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Native toCyprus / North Cyprus
EthnicityGurbetler/Kurbet/Gurbeti (Cypriot Muslim Gypsy)
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)

Kurbetcha (or Gurbetcha) is a creole language with what appears to be predominantly Domari language vocabulary and Cypriot Turkish grammar, spoken by the Gurbeti of Cyprus and North Cyprus.[1] The Gurbetler have traditionally also spoken Cypriot Turkish. The Gurbetler of Ottoman Cyprus are of mixed ancestry. Muslim Dom people from Ottoman Syria settled there after Siege of Famagusta. The majority settled in the north after 1974. The language is not protected by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, unlike Cypriot Maronite Arabic and Armenian.[2]

Kurbetcha has been very little studied. A recent dissertation on its linguistics was done by Chryso Pelekani.[3] Children are not learning the language; it has been supplanted by Turkish in the north and Greek in the south.[4]

See also


  1. ^ "Roma flee Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus; anti-Gypsyism breaks out in the South". European Roma Rights Centre.
  2. ^ European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (28 April 2020). "States Parties to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and their regional or minority languages (listed by language on p.6)".
  3. ^ Pelekani, Chryso (2018). The Gurbetties of Cyprus and their language Gurbetcha. University of Cyprus.
  4. ^ Hadjioannou, Xenia; Tsiplakou, Stavroula; Kappler, Matthias (2011). "Language policy and language planning in Cyprus". Current Issues in Language Planning. 12 (4). Routledge: 503–569. doi:10.1080/14664208.2011.629113. hdl:10278/29371. S2CID 143966308.