Sermons to be delivered in three languages in mosques, PM says

February 18, 2013, Monday/ 12:09:00

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Sunday that imams can give sermons in mosques in three languages, either in Turkish, Kurdish or Arabic, according to the most widely spoken language among the mosque attendants.

Meeting with muftis and opinion leaders during a visit to the southeastern province of Mardin, the prime minister said: “I have positive views about the delivery of sermons in the mother tongue. You can give your sermons in Turkish, Kurdish or Arabic in the way mosque attendants will understand.”

The Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which launched an initiative to resolve Turkey's long-standing Kurdish problem in 2009, has taken significant steps to allow Kurds to enjoy broader cultural and political rights. To this effect, a state-run television, TRT Şeş, which broadcasts in Kurdish, was launched in 2009 by the government. For many years, the use of Kurdish was banned in Turkey due to suppressive state policies. It is the first state-sponsored Kurdish TV channel in Turkey.  

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