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12 Countries That Changed Their Names Over Time

Written by Samriddhi Thakur, a grade 7 student.

Recently Turkey changed its name and will now be officially known as Turkiye (Pronunciation- Tur-key-YAY) at the United Nations after it agreed to officially recognize the name change

By I Kid You Not , in Facts to Know History World News , at June 30, 2022 Tags: ,

Written by Samriddhi Thakur, a grade 7 student.

Recently Turkey changed its name and will now be officially known as Turkiye (Pronunciation- Tur-key-YAY) at the United Nations after it agreed to officially recognize the name change on June 1, 2022, following a request from the Turkish government. Turkey had begun to prepare for its re-branding in December 2021.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in December, “Türkiye is the best representation and expression of the Turkish people’s culture, civilization, and values.”

Why did Turkey change its name?

If you search Turkey on google you will be shown a lot of images of the bird Turkey that is served on Thanksgiving in North America.

Also according to the Cambridge Dictionary, the word ‘Turkey’ means a stupid or silly person or something that fails badly.

The government was not pleased seeing this so they changed the name to Turkiye

11 other Countries that changed their names over time

1. The old name – Holland
The new name- The Netherland


Because tourists who visit cities in the region of Holland, ignore the other 10 provinces, the government has decided to work to focus on the country as a whole. Changing the name cost EUR 200,000 to the country’s budget. The change of the name took place on On 1 January 2020.

2. The old name- North Macedonia
The new name- Republic of North Macedonia


The main reason for changing the name was political issues. Greece had a complaint to its neighbor about the use of this name because Macedonia is also the name of a region in Greece and was the name of an ancient Greek kingdom.

Thus, North Macedonia agreed to the name change to the Republic of North Macedonia. It also strengthened relations with Greece.

3. The old name- Swaziland
The new name- Eswatini


In 2018, the Kingdom of Swaziland was renamed Eswatini. The announcement was made by King Mswati III, Africa’s last absolute monarch, during a celebration of the country’s 50th anniversary of independence from Britain.

It also helped people avoid misunderstandings between Swaziland and Switzerland.

4. The old name- Czechoslovakia
 The new name- Czechia


In 1992, the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommended Czechia for the English short name. This name was not adopted at the time, leading to the long name Czech Republic being used in all circumstances. The Czech government approved Czechia as the official English short name in 2016.

5. The old name- Cape Verde
The new name – Cabo Verde or The republic de Cabo Verde

Why- The West African island previously referred to as Cape Verde officially changed its name to Cabo Verde on October 25, 2013. The previous name was a blend of Portuguese and English, where the cape stood for the English translation of Cabo.

6. The old name- Ceylon
The new name- Sri Lanka


Previously Sri Lanka, where Ravan ruled was named Ceylon; which meant ‘Terrorism’. The government agreed to change its name to Sri Lanka.

7.  The old name- Siam
The new name- Thailand


Thailand is one of the Southeast Asian countries that has never been colonized and ruled by the British or French. For Several Years the region was ruled by a king known as Siam. In 1939, the king who ruled the country changed its name after it became a democratic monarchy which meant Land of the free.

8. The old name- Democratic Kampuchea
The new name- Cambodia


Cambodia is a country that has changed its name several times. The country changed its name under the UN transition authority from 1989 to 1993, as the State of Cambodia.

9. The old name- Burma
The new name- Myanmar


The country was called Burma after the people called the Burmese, the ethnic majority in the nation Burma Changed to Myanmar in 1989 by the junta.

10. The old name- Irish Free State
The new name- Ireland


It comprised 32 counties until 6 counties under the control of Unionists, opted out. In 1937, the constitution changed its name to Ireland 

11. The old name- Rhodesia 
The new name- Zimbabwe


Rhodesia’ was named after Cecil Rhodes, the British empire-builder who was one of the most important figures in British expansion into southern Africa. The country got recognition after its independence in April 1980 and the Country agreed to change its name to Zimbabwe

As you saw how many counties changed their name do you think India will ever change its name? If it will what do you think the reason will be and what name will it be? Keep thinking!

Read: Facts and History of Ludo

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