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Turkish (language code: tr; autonym: Türkçe) is spoken by around 80 million people mainly in Turkey. For more details see Wikipedia:Turkish language The Turkish language has undergone huge changes in the last century and is still changing at a high speed (for details see Wikipedia:Turkish language reform). This process was started by Atatürk who replaced the previous writing system based on Arabic script by a new system specifically fitted for the Turkish language based on Latin script. Then an organization was formed to replace many loanwords from Arabic and Persian by new "Turkish" counterparts. By this the amount of words derived from Arabic and Persian decreased. But for each of these "new words" there is still an "old word", which is sometimes still in use by different people. The vocabulary chosen by people can be very different for various reasons: Someone using only the "new" Turkish words might be nationalistic or he tends to be more secular and oriented to a "Western" lifestyle. Others use much more of the "old" words with Arabic origin which often identifies them as more religious / islamic as Arabic is the language of the mosque (see also Wikipedia:Connotations and implications of word choice in Turkish)

That means word choice has also a political dimension. As a tendency most of the 20th century more and more "new" Turkish words were used, but in the 21st century in a wider part of society there is the opposite tendency to use much more words with Arabic background. This phenomenon is very complex, but an important factor is definitely the level of secularity. In the west of the country (example city: İzmir) secularity is highest, whereas towards the East of Turkey people describe themselves as more religious and use accordingly different vocabulary in their language.
People from a secular background often dislike a "religious" language with lots of Arabic-background words. On the other hand, people using a language with more Arabic words usually regard it as inappropriate to replace the Arabic words with Turkish counterparts especially when it comes to expressions related to God and religion.

Turkish Bible translations

The situation mentioned above is of course a big challenge to any Turkish Bible translation. It begins with the translation of the word for "God", where two words exist: "Allah" as the Arabic word for God and "Tanrı", the word for God in Old-Turkish language. Probably only around 10% of Turkish people would use Tanrı in their daily language. Some of them would dislike the use of "Allah", as for them it is too much "religiously connotated". Probably around 90% of the people use "Allah" in their daily language. Half of them would accept the use of "Tanrı" as equally referring to God (but still wouldn't use it themselves). The other half would even dislike the use of "Tanrı" when referring to God and consider it at least as inappropriate, especially for a "Holy Book".
The word for God is the most prominent example, but the situation is the same for many other terms where actually two different words exist. That's why some Turkish Bible translations sound weird / foreign / inappropriate to some people, whereas for others they are totally fine.
Some more information can also be found in Wikipedia:Bible translations into Turkish
All Turkish Bible translations are available online here: http://www.incil.info

Kutsal Kitap Yeni Çeviri

This is the most common Turkish Bible translation. The title means literally "new translation of the Holy Book". It is also known as "Çağdaş Türkçe Çevirisi" (contemporary Turkish translation) and was finished in 2001. It's language is mostly using the "new" Turkish words, only as few as possible words from Arabic origin are used. Thus it uses the word "Tanrı" for God.

It is freely available in the following ways:

  • Reading online:
  • Smartphone apps and software:
    • YouVersion smartphone app: Text of the whole Bible, no recordings. Can be downloaded and is then available for offline use. Select "Türkçe" in the language selection and then select "TCL02".
    • bible.is smartphone app: Text of the whole Bible, recordings of the New Testament. Select "Türkçe" in the language selection and then select "BST / Kutsal Kitap 2009 Drama".
    • Standalone Bible app for Android, works also offline: Kutsal Kitap
  • Audio Bible:
  • Printed copies:
    • EAD in Germany: Select language "Türkisch". Order number for the whole Bible: 8680100, 8680120, 8680162. Order number for the New Testament: 8680520.
    • www.meos.ch in Switzerland

Kitab-ı Mukaddes

The old Turkish translation finished in 1941. The title means "Holy Book" (but in rather old language and grammar). Its language is sometimes outdated but it still can be sometimes helpful, especially for reading the Old Testament with more conservative people as it is using more Arabic terms and the word "Allah" for God. Printed copies exist and apparently the only source for online reading is http://www.incil.info/ (click on "Çeviri" in the upper right hand corner and select this translation)

Halk Dilinde İncil

Website: https://www.halkdilinde.com (only Turkish)
The title literally means "Gospel in the people's language" and currently only the New Testament is translated (finished in 2012). It is generally using easier grammar and shorter sentences (in comparison with the "Yeni Çeviri") and is thus easy to understand also for people without higher education. It's language uses many words with Arabic origin as it is used in "modern conservative Turkish", e.g. Allah as the word for God. That makes it particularly good to understand for "average" religious or strongly religious people. Very secular people may find its language "too religious".

It is freely available in the following ways:

Jesus Film

Available training resources in Turkish

The resources generally use the language of the "Halk Dilinde İncil" translation (e.g. Allah is used as the word for God). If possible, this translation is used for quotations from the Bible.

Available training resources in Turkish (secular)

These resources generally use the language of the "Kutsal Kitap Yeni Çeviri" translation (e.g. Tanrı is used as the word for God). This translation is used also for quotations from the Bible.