Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Campaigning in Kurdish Still Illegal

Three former members of the DTP, the now defunct Kurdish political party, have received sentences of six months each for using Kurdish in their political campaigns. The court decision follows an April 11 amendment to the political parties law and the elections law, which were amended to allow campaigning in languages other than Turkish.

The politicians hale from Midyat (Mardin province) and were convicted for greetings they made to constituents during the course last year's local elections. Their sentences commuted, the Midyat politicians' convictions evidence that restrictions on use of the Kurdish language remain--or, at least that the amendments have yet to be properly implemented.

Before the recent amendments, all oral and written campaign propaganda was required to be in Turkish. Yet, in some of Turkey's electoral provinces, Turkish is not the most widely spoken language.

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