Ubuntu under investigation by Turkish attorney general

john levin john at technolalia.org
Wed Nov 29 16:40:09 GMT 2006

(Apologies to Soren, who will get this twice: I got caught out by 
reply-to. Doh!)

Soren Hansen wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 29, 2006 at 05:37:45PM +0200, Ozgur Karatas wrote:
>> I am exploreing this on me. although ubuntu team made the package of
>> kurdish language, they say that they had done it.. The person who said
>> this lie ise a turkish diplomat. he says that they improved UBUNTU. i
>> will prosecute to him..
> It is still not clear - not to me, anyway - who "they" are.  Could you
> please send the above paragraph once again without the word "they" in
> it? I get really confused by "they say that they had done it". Who said
> who did what and why is this wrong?

The english language sources on this case:
which is credited to the New Anatolian newspaper, but I can't find it on
their site:

According to Milliyet, a well-known Turkish newspaper, the Diyarbakir 
Attorney General of the Republic of Turkey started an official 
investigation on the mayor of Sur (a town in Diyarbakir) and on Ubuntu.

New Anatolian/Kurdishinfo:
The Diyarbakir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office yesterday launched an 
investigation into Sur Mayor Abdullah Demirbas who commissioned a 
Kurdish language version of a widely used computer program.

I believe - I don't read Turkish, nor know how these proceedings work - 
that the local state authorities are investigating the Mayor of Sur (and 
possibly Ubuntu) for promoting the Kurdish language, which, although is 
very controversial in Turkey, is not illegal.

For context, quoting Peter Garrett on the Sounder list (where there is 
another thread on this subject: 

The quote below is from


which appears to be dated this year:

" The process proves to be extremely challenging and unpredictable. Take
the example of language rights, which were recently granted to the Kurdish
minority. While falling far short of international standards and
insufficient to meet the demands of many Kurds for education in their
mother tongue, the enactment of a law that allows private courses to teach
Kurdish is a significant step forward in a country where the utterance of
a Kurdish word in public was prohibited until 1991. Yet this elementary
move of granting Kurds limited cultural rights has faced a strong
resistance by bureaucrats who use imaginative ways to wield their power to
curtail the fulfilment of these rights. While the extent of the
government's commitment to recognize, respect and protect minority
cultures is debatable in the absence of an express commitment towards that
end, the boldness of the Kurdish language law is irrefutable in light of
previous state policies, which were based on homogenizing minority



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