Discrimination against girl with Kurdish name in Turkey: DTP


One of many  examples of inequality and discrimination facing Kurds in Turkey, from Today’s Zaman:

ANKARA (Zaman) – Democratic Society Party (DTP) deputy Nuri Yaman has claimed that a student in the town of AliaÄŸa in the province of Ä°zmir was not allowed to read a poem at a ceremony opening the new school year because her name was Rojda, a well-known Kurdish name.

Yaman said the Bülent Kula Primary School had been asked to participate in an inaugural ceremony for the school year by District Governor Osman Bulgurlu. The other schools in the town had been invited to the ceremony and invitations were sent out. According to Yaman, Bulgurlu became angry when he saw the program and noticed a student whose name was Rojda, which means “sunrise” in Kurdish.

“The district governor insulted the school headmaster, demanding, ‘Can’t the school find a student whose name is not Rojda?'” Yaman claimed.

Yaman said the school had been forced to submit a letter saying they were not ready to participate in the ceremony.

He pointed out that in the town of Didim in Aydın province 38 foreign students, mostly British citizens, recently began attending a Turkish school, and media reports suggested that they were happy to be participating in their school’s inaugural ceremony.

“The tolerance and positive approach afforded to British students is denied to a student just because of her name in her own country. These kinds of anti-democratic practices are threatening peace,” Yaman said.

He added that the Third National Program for EU harmonization claims that the cultural richness of Turkey and the right to mother-tongue education have been secured but, as can be seen in the case of Rojda, the discrimination is still here.

Yaman claimed that civil servants are encouraged to continue in their discriminatory attitudes because the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is not taking the necessary steps to prevent such incidents.