Monday, October 26, 2009

First Kurdish name on ID card in Turkey

Ankara - The Population Registry Office in the Çankaya district of Ankara has allowed a father to give his daughter a Kurdish name written with letters in the Kurdish alphabet, reports the Turkish daily newspaper Hürriyet on Monday.

The officer in the registration office wrote the baby girl’s name, Hêvî Jiyan, by using letters î and ê, which do not exist in the Turkish alphabet. According to the Turkish law, the name should be written as Hevi.

“Hêvî means hope and Jiyan means life. When I went to the register office to give a Kurdish name for my daughter, if there had been any problem, I would have left the name part empty,” said Kenan Kırkaya, the father of the baby. “My wife’s name is Newruz and they did not write her name with a ‘w’ at the time. Hers, instead, was recorded as ‘Nevruze.’”

Kurds for years have been complaining that they cannot name their children as they wish. Several changes in relevant laws have been made but there are still difficulties in giving children Kurdish names. An anonymous official from the Interior Ministry told Hürriyet that it is impossible to write the letters w, q, and x on identity cards without a change in laws, but it is possible to use â, î, and û although ê is not used.

The registry official in Çankaya, however, made some phone calls after the father presented his request. After a short while, the official agreed to allow the name Hêvî, Kırkaya said. “I don’t know who he talked to. I am surprised and so happy. I showed him how to type those letters on the keyboard. I’m glad my daughter did not suffer the same fate as her mother,” he said (Photo: Rudaw).

© Rudaw