Turkey: Borders 7 Countries with 7 Different Alphabets

Map by Reddit user philophobist

The map displayed above shows Turkey and its neighboring countries. Noticeably, these countries are marked by the alphabets that their official language uses.

First, of course, Turkey. The Eurasian country’s official language of Turkish uses the Latin alphabet, which is marked on the map in black. This is the same alphabet used by many languages in the world, including English.

Since Turkey is a Muslim-majority country, most Turkish people can apparently read Arabic script for “religious purposes”, according to u/TheDesertWalker. However, u/amhotw argues that it has been over 90 years since the change to the Latin writing system, and that an “overwhelming majority” of Turkish can’t actually understand Arabic. If anyone can read it there, the user adds, they would probably need written aids and can only read it very slowly.

Azerbaijan, located east of Turkey, is the only other country on the map that uses the Latin alphabet in its official language. In this case, it is the Azerbaijani language.

In the center of Turkey and Azerbaijan lies the country of Armenia, shown in yellow. Their Armenian language uses a unique alphabet. The native language of Georgia (light green) also uses a writing system that is proudly their own.

Marked in green are two countries that use the Arabic language and writing system. These are Syria and Iraq, both located southeast of Turkey. Its neighboring Iran (orange) uses Persian (Farsi), which is similar to Arabic with some significant differences.

To the west of Turkey lies two neighboring European countries. Towards its northwest is Bulgaria (teal), whose Bulgarian language uses the Cyrillic alphabet. This writing system is also used in the Russian language, as well as the languages of countries that were part of the former Soviet Union.

Greece, shown in blue, uses the Greek language and alphabet. Although not marked on the map, the island country of Cyprus, located immediately south of Turkey, also uses Greek as its official language, in addition to Turkish. 

Expand your vocabulary and study these different languages by checking out the books below:

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