The Turkish Justice Ministry will start to offer criminal record documents in more languages, it announced on Friday. The 12-language expansion brings the total on offer to 40, but does not include Kurdish, the second most spoken language in the country.
Among languages added in a previous expansion to the service are Bosnian, Croatian and Tajik, while Friday’s additions include Greek, Hindi and Bahasa Indonesian. The ministry announced ongoing efforts for Dari, Persian and Urdu.
Estimates put the 85-million strong Kurdish population in the country to up to 20 percent, as the census does not record ethnicity. While Turkish is the only official language in the country, there is a portion of the population that does not speak it at all.
Kurmanji, the Kurdish dialect spoken in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority areas, was banned throughout the country under the military rule following the 1980 coup. While the ban was lifted in 1991, Kurds in the country still cannot receive education in their mother tongue. Elective Kurdish courses in secondary education have been legalised, but often still face unofficial hurdles.