GK Question: Currently there are 195 countries in the world. These are countries that have been recognized by the United Nations. There are many countries that have changed their names. There are many reasons behind it like change in border, war, freedom, honor of leader, history, language. Apart from this, countries are also changing their names due to political reasons. Most countries adopted a new name to erase the past. Some even changed their names to attract tourists.
Here is a list of countries that have changed their name
- Turkey to Turkey
- Persia to Iran
- Siam to Thailand
- Democratic Kampuchea to Cambodia
- Burma to Myanmar
- Holland to the Netherlands
- Irish Free State to Ireland
- Ceylon to Sri Lanka
- Rhodesia to Zimbabwe
- Czech Republic to Czechia
- Swaziland to Iswatini
Turkey to Turkey
Turkey changed its name to Turkiye in 2021. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey is the best representation and expression of the culture, civilization and values of the Turkish people.
Persia to Iran
Before 1935, the official name of Iran was Persia.
Siam to Thailand
Thailand is one of the few countries in South Asia that was never a British or French colony. Earlier there was a king’s rule. Which is called Siam. The name was changed to Thailand in 1939 when a constitutional monarchy came to Thailand.
Democratic Kampuchea to Cambodia
Cambodia’s name has been changed several times. Between 1953 and 1970, the country was called the Kingdom of Cambodia. After that, its name remained Khmer Republic until 1975. It was renamed Democratic Kampuchea under communist rule from 1975 to 1979. From 1989 to 1993, it was named the Kingdom of Cambodia under the UN Transitional Authority. After the return of the monarchy, it was renamed the Kingdom of Cambodia in 1993.
Burma to Myanmar
Its old name is Burma. In 1989, it was renamed Myanmar under a military junta regime.
Holland to the Netherlands
In 2020, Holland was united as the Netherlands. It had two parts, South Holland and North Holland.
Irish Free State to Ireland
In 1937, the people of the Irish Free State changed the country’s name to Ireland. Also terminated all agreements with United Kingdom i.e. UK. After that two years there was a terrible war with Britain.
Ceylon to Sri Lanka
In 105 the Portuguese renamed Sri Lanka as Ceilão. Later, in the 19th century, the British Empire changed its name to Ceylon. After independence from Britain, it was renamed Sri Lanka.
Swaziland to Iswatini
In April 2018, the King of Swaziland changed the country’s name to Iswatini. Although locals already refer to Swaziland as Iswatini. Actually the word Swaziland is a translation of the local language Iswatini. That means the land of the Swazi people.
Rhodesia to Zimbabwe
Rhodesia was the name of the colony. Between 1953 and 1963, Southern Rhodesia joined the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland along with Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Zimbabwe became a republic in April 1980.
Czech Republic to Czechia
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia was divided into two countries, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, in 1993. Subsequently, the Czech Republic also adopted the short name Žekia to simplify companies, sports teams, etc.
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First Published: 23 Jan 2023, 06:49 IST
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