Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sur to keep going with multilinguism

28 September 2010

Municipality of Sur keeps up multi-language work

A new decision taken by Sur Municipality implies the hanging out Kurdish and English signs for the names of the mayoralty and unit directory.

Diyarbakır Sur Provincial Municipality changed its signboards that show the way to the mayor, deputies and unit chiefs with the new ones written in Kurdish, Turkish and English.

Hanging out the signs, Sur Deputy Mayor Bedri Turan stated that 72 percent of the citizens in the municipality speak Kurdish in their daily-life, while 24 percent is speaking Turkish. Turan spoke as follows; “Language, which is the main symbol of self-expression and understanding his environment, is the builder and transmitter of the culture. All cultural factors are expressed and more fundamentally, thought with language. At this point; except from determining the meanings of the cultural elements one by one, language is the key element which connects them into a system and clarifies them. Besides self-expression in mother-tongue, people from all strata should also be able to use international languages in the globalizing world. So, the prohibition and the restriction on languages should absolutely come to an end.”

Turan remarked that the people in the region have a serious lack of data and information in technological and public fields although they recorded some progress in the direction of Multilingual Democratic Municipalism mentality.

Turan also indicated that they are now trying to serve people in their mother-tongue after the conversations held with 6 thousand 920 families in the borders of the municipality, adding; “In relation to the contentedness of our people, we are in a struggle for improving our services. In this respect; besides the official language Turkish, we are rewriting the names of all directorates in the municipality in the most common spoken language Kurdish and in English, hoping to provide benefit in international extent too. In this way, our citizens that come to the municipality to get service will be guided by the multilingual advice service and they will able to find the names easily.”

Translation: Berna Ozgencil