ECHR rules on religious designation, Kurdish names on Turkish ID

Europe's chief human rights court ruled Tuesday against the listing of religious affiliation on national identity cards in Turkey.

ECHR rules on religious designation, Kurdish names on Turkish ID

Europe's chief human rights court ruled Tuesday against the listing of religious affiliation on national identity cards in Turkey, saying that it "violated" a top European human rights charter.

The court also ruled against eight Kurds asking to use Kurdish names on identity cards.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said the recording of religious affiliation on identification cards Turkish citizens carry "violated European Convention of Human Rights Article 9 on freedom of conscience and religion."

The court said no one can be forced to disclose religious belief and that it was not the duty for the state to review one's religious affiliation, which otherwise would "hamper the neutrality of the state on religious matters."

Carrying an identity card is compulsory for Turkish citizens. But, the Turkish government introduced a new regulation in 2006, allowing persons to leave the religion section on their identity cards blank.

Sinan Isik, a Turkish national, appealed in 2005 to the ECHR after Turkish courts refused to record "Alevi" in the religion section of his identity card.

"Kurd letters"

In the case of the eight Kurds, who are Turkish nationals, the court turned down a request to use Kurdish names which included the letters "q", "w" or "x", which are not part of the standard Turkish alphabet.

Kemal Taksin, one of the plaintiffs, asked that his first name be replaced with "Dilxwaz", a Kurdish name meaning "desired". He said that was the name used by people close to him. The others made similar requests.

The court ruled that for reasons of preserving administrative order, the state had the right to impose certain spelling norms in the use of names.

It noted that the applicants were not forbidden from using Kurdish names, merely from spelling them in a certain way and it said that it would have been possible to use the names with spellings adjusted to the Turkish alphabet.



Agencies

Last Mod: 02 Şubat 2010, 16:10
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eamad j mazouri
eamad j mazouri - 9 yıl Before

Perhaps the court is right from the legal aspect of the issue, but not from the political and cultural aspects. Kurds should have requested that their language be recognized and official next to the Turkish language as it is the case in Canada.Then they would be able to write the Kurdish name according to the Kurdish alfabet and not Turkish one.