Turkey to Translate Koran Into Kurdish

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Turkey to Translate Koran Into Kurdish

After launching a state-run Kurdish television network, the Turkish government has announced plans to translate the Koran into Kurdish. Turkey must improve conditions for the Kurdish minority in order to meet the political standards of the European Union, which Turkey hopes to join. The Kurdish language is still banned in some instances, such as political speeches and official correspondence. "We didn't want to exclude Kurdish as we prepare translations of the Koran into other languages," says Mehmet Gormez, Deputy Head of Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate. "Kurdish is widely spoken in Turkey." There are approximately 12 million to 14 million Kurds in Turkey. Previous governments viewed the Kurdish language as part of a separatist movement. The main pro-Kurdish party views the official translation of the Koran into Kurdish as an attempt to get more votes in an upcoming election.

From "Turkey to Translate Koran Into Kurdish"
Reuters (03/18/09) Jones, Matthew

Source: ATA Newsbriefs - March 2009
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