Vowels in Turkish Language


As we have mentioned earlier, there exist 8 vowels in Turkish Alphabet. Review the alphabet page here.


  1. “ a, e, ı, i, o, ö, u, ü “ are the vowels in the Turkish Alphabet. There are no gliding vowels in Turkish. If you see two different vowels in a word, you will learn that it is a loanword from another language and you must individually read the two sounds.

e.g. Kaos (eng. Chaos)

Vowels can be categorized according to three criteria:

  1. The position of the lips decides whether a vowel is “rounded” or “unrounded”.
  2. The space in your mouth decides whether a vowel is “open” or “closed”.
  3. “Front” or “Back”, according to the position of your tongue.
  Rounded  Rounded Unrounded Unrounded
  Open Close Open Close
BACK a ı o u
FRONT e I ö ü

NOTE: If you labialise the letters, you easily realize which one is rounded or unrounded, back or front from the shape of your lips.

Most of the long vowels occur in the borrowings from Arabic . However, some of the borrowings that originally had long vowels may be shortened. For example, the English borrowing “Jean” exists in Turkish as “cin”.

In this link, you can find more English loanwords and check how they are shaped by time.

On the other hand, some long vowels represent emphasis.

e.g. Şimdiiiii, (eng. Now) Çooook (eng. Very)

As we have mentioned earlier, “ğ” lengthens the previous letter. There are no words starting with “ğ” because “ğ” must always follow a vowel.