Digital intolerance to Kurdish in Turkey

News About Turkey - NAT
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The intolerance towards Kurdish has finally been digitalized.

The Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality, headed by the state-appointed trustee, has changed the Kurdish word “Newroz” into its Turkish equivalent “Nevruz” in the digital signboards of municipality busses.

In the Kurdish-majority Diyarbakır province, the name of Newroz Park, where Newroz is celebrated in the Bağlar district, and the name of the street where the Newroz Park is located have also been changed: The new “official” names are Nevruz Park and Nevruz Street.

(By the way, the name of the bus station is still written as “Newroz Park” on the website of the Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality’s Transportation Department and the Diyar Transportation app. Play along!)

State agency called it ‘Newroz’, too

As a matter of fact, the official news agency of the state, AA, saw no harm in saying “Newroz” in its Kurdish news and some Turkish news.

Here is an excerpt from the news report titled “Holy Birth Week Event in Diyarbakır” from April 20, 2014:

“Organized by the Lovers of the Prophet Platform in Diyarbakır, the ‘Holy Birth Week’ event has begun.

“Several people from the neighboring provinces and districts have filled the area to attend the Holy Birth Week event organized with the name ‘Walking Quran Prophet Muhammad’ in Newroz Park in Bağlar.”

Digital intolerance to Kurdish in Turkey 1

Similarly, the state TV TRT Kurdî said “Newroz” in its Kurdish news and – you are not going to believe this – Turkey was not divided into two or three just because “Newroz” was called “Newroz” (sure thing)!

The issue here is without a doubt not about using the letters “v” and “u” in place of “w” and “o”. The issue is that the mentality governing the state today, which marketed the TRT ŞEŞ as the “Kurdish opening” in the past, has unfortunately lost ground even to this mentality now.

Sadly, no right-minded person comes up and says, “Come on; hundreds of thousands of people gather upon the call of the ones who call it Newroz, say out loud, ‘Newroz pîroz be!’, but we change the name of the park called ‘Newroz Park’ by everyone in the city into ‘Nevruz Park’ and, as if it was not enough, we change the name of the street where park is located into ‘Nevruz Street’ while it used to be called ‘Newroz Street’.”

Historical intolerance

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It no longer surprises anyone when the trustee-appointed municipalities change the names of avenues, streets or parks in Turkey.

But, to tell you the truth, when I saw that the name of Newroz Park, also the name of a bus station in Diyarbakır, has been changed into ‘Nevruz Park’ even in the digital signboards of busses, I said to myself, “Indeed, one can apparently be anything in Turkey, but a Kurd.”

This digital intolerance is of course not surprising.

Because this tolerance is not new; it has been in place for a hundred years: This intolerance had just started to soften a little when what they called the “resolution process” was “put in the freezer”, which has restored it all to the factory defaults. This thing with the signboard and all is a product of this historical intolerance. (UAA/APK/EMK/SD)


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