Turkey to lift ban on alphabetic letters

After being banned from official usage for 85 years, the letters ‘q, w and x’ are set to be introduced to Turkey under the new ‘democracy packet’ proposed by the government.

Turkey to lift ban on alphabetic letters

World Bulletin / News Desk

The long awaited ‘democracy packet’, which is due to be revealed on 30th September, is expected to contain new innovative and revolutionary reforms to Turkey.

According to Turkish daily Radikal, the lifting of the ban on alphabetic letters will be one of the most serious of these reforms. Due to the fact that the letters ‘q, w and x’ do not find any place in the modern Turkish language, their usage has been outlawed for 85 years. This ban is expected to be lifted with the new packet. However, these letters are not expected to be entered into the Turkish alphabet.

The packet looks set to bring about changes to the ‘Turkish Law of Adoption and Application of Letters’, which has been enforced since 1928. The replacement of Arabic letters with Latin letters by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, took place relatively quickly. Although these three letters are not represented in the Turkish alphabet, they are often used by Kurdish people living in Turkey to represent their own language. However, the use of these letters in official documents has long been outlawed. Anyone who used these letters in such a way would be charged under article 222 of the Turkish Penal Code for demonstrating opposition to the law regarding Turkish letters, the punishment of which was a prison sentence of two to six months. Some members from the Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) have been charged with this crime as a result of brochures, posters and invitations they have printed.

The illegal letters tend to be problematic in names. In 2004, the Asliye Court of Law in Turkey’s south-eastern city of Hakkari ruled that the letters ‘q, w and x’ could not be used in names. Referring to this decision, the internal minister said that names consisting of these letters cannot be printed on national identification cards.

Last Mod: 27 Eylül 2013, 11:38
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