Turkey is a cool and unique country, occupying a geographical position that lands it in both Asia and Europe. Serving as both a bridge throughout history, the storied land boasts a special blend of cultures and has long been revered as an enchanting place to visit. If your heritage is Turkish, or if you wish to pay homage to the beautiful land in naming your child, this list won’t disappoint. 

Turkish baby names tend to be two syllables, with a notable sound family, and offer up complex and special meanings that will delight. Take a scroll through our list of the best Turkish baby names, including chart-toppers from that country and some rarely heard favorites, all freshly picked and ready for your baby boy or girl.

Turkish Baby Names for Boys

Ahmet: It derives from the Arabic Ahmed, for a disciple of Mohammad, making it a lovely Islamic religious name with a Turkish spin.

Altan: We love that this one is close to the English Alton, but with its own distinct pronunciation and meaning—“red dawn.”

Aydin: Another Turkish baby name that’s akin to a familiar favorite, Aiden, this one means “intelligent” and is technically gender-neutral, but likelier to be a fit for a boy in the US.

Baris: Bold yet adorable, the name means “peace” and is easy to spell and pronounce, yet wildly unique. 

Bayram: A spirited Turkish boy name meaning “festival,” your little guy is sure to be the life of the party with this fun moniker. 

Cemal: The Turkish spelling of the Arabic Jamal, we love this rare baby boy name meaning “beauty. 

Demir: Strong in sound and meaning, the Turkish boys’ name translating to “iron” is a handsome choice.  

Devram: A beautifully layered name for boys used widely in Turkey, it translates to both “virtuous” and “absorbed in divine needs.” 

Eldar: We love its proximity to the English word elder, for a first impression of wisdom and an underlying sage quality. The Turkish symbolism is power and warmth; this name means “one who is born to fight with fire.”  

Galip: Rare even in Turkey, the name is packed with power and victory, meaning “one who wins.”

Kaan: It means “king” or “ruler” and is a favorite for those seeking a powerful baby boy name. 

Levent: A handsome name in sound and meaning, this one stands for “good-looking” and is a favorite among Turkish parents. 

Mustafa: One of the most popular names on our list, it’s currently #3 in Turkey and is one of the prophet Mohammad’s alternate names. The meanings vary and include “chosen, selected, appointed, preferred.” 

Tamerlane: The storied name once belonged to a Mongolian warrior; in its modern spelling and form it translates to “iron” and is a unique choice for your little man.

Yusef: Another chart-topper, it gets the number-one spot in Turkey but is not heard nearly as often in the States. Its origins are Hebrew and Arabic, and the meaning is “Jehovah increases.” 

Turkish Baby Names for Girls

Afet: Meaning both “a woman of bewitching beauty” and “lovable,” this gorgeous baby girl name is a solid contender. 

Alara: We love its lyrical sound and flowing quality; even better is the meaning “water fairy” which your little girl will love growing up and into. 

Asli: It’s like an exotic Ashley, meaning the “genuine” and “original;” the name is in direct contrast to the word nakli, which is a fake or copy.

Caria: There’s a lyrical quality to this charming baby girl name, translating beautifully to “she who flows like water.”

Defne: Dosing out major Daphne vibes but with a unique twist, this one translating to “laurel tree,” with fringe meanings “tall” and “majestic,” would be a lovely pick for a daughter.  

Derya: The Turkish baby girl name meaning “sea” is a summery, salty, seriously adorable idea for your little one. 

Elif: Standing for the first letter in the Arabic alphabet (alif), this one symbolizes originality and would thus be a perfect pick for a first-born daughter. An alternate meaning is “slender” and it falls in Turkey’s top five girl names. 

Esana: Meaning “safeguard,” it’s a cozy and delightful baby girl name with Turkish roots.

Harika: Meaning “a miracle” and “beautiful” to Turkish parents, it has absolutely precious importance for your little blessing. It’s also worth noting that this name shares an English/Americanized spelling with the rare Japanese baby girl name Harika, which means a “superior woman.”  

Lunara: If you like Luna, it’s safe to say you’ll fall head over feet for this stunning Turkish baby girl name which translates to “flower, rose, and pomegranate.”

Miray: This pretty Turkish girl’s name means “shining like the moon.” It is currently in the top 10 baby girl names in Turkey. 

Nehir: Another watery name for girls, this one translating to “river,” it belongs to a famous Turkish actress and is heard somewhat frequently in Norway and Sweden due to the proximity to Turkey.  

Sefa: A joyful name meaning “pleasure,” this might be a nice choice if you like Sarah and Sofia but are looking for something exotic, specifically of Turkish origins. 

Toulin: Like many others on our list, it has a beautifully specific and evocative translation—“a circular band of light around the moon.” 

Zehra: It’s in the current top 20 in Turkey but will be unique and special for your little girl. Zehra means “flower” with mixed Arabic/Swahili roots. 

Gender Neutral Turkish Baby Names

Akara: Widely used for both boys and girls in Turkey, it’s a name for a risk-taker, translating to “one who loves change and challenge.” 

Aytac: Another popular gender-neutral Turkish name, it means “crown of the moon” or “moon crown.” 

Deniz: This is a chart-topping Turkish name for boys and girls meaning “sea.” 

Evren: Traditionally a boys’ name meaning “universe,” the expansive moniker has opened up to include usage for baby girls and also has ties to Turkish mythology, belonging to a dragon. 

Roshan: The warm, Arabic sound of this beautiful Turkish/Persian baby name earns it high marks with parents around the globe. It means “brightness of the light.”  

More Baby Name Inspiration:

About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

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