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Cyprus Table of Contents



The Turkish dialect spoken by Turkish Cypriots is closely related to other dialects of Anatolia, but distinct from the urban dialects of Istanbul, Ankara, and zmir. Turkish Cypriots faced few difficulties communicating with mainland Turks. The differences that exist were much less significant than those found between Turkish and other Turkic languages of Central Asia. Atatürk's language and educational reforms brought sweeping changes in standard Turkish. A Latin alphabet was introduced in place of the Arabic script, and the heavily Arabicized and Persianized court dialect was rejected as the basis for standardization. The Turkish Cypriot community was the only Turkish minority in former Ottoman territories outside mainland Turkey to quickly adopt Atatürk's linguistic changes as well as the other revolutionary principles of his program.

Data as of January 1991