Wednesday, January 14, 2009


"Hypocrisy is the most difficult and nerve-racking vice that any man can pursue; it needs an unceasing vigilance and a rare detachment of spirit. It cannot, like adultery or gluttony, be practiced at spare moments; it is a whole-time job."
~ W. Somerset Maugham.

More Kurdish language repression in Turkey, from Özgür Gündem:

3-month-old Welat Is Not Being Admitted to the Hospital

In Diyarbakır the three-month-old baby Welat cannot take advantage of medical services because he cannot receive an identity card in order to receive services, due to the first initial of his name, "W", which is in the banned Kurdish alphabet.

The couple, Muhsin and Laima Başer, who reside in Diyarbakır, wanted to name their newborn baby "Welat", which means "Homeland". However the Diyarbakır Registration Department refused the name because the letter "W" does not exist in the Turkish alphabet. Based on the Başer couple's legal demand to the IHD, IHD made a petition to the Interior Ministry to stop banning Kurdish names. After the petition submitted on 21 August 2008 received no response, the father Muhsin Başer said they sued the [Diyarbakır] registration department through the Diyarbakır Civil Court. The case is still ongoing.

Welat is not being admitted to the hospital

Saying that their child was not treated in the hospital because of the lack of his identity card, Başer pointed out that if he [Welat] were treated, a large amount of money would be asked from him. Mentioning that it is discrimination not to have his son's treatment due to a lack of an identity card, Başer said: "For this reason we are being wronged by this matter. I have insurance from my workplace, however they are not taking care of my child because he doesn't have an identity card. This is unlawful." For resolving the problem, Başer said he applied to Diyarbakır Social Security Department and he asked for a temporary health card. Başer said, "In my application to the Social Security Department I asked for a temporary health card to be issued and the health costs to be compensated by them. However, I received a negative response."

"Kurdish is banned for the Kurds"

Pointing out the government's hypocrisy, Başer underscored that Kurdish was free for PM Erdoğan whereas it is banned for Kurds. Condemning with hatred the government's approach, Başer said that this is a contradiction that the government, on the one hand, says it freed Kurdish; on the other hand, it has such restrictions [on Kurdish]. Pointing out that the government wants to create its own Kurds through TRT 6, Başer said,"This action is a great injustice, hypocrisy, and contradiction. It is free for the state but is banned for us, the Kurds. I will do whatever I can in order to remove this unlawfulness."

Social Security Department: There is nothing we can do

The Social Security Department, which had a negative response to Başer's application, mentioned that without having a Turkish Republic identity number (similar to a social security number in the US), there is nothing much that they can do. Saying that if the registration takes place the required processes will be done, the official said, "There is no action that our department can take. For this reason the demand that you made for obtaining a temporary health card is impossible to fulfill."

This article from Bloomberg was published on the same day as the news about little Welat:

State broadcaster TRT on Dec. 31 started its first channel in Kurdish, a language once banned outright and still forbidden in schools and government offices. The new channel, TRT6, shows films, news, chat shows and soap operas via satellite. Pitt’s “Spy Game,” among the foreign movies dubbed into Kurdish, will be aired in coming weeks.

“I got home last night and my mom, who doesn’t speak Turkish, was watching TRT6 and laughing,” said Osman Ciftci, who sells satellite dishes and digital receivers in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast. “She said, ‘Look, son, now I have a channel too.’”

Well, that's a patent lie because Roj TV is viewed all over Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. The article continues:

Until now, Turkey refused to grant cultural rights to its 15 million Kurds, even after the European Union backed their demands to broadcast and teach in Kurdish. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seeking to convince Kurds that he’s willing to break those taboos, and also trying to counter EU criticism that his bid to join the bloc is losing direction.

Turkey may also soon loosen the ban on Kurdish-language teaching. The Higher Education Board said this month that departments of Kurdish studies may be permitted in Istanbul and the capital Ankara, although not at universities in Kurdish regions.

The only problem with loosening "the ban on Kurdish-language teaching" is that only Turks will be allowed to teach it and only Turks will be allowed to study it because Kurdish is banned for Kurds. Well, maybe the fake Kurds like Diyarbakir's AKP parliamentarian, Abdurrahman Kurt, will also be allowed to teach or learn Kurdish; but for everyone else, including adorable baby Welat, it's forbidden!

The Bloomberg article also notes the hypocrisy of the AKP's use of Kurdish for election purposes:

Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir, for example, faces more than 30 lawsuits from Justice Ministry prosecutors, almost half sparked by use of Kurdish in brochures, posters or municipal services, according to his office.

Diyarbakir’s top lawyers are due in court next month as defendants. Their alleged crime: distributing the local bar association’s calendar, which names the days, months and holidays in Kurdish as well as Turkish. Prosecutors say that’s abuse of office, an offense carrying a three-year jail sentence.

It’s good that a state TV channel is using Kurdish, “but let other people do it too,” said Mehmet Emin Aktar, head of the bar association. “The problem is that in Turkey the law works differently depending on who you are.

No shit.

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