[sf-lug] Kurdish Mayor jailed for translating Ubuntu Linux

roj at rojlinux.com roj at rojlinux.com
Fri Jul 6 02:11:30 PDT 2007

Support Abdullah Demirbaş!         http://ferheng.org/demirbas/
Who is Abdullah Demirbaş?
Abdullah Demirbaş is the elected mayor of the Surici district of Diyarbakir/Turkey, a town inhabited mainly by Kurds. One of his aims was to provide municipal services in the languages that the population actually speaks, namely Kurdish, Syriac, Armenian and Arabic, besides the official language, Turkish. Part of this effort was the support for and promoting of the Kurdish translation of the Ubuntu GNU/Linux operating system for computers.

What happened to him?
On 14 May 2007 Turkey's Council of State ruled to dismiss him and to dissolve the entire city council because the municipality provided services in languages other than Turkish. The use of other languages than Turkish was deemed a violation of the constitution. There were numerous protests against this decision, among others by members of the European Parliament.

What is yet to come?
The Diyarbakir chief prosecutor demanded that Demirbaş and Diyarbakir metropolitan mayor Osman Baydemir both be sentenced to a prison term of three and a half years. The trial will start at 7 November 2007.

What can I do?
Attend to the trial and demonstrate your support for Abdullah Demirbas. 
Write mails, letters and faxes to the Prime Minister Erdogan, the President Sezer and the Interior Minister Aksu protesting in a polite manner against the decision. 
President Ahmet Necdet Sezer - cumhurbaskanligi at tccb.gov.tr 
Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan - bimer at basbakanlik.gov.tr 
Interior Minister Aksu - aaksu at icisleri.gov.tr 
Sign the e-petition! (upcoming) 


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