Turkish at The University of Montana
Turkish is a language spoken by 63-75 million people worldwide, predominantly in Turkey, with similar communities of speakers in Cyprus, Greece and Eastern Europe, as well as by several million immigrants in Western Europe, particularly Germany, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic Languages.
Turkish is the official language of Turkey, and is one of the official languages of Cyprus. It also has official (but not primary) status in the Prizren District of Kosovo as well as several municipalities of Republic of Macedonia, depending on the concentration of Turkish-speaking local population.
The roots of the Turkish Language can be traced to Central Asia, with the first written records dating back nearly 1,200 years. To the west, the influence of Ottoman Empire (the immediate precursor of today's Turkish) spread as the Ottoman Empire expanded. In 1928, as one of the Ataturk's reforms in the early years of the new Turkish Republic, the Ottoman script was replaced with a phonetic variant of the Latin alphabet. Concurrently, the newly founded Turkish Language Assosiation initiated a derive to reform the language by removing Persian and Arabic loanwords in favor of native variants and coinages from Turkish roots.
Located at the epicenter of regions fraught with crises, Turkey is a secular, democratic, liberal country sharing western moral values. With the traditions of its 1,000 years of statehood, its constitutional order and its strong armed forces, Turkey is a center of power that can affect delicate balances of power in the region.