Gov’t paves way for defense in Kurdish

Gov’t paves way for defense in Kurdish

Gov’t paves way for defense in Kurdish

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The government will soon make a legal arrangement about the right of mother-tongue defense, a frequent source of debate in the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) trials, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said.

Arınç, speaking to reporters in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on Oct. 5, recalled the vicious circle experienced during trials when defendants insisted on presenting their defense in Kurdish, which is defined by some courts as “an unknown language which is not understood.” Rulings could not be made due to this vicious circle, he explained.

“Regardless of whether the intent is good or evil, we cannot check the intention by cutting his heart open looking into it, but there is a universal rule which says that ‘the right to defense is sacred; the right to defense cannot be limited; the court has to take whatever the person says – directed to the defense – into consideration,” Arınç was quoted as saying by Anatolia news agency. “So, I believe that it is right to hire an interpreter for a person who wants to present his interrogation and defense in Kurdish and to have his testimony [under these conditions]. This has become an issue which has been accepted by our prime minister and our party too. The legal arrangement will be made in the coming days. A loophole about Kurdish testimony and defense will be overcome from now on. The written law will be arranged accordingly.”

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) actually heralded this legal arrangement in its 2023 vision document, which was released during its congress on Sept. 30.

“Despite having studied and prepared dictionaries in many languages until today, the Turkish Language Association [TDK] couldn’t perhaps dare in the past years [to prepare a Kurdish dictionary] since [the presence of] Kurdish was denied. We lifted this denial,” said the deputy prime minister.