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LOCAL >Diyarbakır police learning Kurdish

DİYARBAKIR – Anatolia News Agency

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Police officers in Diyarbakır are learning Kurdish upon the request of Police Chief Recep Güven, who has also begun studying the language.

With the permission of the Security General Directorate, 45 out of 90 police officers who volunteered to attend the Kurdish courses have started their lessons.

Funded by the Security General Directorate’s Education Department, the courses are provided to police officers from Diyarbakır Police Department’s Community Policing Unit. Officers working in departments that deal with children, passports, traffic registration, gun licenses and police stations are undertaking the courses, as they encounter Kurdish-speaking locals more often.

Halil İçen, a tutor for the classes, said the entire courses will last 24 hours and police officers will practice by speaking with locals.

“Police officers of Kurdish origin are learning quickly as they recall many words and have better pronunciation,” İçen said, adding that 85 percent of his class are police officers of Turkish origin. “They are very eager to learn. One reason is that they want to further develop the relations they have started here. Three years later, when they work in another city, they will benefit from speaking Kurdish.”

İçen also said he has started tutoring Güven, who receives private lessons due to his busy schedule.
Mehmet Bilen, a police officer from the class, said speaking Kurdish increases officers’ self-esteem. While at first he was nervous to see the reactions of locals when he tried to speak in Kurdish, he said he received positive feedback from everyone.

Another police officer, Betül İlhan, said her relations with locals improved after learning Kurdish.

Police Chief’s Women’s Day message in Kurdish

On March 8, Güven released an International Women’s Day message in Turkish and Kurdish.

“I celebrate this special day for our women, who make us who we are, and we feel their presence in our lives from birth until death,” the message said.

March/08/2013

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