occasional observations on English pronunciation features, phonetics, teaching and learning
I was quite puzzled to hear what seemed much more like /`tɜːkwaɪz/ than anything else but I decided that the Fry target was almost cert·nly the most usual current form /`tɜːkwɔɪz/ and put what was to be he·rd down to tongueslip. I cou·d hear no [ɔ] quality after the /w/. It was quite surprising to see tɜːkwɑːz given precedence in EPD because it wasnt failure to revise Jones. Altho that was evidently always Jones's personal pronunciation and shown first in all of DJ's own editions, Gimson in his only major revision of 1977 braut it up to date. The word's had lots of diff·rent pronunciations in the past. Shakespeare seems to have sed /`tɜːkɪz/: Ben Jonson did. In the OED Murray gave it in 1916 as /tɜː`kɔɪz/ or /`tɜːkɔɪz/. OED notes that Dr. Johnson had ˈturkois, -koise, Milton and Tennyson ˈturkis. Walker and Smart (1846) pronounce turˈkīz, Cent. Dict. and Funk's Stand. tərˈkoiz, tərˈkīz, Webster 1911 turˈkoiz or ˈturkwoiz. Going right back it sez: The earliest English form was the Old French and Anglo-Norman turkeis; this by vowel-progression became turˈkēse, -ˈīse, and by stress-shift, as in other Germanic languages, ˈturkes, -as, -is; but these forms began before 1600 to be displaced by adoption of the French spelling turquoise, turkois.
And, if this isn't colourful enough for you, compare the history in German, where you'll basically find the same variants (Grimm).