In 1928, Turkey Could Have Had The Armenian Alphabet Instead Of The Latin

According to, famous 20th-century Turkish poet, philosopher, and linguist Riza Tevfik in 1926 made a proposal to switch the Turkish alphabet from Arabic to Armenian script.

After the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk initiated language reforms in the country. The purpose of the reforms was to replace the Ottoman language, which was incomprehensible to the population, with a simpler Turkish language.

The more complex Arabic writing system of Turkish had to be changed as well to conform to the new language system. While discussing the new alphabet, Riza Tevfik made a similar proposal. The proposal, made about a century ago, is still being discussed in Turkey.

In 1926, in a letter to Sabiheket, Tevfik mentioned that the most suitable alphabet for the Turkish language was the Armenian alphabet because it covered all the sounds of the Turkish language. asks the following question at the end. Was Tevfik’s proposal aimed at finding a more suitable alphabet for Turkish or at simply preserving the Arabic alphabet?

Eventually, the decision to use the Latin alphabet instead of Arabic would turn out to be very controversial among the mostly non-secular but Muslim population of Turkey.

It should be noted that Riza Tevfik, who served as Minister of Education in the last years of the Ottoman Empire, was one of the Turkish leaders who signed the Syrian Treaty, after which he was deported from Turkey.

By the way, in 1928-32, the “architect” of the reforms in the Turkish language was Hagop Martayan (Dilâçar).


Read also: Armenian Linguists In The Literature Of World’s Nations, Atatürk And An Armenian – “Godfather” Of The Turkish Language

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