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Countries that have changed their names

June 2nd, United Nations announced that the name “Türkiye” would replace “Turkey” when referring to Turkey.

“Türkiye is the best expression of culturecivilization and values ​​of the Turkish people,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in December 2021 when the government published a memorandum on the change name.

Türkiye is the Turkish spelling of the country’s name, which has been in use since 1923, when Turkey became a new country after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. However, Turkey uses the name Turkey in the international arena.

Turkey and Türkiye have similar pronunciation, but Türkiye has an extra “yay” syllable at the end. President Erdogan has for years pushed to change the country’s name because he thought the name Türkiye would better represent the culture and values ​​​​than Turkey, which also means turkey.


The Dutch government sought to change the country’s image by dropping the name Holland. By 2020, business leaders, tourism boards and central government will all use the Netherlands name.

Currently North Holland and South Holland are just 2 of the 12 provinces of this European country.

The name change is believed to be part of an effort to break free of this country’s association with recreational drug use and legal prostitution, a factor that has strongly drawn expats to the capital, Amsterdam, located in Amsterdam. North Holland province.

North Macedonia

In 2019, the Republic of Macedonia officially changed its name to North Macedonia for political reasons.

North Macedonia seeks to improve relations with Greece and wants to join NATO and the EU. Greece objected to the neighboring country’s use of the name Macedonia because it is also the name of a geographical area in Greece. Macedonia was also an ancient Greek kingdom. The naming controversy has even contributed to instability in the region.

Greece wanted the Balkan country to drop its use of the name Macedonia and proposed the names “Vardar Republic” or “Republic of Skopje” instead. However, after lengthy negotiations, the Balkan country officially changed its name to North Macedonia. The name for the official language and citizens is still Macedonia.


In April 2018, King Mswati III changed Swaziland’s name to Eswatini, an attempt to escape the country’s colonial past.

King Mswati III was also unhappy that the name Swaziland sometimes confused some with Switzerland. Announced on the 50th anniversary of Africa’s founding, Eswatini – Swaziland’s pre-colonial name – means “land of the Swazis”.

Czech Republic

The reason for changing the name of the Czech Republic, a Central European country, was to promote its image. In 2016, the Czech government officially adopted the name Czechia. Just like the official name of France is the French Republic, the Czech Republic can be called Czechia. This name is easier to attach to products.

Although the European Union, the United Nations and a number of large companies use the name Czechia, the name is not widely known internationally. One reason is probably because the name Czechia is easily confused with Chechnya, a Russian republic in the Caucasus.

In 2020, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis told the Wall Street Journal that he did not like the name Czechia.

Cape Verde

The island nation located in the Atlantic Ocean, about 700 kilometers off the coast of Senegal, filed a formal request for a name change in 2013.

Formerly known as Cape Verde, the English spelling of the original Portuguese word “cabo verde”, meaning “Green Nose”. Although not a headland, these island nations lie just outside the westernmost point of the African continent.

The Culture Minister at the time said his country was looking for a standardized name that didn’t need to be translated. He hopes Cape Verde will evoke positive associations with the sun and sea and happy people.

Sri Lanka

Like Eswatini, Sri Lanka has changed its name to escape its colonial past. Although the official name change was made in 1972 after independence from Britain, it was not until 2011 that Sri Lanka officially removed the former colony’s name of Ceylon from the government.

However, the famous Ceylon Tea brand is still used.

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