabet" based on the one of Atatürk's Turkey, but during WWII, Stalin ordered a Russification process in his Soviet Union and the Latin alphabet was replaced again by the Cyrillic alphabet.

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, most of the newly independent Turkic Asian countries put back the Latin alphabet. There are small differences between each country's alphabet.

List of Turkic countries with Roman (Latin) alphabet

  • Turkey. Officially using only the Roman since 1928.
  • Azerbaijan. Officially using only the Roman since 1991.
  • Turkmenistan. Officially using only the Roman since 1999.
  • Uzbekistan. Officially using only the Roman since 2005, but still using the Cyrillic.
  • Kazakhstan. Using both Roman and Cyrillic.
  • Kyrgyzstan. Using both Roman and Cyrillic.

Letters of Latin alphabet

The Turkish alphabet used in Turkey, based on Latin capital and lower case letters, has 29 letters (but other countries like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have more letters). Unusual among languages that use the Latin alphabet, Turkish has both a dotted and dotless version of the letter "I".

Of these 29 letters in the Latin alphabet of Turkey, 8 are vowels (A, E, I, İ, O, Ö, U, Ü); the 21 others are consonants. The letters Q, W, and X of the English alphabet do not occur in this Turkish Latin alphabet, and, in fact, were once illegal in Turkey.

Capital letters
A B C Ç D E F G Ğ H I İ J K L M N O Ö P R S Ş T U Ü V Y Z
Lower case letters
a b c ç d e f g ğ h ı i j k l m n o ö p r s ş t u ü v y z

The Turkish alphabet used in other Turkic countries, like Kazakhstan, when using Latin alphabet like in the case of Qazaqsa, has some different letters.

For example, the Qazaqsa Latin alphabet has 38 letters:

Qazaqsa alphabet
A a Ä ä B b C c Ç ç D d E e F f G g Ğ ğ
H h X x I ı İ i J j K k Q q L l M m N n
Ñ ñ O o Ö ö P p R r S s Ş ş T t U u Ü ü
V v W w Y y Z z É é Ï ï Yu yu Ya ya
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