Turkish police app to counter violence against women excludes Kurdish language

Turkish police on March 7 said that its smartphone app to counter violence against women is now available in six languages, including Russian and French. The app, however, excluded Kurdish, which is the second most spoken language in Turkey.

Duvar English

Turkish police have announced that its smartphone application to counter violence against women, KADES, is now available in six languages, but not in Kurdish, which is the second most spoken language in Turkey. 

The app, which was released in 2018, is now available in Turkish, Persian, Arabic, English, Russian and French, police said on Twitter. 

"KADES is one button away from countering violence," the tweet read.

Politicians and social media users were quick to notice that the list of languages didn't include Kurdish. 

"Kurdish, the second most spoken language in Turkey, is not on the list. Discrimination and polarization start in language! Are police not available for Kurdish citizens?" Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) group deputy chair Meral Danış Beştaş asked. 

"Why is Kurdish not on the list? Aren't Kurds citizens of this country and Kurdish a language of this geography?" main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu asked. 

While no official statement from the interior ministry was released on the issue, social media users reminded authorities of the case of Fatma Altınmakas, who was killed by her husband last year after applying to police, who didn't get her testimony due to the lack of Kurdish speaking officers. 

They also asked whether the exclusion of the Kurdish language means allowing Kurdish women to suffer from violence. 

Also on March 7, a poster that read "We love Erdoğan" in Kurdish was hung in the Kurdish-majority southeastern province of Diyarbakır, as part of a wider move against an ad that read "Stop Erdoğan" in the United States.

Istanbul Municipality spokesperson, Murat Ongun, meanwhile, said that the municipality serves women in Turkish, Kurdish, English and Arabic 24/7.