Important rules on vowels and consonants

As you will see more in depth in the following sections, the following rules apply with regards to vowels and consonants in Turkish.


Turkish words are made up as: stem + suffix + suffix + ...


For vowels: What a vowel in a stem or a suffix is allowed to be, is determined by what the previous vowel is in the word. The vowels in the stem are fixed (never change), but the vowels in a suffix may become one of 2 or 4 possible choices depending on what the previous vowel is. Example: “e” (to) becomes a “a” after a syllable with an “a”: ev+e (to home), av+a (to hunting).


For consonants: When a suffix is appended to a stem or to the previous suffix, Turkish tries to prevent a soft consonant and a hard consonant from following each other. To provide for this rule, the last consonant of the front part or the first consonant of the last part may change. Example: suffix “de” (in/on/at) becomes “te” after a word ending in a hard consonant: ev+de (at home), iş+te (at work).

İstiklal caddesi, İstanbul