Please make sure you have read Part 1 of Expressing possession in Turkish.

A different form of expressing possession in Turkish comes when a noun is used to modify another noun. In that case, the third person possessive marker on the first noun is dropped, but the third person possessed marker on the second noun is kept.

Ege balıkçı
Aegean fisherman/fishmonger

Yatak oda
Bedroom (bed room+possessed marker)

This rule can be very important: if you drop the possessed marker, you can get the following instead:

yatak oda.
the bed is a room

In sets of three (or more) nouns in a row, you must consider whether the first and second form a separate phrase (in which case both the second and third words will have a possessive marker) or not:

Türk mutfağı tarifleri
Recipes for Turk(ish) cuisine (where Turkish cuisine is a separate two-noun clause that modifies recipes)

Dalga Ege balıkçı
Dalga Aegean fishmongers (where Dalga, or Wave, is the name the fishmonger has given his shop and so the first two nouns both act as adjectives on the third)

Nouns are the usual objects of possession, but adjectives can also be possessed (and verbal noun possession is also very important, as we will explore in a later post):

sarı means “yellow”, while sarı means “the yellow one” (out of a group of different coloured pencils, for example).

En büyük means “the biggest”, while en büyüğü means “the biggest of them”.

Arsenal, Londra kulüplerinin en başarı olacak.
Arsenal will be the most successful of the London clubs. (Note that Londra kulüpleri is also a possessive phrase)

Strings of possessives are possible in Turkish – and indeed rife in academia in particular. In this case, a noun that is both possessed and possessive takes the possessed marker first.

Köpeğimin kardeşinin arkadaşı.
The friend (arkadaş) of my dog’s (köpek) brother (kardeş)

Platon’un zihinsel aleminin eğitim tarzının sonuçları.
The results (sonuçlar) of the style (tarz) of education (eğitim) of the intellectual world (zihinsel alem) of Plato (Platon).

As you can see in the example above, where tarz is possessed by eğitim as well as by alem, a word can be possessed by two different owners with no harm done (and no need to duplicate the possessed marker).

Where two or more things are possessed by the same owner in a list, the default rule is to mark all of them:

Ayşe’nin kedisi, köpeği ve kaplumbağası.
Ayşe’s cat, dog, and turtle.

Ali’nin yakışıklılığı, zarafeti ve iyiliği meşhurdur.
Ali’s handsomeness, elegance, and goodness are famous.
(Or more idiomatically in English: Ali is known for his handsomeness, elegance, and goodness.)


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