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Turkish Punctuation (Türkçede Noktalama İşaretleri): Comma & Subject (Virgül ve Özne) [,]

Updated: Oct 27

⌘Proofreader's Cheatsheet:

with examples from newspapers, scientific articles, literature, poetry…



❝ COMMA as a Markup for Subject (and Object)


6. Turkish comma plays a very important role in setting off the subject or subject-related phrase/clause, mostly in the beginning of the sentence, to distinctly separate it from the remaining part or the other series in the sentencean especially helpful devise in Turkish sentences, where the verb would be positioned in the very end of the sentence:


YÖK, kaliteden daha yeni yeni bahsetmeye başladı.

YÖK (Council for Higher Education) has just started mentioning quality. (the subject is an abbreviated noun)


Gezi Parkı, park olarak kalmalıdır.

We demand that Gezi Park remain a park. (the subject is a noun phrase)


O, sürekli kendisi için başkalarına işlerini yaptırarak yetkisini kötüye kullanıyor.

She is continually abusing her authority by getting other people to do things for her. (the subject is a pronoun)


Araştırmalar, insanların konuşma biçimini değiştirmenin, düşünme biçimini etkilediğini

göstermiştir.

Studies have shown that changing the way people talk affects the way they think. (the subject is a noun)


Öğrencileri tarikatların kıskacından kurtarmanın mümkün olduğunu söyleyen Pur, şöyle devam etti: “Tak rozeti, al bayrağı, bir de şiir oku Atatürkçüsün.”

Saying that it is possible to free students from the traps of sectarian groups, she continues: “Put on the badge, grab the flag, and recite a poem; you are a Kemalist.” (the subject is a pronoun)


Saniye Hanımefendi, merdivenlerde oğlunun ayak seslerini duyar duymaz, hasretlisini karşılamaya atılan bir genç kadın gibi koltuğundan fırlamış ve ona kapıyı kendi eliyle açmaya gelmişti. (Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu)

As soon as she heard the footsteps of her son on the stairs, Ms. Saniye jumped out of her chair, like a young woman rushing to meet her longing, and came to open the door with her own hand. (the subject is a noun phrase)

Suriyeli ve Türk işçilerin bir araya getirilmesinin hedeflendiğini belirten Dr. Yılmaz, iki tarafın da kendi aralarında iletişim kurmalarını ve ortak çıkarları için birlikte mücadele etmelerini umduklarını söyledi.

Dr. Yilmaz said that their goal is to bring the Syrian and Turkish workers together, in hopes that both sides communicate with each other and work jointly for their mutual interest. (the subject is a participle clause)


Söyledikleri, 2017 yılı başından beri faizlerde ciddi bir sıkılaştırmaya gidildiği, ancak genişlemeci maliye politikasının etkilerinin fiyatlar üzerinde aşağı yönlü bir hareketi baskıladığı şeklinde.

They said something along the lines of going for a serious tightening in interest [rates] since the beginning of 2017, but the effects of expansionary fiscal policy repressed a downside movement in prices. (the subject is a subordinate clause marked with a subordinating suffix -dik)


Bu, tek gözlü, genç fakat ihtiyar görünen bir adamcağızdır. (Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil)

This is a one-eyed, young but old-looking bugger. (the subject is a pronoun)



İhtiyar, görevlinin izin vermemesine çok kızdı.

The old man was very angry that the attendant wouldn’t let him. (the subject is a nominalized adjective)


Genç, doktordan babasının durumu hakkında bilgi almaya gelmişti.

The young man had come to the doctor to find out about his father’s condition. (the subject is a nominalized adjective)


O, eski defterleri çoktan kapatmış, Osmanlıya kucağını açmıştı. (Tarık Buğra)

He'd closed the old books long time ago and opened his arms to the Ottomans. (the subject is a pronoun)


When a comma really matters!⚡

Whether one uses a comma near the beginning of a sentence (to indicate the subject) may change the meaning of that sentence: e.g., bu doktorun hatasıdır its this doctors mistake, bu doktorun hatasıdır this is the doctors mistake; genç kızı öptü he kissed the young girl; genç kızı öptü the youth kissed the girl.

Let's take out the first commas in the last three sentences:


İhtiyar görevlinin izin vermemesine çok kızdı.

He was very angry that the old attendant wouldn't let him.


Genç doktordan babasının durumu hakkında bilgi almaya gelmişti.

He had come to find out from the young doctor about his father's condition.


O eski defterleri çoktan kapatmış, Osmanlıya kucağını açmıştı. (Tarık Buğra)

She'd closed those old books long time ago and opened her arms to the Ottomans.


Compare the following sentences:


Yabancı dükkandaki eşyaları beğenmedi.

She didn't like what they had in the foreign store.

Yabancı, dükkandaki eşyaları beğenmedi.

The foreigner didn't like the things at the store.


Misafir odasına doğru yürüdü.

He walked straight to the guest room.

Misafir, odasına doğru yürüdü.

The guest walked straight to his room.

Sometimes, in such instances, a semicolon may be used instead of a comma; however, such use is considered outdatedunless it is justified by the complex structure of the sentence. For example, the following sentence requires a semicolon, which offsets the adverbial part of the sentence from a series:


Kadınlarımızın çalışmama nedenleri arasında; başta çocukları olmak üzere ailelerini bırakamamak, eşlerinin müsaade etmemesi, çalışmanın kendileri için emniyetli olmadığını düşünmeleri gibi sebepler yatıyormuş.

Among the reasons for our women not working: unwillingness to abandon their families, especially their children; their husbands won’t allow them; they think of the working environment as not safe for them.


Moreover, a semicolon may be required to separate the subject from the rest of the sentence consisting of a series.


Hacer; Serap, Betül ve Şeyma’dan daha tecrübeli.

Hacer is more experienced than Serap, Betül, and Şeyma.


If we move the semicolon to place it after the next name, the meaning of the sentence will change:


Hacer, Serap; Betül ve Şeyma’dan daha tecrübeli.

Hacer, Serap are more experienced than Betül and Şeyma.

7. Just as with subjects, indirect objects, too, may need to be separated by a comma to add clarity:


Oğluma, hediye veren adam onun amcasıydı.

The man who gave the present to my son was his uncle. (the object is in Dative case)


Cumaları bahçede buluştukça kıza, kendisinin adi bir mektep talebesi olmadığını anlatmaya çalışıyordu.

As they met in the garden on Fridays, he was trying to explain to the girl that he was not an ordinary school student. (the object is in Dative case)


Kamyon sürücüsü olarak edindiği deneyimleri onun için, çalışan çeşitli tipteki insanları şiirlerinde anlatma fırsatını yarattı.

His experiences as a truck driver created an opportunity for him to describe various types of working people in his poems. (the object is in Possessive case and postposition "için")


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