L0029127 Oriental Collection, MS Ottoman Turkish 3 Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images

Turkish is the official language of the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus. It is a recognised minority language in a variety of European countries, including Croatia, Bosnia, Greece, North Macedonia and Romania.  

Modern Standard Turkish forms part of the Oghuz (or south-western) branch of the Turkic family of languages. It is closely related to languages such as Azerbaijani and Gagauz, the latter being mostly spoken in southern Moldova and southwestern Ukraine. Turkish is also related, but more distantly, to languages such as Kazakh, Kirghiz, Uyghur and Uzbek. Until 1928 Turkish was written in the Ottoman alphabet, a variant of the Perso-Arabic alphabet. Ottoman Turkish incorporated vocabulary from Persian and Arabic, including grammatical and syntactic structures. In 1928 the Turkish writing system underwent a radical change whereby the Ottoman alphabet was replaced by the Latin alphabet.  Before the reform, Turkish was also commonly written with the Armenian, the Greek and more rarely with the Hebrew and Syriac scripts.