It’s no coincidence that the bird we eat for Thanksgiving and a Middle Eastern country are both called Turkey. One was named after the other, and it all has to do with a 500-year-old story of emerging global trade, mistaken identity, foreign language confusion, and how the turkey took Europe by storm as a must-have status symbol for the ultra wealthy.



Etymology of ‘Turk’

NPR: Why A Turkey Is Called A Turkey

Ottoman History Podcast: How Did The Turkey Get Its Name?

The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492, by Alfred W. Crosby

The Turkey: An American Story, by Andrew F. Smith

A Short History of the Turkey, by Andrew G. Gardner