A black humor!

When Mr. Ahmet Turk, the Co-President of the Democratic Society Part or DTP, started to speak in Kurdish in his party meeting in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM), the TBMM TV stopped its live broadcast of Turk’s speech and stated that no language could be spoken in the TBMM except for Turkish. The Parliamentary speaker showed the Turkish Constitution, which is an outcome of the military coup and has not been changed yet as the basis and told that speaking in any language expect for Turkish during the party in meeting the TBMM is not permitted by the law. The deputy chairman of the Development and Justice Party’s (AKP) group and representatives of Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party said it is unlawful.

In the press release, which we have issued on the occasion of 21 February or the International Mother Language Day, we have pointed out prohibitons on mother tongue in Turkey and stated that the situation is contrary to the first Article 39 of the Treaty of Lausanne and conventions to which Turkey is a party. These conventions are; The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The European Convention on Human Rights and Its Protocols, Convention on the Rights of the Child, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Therefore the political power, first the Parliamentary speaker, should learn the legal situation. Mother language is a right. It cannot be prohibited.

However we have experienced an interesting event, indeed a black humor, in this incident. TV 6, state-owned TV channel, broadcasts in Kurdish 24 hours and uses Kurdish alphabet in its broadcast. The Prime Minister can speak in Kurdish with a few sentences and all TV channels can use his speech in their broadcasts. Even the Prime Minister speaks in Kurdish also in his rallies regarding the upcoming elections. In other words, Kurdish language can be used when the political power and the state wishes. So who prohibites Kurdish for the opposition party. Is it possible to have two different laws in one country? Who determines it?

We call the political on power, first the TBMM, to abolish all prohibitions on languages, to act that is suitable to the human rights and not to cause such black humors again in accordance with the pluralism principle of the democracy.

Human Rights Association (IHD)

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