|Native to||Turkey, Germany, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, Greece, Azerbaijan, Kosovo, Romania, Iraq|
|Native speakers||63 million (2007)|
Old Anatolian Turkish
Ottoman Turkish (defunct)
|Official language in||
Northern Cyprus (recognized only by Turkey)
Kosovo(its status was lifted for a while in 1999)
|Recognised minority language in||
FYR Macedonia (recognized)|
Turkish is the most widely-spoken of the Turkic languages, with over 63 million native speakers. Speakers are located predominantly in Turkey, with smaller groups in Germany, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, Greece, and other parts of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia.
The roots of the language can be traced to the Altay region, with the first known written records dating back nearly 1,300 years. To the west, the influence of Ottoman Turkish—the variety of the Turkish language that was used as the administrative and literary language of the Ottoman Empire—spread as the Ottoman Empire expanded. In 1928, as one of Atatürk's Reforms in the early years of the Republic of Turkey, the Ottoman script was replaced with a Latin alphabet.