The Turkish Van is a semi-long-haired, standardised breed of domestic cat, which was developed in the United Kingdom from a selection of cats obtained from various cities of modern Turkey, especially southeast Turkey.: 112 The breed is rare, is one of the larger breeds, and is distinguished by the Van pattern (named after the breed), where the colour is restricted to the head and the tail, and the rest of the cat is white; this is due to the expression of the piebald white spotting gene, a type of partial leucism.: 148 A Turkish Van may have blue or amber eyes, or be odd-eyed (having one eye of each colour).
The breed was first recognised as such by a breeder/fancier organisation, the UK-based Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), in 1969, under the name Turkish cat.: 113 It was later renamed Turkish Van to better distinguish it from the Turkish Angora breed. The Turkish Van has been claimed to be descended from (and is often confused with) the landrace of usually all-white Van cats, mostly found near Lake Van, though one of the two original breeders' own writings indicate clearly that none of the breed's foundation cats came from the Van area.: 114