turkish names

If you’re a fan of Turkish culture or language, you’ll like Turkish names for sure.

You may be thinking that you’ve never heard Turkish baby names before, but the truth is you probably have and just weren’t aware that they were, in fact, Turkish. 

Islam is the main religion in Turkey, so many of the names used are also considered to be Arabic names, like Muhammed, for instance. Besides, there have been important waves of migration from Turkey towards Europe – there are big communities of Turkish in Germany, Bulgaria or Greece, so Turkish names have travelled around. Chances are, you have probably heard more than you’d think!


Turkish language, Turkish names 

To understand the sonority of Turkish names, it’s worth taking into consideration some facts about Turkish language, a beautiful language of the family of the Turkik languages, spoken from the Soutwestern part of Europe to Siberia and Western China. Other languages that belong to this family are Azerbaijani and Turkmen.

One of the main characteristics of Turkish language is vowel harmony, which means that there are certain sounds that can’t be combined, those that are not harmonic. As you can see, this will obviously reflect on Turkish names and the translation of other names to Turkish, since sounds will sometimes be modified so they create a harmonic combination.

Another thing to consider when talking about Turkish, is that they have some letters that we don’t use, such as ş or ç, that have a special pronunciation. The good side of this is that, since these are used for the sake of sonority, almost all letters have one same sound, wherever they are placed.


The Turkish naming culture

In Turkey, people are given one or two names (ad or isim) when they are born. Having more than two names is rare. Then, the Turkish name or names are followed by a surname or a family name (soyad), but the most interesting part here is that the surname culture was introduced by law as late as 1934! Before that, Turkish people had no surname, and their names were followed by the nickname of the family or their father’s name ended with -oğlu (son of), in the case of boys.

Turkish names are usually based on real Turkish words with specific meanings, and sometimes they derive from Turkic mythology. Besides, many names are related to nature. Names, especially the traditional ones, are gender specific, but there is a strong trend to choose unisex names nowadays, as many modern names work for both girls and boys.


So, now that you know a little bit more about Turkish names and how they sound, it’s time for you to take a look at some ideas for Turkish baby names! As always, we have prepared our top selection of names for girls and names for boys: