Gagauz is a Turkic language spoken by the Gagauz people of Moldova and Ukraine. It is also spoken by communities of Gagauzians in Russia, Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria. Gagauz belongs to the Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages.
The Gagauz language is written using the Latin alphabet with some additional letters: Ґ ҝ Ә Ө Ү Һ . There is also a Cyrillic alphabet, which is used by some Gagauzians in Ukraine.
Gagauz is spoken by about 150,000 people. The majority of speakers live in the autonomous region of Gagauzia in Moldova. Gagauz has been declared a "national language" of Gagauzia.
In addition to Gagauzia, small Gagauz communities can be found in Russia, Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria. Most of the Gagauzians in Turkey live in the province of Kırıkkale. In Romania, the Gagauz community is concentrated in the villages of Ciumarna and Lunca Bradului in the region of Bacău.
The Gagauz language is closely related to Turkish. However, it has been influenced by Romanian and Slavic languages. As a result, Gagauz has a unique grammar and vocabulary.
Gagauz is considered a endangered language. The number of speakers is declining, especially among the younger generation. Many Gagauzians are not fluent in the language and use Russian or Romanian instead.