President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday the Turkish national carrier will rebrand as "Türkiye Hava Yolları" instead of "Turkish Airlines" as part of a push for his country to be known as "Türkiye" instead of "Turkey."
Earlier this month, Ankara sent a letter to the United Nations, formally registering the country's name as "Türkiye" — as it is spelled and pronounced in Turkish. The country called itself "Türkiye" in 1923 after its declaration of independence.
Erdogan's government said the name "Türkiye" better represents Turkish culture and values, although observers say the move is part of an endeavour to dissociate its name from the bird, turkey.
"Turkey no longer exists. It is Türkiye," Erdogan said during a ceremony marking the launch of a new communications satellite.
Erdogan continued: "Türkiye Hava Yolları will be imprinted on the bodies of our planes instead of Turkish Airlines."
"Hava Yolları" is airlines in Turkish.