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Turkey Allows Kurdish Names - 2003-09-24


Turkey has issued an order that allows Kurdish families to give their children Kurdish names, as long as the names only use letters found in the Turkish alphabet.

The move by Turkey's Interior Ministry in effect prevents Kurdish parents from giving their children names with the letters Q, W, and X.

The order - sent to local authorities across Turkey Wednesday - was aimed at implementing a new law that expands cultural rights for the country's Kurdish minority.

The law passed by parliament last year lifted a ban on non-Turkish names. However, some local authorities have continued to enforce the ban.

Turkey passed the cultural reforms to enhance its effort to join the European Union. European officials have welcomed the reforms but say they are waiting to see how they are implemented.

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