Kocaeli Governor’s Office enacts week-long protest ban prior to march for Kurdish language

The Kocaeli Governor’s Office has enacted a “preventative” week-long protest ban prior to the Kocaeli leg of the march for Kurdish language rights. The march was planned to start in Istanbul, pass through Kocaeli province, and arrive at the capital Ankara. 

Duvar English

The Kocaeli Governor’s Office on Oct. 30 enacted a week-long protest ban days prior to the Kocaeli leg of the march for Kurdish Language. The Kurdish Language Movement Association had planned a march from Istanbul to the capital Ankara, passing through western Kocaeli province. 

The association organized the march to advocate for the Turkish government's recognition of Kurdish as an official language in Turkey and its inclusion as a compulsory subject in school curricula.

The Governor’s Office stated that the decision was taken to “maintain national security, protect public order and safety.”

The statement read, “All events and demonstrations (marches, open/closed meetings, press statements, sit-ins, petitions, opening stands, setting up tents, lighting torches, passing fliers or brochures, protests, or the like) within Kocaeli province lines and the entry of the vehicles and individuals coming to join the abovementioned events are prohibited for seven days, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 6.”

Istanbul Governor’s Office on July 24 also banned Chair of the Kurdish Language Movement Association Suphi Özgen's march from Istanbul to the capital Ankara for the right to education in mother tongue on the centennial of the Lausanne Treaty.

Kurdish community in Turkey does not have a right to officially learn their language in schools as they were not recognized as a minority by the Lausanne Treaty like Greeks, Armenians, and Jews.