ISTANBUL – The Turkish parliament has passed a law that permits the use of Kurdish in court houses. The right to defend oneself in one’s mother tongue is an important demand of the Kurdish political movement.
The law was approved after an emotional debate. Some opposition MP’s claim the use of any other language than Turkish in courts will break the unity of the country.
Kurdish MP’s on the other hand think the law doesn’t go far enough: only in certain parts of a court case will the use of other languages than Turkish will be permitted, and the accused has to pay for a translator himself. For those reasons the law also doesn’t meet EU standards.
The Turkish government says it is determined to solve the Kurdish question in the country. This law is part of that process.
In Turkey hundreds of political court cases against Kurds are in stalemate because the use of Kurdish has been totally forbidden up until now.