The Diyarbakır (Amed) Bar Association has taken action against the Ministry of Internal Affairs for not including Kurdish in the Women’s Emergency Support Notification System (KADES) application.
The KADES is an app developed by Turkey’s Ministry of Interior that serves as “an emergency button” for women threatened with domestic violence.
The attorneys from the Diyarbakir Bar Association applied to the Ministry demanding services in Kurdish within the KADES, reports the Mesopotamia News Agency.
Although Kurdish is not included in the KADES, the system provides services in many other languages, including Turkish, Arabic, Persian, English, Russian and French.
After public uproar over the lack of a Kurdish option, Diyarbakır Bar Association Women’s Rights Centre Member Çiğdem Sevimli and Diyarbakır Bar Association Kurdish Language Commission Member Elif Birikli requested the Ministry of Interior rethink the KADES design.
“Although Turkey has withdrawn from the Istanbul Convention, the process of annulment continues for three months,” stated the lawyers within their application. They emphasised that the signatory countries are obliged to provide services in a language that citizens speak in that country. The 10th article of the Constitution, which regulates the principle of equality, was also referred to within the application.
“There are millions of Kurdish citizens living in Turkey who do not speak any language other than Kurdish,” said the lawyers. “Domestic violence cannot be limited to any region, ethnicity, religion, or group. For this reason, the KADES application, which is created to prevent violence against women and to protect women, should serve the full range of languages spoken in the country, which definitely includes Kurdish.”
‘This is discrimination against Kurds’
Attorney Çiğdem Sevimli described the reason for their appeal to the Ministry. “This is an issue that concerns both the Kurdish language and Kurdish women. This is discrimination against Kurds and such discrimination against victims of violence is unacceptable. That is why we applied to the Ministry of Interior. I would like to state that if the Ministry accepts our request and adds Kurdish to the application, we will be pleased.” If the request is rejected, however, Sevimli will be no less persistent. “We will bring it to the higher courts, if necessary, to the Constitutional Court or even to the European Court of Human Rights if our application is rejected,” she said.