Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Weird Quirks from the Turks

According to this “Oddly Enough” Reuters story,
     A Turkish court fined 20 people for using the letters Q and W on placards at a Kurdish new year celebration, under a law banning characters not used in the Turkish alphabet, rights campaigners said on Tuesday.
The court in the southeastern city of Siirt fined each of the 20 people 100 new lira for holding up the placards, written in Kurdish, at the event last year. The letters Q and W do not exist in the Turkish alphabet, but are used in Kurdish.
Quick, Walid! Bring the eraser and whiteout!

Apparently, however, the law is not uniformly enforced:
     Many shops and companies in Turkey have names, signs and advertising using the letters Q, W and X which are not used in Turkish, in apparent violation of the 1928 law, but have not been prosecuted.
So if you’re Kurdish, you’d better watch your P’s W’s and Q’s.


El Jefe Maximo said...

Off topic, but the Turks banning the "Q's" and "W's" reminds me about an old story about the British Admiral Sir George Cockburn (briefly Napoleon I's jailer at St. Helena).

Anyway, Admiral Cockburn was also the burner of Washington D.C. On the way out of town, he stopped by the offices of the National Intelligencer, a newspaper which had printed some uncomplementary things about the Admiral -- and had his Royal Marine escort destroy all the "C's and "K"'s in the typeset "so that the rascals can have no further means of abusing my name."

al fin said...

This type of absurd law illustrates why Turkey is not ready to join the EU. Turkey is not ready to join the civilised world for that matter.

I have seen this "chicken or egg" question asked elsewhere: "are they unintelligent because they are muslim, or are they muslim because they are unintelligent?"

There are many fine muslims in the world, but they have perfected the art of invisibility.

American Crusader said...

Hey Baron...do you think Turkish Kurds will want the same autonomy that the Kurds in Iraq now enjoy? The Kurds are by far the largest minority in Turkey
(estimated between 7-12 million)and there has been an active separatist movement since at least 1984.

The last thing Turkey needs is for an uprising among the Kurds as they try for admission into the EU.

The Iraqi Kurds have by far supported American troops then either the Shi'ites or Sunnis...of course they have the most to gain. Also the US prevented Saddam Hussein from committing military operations in Kurdish areas after Desert Storm. From what I've read, the Kurds seem to that readily accept a secular government. I believe Iran also has a large Kurdish minority. That leads to many interesting possibilities.

American Crusader said...

a little sidebar for al fin....
A chicken and an egg checked into a motel and proceeded to have sex. After just a couple of minutes, the chicken sat up and lit a cigarette. The egg rolled over disappointedly and said...I guess that answers that question.

Baron Bodissey said...

American Crusader -- I just got on to answer your question, but I see that Adaneshju has already done a bang-up job. Those are the same answers (including Syria) I would have given, except that Adaneshju has actual numbers.

I think the Kurds are very motivated to make the new Iraq work, at least for now. Turkey is worried that their own Kurds will get uppity as a result.