Media stick with “Turkey” but Mahuta diplomatically announces $1.5m aid using the language authorised by Turkish leaders

Buzz from the Beehive

Announcements on the provision of aid – to Auckland, Turkey and Syria – are recorded on the Beehive website  today along with a statement from the PM about his flying visit to Australia.

This was Chris Hipkins’ first overseas visit since he took office, enabling him to meet Australian Prime Minister Albanese and talk about issues of mutual concern, such as the war in Ukraine, the menace from China and the “501 deportations policy” which the Aussies employ to be rid of undesirable citizens by sending them back to New Zealand regardless of the paucity of their family ties with this country.

The PM’s press statement was headed

Prime Ministers’ meeting reaffirms close trans-Tasman relationship

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese today held their first bilateral meeting in Canberra.

It can be found alongside  news from ministers who announced – 

Temporary Accommodation Service activated to help flood affected Aucklanders

The Government’s Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated to support people displaced by the severe flooding and landslips in the Auckland region.

Immediate humanitarian support to Türkiye and Syria following earthquakes

New Zealand will immediately provide humanitarian support to those affected by the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.

The statement about the Temporary Accommodation Service said registrations were being accepted for people who cannot return to their homes and need assistance finding temporary accommodation.  

“The team will work with every household in the Auckland region who needs their service, to connect them with available accommodation,” said Megan Woods.  

The statement also provided information on flood assistance the Government has provided so far: 

  • NEMA has deployed personnel including Regional Emergency Management Advisors; Public Information Management, Recovery, and Welfare specialists from the Emergency Management Assistance Team; and further assistance is available if required.   
  • The Government initially provided establishment funding of $100,000 to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland dealing with the impacts of the flood event.
  • On 31 January the Government provided a further $1,000,000 to the Mayoral Relief Fund, bringing the total contributed up to $1.1m. 
  • The Government has also provided an additional $700,000 to activate Enhanced Taskforce Green to help with flood relief efforts across the upper North Island and to enable Rural Support Trusts to provide further support to farmers and growers. 
  • Over $10.5 million in Civil Defence Payments has been provided via the Ministry of Social Development to people in need.

The statement from Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said the Government is making an initial contribution of $1.5 million to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) responses in both Türkiye and Syria to help meet humanitarian needs.

This will support teams from the Turkish Red Crescent and Syrian Arab Red Crescent to deliver essential relief items such as food supplies, tents and blankets, and provide lifesaving medical assistance and psychological support.

Through the IFRC, $1 million will go to support the response in Türkiye and $500,000 to the response in Syria.

Readers who might be wondering about the destination of the $1 million of  assistance no doubt will have been informed by news media which typically are reporting the news of the catastrophe under headlines such as –    

The Guardian

Turkey and Syria earthquake: race to find survivors as death toll passes 7,800 and hundreds of thousands seek shelter – latest  


Turkey earthquake: Bodies in street after quake as anger grows over aid

The Washington Post

In a Turkish town shattered by the earthquake, death is everywhere 

AP News

Explaining the science behind the earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria

The Guardian

Syria and Turkey earthquake: what we know so far  


Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: What we know — and don’t know — about earthquakes.

The BBC (as you can see) is among the media which have used “Turkey” in their headlines, but Point of  Order winkled out a BBC report from June last year which explained that –  

Turkey will be known as Türkiye at the United Nations from now on, after it agreed to a formal request from Ankara.

Several international bodies will be asked to make the name change as part of a rebranding campaign launched by the Turkish president late last year.

“Türkiye is the best representation and expression of the Turkish people’s culture, civilization, and values,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in December.

The UN says it made the change as soon as it received the request this week.

Most Turks already know their country as Türkiye. However the anglicised form Turkey is widely used, even within the country.

The Turkish state broadcaster, TRT, was quick to make the change as soon as it was announced in 2021, explaining that among the reasons for the image rebrand was the association with the bird traditionally associated with Christmas, New Year or Thanksgiving.

In this country, Mahuta, other Government leaders and our state-subsidised media have not waited for an official announcement of a name change for New Zealand.  They have opted for Aotearoa or Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Overseas media are not following suit. In Turkey, the English-language Daily Sabah recently reported

Chris Hipkins takes over from Jacinda Ardern as New Zealand PM

The Turkish experience is instructive.  

As part of the Turkish re-branding ordered by the authorities in Ankara, “Made in Türkiye” is being featured on all exported products, and in January last year a tourism campaign was launched with the catch-phrase “Hello Türkiye”.

The BBC reported:

The move has been met with a mixed reaction online. While government officials support it, others say it is an ineffective distraction as the president gears up for elections next year, amid an economic crisis.

Who would have thought politicians could would try to distract voters from the issues that matter?

But as the BBC said, it is not uncommon for countries to change their names.

In 2020, The Netherlands dropped Holland in a rebranding move. And before that, Macedonia changed its name to North Macedonia due to a political dispute with Greece, and Swaziland became Eswatini in 2018.

Further back in history, Iran used to be called Persia, Siam is now Thailand, and Rhodesia was changed to Zimbabwe.

Our leaders may well be gauging the public’s appetite for Aotearoa and/or the more cumbersome Aotearoa New Zealand.  At least for now neither looks like an election-winner, despite the force-feeding.  


2 thoughts on “Media stick with “Turkey” but Mahuta diplomatically announces $1.5m aid using the language authorised by Turkish leaders

  1. 1. Sri Lanka was formerly Ceylon.
    2. I thought Minister Mahuta was in India.
    3. A tick for Hipkins for calling our country New Zealand.


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