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Cilician Arabic

Cilician Arabic
Native toTurkey
Arabic alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-3(covered by apc)

Cilician Arabic, Cilicia-Antioch Arabic, Çukurova Arabic, or Çukurovan is a Levantine dialect spoken in Turkey in the geo-cultural area of Cilicia, the coastal region of the Turkish Eastern Mediterranean from Hatay to Mersin and Adana.[1][2]


Cilician Arabic speakers in Turkey come from four different religious groups: Sunni Muslims, Alawites, Christians (including Greek Orthodox and Catholics), and Jews. It is difficult to know the number speakers. Due to pressures against minority languages, younger generations of the Arabic-speaking communities increasingly use Turkish as their mother tongue. In 1971, 36% of the population in Hatay was Arabic-speaking. In 1996, Grimes estimated 500,000 speakers of North Levantine Arabic in Turkey.[3]

In 2011, according to Procházka there were 70,000 Çukurova Arabic speakers in the Adana and Mersin provinces and people under 30 years old had completely switched to Turkish.[4] In 2011, Werner estimated 200,000 Antiochia Arabic speakers in Hatay.[5] According to Ethnologue, the language is "threatened" in Turkey.[6] Çukurova Arabic is in danger of becoming extinct in a few decades.[4]


  1. ^ Procházka-Eisl, Gisela; Procházka, Stephan (2018). "The Arabic speaking Alawis of the Çukurova: The transformation of a linguistic into a purely religious minority". In Bulut, Christiane (ed.). Linguistic minorities in Turkey and Turkic-speaking minorities of the periphery. Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 309-328. Retrieved 2020-06-28.
  2. ^ "Anatolian Arabic". Retrieved 2020-06-28.
  3. ^ Smith-Kocamahhul, Joan. "Turkey". In Edzard, Lutz; de Jong, Rudolf (eds.). Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. doi:10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_COM_0357.
  4. ^ a b Procházka, Stephan. "Cilician Arabic". In Edzard, Lutz; de Jong, Rudolf (eds.). Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. doi:10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_COM_0056.
  5. ^ Arnold, Werner. "Antiochia Arabic". In Edzard, Lutz; de Jong, Rudolf (eds.). Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. doi:10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_COM_0018.
  6. ^ "Turkey". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2021-10-08.
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Cilician Arabic
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