• Hi daughter of the Misty Isles :),

    Turkish synonyms might be tricky for a starter because they represent not just the evolution of the Turkish language but also political / cultural / artistic evolution of the Turkish / Ottoman society. So you have to read different examples to get to know more about the usage of the Turkish synonyms. Because sometimes, there are subtle differences between the words meaning the same thing and sometimes the difference is even bigger. But in your particular example "kent" and "şehir" are interchangeable.

    İstanbul büyük bir şehirdir. : İstanbul büyük bir kenttir. : Istanbul is a big city.


    One difference that a native English speaker will notice is that in the modern language, Turks do not differentiate between "şehir" (city) and "il" (province). Hence, you can hear "Konya is the largest city in Turkey." To an English speaker, "city" means an urban area, but to Turk speakers, "şehir" does not carry the same connotations. Little Kilis is a "şehir" but İskenderun, which is many times bigger, isn't.

    I don't think I've heard the same thing with "kent". It refers to an urban area only, right?
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