Young Turk

The term Young Turk has been used as an idiom in the English language for less than one hundred years, though the origin goes back to a time well before. We will look at the meaning of the term Young Turk, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A Young Turk is a young person who is impatient to bring about radical change, someone who has revolutionary, new ideas and is impatient to implement them. The term first appears as an idiom in American English during the 1920s to describe a particular class of American senators who challenged the establishment. The term spread and has been used for various politicians, businessmen and others who attempt to bring about radical change in an organization. The term Young Turk originally referred to actual Turkish men who backed Selim III, a Sultan of the Ottoman Empire who attempted to reform and modernize Turkey around the turn of the nineteenth century. The idiom Young Turks is often seen spelled with lowercase letters, as in young turks, but the Oxford English Dictionary prefers the capitalization of both words.


The Young Turks, the popular online news channel, sent reporter Jordan Chariton to each televised debate and uploaded cringe-inducing video of Podesta and other Democrats blaming Russia whenever Chariton asked about quotes from the emails. (The Washington Post)

So how does the Young Turk think participating at the world forum will further his political aspirations? (The New Indian Express)

He could move into private life easily, following his former “young Turk” colleague Eric Cantor into a lucrative early political retirement. (Newsweek Magazine)

Calling themselves the Young Turks collective, they introduced a new style of dining out to the city—mixing elevated food with a relaxed rock ’n’ roll vibe—inspired by stints working in Copenhagen, New York and Sydney. (The Wall Street Journal)

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