Cypriot Turkish
Kıbrıs Türkçesi
Native toCyprus (island)
RegionCyprus and Turkish Cypriot diaspora
EthnicityTurkish Cypriots
no formal writing (Cypriot people write in Istanbul Turkish)
Official status
Regulated byunregulated (Istanbul Turkish is used in education, broadcast and legal matters)
Language codes
ISO 639-3
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Cypriot Turkish (Kıbrıs Türkçesi) is a dialect of the Turkish language spoken by Turkish Cypriots both in Cyprus and among its diaspora.


Emanating from Anatolia and evolved for four centuries, Cypriot Turkish is the vernacular spoken by Cypriots with Ottoman ancestry, as well as by Cypriots who converted to Islam during Ottoman rule.[1] It is understood by expatriate Cypriots living in the UK, United States, Australia and other parts of the world.

Cypriot Turkish consists of a blend of Ottoman Turkish and the Yörük dialect that is spoken in the Taurus Mountains of southern Turkey. In addition, it has absorbed influences from Greek, Italian and English. Cypriot Turkish is mutually intelligible with Standard Turkish.

Since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Turkish is found almost exclusively in Northern Cyprus, with approximately 300,000 native Turkish speakers (including all dialects of Turkish) as of 2016 and 1,400 speakers in the south as of 2013.[2] Of these, a significant number are immigrants from Turkey who do not speak the Cypriot variety of Turkish. Cypriot Turkish is not used officially in the north, where modern standard Turkish became the de facto official language of schools, government, and the media.[3]


Differences between standard Turkish and Cypriot Turkish

Cypriot Turkish is distinguished by a number of sound alternations not found in standard Turkish, but some of which are also quite common in other Turkish vernaculars:

Standard Turkish taş ↔ Cypriot Turkish daş "stone"
Standard Turkish kurt ↔ Cypriot Turkish gurt "wolf"
Standard Turkish patates ↔ Cypriot Turkish badadez "potato"
Standard Turkish nasılsın? ↔ Cypriot Turkish nasılsıŋ? "how are you?"
Standard Turkish bin ↔ Cypriot Turkish biŋ "thousand"
Standard Turkish: Arabaya binmek ↔ Cypriot Turkish: Arabaya biŋmek "getting in the car"
Standard Turkish isteriz ↔ Cypriot Turkish isderik "we want"
Standard Turkish: bakla ↔ Cypriot Turkish: pakla "broad beans"
Standard Turkish hiç ↔ Cypriot Turkish hiş "no, none"

The last two alternations are more specific to Cypriot Turkish and are seen less often in other Turkish vernacular.


Consonant phonemes
  Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p b c ɟ k ɡ    
Fricative f v ʃ ʒ   ɣ h  
Nasal m n     ŋ    
Flap/Tap     ɾ            
Lateral     l ɫ            
Semivowel       j        


front back
unrounded rounded unrounded rounded
high i (i) y (ü) ɯ (ı) u (u)
mid/low ɛ (e) ø (ö) ɑ (a) o (o)


Cypriot Turkish is structured as a VO language as opposed to standard Turkish which is an OV language. It is very typical in forming a question.

Cypriot Turkish uses the aorist tense instead of the present continuous tense, and very often in place of the future tense as well.

Cypriot Turkish does not use the narrative/indefinite past, and only uses the simple past instead.

Cypriot Turkish also lacks the question suffix of mi.[4] This is similar to colloquial Azerbaijani.

In Cypriot Turkish, the reflexive pronoun in third person is different, namely geŋni ("him, himself, them, themself"). In Standard Turkish, this would be kendisi.


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2017)

Typical question usually do not qualify as standard Turkish questions (see the example above) because question suffixes are usually dropped by native Turkish Cypriots. Another subtle difference is the emphasis on verbs.

See also


  1. ^ Jennings, Ronald (1993), Christians and Muslims in Ottoman Cyprus and the Mediterranean World, 1571-1640, New York University Press ISBN 0-814-74181-9.
  2. ^ "Turkish". Ethnologue. Archived from the original on 6 June 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
  3. ^ Evripidou, Dimitris; Çavuşoǧlu, Çişe (2015). "Turkish Cypriots' Language Attitudes: The Case of Cypriot Turkish and Standard Turkish in Cyprus". Mediterranean Language Review. 22: 119–138. ISSN 0724-7567. JSTOR 10.13173/medilangrevi.22.2015.0119.
  4. ^ Demir, Nurettin. "Kıbrıs Ağızları Üzerine Notlar" (PDF). Journal of Turcology (in Turkish). Çukurova University. Retrieved 14 June 2011.