Road sign at the European end of the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul. Photo taken during the 28th Eurasia Marathon in 2006Turkish is natively spoken by the Turkish people in Turkey and by the Turkish diaspora in some 30 other countries. In particular, Turkish speaking minorities exist in countries that formerly (in whole or part) belonged to the Ottoman Empire, such as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece (primarily in Western Thrace), the Republic of Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia. More than two million Turkish speakers live in Germany, and there are significant Turkish-speaking communities in France, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Due to the cultural assimilation of Turkish immigrants in host countries, not all ethnic Turkish immigrants speak the language with native fluency.
The number of native speakers in Turkey is about 60–67 million, corresponding to about 90–93 percent of the population, and 65–73 million native speakers exist worldwide. Turkish is spoken as a first or second language by almost all of Turkey's residents, with Kurdish making up most of the remainder (about 3,950,000 as estimated in 1980).Get Quote