AKP’s Kurdish Quran translation ‘full of errors’

AKP’s Kurdish Quran translation ‘full of errors’

AKP’s Kurdish Quran translation ‘full of errors’

Cihan Photo

The Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Kurdish Quran translation was printed hastily despite numerous errors in an effort to garner popular support ahead of the June 7 elections, according to theologian and Kurdologist Kadri Yıldırım, who is also an MP candidate from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

In a rally held in Erzurum on June 1 alongside HDP Diyarbakır MP candidate Altan Tan, Yıldırım claimed Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) sent him the translation a year ago for him to edit. 

The Kurdish Quran was published before he could send his revisions to the Diyanet and with numerous incorrect translations in the text, Yıldırım said. 

 “Why did they [the AKP] rush? Because they wanted to publish it ahead of the elections and appeal to the religious sentiments of my fellow devout citizens from Erzurum, Bingöl and Siirt,” he said.

Speaking to İdris Emen from news portal Radikal, Yıldırım elaborated on the types of mistakes present in the text. 

“Singular words were written as plural and vice versa. Masculine words were used as though they were feminine. There are many ambiguities within the text. These mistakes are unforgivable when the Quran, our holy book, is in question,” Yıldırım said.

“They nevertheless published it without waiting for me to complete the report. Isn’t it sinful [to publish an erroneously translated Quran]? I guess the Diyanet knows more about these things than we do,” he said. 

Yıldırım's claims are in stark contrats with those of Diyanet Director-General for Religious Publications Dr. Yüksel Salman who said the Kurdish translation was first analyzed by members and experts from the Diyanet, along with professors from faculties of theology at Turkish universities, before it was published.

Mother-tongue education

Kadri Yıldırım also criticized the AKP for its inconsistent views on the Kurdish language. 

Recalling Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç’s statement on Feb. 3, 2012, when Arınç claimed Kurdish was not a language of civilization, Yıldırım questioned how the Quran could be translated into an uncivilized language. 

“On the one hand, those who do not know about the structure of Kurdish dismiss it as an uncivilized language, and on the other hand, [the AKP] translates a highly philosophical and literary text like the Quran into Kurdish,” he said. 

Yıldırım said the mere fact that the Quran could be published in Kurdish was proof that the language was one of civilization.

“Under these circumstances, why are Kurds still deprived of mother-tongue education? We need to question this because Kurds expect sincerity and truthfulness,” Yıldırım said.