To Change or Not to Change Script: Turkish vs Persian


A fountain outside of the Egyptian Bazar in Istanbul. This is one of the hundreds of Ottoman fountains around Istanbul. Only those who have learned Ottoman Turkish can read the inscriptions (Photo: Ashley Cleek)

After Ataturk switched Turkish from an Arabic to Latin script, the language made phonetic sense-- but did it sever links to Turkish history? In contrast, Iranian leaders have rejected changes in its clunky, Arabic-based script and Persian remains difficult to read. But today's written Persian connects seamlessly with the past.

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