Travel tips for Turkey:
Most place names in Turkey originated in earliest history. Each succeeding
civiliza¬tion adopted the toponymics of an earlier culture, often in bastardized
form, and added a few of its own. Thus, eg, Samsun derives from the Greek Amisos
(eis Ami-son, "to Amisos"), which in turn derives from an obscure pre-Hellenic
name-so with Terme, Ünye, Fatsa, Giresun, etc. Towns with properly Turkish names
are rare. The same used to be the case with vil¬lages; but since the foundation
of the Repu¬blic, a majority of them have been renamed so as to conform to
national standards. Most villages now have an official name beside a real or
"old" name, with a dis¬tinctly unpatriotic aura associated with the latter. A
certain degree of repetitiveness has been the unavoidable result of the
ambitious project to invent names for 40,000-odd villages (and towns and
moun¬tains and lakes and so on). Here are some elements that recur often:
Agaç - tree Ak - white Bag - orchard, vineyard Bahçe - garden
Çam - pine
Çayir - field, grass Dag - mountain Dere - stream Dogan - hawk Düiz - flat,
G ö k - sky, blue
Göl - lake
Gün - sun, day
Kale - fort
Kara - black, dark Meşe - oak
Orta - middle
Ova - plain Pinar - fountain Su - water, stream
Taş - stone, rock
Tepe - hill Yesil - green Yol - road
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