Ask Difference

Kurdish vs. Turkish — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on September 27, 2023
Kurdish pertains to the Kurds, an ethnic group from the Middle East, and their language. Turkish relates to Turkey, its citizens, and the official language spoken there.
Kurdish vs. Turkish — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Kurdish and Turkish


Key Differences

Kurdish and Turkish are distinct languages spoken predominantly in the Middle East. While Kurdish is the language of the Kurds, an ethnic group spread across Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, Turkish is the official language of Turkey and is spoken by the majority of its population.
Historically, the Kurds and Turks have had intricate relations. Kurdish territories span parts of modern-day Turkey, and while Turkish is the dominant language in Turkey, Kurdish holds significant importance in the southeastern regions. The linguistic differences between Kurdish and Turkish are significant, as they belong to different language families: Kurdish to the Indo-Iranian branch and Turkish to the Turkic group.
Culturally, both Kurdish and Turkish societies have rich histories and traditions. The arts, music, and literature in both cultures have distinct flavors, reflecting their unique heritages. Although there are similarities due to geographical proximity and historical interactions, the cultural expressions remain individualistic for both Kurds and Turks.
Both Kurdish and Turkish populations have made significant contributions to global society. There are communities of Kurds and Turks worldwide, each contributing to the global mosaic of cultures and languages. The diasporas of both communities remain attached to their roots, and the languages, Kurdish and Turkish, serve as pivotal links to their respective heritages.

Comparison Chart

Language Family


Regions Spoken

Parts of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria
Primarily in Turkey

Script Used

Latin (in Turkey), Arabic (in Iraq and Iran), Cyrillic (formerly in Soviet regions)
Latin (modified)

Grammar Structure


Historical Influence

Persian, Arabic, Ottoman Turkish
Ottoman Turkish, Persian, Arabic, French

Compare with Definitions


The language spoken by the Kurdish people.
She sang a traditional song in Kurdish.


The official language of Turkey.
Many Turkish words have roots in Ottoman Turkish.


Relating to the Kurds or their language.
Kurdish culture has a rich history of storytelling.


Relating to the culture, traditions, and history of Turkey.
Turkish baths, or hamams, are a traditional form of relaxation.


Of or pertaining to the ethnic group native to parts of the Middle East.
The Kurdish diaspora is spread around the world.


Pertaining to Turkey or its residents.
Turkish cuisine is renowned for its kebabs and baklava.


Of or relating to the Kurds or their language or culture.


Of or concerning the Republic of Turkey.
The Turkish government announced new trade policies.


Any of a group of Iranian languages spoken by the Kurds.


Descriptive of the customs, artifacts, and stories of the people of Turkey.
Turkish carpets are sought after for their intricate designs.


Of or pertaining to the Kurds, the Kurdish language, or Kurdistan.


Of or relating to Turkey or its peoples, languages, or cultures.


The language of the Kurds; it is related to Farsi, the modern Iranian language.


The Turkic language of Turkey.


An Iranian language spoken in Turkey and Iran and Iraq and Syria and Russia


Ottoman Turkish.


Of or relating to Kurdistan or the Kurds or their language and culture;
Kurdish Moslems


Of or pertaining to Turkey or the Turks.


Associated with the regions in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria inhabited by Kurds.
The Kurdish region in Iraq enjoys a degree of autonomy.


A Turkic language spoken by the Turks


Descriptive of the customs, traditions, and history of the Kurdish people.
Kurdish folklore is filled with tales of heroism.


Of or relating to or characteristic of Turkey or its people or language;
Turkish towels

Common Curiosities

What's the primary language in Turkey?

The primary language in Turkey is Turkish.

Is Kurdish spoken only in Turkey?

No, Kurdish is also spoken in parts of Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

Are Turkish and Ottoman Turkish the same?

No, while they're related, Ottoman Turkish was influenced more by Arabic and Persian.

Are Kurdish and Turkish similar languages?

No, they belong to different language families and have distinct linguistic features.

Is Kurdish the official language in any country?

No, Kurdish isn't the official language in any country, but it has regional recognition in some areas.

Which script is used for writing Turkish?

A modified Latin script is used for writing Turkish.

How many variants of the Kurdish language are there?

There are several, with Kurmanjí and Soraní being the most prominent.

Share Your Discovery

Share via Social Media
Embed This Content
Embed Code
Share Directly via Messenger

Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

Popular Comparisons

Trending Comparisons

New Comparisons

Trending Terms