1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Turkish
  4. >
  5. "Ben başkanım."

"Ben başkanım."

Translation:I am the president.

April 15, 2015



I didn't expect Mr Erdoğan to be on Duolingo.


Nope! Plot twist! he was Duolingo the whole time!


Sorry, this got more confusing than I had expected! All my line breaks got eaten. Let me try that again:

Bakan = minister (in a government)

Başbakan = literally ‘chief minister’ = the Prime Minister

Başkan = chairman or President

Often you'll see the term “Cumhurbaşkanı” = President of the Republic.


başkan ‘president’, according to Wiktionary (https://goo.gl/Zl8kr4), from the Old Turkic word başgan. Sorry, just wanted to add something. ☺


Teşekkür ederim Alexander bey


What is the difference between "bey Alex" and "Alex bey"?


I don't think 'bey Alex' is correct. I heard 'Alex bey' and 'bay Alex'. Looking forward to Alex bey's input :)


It's a culture in Turkey when you want to call someone. They usually say someone's name at the first, and then their nickname at the end of the name.


I think there is a difficulty for the English. I think this is an American way to use the term president. It's confusing for Brits


We have a loan Turkic word 'bashka' in Russsian which means 'head'... so it seems a bit funny but logical that the word 'president' in Turkish originates from a word 'head' :)


Perhaps just as fascinating is that in this case, the concept behind the word (not the word itself) is borrowed from Arabic. In linguistics this is called a "calque." Think of it like the difference between a loan concept vs a loanword.

Although many loanwords (of all languages, Arabic but also French and others) were purged from Turkish as part of the language policy of the Ataturk era, many of these words "re-emerged" so to speak as calques rather than loanwords.

In Arabic, the word for president is "ra'is" (رئيس) and the word for "head" is "ras" (راس); so the Arabic word for "president" very clearly derives from the word for "head." Similarly in Turkish, the word for "president" prior to Ataturk was "reis," a direct borrowing from the Arabic word for president -- You can check out a link to the purged loanwords in the bottom of this post, where it shows the replacement of "reis" with "başkan."

So essentially, when "reis" was removed from the language, the word for "president' was then calqued into Turkish as "başkan," borrowing the etymological concept that the word had originally conveyed as an Arabic loanword in Turkish. Absolutely fascinating.



baş = head i think the best translation here is "in charge"


Is this the president of a company, country, or both?


According to Chrochtlik’s comment (above), both. Apparently, it can also mean chairman (of a company).


So 'ben başkanım' is 'I am president', and 'benim başkanım' is 'my president'?


Also: I am a president?


It's been added as an alternative translation.


I am still really confused as to when I use the possessive or the suffixes with 'to be'. I've kind of stumbled my way to this point.


A lot of the time, the appear the same. With practice, you will get better. I definitely suggest reading over the Tips and Notes at the beginning of the lessons.


That's helpful and a bit frustrating. Tips and Notes have been my best friend so far, but there is a lot to remember. Thanks for you help!


Hi Busyrocker. They sent me the question, although I'm probably the wrong Alex. But maybe I can try to answer. I think it’s like this: - bakan = minister (in a government) - başbakan = literally ‘chief minister’ = the Prime Minister - başkan = chairman or President Often you'll see the term “Cumhurbaşkanı” = President of the Republic.


I thought reis was president?


From the Ottoman times...this is an older word that isn't used in modern Turkish.


Modern Turkish, aka Turkey Turkish :)


My question might be silly but please correct me if I'm wrong. As i understand Ben başkanım means I'm the president while Benim başkanım means my president. İs it right?


Mayor ve president'in arasındaki fark ne? Yardımcı olur musunuz


Mayor belediye başkanıdır. President için ya başkan ya da başbakan olur

  • 2323

I noticed 'Başbakanlık' written on Erdoğan's pulpit during press conferences. I assume this means 'presidency'.


Nope, that would actually be referring to building where he works. It was probably just showing where the pulpit/podium was.


We love you Erdoğan :)


@ AlexinNotTurkey, How would you make difference between "presidency" and "presidency building". Thanks


İ am the senate


Tell her to spit out the gum before pronouncing those words


I wish lol, the world would be way better then

Learn Turkish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.