The official language of the country is Turkish. It is spoken by 220 million people and is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world. Today's Turkish has evolved from dialects known since the 11th century and is one of the group of languages known as Ural-Altaic, which includes Finnish and Hungarian.
Turkish is written with the Latin alphabet with the addition of six different characters. İt's completely phonetic, i.e. each letter of the alphabet has only one sound, so each word sounds exactly how it is written. During Ottoman times Turkish was written in Arabic script, that made a limit for a number of people who were able to write. In order to improve literacy and therefore to overcome the difficulties of learning and reading Turkish using Arabic script, Turkey switched to the Latin alphabet following Atatürk's initiative started in 1928.
English language has replaced by French and German as the chief secondary language taught in schools and is becoming more widespread. İt is widely spoken and understood by the most of the people all over the Turkish territory. German, Russian and French are also spoken especially in the popular holiday destinations.