First Published: 2012-11-13

 

Ankara to authorise Kurdish language in courts

 

Turkey's ruling party submits bill to parliament to allow court testimonies to be given in Kurdish language, conjugal visits for Kurdish inmates.

 

Middle East Online

Under growing pressure

ANKARA - Turkey's ruling party submitted a bill to parliament Tuesday overnight to allow court testimonies to be given in the Kurdish language, one of the demands raised by hundreds of hunger strikers nationwide.

"A detainee, if he likes, may use another language (than Turkish) to defend himself against charges brought against him in the court," according to the bill proposed by the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The bill would also allow conjugal visits for Kurdish inmates, which have been banned thus far.

The Turkish government is under growing pressure over how to tackle the hunger strike by around 700 Kurdish prisoners, which is now in its 63rd day.

Several politicians from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) have also joined the hunger strike recently.

It was not immediately clear when the bill would be discussed in parliament, where the AKP holds a comfortable majority.

A parliamentary source said that the debate could start only if a majority of Kurdish activists abandon their hunger strike to reciprocate the "gesture of the governing party."

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AKP government has expanded cultural and language rights for the Kurds since taking power a decade ago but many have branded reforms for the Kurds "too little, too late."

 

Air strikes kill at least 46 in Syria's Idlib

Libya loyalist forces capture Sirte

Kerry accuses right-wing Israelis of sabotaging peace process

Nigeria and Morocco agree joint venture to link Africa to Europe

Moroccan TV programme on battered women provokes outcry

Israel government nears deal that could 'legalise' settler homes

Yemen's Hadi would only give way to 'elected' leader

Russia says medic killed, others injured in Aleppo fighting

Greek court rejects extradition of Turkey officers

Sudan court frees 26 protesters

Syria rebels to reject Aleppo withdrawal plan

Israeli envoy to Turkey resumes work after 2010 fallout

New Iraqi law legitimising militias sparks controversy

Israel lifts ban on parcel post to Gaza

Russia, US to hold talks on rebel pullout from Aleppo

UN appeals for $22.2 billion in global aid

China warns against obstruction of Iran nuclear deal

First buses take Aleppo residents back to ruined homes

Kurdish restrictions cause ‘unnecessary harm’ to Iraq Yazidis

Heavy fighting shakes eastern Aleppo as army advances

Blocked news website accuses Qatar government of censorship

Yemen prepares assault on Iran backed rebels near key strait

Palestinian Fatah conference ends with boost for Abbas

Egypt court strikes down part of protest law

Syria army advances deeper into east Aleppo

US rules out military intervention in Libya

Saudi Arabia names new Labour Minister, reshuffles councils

Eight arrested in Morocco over alleged ties with IS

Syria regime seizes half of rebel parts of Aleppo

Europol warns of changing IS tactics

Palestinian contenders for Fatah posts set to declare

Protests erupt in Istanbul over ‘Aleppo massacre’

Aleppo family reunited after war kept them apart for months

Syria rebels put up fight for key Aleppo district

Obama unlikely to act on Israel-Palestine before leaving office

UN says torture 'widespread' after Turkey coup

International push aims to protect endangered heritage

Journalist's body found shot in Iraq’s Kurdish region

Iran urges Kenya to release two of its citizens

Morocco business diplomacy at heart of strategy to rejoin African Union

Turkish prosecutor calls for drop of Gaza ship charges against Israelis

Iran preparing ‘appropriate’ response to US sanctions renewal

Saudi government detects fresh hacking attempts

Qarawiyyin library holds written wonders

Putin getting admirers from US to Europe to Syria